Pillai (surname)

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Pillai, Pillay, Pulle, Pilli or Pillaimar (Tamil: பிள்ளை,பிள்ளைமார், Malayalam: പിള്ള) is an upper caste title used by land-owning castes of Tamil- and Malayalam-speaking people of India, Sri Lanka and others living in Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa and Fiji, mostly from the Vellalar community in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Nair community in Kerala.

South African Tamils use the spelling Pillay, whereas some Sri Lankan castes may also use Pulle or Pilli.

Yadava (Tamil Yadav) also uses Pillai as sur name. At end of the Nineteenth Century, leaders of Yadava associations had their Sur name as pillai. Most notable persons are

Kuppusamy Pillai, Thana Pillai (Advocate), Krishnasamy Pillai, Kesava Pillai. Then many Tamil Yadavas used Pillai instead of yadav. [1]

History of the title[edit]

In 1909 Edgar Thurston noted, ″Pillai. — Pillai, meaning child, is in the Tamil country primarily the title of Vellalas, but has, at recent times of census, been returned as the title of a number of classes,[2]

They have been influential in the revival of Tamil traditions and dominate much of the writing on Siddha medicine today.[3]

Notable people with the surname Pillai[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History". உலகத் தமிழ் யாதவர் பேரவை. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  2. ^ Thurston, Edgar; Rangachari, K. (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India. VI (P to S). Madras: Government Press. p. 198. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  3. ^ Weiss, Richard (2008). Divorcing Ayurveda: Siddha Medicine and the Quest for Uniqueness. State University of New York. 
  4. ^ Nairs
  5. ^ A. S. Pillai
  6. ^ http://colonel.ga/ahnentafel

External links[edit]