Kallar (கள்ளர்)

Kallar (கள்ளர்), Meaning "Brave People" The Caste who makes the History of  Tamilnadu, The Imperial clan is one of the three castes which constitute the Mukkulathor confederacy. "a fearless community show many signs of independence and non-submission to any form of subjugation".There are Abundant records pertaining to this clan, where the Peoples ruled from unknown antiquity (Chola, Thondaiman) till the independence of india, The Kallar King Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman (1928 -1948) was the only king of Tamilnadu Rulling Pudhukkotai even after independence. Kallars are found largely in Thanjavur (40 % of Tanjavur Population), Trichy, Pudukkottai, Theni, Madurai, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Karur, kanchipuram, and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu.

Mukkulathor (Thevar)

Mukkulathor Means Three clans (Kallar, Maravar and Agamudayar) Combinedly called as Thevar (Estimated population 1,30,00,000).
Kallar, Maravar and Agamudayar are siblings and the Descendents of the Three clans chera, chola and Pandian. Thevar (Derived from Sanskrit Devar) means God early days Kings were portrayed as god and called as Thevar. Later the descendents of Muvenders were called as Thevars.
Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, is the Undisputable Leader of Mukkulathor (From Subcaste – Maravar).

Kallar Meaning
Kallar Means "Brave People", Historians postulate the word Kallar Derived from Kalla means Black in Sanscrit and Tamil (கள்வனென் கிளவி கரியோனென்ப' - திவாகரம்} Historians postulate Dravidians were called by Aryans as Kalla.

Kalavar Means People who fight in Kalam(Battlefield), Kalavali Narpathu (களவழி நாற்பது), Tamil literature of the post-Sangam age Praises Kalavar and Kalam.

A king Named Pulli was Mentioned as Kallar Kooman Pulli in Purananuru.

A pandian King was mentioned as Kallar Perumagan Thennavan

A muthiraiyar King was Mentioned as Kallar Kalvan Perumbidugu Muthirayan.

Indiran or devendiaran (Devar) also Mentioned as Kalla

Thirumal is also stated Mal to meant he is Black In olden days Black Dravidians were stated as Kalla to state their Bravery.

Many Historians postulate Kallar Means Black, to state their Bravery and to relate their the lineage from Chola and Pallava.

M.Srinivasa Iyengar (. சீனிவாசையங்கார்)

N.M Venkataswmy Nattar (நாவலர் பண்டித மு வேங்கடசாமி நாட்டார் )

Vengaswamy Rao (வெங்காசாமி ராவ்)


Vinsan A.Smith (வின்சன் . ஸ்மித்)


In Tamilnadu Kallars are called by various Surnames, these names comes to them during various times by the place they have ruled, the place they won in battle or to state their bravery.

There are over 1000 surnames in use. There are no other Castes in Tamilnadu have this many Surnames. Some of the commonly used Surnames are.

Paluvettaraiyar, Malayaman, Adigaman, Thevar, Mannaiyar, Rajaliyar, Vallavaraiyar, Thanjaraayar, Pallavaraayar, Vandaiyar, Thondaiman, Etrandaar, Vaanavaraayar, Servai, Amballakkarar, Sethurayar, Soma Naicker, Muniyarayar(Munaiyatriyar), Thondamar, Mayrkondar, Kallathil Venrar, , Nattar (not Nadar), Cholagar, kumarandar, Anjathevar, Olivarayar, Sendapiriyar, Alathondamar, Ambalam, Aarsuthiyar, Kaadavaraayar, Kalingarayar, Vandaiyaar, Veeramundar, Sepillaiyar, Vallundar, Chozhangaraayar, Kandiyar, Mazhavaraayar, Kommatti Mootar, Kannakkarar, Irungular, Singilaar, Ponnapoondar, Pullavaraayar, Araimeendar, Vairayar, Ponpethiar, Gopalar, Kandapillai, Vayaadiyar, Vanniar, Vallambar, Alankara Priyar, mavaliyar, Keerudayar, Saaluvar, Manraayar, Onthiriyar, Serumadar, Vambaliar, Thenkondaar, Mankondaar, etc. 

Another important Kallar subcaste is the Piramalai Kallar. They are highly conservative and have preserved their customs and traditions to the present day. They are also believed to be the oldest inhabitants of the Tamil country with reports of their presence going back to Tamil literary works of the 4th century B.C. They are found mainly in the districts of Madurai, Dindigul and Theni. Their popular deity is Amman, the Mother Goddess.

Other important subcastes are Koothappar Kallars, Periyasuriyur Kallars, Gandarvakoatai Kallars and Esanattu Kallars found largely dominated in Thanjavur, Pudukkottai &Trichy Districts.

It is a general practice in Tamil Nadu to address a Thevar woman as "Nachchiyaar"

During sangam

The kings (Araiyars), were ruling Thondai Nadu, There are Hundreds of records pertaining to this dynasty. Thondai in Tamil means Kilay or pirivu, Pallava in Sanskrit defines the same, so Pallavas or Thondaiman are considered as a offshoot of Cholas later become an Prominent rulers.

The kings (Araiyars) ruled Tirukkoyilur during Chola kingdom with the title Malayaman (which is one of the family name of Kallar community). They were in close relation with Cholas. Sangam literature mentions of Tirumudikari, a Malayaman chief who fought alongside Perunarkilli Chola to defeat Cheral Irumporai (Irumporai Cheras). Vastly, Cholas, Cheras and even Satavahanas controlled the destiny in times.

The kings were ruling Tagadur, present villupuram district, One of The Four kingdoms Mentioned in rock-edict of Ashoka. Adigaman Naduman Anji King of Tagadur is Mentioned in rock-edict of Ashoka as Satyaputra Inscriptions found from Villuppuram Proves that stating Adigaman(which is one of the family name of Kallar community). as Satyaputra Adhiyan Neduman Anji intha Pali.

Chola (சோழர்)

The Chola Dynasty (Tamil:சோழர் குலம்) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century the other two royal dynastys were Pandian and Chera. The meaning of chola Is unknown. Chera, chola and pandian are considered as Siblings.

The dynasty originated in the fertile valley of the Kaveri River. Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings, while Aditya I, Parantaka I, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola, Virarajendra Chola, Kulothunga Chola and Kulothunga Chola III were notable emperors of the medieval Cholas.

Chera, chola and pandian are commonly called as Thevar to mean they are desendents of Lord Indra. But specially cholas were called by many Surnames all these surnames (Mel kondar, Chozangar, Thevar etc.) are now used by Kallars only shows that Cholas are from the Royal Kallar community. The Bramanda puranas Puvindra puranam and Kalla Kesari Purannam also Mentions the same.

Many Archaeologists and Historians Also proves that Cholas are Kallar.

Lots of mariages takes place between cholas with Malavarayar, Malayaman, Paluvettaraiyar, Melkondar and Vallavaraiyar. they also belongs to Kallar community.

Pallavas (பல்லவர்)

The Pallava kingdom (Tamil: பல்லவர்) was an ancient South Indian tamil kingdom. Later they extended their rule to further south and established their capital at Kanchipuram around the 4th century CE. They rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I (571 – 630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630 – 668 CE) and dominated the Telugu and northern parts of Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century. The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit. The word is rendered as Tondaiyar in Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra. The sancrit meaning of pallava is Kilay The tamil Thondai means the same, it proves that pallavas are desendents (Kilay or Pirivu) of chola.

Pathupattu, one of the sangam literatures, reads that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan ruled this town around 2500 years ago. The pallavas are told as the descendents of Thondaiman Ilandirayan.

They were also called by surnames like sethurayar pallavarayar vandarayar, kadurayar,Vallavarayar,vanathirayar,kaliyarayar etc. all these surnames are used by Kallrs only. Proves that Pallavar are Decendents of Chola (Kallar).

Petty Kings

The Great empires which ruled Tamilnadu were Chera, Chola, Pandian and Pallava, but there were many petty kings and chieftains ruled tamilnadu under chera, chola, pandiya and pallava.

There are lot of records pertaining to this Petty dynasty. Some of the names are seen in Tamil copper-plate inscriptions also.

Most of the Kallar surnames also derived from the place they ruled for example Thanjaiarayar (Means King Who ruled Thanjavur),

Definition: Thanjai –Thanjavur and Arayar – Raja –King.

Malavarayar(மழவராயர்), Pallavarayar(பல்லவராயர்), Erraandar(ஏற்றாண்டார்)r, Arasandar(அரசாண்டார்), Thanjairayar(தஞ்சைராயர்),  Muniarayar, Vallavarayar (வல்லவரையர்), Muthurayar, Irunkolar, Brahmarayar, Kodumbalur Rayar, Chiratchiyar, Nattar, Devarayar, Vanathirayar.


The main occupation of Kallar is Warrior, they were saving Tamilnadu from Aryans and foreign invaders for many Centuries, most of their surnames derived from their victory and bravery shown in Battlefield.

Some Surnames are,
Poril Koluthiyar(போரிற்கொளுத்தி), Kottai Meetar(கோட்டை மீட்டார்), Soma Naicker(சோமநாயக்கர்), Kalathil Vendrar (களத்தில் வென்றார்), Jeyam Kondar(ஜெயம் கொண்டார்), Kodi Kondar, Thanai Thalaivar(தானைத் தலைவர்), Valukkuvelyar, Vijayathevar, Veerakkotaiyar, Valkondar, Ulukkondar, Veerapuliyar, Senathipathi, Viruthurajabayangarar.

Tamil copper-plate inscriptions

The discovery of Indian copper plate inscriptions provided a relative abundance of new evidence for use in evolving a chronicle of India's elusive history.

During chola rule there were many small kings(Araiyar) were Ruling there Respective area under Chola.Some of the names are seen in Tamil copper-plate inscriptions was also mentioned in Ponniyin Selvan (Tamil historical novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.

Paluvettaraiyar (பழுவேட்டரையன்)
Malayaman (மலையமான்)
Vallavaraiyar (வல்லவரையன்)
Velar (வேளார்)
Thondaiman (தொண்டைமான்)

During Vijayanagar Empire

The downfall of the Mukkulathors occurred in 1345 with the fall of Vira Pandyan IV and the subsequent conquest of Madurai by the Delhi Sultanate. However, the southern territories of the Sultanate soon asserted their independence and the Mukkulathors recovered under the Vijayanagar Empire and later under the Nayak dynasty during whose period they served as Polygars or chieftains.

The northern parts of Tamilnadu Behind Kongu nadu was called as Kallar Nadu (Thanjavur, Trichy, Pudukkottai and part of Madurai.) and was governed by kallar Polygors,

Ambalakarar is the most important Peoples. They were a warlike people who strongly resisted every British attempt to subjugate them. They are found in Madurai and Sivaganga districts. In these districts, each village is headed by an Ambalam (president of an assembly) and the Ambalam took upon themselves the power to adjudicate disputes that arose among the inhabitants in the "NADU", belonging to different castes. They used to hear complaints, hold inquiries and punish the offenders. They wielded considerable powers to intervene in any kind of transaction or transfer of property among the people. No land could be alienated from one man to another without the permission of the Ambalams. The sur-name "Ambalam"is given to them, because of their Administration in their Villages. So they are mostly called as "Ambalam".

Thenpandi Singam by M. Karunanidhi is a book about Ambalakarars and he was also Awarded "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for that book and it was also been taken as a serial in Sun TV, and music composed by Ilaiyaraaja.

Notable Reformers

Although there are Many Kings, Polygors ,Zamindars and Land lords the main occupation of kallar is Warrior, hence many Kallar Families struggled for income During British rule and after independence.. There were many reformers served for their Community.

Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar (முத்து ராமலிங்க தேவர்)
- Freedom fighter, social reformer, a descendant of pandiya kings and known for his relationship with Nethaji
P. K. Mookayya Thevar (1923 – 1979) (மூக்கையா தேவர் )
-Founder of the Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar college, President of All India Forward Bloc.
H. R. H. Rajagopala Tondaiman, Maharajah of Pudukottai (Thondaiman dynasty of Pudukkottai)
Zamindar Gopalsamy Rajaliar (மேன்மை பொருந்திய வா. கோபாலசாமி ரகுநாத இராசாளியார்)
-Philanthropist, President indra kuladibar sangam.
N.P. Manicham Errthaandaar.(மக்கள் தொண்டர் ந.பா.மாணிக்கம் ஏற்றாண்டார்)
-Founder Mukkalathor Higher Secondary School and Tamilnadu Maanavar illam. Thiruverumbur, Founder Urimai murasu magazine(1954).
Chevalier Nadikar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan (நடிகர் திலகம் சிவாஜி கணேசன்)
Late Rao Bahadur Sri. A.Veeriya Vandayar (Poondi. Vandayar)
G.M.Premkumar Vandayar,(பிரேம் குமார் வாண்டையார் )
-Founder Mooventhar Munnettra Kazhagam
G.M. Sridhar Vandayar,(ஸ்ரீதர் வாண்டையார்)
-leader of Moovender Munnetra Kazhagam.

Kallars in Other Countries
Kallars settled in Srilanka and Southeastern Asia who went to war and for studies and work, made a significant kallar population outside India.
Some of the prominent kallars outside India are,

S. Thondaman (Savumiamoorthy Thondaman), Uncrowned King of Srilankan Tamils, had served continuously for 21 years in the Sri Lankan Cabinet from 1978.
Samy Vellu, Ex-Works Minister, Leader of Malaysian Indian Congress, and the longest serving minister in the Cabinet of Malaysia.

Current Status

Although a great many of the members are still agriculturalists, many have also progressed up the social ladder as doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians and civil servants. Large number of people from the community are serving the nation as military men. Large number of people serving the tamilnadu police department.