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definition - Mudaliar

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-A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar • A. M. Ponnuranga Mudaliar • A. R. Subbiah Mudaliar • A. Ranganatha Mudaliar • Agamudaya Mudaliar • Agamudayar/Arcot/Thuluva Vellala Mudaliar • Andaka Kaviviraraghava Mudaliar • Arcot Mudaliar • Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar • Ariyanatha Mudaliar • C. Jambulingam Mudaliar • C. Natesa Mudaliar • C. P. Subbiah Mudaliar • C. Ramaswamy Mudaliar • Mahavidwan Vasudeva Mudaliar • Makaral Karthikeya Mudaliar • Muniswamy Mudaliar • Muthuranga Mudaliar • Pa. Subramania Mudaliar • Pachaiyappa Mudaliar • Pammal Sambandha Mudaliar • Papanasa Mudaliar • Prathapa Mudaliar Charithram • Pundi Runganadha Mudaliar • R. N. Arogyasamy Mudaliar • Raja Mudaliar • S. C. Sadayappa Mudaliar • S. Muthiah Mudaliar • S. Ramaswami Mudaliar • S. V. Natesa Mudaliar • SP Ayyaswamy Mudaliar • Senguntha Mudaliar • TK Chidambaranatha Mudaliar • Tharini Mudaliar • Thondaimandala Mudaliar • Thuluva Vellala Mudaliar • V. K. Ramaswami Mudaliar • Varadarajan Mudaliar • Vellala Mudaliar



A. L. Mudaliar.jpgSir Ponnambalam Arunachalam.jpg
Coomaraswamy.jpgMylswamy Annadurai.jpg
Mbhaktavatsalam.jpgAR Rahman-2.jpg
Sir PT RajanCN AnnaduraiArcot Lakshmanaswami MudaliarPonnambalam ArunachalamAnanda Kentish CoomaraswamyMylswamy AnnaduraiM. BhaktavatsalamAR Rahman• Others[1]
Total population
23.6 Million(Approx)[2](in southern india) 42.7 million (all over world).
Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Pondicherry, Singapore, Malaysia, Banglore, Chittoor, Nellore districts and Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh

Tamil (Mother Tongue), Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu


Hinduism, Christianity

Related ethnic groups

Vellalar, Tamil people, Dravidian people

Mudaliar also Mudali, Moodley (Tamil: முதலியார் மற்றும் முதலி) is a upper caste title used in Tamil diaspora. It is derived from the honorary title Mudali meaning a person of first rank in the Tamil chola feudal society which was bestowed upon top-ranking bureaucratic officials and army commanders in medieval South India.[3] The surname is generally prevalent among Indian Tamils and the Tamil diaspora though it is also used in other parts of South India.



The word Mudaliar means first citizens or first ones . The word Mudali apply to leading members of the Vellalar caste. It was also used to refer to a position held in the Nagarattar community.


Karikala Cholan divided Thondaimandalam into 24 Kottams and parcelled it out to the Vellalar Chiefs, awarding them the title Mudali or Mudaliyar[4][5][6] literally meaning The first citizens or first ones after his son Athondai had won the battle against Kurumbars.[7]

Some of the Mudali clans of Thondaimandalam migrated to Sri Lanka during the period of medieval poet Kambar. For example, some of the Tamils in Ceylon trace their lineage to this group some of whom had become saints called Nayanars. 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 Velalar who emigrated to Ceylon from Tondaimandalam[8]

Maanadukanda Mudali, a Vellala king of Thondai Nadu had shed over kamban a shower of gold for his work of Erezhupatu, a literary work praising agriculture. Taninayaga, a Vellala of Seyur was made the chief of Neduntiva.[9]

Rajah of Cochin was also awarded Mudali title according to the book "Jews in India" by Thomas A. Timberg.[10]

Castes such as Agamudayars also had used Mudali title from historical times as they had served in the regiments.[11][unreliable source?]

The usage of the title is prevalent, though to a lesser extent, among Desigar, Chozhia Vellalar and Karaiyar[12]

  Gatti Mudaliar

The Gatti Mudaliars were in charge of the most dangerously exposed province of the Nayak Kingdom with Kaveripuram on the right bank of the Cauvery as their strategic capital commencing one of the principal passes to the Mysore Plateau. The centre of their power seems, however, to have been Taramangalam where they have built a grant edifice of a temple. It is said their domination extended as far as Talaivasal to the east, Dharapuram in Erode district in the west and Karur district in the south. The forts of greatest strategic importance held by the Gatti Mudaliars were Omalur and Attur. By about 1635 A.D., the Muslim Sultans of Bijapur and Golkonda made inroads into the south when the power of Tirumalai Nayak had wanted palacode area came under Bijapur. Meanwhile Kantirava narasa Raja of Serangapatnam took several places in Coimbatore from Gatti Mudaliars in 1641 A.D.

Mudaliar title is used by various castes. Some of the castes using the Mudaliar title are:

  Mudaliars of Bangalore

Mudaliars constitute a significant percentage of the population in South Bangalore (surrounding Ulsoor Lake, MG Road, High grounds). Many well-known buildings on MG Road & surrounding were once owned by Mudaliars (e.g. - Gangaram's, Plaza Cinema). The "Attara Kachheri" or the red court house that stands opposite of Vidhana Sauda was built by a Mudaliar contractor. Palatial homes surrounding Windsor Manor (5 star hotel) are even today owned & inhabited by affluent Mudaliar families. The Bangalore Exhibition is usually conducted on the RBANMS grounds in Ulsoor which owned by Rai Bahadur Arcot Narayansamy Mudaliar trust. The trust has several schools and colleges affiliated to it. The quizmaster Avinash Mudaliar is another Mudaliar. Sandalwood Hero Crazy Star Ravichandran is also a Mudaliar

  Famous Mudaliars of Banglore

There were so many famous Mudhaliar's across bangalore. see the below

Dr. T.V. Arumugam Mudaliar

Mudaliar was the doctor to the King of Mysore Sri. Jayachamaraja Wadiar and was given the title "Rajasevasaktha" and was recognised by the Viceroy of India. The family resided in Basavangudi near Arumugam Circle which was named after him.

T. V. A. Iswaran Mudaliar

Iswaran, son of T.V. Arumugam Mudaliar was Chief of Police in Bangalore and was then appointed the Trade Commissioner for Mysore in London in the 1930s.

Dr. T. Seshachalam Mudaliar

Seshachalam Mudaliar was professor of Surgery in Bangalore Medical College and discovered the recurrent artery of the appendix (Artery of Seshacahalam described in Gray's Textbook of Anatomy).

Dharma Rathnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narainaswamy Mudaliar

Narainaswamy Mudaliar was the founder of RBANM Educational Institutions, Bangalore

Lt Gen (Dr) V. J Sundaram Param Vishist Seva Medal (Retd.)[13]

An Aeronautical Engineer of distinction and a distinguished scientist of the Indian Army that he served in several important positions before he rose to the rank of Lt.General. He was awarded Vishist Seva Medal in 1980 for his work on India’s First Surface-to-Air Missile. In 1983 he became the first Project Director for Prithvi- Surface-to-Surface Missile that led to a total successful flight with all systems integrated for which he was awarded the Athi Vishist Seva Medal in 1989. From 1992 to 1997 he was Chairman of the Management Boards of the Indian Missile Programmes—Prithvi, Trishul, Akash, Nag and Agni.. For his contribution to the productionization of Prithvi and Trishul he was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal in 1994. He has been the Mission Director for 42 launches of the Prithvi and Dhanush Missiles from 1988 till date including 3 Enemy Short Range Ballistic Missiles as part of the Air Defence Interceptor Programme. Presently he is Advisor Micro and Nano Systems with the National Design and Research Forum at Bangalore where he promotes micro-air vehicles. He is also Vice Chairman of the Engineering Staff College of India at Hyderabad. He has been awarded • National Aeronautics Prize for Missile R&D, • Aryabhata Award from the Astronautical Society of India for contribution to Aerospace • Instrument Society of India Award for miniaturized Flight instrumentation of missiles • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Defence Research and Development Orgaisation.

Dr.Mylswamy Annadurai

Mylswamy Annadurai space scientist, though hails from Tamil Nadu, is living in Bangalore since 1982. He has received [Karnataka]] award of the Rajyotsava Prashasti for Science (2008).[14]

  Mudaliars of Hyderabad

Mudaliars live in significant numbers in the areas of Boiguda, Padma Rao Nagar, Maredpalli in Secunderabad. They are Ahamudaiyar tulu vellal Mudaliar community. They run a popular girls school called "Keys High's School" in addition to some colleges. Mudaliars started developing the Secunderabad Cantonment commercially. Otherwise, Secunderabad had only large number of tents housing the troops of the British army as told by Mr. Luther in book Lashkar - 200 Years Of Secunderabad[15]. The Mudaliars, who were camp followers of the British, made immense contributions for the growth of education and health care and explained the growth of the Secunderabad Club from a public room[16].

  Thondaimandala Saiva Vellalar

See the main article at Thondaimandala Mudaliar

The Thondaimandala Mudaliar or Thondaimandala Saiva Vellalar are a high-ranking caste in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.[17] They trace their lineage to Sekkizhar, the author of the Periyapuranam. They are the original homogeneous group of Mudaliars who were settled in Thondaimandalam or Thondai Nadu in South India by Chola King, Karikala Chola.[7][18][19][20]

  Thondaimandala Kondaikatti Vellalar

Tradition suggests that this group were the first Vellalar groups that were settled in Thondaimandalam by Adondai Chakravarti after overthrowing the Kurumbar sovereignty.[21] Adondai Chakravarti is described in various ways: a) as a lieutenant in the Chola empire,[22] b) as the son of ancient Chola King Kokkili and a Naga princess, c) as the illegitimate son of Rajendra Kulotunga Chola I and a palace attendant,[23] d) son of Karikala Chola.[24] This claim appears blurred due to the ambiguous identity of Athondai Chakravarti and the time of such settlement. There are conflicting sources, some that say, the settlement was in 7th or 8th century AD and others that say that it was much later in 11th or 12th century AD. Nevertheless, this settlement is much later than Karikala Chola's settlement of Tondaimandalam[25] There were many Mirasidars and Zamindars belonging to this group. They are mainly concentrated in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Vellore districts.

  Thuluva Vellalar/Arcot Mudaliar

See the main article at Thuluva Vellalar

Thuluva Vellalar or Arcot Mudaliar is a sub-caste of Vellalars and were immigrants from the Tulunad, a part of the modern district of South Canara. A King named Athondai Chakravarthy had brought down the people of Thuluva Vellalar to the present day Thondaimandalam of Tamil Nadu. Athondai Chakravarthy had established his rule over Northern Tamil Nadu after winning the battle over the Kurumbar. This is the reason that part of North Tamil Nadu was named as Thondaimandalam, named after this victorious king. It has also been noted that Athondai Chakravarthy had brought Brahmins from Srisailam to settle down at Thondaimandalam[26]. Arcot Mudaliar or Thuluva Vellalar is a majority caste among the Mudaliars of Northern Tamil Nadu and Southern Andhra Pradesh.

  Agamudaya Mudaliar

See the main article at Agamudaya Mudaliar

Agamudaya Mudaliar is a social group from the Agamudayar caste in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.[27] Agamudayar (otherwise Akamudayar, Agamudayan) is a non Vellalar Tamil community found throughout the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. In southern Tamil Nadu, the Agamudayar are one of the three castes which make up the Mukkulathor community;The migrated to Northern Tamil Nadu and started using the mudaliar title. Agamudayars have been using the title of Mudaliar since 13th century

  Kerala Mudali

Kerala Muthali (Mudali) belongs to various castes using Mudaliar title. They are predominantly found in the Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Palakkad districts of Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. They migrated to these places starting 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 Royal Family of Travancore due to their cultural similarity and loyalty. Kerala Muthalis still keep their separate identity even though they are a micro-minority caste in Kerala. They are listed in Other backward castes in the state of Kerala,[28] Tamil Nadu[29] and Pondicherry[30] states have categorized them as Backward Castes.

Kerala Muthalis are primary worshippers of Tamil God Lord Muruga. Their cultural identity is similar to native Hindu Keralites

  Nanjil Mudali

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


See the main article at Sengunthar

Sengunthar is a large caste among the castes using Mudaliar Title. During the British rule, their refusal to bow down to the new rulers while the rest did resulted in entire families being wiped out by the British army and their native co-conspirators. This eventually led to them even dropping the Muthali name as a means to survive and/or left the country. Presently a great number of them reside in other countries all over the world. They come under Other backward castes list. In Andhra Pradesh, they are clubbed with Kaikala and Karikalabhakthula, both being the sub-castes of Padmashali community for OBCs reservation

  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.[8]

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 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..[9][unreliable source?]

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


Senaithalaivar or Senaikudaiyar is among the castes using Mudaliar title, which is mainly concentrated in central and southern Tamil Nadu

  Notable Mudaliars


  1. ^ http://www.mudaliarinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=269&Itemid=236&lang=en
  2. ^ http://www.mudaliarcommunity.com/division.php
  3. ^ Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. direct web reference: http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft038n99hg&brand=eschol
  4. ^ History of Tirupati: The Tiruvengadam Temple By T. K. T. Viraraghavacharya
  5. ^ Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture - Page 161 by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar
  6. ^ The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany
  7. ^ a b The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago By V. Kanakasabhai
  8. ^ a b The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam, http://books.google.com/books?vid=0PrqSaY8TV9DtgCG9v&id=hlocAAAAMAAJ&q=mudaliyar+vellala&dq=mudaliyar+vellala&pgis=1
  9. ^ a b noolaham.net
  10. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=vbJtAAAAMAAJ&q=mudaliar+title&dq=mudaliar+title&lr=&pgis=1
  11. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_12 - Kopperunjingadeva II Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
  12. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=73msCkfD5V8C&pg=PA112&lpg=PA112&dq#PPA112,M1
  13. ^ http://www.flonnet.com/fl1913/19131240.htm
  14. ^ "Rajyotsava awards for space scientists". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 30 October 2008. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200810302033.htm. 
  15. ^ Nostalgia is the buzzword at Lashkar launch:[1]
  16. ^ British left their mark on Secunderabad: Luther:http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/british-left-their-mark-secunderabad-luther-922]
  17. ^ Rural Society in Southeast India By Kathleen Gough By Kathleen Gough
  18. ^ "Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994."
  19. ^ Order and Disorder in Colonial South India Eugene F. Irschick Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1989), pp. 459-492,
  20. ^ The Hindu : Of tilting pillars
  21. ^ Religion and Public Culture: encounters and identities in modern South Indi by John Jeya Paul, Keith Edward Yandell,http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0700711015&id=x3GuKnZTGG4C&pg=PA241&lpg=PA241&ots=0mGugDgcw8&dq=adondai+kondaikatti&sig=rvjX3UZKGetOlVMyoGQS0IC4ac0
  22. ^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,http://books.google.com/books?vid=0o3HpzvAK7y1RHyxOc&id=JLFfVFU1mCoC&pg=PA581&lpg=PA581&dq=adondai+chola#PPA581,M1
  23. ^ Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture By S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar, http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN8120609999&id=vRcql-QBhRwC&pg=PA394&lpg=PA394&dq=adondai+chola&sig=CUdOfMyvFWr60FUG2jBelSkCQhQ
  24. ^ History of Tirupati: The Tiruvengadam Temple By T. K. T. Viraraghavacharya, http://books.google.com/books?vid=0EAC1QqCYpse1n8eEo&id=VBoaAAAAMAAJ&q=adondai&dq=adondai&pgis=1
  25. ^ http://books.google.com/books?vid=030r8wCzi070dfHyMo&id=TTQKoe4eXzgC&q=kurumbars+chola&dq=kurumbars+chola&pgis=1
  26. ^ The Madras journal of literature and science, Volume 13, page 41:[2]
  27. ^ List Of Backward Classes Approved at TN.gov.in
  28. ^ [3]
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ [5]

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