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Mudiraju or Mudiraj (Telugu:ముదిరాజు or ముదిరాజ్). is a caste found in Andhra pradesh. The caste was primarily devoted to agriculture. Mudiraju are also found in Tamil Nadu. They constitute a major block of aboriginal Indians. They are descendants of the Bhils and are believed to have developed the Harappa and Mohenjo-daro civilization in the Sindhu river belt.[citation needed] Bhil means bow and its Dravidian word is Villu, the weapon of Srirama and also that of Arjuna. Mudirajus are cultivators, warriors and village administrators. A section of Mudirajus in ancient times looked after the water reservoirs in granitic areas.

Alternative names[edit]

  • Mudiraj, Valaiyar, Muthuraj, Mutharasi, Mutharayar, Muthariyar, Muthuraja, Mutharaiyar, Muthurajan, Nayakkar, Ambalakkarar and Kudiyanavar.ambalakarar, Mutharacha


  • Kannappa Kula (Valmiki), Araiyar, Ambalakarar, Bharatava Valaiyar (Paratava Valayar), Kavalgar, Kudiayanavar, Muthuraja, Muthuraja Naidu, Muthiriya, Muthiriya Naidu (Gavara), Muthiriya, Naicker, Muthiriya, MuthiriyaRao, Pillai, Palayakara, Palayakkaran, Palayakkarar, Palayakara Naiker, palaykara Naidu, Servaikkaran, Talaiyari, Valaiyar, Valayar, Vazhuvadiyar, Vedan, Vetan, Vetar (Vedar / Bedar),


  • Moopar, Moopar, Moopanar, Muthiriya Urali Gounder, Kanugu, servai, Vanniyarkula Muthuraj


  • Muthu means "pearl" and Raja means "king", so Mudhiraj means king of pearls;
  • Koli means a spider (one who spins a web or one who weaves a net, like the fisherman they trap their enemies, who weaves the net, is also called a Koli. It also means fisherman, presumably because the fisherman makes and uses a net to catch his prey as a spider his web).

Note:Koli is not a part of Mudiraj.Only they Koli community saying

  • Bil means bow, which describes their superiority in archery.

mudiraj doesnt depicts king of pearls and not that they live near sea it decipts the great heart of them the saying goes like this their hearts are like pearls this is given to them on account of the great sacrifice done by first person who is son of great king yayati the first king of moon race; the sacrifice of his youthful age to his father he won the name mudiraj in Telugu language it reads muthyam[pearl] vanti[like] manasuna[heart] rajulu[king] other these people have great descendts with powerful kingdoms due to invasions and other reasons some of these people have lost everything because of their good name.


The ancient King Mandhata, whose reputation spread far and wide throughout India and whose stories of valor and yajna were described in the stone carvings of Mohenjo Daro, belonged to this tribe. The king was a great warrior (Mahan joddha) and the city's original name "Mahan-Joddha-Oor" seems gradually modified to Mohenjodaro. The author of the Ramayana, Valmiki, is from this community. This is way they are known as Valimikis in some parts of India. Shabari, who offered Sri Rama and Sri Lakshmana half-eaten 'ber' when they were searching for Sita Devi in the forest was a Bhil. Sri Rama appears in a Bhil myth where there has been a flood that wiped out humanity and Rama suggests how it can be repopulated. [1] Veda Vyas, the writer of Mahabharata, was the son of Satyavathi of Koli community and a Brahmin Rishi. The Mahabharata notes that only one other - 'Karna' - was capable of showing similar prowess, but however he is thwarted by Draupadi who slights him saying that she will not marry a 'Sootaputra' - charioteer's son. Point to be noted, Karna having the potency to perform the same task as Arjuna, has no claims to being a part Bhil.) The Ganges and fish are the symbols that are related to Kolis. The Mahabharata tells the story of Eklavya, a Bhil who surpassed the skill of Arjuna only to be suppressed by his guru. Lord Gautama Buddha's mother and wife belong to Koli community. Maharishi Matanga was another Hindu sage that became a Brahmana. Sant Kabir, a weaver by trade, ended several of his 'bhajans' as 'kahet kabir kori' was a self-confessed Koli. Purandara das, who was one of the greatest Carnatic singers and poets of Karnataka, was from Kabbaliga caste. The Kabbaligas claim that they are Mudiraj people settled in Karnataka. Their main profession is fishing and are also known as Bestha / Gangaputra. They are a variant of Kolis of Karnataka / Maharashtra. The story of Purandara Das reveals that he migrated from Maharashtra to Hampi and belonged to Koli (Naik) community. In Tamil Nadu,there is some connections between Mutharayar caste and kallar caste since some of the Mutharayar kings name ends with Kalvan (Means Kallan). Also persons like Raghava Iyangar says that Mutharayar and Kallar are from same origin.


It is believed that the Mudiraja or Muthuraja kings were the descendants of Kalabhra Kings of South India, who conquered the Cholas, Pallavas, and the Pandyas and ruled from 300 to 600 AD.

Kalabhra interregnum is called as 'dark period' by earliest Pallava and medieval Pandya sources as Kalabhra rule paved the way to put an end to the primacy of Tamil culture and language. The Kalabhras were anti-Brahmins and anti-Sanskrit, believed to have been Buddhists and helped spread their religion in their newly acquired state. In Buddhist writings mention a certain Achyuta-Vikranta of Kalabhra-kula who is referred to as "ruling the earth." It describes at length his works, the prosperous cities of Kaveripattanam and Bhutamangalama in Chola-ratha in each of which there is said to have been a great monastery. By about the end of the sixth century AD the Kalabhras seems to have been driven out of the Tamil land, and the Pallava and Pandya copper-plate grants speak of the re-establishment of their power under Simhavishnu and Kadungon respectively. The Pallava rule was revived by Simhavishnu, a scion of the Pallava ruling family and was firmly established at Kanchi. The area round Thanjavur was under the sway of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyuar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, who ruled either independently or as vassals of the Pallavas. One such chief was Kataka-Muttaraiyan mentioned in theVaikuntha-Perumal temple inscriptions at Kanchipuram as a Pallava subordinate in the reign of Nandivarman II. No. 18 of the "Pudukkottai Inscriptions" refers to a Muttaraiyar chief called Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan as a feudatory under Dantivarman.


Muthurajas are heavily populated in and around of Uraiyur which was the Head quarter of Early Cholas. Muthurajas ruled Cholamandalam for 300 years with the help of Pallavas. Among mutharayar kings, Swaran maran a legend who ruled independently without the help of Pallavas and kept other tribal communities. He was called Kalvar kalvan and the inscription is found in Senthalai. Muthurajas also had matrimonial alliances with Pandyas, who were also known as Maha Rayas.

The Muthurajas or Mutharaiyars were a line of powerful kings and were for a long time feudatory to the Pallavas, ruling over large portions of Tamil Nadu. "The centre of their power was somewhere in the district of Thanjavur, Sendalai, at present a small village near Tirukkattupalli, appears once to have been a flourishing town with the beautiful name Candralekha, and either this place or Niyamam in its neighbourhood was most probably the centre of Muttaraiya rule." As their territory lay between the Pandya and Pallava empires, they were involved in almost all the contests between the two powers. Their subordination was of great assistance to the Pallavas not only in their struggle against the Pandyas but also in holding the Cholas under subjection.

  • Srikrishnadevaraya (1509–1529 CE)
  • Veera Pandya Katta Bomman (1760–1799)
  • Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c. CE 655 – c. 680)
  • Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c CE 680 – c. 705)
  • Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c. CE 705 – c. 745)
  • Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c. CE 745 – c. 770)
  • Marppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c. CE 770–791)
  • Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c. CE 791 – c. 826)
  • Sattan Paliyili (c. CE 826-c. 851)


Kakatiyas were believed to belonging to bhil fishing community. Their ability to hunt fish with arrows made them skilled archers, like Ekalavya. Kakatiya seems to descend from Kaikadis, a branch of Maharastrian Erukalas. Gaikwad (gaikawala) is one of the surnames of Kaikadis in Gujarat. Kaikadi word itself seems to be a modification of the word Gaikwadi, as these eruklas were once employed by royal courts of Gujarat to look after their cow (gaai) herds. Erukalas are a branch or a variant of bhil Dravidians. Their clan name and goddess name seems to be derived from Kaikadi. For more details, see webpage on kingdoms in Mudiraja research website.

In the north many Bhil were employed by the Rajputs as warriors and hunters (shikari) because of their knowledge of the terrain leading to expertise in guerrilla warfare. They were in the army of Maharana Pratap Singh and Shivaji against the Mughals. There is still a 'Mewar Bhil Corps.' The erukalas of Gujarat, Rajastan and elsewhere are also known as paradhis. There are only three surnames among them paradhi erukalas of Gujarat and Rajastan and they are Chauhan, Pawar and Solanke. These paradi erukalas claim their descent from Rana Pratap and Prithwiraj Chauhan and original home in Gujrath and Rajasthan.

Naik was a title by Koli kings and by some community people even today in Maharashtra. Several Koli uprisings against Muslim rule were recorded around 1327 AD all over Maharashtra. Naga Nayak, the ruler of the Kolis, puts up a heroic resistance against the Muslims from the great hill of Kondanna (Sinhagad of later times, conquered by the great Tanaji).

Perumbidugu Mutharaiyar-II[edit]

One the famous kings of South India who ruled his kingdom with Tanjore as his capital city. He was a vassal under Pallavas. As a result of this defeat of Muttarayar chiefs, Cholas became so powerful that Pallavas were also wiped out from Thanjavore region at a later stage.

There is a reference to Perumbidugu - Muttaraiyan II who attended the coronation of Nandivarman Pallavamlla. One of the titles of the Muttaraiyar was Lord of Tanjore. The Mutharaiyars were known to build some famous Shiva temples in and around Tanjavur. They were also known as the first builders of forts in Thanjavoor.

The city name " Thanjaur" seems to be derived from the name of a Mutharayar king "Thananjay" or "Dhananjaya". "Thananjayarayar" is one of the surnames of Mutharayar clans as per the research paper published by chola-Mutharayar research center, Tanjore. The original name "Thananjaya Ur" might have gradually modified to "Thanjavoor". The legend which says that city was named after a demon "Tanjan" seems to be a cooked up story by Hindu Vaishnava high class priests, who were most probably anti-buddhist & anti-Mutharayars. For more details, please visit web page on "cities" at Mudiraja on-line research website

Erikal Mutthuraju[edit]

King Erikal Mutthuraju ruled over parts of Rayalaseema and surrounding areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Mutthuraju is said to be from Renati Chola dynasty of the 6th century.Historians have recovered a rock edict written in Telugu language from Chennakeshava temple complex located at Erragudi Palem of Kamalapuram Taluk in Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh. This was the first rock edict available to historians which was written in Telugu language and according to this rock edict, Erikal king ruled his kingdom in 575 AD.''''''

Sripurusha Muttarasa[edit]

Sripurusha was a Western Ganga Dynasty king. He assumed the title of Muttarasa and ruled from 726 - 788 CE. Dr. Nagaswamy, in his Mutharayar - defines them as Ganga kings of kongani belonging to Tamil Mudhu Velir kudi. According to the Javali inscription, Sripurusha Muttarasa ruled for 62 years. He had marital relations with the Chalukyas and used titles Rajakesari, Bhimakopa and Ranabhajana. He is known later by the title "Maharajadhiraja" and "Paramesvara". The territory he ruled over coincided more or less with the south eastern portion of what is now Mysore State; it was technically known as the "Gangavdi 96,000" i.e., a province of 96,000 villages; his capital was Talakad, a sand buried city on the banks of the Kaveri near Kollegal. A warrior and a scholar, he authored the Sanskrit work Gajasastra.

The rule of Sripurusha seems to have been filled with conflicts with the Pallavas of Kanchi, Pandyas, later the Rashtrakutas. Sripurusha Muttarasa won the victory over the Pallava Nandivarman and assumed a title Permanadi. He had good relations with Chalukyas and had helped them fight the Pallavas during the rule of Vikramaditya II and later he fought the Pandyas during the rule of Chalukya Kirtivarman II but suffered reversal at Venbai. Sripurusha had many victories against Krishna I and occupied some Ratta territories. This resistance to Rashtrakutas continued for some time before the Gangas normalised their relationship with Rastrakutas through martial alliances.

It appears that Muttarasa had two sons, the elder Sivamara II and the younger Rana-vikrama. The Talakad Gangas appear to have enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity under Rana-vikrama (son of sripurursha-Muttarasa) and his son Rajamalla (c.840-871.) The latter commented an alliance with the Nolambas by giving his daughter Jayable to the Nolamba king Nolambadhiraja, son of Pallavadhiraja. The Gaigantic statue of Bahubali was installed at Sravanabelagola by one of the military Generals during the rule of another Ganga king Rachamalla-IV.


Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ, Telugu: శ్రీ కృష్ణ దేవరాయులు, Tulu: ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣದೇವರಾಯ Rai means Mutharaiyar,his father name is Tuluva Narasa Nayaka, (Nayaka)menas Naicker,mudiraju,it's belongs to Tamil name. Telugu people especially consider him as the greatest king ever to rule the Āndhradeśa (Telugu land) as his period is considered as Swarnayuga (Golden period or Zenith) in the cultural and literary history of Telugus.[citation needed] Much information about his reign comes from the accounts of Portuguese travelers Domingo Paes and Fernao Nuniz. Krishna Deva Raya benefited from the able prime minister Timmarusu, who was regarded by the emperor as a father figure and was responsible for his coronation. Krishna Deva Raya was the son of Nagala Devi and Tuluva Narasa Nayaka,[1] an army commander under Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya, who later took control of the empire to prevent its disintegration and became the founder of the Tuluva Dynasty, the third Hindu Dynasty to rule Vijayanagara. The emperor's coronation took place on the birthday of Hindu God Krishna, and his earliest inscription is from July 26, 1509 CE. Several colonial writers like Edgar Thurston and RV Russels mentioned that he belongs to Yadava clan, the oldest castes of Hindu religion. He built a beautiful suburb near Vijayanagara called Nagalapura in memory of his mother, Nagala.The king was of medium height, had a cheerful disposition, and was reputed to be respectful to foreign visitors, ruthless in maintaining the law, and prone to fits of anger. He maintained himself to a high level of physical fitness through daily exercises. Travelogues indicate that the king was not only an able administrator, but also an excellent general, leading from the front in battle and even attending to the wounded.

Veera Pandya Katta Bomman[edit]

A Palayakar in Tamil Nadu, the son of Katta Bomman of Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Katta Bomman was an adopted son of an issueless Pandya king. Palayakars come under sub-caste of Muthuraja in Tamil Nadu at present. He is known to be one of the first kings who revolted against the British in India. He is one of the first freedom fighter of India who was hanged by the imperial British government.

Medieval politics and matrimonial alliances of Muttarasars[edit]

01.Pallava Aparajita was the grandson of Ganga Muttarasa kings from their daughter Vijaya, who married Pallava Kampavarman.

The Pallava copper plate (earlier than 900 AD) found at the Village Velanjeri near Thiruttani on the top of Thiruttani hill by the Pallava ruler Aparajitavarman who is portrayed as a great devotee of Lord Subrahmanya. The present Velanjeri copper plate mentions that Aparajita was the son of Pallava ruler Kampavarman through a Ganga Princess whose name is given as Vijaya. This passage further shows that Kampavarman and his son Aparajita had the able support of the Ganga chieftains.

Aparajita conquered the Bana king of bana muttarasar lineage and captured Karanai the city of the Pandya and defeated the Chola at Chirrarrur. Bana Muttarasar was a feudatory of Pandya kings. The Bana Muttarasars were clearly on the side of Pallava Narpatunga, who was in fighting with Aparajita.

02. Pandya Varuguna was the grandson of Bana Muttarasar from his daughter's side who married a Pandya Prince : A Pandya, said to have been a grandson of the Bana through a daughter, was also defeated by Aparajita. Pandya Varaguna received help from Nrpatunga. Varaguna Pandya, Aditya Chola, and Bana Muttarasa were on the side of Nrpatunga Pallava while Aparajita and Kampa, were aided by the Ganga Muttarasa ruler Prithivipati on the other. It was mentioned earlier that Aparajita's mother was a Ganga princess. That Aparajita was aided in the Sripurambiyam battle by Ganga Prithivipati is well known Prithvipati obtained victory for his over lord Aparajita, but lost his life in that battle.

03. Ganga Muttarasas had matrimonial alliances with Cholas: Virarajendra chola's another daughter was given in marriage to the Ganga prince of Kalinga named Rajaraja.

04. Ganga Muttarasas married daughters of Kadamba kings : There are many inscriptions of Gangas of Mysore that speak of a marriage alliance between Kadamba and the Ganga Royal families. Some inscriptions of king Avinita record that he was the son of Kongani Mahadhiraja by the beloved sister of the Kadamba king Krishnavarmma.

Vishnugopa's grandson Madhava III succeeded him, married a Kadamba princess and was a Saivite. He was succeeded by Avinita who ruled in the first half of the sixth century AD. Kakuthya Varma of Kadamba dynasty gave his daughter in wedding to Madhava III Tandangala (430-469) of Ganga Muttarasa lineage. The very knowledgeable Maharaja ruled his kingdom for forty years. Avinita (469 - 529 CE) was the Western Ganga Dynasty king who ascended the throne after King Madhava III. He was followed to the throne by his son, Durvinita, though Durvinita was not his choice. Durvinita was known as mahadirayan. Maha or Mahadi means Mudi and Mahadirayan means Mudirayan. At a later time, Ganga king Sripurusha assumed the title Muttarasa. (529 - 579).

05. Ganga Muttarasas had matrimonial relations with Western Chalukyas : Politically, the Gangas were feudatories and close allies who also shared matrimonial relations with the Chalukyas. This is attested by inscriptions which describe their joint campaigns against their arch enemy, the Pallavas of Kanchi. Durvimitra married off his daughter into Chalukya dynasty. Durvinita, the Ganga ruler accepted his overlordship and even gave his daughter in marriage to Pulakesin II and she also became the mother of Vikramaditya I.The most important ruler of Chalukya dynasty was Pulakesin II. The Aihole inscription issued by him gives the details of his reign. It seems to have been a regular practice of the Chalukya kings to make political alliances by marriage, and it seems their wives were Saiva.

06. Ganga Muttarasas had matrimonial relations with Pandyas of Madhurai: King Sripurusha fought the Pallava King Nandivarman Pallavamalla successfully, bringing Penkulikottai in north Arcot under his control temporarily for which he earned the title Permanadi. A contest with the Pandyas of Madurai over control of Kongu region ended in a Ganga defeat, but a matrimony between a Ganga princess and Rajasimha Pandya's son brought peace helping the Gangas retain control over the contested region. The 771 Salem plates of Sripurusha and the Koramangala grant however indicate the Kongu region remained in Ganga control.

07. Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha -I gave his daughter Chandrabbalabbe in marriage to Ganga Muttarasa prince Butuga I, son of King Ereganga Neetimarga.: In 753, when the Rashtrakutas replaced the Badami Chalukyas as the dominant force in the Deccan, the Gangas ( Muttarasas) offered stiff resistance for about a century. King Shivamara II ( Madhava Muttarasa) is mostly known for his wars with the Rashtrakuta Dhruva Dharavarsha, his subsequent defeat and imprisonment, his release from prison and eventually his death on the battle field. The Ganga resistance continued through the reign of Rashtrakuta Govinda III and by 819, a Ganga resurgence gained them partial control over Gangavadi under King Rachamalla. Seeing the futility of waging war with the Western Ganga, Rashtrakuta Amoghavarsha I gave his daughter Chandrabbalabbe in marriage to Ganga prince Tribuga (Butuga I), son of King Ereganga Neetimarga. The Gangas thereafter became staunch allies of the Rashtrakutas, a position they maintained till the end of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Manyakheta.

Due to the resilience of the Gangas, Amoghavarsha Nrupathunga I was forced to follow a conciliatory policy. He married his daughter, Chandrabbalabbe, to the Ganga king Buthuga and another daughter, Revakanimmadi, to the Ganga prince Ereganga. Thus Amoghavarsha I gave away his two daughters in marriage and achieved harmony with the Gangas.

Amoghavarsha I gave away his two daughters in marriage and achieved harmony with the Gangas.

09. The Western Ganga ruler Durvinita ( Ancestor of Sripurusha Muttarasa), who ruled in the later half of 6th cent AD, had a Chola princess as his Chief Queen. She is called 'the daughter of the family of Karikala Chola, an exemplary Kshatriya, and ruler of Uraiyur'.

10. Sri Vikrama, the grandson of Western Ganga Durvinita and who ruled in the 7th cent a.d., also had a Chola Princess as his Queen who is called 'the daughter of the Chola family of Karikala, who raised embankments on either side of the river Kaveri'. The embankments were raised as the city of Uraiyur was destroyed by the unexpected raising sea waves ( Tsunami )

11. Paranthaha Chola (AD 907-953) married the daughter of Chera - Mutharaya king Paluvettaraiyar Kandan Amuthan named Arumoli Nangai ruling from west Paluvur of the present Tirutchirappalli in Tamil Nadu bordering Kerala.

One section of the Palli or Pallava tribe, called the Muttarasar (Telugu Mutracha) ruled in the Chola country, first as feudatories of the Pallava and then of the Pandya kings during the eighth century AD. It was during this period that Naladyar was composed under the auspices of the Muttarasa governors. They are still to be found in the North Arcot district under the name of Talaiyaris, and many poligars of Chittoor and other minor rulers are of this class. Of such tributeris were the kings of Tanjore, who ruled in 8th century with Vallam, near Tanjore as their capital. These kings seems to be the followers of Jainism in those days.

Soldiers, commandos & administrators[edit]

In medieval times there was only a very small standing army of any kingdom. Most of the armies mustered belonged to the feudatories and subordinate nobles and Dukes. These soldiers were basically farmers. Then there were the retainers of the many land holders, the "camp followers" who assisted in transport and logistics. But a section of the kingdom's official army was specialised professional infantry. These groups were exclusively concerned with techniques of warfare, and here too one section were called Ekattalu, or Ontari (individual hand to hand fighters). In a sense they were commando type soldiers. Among the Mudiraju are these sections. They were usually in the service of Velama kingdoms. Today also the Mudiraju farmers are found today in the vicinity of old Velama controlled areas.

It is said a section of the old Mudiraj were interior palace guards "suicide squads" i.e. the last line of defence of the Velama castles. While they mostly have a connection with the Velamas they are a distinct community, and it is likely they were active in earlier times too. In the Kakatiya times they used to spend most of their time developing martial arts. Similar martial arts tradition is found in Orissa, Tamil Nadu and of course the well known Kalaaripayat of Kerala.

In some places the Mudirajus acquired large properties and were "Zamindars" in Tamil Nadu. There is a tradition that Mudirajus were kings under Pallava emperors in Tanjore area of Tamil Nadu, until Vijayalaya Chola took over the area. Even long afterwards, some of them retained large estates. In fact one of them set up a college during early English times. But on the whole Mudirajus today are middle and small farmers.

The word "Mutharacha" was a professional designation for those people who used to administer "Muthass" in Dravidian Tribal Society since prehistoric times. The Mutha system of administration continued till British people imposed their system of administration in British India.

  • Mutha: is a Koya word. It means a cluster of villages equal to a Mandal / Taluka, which formed the smallest administrative unit in tribal society.
  • Racha (Raja): Racha is also a Koya word. Racha indicates the people of ruling class who used to administer the Muthas in Dravidian tribal society. The powers were transferred from one generation to another.
  • Thus the Mutharachas were born administrators having warrior qualities as they were like sub kings with all military and judicial powers to administer Muthas. They were directly answerable to their King.

The word Muthracha lost its value in the society as the system of Mutha died down and the Mutharachas became jobless. A large population of Mutharachas became farm laborers and coolis. They became one of poor backward class people.

Great builders[edit]

The city was named after Mutharasu Chennayya (Madras and Chennai). The city of Thanjavoor was built by a Mutharayar king whose name is believed to be Thananjaya ( Dhananjaya ) Rayar and ruled his kingdom by making this city as his capital. The city which was initially known as "Thananjaya Voor" got gradually modified to present names - Thanjavoor and Thanjai.

Thirumaiyam Temple[edit]

Located in Tamil Nadu. This cave temple was established by Kuvavan Mutharayar during his rule at Thanjavur from 610 – 649 AD. There stands a statue of Kuvavan Mutharayar in the form of Twara Balaga (Dwara Palaka = Gate keeper = Security guard) on the right side of temple door. It is believed that Kuvavan was brought from Renadu (Rayalseema) as a step son by his ancestor Nalladi alias Bhima Solan. Mahendra Pallavan took over Kanchi from Bhima Solan.

On the left side of temple entrance, there stands another Twara Balaga, which is said to be the statue of Kuvavan's younger brother Punniakumaran. At the time of Kuvavan's rule Punnia Kumaran was the Yuvaraja. That is why the Dwara Palaka on left entrance is seen without crown. At that time his father was on the seat of power in Renadu. The elder brother Kuvavan was crowned as king at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The younger brother was serving his elder brother faithfully by staying with him. The elder brother Kuvavan honored his younger brother for his love and faithful services by installing his statue along with him as Dwara Palaka in Thirumaiyam temple in Pudukottai Temple.

Vijayala Choleeswaram[edit]

Vijayala Choleeswaram was originally built by Mutharayar kings. Vijayala Chola who defeated Mutharayar king and occupied Tanjore is believed to have renovated and renamed the Mutharayar temple as Vijayala Cholleswaram.

Narthamalai came under the sway of the Mutharayars from 7th to 9th century who were the vassals of the Pallava kings of Kanchi and Pandya kings of Madurai and was later conquered by the Cholas of Thanjavur.

Vijayalaya Choleeswaram is a structural temple. Most structural temples of Pallava period have Griva Koshtas. The Vijayalaya Choleeswaram temple of Naarthmalai belonging to the reign of Muttaraiyars who ruled Chola heartland before cholas hosts an excellent Griva Koshtas.

There is an inscription at the base of the dwarapalaka statue which clearly states that the original temple was built by Ilangovathi Mutharayar (alias) Chathambuthi which was damaged by rain and the same was rebuilt with granite stones by Mallan Vithuman Mutharaya king in 886 AD. This is a clear evidence that the temple was in existence prior to Vijayalaya chola, though at present the temple is called Vijayalaya Choleeswaram.


Another rock-cut cave temple, dedicated to Siva, opposite to the Vijayalaya Chozhisvaram temple, about 30 feet south of Samanar-kudagu.

This Siva cave temple was excavated in the seventh year of the Pallava king Nripatunga (862 AD) by a Muttaraiyar chief, Sattan-pazhiyili, son of Videl-vidugu Muttaraiyan, which is where the temple gets the name. An inscription on the basement, states that the temple was excavated by Pazhiyili. It also states that his son built the front mandapam and installed a nandi, while his daughter Pazhiyili Siriya-nangai made a gift of land to the temple.

Pazhiyili was a Mutharayar king, who ruled in 857 AD in Narthamalai region. Pazhiyili figures in the inscriptions found near Pudukkottai - Narthamamai - in 857 AD. Pazhiyili practised Jainism and donated lands to Siva temple and named it as Pazhiyileeswaram. Pazhiyili as the contemporary chieftain under Pallava rule in Kodumbalur region and deviating from his predecessors practised Saivism and made a rock cut temple.


The Kolis who worship the souls of their warrior ancestors were known as "Veerkars". The Mudiraj also worship the Souls of their ancestors and the call the function as "Veerla Kolupu". The Kolis who worship the God / Goddess were known as "Devkars". The Mudiraj people also worship the God/ Goddess and the function is known as "Devara Kolupu". The Mudiraj are Shiva worshipers with vibhoothi (ash) on their foreheads. While Mudiraj people are known to worship Ankamma in Andhra Pradesh, the counter part people of Kolis in Maharastra worship Mumba Devi = Maha Amba Devi).

Present day in Andhra Pradesh

Today, the government of India does not treat the community as a single entity. It classifies some, such as the Mudiraj a Other Backward caste (BC-D) but other sections, such as the Boya and Besta as Other Backward Classes (BC-A), and Erukala as Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Goddess Ankamma[edit]

Mudiraju's popular deity is mother Goddess Ankamma. Ankamma is also known as Angamma, Ankalamma, Angalamma, Ankali, Angali, Ankala Parameswari, Angala Parameswari and Veerla Ankamma. She is worshipped with these names in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. She was a royal deity of Chola and Muthrayar kings of South India. Rajendra Chola daughter Angamma Devi married an Eastern Chalukyan prince. Angalamman temple of Kaveripattinam is one among many holy places in Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu which were built during Chola and Vijayanagar periods. Ankamma is considered to be the mother of Trimurtis. The most important part of Ankamma Kolupu is that a midnight puja was performed with the help of ballads by making a colorful Rangoli with wheat flour, turmaric powder, kumkum, black charcoal powder, etc. At the end of the puja, the devotees sacrifice a goat. The Devara Kolupu / Veerla Kolupu is normally performed on some special occasions by individuals or by community as a whole.

During the worship singers recite historical stories about warrior ancestors. In those stories, there is a reference to Dharma Choda Chari and his six brothers belonging solar race from Devagiri City in Maharastra. Kakatiyas who worshiped Goddess Kakati hailed from Maharastra Kaikadi Erukala branch of bhil community belonging to solar race. Devagiri was a capital city of Yadava kings in Maharashtra.

Peddamma and Peddiraju are worshipped in Telangana area Mudiraj's.

Famous Rulers from Mudhiraj Community[edit]

Ruled present Andhra Pradesh as Kakatiyas

   Beta I (1000–1030)
   Prola I (1030–1075)
   Beta II (1075–1110)
   Prola II (1110–1158)
   Rudradeva I (1158–1195)
   Mahadeva (1195–1198): brother of King Rudradeva
   Ganapathi deva (1199–1261)
   Rudrama devi (1262–1296)
   Prataparudra/ Rudradeva II (1296–1323): Son of Queen Rudramba

Ruled south India inlcuding Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka as Muttaraiyara Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c.A.D. 655-c.680) Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c A.D. 680-c.705) Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c.A.D. 705-c.745) Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c.A.C. 745-c.770) MArppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c.A.D. 770-791) Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c.A.D. 791-c.826)

Notable personalities[edit]


  • Kasani Gyaneswar Mudiraj, President of Mana Party, Andhrapradesh
  • Etela Rajender, MLA, Floor Leader of TRS Party, Andhrapradesh

External links[edit]

[[Category:Koli people]] [[Category:Telugu society]] [[Category:Indigenous peoples of South Asia]] [[Category:Malwa]] [[Category:Social groups of Andhra Pradesh]] [[Category:Social groups of India]] [[Category:Ethnoreligious groups]] [[fr:Bhîl]] [[sv:Bhil]] [[ta:முத்தரையர்]]