Tamil Brahmin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tamil Brahmin
தமிழ் பிராமணர்கள்
Tamil Brahmin Hindu Marriage.jpg
A Tamil Brahmin wedding ceremony
Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh
Tamil, Sanskrit
Related ethnic groups
Pancha-Dravida Brahmins, Tamil people

Tamil Brahmins are an ethnoreligious community of Tamil-speaking Hindu Brahmins, predominantly living in Tamil Nadu, though they number significantly in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, in addition to other regions of India, as well as Sri Lanka.[1] They can be broadly divided into two denominations: Iyengars, who are adherents of Sri Vaishnavism, and Iyers, who follow the Srauta and Smarta traditions.


Tamil Brahmins are divided into two major denominations: Iyers, who follow the Smartha tradition, and Iyengars, who adhere to the tradition of Sri Vaishnavism.


Iyers are Srauta-Smartha Brahmins, whose members follow the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara. They are concentrated mainly along the Cauvery Delta districts of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Tiruchirapalli where they form almost 10% of the total population. However the largest population reside in Nagercoil, making up to 13% of the city's population.[2][3][4] They are also found in significant numbers in Chennai,[5] Coimbatore, Madurai, Thiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Palakkad, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kannur, and Thiruvananthapuram.[6]


The Iyengars subscribe to the Visishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Ramanuja. They are divided into two denominations: Vadakalai (Northern art) and Tenkalai (Southern art), each with minor differences in religious rites and traditions. They adhere to the tradition of Sri Vaishnavism.[7]

Adi Saivas/Gurukkal[edit]

Brahmins who serve as priests in temples following the Vaishnavite and Shaivite tradition and perform pujas are sometimes offered a distinct category within the community. These priests are called "Bhattar" in the Vaishnavite tradition and in the Pandya regions of Tamil Nadu, and "Gurukkal" in the shaivite tradition and in northern ones. In Kongu Nadu, they are called Adi Saivas or the Sivacharyas. They follow the Agamas and the Vedas.[8]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Team - Noolaham Foundation".
  2. ^ "Brahmins seek reservation in education and employment". The Hindu. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  3. ^ G. S. Ghurye, Pg 393
  4. ^ Migration and Urbanization among Tamil Brahmans, Pg 5
  5. ^ Migration and Urbanization among Tamil Brahmans, Pg 15
  6. ^ "Approaching societal issues through the eyes of Ambedkar". dtNext.in. 10 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  7. ^ Dutta, Ranjeeta (September–October 2007). "Texts, Tradition and Community Identity: The Srivaisnavas of South India". Social Scientist. 35 (9/10): 22–43. JSTOR 27644238. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Rajagopal, Sharat Chandrika (1987). Rethinking Hinduism: A Renewed Approach to the Study of "sect" and an Examination of Its Relationship to Caste : a Study in the Anthropology of Religion. University of Minnesota. p. 368.
  9. ^ Companion Studies to the History of Tamil Literature, Appendix III, The Case of Akattiyam; Sanskrit and Tamil; Kankam, Pg 235–260
  10. ^ "Know the Only Indian in Today's Google Doodle? She Could Have Been India's First Female President!". The Better India. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  11. ^ Indian Literature: An Introduction. University of Delhi. Pearson Education India. 2005. pp. 125–126. ISBN 9788131705209.
  12. ^ "Who was S Chandrasekhar?". The Indian Express. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  13. ^ Dhume, Sadanand (20 August 2020). "What Kamala Harris Isn't Saying About Her Mother's Background - WSJ". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 January 2021. Ms. Harris’s mother also figures in another tale told less often: of India’s small and successful Tamil Brahmin diaspora
  14. ^ Srinivasan, Mahadeva (5 June 2012). "Not for him the second fiddle". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  15. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 191.
  16. ^ Staff Reporter (13 July 2008). "Alladi Ramakrishnan, 85, Scientist, Passes Away". India Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2010.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "A power couple whom AP looks up to | Hyderabad News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  18. ^ "Thirukodikaval Krishna Iyer - Google Groups". groups.google.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  19. ^ Viswanathan, S. (26 February – 11 March 2005). "The patriarch of Tamil". Frontline, Vol. 22, Issue 5. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  20. ^ Osborne, Arthur (2002) [1954], Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge (PDF), Sri Ramanasramam
  21. ^ "Straight from the Heart – Iravatham Mahadevan: Interview with Iravatham Mahadevan". Varalaaru.com.
  22. ^ Chitty, Simon Casie (1859). The Tamil Plutarch, containing a summary account of the lives of poets and poetesses of Southern India and Ceylon. Jaffna: Ripley & Strong. p. 57.
  23. ^ M. V. Aravindan (2018). உரையாசிரியர்கள் [Commentators]. Chennai: Manivasagar Padhippagam. pp. 348–360.
  24. ^ Ki. Vaa. Jagannathan (1963). திருக்குறள், ஆராய்ச்சிப் பதிப்பு [Tirukkural, Aaraicchi Pathippu] (3 ed.). Coimbatore: Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalayam.
  25. ^ "Opinion: Tamil Brahmin emigration was driven by opportunity, not socialism or identity politics". The News Minute. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  26. ^ "Common root: Tamil Nadu gets its third laureate". Times of India. TNN. 8 October 2009.
  27. ^ "CV Raman Birth Anniversary 2020: Interesting Facts About The Nobel Laureate". NDTV.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  28. ^ Kanigel, Robert (1991). The Man Who Knew Infinity: a Life of the Genius Ramanujan. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-0-684-19259-8.
  29. ^ "From Proofs to Transcendence, via Theorems and Rāgas – Bhāvanā". Retrieved 30 July 2020. We are a Shree Vaishnavite Brahmin family
  30. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1973), The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India, BRILL, p. 136, ISBN 90-04-03591-5
  31. ^ "Srinivasa Varadhan". Abel Prisen. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2018. I came from a Brahmin community, viewed by the government as privileged, and there was reverse discrimination