The Mukkulathor community (“people of the three clans”) is native to the central and southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. Their name references three communities, being the Kallar, Maravar, Agamudayar which make up this large endogamous social group. This united social jati is formed on the basis of parallel professions, though their locations and heritages are wholly separate from one another.
Maravar (Tamil: மறவர்) also “Maravan” (meaning “Grateful Warrior”, “Punisher”) are one of the oldest social groups in India. The writers of the Sangam Age place them in rural settlements withdrawn from cities. Maravars are the courageous breed and were involved in all the major wars that Tamilnadu witnessed. Kottravai(Durga), the goddess of Maravars worshipped in Palai region prescribed in Silapathikaram. The Kingdom of Ramnad was a Maravar kingdom and was ruled by the Setupati Kings. Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts are Maravar homeland from ancient times in addition ancient name of Madurai is known as Maravar Boomi and the entire Southern districts of Tamilnadu is Maravar stronghold.
Origin of Maravar’s (Different School of thoughts)
The Maravar have close relation with Kalabhars ( some say this tribe is early descendant of Kallars) even though they Maravars are a non-aryan, non-Kalabhar group. Kalabhars were hardcore Jain preacher’s and great ferocious warriors.Many maravar’s from coastal Land started migrating to cities and towns that were ruled by kalabhar’s. In addition many Maravar’s converted from hinduism to jainism in order to get prominence in the Kalabhar goverment.Some claim this is how maravars together with paravars (fisherman) became the latter Pandyan Kings..As the early Pandyan Kings were Nadars(not so sure on this)..Generally Paravars are akin to Maravars. They were ancient rulers of Pandya kingdom of coastal land and inland from the First Sangam Tamil age. Apart from this , they were 2 among the 11 coastal tribes(together with Eliyar(kallar) that ruled Naga Naadu , present day Jaafna, Srilanka and they are ultimately from the Tamil Naga Tribe.Their leaders were given the title “Meenavan” and “Pandyan” respectively. Edgar Thurston (1855-1935) a British museologist and ethnographer identified the use of the boomerang by Kallars and Maravars of South India. Maravars are very brave, warlike, fierce martial group and were involved in almost all the major battles and wars that ancient Tamilakkam witnessed. Maravars are found predominantly in the Southern districts of Tamilnadu viz., Tirunelveli, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Pudukottai, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. The Southern martial arts of Kalarippayattu, Silambam, Varma Kalai have been practiced primarily by Maravars, Kallars, Gounders and Nairs of South India. But during the 18th and 19th centuries, most of the Maravars were assimilated in to the Tamil Padam Nair subcaste of the Nair community. The Maravar regiment of the Travancore army was known as “Maravar Padai”, which supplemented Nair Pattalam, the larger indigenous military unit. Tamil Padam Nair is recognized as a part of the Malayala Kshatriya social grouping.
SUBCASTE of MARAVAR & their KILAI SYSTEM
Kilai system ((branches)
*The Killai is inherited from mother. So a boy or girl will not marry in their same Killai. It is assumed that they are brother & sister. Such a practice is no longer prevailing amongst the maravars today as most of them are unaware of their kilai system today.
1. Sembinaattu Maravar / Cholzha maravar
a) Seetha Ramar Maravar Kilai
b) Nalu Kottai Maravar kilai
c) Katra Maravar kilai
d) Marikka maravar kilai
e) Picha Maravar kilai
f) Thondaiman Maravar kilai
g) Thanicha Maravar kilai
h) Karuputhra Maravar kilai
2. Appanaadu KandayamKottai Maravar
* This is the only Maravar subcaste(Appanaadu KandayamKottai Maravar) that uses Kotthu” (main branch of tree) being higher order unit of Killai. There were four kothu as follows,
i) Milagu’ (Pepper).
ii) Vetrilai’ (Betel Leaf).
iii) Mundiri’ (Cashew Nut).
iv) Sirakka’ (Cumin/Fennel).
a) Maurvidu Maravar Kilai
b) Viramuditanki Maravar Kilai
c) Setar Maravar Kilai
d) Akatiyar Maravar Kilai
e) Seyankondar Maravar Kilai
f) Nattumannar Maravar Kilai
g) Alakar Pandiayan Maravar Kilai
3) Ilam Maravar
This is one of the Subcaste in the Maravar Clan.
They mainly found in Singampuneri(Anjaal Naadu), Sivagangai, Tamil Naadu. It’s a home region of a martial class of people known as ‘Ilamaravar’ or ‘Ilamagar. Generally According to many famous Historian’s likr Dr Jeya Bharathi from Malaysia, there is no such thing as “ilam maravar”. They named themsleves like that quite recently. They are known as ILamagar. also ILamugar. But never ILa Maravar. They are a warrior agriculture class and were specially trained in warfare and martial arts by the professional trainers called panikkars from kerala. They are also partly connected to the Chera nadu. They were given the caste title as ambalam or amplar because of the association with the Kallar naadu..Today there are part of our Mukkulathor community(Maravar).
4) Anjukottu Maravar
5) Karana Maravar
6) Agathu Maravar
7) Uppu Katti Maravar
8)Kurinchi Katti Maravar
9) Vanni Kutti / Vanniya pandhara Maravar
10) Kalla Maravar
11) Siru Thali Katti Maravar & Peruthali Katti Maravar
13) Christian Maravars
14) Jain Maravars
Title or Pattam’s used among MARAVAR
1. Thevar & Maravan / Maravar
3. Vilangu Thevan
6. Thevan / Thevar / Devar
7. Puli maran
8. Gora maran
9. Madurai Thevan
12. Vallai Thevan
13. Neela maran
17. Kottravaien Sayon ( Maravar’s who worship Durgai)
18. Alakiya Pandiyan
***The above article is based on
1) Maravar Charitram (1938) by Asirvatha Udaiyar Thevar and Muventarkula
2) Thevar Samugha Varalaru (1976)
3) Caste and Tribes of Southern India published by British museologist Edgar Thurston and K. Rangachari in 1909.
Notable People From Maravar
1) Pasumpon Muthu Ramalinga Thevar
2) Sethupathy’s of Ramnad
3) Poolith Thevar
4) Actor Muthuraman
5) V.T Sambanthan (Tun Thirunyanasambanthan Thevar s/o Veerasamy Thevar 5th president of MIC in Malaysia.
6) Mr.Sharmalan Thevar (Founder of Malaysian Mukkulathor in Facebook)
7) Actor Karthick Muthuraman
8)Actor Gowtham Muthuraman
9) Maraavarman Sundara Paandiyan
10. Sedappatti Muthaiyah
11. Dr.Sethuraman (Chairman, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai & Owner of Meenakshi Bhawan Chain of Restaurant in Madurai.