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Vaidyar ( other wise known as Vaidyan) is a Malayalam term implies physician or practitioner of any Indian systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Siddha etc) , particularly referred to an expert who practice herbal medicine . People of ancient Kerala had used this title to address the hereditary Ayurvedic physicians. The surnames is therefore, has its root to a profession of practicing ayurvedic medicine

It was not a caste name, but, in olden days ,the traditional ayurvedic physicians and their descendants from Kaniyar or Ganaka community in the Travancore region of Kerala were generally addressed by this title.

For the last few centuries, learnt people from many other communities ( Ezhava, Nair, Nadar Christian, Muslim) as well , had taken up the vocation of herbal medicine practice, so they too were known by this surname.

Similar occupational surnames like Vaidhya, Vaid, Vaidhh, Vaidh, Vaidya, Baid, Baidya are found in persons of other regions of India. The name Vaidyar is different from Vaadhyar of Karnataka state, which is a different community of people.