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Tharakan (Malayalam: തരകന്‍ ) is an honorific hereditary aristocratic title which was bestowed upon a handful prominent Saint Thomas Christian families or houses of nobility in the erst-while Kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin,[1] currently being the State of Kerala in India. This title was given by the Maharaja of Travancore or by the Maharaja of Cochin to these families for their services and contributions. Chempakassery Kingdom of Ambalapuzha also had the practice of giving Tharakan title to Nasrani Christian families. The families which held the title had certain specific rights and privileges accorded to them and holding the title elevating these houses to the highest rank of Christian nobility in the Indian sub-continent itself. In today's time, the title is a reference to one being of "blue-blooded lineage" and being that of "old moneyed".


The word Tharakan literally means the holder of document of Raja. They are so called because they were the recipients of Tharaku or writ of social previlege.[2]


  1. ^ "Reference to Mathoo Tharakan"
  2. ^ "Census of India, 1961, Volume 7" P. 21