Twenty four Manai Telugu Chettiars
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|24 Manai Telugu Chettiar|
|Languages||Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu|
|Populated states||Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
The 24 Manai Telugu Chettiars (24MTC) are a Tamil/Telugu speaking Indian caste of the Chettiar who are prominent merchants of Tamil Nadu. They are found predominantly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka. This community is known by a number of variants and spellings of their name, and is divided into twenty-four subdivisions (manai).
The 24MTC were born as royals (history) and became traders in Kanchipuram Mandalam(history). They came to Tamil Nadu during the period of Krishnadevaraya a Telugu dynasty(Vijayanagara), and took up trading in Tamil nadu and Kerala.
The modern day community is predominantly involved in business, industry, and Royal trade. The total population of 24MTC is around 1 million in Tamil Nadu . As per Hindu Varna System, the community is categorized as Vaishya (merchants). Their day to day rituals and thread ceremony are like Bramhin priests. They have been listed as a section of Balijas. They were traditionally traders corresponding to Perike Balijas of Andhra Pradesh. The alternate name Janappan was derived from their manufacture of gunny-bags of hemp (janapa) fibre. In Kerala 90%of 24 MTCs are merchants.
This community is also known by different names and spelling variants. They may be called 24 Manai Telugu Chettiar, Sadhu Chetty, Janapan, Goniga, Telugu Chetty, 24 Manai telugu Chetty, Telugu Chetty, Telugupatti and Ruvathunalu, and various combinations of these terms. Chettiar may also be rendered as Chetty or Setty. In Tamil they are called Saluppa Chetti, saluppan being the Tamil form of janappan. Some of them carried the title Desayis or Desadhipatis (rulers of countries). Sathu Vandlu ("company of merchants or travelers) occurs as a synonym of Janappan.
- People of India: A - G. Oxford Univ. Press. 1998. p. 3069. ISBN 978-0-19-563354-2. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- A more explicit list of variants includes: 24 Manai Telugu Chettiar, 24 Manai Telugu Chetty, 24 Mane Telugu Chettiar, 24 Mane Telugu Chetty, Gonichetty, Goniga, Gonigamane, Janapachetty, Janapan, Janapar, Janapasetty, Sadhu Chetty, Sadhu Chetty, Sadhu Setty, Sadu Setty, Salapar, Salaparu, Sanapar, Sanaparu, Telugu Chettiar, Telugu Chetty, Telugu Setty, Telungu Chettiar, Telungu Chetty, Telungupatti Chetty and Telungupatti Chettis.