A Brief History
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), as "Dalawai" during Rani Mangammal's rule . 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” who hailed from Kunnur (Near Srivilliputtur), 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 :-
It is proud to note that 13 out of 63 great Nainars
are from “saiva- vellalars community”.
1. Thirunavukkarusu nainar : one of the great 63
2. Vaayilar nainar - one of the great 63 nayanmars.
He belongs to “agaththular gothram” and hailed
From thondai-nadu mailapuri (mylapore)
3. Sakkiya nainar - one of the great 63 nayanmars.
4. Moorga nainar - one of the great 63 nayanmars.
5. Ambi Aramvalartha Mudaliar - he was a reputed
Minister in during Krishna Devarayar (1509-1530 AD).
6. Namachivaya guru-moorthigal - he was the
founder of Thiruvaadudurai Adhinam.
7. Gurugnanasambandha moorthigal – founder
of Dharmapuram Adhinam and hailed from
8. Andhaga-kavi Veeraragava Mudaliar - a great
Poet hailed from “Pon-vilaintha kalathur”.
9. Anadhari pulavar – a great poet in chola kingdom
Hailed from vaayal (Vaayalur) near
10. Makaral Karthikeya Mudaliar : a renowned
Scholar, poet in 19th century hailed from Veyttur,
near madurangdagam. He authored a number of
Tamil books (veleer varlaatrumanbu”, “tamil
Solvilakkam” and “mozhi nool”).
11. Mahavidwan Vasudeva Mudaliar : renowned poet
from Chettipalayam near Pothanur in Coimbatore
12. Muthu Nainaththai Mudaliar : hailed of Nelvilaiyar
Gothram from Chinna-Tharapuram in Karur dist.
Authored “pachai-nayagi pillai tamizh” and “Perur
13. Raosahib Vellakal Pa. Subramania Mudaliar : hailed
from Athur Mappothiyar gothram from Vellakal,
Tirunelveli dist. He wrote a number of tamil poems
He was a renowned poet of 19th century.
14. Rasikamani T.K. Chidambaranatha Mudaliar : from
Athur Mopothiyar Gothram of Tenkasi. Well known
Scholar and author particularly “Kambar tharum
Ramayanam”. The present Tamilnadu Govt. symbol of "Gopuram"
(i.e. Gopuram of Srivilliputtur) was suggested by T K C and accepted
by the then Govt. of Tamilnadu. All his publications have been
nationalised by the Govt. in 2010.
15. Arulnandhi tambiran swamigal : hailed from
Ariyanagipuram in tirunelveli dist. He was 24th
Matapathy of “Thiruppanandal kasi mutt” .
16. S. Muthiah Mudaliar : native of Kumbakkudi near
Mayavaram. He was a renowned high-court lawyer.
17. Sir P.T. Rajan : from Nelvilayar gothram of Uthama-
Palayam. He was a minister and leader of justice
Party. He has carried out the renovation of the
Famous Meenakshi temple in Madurai. His son
Palanivel Rajan was a well-known leader, minister and
Speaker of tamil-nadu assembly .
18. Munthuranga Mudaliar : hailed from Vanavarayar
Gothram. A native of Nasarath-pettai near
Poonthamalli in Chengalpattu dist. Well known
19. M. Bakthavatsalam Mudaliar : a great freedom
Fighter, political leader and chief minister of
20. O.V. Alagesan Mudaliar : native of Chengleput, a
Great freedom fighter ,political leader and
Govt.of india . Railway minister.
Nedunchezhiian Mudaliar : Great orator,political leader and a minister in Tamilnadu.
Anbazhagan Mudaliar : Great orator, political leader and a minister in Tamilnadu.
It should be noted that the above is not an exhaustive list of our community personalities. For want of space only few have been mentioned.
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
code in two letters.
2)Gen. – generation number of each gothra starting
from 1 (one) is given. For e.g. Supposing we have details of
only last 4 generations, first generation member is
considered as Moola-purusha for that gothra.)
3) Rank – each family is given a rank in ascending
order of fathers’s seniority in that family. For e.g
The children of 1st son is given rank no.1 and his family is
differently colour-coded and so on, for easy
4. Member-id (MID): Each member is given a distinct Member
Identification number, gothra-wise. The moola-
Purusha is given no.1. If he had 3 children, first child’s
“ id” is no.11, second child’s “id” is 21 and third child’s
“id” is 31 and so on. With “member-id” plus “gothra-id” ,
every member of our community has a distinct
Identification. Also, by just looking at the member-id,
we can find out, he is from which generation of his
Gothra and his seniority in his family.
7. Native place
8. Spouse-id : as explained in item (4) above, each member
Has a unique id. No. This spouse-id number is given in
9.Sgid :( Spouse gothra’s id) is given in this column. With
Spouse-id and spouse gothra-id details, we can easily
link up any member in the kodivazhi-jabitha.
11. Spouse’s native place.
12. Address in five columns .
13. Phone numbers.
14. “e-mail” address, if any.
15. Born on.
16. Married on.
17. Died on
Those community members who do not find their names/family members names in the above master list may send details as stated above, preferably in ‘excel’ format, so that the kodivali jabitha can be up-dated. Please click the link given below for furnishing these details (please attach Excel file to your mail).
While we do wish and encourage marriages only among our
own Community Members to keep up our glorious tradition, it is
not possible to totally avoid marriages taking place outside our
community. In those cases, as per our policy, if the bride is from
other community/religion, we do not suffix our Community unique
title "Anni" to their names, so that this fact is duly highlighted.
However, their children will have right to our community titles (Anni/Mudaliar).
In those cases, where our lady members marry men from other community, we do not suffix our community title "Mudaliar"to the bride-groom's name. Also, since our Kodivali Jabitha is based on patriarchal system (Aan-vazhi varisu), their children names automatically will not be finding a place in our Community Tree.
Up-dated version of kodivazhi jabitha will be published in the net, positively once a month.
Any suggestions for enrichment/improvement of this project are invited.
19th May, 2007 Member-id “MA-39181112211”
Bibliography : Thondaimandala Mudaliars Vamsavali (1st & 2nd editions),
Thondainadum athan tholkudiyum by Sri.C.S.Kannayiram,
The great temple of Madurai published by Arulmigu
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukkoil,Madurai.
"Thondai Mandala Mudaliars' Valvum, Varalarum" by Sri. S.N.Chokkalingam.