Samantha Kshatriya

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Samantha Kshatriya
Regions with significant populations
Malayalam, Sanskrit
Related ethnic groups
Nair, Namboothiri

The Samantha Kshatriya are a community of Kerala, India, who were historically ruling elites and feudal land owners in the Kingdom of Cochin and Kingdom of Travancore. They formed a part of the Samantan Nair clan. Their residences are still called Swaroopams or Kottaram or Kovilakams, all of which mean palace in Malayalam. Members of this community hold the titles like Thampuran and Varma. They usually wear sacred thread. Unlike most Kshatriyas (warriors) found in India, Samantha Kshatriyas rarely took part in warfare, relying instead on their Nagavanshi Kshatriya cousins like Kiryathil Nairs and Illathu Nairs to command armies. The Samantha Kshatriya also followed a matrilineal system of inheritance known as Marumakkathayam.

See also[edit]


  • Hindu Kingship and the Origin of Community: Religion, State and Society in Kerala, 1750-1850 Susan Bayly Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (1984), pp. 177–213