Friday, October 1, 2010

Senguntha Mudaliyar

Senguntha Mudaliyar

See the main article at Sengunthar
Kaikolar or Sengunthar are a large Tamil people in the states of Southern India. Historically, there were seventy-two subdivisions (nadu or desams). Their name comes from the Tamil words "kai" (hand) and "kol" (shuttle used in looming or spear). They consider the different parts of the loom to represent various gods and sages. They are also known as Sengunthar, which means a red dagger in Tamil.
During Chola rule Kaikolars served as soldiers and were called "Terinja kaikolar padai". (Terinja means "known" in Tamil and Padai means "regiment"), so "terinja-kaikolar padai" were the personal bodyguards. Kaikkolars were militarised during the Chola empire and formed many regiments in the Chola army from 8th century to 13th century. Kaikolars were prominent members of Tamil society even during the 10th century AD during Chola rule.[32] Smarakesarit-terinja-Kaikkolar and Vikramasingat-terinja-Kaikkolar derived their names from possible titles of Parantaka Udaiyar-Gandaradittatterinja-Kaikkolar[8] must have been the name of a regiment called after king Gandaraditya, the father of Uttama-Chola. Singalantaka-terinda-Kaikkolar (a regiment named after Singalantaka i.e. Parntaka I) Danatonga-terinja-Kaikkola (regiment or group). The early writing of the record and the surname Danatunga of Paranataka I suggests its assignment to his reign. Muttavalperra seems to indicate some special honour or rank conferred on the regiment by the king.

Kerala Muthali/Mudali
Kerala Muthali (Mudali) belongs to various Mudaliar communities. They are predominantly found in the Trivandrum and Palghat Districts of Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. They migrated to these places in the late 17th Century onwards for various purposes including Agriculture, coconut oil extraction, coir Trade and as specialized fighters and reliable spies. They were given special preference by the royal family of Travancore due to their cultural similarity and loyalty. This status resulted in further deepening their area of influence within Travancore. During the British era, many families embraced Christianity. Unlike the Tamil Brahmins settled in various places of Kerala, Muthalis/Mudalis marry Nairs, Chakravar, Sakravar and those who are converted to Christianity but retain Mudaliar identity. Kerala Muthalis still keep their separate identity even though they are a micro-minority caste in Kerala. Due to their linguistic and educational backwardness Kerala, Tamilnadu and Pondicherry states have categorized them as BCs. Gradually after independence and state reorganization, Kerala Muthalis have completely integrated with the Kerala Culture, but still consider Lord Muruga/Subramanya as their primary god of worship while most of the Kerala Hindus are devotees of Lord Vishnu.
Alienation from Travancore Royal family begun with Swathi Thirunal's acceptance of Thanjavoor Sugandhavalli alias Sugandha Parvathi Bhai as his wife. His first wife Thiruvattar Amma Veettil Paanapillai Ayikutti Narayani Pillai was belonging to a powerful Nair family from Central Travancore. After Swathi Thirunal's mysterious death at an early age of 33, the Kerala Muthali community faced various threats. Then British resident, General Cullen's timely involvement helped to avert a great backlash on the community. The South Travancore Keralamuthali Samajam is the umbrella organisation currently working for the cause of the community.

Nanjil Mudali

Nanjil Mudali is another group of people who have the Mudali surname. They belong to Nanjil Nadu in Kanyakumari district.

Sri Lankan Mudaliyars

The book: The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam traces some of the Mudaliyars in Ceylon to Thaninayaka Mudaliyar (among other), a rich Saiva Vellala who emigrated to Ceylon from Tondaimandalam Jaffna has two or three clans from Thondaimandalam with the Mudali surname. Irumarapum Thooya Thaninayaga Mudali from Seyyoor and Mannadukonda Mudali whose clan has been quoted even during famour poet Kambar's time. Here is the direct quotation from Kailaya Malai, a historical book of Jaffna on the migration into Jaffna from Thondai Nadu. The other clans may come under this section or under Sri Lankan Vellalar section.
The next was the Vellala of the family of him who shed over kamban a shower of gold for the work of Erezhupatu, whose country was Tondainade, who had a widespread name, who used to wear a lotus garland and whose name was Maanadukanda Mudali. He was made to reside at Irupalai. The next was the Vellala of Seyur, who was as wealthy as Indra, and who never deviated from the path of visture. whose garland was of water lilies. Whose fame was great and whose paternal and maternal lines were matchless and pure and whose name was Taninayaga. He was made a chief of Neduntiva.

See Sri Lankan Mudaliyars for the class of Mudaliyars created by the British administrators during 19th century Sri Lanka.

Thondaimandala Mudaliars’ Community

Thondaimandala Mudaliars are the natives of Tamilnadu, from time immemorial. This community with rich heritage, traditions and civilization and known for their honesty, intelligence, valour, loyalty and administrative ability were occupying high positions like ministers, army chiefs, regional rulers etc. in various southern kingdoms.
“ Thondaimandala mudaliars” are part of “saiva-velalers” community spread over the entire length and breadth of Tamilnadu. “Saiva-velalars”, were called, as such, since they were pure-vegetarians and mostly engaged in farming activities. “Pattinapalai”, one of the oldest Tamil classic sangam literature states that this “saiva-velalar community known for their piousness, honesty and philanthropy excelled in farming and trading”.
Saiva-velalars were called by different names in different places. In Thondaimandalam, they were called “Mudaliars”. In some places they were called “Saiva-Pillaimars” and “Karkarthars”. In some places, they were also called “Chettiars” as they were engaged in business, particularly in jewellery trade. But one common fact is that they are all pure-vegetarians and share common beliefs, customs and traditions. This view is supported by the fact that there are a number of religious mutts in Tamilnadu like “Kanchipuram thondaimandala adhinam” “Dharma-puram adhinam”, “Thiruvaadudurai adhinam”, “Thirugnanasambandar swamigal adhinam” etc. whose “Matathipathis”are drawn from these communities.

It is also a fact that , even to-day, in most places, they have common burial ground exclusively for these saiva-velalars community and owned and managed by respective “Mudaliar-Pillaimar Sangams”. Also for any functions in their families like marriage etc. all members from these communities are invariably invited.
The legendary great king “Karikal-cholan” of “Chola- dynasty” had two sons. He divided his kingdom into two and gave the northern part including “Kanchipuram”region to second son named “Aathondai Chakravarthi”. This region has come to be called as “Thondai-mandalam”, named after the founder-emperor. Aathondai chakravarthy has divided his kingdom into 24 divisions (kottams) and appointed members from ‘Saiva-velalars” community as “rulers” of these regions or “kottams”, under his empire.
Chola king Karikal Cholan has awarded the title of “Mudaliars” (meaning muthanmai (first) citizens) to these community members. Since then we are called as “Thondaimandala Mudaliars”.

These community members had the privilege of handing over the crown at the time of coronation ceremony (mudi-sootu vizha) of the kings, religious heads etc. This fact can be seen from old tamil classical literature “Thirukkaivazhakkam” which states “mangaiyoru bhagarkum, madhavarkum, mannavarkum thunga mudiyai sootumkai (the hands that handover the crown to kings/religious heads at the time of coronation ceremony)”.
In the great tamil classical literature “Kamba-ramayana”, Kavi-chakravarthy Kambar has stated that “the great sage Vashista took the crown from ancestors of Vallal Sadaiappa Mudaliar and crowned the king Rama” (“Vennaiyur Sadayan thangal marabulore kodukka-vangi Vasittaney punainthan mauli”).
Our community had very unique names of addressing their relations. Lady members were respectfully addressed as “anni” by all other community members. Sisters-in-law (elder brother’s wife) were addressed as “anniyar” and sisters-in-law (one’s husband’s sisters) were addressed as “aththathai or aththachi”. Brother-in-law (sister’s husband) is addressed as “aththan”. It is of interest to note that lady members of Mysore royal family are addressed as “anni”.

It is believed that one “Ekambavanan” of our community from “Aamoor” once ruled great “Magatha empire”. From “Kanchipuranam”, it is learnt that once a member of “velalar” community was elected to be the king in “Thirukanchinadu”. It will be of interest to note that even to-day, in our marriage ceremony, father-in-law ties “pattam” (meaning crown) on the fore-head of the bride.
“Sekkizhar” the legendary author of yet another great classic Tamil literature “Peria-puranam” who was also a reputed prime-minister of chola kingdom hailed from our community from Kuntrathur.
In 15th century “Ariyanatha Mudaliar” from our community from a tiny village named “Maipaedu” near Kanchipuram was a minister in the great Vijayanagar empire. In the year 1564 AD, after the “Thalikottai war”, Dalawai Ariyanatha mudaliar was deputed to “Pandiya-nadu” to assist “King Viswanatha Nayakkar”. Dalawai Ariyanatha Mudaliar ably assisted the king from 1559 to 1600 AD. It was he who divided the kingdom into 72 subdivisions called “ Palaiyams” and evolved a stable and good administration. He has appointed few of our community members to rule these palayams. “Aayiramkal (thousand pillared) Mantapam” in the famous “Meenakshi Temple” was constructed by him in 1569. At the entrance of the Mandapam , the statue of Dalawai Ariyanatha Mudaliar on horse-back can be seen.

Maavai kumaraswamy Mudaliar administered the 3 districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, and Trichy from 1688 (kollam calendar(kc) 863) to 1700 (kc875) . His son-in-law “Aarai Aagappa mudaliar” administered these areas from 1701 (kc876) to 1726 (kc 911). Since Aarai Alagappa Mudaliar had no children, he handed over the authority to his sister’s son-in-law “Dalawai Kumaraswamy Mudaliar” whose direct descendants are even to day enjoy the title of “Dalawai”.

British govt. in appreciation of “Dalawai Kumaraswamy Mudaliar” (son of Dalawai Thirumaliappan Mudaliar and granson of above Dalawai Kumaraswamy Mudaliar) able Administrative skill, awarded him “Medai-Dalawai”title whose descendants also enjoy this “Medai-Dalawai” title even to-day.
We, as a member of Thondai-mandala Mudaliars community can rightfully feel proud that the following great personalities were from our own community and they should be taken as role-models by the present and future generation members to achieve greatness in whatever they do and bring honours to our community :-
In the year 1916, it was felt by our community members that we should have “Kodi-vazhi Jabitha” (community tree) of our community. Under the guidance of Mr. K.S.Ammaiappa Mudaliar of “Kidarakkulam” village, our members collected the family tree details of each gothra and the first edition of the “Kodi-vazhi Jabitha” was published in March, 1919.

Though Thondaimandala Mudaliars were living in various parts of Tamilnadu particularly in Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramnad, Tanjore, Kanchipuram, Chenglepattu,Trichy, Salem, Coimbatore districts etc., and marriages between them regularly taking place as can be seen from the kodi-vazhi list where it is mentioned in a number of marriage alliances that “spouse from “sola-desam”, positively, due to lack of communication and transportation facilities, this kodivazhi-jabitha has included the community members mainly from Tirunelveli, Ramnad, Madurai district. This kodi-vazhi jabitha was up-dated and 2nd edition published in the year 1933 by the dedicated efforts of Alwarkurichi Melappannai Mr. M.P.S. Duraisamy Mudaliar, Vellakal District Munsif Mr. V.T. Palaniappan Mudaliar and Edakal village-munsif Mr.A.Subramaniam Mudaliar.
All efforts made by some of our community members after 1933 from time to time did not succeed for some reasons or other and therefore all the members born in our community after 1933 are not included in our kodi-vazhi jabitha.

Many of our community members sincerely felt that we must continue the great work, our elders had started and update this kodivazhi jabitha as on date and pass on the benefit of having our family tree and community tree continuously and without any break to our future generations.

It was also sincerely felt by our members that when our predecessors could achieve this great work of initiating and publishing community kodivazhi jabitha covering more than 500 years when printing, communication and transportation facilities required so vital, in publishing such book were not-available, we have no reason in not continuing this work when we are living in the world which has now effectively become a “global-village” due to breakthrough made particularly in electronic field enabling availability of everything at finger-tips, just a mouse-click away !

Most of our community members also felt the need of having one such “kodi-vazhi jabitha” covering the entire community living not only in whole of Tamilnadu but also living all over the world. Such kodivazhi jabitha will be found more useful by present as well as future generations particularly for marriage alliances. This will also benefit our youngsters for getting guidance in further education and employment from our well-placed community members.

The kodi-vazhi jabitha based on available data as on date, is made available to all our community members through this web-site, which you would love to browse and feel proud to be a member of our community.
We have published a master-list of all gothras with details of gothra’s moola-purushas and their kula-deivams (family diety). In this gothra-master, we have also included a number of gothra-names with their native places though we have no community members details for these gothras.

We have also published master list of our members right from their moola-prushas in the Kodivali-master which contains the following details , gothra-wise :-

1) Gid - each gothra has been given a unique identification code in two letters.

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