Tamil Brahmin

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Tamil Brahmin
Tamil Brahmin Hindu Marraige.jpg
A Tamil Brahmin marriage ceremony
Regions with significant populations
Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Also Sri Lanka.
Related ethnic groups
Pancha-Dravida Brahmins, Tamil people

Tamil Brahmins are Tamil-speaking Brahmins, predominantly living in Tamil Nadu, although a few of them have settled in other states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka and other countries. Tamil Brahmins also live in Sri Lanka.[1] They can be broadly divided into three groups, Gurukkals who follow Saivism, Iyers who follow the Srauta and Smartha tradition and Iyengars who follow Sri Vaishnavism.[citation needed]


Tamil Brahmins are divided into three groups -- Iyers, Iyengars and Gurukkal. Iyers form the majority of the Tamil Brahmin population and are Smarthas, while Iyengars are Vaishnavas and Gurukkals are Saivas.


Iyers are Srauta-Smartha Brahmins, most of whom follow the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara, and are concentrated mainly along the Cauvery Delta districts of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur[citation needed] 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] They migrated from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions over the past 1000 years to their current villages in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Iyengars follow the Visishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Sri Vikanasa or Sri Ramanujacharya. They are divided into two sub-sects: Vadakalai (Northern branch) and Thenkalai (Southern branch). They are devout worshippers of Vishnu.[citation needed]


The Gurukkal are priests in Shiva, Shakthi and Vinayaka temples. They follow Shaiva Siddhanta.[citation needed]

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. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  7. ^ Indian Literature: An Introduction. University of Delhi. Pearson Education India. 2005. pp. 125–126. ISBN 9788131705209.
  8. ^ "Who was S Chandrasekhar?". The Indian Express. 19 October 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ Viswanathan, S. (26 February – 11 March 2005). "The patriarch of Tamil". Frontline, Vol. 22, Issue 5. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ M. V. Aravindan (2018). உரையாசிரியர்கள் [Commentators]. Chennai: Manivasagar Padhippagam. pp. 348–360.
  13. ^ Ki. Vaa. Jagannathan (1963). திருக்குறள், ஆராய்ச்சிப் பதிப்பு [Tirukkural, Aaraicchi Pathippu] (3 ed.). Coimbatore: Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalayam.
  14. ^ "Common root: Tamil Nadu gets its third laureate". Times of India. TNN. 8 October 2009.
  15. ^ "CV Raman Birth Anniversary 2020: Interesting Facts About The Nobel Laureate". NDTV.com. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "From Proofs to Transcendence, via Theorems and Rāgas – Bhāvanā". Retrieved 30 July 2020. We are a Shree Vaishnavite Brahmin family
  18. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1973), The Smile of Murugan: On Tamil Literature of South India, BRILL, p. 136, ISBN 90-04-03591-5
  19. ^ "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