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Tamil vellalar karkathar saiva pillais

Kerala Forum: Kerala Society & Culture: Tamil vellalar karkathar saiva pillais

By hema on Saturday, July 21, 2007 - 08:04 am: Edit Post

origins and details of tamil vellalar karkathar saiva pillais?

hi! am researching the roots of my ancestry. we are tamil vellalar karkathar saiva pillais. among the mnay ambiguities and contradictions i came across, one of them is the caste issue. while some sites and other sources say we are brahmins, except for the priestly duties, others say we are not so.

what i want to know is, the rituals, the belief systems, and other information about this community.

another area of interest for me is the actual lineage of my parents. so if any of u guys out there have any relevant significant inf, do contact me on my email id.

the more info, the better!


warm regards~

By Shani Madathil on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 09:10 am: Edit Post

I belongs to saiva vellala pillai community. whether this community migrated from tamilnadu to kerala or not? even if so from where they had been migrated to the malabar belt?

By balaji.subramanian.pillai on Friday, June 20, 2008 - 12:21 pm: Edit Post

i am karkathar,at my knowledge this community created during chola dynasty.the word kar means clouds,who they are protecting the raining clouds are called karkatthar, they are suppose to be pure vegiterian. if u have more information on this pls share it with me my mail id is

By Lal on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 11:19 pm: Edit Post

Hi, I may explane the know-hows of mine about your Querrys.
I think, you are well familiar with the History of Marthanda Varma (MV) and the Ettu Veettil Pillas (EVP).
As history says, EVPs who were "Brother in laws" to MV, started manipulations to assasinate MV to capture his kingdom, and after his flee from travancore; he found shelter on "Ammachi plavu" and later came up with a stronger Army & recaptured the kingdom by Killing EVPs.
This is the said History. But not the truth!!!
History want only 2 things; ie (1)Before &(2)After. But the Underlying Truth is uncovered and is irrelevent to it....In My family (Real Successors of EVPs), the real truth is conveyed from one Generation to next generation as a God-Secret. I can't publish it here because of being forbaded of doing so...

By RAJGANESH PILLAI on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 03:03 am: Edit Post

Hi All,

As far as my knowledge goes, Saiva Vellala Pillais are one who are pure vegetarians, who are strong in subjects like mathematics, physics, and all form of arts (songs & dance) . They are basically fun loving persons & they are the true devotees of lord shiva. For more information about them kindly surf through,,

By Alfred on Saturday, November 08, 2008 - 11:18 am: Edit Post

i am a vellala christian from madurai.As per my understanding the word vellalar means one who does farming(velanmai- Agriculture in tamil) and there are lots of subsects amongst vellalars..Though vellalar were chiefly into agriculture they soon started getting into education and became kanakku pillais(accountants) in king's palaces.As of me my mother is a karkaththa vellalar(her ancestry is vegetarian but i think it changed due to course of time) and my father is a kodikkara vellalar(one who does kodikka(pan/veththalai) plantation).

So as days gone by our vellalas have migrated from chola(tanjore,trichy,kumbakonam) and pandya nadu(madurai,ramnad,sivaganga) into several parts of chera nadu(present day kerala/karur/erode,coimbatore) etc...

so i think lots of present day kerala pillais are infact tamilians from tanjore area....

By Greggsbasker on Saturday, January 23, 2010 - 11:30 pm: Edit Post

hi I'm a saiva Vellala Christian! 5 Generations ago my ancestors converted to Christianity due to the european missionaries in Tamilnadu. I am now researching on Christian Vellala culture, etc... One fact is that although Christian Vellallas have different religious beliefs, many theologians have tried to always connect their affinity to Lord Siva, although they are christians. Many Vellalas have become Non-vegetarians, but do not eat beef. But there are also some (self) who continue to be vegetarians. Well, I'm interested to know more about Saiva Vellala's religious affinities, and also their reactions towards Christianity and Vellala Christians.

By VIJESH on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 04:54 pm: Edit Post

Dear All,
I was just surfing on the blogs for karkatha pillai, and found this.. its quite interesting. Being a business consultants for banks, i am roaming around the world and got chance to explore more. Plz ref the following blog to know more abt the karkatha pillai and saiva pillai communities... be in touch at
(I will try to contribue more shortly...)

By Anonymous on Sunday, February 28, 2010 - 02:11 pm: Edit Post

Also, karkathar means - people who waited for clouds to do agriculture not "protectors of clouds"!!!

By Anonymous on Sunday, February 28, 2010 - 02:08 pm: Edit Post

As far As I know, karkatha pillai migrated from thirunalveli to tanjavore kumbakonam and along side. It is also believed here karatha pillais orgin is kerala and some moved to thirunalveli earlier. We continue to be pure vegetarian worshiping shiva. I know that karkathar association in chennai has a family tree from for more than 200 years you may get more info from them.

By Raja Pillai on Friday, June 25, 2010 - 04:53 am: Edit Post

Hi Keralites,

Yes .Karkathar is a pure Tamil saiva pillai caste spreaded across Tanjore,Trichy,Tirunelveli etc., in Tamil Nadu.

There are lot more legends in this community.It is a part of Big Saiva Pillai/Pillai Community in Tamil Nadu.

It also said Karkathar and Karuneegar(another subsect of SaivaPillai Commty)of TamilNadu are same.

By pandiyan on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 12:24 pm: Edit Post

Hi i am pandiyan,as i know the karkathar means they protect the poors by giving food and shelter in the time of raining seasons.because they are the big landlords of that time.thanks

By tamil on Friday, February 11, 2011 - 12:46 am: Edit Post

all vellalas are true tamilans, we from tamilnadu migrated to various places like srilanka,kerala,maldeves, southafrica, malyasia, singapre,indonesia etc..... we have produce kindom like chera,chola,pandiya.caste system in tamil nadu created by brahims from north not by us.all caste except brahmins are tamils.we produce so many great people like raja raja chola, pandithar chinnamalai, muthuramalinga devar, tutikurin chidambaram pillai, velu pillai prabhakaran, EVRamasamy, Anna durai ,kalaivanar, kavimani, MGR,Kalaigar,etc.....
we have heritage of tamil saviers and its people, we have history of protecting tamil and people from other invasion like language ,man invations.Finally we can able to produce new language also ie malayalam is greate out put of please maintain our heritage and unite all tamils wereever you are... this is my request

By KrishMohan on Thursday, March 03, 2011 - 06:38 am: Edit Post

Hi All,

Im Mohan, 28yrs, working as a Software Engineer in Chennai.
Im from vellalar community (Sozhiya vellalar).
Im looking for my life partner in same community.
Like minded ppl, pls reply to my mail id.


By Anonymous on Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 09:09 am: Edit Post

Go to this link to know better and proper...

By vicky on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 11:32 am: Edit Post

I am looking for my grandfather's family from Madurai. All we know he was a kanaka pillai and his brother was a police inspector(I think), It was way back in 1930s, his father's name was applasamy and mother samburnam. Can someone give a lead how to go about?

By Kp.7.keralam on Friday, August 05, 2011 - 05:46 am: Edit Post

Hi,i am a keralite..also from a saiva vellala community.i am glad to know about the ancestry of ours.but in kerala saiva vellalars are not strict in maintaining vegetarian life,and they are mostly worshipping krishna.i am proud of having great tamil heritage in my blood.i am very proud to be a malayali too with its most astonishing culture,literature,environmental awareness,sense of humour,hygiene,and of course our yesudas,chithra,mohanlal,aryabhatan and many bye dudes..

By Pakyam Sethuraman on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 07:44 am: Edit Post

Vellalar Inam Ethanai Ethanai? Avarkalil Yar Uyandavarkal?
Intha Ulakathil Ore Oru Jathi, Ore Oru Matham, Ore Oru Daivam. Chonnavar Yar?
Of course, each one will have different verdicts based on social set up, belief, practice, education, culture, food habits, etc, etc.

Then What is Saivam and Saiva Vellala?

By Anonymous on Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 12:02 pm: Edit Post

The vellalars were people ,who were land lords till the early 10th century,and they were like local chieftains[usally having control of 18 villages or 'PATHINETU PATTI'].
It is said that RAJARAJA CHOLA,in order to reduce the powers of vellalars,tied up with the BRAHMINS,and donated huge tracts of land owned by vellalars to BRAHMINS as IRAIILLI [i.e]donating the land to saviours of GOD[BRAHMINS].
This huge loss of land considerably reduced the powers of the vellalars,
some vellalars started working as farmers[KARKATHA VELLALAR]some as accountants [KANAKAU PILLAI],some continued to work as soldiers[SOZHIYA VELLALARS],
but the vellalars nursed a deep seated GRUDGE ,against the BRAHMINS,for they believed it was the BRAHMINS,who poisoned the king's mind to confiscate their land.
This HATRED against the BRAHMINS,continued for centuries ,and eventually turned against HINDUISM.
During the late 19th and early 20th century ,many prominent vellalar families converted to CHRISTIANITY.
In chennai today many eminent vellalars follow christianity.
Tamil actor vijay is a vellala christian[his father being a SOZHIYA VELLALAR from TRICHY].

By S. Sakthivel PhD on Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 03:46 pm: Edit Post

I would like all of you visit the following URL:

It is not authoritarian but it is well-researched. If you have something authentic to add, it will be highly appreciated.

Sakthivel PhD.

By vskarunagaran on Friday, January 27, 2012 - 01:13 am: Edit Post

tamilnadu govt.declares that karuneegar,seerkaruneegar,sarattu karuneegar, karkatha karuneegars are backward communities in tamilnadu. so the above groups is separate not coming under the saivapillai.

By Arul on Sunday, June 10, 2012 - 01:33 pm: Edit Post

hi , I am a karkatha vellala family too, from what i ve heard my father says our ancestoral jobs were Farming with huge acres of land and accountants to kings very big land lords in the chozha ruled places , ie till trichy. thought now the diaspora is in dindugal and tirunelveli too.

coming to the saivaite part only saiva vellalars can be come mutt heads and othuvars who sing thevaram are from the vellalar community though not specifically karkathar.

By Anonymous on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 04:10 am: Edit Post

Hi, I'm from an "Orthodox Saiva Vellala" Community (family)as per my knowledge; We are strictly Vegetarians, doing "cultivation" and "Shivpooja" I think we have a strict rule (in our community only) of ethnicity much more than even "Brahmins".

By Anonymous on Friday, November 30, 2012 - 12:13 am: Edit Post

hi i am a karkatha vellalar ,how do i find my gotram with the help of my kula deivam, please help me

By Sai Sathish kumar on Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 02:55 pm: Edit Post

Karkathar (Kar-cloud, Kathar- protector) means protector of clouds in Tamil.[1] They are also called as pillai which means son in Tamil.In ancient past, it is said, that people were starving to death because there was no food for the masses . To redeem people from hunger and poverty Goddess Parvati created persons of Karkathar Vellala caste to save people from hunger by teaching them the nuances of agriculture and water management.

As these Vellalas were created by Goddess Parvati they are referred to as Pillais, sons of Parvati.Even today some of the Karkathars use Pillai as a suffix to their name ; but the younger generation is wary of using caste titles.Nowadays people belonging to other castes also use Pillai as a suffix to enhance their social status. A Karkathar Pillai can easily be identified with his Gotra name, which is unique to them .

Karkathars are a sub-caste of Vellalar. The word Vellalar is from the term Velanmai which means cultivation.As the preeminent occupation of the Karkathars is agriculture they are known as Karkatha Vellalas.In the Poonagari Brahmi inscription of Jaffna, Srilanka the precursor of the word Vellala,vela, was found inscribed.The inscription is dated to 2nd century BCE.

They used the water sources more effectively to irrigate and cultivate the lands for agriculture.Most of them were landlords, so they don't work on lands but supervise the works. It was a pride among the karkathars to have land in the past; which was their status symbol.

By CH. NAMASIVAYAM on Monday, December 23, 2013 - 03:50 pm: Edit Post

Every Indian is inextricably stuck in the mire of casteism. Not only the people who are mostly descended from the white hordes that overran N. India but those who are mostly descended from the pre-white-horde natives belonging to S.India are guilty of over-weening pride in their caste. This reality is a millstone around our neck and prevents us from reaching the heights possible for us.

By AMUTHA on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:13 am: Edit Post

Hi, I am seerkaruneegar, Marishimaharishi gothram but i don't know my kuladeivam, please give answer for this question

By Suresh gounder on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 10:24 am: Edit Post

Hi..i am a kongu vellala gounder....i could ascertain from your blogs that u all have missed the identity...long before...we have our identity still preserved with that of 36 nadu or zamins who are the zamindars till now...also we have 64 kulams ....we do not marry in the same kulam or gothram.....we are originally referred to as "GANGA KULA MAINDHAN" which means our roots were from the river ganges. Thats all for today ....bye to all the distantly separated cousins!

By Anonymous on Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 08:28 pm: Edit Post

Saiva Vellalar/Pillai is mentioning about the Vegetarian Vellalar/Pillai only. Here, the Saiva means vegetarian and not Shiva worship. Because, there are so many saiva vellalar/Pillai worshiping the Lord Vishnu. There are differences in marriage ceremony/rituals conducted by different vellalar groups. Saiva Pillai people prefer the marriage ceremony performed by Othuvars/Desigars with recitals of Devaram/Thiruvasagam. It is true the Saiva Vellala Pillai's are mostly having their Kula Deivam either a Shiva or Vishnu deities located in their ancestral/native villages. But these Kula Deivams are not only belongs to a particular caste. There are so many sub-casts sharing the same Deity as their Kula Deivams, means the diety of their locality becomes their Kula Deivams - which is not cast specific.

Caste system is just a preservation of some specific qualities in their genes. Or caste is a gene pool. Harmony prevails when the gene pool remain same. When the genes are mis-matched, the natural harmony is vanished. The result is a confused identity/mental and physical variants. It is up to an individual to remain within his gene pool and preserve it for future up gradation by natural evaluation. Attempts to dilute this gene pool has resulted in disastrous results. This is proved in pedigree dogs like Doberman, German Shepherd, Pomeranian, Welsh etc., Humans are also part of animal kingdom. Now youngsters can visualize what is a gene pool. Each variety is having a different physical and mental endurance and qualities of specific traits.

Will continue .............. if anybody is interested..........

By Siva Subramanian on Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 12:45 pm: Edit Post

Instead of researching which vellalar community is great,which is forward & which is backward....we should trace our ancestry ....not to boast ourselves...apart from the stupidity....I see some useful information....

Assuming we have a common ancestor & they thought of splitting out to new places & started farming...!!

Ya Tamil is our mother tongue but that comes later.. we are diverting from the topic....

Since one member from Kerala had stated that he is from Saiva vellalr community....We had like to know more... m

By R.K.Santhi on Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 05:58 am: Edit Post


By N.Ramkumar on Monday, February 16, 2015 - 08:40 pm: Edit Post

I am researching to write the history of Vellalas. Anyone who is in possession of any material, please write to me at

By saravanabhavan on Sunday, April 05, 2015 - 03:01 pm: Edit Post

Actress Meena belonging Karuneegar Cast, she hailing Polur thiruvannamalai District

By vijayaraghavan on Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 08:37 pm: Edit Post

Large number of Saiva Vellalar Families are in Salem,Villupuram,Cuddalore Districts

large number of saiva vellalar families are in Salem,
cuddalore Districts

By Anand pillai on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 01:31 am: Edit Post

Tell me your gothra... So that it'll be easy to find out

By Shankar on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 05:42 am: Edit Post

Hello , I am from karkatha vellala family. My grandfather migrated to Malaysia from Madurai. I am trying to look for my ancestors and wondering how best to look for the records. Would there be a register? Thank you.

By Mahadevan on Monday, April 23, 2018 - 08:16 am: Edit Post

Karkatha Vellalars, are the bridge between Ayyanar and Ayyappan, through whom Lord Ayyanar of Tamilnadu got transformed into Lord Ayyappan of Kerala.

By Mahadevan

By Anonymous on Wednesday, August 08, 2018 - 01:51 am: Edit Post

Hi Iím Raja from Malaysia. Iím saiva
Pillai and kutram is vellalar. Iím want to know about my kula deivam?

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