Ayyanavar in India

Joshua Project has identified the Ayyanavar only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Ayyanavar is a caste formed by migration. It is said that the ancestor of Ayyanavar was the Eyinar clan who worshipped the goddess Kali or Kottavai. The Eyinar occupied Alkaudu, the present Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. The Chera Dynasty arose from this clan.

Chilappathikaram, the Tamil epic mentions the Eyinar. Later the Eyinar merged with the castes Kallar, Maravar and Agamudayar (Mukkulathor) and Vanniyar. A sub division of the Kallar worshipped the male deity Ayyanar and it became the Ayyanar caste. After successive settlements in different parts of south India they are supposed to have migrated to south Travancore via Aramboly (Aralvaimozhi) during the invasion of Tippu Sultan and lived for some time near Pannivaikal. They settled at Parassala and then went to different regions of the present Thiruvanathapuram district of Kerala and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. After the migration to south Travancore the name Ayyanar was changed to Ayyanavar. Malayalam and Tamil are the languages spoken by the members of the Ayyanavar caste in Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively.

Where Are they Located?

They are found mostly in Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyatinkara and Nedumangad taluks of Thiruvananthapuram district (Kerala state) and Vilavancode, Kalkulam and Agastheeswaram taluks of Kanyakumari district (Tamilnadu state).

What Are Their Lives Like?

It is said that the joint family system existed in olden days. Now the family of the Ayyanavar is nuclear type. The head of the family is the father. After the death of the father, the eldest son succeeds as the head of the family. The head looks after the other members. The norms governing the members of the family are love and respect. The main causes of conflict and confrontation are dispute on property and violation of norms.

The women and men have equal status. Cruelty, adultery and maladjustments etc. are the grounds of divorce.

Most of them work as casual wage laborers in plantation and agricultural sectors. Animal husbandry is a subsidiary occupation. A few who own land cultivate it themselves. Some of them have found employment in government and private sectors (entrepreneurs, scholars, teachers, administrators, other white collar workers and defense personnel)

They are non-vegetarians. Rice is the staple food. They consume all available vegetables, pulses and tuber crops. Fish and meat are popular non-vegetarian items.

Marriage proposals are initiated from the bridegroom's side and thali is the symbol of married women. Wedding ceremony is simple. When the bride receives the pudava or mundu (loin cloth) from the bridegroom she becomes the wife of the bridegroom.

Puberty rites, pre-delivery rituals and post–delivery pollutions are observed. Naming ceremony and charadukettu or irupathyettukettu (tying waist band) are celebrated on the 28th day after the birth of a child. The dead body is either buried or cremated. Death pollution continues for 16 days.

What Are Their Beliefs?

There are Hindus and Christians. The Hindus worship Lord Siva, Badrakali, Madan, Krishna, Ayyapan and Subramonian. The Christian sects are Catholic and Protestants. The Protestant denominations are Church of South India (CSI), Salvation Army, Evangelical Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostal Church, Jehovah's Witness, Church of God and Marthoma.


1. Memorandum: dt 10-04- 1919, submitted by the South Travancore Aiyanavar Sanghom to His Excellency M. Krishnan Nair Esq. B. A., B. L.,
Dewan bahadur. Dewan of Travancore. Page No: 2

2. Census of Travancore, 1931. xxvii: Madras Government Press, Madras.

3. Sannyasini, Rasanjam, Jois, M 1973 Entre Jeevitha Smaranakal – Pravachana Pradeepika Press, Trivandrum. Page No. 221 (Malayalam)

4. Cholayil, M. L. , 1984. Ayyanavar Oru Legucharitram. (Ayyanavar: A Short History), Trivandrum. (Malayalam).

5. Geneviere Lemercinier, 1994 Religion and Ideologie in Kerala – Institute for the study of developing Areas – Trivandrum. Page No: 22.

6. People of India – Kerala volume XXVII Part One – General Editor, K. S. Singh – Anthropological Survey of India – Affiliated East – West Press Pvt Ltd. New Delhi.

7. www. keralawindow. net/Hindu_A.htm#ayy

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-23
People Name General Ayyanavar
People Name in Country Ayyanavar
Population in India 21,000
World Population 21,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Aryan, Ayawar, Ayri, Ayyavar, Ayyaviar, Ayyawar, Chatada, Chathada, Chattada, Chattada Srivaishnava, Dasa Namibi, Eiyanar, Kovil Padagar, Kovil Thurayar, Purohitar, S, Satanaiah, Satani, Satani Wayisnawa, Sathada Srivaishnava, Sathadaveer, Sathani, Sathani Vaishnava, Sathata Iyer, Sathata Iyyar, Vaishnava, Vira
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Malayali
People Name General Ayyanavar
Ethnic Code CNN23b
People ID 16267
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (16,000) Tamil Nadu (3,500) Maharashtra (800) Telangana (300)
Karnataka (100) Andhra Pradesh (90) Pondicherry (60)
Total States on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (16,000) Tamil Nadu (3,500)
Maharashtra (800) Telangana (300)
Karnataka (100) Andhra Pradesh (90)
Pondicherry (60)

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  4  (up to 20 largest shown)
Malayalam (16,000) Tamil (3,700) Telugu (800) Kannada (100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malayalam 16,000 Tamil 3,700
Telugu 800 Kannada 100
For Primary Language: Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1811-1968)
New Testament Yes   (1829-1995)
Complete Bible Yes   (1841-2004)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Malayalam Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture (Talking Bibles) Audio Recordings
Oral Bible Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
3.22 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
96.78 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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