Vanniyan in India

Joshua Project has identified the Vanniyan only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The term Vanniyars (Vanniyans) and Padayatchi has been used interchangeably because of the same historical origin they claim. They trace their ancestry from the five sons of Veera Vanniyan or Rudra Vanniya Maharaja who assumed leadership of the country after having freed the earth from Vatapi and Mahi by destroying these two Brahma-worshiping Asuras. It was believed that armed horsemen sprung from flames as a result of the Yagam, or sacrifice by yogic powers performed by Jambuva Mahamuni or Sambu/Jambu Maharishi as requested by gods and lords so as to put an end to the garrisoning of the Earth by the two Asuras. The horsemen were named VanniRaya. In reality, Vanniyars are descendants the medieval Pallava Kings who ruled Andhra and northern Tamilnadu with their capital at Kanchipuram. Padayatchis and Vanniyars have minor differences as Padayatchi is a class within the Vanniyar castes.

Where Are they Located?

Most Vanniyars in India are in the three adjacent southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andrha Pradesh, mostly concentrated in the area where these three states intersect. Among the lower castes in the Tamil Nadu, they are the most populous and they are one of the very earliest caste to be socially well organized. Today they are the most politically mobilized and well-informed caste in the Tamil Nadu.

There were several waves of Tamil dispersals from India and Sri Lanka creating what is known as Tamil diaspora. Many Vanniyars migrated to South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Seychelles, Mauritius and Fiji and the next generation Vanniyars have been using variant titles such as Govendar, Naicker and Padayatchi amongst themselves.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Vanniyars are officially classed belonging to the feudal caste of Vanniakula Kshatriya in Tamil Nadu. There are 92 different names or sub caste/sub titles given for Vannia Kula Kshatriya community. The members of the Vanniyar caste are known by several names depending on location and status. They may be referred to as Padayatchi, Gounder, Naicker or Nayagar, Reddiar, Kander/Kandar, Palli and many other titles in Tamil Nadu, Vanniar Gounder, Reddiar,Padayatchi etc in pondicherry, in Karnataka they are called Tigala / Thigala, or Thigilaru with a common suffix of Gowda, Hebbar or Hebbe and Nayakar. In Andhra Pradesh, Vanniars are usually known as Palli, Agnikula Kshatriya, Vanniyakula Kshatriya, Vanne Kapu or Vanne Reddy. In Kerala, they are called Vaniya pillai, Vaniya nair and Reddiar.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The overwhelming majority of Vanniyars are Hindu. Rather than believing in one god, they believe in a multitude of gods.

What Are Their Needs?

*Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession.
*Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Bhil.
*Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.

Profile Source:   Toni Tagimacruz  

People Name General Vanniyan
People Name in Country Vanniyan
Population in India 12,812,000
World Population 12,812,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Agnikula, Agnikula Kshatriya, Agnikula Kshatriyas, Ambalavasi, Ekera, Ekere, Ekila, Gangaputra, Gangavamsam, Gangavara, Gangavaru, Gounder, Kampanamullu, Kounder, Marakallu, Naicker, Nayullu, Padaichi, Padaiyachi, Padaiyachi Christian, Padaiyaci Christian, Padaiychi, Pallapu Rajulu, Pallelu, Palli, Palli Kapulu, Palli Reddi, Pandamuttu, Penta, Perumal, Thigala, Tigala, Tilvi, Vanne kapulu, Vanne Reddi, Vanniakula Kshatriya, Vannikola, Vannikula Kshatriya, Vanniyan Christian, Vanniyar, Variyar, Vellaiyan, Vontikulgi
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Tamil
People Name General Vanniyan
Ethnic Code CNN23c
People ID 18323
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:  31  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tamil Nadu (10,914,000) Karnataka (690,000) Pondicherry (512,000) Andhra Pradesh (375,000)
Kerala (126,000) Maharashtra (69,000) Odisha (57,000) Telangana (28,000)
Delhi (16,000) Andaman and Nicobar (5,500) Gujarat (4,800) Jharkhand (2,800)
Madhya Pradesh (2,500) West Bengal (2,300) Uttar Pradesh (1,500) Chhattisgarh (1,400)
Assam (1,000) Haryana (900) Rajasthan (600) Chandigarh (500)
Total States on file:  31  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tamil Nadu (10,914,000) Karnataka (690,000)
Pondicherry (512,000) Andhra Pradesh (375,000)
Kerala (126,000) Maharashtra (69,000)
Odisha (57,000) Telangana (28,000)
Delhi (16,000) Andaman and Nicobar (5,500)
Gujarat (4,800) Jharkhand (2,800)
Madhya Pradesh (2,500) West Bengal (2,300)
Uttar Pradesh (1,500) Chhattisgarh (1,400)
Assam (1,000) Haryana (900)
Rajasthan (600) Chandigarh (500)
Languages & Dialects on file:  11  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tamil (12,148,000) Telugu (188,000) Kannada (175,000) Malayalam (69,000)
Oriya (4,900) English (2,300) Tulu (1,000) Hindi (800)
Konkani (600) Pengo (400) Konkani, Goan (100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tamil 12,148,000 Telugu 188,000
Kannada 175,000 Malayalam 69,000
Oriya 4,900 English 2,300
Tulu 1,000 Hindi 800
Konkani 600 Pengo 400
Konkani, Goan 100
For Primary Language: Tamil

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1714-1956)
New Testament Yes   (1715-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1727-2002)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Old Version Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
General Ministry Resources Audio Recordings
General Ministry Resources Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Tamil 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
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.90 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
99.10 %
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 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source: Toni Tagimacruz  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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