The Thiyyas of North Malabar

Here is an interesting theory about the community I come from .This again has been reproduced as it is from ‘A Hundred Years of Excellance ‘ put together by our cousins the Barathans.Once again a big thank you to Goyo forthis excellantly written piece .
Bound on the East by the Western Ghats and on the West by the Arabian Sea , clearly seperated from the rest of Kerala by the Korapuzha , a perinnial river , the Thiyya community of North Malabar developed it’s own distinctive life style and culture. The Thiyyas of North Malabar were Marumakkathayis and this gave women dominance in their homes and indeed in society, which was rare in other parts of the country. Dowry was unheard of and women shared every aspect of social and cultural life with men as their equals.
The Thiyyas did not worship in temples , but venerated their ancestors and developed a pronounced faith in themselves as inheritors and custodians of the legacy of ancestors worship .Theyyam, the art of the dancing deities was developed as a form of worship.Ancestors who had become legends in their own spheres were depicted by dancers who wore beautiful and awe inspiring regal head gear ad red and gold dresses to match, and had their bodies painted in yellow, red and black.Theyyams
carried ornamental swords and silver bowls and arrows. To the throbbing beat of drums and the eerie music of minature nadaswarams , they re-enacted ancient tales of valour and couage , where demi gods and noble warriors walked the earth,destroyed evil and granted boons to the poor and the down trodden.These Theyyams are to this day worshipped as living and speaking gods.
Sri MM Anand Ram has published a book called ;INFLUK – Crete to Kerala’ ( Keerthi Publishing House Pvt Ltd , Coimbatore..First edition 1999) in which  he has developed a theory that in about 1470 or 1450BC there was a catastrophic volcanic eruption in Mount Akrotari in the Island of Crete as a result of which a large portion of the North West Crete Island sank to the bottom of the sea.Subsequent archaeological studies have shown that the absence of human skeletons indicated that the inhabitants had escaped destruction by fleeing for safety.
The Suez Canal was cut open in 1493 BC for movement of country boats between  East and West and the Cretans who were expert navigators had no difficulty in cruising to the West Coast of South India.Sri Anand Ram traces the origin of the inhabitants of North Malabar to Crete by  pointing out many similarities in their life styles , the pottery they used , their bronze vessels and distinctive style of construction of residential homes. He states that the people of Crete and the Minoan islanda were called Thirayyars meaning navigators.According to Sri Anand Ram, the people of North Malabar were the Cretan or Minoan descendants who were originally known as Thirayyars which gradually came to be pronounced as Thiyyars.
Sri Anand Ram firmly believed that these settlers who landed in North Kerala did not blend with the blood or culture of the original inhabitants who were Malayars or Kurichiyars and that this explains the light colour skin of the North Malabar people.
The Thiyyas of North Malabar were a proud and independent people.Their bravery in battle and in the facing oppression at the hands of the ruling cheftains is euologised in legend and song.They resolutely refused to heed the high handed directions of the local chieftains in matters affecting their life style.
The hilly  areas of North Malabar give way to the plains as one nears Calicut.As a matter of fact the Korapuzha forms a natural boundary between the low hills of North Malabar starting from the Ezhumalai range and touching the fringesof Tellichery – Wayanad and the boundaries between
Tellicherry and Coorg. The word Malabar itself means the land of hills . South of Korapuzha the land looks amazingly different with large stretches of sandy soil especially as one nears Kozhikode passing through Koylandi , Payyoli etc. The Korapuzha thus formed a natural boundary , which even affected changs in custom between North and South Malabar.At one time , no Thiyya girl would be given in marriage to anyone south of the Korapuzha , which is beyond Badagara and before Koyilandi.Even in the case of young men , it was only with the greatest pf reluctance that a bride would be choosen if she was from south of this river.
The Thiyyas gradually took up vedic forms of worship including pujas and homams conducted in their homes or in their temples by ordained priests.This change was infuenced by Sri Narayana Gurudev who built three famous temples at Calicut , Tellicherry and Cannanore sowing the seeds of a major change in the Thiyya ethos , making them temple worshippers.     

Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

302 thoughts on “The Thiyyas of North Malabar”

  1. are the thiyyas only in north malabar region… where else in the country….i meant to say their origin…by any other name.

    and secondly do these thiyyas belong to tamil nadu or andhra pradesh???…other than kerala.

    1. Well ,I’m no expert on the subject, but to the best of my knowledge the origin is in North Malabar .They have off course spread all over India and the globe and have for long been one of the upwardly mobile communities.

      1. I’ve read the book – Influx: Crete to Kerala where it is explained that the Cretans settled across several areas in India. From what I can remember, Punjab and Bengal are areas where some eventually migrated to.

        P.S. I’m related to the Barathans and I’ve read the booklet “A hundred Years of Excellence”. Very interesting, I must add!

      2. Hi Rohan , Very good to hear from you .I am the Baratan’s first cousin !! Recently I came across a set of reference books on Malabar writen / compiled by the British Collector .Plan to read and post what ever I find interesting on this blog.Best wishes ,Hari

    2. Thiyyas and Tamil/Andra are no connection at all. Thiyyas are separate community. Even they do not have any connection with south kerala communities.

    3. they are the people came kerala actually from thiyyan shan which is in kirgisthan.,there were some talks previously about this, but nothing was not strong, and now the research done by dr symalan (check sunday’s 18th dec. malayalamanorama supl.) gives a strong proof abou this.

      1. Kindly go through the letter I had written in this regard to the editor Manorama. The letter is available in this blog.Thanks-premnath

      2. Dr Shamalan is considered an authority on Thiyya history, having done some pioneering research into the subject

  2. i totally agree , we thiyars are totally differant people compared to other malayalis even ezlavas. i mean our culture , ascent and thinking.

    1. I wouldnt like to compare with any other communities .I’m sure if any sociologist studies the Thiya community they will find them clearly upwardly mobile. I can say this from the limited view I haveof my extended family and friends.The current generations are better educated , more affluent and have or hold significant positions in Goverment service, Public and Private sector Corporates and as entrepreneurs.Many have studied or settled abroad .An interesting developemnent is that there have been many inter caste or inter regional marriages ( that is marriages into families in other parts of India and aboad )

      1. I agree with Hari. We are a community so very different from the others in Kerala. More than anything else, we respect our women.

    2. Thiyyas are distinctly different from Ezhavas; whereas the Ezhavas belong to the Dravidian stock, the Thiyyas are from the Aryan stock

  3. I am proud that I am a thiyya the ethnic group of malabar.remaine unconverted to any forein religions. Namboori took away a portion of our working class and provided them the then kingly jobs. appointed as soldiers and sent them away from home.and torchered their wives.remainigThiyyas kept away from Nambooris.. Then came the Muslims. thirty percent of Thiyyas were forcefully converted mainly in 1884 mappila lahala.Then came the Cristians they carried their conversion verry tactffully. They still continues like slow poison. I proud i remain as thiyya till today.

    backgrounds, utorrent

  4. The Thiyyas Of North Malabar
    Origin of Thiyyas is subject of many speculations and legends. I am not aware of any systematic and scientific study done. One legend prevalent is about the connection to Srilanka .
    Around 6 / 7 century The Buddhists had established a flourishing Monastery in a secure Island, which later on came to be known as Dharmadom , the place of dharma, near the present-day Thallasserry. In This area the beggars are still addressed as ‘Bhishakar” & “Dharamakar”, probably the Buddhist Monks daily routine of going around for alms must have let this imprint. The present day “Andalur Kavu” was supposed to be a Buddhist Monastery. Vestiges of this culture can still be seen when they conduct the Annual festivals!!
    The legend goes on to say that a Sinhalese king was overthrown by his brother and he with a retinue sailed to this Island and took sanctuary. When the news of the Sinhalese king’s arrival reached the ruler of the land [Chirakal Raja?] he sent his emissaries and made all arrangements for his comfortable stay across the river. There was a head village surrounded by smaller hamlets-“Thala” head and “Cheri” village later on became “Thalasseri”.
    The King later on the story narrates got back his kingdom and returned to his country. Some in his retinue preferred to stay back. The Thiyyas are supposed to be the descendants of these people from “Tivu” [Island] – “TIVU ARS”=Thiyyar.???
    The Buddhists were all well versed in self defense [Karate and Kung Fu were the gift to China by the Buddhist monks] and Ayurveda Medicine. Among North Malabar Thiyyas you will find many good Ayurveda doctors and people proficient in “Kalari Payattu”. Even Swami Ayyappan is supposed to have learned “Kalari “ from a Gurukal from North.?. Does this strengthen the legend of Srilankan origin of Thiyyas? .It is point for thought.
    In North Malabar ages ago “Vellappam’, ‘Nool Puttu” were popular dishes. You can find these in SriLanka also.
    What about Ezhavas of South Kerala?. During the centuries before BC many wars were fought between Southern India and Northern Srilanka .During the centuries there were many migratory settlements from Northern part of Srilanka in southern India. They must be the people from “Elam”[Srilanka’s other name].The complexion, culture[they follow Makathayam] and features are very different. The Thiyyas follow “Marumakkathayam “ and are in the northern area of “KoraPuzha”.
    I would like to insert a quote “, the Thiyyas of North Malabar are socially integrated with the rest of the country and have migrated far and wide, resulting in inter caste and inter region marriages .Many of them have fairer skins and different features from others in Malabar but the linkage to Greeks[Cretes and others]can at best be tenuous and perhaps irrelevant now. But this is the stuff of romantic tales and the legend I am sure will keep surfacing at cocktail circuits and around bonfires for generations to come”=With best wishes -premnathtm

    1. Hello Premnath, your write-up has very interesting, and credible points.
      Thiyyas of Malabar come in all hues and colours and characters- the genuine, kind hearted angel like ones mainly from the villages, the British/French imitators in the “cities”- the odd ones who eat bread and jam with a fork and knife LoL!

      My dad is a Thiyya from Thalassery, the family is fair-skinned with copper brown natural highlights in hair, and many have slant eyes ( somewhat like actor Srinivasan’s, though I don’t know if he’s a Thiyya too). My ancestors held varied jobs- vaidyam, teaching (both men and women) and also produced, and sold toddy. They once had a large thatched house only to store barrels of toddy in their yard. From what I heard from my grandma, toddy business was not considered anything bad in the past , it was a respected profession, as in the case of many alcohol-making communities in different parts of the world. Toddy was consumed by the so called ” sa-varna ” castes too. Vaidyam and Sanskirt (Pali) , non-ritualistic religious practices in daily life as compared to other Hindu communities etc point to a Buddhist past of the Thiyyas . Also Vadakkan pattukal is supposed to have references to a migration from Lanka, where Ezhavas too may have come from

      Could Thiyyas have been Sinhalese (originally from North India) and Ezhavas a mix of both Sinhalese and Dravidian people of Lanka? Don’t overlook the fact that there are any number of fair skinned Ezhavas in South too, like Alappuzha, evenTVM, while many Thiyyas in North Malabar villages are very dark and have features of original inhabitants of the land (tribals). So one has to assume that there was mixing of communities in the past, before the present day Chaturvarnyam was established in Kerala sometime around the first centuries of the last millennium by the Brahmans from the North- group leader Parasuram and 64 Brahman families who came along to establish a “Varna” Kerala with the help of his axe.

      Whatever origin of community we are talking about only applies to some period in the not so distant past, but going back still, every one can trace back to Africa. So Africa it is, our original land. Amen!

    2. I know it is an old blog, but still thought I should leave a comment.
      Kindly do not state things without substantiating a fact.
      You said Ezhavas follow Makkathayam – patrilineal system.
      I belong to Alummottil, an Ezhava family hailing from the central Travancore region in Kerala. Our family strictly followed the Marumakkathayam – matrilineal system, until this system of inheritance was abolished in 1928. Our family used to inter-marry only from other aristocratic Ezhava families like Komilezhathu, Lakshana, Varanappally, Vallabhasheril, Padittedathu, Thurayil, Kaalisseril (to name a few), who also followed Marumakkathayam.
      Ezhavas from these families were highly educated and affluent.
      So there are Ezhavas who followed Marumakkathayam or Makkathayam, just like Thiyyas.
      You want more information; you may kindly go through our family tree (link provided below)

    3. Dear Mr.Premnath T.M.
      Another thing I noticed was a statement about Swami Ayyappan. “Even Swami Ayyappan is supposed to have learned “Kalari” from a Gurukal from North.”
      Let me clarify that to you. Swami Ayyappan learnt Kalari from Cheerappanchira Kalari. Cheerappanchira is an Ezhava tharavadu renowned for its Kalari in Muhamma, Alappuzha District.
      Cheerappanchira family, Mukkal Vettom Ayyappa Temple of the family and their Kalari, are as old as the mythology of Lord Ayyappan and his abode at Sabarimala. It is believed that Ayyappan was trained in this Kalari.
      Young Ayyappan was trained by Cheerappanchira Panicker and became his most brilliant student. It is believed that one young girl of this family, Leela, fell in love with the Lord and requested to accept her as wife. But Ayyappan turned down her request and to be a “Brahmachari”. She was offered a seat at Sabarimala and came to be known as “Maalikappurathamma”.
      One of our former ministers, Susheela Gopalan(wife of AKG) hails from this Cheerappanchira tharavadu.
      See the link below:

      1. It was told cheerappan chira family migrated from Malabar so they are not Ezava but thiya. Also Kumaran Ashan also from Thiya he always identified himslef as Thiyya in his all writngs. Family migrated to South themself identifid as thiyya but not ezava now ezava want hijack thiyar heritage

      2. Shamil,
        When you make statements, make it in a way that people can see some fact/truth in it, and thereby may believe your statements.
        Don’t just try to come up with theories from thin air!
        1) “It was told cheerappan chira family migrated from Malabar so they are not Ezava but thiya.” – Told by whom???
        Cheerappanchira family is a Ezhava family, whose Tharavad is located in Alleppey, a district which comes under the old Travancore state. And there is ample enough historical evidence to prove that they have lived there for centuries. My granduncle, Alummoottil Shekharan Channar II (1898-1980) was married to Cheerappanchira Padmakshi Panickathy.
        Shamil, as you are at it, you may also please try to convince Shree Somasekhara Panicker – the current Karanvar of Cheerappanchira, about their origin from Malabar. Shree Somasekhara Panicker may be hearing it for the first time, for sure!!!
        2) “Also Kumaran Ashan also from Thiya he always identified himslef as Thiyya in his all writngs. Family migrated to South themself identifid as thiyya but not ezava now ezava want hijack thiyar heritage” – Seriously?
        Kumaran Asan was born into an Ezhava family in Kayikkara village, Chirayinkeezhu, Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. He was married to Bhanumathiamma (Dr P Palpu’s cousin) a lady from another prominent Ezhava family of Travancore. The present generation of the family might be very interested to hear about your theory regarding their migration from North Malabar and Ezhavas hijacking their Thiyyar heritage. Please do not hesitate, if you require contact details of the family.
        Also your theory does seem to indicate most of the famous families and prominent personalities who identify themselves as Ezhavas were originally Thiyyas from Malabar.
        But does this only include people/families with fame/prominence? What about the Ezhavas with no fame/prominence? There might be a lot who migrated from North Malabar as well, right?
        It is very clear now, who exactly wants to hijack whose heritage!!!
        It is easy to wake up people who are sleeping, but those who feign sleep; it is very difficult to wake them up!

    4. Another thing, there was a recent study conducted on Ezhavas lineage. The conclusion of the study was Ezhavas has got a paternal lineage of European origin.
      This is based on an article published by The Hindu.
      Ezhavas showed more genotypic resemblance to the Jat Sikh population of Punjab and the Turkish populations than to East Asians, indicating a paternal lineage of European origin, according to a study on Deoxyribo Nulceic Acid (DNA).
      Link is below:
      So contrary to popular belief that Ezhavas came from Eezham(Srilanka), this study shows otherwise.
      Not that I am in anyway keen to trace an origin to a White-skinned race. To me skin color denotes increase or decrease in the level of Melanin.
      I would rather call myself proudly a Dravidian – a highly cultured and much more civilized race than the nomads Aryans.

    5. Nyz writing. Bt i would like to add something. Abt the origin of the place name “Thalassery”

      Sir. Have u ever been to Thalassery.. if you try talking with locals or old people they ll pronounce it as “thalisseri”

      Now to the point. “Thali” is something related to brahmins/namboothiri n “ssheri” means home ie. Thalissery – means brahmin settlement. There is a brahmin temple and the deity is Rama who is an alien god to the actual inhabitants of the place. (Thiyas n other castes /tribes worshipped ancistors or natural powers etc) n we can also state that beahmin community became prominent n powerfull in the said place by looking at the scenario of Andaloor temple – there is two things strange there 1. Though being a thiya holy place which is a “temple” not a “kaavu” as it usually is.
      2. The deity is “Rama” !! The theyyam is Rama- highly strange and proof of brahmins upperhand over the former inhabitants. hence we could comclude that more probable theory of origin of the name Thalassery is from Thalisseri which means brahmins settlement.

      (Yes you can also match it up with Thalipparambu)

  5. This hairsplitting over origins and then tracing them back to a Caucasian [read white] ancestory seems to be a common past time for many Indians. Examples are many, the nearest of interest here are the Coorgs, who claim Kurdish genes. While this Indian obcession over lighter skin colour is pathetic, it is also an attempt to gloss over the real reasons behind it: the infusion of white genes over the centuries by way of soldiers, traders, planters, missionaries and others who had progeny from native women.

    While these discussions are alright for the cocktail circuit, it should not spill over into our more mundane lives outside. Let Vasudeva Kuttumbakam be our guiding motto as Indians first and world citizens next.

      1. one can refer the book written by the great historian Sri Kambill Anandan.Thiyya is an ethnic group in this Malabar region.
        Now the Tiyya found to be at the verge of extinsion from government records basing on non constitutional list of socially and educationally backward community., since 1966 which says ezhuva includes thiyya.
        A s per the agreement between the govt of kerala and association of self financed medical colleges,50% seats goes to govt and govt resrve 30% of it to the community which manages the college.Sri Gokulam medical college and Malabar Medical colleges are managed by thiyya community.But the commissioner of entrence examinations have resrved this for some other community say ezhuva.

    1. Ranjit, what you say is possible. The other theory is also equally possible – that large numbers of people (men and women) settled in kerala, from more northern latitudes, more than 10000 years ago. Geologists tell us that the last ice age ended by about 8000 BC. What likely happens in an ice age is that vast numbers of populations move towards the equator as northern regions become inhospitable. The reverse happens in a warm period (as now). Today people are settling in Alaska, something unheard of perhaps 500 years ago. The only way into north kerala is by boat along the coast. So its not unlikely that maybe several thousand years ago, great numbers of people moved in from central asia or southern europe or even the punjab region.

  6. Whatever the obsession but it is great to know. It was my mother who brought it first to my notice about something written about my community on the net but it has always interested me to know more about it since I had a nasty experience of a co-worker calling me low caste. Especially shocking since I didn’t know much about caste as such [under the impression we were all keralites LOL]. That is when my father explained to me about thiyya’s and our great culture. So please take whatever is written positively and be proud of our heritage. It is not a white skin or dark skin issue but frankly telling you it makes me feel really proud that at least I don’t belong to the so called higher community that is so adulterated with their liasons with namboothris and who else. I am proud to be thiyya as we were and will always be known as a proud and a hardworking community who lived on their own rules.

    1. Hello Renu , My understanding is that Thiyyas are an extremely mobile community and a very large proportion have moved ahead economically and in society .I too am rather averse to discussion on caste . It is good that every citizen in our country has the opportunity to study in higher institutions of learning , acquire respectable positions in society and lead a fullfilling life. Thiyyas I know are mostly from our larger family and the network of extented relationships , most of them are very well placed and have made significant contributions in the corporate world, government service , the armed forces and in social service. My cousin Radettan several years ago was compiling a list of Thiyyas who you can say have acquired a “distinguished” status .I dont know if he ever finished his study .I do know that since he started his effort the list would have grown many fold.

    2. I agree with u totally…I am a very proud Thiyya from Talassery….our culture is so different from the rest of the communities anywhere in Kerala or elsewhere in India…For one thing the respect and equality accorded to women in our community…The dowry system never touched us and the bridegrooms people never asked or talked abt the gold u gave ur dotters…And nobody made a show of it too..but that sure seem to hav changed now..Most brides seem to b decked up in an obscene quantity of gold…hung wherever it can b on their bodies…Its rather pathetic…
      Thank God v dont belong tot he so called higher community…v r much better off …
      Wen the people of belonging to the rest of the hindu communities walked around shirtless and working in the fields our people were Judges,doctors,lawyers and in a lot ofother high posts during British INdia..
      V shud have a page on FB for Thiyyas…and keep in touch……Salma Haridas

      1. Hello Salma , Thank you for your post . Yes it does feel so good that we do not have the dowry system in our community. Also the women in our families have invariably a postion of high respect within the family.Many of them are very well educated . In fact during my early working days as a young executive , I had difficulty understanding writings related to the discrimination and social injustice faced by women in many parts of the country .This was because the women in our families were always held in high esteem and respect. It was only when I travelled and lived around the country in the course of work , that I witnessed and understood this. Thankfully in our country significant strides and progress has been made in this regard and the women in general have a much better standing in society except in the more economically backward regions and perhaps in the rural belts . I’m really proud that our community was always held our women in respect and treated them with dignity. Regards, Hari

      2. Thiyyas in FB
        Thiyyas in FB
        Basic Info

        Name:Thiyyas in FBCategory:Common Interest – Beliefs & CausesDescription:Open to all Thiyyas who are active in Face BookPrivacy type:Closed: Limited public content. Members can see all content

    3. Your co-worker calling u from low caste just shows that you are far bettr thn him ..n this was the only one way left for him/her to show that he/she is better than you.i pitty on such people…In earlier times the so called higher class people enjoyed their status because of their higher social status…but now things have changed. …and it will take some time for them to accept this…This attitude is just a way to satisfy themselves that still they are bettr n higher..n its quite common ..most of us would have faced such situation in one way or another..
      As far as growth of our community is concerned,we are moving in the right direction.
      Our generation should become the agent of change .

      1. Dear PTM ,

        Was just looking out on thiyya info and stumbled on this discussion . I am a thiya from Andalur and it’s a news to me that Andalur Kaavu was a Buddhist temple ( as quoted by you ). Also saw the FB but it’s a closed group ……how can i join the group ? There are many from my tharavad who might be interested if the group is interesting. I can be contacted on my id provided.


  7. Thiyyas should be proud that they are a class by themselves. We had no “Sambadam” . We are known for agriculture life , as “Ayurveda Physicians,” , exponents of “Kalari Payattu”. In the later years the community placed a high importance to education and occupied cove table position in the society.

    1. Hello Premnath , That is so very true .The high emphasis on education has made all the difference .Just as an example my sister studied MA Literature from Miranda House Delhi , way back in the fiftys .Not many women would have had that kind of education in such a premier institution in that age and era .And this is true of most of my cousin sisters .

  8. A world renowed botanist ,had her schooling at Sacred Heart Girls High school, Tellicherry. she took her B.A[Hons] in botony from Queen Mary’s College, Madras, and later her her MA. While she was working as a lecturer in Women’s Christian College, Madras , She received a scholarship from Michigan University,USA.She was the class mate of world famous botanist Dr.Chester Arnold.From here she returned to India with Doctor Of Scince[Dsc] .When she was 34yrs[thirty four] she was appointed as the Professor in University College , Trivandrum.
    Due to her intense urge for research , in 1934,she resigned this post and joined the Sugare Cane Research Centre at Coimbatore.One after other she developed new varities of sugar cane and by cross breeding she developed theSG6332 variety the one with very high yield of sugar.
    In september 1939 , she presented a paper in the Genetic Conference at Edinburgh ,Scotland.After this she she joined John Ivan’s Horticultural Institute, England. to research on evolution of vegetable grains.She developed methods to speed up the evolution in grains to increse their yield.
    Jwaharlal Nehru when she met her in England invited her to join the newly formed Botanical Survey Of India as special Officr in 1951. in1954 she became the director of Central Botanical Laboratory, Allahabad.She then headed the Botony wing of the Regional Research Laborotry in Kashmir in 1959.Later she became the Vice Chancellor of J&K university.
    The book “The Chromosome Atlas of Cultivated Plants” co.authored with Dr.C.D.Darlington, it is an authoritative book for research scholars internationally.
    She sacrificed her life for botony and remained unmarried.In 1977 she was honoured by the Indian Government by awarding her “Padma shree” IN 1977..She was the first Indian woman to obtain DOCTRATE IN SCIENCE.tHE HERBARIUM AT rrl, jAMMU IS NAMED AFTER dR.jANAKI aMMAL AND HOUSES 25,000 SPECIES TAKEN FROM ALL OVER iNDIA.
    she passed away when she was doing researh at the Madras university Research , lab at Maduravayal.
    In her younger days she was good tennis player.
    This small note is about the world renowned botanist , Dr.Janaki E.k. a Thiyya woman. you will realise , that Thiyya women were high up in education field much, much befor the 50s.Lot of Thiyya women in 1910s wee all exposed “English Education” in Tellicherry.

    1. Thank you very much for this great post .Wish we could have many more posts of great and distinquished Thiyyas .Must get my cousin Radettan to post some from the study he conducted som eyears ago

      1. Looking forward to the post from Radhakrishnan. incidently I maintain a family tree with 12 generations.from 1730.The notes i posted is from my archives.Best wishes

      2. That is fantastic .I nmust get my brother -in-law Ramgopal and sister-in-law Asha to connect with you.Both of them are strongly interested in our family tree and have put in a lot of work to go back several generations.

      3. Premettan’s post was very informative..Dr,Janaki is my mum-in-law Yamuna Haridas’s aunt.She was very keen on sending Amma to the US and make her do medicine..but she fell in love with my father in law-A.Haridas,and they got married after she did her intermediate…I think Dr Janaki-Nachi as she was called, never forgave her for that…I met Nachi a few days after i got married in 1980…but i never knew of all these wonderful details on her career…
        I remember someone making a family tree of Choyi butler and family…wud really love to have a copy of it…I am his eldest son- K.A.Kunhikannan’s eldest great great grand dotter..
        pls let me kno if anyone has a copy…


  9. Pleasure to meet people with common interest.My ID is .Let us have a new joint family which stays together even though we are not staying together.I am sure there will be common individuals.In the earlier days the marriages were mostly confined between families of Tellicherry and Cannanore.

  10. The Thiyyas should be proud about themselves. On Many occasions Thiyyas are apologetic about the caste, why? There is already a forum in face book for the Thiyyas of Kannur

  11. Thiyyas in FB

    Basic Info

    Name:Thiyyas in FBCategory:Common Interest – Beliefs & CausesDescription:Open to all Thiyyas who are active in Face BookPrivacy type:Closed: Limited public content. Members can see all content

    1. there wasa congregation of 1345 karanavors of thiyya tharavadu under the leadership of kattukandy vellayikote choyi vidyar during 1895 to 1915 period. at calicut the then district headquoters of malabar

      1. Now their successors have founded a fresh Thiyyamahasabha registered under society act during 2010 . interested persons purushotham mob 09946020675 .the founder& general Secretary calicut..

      2. My grandfather was Kattukandy Padiyeri Vishwanathan……and I am proud of my being a THIYYA

      3. Happy to meet another proud Thiyya. Gayathri please the details i had posted in this blogg about the origin of thiyyas.Best wishes-prematten

  12. But I have a different information about thiyya.
    I believe thiyya is the original descendents of of the people mentioned as Brahmins in Puranas and Idhihasas. The myth, behind thiyya‘s origin can be traced even from Rig-Veda. Believe thiyyas are progeny (children) of fire God (Rudra) and the name thiyya (fire) itself is representing of their legendary father
    Also please avoid linking thiyya with Ezava. As Thiyya have very clear linage system (illam bhari) and still it can be traced. Thiyyas located from Kozhikode to Udupi (from north kazargod to Udupi, they are known as bhillava) and they (thiyya / bhillava) came from common origin maintained it based on illam bhari system. This system is older than any cast system. There is no link between Ezava and thiyya except, like everybody; thiyya also boosted up with sree narayana gur’s thoughts for social reformation. It doesn’t mean thiyya and Ezava having same origin. Also Ezava do not have any common origin system like thiyya.

    1. Very informative post . Thank you very much for posting it .Incidently ,my nephews studied at the Michigan State University.Your email id apparently indicates you maybe from Michigan Regards, Hari

      1. Hello, I am from Kannur-Azhikkal. Same like you (whoever here) I was also very curious to know about my community and since long time I was searching for information about our origin and all. Unfortunately I couldn’t find out any valuable information about thiyya except Ananda ram’s observation from the internet but a lot of negative information are spreading over there by Ezavas and higher casts people. Afraid, this will miss lead our new generation and will create an inferior complex on them? Slowly our new generation go away from community? Is it will lead to collapse thiyya due to the lack of awareness of the new generation about the great community?
        Feel this is good time for initiate something for our community ………why don’t we think about create a new website particularly for thiyya which must be easily searchable for everybody so that our new generation can have knowledge of their own community. Let them proud be a thiyya. Worry is, already many thiyya families are started believing that thiyya and Ezava are same.

        I found in internet that, Ezava are spreading information like “Ezavas are known as Thiyya in Malabar area and all Ezavas located in Kerala came from Ezava desham (Sree Lanka. For supporting this theory, they have been using a note mentioned in vadakan pattukal, that saying thiyya came from illa desham (as per them, illa is Ezava ) but the meaning of illa represents a sacred land but that is not Sree- Lanka. illa is very important for Thiyya, we will discussion it on later. Also, if we check culture of the people located from Palkad-Trissur to Trivandrum, this is easy to realise a lot of difference can be seen in between Ezavas. That means the current Ezavas are not from same origin (in palakad, trissure they known as tandan. In kuttanad –adoor-kollam they are coming under four taravadu .In eranakulam Ezava have different background and in Trivandrum they are known as mutaliyar. It means probably they came from different lands and settled down in kernala may be it is a new land. For an example “Pilla rise”, but it is an later migration, the Pilla rise came from tamil nadu and they lived individually long time in Kerala and now they mingled with Nayer cast.
        But if we check culture of north Kerala, from Kozhikode to kazargod, thiyya has a unique culture, each other can easily develop a good relationship but it is difficult to make such relationship with one came from other place of Kerala especially from south. I lived with different peoples and observed, there is big cultural difference between north Malabar and other Kerala people.
        I have observed most of our dharma (culture) is difficult to practise for other Kerala people also even their mind is not tuned to understand our rich sacrificing culture.

        A person’s mindset is developing from cultural practice. Mind is carries real history of peoples and community. Thiyya have a rich and unique culture, if we analyse this, it will lead us that thiyya had a rich and different practise from others. if go for find out what was that culture. I’m sure definitly we will reach in first Vedas, Rig-Veda.

        The behaviours of location’s culture mostly depended on the big community lived over there hence the North Malabar culture developed from Thiyya only and may be, all other Malabar communities had received culture practise from thiyya

      2. kindly go thro the ,mail I had posted in this blog about Thiyyas of North Malabar.-With best wishes-premnath

      3. Thank you for your views .I do have a wonderful book by a District Collector of the Malabar Region during the British days .It has been a promise of mine to put some of the material from this book on this blog.. Getting free time has been a problem .Will try to close this during the forth coming holidays .Regards,Hari

      4. Is it William Logam’s Manuel of Malabar?it is great repository of informations.

  13. “thiyya is the original descendents of of the people mentioned as Brahmins in Puranas and Idhihasas. The myth, behind thiyya‘s origin can be traced even from Rig-Veda. Believe thiyyas are progeny (children) of fire God (Rudra) and the name thiyya (fire) itself is representing of their legendary father”
    interesting, but vague.Let us have the details in Veda’s please.

  14. As far as i know the Ezhavs and Thiyyas are clubbed together under Other Backward Community {OBC} in Kerala..Hence what ever is eligible foe Ezhvas is also eligible for Thiyyas and vice Verse.

    1. OBC RESERVATION IS A BIG JOKE IN KERALA.Public service commission had written us that there is no obc cosideration. but an un constitutional list SEBC is working here.,wherin thiyya obc is WITHIN ezhuva.. no reservation for thiyyas..all goes to ezhavas’. we have a made a samble survey of admission to mbbs calicut. found that 16 seats to ezhuva but not seats to tjhiyya under obc

  15. Kerala in the prehistoric days was a land of shrub forest. The “original ” people who occupied the land were tribes of CHOLA Nayakars [Nilambur forest] and tribes like Kurichiars and Panniars in Wayanad, The “Cherumakkal” describes the small makkal or people of Pygmy tribe.All the others are migrants.Even the the much heralded Kera vriksha [coconut tree] is of foreign origin.We call Coconut in Malayalam “THENGA”-from Thengaya [from Tamil] or “Then gaya’ -Then [Thekku, south and Kaya ,fruit. Probably floated from South Serendip-The Srilankan Island.Which was and still is a green Island.

  16. The origins and history of Thiyyas shrouded in perhaps a romantic tale of exodus from far away lands does pique the interest in many .

    In his book ‘ Kozhikodintey Charitram ‘ by K Balakrishna Kurupu , the author makes an observation that both Thiyyas and Nairs descend from the Naga ( not the Mongoloid Nagas ) and Yadava migrants who arrived in Kerala at about 1000 B C , and they merged to be a common community called Nairs which governed Kerala till the Brahminisation of Kerala in and about 600 AD , herein those Nairs who accepted Brahminic superiority and stuck by them were labeled ‘ Sadshudras ‘ by Brahmins and those Nairs who didnt accept the ways of Brahmins were called ‘ Puramshudras’ and also termed Tiyyars.

    In time the Sadshudras being close to those that be in power gained predominance while the lot of the Puramshudras waned.

    Those interested in the visual culture of Thiyyas through the medium of photography may find the below website interesting.

  17. you guys still want to be differentiated as thiyyas and ezhavas and talk of ‘ vasudeva kuttumbakam”….. ha! ha1……as for the comment on higher caste ” being adulterated by the brahmin’ blood… the pot is calling the kettle black!…. for close to a century thiyya women were concubines and prostitutes of the british in kannur and tellicherry….. anand ram is a thiyya trying to cook up a cock and bull story of influx of cretans to kerala!…. there is no credibiilty in his theory!

      1. dear hari,
        thanks for considering my comment……there were some uncharitable comments against my community, so i had to reply!…. all the same do thiyyas consider ezhavas their equals or a different community altogether?

      2. I would like to state once gain what is “”sambandam”and “Thali Kettu Kalayanam”.. In Namboodrei community only the eldest son has a “Veli” or Marriage and the property rights are for the eldest son in this marriage.The rest of the Namboodri men have “Sambadam” with Nair women.Once again I would like to quote Logan regarding “Sambadam”-“It is a loose form of marrigae with no legal or social obligations whatsoever, a glorified form of prostitution.”The issues in this sambadam cannot sit with their father or allowed to enter his”Illam” or the House.Or mention him as his father in any records.This was the reason the Nair’s used mother’s name as Surname.It was the uncle or the mother’s brother who took care of the joint family as the women may have issues from many Sambandams.
        In the case of thiyyas they had “Thali Kettu” Kalyanam and the father’s tharavad name and mother’s tharavad names were used as surnames.Father was very much a part of the family and the children could identify his father and visit his house freely or stay there .Thiyyas generaly followed monogomy.
        The God created all men equal, hence no one caste or one group is superior or inferior to the other. Only thing is they follow different way of life .
        Once gain I would like state that the Thiyya women who had liaison were no PROSTITUTES but were married to one individual and not to many . I fail to understand how they are catogorised as Prostitutes?

      3. Hi Vikrant , Hope you’re getting to read the posts from William Logan’s Malabar Manuel that I am posting .It makes interesting reading .The reference given by Anil “Castes and tribes of Southern India ” will make interesting reading .Regards, Hari

    1. .” for close to a century thiyya women were concubines and prostitutes of the british in kannur and tellicherry”
      The women who had liaison withe the British were not prostitutes.Vast majority of them were married .The most interesting thing is contrary to following the customs and religion of the “Conqueror” they maintained there own culture , caste and customs. They are not known as Anglo Indians. Kalayani, Paru, Saraswathy continued to be the same and their children also grew up in the same atmosphere.They still follow the Marumakathaym system and are Hindus fully.
      Compare this to “Sambadam” followed by Nairs. Mr.William Logan in his Manuel Malabar defines it as ‘Loose form of marriage with no moral or legal obligations what so ever, a glorified form of prostitution”.
      It is unhealthy to have half knowledge

      1. mr premnath…. i fail to understand your argument… in the above situation which you described – the thiyya ladies being married , yet having sexual relations as well as children from britishers… is it different from nayar sambandham?….. nayars also remained nayars, despite having nambudiri fathers……and are followers of the matrilineal tradition…. as far as logan is concerned, he is well!… another britisher!…. malabar manual is loaded with anti- nayar comments( nayars were not exactly popular among foreign writers, let me assure you!)…..and perhaps nayars too cohabited with the portuguese( but this is very highly secretive, and referred too in van der boogart’s book….)…….my point is what the nambudiri did to the nayar, the englishman did to the thiyya, albeit for a short time!

  18. ” the thiyya ladies being married , yet having sexual relations as well as children from britishers… is it different from nayar sambandham?…”

    The thiyya women were married to the Britishers and not as you presume to some other Thiyya and carrying on With the Britishers please.Kindly get aware of the things before making such remarks which are not connected to happenings.It is derogatory

  19. I’m always proud to b a Thiyya. But wat i dnt understand is that y we are placed in the OBC category ? By all means we are better than the Nairs. Rite ?

  20. Note bellow is from famous historian Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer writes. Please check the link also.
    Mr. L. K. Anantha Krishna Iyer writes as follows.* ” It
    is true that there is an elevation both physically and
    mentally in the progeny of such a parentage. On making
    enquiries about this, I learn from a respectable and edu-
    cated Tiyan gentleman that this union is looked upon
    with contempt by the respectable class of people, and
    by the orthodox community. I am further informed that
    such women and children, with their families, are under
    a ban, and that respectable Tiya gentlemen who have
    married the daughters of European parentage are not
    allowed to enjoy the privileges of the caste. There are,
    I hear, several such instances in Calicut, Tellicherry,
    and Cannanore. Women of respectable families do not
    enter into such connection with Europeans

    Hope above note will clear the doubt that Thiyya – Europeans relationship was standard were Thiyya educated and wealthy to make a relationship with ruling people. There is no meaning like the guy mentioned here. But I feel, it is better than Nayer & Brhmin Sambandham , thiyya males also married to English womans. It is clear that thiyya got good forging education to make such kind of relationship with ruling class. Their virtue was still remained after a long suppression by brahmins. Also orthodox thiyya family was proud to keep their custom and practice since they did not allow this kind of relationship. It is sure the person doesn’t know about the culture of south Malabar thiyya since he came here with a strange disturbed mind. In north Malabar all communities having fair skin when comparing with south but it is common in the people located Ratnagiri (Maharashtra) to Kozhikode . may be it was TULU region early. You can find out fair thiyya women and men at any remote location in Malabar.
    “Vasudeva kudumbakam” doesn’t mean to leave legecy if u have. One who have self-worth, it is genuine they will study and trace their origin
    Thiyya -Brahma relationship: – Thiyyas rituals and customs are not with temples but they followed a different worship rather than nambootiris,. Thiyya believed in a mysterious fire which located in forest or sacred groves (wrath of Spirits [metaphorical forest fire to brag and to harass]) this is the reason behind the name Thiyya (fire) most of people are mistaking this with Naga workshop. Thiyya had settled down in the rich are of western Gat forest very early than new Brahmins reach here. In earlier days Koraga tribe used to represent thiyya/bhillava men and women as ‘Ajalai’ and ‘Ajalthi’ to refer to the religious authority (In Koraga language Baida’ were the native doctors still it is exist). Word ‘Ajal’ refers to ‘authority, jurisdiction, religious rights ‘etc (Tulu NighanTu,Vol.I,1988). Ajali and ajal word is from early Koraga language, pre-Vedic time. Koraga may be one of the pre-Dravida languages.
    I have copies some notes bellow which is posted in TULU studies by Ravi Mundkur
    Koragas are a distinct usually dark coloured tribal group that inhabits the Karavali area. It is not certain right now whether these tribes should be classified under Austro-Asiatics or under those migrated from Africa during the initial or subsequent stages of human evolution. Evidences of presence of relict Koraga words in Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam suggests that the Koragas groups thrived in different parts of southern India. Kurumba, Korava, Korama, Kuruvan and other tribes may be variants of Koragas of Tulunad. Kannada researcher, Sham. Baa.Joshi has suggested that the Kannada word ‘Kuruba’ (=Shepard)is derived from ‘Kurumba,’ wherein the word ‘Kuru’ stands for hilly region.
    Koraga community words
    Similarly Koraga words that refer to certain communities of the Tulunad throw light on some ancient words. For example the word ‘Ajal’ refers to ‘authority, jurisdiction, religious rights ‘ etc (Tulu NighanTu,Vol.I,1988).Before the arrival of Tulu/Dravida tribes into Karavali, the Koraga tribes used the words ‘Ajalai’ and ‘Ajalthi’ to refer to the religious authority of the Billava/ thiyya men and women during the pre-Vedic days. It is a pity that the word ‘Ajal’ has lost its original shade of meaning with passage of time. In koraga language, the ‘Baida’ were the native doctors of that time.
    The word ‘kavu’ has several shades of meaning, as reminded by Hosabettu Viswanath, which includes (a) heat (b) husk(c) dark-coloured cloth or soil -‘kavi’ (d) to wait etc., apart from the place names that mean (e) reserved area (common in place names such as Kavu, Kavur, Kavugoli, Kapu, Kapikad, Modankapu, etc).

    Convergence of Spirit & Deity worships
    The Spirit worship in Karavali-Malabar region was introduced about 800-600 BC. Subsequently, during the reign of major Kings like Kadamba, Chalukya and other Kings the institutionalized (well-organized Temples) worship of several forms of Deities (Shiva-Ganesha-Vishnu-Durga) was introduced with effect from 4th century AD. Since then Deity and Spirit worships continued to survive at different social levels among the folks of West Coast.
    Bhagavathi cult bridged the narrow gap between the two parallel schools of worship during post 10 century period, leading to distinct convergence of Deity and Spirit worships.

    Hope this will clear that Thiyyar were pre Dravidian people who settled down pre-Vedic period at north Kerala and south Karnataka of western-Gat. Not from Sree-Lanka

  21. The name bhillava derived from beeri ‘ or ‘bir’ means forest in Munda languages. Mundas tribes have been considered as ancient tribes of Austo-Asiatic origin,
    Beeri: wild, fire
    However, the word ‘beeri’ has been absorbed and adapted by Tulu and other languages in this land. ‘Beeri ‘, subsequently also meant (1) wilderness,(2) forest fire and (3) wild, unbridled temperament.
    Thiyya / Bhillava
    Thiyya were the inhabitants South kozhikode to Kazargod and known as Thiyya/ bhillava from Chandragiri River to north Udupi (Hejamamdi River) and West to East between the shores of the Arabian sea and western-ghat mountain. There exist 18 important Bhagavathi Kshetras apart from many Tharavadu(Family) shrines spread over Udupi,Kasaragod, Mangalore, kannur and kozhikode districts. Though the ruling deity of community is Bhagavathi ,there are temples dedicated to Vishnumoorthy, Wayandu Daiva and Korathi- the later to are believed to be incarnation of Lord Shiva and Shakthi respectively. Chaitanyas like Kallurutti, Panjurli ,Guliga, Naagadevan are being devotionally worshipped by this community and regular theyyam,Kola ,Thamblia, etc. are performed to invoke their blessings. The community is divided into 8 Illams which traces its origin to one Amruthamani born out of the Lord Shiva’s grace and seven others born to the Sapthamathas through the same Lord’s divine blessings, which means Thiyas are the progeny of Lord Shiva. Marriage is strictly forbidden between two persons belonging the same Illam. The bride and bridegroom must belong to different Illams. In fact, the Illams are exogamous.

    I have Copied the Thiyya /Bhillava illam’s Name bellow .

    Current TULU Nadu. May be FROM CHANDRAGIRIPUZA TO KUNDAPURAM (Thiyya/Bhillava)

    North MALABAR. CHNADRAGIRIPUZA (Kazargod) to KORAPUZA (Kozhikode)

    South MALABAR. FROM KORAPUZA TO SONTH (in Kozhikode district)
    9. KYTAT
    10. JVYIA

    Thiyya born from illam. (Illam = Flood). So Thiyya have a flood / water origin. Flood is the original meaning of illam, later all other community copied and started calling their home(Taravadu) as illam even brhamin also. But real meaning of illam is flood which thiyya having.
    Earlier all south Indian land or may be all Indian land and Sree-lanka known as Illava desham or Kumari khandam.

    I strongly believe that Thiyya has a different origin than Ezava it can be traced based on the study of orgin of Illam. Till now i did not see a serious discution or study on it.

  22. As far as i’m concerned, we Thiyyas have got all the qualities tobe placed in the Forward Caste Category. The Nairs boast themselves about the superiority of their caste. Even if they are poverty stricken they believe that they belong to a forward caste and that is what they want. I have got something to ask them, will their castesim fill their stomach ? Its the old people whom we have to blame for bringing such a discrimination. I know a family belongin to a Nair caste. There is an old lady. She told her daughter to find a person to her grand daughter who is a Nair. She is not bothered about the financial or educational qualities. That old lady wants only a Nair boy. Even if he is a drunkard, it does not matter her. She just want the guy to be a Nair. Strange people rite ? I need my frndz to comment on this. Plz its a request. So do comment on this

    1. Hi Rakesh , It would be good if we do not use this blog to say things which will upset other people or communities .May I request that you do not do so .Regards , Hari

  23. Let us not make unfounded statements which are based on half knowledge-like labeling Thiyya women as Prostitutes .

  24. dear hari….
    first of all let me commend you on being an excellent administrator… you have allowed me a, non- thiyya to air my views….i also hope that while highlighting thiyya history , mudslinging on nayars will be avoided… a neutral observer, ( a nair settled in mangalore, but living temporarily in kozhikode, originally from central kerala) , i feel thiyyas are different from ezhavas- physically possesing fairer skin and definitely socially and educationally much more advanced…..many mangalore billavas use the term thiyya interchangeably… so perhaps the link of thiyyas with south canara is stronger than with the ezhavas of southern kerala…..i must apologise for my comment calling thiyya women prostitutes….. to get a clearer picture on thiyya- english relations, read-‘ recent race mixture in malabar ‘by samanta bhadra…. as well as ;the stain of white’- a sociology thesis by janaki abraham…..

    1. Hi Vikrant , Thanks for your understanding and very informative posts . The collective views expressed on this post must qualify it to be one of the best commentaries on the Thiyya community, isnt it ? .Thanks to all of you for your detailed observations. Regards, Hari

  25. Vikrants belated apology is welcome.Due to the geographical proximity,trade and other connections like , rivers etc the link between the the Thiyyas and South Canara are much stronger.Also they were under the British.where as the Ezhavsa were under the TC state.

  26. One third of the Kerala’s population is Ezhavas. In Malabar Ezhavas are called Thiyyas. Ezhavas/Thiyyas are the only progressive community among Hindus in Kerala. Because of jealous people of other communities unsuccessfully trying to separate Ezhavas/Thiyyas.

  27. Ezhavas and Thiyyas are different.Only thing is they both are clubbed together by the government in one classification for governments activities.Here we are discussing a social and cultural fact.It is like in the plantain category you have different variety like ” Nedran” , “Poovan”, “Mysore “etc. One is not bad or good each has its merits and demerits.

  28. Nedran, Poovan and Mysore are plantains and they have no difference. Plantain from Mysore is called Mysore plantain and so on.
    Ezhavas, Thiyyas, Billavas and Gouds are genuine dravidians and they belong to same caste. Nobody in the world can differentiate Ezhavas. SNDP. shakas are everywhere in India and it is one of the largest organizations in Asia.

    1. Could you please explain by what basis you people are known as Ezava? Is there is any study or research on this?

      1. In the times before the BC, innumerable wars were fought between the Southern part of India and Northern Part of Sri Lanka. This resulted in cross migration and people who came from Sri Lanka or Ellam were known as Ezhavars.This is one of the theories..

  29. Original inhabitants of Kerala were Negratis tribes. Pulayas and Parayas were civilized among them. Then Dravidians (those who speak Dravidian languages) migrated from Java, Sumatra and Srilanka through Tamilnadu. Some people believe that Ezhavas (Thiyyas) were migrated from Srilanka and Budhist orgin. After the arrival of Aryans from north India, some Dravidians joined to Aryans for serving them. They got the sudra status among the four tier caste system (Chathurvarniyam) of Hindus.They are called Nairs. Ezhavas did not join to the Aryans and so they were out of Chathurvarniyam.

  30. Felidae is the biological family of the cats; a member of this family is called a felid. Felids are the strictest carnivores of the thirteen terrestrial families in the order Carnivora, although the three families of marine mammals comprising the superfamily pinnipedia are as carnivorous as the felids. The most familiar felid is the domestic cat, which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago, but the family includes all other wild cats including the big cats..
    The big cats include” The term big cat – which is not a biological classification – is used informally to distinguish the larger felid species from smaller ones. One definition of “big cat” includes the four members of the genus Panthera: the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. Members of this genus are the only cats able to roar. A more expansive definition of “big cat” also includes the cheetah, snow leopard, clouded leopard, and cougar.”
    Can we say there is no difference between a cat , tiger and cougar as they all belong to Feline family?

  31. There are so many rich, poor, dark complexioned and fair complexioned people among Ezhavas (Thiyyas). Please remember that there are more than ten million (one crore) Ezhavas (Thiyyas) in Kerala. Great Sree Narayana Guru said ‘be united and be strengthened’

    1. Well I guess in the final analysis what really matters is the worthiness and dignity with which a person lives , irrespective of caste , creed or colour.. It is always a pleasure to be in the company of people who value ethics , morality and concern for the welfare of others, may their tribe increase !

  32. In Kerala, eighty percent of the population is from backward communities. Major communities like Ezhavas(Thiyyas), Muslims, Christians(except Cyrian catholics) and Viswakarmas are backward communities. Backward community means that those who are educationally and financially backwards and it doesn’t mean lower class.

    1. If you take the living standards of the people in the community as a whole they are very forward. Thiyya community as a whole are economically, educationally and socially forward. Many Industrialists, Business Men, Politicians, Academics, Doctors, Engineers, Intellectuals and Writers of Kerala come from this community. This caste is placed in OBC category as per government rule.

      1. We must understand that the people engaged in collection and trading shell fish and river fishes are also Thiyyas.Obc reservation is given in consideration of their inability to enter the government services.Till there is proportionate number of officers thiyya community in judicial and administrative
        department this obc reservation is a must,

  33. Ezhavas (Thiyyas) are in the forefront of Kerala society. That is true but employees in government services comparing with Nairs, Ezhavas are few. It is good for Ezhavas(Thiyyas) placed in OBC category. Do you know in Coimbatore (Tamilnadu) Ezhavas are in forward category and from my Knowledge, in Rajasthan, Rajputs (Kshatrias) are backwards. In north India all Shudras are backwards.

  34. Scythians/Sacae
    The Central-Asian steppe has been the home of nomad tribes for centuries. Being nomads, they roamed across the plains, incidentally attacking the urbanized countries to the south, east and west.
    The first to describe the life style of these tribes was a Greek researcher, Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century BCE. Although he concentrates on the tribes living in modern Ukraine, which he calls Scythians, we may extrapolate his description to people in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and possibly Mongolia, even though Herodotus usually calls these eastern nomads ‘Sacae’. In fact, just as the Scythians and the Sacae shared the same life style, they had the same name: in their own language, which belonged to the Indo-Iranian family, they called themselves Skudat (‘archers’?). The Persians rendered this name as Sakâ and the Greeks as Skythai. The Chinese called them, at a later stage in history, Sai.

    Tribes are, almost by definition, very loose organizations. Every now and then, new tribal coalitions came into being, and sometimes, new languages became prominent among the nomads from the Central-Asian steppe.
    The oldest group we know of is usually called Indo-Iranian. (The old name ‘Aryan’ is no longer used.) There are no contemporary reports about their migration, but it can be reconstructed from their language. It is reasonably certain that at the beginning of the second millennium BCE, the speakers of the Proto-Indo-Iranian language moved from Ukraine to the southeast. From an archaeological point of view, their migration is attested in the change from the Yamnaya culture into the Andronovo culture.

    They invaded the country that was later called Afghanistan, where they separated into an Iranian and an Indian branch. The first group settled in Aria, a name that lives on in our word ‘Iran’, where they settled after 1000 BCE; the second group reached the Punjab c.1500 BCE. From the second millennium on, three groups of languages can be discerned: the Indian group (Vedic, Sanskrit…), the Scythian group (in the homeland on the steppe), and the Iranian group (Gathic, Persian…). Even when, in the sixth century, the Achaemenid empire was at its most powerful and the Persians lived in comfortable towns, they still remembered their earlier, nomadic life style:
    The Persian nation contains a number of tribes, and the ones which Cyrus assembled and persuaded to revolt were the Pasargadae, Maraphii, and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished; they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dahae, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, being nomadic.
    [Herodotus, Histories 1.125
    tr. Aubrey de Selincourt]

    Sakâ tigrakhaudâ. Relief from the eastern stairs of the Apadana at Persepolis (more).
    The second group of nomads known to have gone south is the tribe of the Cimmerians. Their name Gimirru -given to them by the Assyrians- means ‘people traveling back and forth’; this name still exists in our word ‘Crimea’. The Cimmerians destroyed the kingdoms of Urartu (an old name for Armenia) and Phrygia (in Turkey) in the first quarter of the seventh century BCE; other Scythians reached Ascalon in Palestine. According to Herodotus, they ruled the northwest of Iran (which Herodotus calls Media) for twenty-eight years.
    In the sixth, fifth and fourth centuries BCE, the Persians discerned several nomadic tribes on the Central-Asian steppe. As we have seem, they called them Sakâ. We know the names of these tribes from Persian royal inscriptions and can add information from Herodotus and other Greek authors.

    Copy of an object from the Witaszkowo Treasure. Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz.
    The Sakâ haumavargâ (‘haoma-drinking Sacae’) were subjected by Cyrus the Great. Herodotus calls them Amyrgian Scythians. Haoma was a trance inducing drink, made from fly agaric. This mushroom does not occur south of the river Amudar’ya (Oxus). Consequently, we may assume that these nomads lived in Uzbekistan. Herodotus informs us that they wore trousers and pointed caps; they fought as archers. He also mentions their use of the battle ax (which they called sagaris).
    The Sakâ tigrakhaudâ (‘Sacae with pointed hats’) were defeated in 520/519 BCE by the Persian king Darius I the Great, who gave this tribe a new leader. One of the earlier leaders was killed, the other, named Skunkha, was taken captive and is visible on the relief at Behistun. (It is possible that Darius created a new tribe from several earlier tribes.) Herodotus calls the Sakâ tigrakhaudâ the Orthocorybantians (‘pointed hat men’), and informs us that they lived in the same tax district as the Medes. This suggests that the Sakâ tigrakhaudâ lived on the banks of the ancient lower reaches of the Amudar’ya, which used to have a mouth in the Caspian Sea south of Krasnovodsk. The pointed hat is a kind of turban.
    The Apâ Sakâ (‘Water Sacae’) are also known as the Pausikoi, as Herodotus prefers to call them. Later authors, like Arrian of Nicomedia (in his Anabasis) and Ammianus Marcellinus (in his Roman History, 23.6.62) seems to known them as the Abian Scythians; still later, we encounter them as the Apasiaki, first east and later southwest of Lake Aral. They must be situated along the ancient lower reaches of the Amudar’ya.
    The tribe that Herodotus calls ‘Massagetes’ must have been called something like Mâh-Sakâ in Persian, which means ‘Moon Sacae’. This is a bit confusing, because it is known that the Massagetes venerated only one god, the Sun. The Massagetes were responsible for the death of the Persian king Cyrus the Great (in December 530). From Herodotus’ description, it is clear that they lived along the Syrdar’ya (Jaxartes).
    The nomad tribe known as Dahâ, which means ‘robbers’, is mentioned for the first time in the Daiva inscription of Xerxes; he must have subjected them. Herodotus calls the Dai a Persian nomad tribe (above), but they can not have lived in Persia proper, because they are mentioned in the Anabasis of Arrian as living along the lower reaches of the Syrdar’ya. In the days of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, they were famous for their mounted archers. It is possible that this tribe desintegrated after the fall of the Achaemenid empire; one of the tribes that came into being was that of the Parni, who went south in the third century BCE and founded the Parthian empire.
    The Sakâ paradrayâ (‘Sacae across the sea’) were living in Ukraine. These are the nomads that the Greeks called Scythians. In (514 or) 513 BCE, king Darius launched a disastrous campaign against the Sakâ paradrayâ. Herodotus gives a long description of their way of life and discerns many tribes in the neighborhood.
    The Royal Scythians lived in the southern part of Ukraine, immediately north of the Greek towns.
    The Scythian-Farmers seem to be identical with the archaeological culture known as Chernoles, which has been identified with the Iron Age Slavs.
    Probably, we may identify the Neuri with the Milograd culture, the archaeological remains of which have been found on the confluence of the rivers Dnepr and Pripyat, north of modern Kiev. They may be the ancestors of the Balts.
    Herodotus’ story about the Man-eaters received some confirmation with the excavation of human remains that were gnawed at by human jaws; these excavations were along the river Sula, to the southeast of Kiev.
    The Argippaeans are sometimes identified with the ancestors of the Calmucs.
    The Issedones may be identical to the Wu-sun who (according to Chinese texts) lived on the shore of Lake Balchash.
    The Sauromatae are mentioned by Herodotus as the descendants of Scythian fathers and Amazon mothers. Of course, this is a legend, but the tribe did exist and was to move to the west after 130 BCE. In the process, they assimilated the Royal Scythians (above). In the late first century BCE, the Sarmatian coalition consisted of four tribes:
    The Iazyges, which had once lived on the shores of the Sea of Azov, were now living on the northern bank of the Danube. They were to move to what is now eastern Hungary, where they settled in c.50 CE. They were defeated by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (in 175).
    The Urgi lived on the banks of the Dnepr, south of Kiev.
    The Royal Scythians were still living in the south of Ukraine and had become the most important Sarmatian tribe. They and the Urgi became known as the Sarmati. The Romans seem to have accepted their settlement in Hungary, but the situation was sometimes tense. The Sarmati were, for example, responsible for the destruction of the Twenty-first legion Rapax in 92.
    The Roxolani initially lived between the Don and the Dnepr but settled on the lower reaches of the Danube, where the Iazyges had been living before they migrated to Hungary.

    The Khan (leader) of the Tatars. Note the bow and the pointed hat

    The steppe nomads frequently attacked the urbanized regions to the east, south or west. Usually, this created great havoc, but after some time, they went back to their homeland. However, it was necessary for the attacked states to defend themselves. The Indians thought that they did not need walls because they were protected by the Himalayas; c.110 BCE, the valley of the Indus was run over. The Chinese built the ‘Wall of ten thousand miles’ to protect themselves. The rulers of the Achaemenid empire, from Cyrus the Great to Alexander the Great, may have built walls as well. These walls are mentioned in the eighteenth sura of the Quran and in medieval legend, and may be identified with known archaeological remains in Golestan (Iran). It is certain, however, that both Cyrus and Alexander built garrison towns along the river Syrdar’ya or Jaxartes; our sources call them Cyreschata and Alexandria Eschatê.
    Nomadism continued to exist into the first and second millennium CE. Several tribes may be mentioned. The Alani -whose language lives on in modern Ossetian- are known from the first century CE; they lived in modern Kazakhstan. Later, they moved to the west, being pushed forward by the Huns, which are known from Chinese texts as the Xiung-nu. Later tribal formations were the Avars, the Chasars, the Bulgars, the Turks, the Magyars, the Cumans, the Tatars, the Mongols and the Cossacks.

    വടക്കുപടിഞ്ഞാറൻ സങ്കര സംസ്കാരങ്ങൾ
    ഇതും കാണുക: ഇന്തോ-ഗ്രീക്ക് സാമ്രാജ്യം, ഇന്തോ-സിഥിയർ, ഇന്തോ-പാർഥിയൻ രാജ്യം, , ഇന്തോ-സസ്സാനിഡുകൾ

    ഇന്തോ-ഗ്രീക്ക് സാമ്രാജ്യത്തിന്റെ സ്ഥാപകനായ “അജയ്യനായ” ദിമിത്രിയസ് I (ക്രി.മു. 205–171), തന്റെ ഇന്ത്യയിലെ വിജയങ്ങളുടെ പ്രതീകമായി ഒരു ആനയുടെ കിരീടം ധരിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു.
    ഇന്ത്യൻ ഉപഭൂഖണ്ഡത്തിലെ വടക്കുപടിഞ്ഞാറൻ സങ്കര സംസ്കാരങ്ങളിൽ ഇന്തോ-ഗ്രീക്കുകാർ, ഇന്തോ-സിഥിയർ (ശാകർ), ഇന്തോ-പാർത്ഥിയർ, ഇന്തോ-സസ്സാനിഡുകൾ എന്നിവ ഉൾപ്പെടുന്നു. ഇവയിൽ ആദ്യത്തേതായ ഇന്തോ-ഗ്രീക്ക് സാമ്രാജ്യം സ്ഥാപിച്ചത് ഗ്രീക്കോ-ബാക്ട്രിയൻ രാജാവായ ഡിമിട്രിയസ് ക്രി.മു. 180-ൽ ഇന്നത്തെ അഫ്ഗാനിസ്ഥാൻ, പാകിസ്താൻ എന്നീ രാജ്യങ്ങളിൽ പരന്നു കിടക്കുന്ന പ്രദേശം ആക്രമിച്ചതോടെയാണ്. രണ്ട് നൂറ്റാണ്ടുകാലത്തോളം നിലനിന്ന ഈ സാമ്രാജ്യം 30-ഓളം ഗ്രീക്ക് രാജാക്കന്മാർ തുടർച്ചയായി ഭരിച്ചു. പലപ്പൊഴും ഇവർ പരസ്പരം പോരാടി.
    ഇതിനു ശേഷം ശകർ എന്നും ഇന്തോ-സിഥിയർ എന്നും അറിയപ്പെടുന്ന മദ്ധ്യേഷ്യൻ വർഗ്ഗക്കാർ ഭരണം നടത്തി. ഇന്ത്യയുടെ വടക്കു പടിഞ്ഞാറ്, വടക്ക്, പടിഞ്ഞാറ് മേഖലകളിൽ ഇവർ ഭരണകൂടങ്ങൾ സ്ഥാപിച്ചു. ഇവയിൽ ചില രാജവംശങ്ങൾ ഗുപ്തരാജാക്കാന്മാർ പിടിച്ചടക്കുന്നതുവരെ ഏകദേശം അഞ്ഞൂറു കൊല്ലക്കാലം ഭരണം നടത്തി[35]. ഇന്തോ-യൂറോപ്യൻ ശാകരുടെ (സിഥിയർ) ഒരു ശാഖയായിരുന്നു ഇന്തോ-സിഥിയർ. ഇവർ തെക്കൻ സൈബീരിയയിൽ നിന്നും ആദ്യം ബാക്ട്രിയയിലേയ്ക്കും, പിന്നീട് സോഗ്ദിയാന, കാശ്മീർ, അരക്കോസിയ, ഗാന്ധാരം, പഞ്ചാബ് എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിലേയ്ക്കും, ഒടുവിൽ മദ്ധ്യ ഇന്ത്യ, പടിഞ്ഞാറൻ ഇന്ത്യ, ഗുജറാത്ത്, രാജസ്ഥാൻ എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിലേയ്ക്കും കുടിയേറി. ഇവരുടെ സാമ്രാജ്യം ക്രി.മു. 2-ആം നൂറ്റാണ്ടു മുതൽ ക്രി.മു. 1-ആം നൂറ്റാണ്ടുവരെ നിലനിന്നു. ഗാന്ധാരത്തിലെ കുശാണ രാജാവായ കുജുല കാഡ്ഫിസസ് തുടങ്ങിയ പല തദ്ദേശീയ നാടുവാഴികളെയും തോൽപ്പിച്ച് ഇന്തോ-പാർഥിയർ (പഹ്ലവർ എന്നും ഇവർ അറിയപ്പെടുന്നു) ഇന്നത്തെ അഫ്ഗാനിസ്ഥാനും വടക്കൻ പാകിസ്താനും നിലനിൽക്കുന്ന മിക്ക പ്രദേശങ്ങളുടെയും നിയന്ത്രണം പിടിച്ചടക്കി. ഗുപ്ത രാജാക്കന്മാരുടെ സമകാലികരായിരുന്ന പേർഷ്യയിലെ സസ്സാനിഡ് സാമ്രാജ്യം തങ്ങളുടേ ഭരണ പ്രദേശം ഇന്നത്തെ പാകിസ്താനിലേയ്ക്കും വ്യാപിപ്പിച്ചു. തത്ഭലമായി ഇന്ത്യൻ, പേർഷ്യൻ സംസ്കാരങ്ങളുടെ സങ്കലനം ഇന്തോ-സസ്സാനിഡ് സംസ്കാരത്തിന് ജന്മം നൽകി.

    1. Thampan is, I think, trying to connect the saka/scythians to the thiyyas.

      The scythians refered to themselves as ‘archers’. The kannada ‘billava’ means the same – an archer and Thiyyas are called Billavas in karnataka. But thats a long shot (pun intended) 🙂

      How about this: scythia = Sku-thia = sku-thiyya…?
      Interesting, isn’t it, though that’s probably stretching it too much!

  35. I agree with Hari’s reply, unable to connect the matter with the origin of Thiyyas or The Tthyas in General?-premnathtm

  36. The word Thiyan is came from Tamil (Means fire) to represent thiyya community located at Malabar. Beeri / bir was the equivalent word of thiyya in Koraga Munda language( these are pre Dravidian language) later Tulu language adopted this word as billava. “ilva” is Dravidian style of names representation so bir/beeri became bhillava in Tulu language (Tulu is the language speaking by Mangalore, Udupi e people). Meaning wise there is no difference between the name thiyya and bhillava. Basically thiyya were fire people but Koraga, Munda, Dravida tribes used their own word to recognise these community like Ajan (Brhma) /beeri (fire) /bhillava(fire) /thiyya(fire)
    Another information, the Hindu Fire-god / War-god/knowledge-God, Murugan (Karthikeya) is very much connected with Thiyya/ bhillava community who was the teacher for Tamil (Dravidas)and forest tribes all other tribes. The place name Kannur is derived from Kannan+ooru. Kannan= Bhala devataha actually the baladeva was murukan only later migrated brhmins were replaced all murgan worship place with bala krishana temple same like what they did in Tirupathi balaji temple with the help of administration (King). But they couldn’t change a bala chytannya with any another spirit except child Krishna. May be the raised chitanya was bala chythannya can’t replace with other spiritual power so still bala chitannya is existing as bala krishana temples in kannur. Krishan never known as Kannan in any another language except Malayalam is name of Murukan (teacher of mortal). (Kannan = who enjoying life by eye. This is behaviours of child)
    There is a famous Kukke subramannya temple located in the village of Subramanya in the Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada District near Mangalore. The name kukke is linage name of Bhillva
    1500yers ago Varaha mihiran also mentioned about 2 cities found in kerala, one was Muziris and second one bhaladeva pattanam (today Valapattanam). So Kannur is the place of Murugan (Bala devan) he was the teacher for Tamil and forest tribe people (see, earlier forest tribes are armed and skilled in gorilla fight and they could protect the forest as well and they kept the earth green. A civilian can’t enter side forest. Now they lost everything may be they lost their trainer. In sankam literature, tamil people considered Malabr was sacred place for them. Basically Thiyya /Bhillava were not soldiers rather they were teacher for others. Thiyya were having amazing knowledge in Dhanurvidya, ayurvidya, astorloagy, Tarkam, Mandram…etc.
    In Thiyya poomala bagavathi temple, there is a practice after poorakli is known as Maruthu kali (it based on Tharka Shastrum and will be discussed all science here). This is actually practise of Rishi’s to purify and improve their knowledge still exists with thiyya.
    A good vidyan only can become a Vaidhikan to treat people as well as country as they must have knowledge in psychology (choondu marammum is an example) as well as Vaidhyam, Dhanurvidya but a poojari (prist)can’t do much for people.
    Murukan have 2 wife they are Devasena and vally
    1) Devasena (Army of deva -or-daughter of Devendra). Murugan gave training as well as developing Deva culture in civilised people and taking care of them.
    2) Vally (Green- or -daughter of king of forest tribe). Murugan provided training to forest tribe to protect forest and taking care of them
    In Malabar especially Kannur thiyya was monopoly in ayurvidya. Brhamins are very backward compare with thiyya community. Still 99% of ayurvedic shop and vaidyas are belongs to Thiyya community only in kannur. It was famous, earlier all serious injury treated by thiyya ayurvedic doctors located at Alavil in kannur . Still in Pappini sheri, Thiyyas are famous for Toxic treatment. Thiyya had Veda knowledge but that was in old format, not categorised as four ( Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva Vedas) done by Vedavyasa.

  37. I think we are going round and round? There is also a theory the Thiyyas had some spiritual connections and the Thiyyas are derived from “Thiveyyar”.This is supported by the purification rites performed during the ceremonies connected with the death of a person-like “Kodanju Kuli” etc.

  38. Thiyyan means that Dweepan (island dweller). Some people believe that Thiyyas were the dwellers of Ezham (Srilanka) and so they are called Ezhavas or Thiyyas. You can choose any one of the names but please don’t try to differentiate this great community.

    1. These points were indicated in my notes about Thiyyas of North Malabar.It is “Tivan to thiyya.”

  39. The recognition and practice of human genetic lineages or the Lineage system (alternately known as illam, Bari, Bali or Gotra system) among civilized ancient communities in India is distinctly older in origin and date than the caste system.

    Thiyyas has genetic lineages system (that is why, marriage was strictly forbidden between two persons belonging to the same illam). By lineages thiyya is divided in to 8 illam, I already posted illam in this blog earlier (all thiyyas / bhillavas are coming under these illam and it was strictly followed till 50 years back also still a thiyyan can find out his illam from a old person in his family). Thiyya’s illam system is older than Brhamins Gotra system and it is very much connected with the birth of Murukan, the fire god of Hindus. Brhamin’s gotra system started after Reg-vedic period only, started with seven number in the beginning they used Saptha Rishi gotra (they taken Rishi name from Rig-veda) after they added many Gotras now it is, I think, 100 or more than 150 gotras)

    The word illam is not from dravida, ariyan, munda or koraga language. We can say this word is pre-Vedic Sanskrit (Older than Rig-vedic Sanskrit). Later Tamil adapted this word as illava (illam + lva) illava desham (maiden land) the land of murugan. Thamil people believe that the language tamil created by murugan only.
    In Malayalam also the word is still existing Exple: illam kattu (soft wind), illam pythal (baby), illamneer etc. In malayalm illam = soft. The word illa can be find-out even in Rig-vedha also but Reg-veda Sanskrit lost the meaning of ila. Also the word ila will lead southern origin and connection of Reg-vedha. This will discuss later.
    I have copies some notes bellow which is posted in TULU studies. This will show Thiyyas are pre- Dravidian peoples.

    Koragas are a distinct usually dark coloured tribal group that inhabits the Karavali area. It is not certain right now whether these tribes should be classified under Austro-Asiatics or under those migrated from Africa during the initial or subsequent stages of human evolution. Evidences of presence of relict Koraga words in Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam suggests that the Koragas groups thrived in different parts of southern India. Kurumba, Korava, Korama, Kuruvan and other tribes may be variants of Koragas of Tulunad. Kannada researcher, Sham. Baa.Joshi has suggested that the Kannada word ‘Kuruba’ (=Shepard)is derived from ‘Kurumba,’ wherein the word ‘Kuru’ stands for hilly region.
    Koraga community words
    Similarly Koraga words that refer to certain communities of the Tulunad throw light on some ancient words. For example the word ‘Ajal’ refers to ‘authority, jurisdiction, religious rights ‘ etc (Tulu NighanTu,Vol.I,1988).Before the arrival of Tulu/Dravida tribes into Karavali, the Koraga tribes used the words ‘Ajalai’ and ‘Ajalthi’ to refer to the religious authority of the Billava/ thiyya men and women during the pre-Vedic days. It is a pity that the word ‘Ajal’ has lost its original shade of meaning with passage of time.

    I believe Tracing thiyya’s origin won’t harmful for Ezhava cast rather it will help to encourage Ezava to stand against degradedness facing from higher cast as they have only 800 -1000 years history only in south kerala.
    Also may be many thiyya families from Malabar moved to other place of kerala like cherappan chira, who trained Sree ayyeppan also travancore royal family, brought Nambiyars and thiyyas family from Malabar to strengthen their army. This way there may be connections and race mixture also happened between thiyya and Ezava for a long time. So thiyya and Ezava connection is true only

    1. Hi Shamil , You surely have added a scholarly touch to this blog.Thank you. I hope the readers and follows of this blog find it interesting .Regards, Hari

      1. Thanks Hari, I will try to share more information about thiyya here. This is the first time that I sharing this knowledge in a blog or internet. Sad thing is that there is no serious study happened about the subject “Origin of thiyya” administrators blindly made us under cast system. Mine is a casual study only by my curiosity to know about my origin.

  40. Please don’t bother about the origin of our community. At present, by the grace of Sree Narayana Guru, we are in the forefront of Kerala society and we are the only progressive community among Hindus in Kerala.
    Be united and be strengthened.
    Be educated and be enlightened.

  41. Thiyya is a caste under Hinduism in the South Indian state of Kerala. Now there is a new study which explains where they came from.
    The predominant Thiyya community of Malabar migrated to Kerala in 7000 BC from Kyrgyzstan in the erstwhile Soviet Union, says a fresh study revealing their disputed origins. While the people on the coast of the Black Sea were migrating to different parts of the world in BC 7000, a section who had settled in the foothills of Tian Mountains came to India.
    “Thiyyas of Malabar are the descendants of this group of Kyrgyz,” asserts T. Damu in his latest Malayalam book `Lanka Parvam’. He says that the name Thiyya was derived from the name of the mountains, Tian, on the southern side of Kyrgyzstan. The Saikon community of Punjab and Saikover community of Rajasthan also have the same origin. [ Thiyyas migrated from Kyrgyzstan, says study]

    So before the Indus Valley Civilization, and before all possible dates for Mahabharata, a bunch of people moved from Kyrgyzstan to Kerala….

  42. History is more advanced now. Try to watch bellow given video link and it’s next all videos of the Interview with Dr. NS Rajaram. Arian inwardness theory is no longer now

    Hope these videos may help change the mindset that good cultures were developed outside India and later came to India like Aryan inwardness theory and all

  43. Whenever a person loses his confidence he think about his history, heritage and ancestors.
    All Ezhavas/Thiyyas must be confident about our strength, wealth, education and beauty.
    Help the poor people among us.

  44. “Whenever a person loses his confidence he think about his history, heritage and ancestors”
    or to quote a Chinese proverb-” if you want to know how far you have traveled you must know from where you started”.My thoughts are closer to the Chinese proverb.

  45. Dear brother,
    There is no starting point or finishing point in the universe.
    Past is past, future is unpredictable and so live in the present moment as a bold Ezhava/Thiyya.
    Be proud of our great community.

  46. Sachin is waiting for his 100th hundred…so is this post.
    I’m posting the 99th run
    Hari…please do the honors and complete a century 🙂
    And thanks to all for their 4’s and 6’s and also 1’s and 2’s!

    1. 100th it is with this post Anil .Amazing how a single post can generate as much as 100 responses !! Many thanks to all those who have taken the trouble to post their thoughts .
      Regards, Hari

      1. I guess genealogy is a topic close to everyone’s heart. We all want to know our origins and feel good if our origins are from supposedly noble sources.

        If we are to believe the scientists we all have descended from a few people who
        ventured out of Africa several million years ago. That much is proven beyond doubt.
        But I guess no one wants to hear they are from Africa. Such is human vanity 🙂

    1. Rajan, that is not quite correct to the best of my knowledge. The ancestors of human beings and chimpanzees form different branches of the evolutionary tree. No one to this date has determined the direct ancestor in the animal kingdom from which humans have directly evolved. Till a few years ago scientists called it ‘the missing link’.

      But this much has been proved – all humans outside of Africa share common genes, which are also found in certain tribes of Africa. So it is thought that only a few tribes ventured out of Africa millions of years ago and settled the world as we know it. Over many hundreds of thousands of years local climatic conditions have changed the external appearance of these tribes (white man, brown man, asian man, etc). But all this is still in its preliminary stages of research.

      Anyway its good to know that if we go back in time sufficiently, we all had a common african ‘ammumma’. 🙂
      Best regards.

  47. About origin of human, may be 99 % of scholars’ follows and talking about human evolution (Darwin theory) but there is an alternative “Human Devolution”. I don’t know, it can challenge African origin of human origin but it is Interesting, you may go through some videos, search words for YouTube has been given bellow.

    “Michael cremo human devolution video”
    “Vedic History 3”

    To post Thiyya’s connection with Rig-vedha and all need some more time, really busy with work

    1. In Indian culture we were aware of the theory of evolution.Since it was masked in religion it did not get its proper place.kindly consider the “Dasha Avatharm” .If you look deep you will find that it is nothing but the theory of evolution founded by the Hindi Maharishis thousands of years ago.Darwin founded it in late 18th Century.
      what does it say? It says the first life was fish[Matsyam] or the life started in water, second ‘Kurmam” {Turtle] an amphibious creature,Then Narasimham, half animal half man. Then ‘Vamanan” , piggyman so on to Ramaa , Krishna etc representing the growth of civilised man with the concept of Nation,etc.
      Give a thought

  48. We know Kerala Brahmins are migrated from Tulu Nadu. See their history bellow
    Kadamba Kingdome
    there are claims that Mayura varma hailed from an ancient tribe known as ‘Kadambu’ tribe, who worshipped Kadamba tree. The early Munda civilization that was prevalent in peninsular India since ca.3000BC had a cult of worshipping Kadamba trees. The Kadamba trees are worshipped as apart of festivals even today by the Munda tribes presently living in Chotanagapur areas.
    It is possible that the selected from brighter students from the population were trained in Vedic studies and made priests (Brahmins).It is possible that Mayura thought high of an educated priestly career but could not accomplish it because of the humiliation he suffered.
    Mayura Sharma/Varma
    The period of Mayura Sharma (later he was known as King Mayura Varma), who established possibly the first Kannada dynasty and his successors (ca.345-525 CE) at Banavasi (near Sirsi in the present Uttara Kannada district) is a significant milestone for both Kannada and Tulu history. There is a viewpoint that he came from northern India and settled in Banavasi area.
    His background is quite interesting. He was said to be a student and went to Kanchi, (now a part of Tamilnadu), a major educational centre of that time for pursuing Vedic studies. On an occasion, he was slighted and insulted by Pallava guard at Kanchi. The young Mayura could not bear the humiliation and vowed to avenge for it. He returned to his place, organized the people and built an army. He fought against the ruling Pallava Kings and retrieved the Kannada areas around Banavasi and other areas. The Alupas of Tulunadu were chieftains under the Kadamba Kings.
    Obviously the Mayura Varma was influenced by the Tamil language and literary activities. He was impressed by the use of Tamil script for documenting literary works and temple culture of the Tamils. The Tamils had a flourishing temple culture at that time.
    Mayura Varma, influenced by the Tamil temple culture, initiated the temple culture in Karnataka and Tulunadu. He built several new temples and organized people to run the temples in an orderly manner. This necessitated the immigration of priests (Brahmins) to regularly carry out the ceremonial pooja in the temples. He is said to have brought Brahmins (those trained in Vedic studies) from Ahicchatra and granted 144 villages (agrahara) for Brahmins to settle in the area. The exact location of Ahicchatra has been disputed with opinions ranging from banks of Godavari River to parts of Uttar Pradesh.
    Until then the spirit cult was the dominant form of religious faith in both Karnataka and Tulunadu. The Spirit cult (theyyam) was largely centered on families and landlords, whereas the temple cult became a community affair that involved the people of the whole village or cluster of villages. New communities like Sapaligas were introduced to play musical notes in the Karavali temples. Devadiga were introduced to look after sundry works in the temple premises.
    Very important thing have to understand. The original Brahmins are seers and they were settled in forest. This we can find out from Vedhas and Puranas and we know, princes, kings or whoever need education (Vidhya) have to go forest as seers are settled in forest only who having mistrial power as well as amazing knowledge. To running Kingdome and all, civilized people need their help also these seers race are themselves power full to harass or sustain any strong Kingdome or anything. So Indian forests are not empty but that was place of extra ordinary race lived. But they did not depended or disturb people lived in NDAU or NAGARAM or PATTANAM but they Were teacher for them.
    We know the Vedic civilization got trained by seers so the priest or vedic civilized people came under that particular seers gotra (there are 7 gotras in vedha) but the seers are from forest. One gotra is Brigu (father of parasurama). Already it is traced brigu is from western- gat forest (brigu vamsha = beeri, the munda people’s represented thiyya / Bhillava as beeri and koraga people repressed thiyya as Ajan is equal word of brhma) look at parasurama’s behavious, is he is a priest Brahmana or thiyya?. There is a big connection thiyya with parasurama in thiyyas linage system.
    Note one more thing, the priest of murgan is known as velan. The same velan is dancing for thiyya is known as vellattam (theyyam), actually the vellattum is dance of velan he is the prist of murugan in tamilnadu.
    I think before going to Rig-Vedic connection and all I feel, we just have a look at thiyya‘s culture and practice, at least 100years ago to understand them. I will try to collect and come back

  49. All living beings feel present only. They cannot feel past or future. If you feel at present a great Thiyya or Ezhava be proud and happy.

  50. As a mallu bought up outside Kerala, I am not well versed on the caste and ethnic roots of communities in Kerala. I do find it interesting how people in todays world feel the need to “look for” the roots. Its pretty sad that most of the literature one reads on Kerala today from the 1800s are written by the British anthropologist or travelers. malayalis somehow constrained themselves to the oral tradition. Anyhow the point I am getting to is this, homo sapiens or humans are the same everywhere. Religion is man made. God is a figment of human imagination. How do educated people live their life by the most divisive concepts (religion/caste/skin tone etc) ?

  51. Before AD.1802 Thiyyas (Ezhavas) had no oppression in Kerala. They were given special privileges and status by the Zamorin and Kings of Malabar, Kochi and Travancore because majority of brave soldiers (Chekavars) of these countries were Thiyyas (Ezhavas). From the sixth century onwards Ezhavas were the major community of Kerala and no army could be formed without Ezhavas (Thiyyas). But between the period of AD.1802 and AD.1936 Ezhavas were an oppressed community in Kerala and they were untouchables. Everybody knows that Ezhavas (Thiyyas) were genuine dravidians and they were more powerful than Ariyans. Then how was it happened? Can anybody give the answer?. History of Kerala before AD.1800 was not written in paper and it was written on palm leaves. These palm leave manuscripts were destroyed by the Shudra historians of Kerala and they wrote the history for their people. Many legendary Ezhavas were deleted from the history.

    1. @Rajan:
      I am not a historian and please dont find this presumptuous when I share the link: as I have no clue what the motive of the author was/is. What is interesting is we do know that Thiyys were persecuted before 1800, but by Hyder Ali and Tipu! Let me also add this, the british/western influence on the life of keralites is grossly underestimated/acknowledged. That is because, just 150 years ago (or 3-4 generations ago) the rules/customs were 180 degrees in contrast to how its lived today. The most progressive people, nairs, mostly got educated in western thought/views and reflected on the idea of the status quo. What they found was the matriarchal system was unjust at so many levels. An example in the nair community, the kids never knew who his/her dad was! Today following that tradition is considered to be against the law. This example bolsters the view that it is not always wise to follow traditions and one does have to constantly reflect on the status quo. Today we have ganesh immersion in water in kerala! It was never in vogue! This was a practice started in 1890 or thereabouts for nationalist reasons against the British (how convenient to use religion!). This practise not only stayed on, but today people think that has been the way for 1000s of years!

  52. Among Aryans, Kshatrias followed Marumakkalthayam ( Matrilineal syatem). Shudras were the servants of Namboothiris and they followed Makkalthayam (Patrilineal system) because that was good for them. Before the arrival of Aryans from North India, Kerala was ruled by Dravidian Kings (Ezhava Kings). Chera, Chola and Pandia Kings were Ezhavas (Thiyyas). Malabar was ruled by Ezhathu Mannanars.



  53. All Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms were Ezhava (Thiyya) kingdoms and Rajaraja Cholan was a great Ezhava emperor of Chola Empire ( Tamilnadu and Kerala). Malabar was ruled by Ezhava Kings and they were known as Ezhathu Mannanars of Malabar.
    Ezhavas(South Kerala), Thiyyas(Malabar), Billavas(Karnataka), Illavas(Tamilnadu) and Gouds(Andhra) are genuine Dravidians and they are the largest community of South India.
    Great Ezhavas will never accept the history that was written by Shudras.

  54. i am a native near to dharmasala ( a place between kannur & taliparamba) . darmasala in arunachal is the supreme position of budda matham. here somany parambrya vaidyaers are living. they are famous for their practice and they known as their family names.years back onwards they know samskritam. all that families are thiyyas. how these low cast men were studied
    samskritam. I want to know how this happened in olden days & how the name dharmasala created

    1. There is no relation between our darmasala with budhism.the name come from the free sambaram given from ‘darmasala’ run by parassinikadav temple can get good sambharam from can see that building 50meter south to darmasala bus stop just opposite to cherukunnu started more than 50years back , at that time that is a lonely place(no shops and houses,a part of mangattu parambu) and it started for no connection with other matters i agree with u .i am a thiyya and i heard that there was sanskrit thaliyola books in our tharavadu .so that is right our forefathers studied sanskrit at that olden days of feudalism

  55. Let me say something about Dharmadon and Island close to present day Tellicherry, It is believed that in early centuries around 7th AD The Bhudist had a flourishing monastry, Place of Dharma or Dharma’s abode became Dharmadom.Probably there may be some connection with Budhaism? for Dharmasala/

  56. Graeat Sree Narayana Guru was a great sanskrit scholar. After he wrote Darshanamala ( Theory of non-duality or Adwaitha) in sanskrit , famous people of India said that Sree Narayana Guru was the reincarnation of Adi Shankara.

  57. The thiyas of north Malabar has Buddhist ancestry they must have arrived from different countries but all in the name of Buddhism, on the arrival of Brahmins the thiyas were against them hence the Aryan invaders termed the thiyas as out caste, thanks to invasion by foreign powers the thiyas become the land lords of Malabar during British rule. any way they are of superior culture.

  58. the sndp is irrelevant for thiyas because the ezhava and thiya are not one except for job reservation. thiya follows matriarchal system and ezhava patriarchal system. but the ezhavas usurped the opportunities of thiyas who in fact is more in numbers than ezhavas. hence let all thiyas unite

  59. Nobody is following matrilineal system in kerala because legally it is not accepted.
    SNDP is very strong in Malabar. Nobody in the world can split Ezhavas (Thiyyas) because during the time of great Sree Narayana Guru there are so many sub castes among Ezhavas (Thiyyas) and he joined all Ezhavas (Thiyyas) together.
    Some Christian missionaries are trying to split Ezhavas (Thiyyas) and trying to develop inferiority complex among Thiyyas particularly to our youth. Their aim is to convert our people to their religion. It is a slow poisoning process.
    Political parties do not like SNDP. because they use Thiyyas as their chavers (suicide squad).

  60. Thiyyas were in Kerala much before the years mentioned in this article. In 1498 Vasco Da Cama landed in Calicut, 600/700 years are relatively modern

    1. 1) There is no sub caste among thiyya all thiyya are one. All thiyya are divided in to 8 illam. There were only one restriction between the illam that was, one cannot marry from their own illam because the seven illam is seven sisters of the great mother illa (later Parvathi) and 8th Illam is Parvathi (Amruthu mani) only. That is the reason thiyan was not allowed marriage between matrilineal sister’s children but allowed with matrilineal uncle’s children because uncle’s childrens illam will be different (Later this system followed all other casts dont know why?). Philosophically the seven illam is nothing but seven body of the great mother Parvathi (prakrithi). Geographical location of the illam is given bellow. That mean they are spread under the great mountain in the western-ghat that is Kollur (foot hill) to Tirunelli (Head)
      CHANDRAGIRIPUZA (kazargod) to KORAPUZA (Kozhikode)
      I have already mention illam name in my earlier post
      2) Last many thousands of year’s many other cast people also livid with thiyya in the Malabar but with out mix because thiyya will lose their illam if they marry other cast or people and they will lose their linage connection with mother paravathi. The old Gotra type Illam system existed here till 50-70 years back which means there no caste collaboration happened with thiyya. Because of illam system, thiyya cannot become ruling class. Look, they were never involved in any administration or military movement of Kingdome except trainer for army. Also they were not at all soldiers
      exp:-Maniyani Nairs –Yadava , Nairs, and other casts lived same geographical area with thiyya but thiyya lived separately since 3000years did not mixed at all with others. Then how come thiyya and ezava same?, since Ezava is living outside of Malabar?
      3) Agree Ezhava were a part of ruling class but thiyya not at all a ruling class. Ezhava may be indirect connection with Nair, nadar, Bunt, nadava like people may be Chera, Pandya like kingdom raised among these people so ezava may be indirect connection with Nair and all but not with Thiyya. Thiyya is separate from all other class may be there is connection with Mugaveeran (Mukkuva may be descended from thiyya or very old settlement with thiyya)

      1. Read the book”Seven daughters of Eve”. And get the dna cheched, especially ydna and find out which people outside your own community your ydna is close to.

  61. I have already mentioned that original inhabitants of Kerala were Negrato tribes. The migrated people were Ariyans and Dravidians. Let me Know in which category you (so called people) belongs to Ariyan, Dravidian, Tribe or other than these?

  62. Already discussed that Thiyya / bhillava was the very earlier settlement than Munda and Dravidian in south India. Thiyya bhillava may be connection with Bill tribe as they have some similarity. Thiyyans living style and custom based on their eight ILLAM system that system is very power full and protected rase mix from others also it is a self governing system (no need any administration like king and all)
    Tulu study
    1) Pattanam (bank of river or coast) :- Place of Mugaveerar or Mukkuvar . Kingdome derived from Mukkuva ?
    2) Nadu (village):-
    Nadava, as the word analysis explains, basically represents the cultivator or the farmer. The word ‘naDu’ is to plant seedlings. And the word ‘nāDu’ derived from the root ‘naDu’ originally meant cultivated area. In the course of time, the scope of the meaning of the word ‘nāDu’ was expanded to signify country, a cultivated and evolved area as compared to kāDu the forest. This meaning is obvious when we compare the word ‘nāDu‘(na+aDu) with ‘kāDu’ (ka+aDu). In these words the suffix ‘aDu’ represents area with trees or plants. Compare ‘aDu’ with plain ‘Da’. The latter suffix means area or locality in Munda languages. It is well known that the ‘kāDu’(=forest) areas were converted to ‘nāDu’( cultivated area) with introduction of systematic agriculture during the course of evolution.
    Many of the Tulu researchers are searching for Nadava-Bunt roots in various royal families like Shatavahana, Rastrakuta, Chalukya, Jat etc, who lived and reigned during the period 2nd Century CE to10th Century CE or so. The origin of Nadava clan is much more older dating back to not less than ca. 3000 BC in the peninsular India.
    It has been deciphered that the agriculture was introduced in the Nile River Valley during 6000 BC. Similar archeo-botanical AMS carbon datings on fossil seed grains recovered from the ash-mounds of Ballary region,Karnataka reveal that during the period 2500-1800 BC pulses like horse-gram(‘kudu’), black-gram(‘urdu’) and red-gram(‘togori’) were grown in the peninsula(Fuller & Harvey,2006). Note that ‘kuDu’ (=ku+Du =’good crop’; horse gram) was one of the earliest and widely grown pulse in southern India.
    3) Kadu (Forest):- (thiyya from forest the flood of earth)
    Many toponym words in Tulunadu, as we have discussed in older posts, happen to be inscrutable in general. There is a suburban road junction in southern part of Mangalore along National Highway 17 near Kotekar , called ‘Beeri’. The place name ‘Beeri’ may evoke some random meanings mnemonically based on similar sounding homonyms, in Tulu language!
    However, Beeri is an ancient word originating from Munda group of languages. [We have discussed in many of the earlier posts strings of data relating to the relict signatures of Munda tribes and place names in Tulunadu.]
    Beeri : the forest
    ‘Beeri ‘ or ‘bir’ means forest in Munda languages. Mundas tribes have been considered as ancient tribes of Austo-Asiatic origin, who entered India from the south Asian and eastern routes and settled in India in the prehistoric days probably before Dravidians. However, Munda tribes and Mon Khmer Austro Asiatic tribes and languages after their initial separation in Southeast Asia in the antiquity, have evolved independently, possibly owing to the powerful influence of lingual substrata in the lands they settled in. Mon Khmer languages are characterized by rising accent pattern whereas, the Munda languages distinctly show falling accent patterns, like many other Indian languages.(Donegan & Stampe, 1983,2004).
    Though, Munda and Mon Khmer have followed linguistically divergent evolutionary paths, a few Munda words can be traced to their Austro-Asiatic roots. ‘Bir’ is one such antique word whose equivalents can be traced in Mon Khmer as well.
    Thus, since the toponym ‘Beeri ‘means forest we can conclude that the place was a forest and there were tribes in the area conversant with Munda languages in the antiquity. That Beeri was a forest is also corroborated by the name of the village in the vicinity, Kotekar. The ‘kār’ in this place name ‘Kotekar ‘also signifies a forest.[ The word ‘kote’ may represent :(1) a tribe or (2) a fort. The first meaning suits here]
    Biruva: forest tribe
    The ‘biru'(=bow) was an devise invented in the forest for hunting the wild life. The derived word ‘biruve’ thus not only means (1) an archer, but also (2) a person from the wilderness or a forest tribe. It is possible that the word ‘biruva’ might be older than the other equivalent word ‘bhil’ or ‘billava’.This indirectly also purports that ‘biruva’ tribes were a part of the early Munda tribal groups in Tulunadu.
    The Munda tribes are characteristically known to have O2 type of Y-chromosome haplogroups. Thus,when extensive genome data are available on Tulu people, it would be interesting to compare and study the genetic traits of ‘biruva’ tribes .

    Beeri: wild, fire
    However, the word ‘beeri’ has been absorbed and adapted by Tulu and other languages in this land. ‘Beeri ‘, subsequently also meant (1) wilderness,(2) forest fire and (3) wild, unbridled temperament. Later, it also meant (4) to catch fire, or get burnt off (5) wrath of Spirits [metaphorical forest fire?] (6) to brag and (8) to harass.
    From ‘wild unbridled temperament ‘, evolved more refined ‘valiant nature’ and ‘heroism’. Thus, ‘bir’ > evolved to ‘bira’ (hero). (‘Vir ‘ in Tamil and ‘Veer’ in Hindi and Sanskrit). From ‘brag’ evolved ‘flattery’ of the Spirits.
    Many of the native gymnasia (known as ‘Garodi’s) that trained soldiers were run by Billava people. Same like in kannur, during the period of Unniyarcha, out of 44 kalari 22 were run by 2 thiyya family only (18 were run by Arigodan and remaining 4 kalri were run by puthooram veedu) many more from remaining kalari run by thiyya only.
    Bari (illam) and Gotra
    During the Vedic period the identification and recognition system among civilized people was based on gotras and there is no mention of Vamshas (dynasties). The Tulu people followed a similar system of genetic heritage recognition known as bari or bali system.Tulu people also followed a system of recognition of Mulastana (literally, the original place of domicile).The town of Multan (mool=origin + taan =place) in present Pakistan still carries the ancient name of one of the original place of domicile of Tulu and Dravidian tribes who migrated along this route during the early history.
    The recognition of communities based on the division of labour or profession was said to have been initiated during the regime of Chandragupta Maurya. The broad brush communities (Chaturvarna, literally four colours) of Brahmana (preist), Kshatriya (warrior), Vaishya (merchant) and Shudra (menial servant) were recognised and uncivilized tribes were treated as Panchams (the fifth category).
    Later Kings considered themselves to be offsprings of great dynasties originating from major celestial bodies like Sun and Moon. Thus the imaginative attribution of dynasties of Sun (Surya Vamsha) and Moon (Chandra Vamsha) were popular among ancient rulers. It appears that ancient Kings adopted such fancy dynasty names to glorify themselves. Legends describe that during the Gupta regime, some of the pre-Aryan Nāga tribes were elevated into the status of ‘kshatriyas’. Thus it appears that fancy dynasties like Naga Vansha (Dynasty of Serpent) and AgniVamsha (Dynasty of Fire God) were added later as part of regal glorification processes.

    Thiyyan’s Illam system (The origin of thiyya) is older than Rig-Vedic civilisation and it is more scientific because it is based on flood and fire. Murukan was the prehistoric god of India, The god of War and Love, is closely related with Thiyya

    Very surprising thing is that it is mentioned in Rig-vedha, the first word in the Rig Veda, appears as “Agnim-Ile” meaning “I praise Agni” – ironically, this is also “Agni-Ila” – the “La” sound in the latter, of which is Mother of thiyyan (Fire) and the word itself is combination of fire and illa (flood) but the meaning of illa is lost from Indo-Aryan languages but still is existing in Malayalam and Tamil illa is kani or kumari or maiden
    Surprisingly Tamils call their sunken land, where murukan came from, the land of Ilam. see Thiyya also settled in the flood area (western ghat) of maiden land (kumari kandam) or Tamil nadu. See the connection of thiyyan with Rig-vedha as well as Tamil.

    By shamil

  63. The word Illam is Tamil word means house or Ezham (Srilanka). In some parts of Tamilnadu Ezhavas are called Illathu pillamar. Billavas and Illavas are Ezhavas. Tulu is a Dravidian languge like Tamil.

  64. 1)Saraswati in Vedic Literature
    As regards her status in the Vedas, Saraswati has priority over Mahadevi and Mahalakshmi – other two deities of the Puranic Trio manifesting Divine Female. Saraswati apart, the two deities of the Rig-Vedic Trio were Ila and Bharti, not Mahadevi and Mahalakshmi. Both, Ila and Bharti merged into the all-pervading personality of Saraswati during the later Vedic period – substantially in Brahmans
    These three were all originally names for the greater older Goddess, and the land associated with her, called Bharat and Ila-Varta. Bharati is the feminine form, and the latter texts that speak of India as deriving it’s name from the King are incorrect, as the term goes back even older to Bharati, as the Sarasvati River was renamed from the older land, which was Ilam or Ilavarta, a land in Southern India, now sunken
    Ilam is not house name it is land, a vedic sanscrit word.
    2) Already discussed, the name Billava is originated from Munda word “Beeri” (Munda Language is older than Dravidian language)

  65. Thiyyas can be found throughout Malabar. They are very dominant in the belt from Kodungallore to Chavakkad. In a book depicting the history of Kodungallore Temple , it is mentioned that the Chera Kings headquartered in Kodungallore brought Thiyyas from North Malabar to fight Cholas.

    One more interesting aspect is that there is relatively higher Aryan genes among Thiyyas than any other community in Kerala. We have to see theories of their migration to Kerala/ Malabar in this background.

    1. I Think you are right.
      The kodugallor and Madyai kavu (kannur) there is a connection, komaram from Madyi kavu visiting kodugaloor in the ritual time. Probably madayi kavu would be the moolastana of Kodugalloor, but I’m not sure about that.

      The first family converted to Christian is Chirayil family ( 52 A.D) by Thomas sliha from kodugallor. Actually the Chirail is thiyya family name; the name is derived from Cheerumba. They are calling Thomas as Ponnum kurshu muthappan. See the root how the name Muthappan reach in Christian religion

      Many shrines belongs to thiyya are CHEERUMBA or MARIYAMMA (terible goddess). In side this shrines, there are two rooms one is for CHEERUMBA inside and hidden from people and second is MAHALAKSHMI sited near by the room entrance of CHEERUMBA and believe the LAKSHMI blocked CHEERUMBA to coming outside. People can see and pray only MAHALKSHMI in the form of Chaitanya sign; symbol is like sun (no statue found). Surrounding area of the shrine is reserved (Shudhi is must in this area) but extremely outside of the reserved area a lamp found which is dedicated for the inside CHEERUMBA the goddess blocked by LAKSHMI in the main shrine. Nearby this lamp many small shrines of dangerous form of different type of kali ( Pulloor Kali, Pullikarimkali, Madayil Chamundi, Kundoor Chamundi, Raktha Chamundi, Kurathiyamma). It seems Mahalkshim or Devi has two faces one is blessing and other is terrible one. Most of Rish’s having this behaviour; sometimes they were very terrible too. Probably Rishis are speritualy metuerd people from a raice livid in forest, children of Devi (if read purana, easly can understand Rishis are different race). Since Devi herself is knowledge so Rishis and his race will be so powerful, we can see in purana, even big kingdoms afraid them

      I’m not believe in Ariyan blood in thiyya because thiyyan and Tamil relation is earlier than Ariyan invades theory now historian also stops claiming this ariyan invades theory. The faire skin may be also depended geographical area very much. I mean, asume if a Tamilan family livid in Saptha sindhu area for 1000 years continually their skin also become fair. Dravya shakthi (flood power) of an area is a big player of human body.

      Always we think people came from outside why don’t think people migrated from this country to other contry?

      1. *I mean, not only geographical area but also practice of people also strongly depended health and beauty of the human.

  66. Thanks Hari for the lovely reply to my comment. I completely agree with some of the comments above that we should build up a website where right information about Thiyyas, their culture, etc is described. There are many among us who don’t even know about the rich community we have. I have encountered certain groups that are so self obsessed about their caste and hereditary that they tend to misguide others. I had so called friends who were so obsessed about the fact that they were nairs that their favorite timepass used to be to find out if they had some nambiar or panicker or namboothri ancestor. I used to feel pretty left out but then my velliachan had come from Kerala for treatment and he explained to me certain facts, his childhood and after that I was only proud to be a thiyyar. My cousin was so enamored by her friend who is a nair and his stories of his heritage and them being given a sword when the boy grows up, to being married as kids and many more well for me the stories pretty much resembled the scenes from Oru vadakkan veergatha [I hope i have named it right] that finally i had to explain to her about our community and culture. I gave her a printout of this blow and it blew her mind off would be an understatement and i really hope she has given the boy a good reply.

    Also an interesting anecdote which my ammumma told me, when my achachan came to Bombay in the early 40’s every malayalee who came here was a nair and they have adopted that as their legal surname. So God only knows how many genuine Nair’s we have in Bombay, again I am not saying they are all not genuine. It is just a way of typesetting a community. Now for example every South Indian in Bombay is a Madrasi . Go figure.

    As for Mr. Rajan’s comments even my family is a member of SNDP but by just writing Ezhava [Thiyyar] in every sentence it doesn’t club both of them together. Sree Narayana Guru believed in one religion and it didn’t end at just Ezhava and Thiyyars. And as far as I know he had specifically said that when I die I don’t want you to worship me or put up my sculptures or pictures but try to follow my teachings and the way of equality and education but I guess nobody wants to respect his views. What Mr. Premnath and Mr. Hari have been trying to say in their comments is about a community not caste. I know for a fact that Thiyya’s from Kannur and maybe North Malabar on the whole don’t prefer grooms from South Malabar even if you are Ezhavas and try to avoid it to a large extent. No offense but it is our way of holding on to our community. Not that Ezhavas are below us or we are superior to them.

    I request to everyone to please take the comments in the blog as a constructive and informative exchange of views and opinions and not something personal. I would also like to request again lets work on getting a proper and informative site about thiyya community.

    1. Hello Renuka ,Glad you liked the post and the trail of observations and comments by several readers of this blog.I have tried my best to see that we avoid comments that hurt other people’s sentiments while retaining a fair degree of freedom of speech .In the final analysis what matters is not caste or even community .We live in a very connected world made smaller by information technology. Today one finds so very much of inter caste and inter region marriages .Commonality of backgrounds i.e. similar education , work place and friends circle irrespective of caste or creed now seems more and more the driving force behind such unions and thats is a wonderful trend isnt it ? Regards , Hari

      1. There are two type of marriage . Gandarva and kulacharam

        Gandarva: marriage tradition based on mutual attraction between a man and a woman, with no rituals, witnesses or family participation.

        Kulacharum (practice of Parvathi): Who practicing kulacharam (boy / girl) their Knowledge will be improving to love their own father, mother, guru, brothers / sisters and all (the real love or divya Pasham). The boy/girl will be very much attracted / keen with their parents and can find happiness in the girl/boy selected by the parents or Guru. If they did right practice, the children of a kulachari will be very great because this acharum dedicated to Shiva / Parvathi (shakthi-power). Ramayana is a story of kulacharum. By this point of view, Gandarva marriage is actually a weakness not based on love

        Thiyyan have Father’s linage illam (which is important while marriage) and Mother’s linage kulam (the first teacher is mother and second teacher is matrilineal uncle or guru karnavar) and mother’s home was institution for thiyya child (taravadu) and there must be a dhrma devatha (karnavars who reach in Sidha position), kula devatha-bagavathi and Kavu (sacred grove)
        This indicates thiyya must practice kulacharum or they will lose connection with their own Kavu (bagavthi). Thiyya must practice illam system to maintain their father linage (progeny of Shiva / fire)

        People are weak now. Relativity theory / quantum theory developed by Albert Einstein but the wild thought is not his own, he just picked from vedhas/ geetha only. Why these people studying Sanskrit as it is not using for communication? Seems old people are great may be because of kulacharum.

  67. I guess parents too are now open to the idea of intercaste, inter-religion, inter state marriage because at the end of the day i feel it is emotional, intellectual, and physical compatibility that is more important than religion and caste. Aren’t we human beings first. Being single I know when I am looking out for a guy I look for a person that I would love to spend the rest of my life with, someone I can talk to, respect and love, a person who is kind. And there is no rule that only my community guys can do that. If he is from my community well and good if not I have no regrets.

    1. Dear Renuka, While I agree with Hari that your heart is in the right place, your mind also needs to be there 🙂

      Having nearly 20 years of married life under my belt I will venture to give you some tips which you may certainly reject with no hard feelings.

      While my marriage was not intercaste, my sister’s was so (into the so called upper caste).
      Her life was miserable for several years till they (sis, hubby, kids) moved out and started living on their own with no contact with her inlaws. I obviously cannot go into the gruesome details, but it made me turn 180 degrees on my previous thinking (which was similar to yours) on the benefits of an intercaste marriage. Long ago someone told me that even an inter-religious marriage is a 100 times better than an intercaste marriage. I did not believe it then. I’m much wiser now. If you and your future husband are planning to retire to a remote place and live there the rest of your lives, it may work. Otherwise I advice caution. All the best to you!

  68. Hey Anilji,

    No hard feelings and no offense taken. I have nothing against love marriage or arranged. I am open to both. Also I believe if your parents choose a groom for you definitely they will see that you get the best but also at the same time if something goes wrong I know who to blame. LOL. Sorry, jokes apart, I am looking out for an arranged match since first of all I didn’t have the time or the inclination to find one for myself. I want a guy who is settled as well as well sorted out in his mind. I am 32, there is no time for trial and error. So waiting and hoping for the best.

    1. Hi Renuka,
      Seems like you have a level head on your shoulders. Good for you!
      Hope you will find someone suitable soon. Best wishes!

  69. Hi everybody. I’m happy to c that everyone is proud of being a Thiyya. I’m having a lover who belongs to the upper caste (Nair). After meeting her and her family, I always wondered how nice it would b if I was also a Nair or the so called Forward Caste. Before I did not have such feelings. But now when I see a person’s name, for example, Suresh Menon, Anju Nair or Krishna Namboothiri etc… I wonder how lucky they are as they belong to a Forward Caste. Whenever I see a person, I’m eager to know his caste than other details. I used to ask my mother why we belonged to OBC. Whenever I see a person’s name bearing the forward caste title as I mentioned already, I used to get sad… I don’t know what to do?

    1. Rakesh,
      The caste system is indeed a curse. The man at position X, feels inferior to X+1, but feels greatly superior to X-1.
      For a Englishman’s (hopefully unbiased) opinion on thiyyas about a 100 years ago check this:
      Click the ‘PDF’ on the left side menu to download it.

      Similarly to check the same chap’s opinion on Nairs check this:


  70. Hey Rakesh,

    Completely understand what you are going through. There was a time when I used to feel pretty left out in the world full of Nairs and Menons and wanted to be a part of that. Plus the Malayalam movies didn’t help. There are no prosperous or educated OBC’s in Mallu movies, plus there were all this mystic stories about illams and poojas. But from the time I have started understanding about my community, the heritage, the culture, etc you can’t even imagine the feeling I have to be a part of this community. It is beyond proud. Not being obnoxious but we had a history of our own. My velliachan used to say we were proud land owners standing our ground whereas they were bound by the rules of the higher castes. So I would suggest learn more about the community, you will be so proud that not even for a moment you would feel that you are losing out because you are not one of them. Plus like it has been discussed before and I completely agree, we are not actually belonging to the OBC category and it is just the government that has put us there. So it is okay.

      1. I guess so, but when a movie is playing the hero to the villains are all nairs, menon’s or christians or muslims. Anyways that is okay. As for the change from OBC, well I guess the community on the whole should do something about it. I am thinking about putting up a website for Thiyya, lets see how it turns out. Still working on the idea.

      2. Renu,
        A website would be a good idea, but take care it has nothing negative..only +ve.
        Something that inspires. Not one that creates hatred or envy.
        ..and off course there can be a link to ‘Thiyya Matrimonials’…somewhere at the bottom 😉
        Go for it!

    1. Dear Rakesh,
      Surely you don’t mean that only Thiyyas should be ‘forwarded’, do you? What about the hundreds of ‘lower’ castes in India.

      You can take a bottle of thumsup and stick an ‘OldMonk Rum’ label on that. It does not mean that bottle now contains Rum. Caste is like that – just a social label, that has no actual reality. The quality of the Man/Women inside has no relation to the outside label.

      Mahendra singh Dhoni belongs to the ‘lower’ caste, but he’s now the captain of the Indian team and nobody cares. Same for Yuvraj singh. Similarly Achudanandan (thiyya) is the Kerala CM now.
      Hope you get the point.

  71. We all say that we have got rich history and cultural background. Whatever points we haveto support our ground, the forward caste ppl don’t care about our heritage. In their eyes we are all backward people. I’m jealous of my friends and all other people all over the world who belong to the Forward Caste. I’m praying to God, that if there is a birth again, I wud like to be a person belonging to the upper caste.

  72. I agree with Mr. Premnath. I mean what is important being a better human being or being from the upper caste. And if you are jealous of their caste, next you could be jealous of anything. I would just suggest that learn to accept and love what you are. Once you respect and love that rest won’t matter. I used to live in Sakinaka, Mumbai with my parents and it was a mostly middle class community there. There it really didn’t matter if you were Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian let alone Nair or Thiyya. For them it only mattered that you were a fellow struggler and plus an added advantage of being from Kerala and that we should stick together. It was not until I moved to Navi Mumbai that this whole thing of caste and creed came to my notice. Don’t waste your time or your energies on trivialities like caste enjoy what you have, be proud of who you are, and strive to live life to the fullest. Things like caste, religion, language are all secondary, the most important thing that even God will ask on your final journey is have you justified your role in this world, were you a good human being. There is no special entry for Nairs and Namboothris in the hall of god. We are all same in his eyes, Isn’t it enough.

  73. Today’s newspaper has an article on Thiyyas, claiming that they originated from Tien Shan in Kyrgyzstan, any comments ?

      1. The Editor.
        Malayala Manorama.
        Dear Sir ,
        I refer to the article in your Sunday Supplement about the origin of The Thiyyas of North Malabar, propounded by Dr. N. C. Shyamalan. If remember correctly Mr. T. Damu [Regional Vice President Taj Group of Hotels] had written a book a few years ago on this subject. In his book he had indicated about the origin of Thiyyas and their migration from Tian mountains of Kirgizstan.
        I believe it was Mr. Damu who first to published this theory?.If so, the courtesy demands that this fact should have been indicated in the article.
        Origin of Thiyyas is subject of many speculations and legends. I am not aware of any systematic and scientific study done. One legend prevalent is about the connection to Srilanka .
        Around 5th century or earlier, The Buddhists had established a flourishing Monastery in a secure Island, which later on came to be known as Dharmadom , the place of dharma, near the present-day Thallasserry. In This area the beggars are still addressed as ‘Bhishakar” & “Dharamakar”, probably the Buddhist Monks daily routine of going around for alms must have let this imprint. The present day “Andalur Kavu” in Dharmadom ,was supposed to be a Buddhist Monastery. Vestiges of this culture can still be seen when they conduct the Annual festivals!!
        The legend goes on to say that a Sinhalese king was overthrown by his brother and he with a retinue sailed to this Island sanctuary, knowing fully the presence of the flourishing Buddhist Monastery. And took refuge in thisIsland. When the news of the Sinhalese king’s arrival reached the ruler of the land [ Chirakal Raja? ] he sent his emissaries and made all arrangements for his comfortable stay across the river – In the main land. There was a head village surrounded by smaller hamlets-“Thala” head and “Cheri” village later on became “Thalasseri”.
        The King later on the story narrates got back his kingdom and returned to his country. Some in his retinue preferred to stay back. The Thiyyas are supposed to be the descendants of these people from “Tivu” [Island] – “TIVU ARS”=Thiyyar.???
        The Buddhists were all well versed in self defense [Karate and Kung Fu were the gift to China by the Buddhist monks] and Ayurveda Medicine. Among North Malabar Thiyyas you will find many good Ayurveda doctors and people proficient in “Kalari Payattu”. Even Swami Ayyappan is supposed to have learned “Kalari “ from a Gurukal from North.?. Does this strengthen the legend of Srilankan origin of Thiyyas? .It is a point for thought.
        In North Malabar ages ago “Vellappam’, ‘Nool Puttu” were popular dishes. You can find these in SriLanka also.
        What about Ezhavas of South Kerala?. During the centuries before BC many wars were fought between Southern India and Northern Srilanka .During the centuries there were many migratory settlements from Northern part of Srilanka in southern India. They must be the people from “Elam” or “Ezham” [Srilanka’s other name] – “Ezhavar” The complexion, culture[they follow Makathayam] and features are very different. The Thiyyas follow “Marumakkathayam “ and are in the northern area of “KoraPuzha” upto Ezhu Malai.
        Even the “ Theanga” – Then Ka [Tamil] the Kera or the Coconut is from South-“Then Kaye’’, The Sothern fruit. It must have found a natural means like ocean currents to reach the shores here,
        Hence I feel the people in the millennium must have used the natural and easier highways to reach the Western Coast
        It is a fact the present day Kerala ages ago was a land of shrubs and forest occupied by Pygmy type short aborigines. The “Cherumakkal “ [ means Small children ] and other tribes found in the forest of Nilambur, Wayanad etc.
        I would like to insert a quote “, the Thiyyas of North Malabar are socially integrated with the rest of the country and have migrated far and wide, resulting in inter caste and inter region marriages .Many of them have fairer skins and different features from others in Malabar but the linkage to Greeks[Cretes and others]can at best be tenuous and perhaps irrelevant now. But this is the stuff of romantic tales and the legend I am sure will keep surfacing at cocktail circuits and around bonfires for generations to come”=With best wishes -premnathtm

      2. Very nicely written post .Is it possible to up load the English translation of the article in the Malayalam Manorama ? Regards, Hari

  74. sorry the newspaper is Malayalam Manorama and is based on the research by Manoj Night Shymalan’s father Dr Shymalan, can’t read Malayalam very well, so can’t give more details sorry!

    1. I am a thiyya with our tharavaddu in Azhikal, Kannur. I have lived all my life outside Kerala. I was keen to know our roots and during that search, I came across this amazing discussion.

      I know from my parents and uncles that my forefathers were great physicians and had the ability to cure any ailment. Our family were also one of the three founding families of a famous kavu in Azhikal.

      Retracing our origins brings immense pride and I do hope that some day we know our true origins.

      A website detailing the origins and involving our parents and the older generation into the development of the content would be the ideal way to preserve what little knowledge we have of our ancestors.


      1. Welcome on board Sunil .I’m sure your contributions to this blog will be of immense value to those who read and post their observations .Regards, Hari

  75. Kyrgizthan is the second poorest country in the former Soviet Union in central Asia. People of Kyrgizthan are mostly Muslims and they migrated from nearby Turkey. Kyrgizthan people are white but they are Mongolian look. Please remeber that Malabar Thiyyas are far far better than Kirgizthanees.
    World’s richest Ezhava Malayalees are Shibulal (Executive director Infosys) and Ajithbalakrishnan (Chairman

  76. Original inhabitants of Srilanka were Tribes and they were very dark complexioned people. Migrated people of Srilanka from Java, Sumatra and Mediterranean were Budhists and they were very fair complexioned people. Kalarippayyattu originated in Srilanka from Kung-fu. Centuries back on the request of a King of Malabar some Kalarippayyatu experts came from Srinlanka. They were the ancestors of famous Puthooram family of Malabar.

  77. Hi Hari, kindly keep away this guy (Rajan) from this page otherwise he will make this blog useless. This guy is not historian and his aim already clear himself that just based on SNDP to stop this discussion (he is putting different different history here just for stop discussion). Thiyyan’s history is not just 100years to make us under SNDP and it is really irritation the guy calling us Ezavan (we are Thiyyan). Appreciate if you gave a place for a right person who coming with right evidence but the guy madly repeating again and aging same thing we discussed many times, just for confuse readers. This is sad if we are not able to understand this kind of people and their hidden agenda against the blog (just check how many times the guy attacked against the discussion still the blog is opened for him) what is his interest in this blog we are talking about Noth Malabar thiyyan’s history but the guy is belongs to South kerala.

    If you continue with give permission for this kind of people in this discussion they will keeo active the word Ezava along with thiyya that is what their bad agenda. So if you want really take the discussion ahead smoothly to find out origin of thiyya beware and block this kind of people.
    Also please delete KM THAMPAN’s note. I don’t know why he put a huge note which nothing mention about Thiyyan’s origin. But I’m sure many of readers will drop reading this blog from that point. The name THAMPAN seems from Trivandrum. That is also a trap

    Note : Ezavan came from Tamil Nadu that has been proved and thiyyan’s Origin is still mystery which we are trying to trace.


    1. I must say I agree with Shamil. There have been many posts on the blog where Ezavan and Thiyyan have been mixed together to prove that the two communities are the same.

      Just because there is no evidence to prove the exact origins of the Thiyyas, it does not mean that they be clubbed together with the Ezavans, whose origins are most certainly known.

      I certainly hope that this blog does not become a North vs South debate. Lets focus on the original objective of this blog viz: find the origins of the Thiyyas and highlight achievements of the Thiyya community in general.

      1. Hi Sunil , You have capture the essence of these blog posts very well .It really is to discover the origins of the Thiyyas and share the progress made by this community .With the collective agreement of the members who regularly read this blog and contribute to it , we shall block of comments / observations that stray away from this primary objective .Best wishes , Hari

  78. As per my understand Thiyyan is from Munda tribe who was the original inhibiters of India. If i’m right thiyya only survived among Munda tribe, remain all Mudas mingled with Dravidas and Ariyas. Tulu tribes migrated to this Tulunad in the period 1000 to 600 years BC from Pirak (pakistan) before Ariyan migration. Similarly the other Dravidian group also migrated to India and filled to karnadaka and tamilnadu.
    Among many two main group of Munda are Asura munda and Deva Munda. Munda culture is high level self sacrifices the culture which thiyya follows. Mahabali, Ravana and all are coming under Asura muda and Surya vamsham (Sree Rama) and all are coming under Deva munda. Later immigrant Dravida was keen with the Munda tribe since they were very brave and culturally as well as knowledge wise are greater than Dravidian most of south Indian Kingdome’s root can be traced to munda like Kadamba kingdom (kadamba tree). Pandya, Chola, Chera. Thiyyan also have Illam name like nellika, tendudi, varakka etc all are trees name as tree worship is munda culture. Thiyya’s Kavu simultaneously known as Mundya or Ara. Mudayad like many place name, mundu (dress) also indicate Munda presents in kannur. I strongly belive our illam syatem protect us mixing with others since we have different culture . Probably thiyya would be priest among Deva munda and Sura munda kalari would be the education center for munda tribe.
    Dravidian basically farmers after they reach here some of them partially started practice of martial arts from thiyya/ billava from tulu nadu and later they escort brhamins to kerala that is Nair.

    Deepavali and Onam is a prayer of Indians to god to re construct the great Munda culture, great scarifies culture here. The current adminsitartion is based on seeks (kamam)not based on sacrifice.

  79. One good way to verify would be genetic testing.
    Till recently it was thought that Punjabis has Greek blood in them. But genetic testing has found that the M170 and M35 genetic markers, which identify the Greeks, was totally missing in the Punjabis. So they are indigenous to India.

  80. Please don’t see me as an enemy of you. If you want to be a separate community you can organize one and no need of discussions. But you should remember one thing, there are millions of poor people in our community and all are not rich. There are so many Sree Narayana educational instituitons like Kannoore SN. college in Malabar. So many rich and poor students of our community(let me say so) are learning there. Great Sree Narayana Guru founded the famous Jagannatha Temple at Thallassery on the request of the people of there. Millions of people are coming from Malabar every year to Sivigiri in pilgrim season please come and see. Great Sree Narayana Guru was the great saint behind all proseprity of our community that we are seeing today and don’t forget it before going to genetic test.

    1. Shamil, what you have shared regarding Munda is very interesting. Could you please share the Internet link that has more info on this subject.

      On another note, do we have any estimates as to how old the Thiyya community is?

  81. Hey Hari, I just saw some of the pictures in your photostream. I missed seeing that link earlier I guess. You sure have been many places!
    Very good pictures. Your shots have a great quality of ‘stillness’, apt for a Buddhist 🙂
    Good show!
    Liked your football pictures. Did you ever play at some level? I played for my university team…a looong time ago it seems 🙂

    1. Hi Anil , Glad you liked them .Did travel a lot mainly for Business Conferences and recognition events with a few personal holidays thrown in !!! The snaps of FC Barcelona where from a visit for a sales conference .Never played football at any level !!! Deep into cycling now .Our group is cycling in Kerala early Feb .We will cover Munnar-Thekkady-Varkala-Kovalam-Kanyakumari!!!Quite a trip isnt it ? Regards, Hari

      1. Ah! FC Barcelona. I thought that jersey looked familiar.
        I stayed at Nagercoil near KanyaKumari for 4 years (working there). Very scenic place. Never would have imagined such a place existed in India and in TN of all places. The cycling sounds very exciting. Just one caveat – as you know there is some tension going on between kerala and TN. Do plan accordingly. Looking fwd to some great pictures.

  82. Hello Sunil, That is true Azhikkal was famous for Nagardhana, bidyam and Many of them employed as school teachers in the earlier time
    I heard that earlier times priests of this Kavu were able to offer Sarpa pooja to get rid of any kind of Sarpa dosha, they had high level spiritual power. Also I heard many story from my father that thiyya Bidyas able to treat anything. Example; almost 90% burned skin/ flush of a boy by an accident with boiled oil, Bidya beside my home treated and took the child in to life without any mark on skin (today’s science and doctors can try max till 60% burning) They were prepaid medicine in honey and applied on body by eagle’s feather also they were able recover from even from Cancer reach at its last stage also, treatment name was Basmachikilsa, Preparation of medicine is very critical a little mistake will kill the patient…like many story I heard. Many of Thiyas was teachers; my grandfather also was a teacher however I understood from father that family’s income was from farming economically teaching profession was not good when comparing with farming even though he had been spending 8hrs in school rather involving farming, also I remembering that in my child hood can’t see a land left freely without farming. During that period almost all school teachers were Thiyas but this was common fact among thiyya wherever they settled Thiya were utter majority in the above mention fields as well as martial arts. Found very few higher-class people in the field of teaching profession
    We had good culture and many Aristocratic families was among thiyya however we trapped under OBC which is confusing new generation that we are inferior. I think after the independence Thiya community graph gone down, reason behind may be this
    Hope this blog may help at least some people to understand that Thiya is a separate ancient tribe and they have great antiquity and owning an ancient culture. I believe our ritual custom should be discussed to clarify our antiquity I found something leading to Harappa civilisation

    Putting below information to get updated our lost culture. Hope this will help to understand Thiya had a high level spiritual culture which is based on their Family (kulam) and Gotra (ilam).

    Important thing in Kulam:- Kavu (All Thiya Taravadu tagged under a Kavu). Kalari (Practicing centre in Taravadu ).Dharma devatha (Kavu of Gurukarnavanmar). Matriliner uncle (Guru)
    Important thing in Gotram(ilam):- Tara (Thiyan’s Village, least level administration), Mundya (Sacred forest available near home for worship. Each Tara must have at least one Mundya). Tandan(Leader of the Tara)
    Kavu and Kalari is not a temporary setup against Temple but it Ancient institute for Deva Practice. The main rituals of Thiya‘s are based on Illam, kulam, Kavu, Kalari (Ancient Gurukulam).Basically Kalari payettu is yoga practice of younger people (self burning, purifying centre) while Sacred Groves is real meditation centre for self realisation hence Thiyan’s family setup is made for Deva Vidya. It is an ancient culture may be part of early Rig-Vedic culture. Their tribal practice were based on self burning to purify to become Deva . Theyyam (deyyam) is corrupted of Deva.
    Deva Vidya:- It is a science of life & beauty is a philosophy that covers every aspect of being: health, food spirit, sex, occupation, defence and relationship. It teaches how to live in the harmony with your inner self and with the world around you. It is a combination of, Ayurveda, Kalarippayattu, Yoga and Thantra. Deva Vidya treats body, mind and soul as interrelated, beauty is not limited to the physical dimension, but reflect the vitality and health of the whole person. Herbal remedies and treatments aim to cleanse the body from the inside, while meditative practices prevent stress leaving its mark and a fitness regime ensure agelessly youthful physical grace. Devavidya have included techniques of improve men and women, beauty that to brighten eyes, clear skin and maintain vibrant health. Kayakalpa treatments are among the most popular in vidyem, aimed at restoring not only physical vigour but also a youthful appearance.
    I heard from a Kalari gurukal that the basic definition of Kalari is :- “പയറ്റുക, പായ്ടുമ്പോള്‍ കിഥകും കിഥപിടെ മുകളില്‍ വീണ്ടും പയടുക, ഇത് തുടര്‍ച്ചയായി ചെയിതാല്‍ കിധപില്ലാത്ത ലോഗത് എത്തും” hidden meaning of the definition is “Immortality”. Seems Kalri is not basically a military training centre rather it is self sacrifice practicing centre to each to Immortality. (Poorakali of Thiyan’s is also a best form of flow Yoga)
    KALARI:- Kalari a temple of learning, but it is also a temple of religious worship with a cult and ritual of its own. It has a puttara, seven tiered platform placed in the south-west corner with Gurutara. The 7+1 number is very much connected with thiyyan’s origin. Kalari also created based on the same 7+1 number science so kalari probably came from this tribe. May be because of this reason, even in that worst time (feudal period) of thiya, many kalari Gurus are contuse to came thiya family and they thiyya had utter majority in this field of training may be because of kalari is their own culture. Rig-Vedic culture also carried the same 7 + 1 science

    Kalri is the place to reach immortality (Deva). Amrit rose from the 7 “ocean-churning” in kalri Churning seven body of human (5sencess+mind+Budhi) to generate new body (Amrutha)the 8th body (immortality). Note, Thiya’s 8th mother’s name is also “Amrutha Mani”. If observe, basically Thiyan’s Kalari not soldiers trading centre but like all other vidhyas Dhanur vidya was also trained in there (if thiya was soldiers Malabar had a different history). Originally Kalari was ancient Gurukulam where all sciences had been taught. Latterly because of more concentration on Dhanur vidya, the name kalari(open paddy) became famous. Linguistically the kalari means open Paddy (area) but Thiyan kalari is kuzhi kalari, underground covered with roof (It is constructed by digging a hollow in the ground forming a sunken area four feet in depth, forty-two feet in length and twenty-one feet in breadth) also it is a very sacred place; Guruthara , 7 sacred steps and Kalri Goddess are placed inside kalari. So the word kalri is not suitable for Thiyya’s training centre since it is in underground. Earlier time, at the age of three children used to be placed in Kalaris. The teacher in Kalari is called Gurukal. Gurukal get much respect from the students during entire life compared to a school teacher of recent time.
    The seven tiers symbolise the seven abilities that each person must possess: Vignesva (strength), Channiga (patience), Vishnu (power to command), Vadugashcha (the posture), Tadaguru (training), Kali (the expression) and Vakasta – purushu (sound).
    Linguistic meaning of Gadoid and Kalari :-
    The ancient word ‘kaLa’ means a plot or field [For example neji da kaLa means the paddy field in Tulu language; the plot dedicated for spirit worship among early Tulu is also referred to as kaLa]. Therefore, the word ‘kalari’ originally referred to the open field where the art or techniques of combat were taught and practiced. Subsequently, Kalari also meant the battle field, since battles were also held in open fields.-
    The ancient school of martial arts and gymnasia, the ‘Garodi’ (pron: ‘garoDi’) or ‘Garudi’ (garuDi) is also known as ‘Garadi ‘(‘garaDi’ The Garadi and Karati are the same word considering that ‘ka’ and ‘Ti’ also represents ‘ga’ and ‘Di’ respectively, because of paucity of consonants in Tamil alphabet. It is believed that Buddhist missionary monks from southern India carried ancient techniques of self- defense to China and Japan that eventually developed into ‘Karate’. Thus it is possible that the word ‘Karate’ originated from the Dravidian word ‘Karati’. Garodi It appears that the word ‘GaroDi’ (garuDi or garaDi) originated from roots ‘garu’ and Di. The Pali (also Paisachi?) word ‘garu’ means guru or the teacher; (In Telugu suffix –gāru is appended to personal names to signify respect). Di (or Da) is a spatial attribute suffix found in ancient place names [like Kaladi, Shiridi, Niddodi, Posodi ; Baroda, Muruda etc.]. Overall, the word ‘Garodi’ means teaching area or school. In Gujarathi language Garodia means a teacher. Similarly in Tulu language, ‘Garandal’ (garand+aal) means a stalwart or an important person, suggesting that the word ‘garand’ [older variant of ‘garad’] reflects a respectable [aal] person.
    Devi worship is also based on Body. The basic three Goddess are rose from Deva’s body
    1) Mahakali rose from Vishu’s body.
    2) Maha Lakshami Rose from Devas Body when they scarified their body flesh in to Agni, the goddess rose from the Agni (Chidakni kundam). Surprisingly, this story contain hidden meaning of Kalari
    3)Maha Saraswathi (Koushiki) rose from Parvathi’s body (Kosham) since her name Koushuki.
    All these are indicating Kalari is a part of Devi worship and closely related to Body (Deha)
    De, the body
    The available indications suggest that the ancient root word ‘de’ originally meant ‘human body’ or ‘divine person’. It signifies that human body or persona was treated with utmost respect in the ancient days and the demised persons were worshipped in the form of Spirits. Later words ‘deha’ (=body) and ‘deva’ (=god) evolved with time from the original word ‘de’. It is interesting to note that the word ‘deva’ has other two meanings such as (1) body and (2) male genitalia (cf. Tulu Nighantu, p.1650), implying the origin and evolution of this particular word. This also signifies the transition of original Spirit cult to the worship of anthropo-morphic Gods with passage of time.
    Tulu words ‘deyyo’ (=Spirit) and later ‘daiva’ (=Spirit, God) evolved from the original ‘de’. In other languages like Kannada, where the cult of Spirit worship took a back seat with passage of time, this was modified to ‘devva’. In the passage of time ‘dela’ also meant temple. Evolving Buddhist cults introduced early temples in India in the form of ‘Stoopa’ where mortal remains of Buddha were preserved and sanctified. Thus Buddhists Stoopa was continuation and improvement of the ancient delagoodu concept. Later Hindu temples evolved following the architectural styles invented and introduced by the Buddhists. Thus ‘dela’ became ‘degula’, ‘devala’ or ‘devaālaya’ (=temple).
    Note: Theyyam (Deyyam) is corrupted form of Deva
    Thiyya has an Ancient self Governing system. This system itself will prove thiyya is an Ancient tribe they settled pre historic period since the governing system is a Gotra (illam) based Administration Must have a prehistoric link. Illam, Kulam and Kavu (Mundya) were the back born of the governing system
    There are three principalities were entirely administrated by Thiyyas. Its lowest level of administrative unit was Tara and four Taras had an assembly (Kazhakam) which took decision pertaining to their life. The question which could not be settled by the Kazhakam, were referred to larger Kazhakam of 22 Taras but final decision common to all Taras were made by a grand assembly (Perum Kazhakam) of 64 Taras
    Mundya:- Each Tara must have least one Mundya. it is sacred Grove ( sarpa kavu)
    Tara:- The tara was the smallest unit in the ancient government system, It was not exactly a village, for the people lived apart. Each tara had a Tandan, its astrologer, its washerman, its goldsmith, and other useful people, each serving the community for the sake of small advantages. Each tara was its own world. A group of taras forms what is called a desam
    Illam, here intended to mean the father’s family. Kulam. The name, derived from kula a branch, here denotes the mother’s family.
    Example:- Tiyan coming from the south is often greeted in South Canara. Thus, a Malabar Tiyan, travelling to the celebrated temple at Gokarnam in South Canara, is at once asked ” What is your illam and kiriyam?” He has heard these terms used in the foregoing formula during his own or another’s marriage ceremony, but attached no meaning to them. To the man of South Canara they have genuine meaning. One should be able to answer the question satisfactorily, and thus give a proper account of himself. If he cannot, he gets neither food nor water from the South Canara Tiyan This also holds good, to some extent, in the case of a southern Tiyan visiting the northern parts of the Cherakal taluk of Malabar.
    Kazhakam and Mundya :-
    kazhakam includes worship centres. They are associated with sacred forests, even though many of them at present have degraded into single tree-type or into ‘concrete structures’. Study of Ramavillyam Kazhakam (Kurup, 1980) gives a clear picture of the network of institutions. Each kazhakam has under it worship institutions known as Mundya or Sthanam which had forest patches associated with them. Mundya is commonly called Ara and it is a collectively of the entire Thiyya community of the village. Some Gods and Goddesses are worshipped in Mundya. Example:- There are five local Mundyas under the jurisdiction of Ramavillyam Kazhakam: 1) Olavara Mundya 2) Kooleri mundya 3) Kuruvappalli mundya 4) Thadiyan Kovval mundya 5) Padanna Mundya. Of these Olavara Mundya is maintaining a fairly thick sacred grove. In all these mundyas local deities are worshiped in the form of theyyam. Among these, Vishnumoorthy is worshiped as a common goddess. The legend about Thiyya Kazhakam “ Ramavillyam Kazhakam” is related to Parasurama. The main deity here is believed to be ceremoniously installed by Parasurama who with his bow hit the place of Prathishta. Thus the kazhakam attains fame through the stories of Parasurama and that of Arya-Dravida heritage and Purana. Ramavillyam kazhakam also provides an example for how a thiyya culture different from temple. The administrators and priests belong to Thiyya community. However, the centre of worship is now converted into a temple by clearing portions of etc…
    Ancient court: – In the cases of wrongdoing were brought before the court of kavu. Usually a compromise was bought. Mostly compensation was collected from the offender and given to the sufferer. Rarely the offender was sentenced to ooruvilakku (ostracisation). In such cases the person was not permitted to participate in the social activities of the village. The cases of conflicts among villagers and among family members were also brought before kavu.
    According to oral history, the only priest who has acquired the power to conduct ‘sarpabali’ is the Komaram of Gurukkanmar kavu in Peralasseri panchayats. The kavu belongs to Thiyya community
    Note:- Nair/Nambiar communities do not have such strong institutional structure with reference to their sacred Place
    Sree Parasurama decided to seek release from the sin of killing the Kshathrias. He approached the holy Rishis. They suggested that he should make a gift of a land of his own to the Brahmins. Parasurama, the son of Bhrigu, propitiated Varuna Deva (the Lord of the Seas) to get some land for himself. He threw into the sea the axe which Paramasiva had given him with his blessings. Thus he raised the land from the sea and gave it as a gift to the Brahmins according to the rules. This land came to be known as Kerala. That piece of land was not habitable because of the salinity. Not even vegetables grew there. People began to leave the place. Bharghavarama was pained at this. He undertook penance to please Lord Siva, who advised him that the objective could be realized only if the flaming poison of the serpents was spread everywhere and that the only means of doing that was the worship of Nagaraja. Parasurama, a Yogi, firm of will and above all desire, decided that he would take no rest until he saw Kerala come up as a land of evergreen beauty full of trees and plants, prosperous in every way. He set out with his disciples in search of a deserted jungle in order to please Nagaraja who was inaccessible and beyond anybody’s understanding. Bharghavarama, a partial incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had to undertake very severe penance. Nagaraja, who was pleased, appeared before Parasurama, willing to grant him his desire Parasurama prostrated at the lotus feet of Nagaraja and prayed to realize his objective. Nagaraja granted his request with great pleasure. Ferocious serpents arrived at the spot at once to spread the flaming Kalakuda poison. Because of the percolation of poison, the land of Kerala was desalinated, to become habitable with envious greenery. Parasurama then requested the Lord to bless the land forever with his eternal presence, and that was also accepted by the kindly-disposed Nagaraja. At a very auspicious moment Bhargavarama, the supreme devotee, installed, according to Vedic rites
    The thiya’s Gotra system [Tara, Kazhakam (4Tara), Big Kazhakam(22tara), Perum Kazhakam (64 Tara)], Which might have prompted the nampootirs to write in to their Keralolpathi that they had divided the entire Kerala in to 64 gramas and villages.
    Each thiyan’s Tara must have at least one mundya (Sarpakavu), 4 Tara become to Kazhakam and a group of 22Tara is Perum Kazhakam apart from this Many Taravadu has its own Sarpakavu so Thiyan have big Sarpakavu network so malabr was known famous in Nagardhana rest kerala Nagardhana is not much familiar. What is this all are indicating??? Thiyya might have the real brhamin which Parsurama brought to kerala, in the beginning of kerala…???
    Kavu:- The small shrines (‘kavu’ or grove) dedicated in favour of the mother goddess are known as Stanam, Ara, Kottam, Mundya, Kavu and Kazhakam. Inside these shrines there is no idol but only small swords. It is considered as a continuation of the Neolithic tradition of weapon-worship. Thiyya community call it as ‘Ara’, ‘Kazhakam’ and ‘Mundya’ etc.
    Kimpurusham:- The woodcarvings of the top frontal of these shrines are called as Kimpurusham. Mythical and supernatural figures are carved out on the wooden panels. The prominent Theyyam deity is also carved out and painted. The long mythical hands and the hanging tongue are the main characteristic of the kavu style. The entire structure represents a world of super nature or divinity.
    Kalam/Vatakkanvathil:- The Kalam is the magical square prepared for a Theyyam performance. Cereals and food items are offered here. Cocks are sacrificed in front of these squares. It is also known as Vatkkan vathil. The square is subdivided and made out of plantain tree and wicks are also burnt over it. The super nature is propitiated through this Tantrik form of square and offerings.

    Another interesting thing is the place name Azhikkal, seems it is derived from old Munda language Aja+kal = Stone of Brahma. (Just recollect the word Ajan and Ajathi which I put earlier post)
    Panjikall is a village in Bantval Taluk on Bantval- Mudabidri road. There several are other hamlets in the Karavali carrying this place name besides this village. Writer Ravi Anchan describes in one of his essays the significance of Panjikall. The Panji-kall (=boar+stone),
    Another place- name and word known as ‘Ajakall’ Tulu Lexicon states that the origin and meaning of the word ‘aja’ in ‘Ajakal’ is not clearly known. However under the word entry in the same lexicon ‘aja’ we find that Aja=Brahma. (Brahma + Stone)
    ‘Aya’ or ‘Ayi’ has so many shades of meaning. While ‘aya’ means ‘adrishta’ (fortune/goodluck), it has also means ‘a kind or mode of tax’ (See p.141 of Tulu Lexicon). So ‘Ayakal>Ayikal’ may mean a toll gate (Sunkada katte). There must be some historical clue if it is so. Let the locals come forward with the explanation. Following alternative explanations may also be worth noting:
    Ayikala,(ayi+kala) in conclusion, represents a sacred place with divine rock outcrops. Ayi=divine space; also used to represent Mother Goddess;kala= rocky area.
    ‘Ayyalkal’, is a stone representing ‘Kshetrapala’ of a temple. (kshetrapala “protectors of the field or place.” They watch the land, keeping intruders away, and they are often set up in the northeastern corner of the farm or village, facing east, with their all-seeing three eyes and their manifold arms displaying protective powers)
    Above linguistic meaning really matching with the Azhikkal kavu since a very important stone placed inside the kavu, where we pray, and the kavu was really a tool booth for devotee. This Kavu is famous for Naga but r the linguistic meaning indicating was High-level Brhma worship too. The Brhma is not the 4headed one probably the Supreme fire God(Parh Brhama). Rigveda saying Agni is the real creator of the universal
    “The Aitareya Brahmana states that the serpent Ahi Budhnya is invisibly what Agni, [the ‘furious serpent’] is visibly. In other words, the serpent is a virtuality of fire, whereas darkness is non manifested light. Again, when the sun rises at dawn, he ‘frees himself from night …”
    Seems the place name “Azhikkal” is derived from this Kavu and also the name Azhikode itself is based on the name Azhikkal since “De (or Da) is a spatial attribute suffix found in ancient place names like Kozhikode, kaladi. It seems Azhikkal is an ancient Thiya settled place and I feel it is beyond what the people know about the Kavu now.
    Rig Vedic Rudra’s feature has a lot of common with Thiyan’s feature. (Vidyam + Dhanur vidya etc..):-

    Rudra-Father of the Hindu storm gods Marut; controller of nature; sometimes identified with Shiva.
    Rgvedic hymns The earliest mentions of Rudra occur in the Rgveda, where three entire hymns are devoted to him.[28][29] There are about seventy-five references to Rudra in the Rigveda overall.[30][31]
    In RV 7.46, Rudra is described as armed with a bow and fast-flying arrows. The hymn says Rudra discharges “brilliant shafts which run about the heaven and the earth” (RV 7.46.3), which may be a reference to the destructive power of lightning.[36]
    Rudra was believed to cause disease, and when people recovered from them or were free of them, that too was attributed to the agency of Rudra.[37] He is asked not to afflict children with disease (RV 7.46.2) and to keep villages free of illness (RV 1.114.1). He is said to have healing remedies (RV 1.43.4), as the best physician of physicians (Vidya nada) (RV 2.33.4), and as possessed of a thousand medicines (RV 7.46.3). This is described in Shiva’s alternative name Vaidyanatha (Lord of Remedies).
    RV 6.49.10 calls Rudra as ” The Father of the Universe”
    (RV 6 :49:10 ) [38] Translation: Rudra by day, Rudra at night we honor with these our songs, the Universe’s Father.
    Him great and lofty, blissful, undeceiving let us call specially as the Sage impels us ( RV 6.49.10)[39]
    The verse RV 2.33.9 calls Rudra as “The Lord or Sovereign of the Universe”
    ( Rig veda 2:33:9 )[40] Translation: With firm limbs, multiform, the strong, the tawny adorns himself with bright gold decorations: The strength of Godhead never departs from Rudra, him who is Sovereign of this world, the mighty.[41]
    Mariyamma (sometimes called as cheerumba or kurumba) is the main goddess of thiyya. As per myth she is daughter of Rudra and carrying same future of Rudra (the Tulu word ‘mariyala’ that refers to rainy season word ‘Maari’ refers to contagious diseases in Kannada, whereas in Tamil ‘Maari’ also means rains) controller of nature. This goodness is pre historic goddess


    1. Dear Shamil,
      Your knowledge seems encyclopedic! Many thanks for all the information.
      Happy new year all!
      May this year be happy and prosperous to everyone.


      1. Shamil,
        Thanks for the Tulu link. Seems to have lots of good information.
        I will read it at leisure.

      2. Yes in deed .I think I mentioned the same earlier on this blog . Wish all of you and your families a very happy and prosperous New Year.Regards, Hari

      3. The Rig-Vedic Rishis and Devas are rose from a great sacrificing cultural background. I strongly believing that they are our ancestries and we are the real Brhmin mentioned in the Rig-Vedha, indian Purana and Idhihasas. Also the same tribe only behind the great south Indian (Tamil) Temple culture. Probably the origin of Malayalam language was rose from Thiya and Migrated Godavari priest Brahmin (Tulu Brahmin) relationship long time back (about 1200-1500years) when there was a good relationship between these two communities. The vestige of this relationship is Thiyya got Sanskrit knowledge and they got Tantric knowledge (Agama shastra) from Thiyya. A script was used for this transation later those letters adopted as Malayalam letters so that Tulu and Malyalam have same letters. Basically Brhmin knew only Vedic mantra chanting they knew nothing about Tantric or Agama. But Thiyan’s ilam-kulam-kalari-Kavu-pool culture was a real tantric practicing place and Kavu rituals are based on Agama shastra.
        Later Devi worship got degraded with help of Administration (kings) so Thiya also degraded since Thiyas are born as Devi worshiper. The custom, out casted Brahim women from Napoothri family was adopted by Thiya Mannanar family was a wastage of this degrades since Brhmin never given their women to any other caste, even not given to Nair, showing Thiyas priestly background. Other custom I have copied below.
        “It is said that, when their chief, Mannanar of the Aramana, is destitute of heir, the Tiyans of Kolattanad go in procession to the Kurumattur Nambutiri (the chief of the Peringallur Brahmans) and demand a Brahman virgin to be adopted as sister of Mannanar, who follows the marumakkatayam rule of succession. This demand, it is said, used to be granted by the Nambutiris assembling at a meeting, and selecting a maiden to be given to the Tiyans”.
        As per Indian Mythology Devi is known as Deva Matha when Deva facing straggle she rose and protecting Deva. It is indicating Thiya was Deva-Vamshm since Thiya believing we are kids of Parvathi Devi
        I believe thiyya were not Bhudist since initially Budha cult was against Tantric later only Bhudhas adopted Tantric. But Thiya kavu carrying strong Hidhuisam based on Tantric science. May be Buddhist monks studied Tantric practice from Thiyya. Like kalri and all
        Note: there are two sciences in India.
        1) Agama or Inside (Based on Tantric) this is dangerous practice need Guru for practice
        2) Nigama or outside (Vedha mantras coming under Nigama). Even comman people can chant

  83. I was searching for a relative of mind and stumbled upon this. Sorry I am not planning to contribute much here, but felt you don’t have the basics right. You don’t need to search far to find out how Thiyya’s landed in OBC list

    Do you know guys that it was Sri Murkoth Ramunni who got the Thiyyas got included in the backward caste list. Till then they were in the forward list of the Madras state.

    What surprise me about this discussion on this page that people got the time to do it and clearly a kind of division emerging from this discussion, whatever be the truth. It’s better to ignore the differences and if you want to enhance the image of the community, get engaged in the pursuit of “ultimate truth”, which only can enhance your image. This did the trick a in the past and will do it again. Differences will fade out if you do it. Sree Narayana Guru showed the way for this. Though later taken over by pure politics. Mind you on what the various books that have written from time to time. All the writings in the past has been coloured and biased depending on the people’s need – the one who authored it and the one who authorize to author it.

    Anyway, instead of engaging in this discussion, this Thiyya community and Ezhavas has got enough money today to order a serious scientific study to find out where on earth you guys sprouted. That will settle the matter. The discussion the way it is going now is only feeding you guys “egos” and sure this will spoil your peace of mind.

    Get out of this. People of “realization” never looked at whether you are either this or that. But of course, outward difference is there in all. What I felt sad and stupid about this is that there are people in Tellicherry who has realised and you guys don’t know that. Find out.

  84. It was Sri Moorkoth Kumaran who got the Thiyya enlisted in the backward list and not Sri. Mookoth Ramunni. Sorry for the error.

  85. i am not an expert ,just out of curiosity, i have thought about the distinct accent,lifestyle & names of our community and made me think that the origins of the community could be as told by Sri MM Anand Ram,
    so can we come to a conclusion that the origins of the thiyyars is from the island of Crete
    please post your comment

    1. Well , I think the jury is still out on this one !! It seems a very long short and as I have some times said, the stuff for coffee table gossip and the cocktail circuit !!

  86. Request all of you here to make the facebook group Thiyyas in fb active. There are two groups one with 1000 members is real group

  87. after reading thiyya,ezhava and nair comments..i (as a nair who married a thiyya girl) felt pained to admit..what the British said at the time of their exit as true..that this country is so divided in caste and customs that it will not survive a week without us(the british).the feeling of keralite is absent not to speak of being indian..just remember,those who mudsling..that if u were born in the other caste you would be at the receiving end..its a question of where u were absolute reality in being thiyya or ezhava or nair,if the good Lord thought all means be proud of your origins,parentage,lineage and what not,please muse in passing that this country was in abject slavery for thousands of years,that thiyyas,brahmins,nair and all the umpteen castes of all description lay prostate before any foreign invader who chose,because of this individualisation to caste and personal greatness,never national greatness..thank you

  88. Can someone please help me in understanding how different the current Thiyya culture and customs are from the other Kerala Hindu communities?It will be very helpful if you can give some pinpoint differences .

  89. Very interesting piece of article about Thiyya’s. I have a question to you regarding Thiyya’s family tradition and culture. When a girl gets married into a Thiyya family what kind of privileges she enjoys? I have heard that they are not allowed to visit their family people after getting married.

    1. A Thiyya women enjoys the maximum privilege , as she comes under “Maru Makkathayyam” [Matrilineal] system.She retains all her rights even after the marriage and continues to be a member of the Tharavd.The generations following her gets all the rights and share of the family.The Marumakkathaym was abolished some time August 1979?

  90. many of the Thiyyas do not know about their history.they are great designers also,for eg,the lamps,kindi,urmi,etc are unique to the community and kerala.we have seen pictures and photos of these items in sri lankan and other s.e.asian countries.we must educate the community regarding all these.although the thiyyas do not have dowry system there is ample display of wealth and materialism which have to be curbed.we have many views to make the thiyyas an eg as a great community.the jewels worn by the brides during weddings have to be minimised,the amount spend on food must be equally given to orphanages,we are slowly trying to input such ideas into the system.

  91. Rajiv has given good points to Ponder.Many big and small things go on to connect our origin more to Sri Lanka [elam] than any where else.

  92. Some people believe that migrated Ezhavas from Srilanka were natives of Srilanka but it is absolutely false. They migrated in Srilanka from Java, Sumatra islands and they were very fair complexioned Budhists. Original inhabitants of Srilanka were very dark complexioned Tribe.

    1. the complexion theory is illogical.the facial features has to be taken into account.sri lanka or java may be a pathway.the thiyyas may have just travelled through those places.

      1. Friends , I some times feel that it’s best we recognize the present reality .There is much for Thiyyas to be proud of on the basis of economic and social progress between the last and the current generation. .We have a great platform for further progress and contribution to corporate and public service and the society at large.We must ensure that future generations keep progressing .History shows that families and for that matter communities decline from one generation to the next largely because they get corrupted by leisure .

      2. I agree with Hari, let us not have hair splitting arguments and theories.hope some are aware of the legal action taken by the Thiyyas from Kasragod against the government decision regarding the quotas available to The Thiyyas regarding admissions and jobs.
        Our actions should be diverted to support these causes started by the Kasargod people.

  93. Quite possible.The people must have migrated first to Srilanka as it was a very prosperous country in the centuries before in the BC era. They then must have migrated to the west coast of Indian sub continent. the present north Kerala [Old Malabar ] as indicated in my letter

  94. KASARGOD: The dispute between the Thiyyas of Malabar and the Ezhavas of Travancore is soon to enter a stage of legal battle as the Thiyya organisations in Malabar have decided to challenge the state government order in the Supreme Court. Going by the strong resentment of the Thiyyas against the SNDP, it seems that the two communities are on the verge of parting ways.� The order by various departments including the state� Public Service Commission that Thiyyas have to write� ‘Ezhava’ in their application for jobs and government appointments is against a verdict of the Supreme Court dated March 28, 2006.
    It now appears that the decision of the state government� to remove the Thiyya community from the purview of 14 per cent reservation for the OBCs would have far reaching consequences in Malabar.
    The Supreme Court in the case of dispute between Hindu Nadars and Christian Nadars had given the verdict that both the communities come under the purview of other backward classes and they are entitled to get the 40 per cent reservation forthe OBCs.
    The Supreme Court order dated March 28, 2006 has categorically stated the quantum of reservation as� 14 per cent to Ezhavas and� Thiyyas, 10 to Muslims,� 5 to Latin Catholics, SIUC and Anglo Indians, 1 per cent to backward Christians and 10 to OBC.� In the Supreme Court order, the Thiyyas and the Ezhavas together can claim 14 per cent reservation. But the state government has excluded the Thiyya community from the 14 per cent reservation.� As per the Supreme Court order, the government cannot exclude the Thiyya community from the purview of reservation and issue the� order that Thiyyas would� get reservation only if� they write ‘Ezhava’ in�� applications.
    But the state government removed the Thiyyas from the purview of reservation in defiance of the Supreme Court verdict.
    The Thiyya Mahasabha and the Global Thiyya Initiate have decided to move the court against the injustice done to them by the state government under pressure from the SNDP and the Ezhavas.

  95. Recently I have seen some wall posters in Trivandrum about Thiyyathandans of Kannoore.
    Is Thiyyathandan a separate caste? Are they scheduled caste?

  96. Hearing for the first time Thandars are a community in South Malabar.and Thiyyas are in North Malabart looks like some mischievous elements have combined these together?.definetly Kannur has no such community for sure!

  97. Thandar is a surname used among Ezhavas of central Kerala. But in south Kerala Thandan is a separate caste (sheduled caste) who are coconut tree climbers. It is heard that Thandan is a surname used by Thiyyas of Malabar.Is it correct?

  98. Mr Rajan,I am a proud aristocratic thiyya from kannur and i have been reading your post carefully. First let me salute our brother Mr Shamil who has done much research and choose to share it so that we might be aware of our great past. In historical research Mr Shamil, you are the modern kesari Balakrishna pillai.
    Mr rajan the ezhavas has made their condition very pitiable. you have allowed SNDP to rule you…..if you want to get married,first you have to get permission from your local SNDP unit……..HOW PATHETIC. In malabar we dont care for SNDP or your present king or royal dynasty or the crown prince. believe me there are no units of SNDP here except for some leaders.. You talked about SN college(my alma matter) believe me the land was donated by haridas set a gujarathi and building build by a thiyya bussiness man.this was later taken over by sndp trust…

    why dig up history to show that thiyya and ezhava are just come to malabar and see thiyya girls and boys and let thiyyars go to south and see ezhava people………any stupid people can see that both race are different………..
    In the blogs we can see that when ever a ezhava talk about his caste he quotes all the greatness of thiyya people……..Like the oldest royal family of mannan,which is a thiyya dynasty.when there are no heir mannan had power to take a brahmin girl for adoption. Like kalaripayattu and marmam which is a thiyya art,theyyam,ayurveda,magic arts etc…………….
    stop quoting thiyya for your sake and start quoting about your ezhava caste………
    Thiyyars did not come from srilanka,they came from a distant land…..and here is a clue
    Here we call butterfly as goggle for hebrew word for butterfly.

  99. All former Chief minsters like C.Kesavan, R.Sankar and VS.Achuthanandan were from south.
    Richest Ezhava Malayaly in the world SD.Shibulal (CEO.Infosys) is from south.
    All famous fair comlexioned people like Mukesh (Film star), VM.Sudheeran, Manoj K Jayan (Film star), Vyalar Ravi are from south.
    Famous Kalarippayattu experts like Patheenatha panicker, Akathyadi Panicker, Ampanattu panicker, Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker were from south.
    Famous poet Kumaran Asan, Dr. Palpu (First Allopathy doctor of Kerala) were from south.
    More over His holiness Sree Narayan Guru was from south.
    We, Ezhavas consider genuine Thiyyas only. Genuine Thiyyas never say that they are not Ezhavas.

  100. Mr. Manoj,
    What do you Know about SNDP?
    SNDP was organized by Dr.Palpu under the guidance of His holiness See Narayana Guru. Kumaran Asan was the first general secretry. Now it has more than six thousand shakas throught India and abroad. SNDP is one of the largest organizations in Asia. SNDP has numerous educational istitutions and other institutions like hospitals etc. So many poor people of all communities are getting benefit from that.
    I am not a member of SNDP. but I am a strict follower of His holiness Sree Narayana Guru.
    My father is Ezhava from Kollam and mother is Thiyya from Cherukunnu, Kannoore. How can I say that Ezhavas and Thiyyas are different?
    This is not only my case but millions of others in Ezhava community.
    Ezhavas of south and Thiyyas of north joined together centuries ago and their children are the ten million Ezhavas/Thiyyas of today. Nobody can separate them. If anybody within the community try to separate them they will be out of the mainstream.
    Ezhava (south Kerala), Thiyya (Malabar), Illava (Tamilnadu), Billava (Karnataka) and Goud (Andhra) are the largest community of South India.

  101. Dear Rajan, His holiness Sree Narayana Guru. was a great holyman and in my childhood days we used to light candle on chatayam…He was a advaitaic who said one caste,one religion and one human and please dont claim him for only ezhavas just because he was born in a ezhava caste…….is lord krishna only for yadavas??????

    The Temple Entry Proclamation issued by Maharaja Shri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma in1936 was a great event for ezhavas and other caste in south kerala… opened the door of temples for you people and for the first time you had the fortune to see the idol and pray. But this event was a non starter and of no importance to the you want to know the reason why???? because most of the temples,kavus in kannur are owned by thiyya families and this famous numerous kavus were frequented by all including the brahmins. You want to know how the name kannur came??? near the miltary contonment in kannur town there is a big ancient temple called kannakathur temple.(of course owned by THIYYAS) .
    vishu based on pure astronomy is the new year for thiyyas and people of malabar.but vishu is not very popular with ezhavas unlike onam. before vishu during pooram star thiyyas make pyramidal structures and cover it with flowers and it is a day of festival. they make a dish called pooramada.
    do you know anything about this function Mr rajan(ezhavas say.what pooram festival) and males do a dance based on kalaripayathu called poorakali.

    Mr rajan have you heard about thulapathu or thulam 10 festival (what thulapathu hehe?)
    This is one of the most important festival in thiyya temples/kavu. This is also based on astronomy. It is the day of puthari and all thiyya families donate rice grains obtained from their land to the kavu and this day is the start of the theyyam festival.
    In olden days most of the schools were run along with kalaris and most were taught by thiyyas.
    Most of the caste below thiyyas had to live as per the orders of the local thiyya thara (by tradition)and decisions were taken by him…….one of the caste were vannan and the duty of the vannan lady were to give fresh white cloth to women after childbirth. When a women did not get this cloth she and her family were excommunicated. Many nair families were excommunicated because the local thiyya chief asked the vannan to not give the cloth to the nair family after there were some problems between thiyyas and nairs.

    Since thiyyas are a warrior race the male companion or friend were given great importance in all traditions…… until recently when the thiyya groom sat down to get blessings from elders for his marriage the male friend also sat next to him and he was also sprinkled rice along with the groom by his elders.this system is still prevalent in interiors.(is it so with ezhavas?????)
    Thiyyas were landlords and janmis because they were the original people of northkerala and the original royal family was the thiyya dynasty . They later became Buddhist and after shankara reclaimed Hinduism they were forced down the ladder (google for kalabathra interregnum).

    Still now aristocratic thiyyas never marry ezhava (why?????) in olden days if somebody marry a ezhava they were excommunicated(why???)

    And lastly.give me a single evidence to say that thiyyas came from srilanka……I can give you hundred of places which have the name of ezham.
    .we are illakar.the people with 8 illams and our kuladaivam or clan god is vayanattukulavam and as per the thottam of our clan god we originated from the thigh of god siva……..(is it so with ezhavas?????)

    1. I was going through all the comments as I’m a proud Thiyya curious to know about my ancestry and thought I would just stop by to congratulate you on your fitting reply. I also understand that we are a people with tremendous patience but after a while all hell could break loose.

  102. Nobody in the world can hijack SNDP. as it is so strong. You should study about what is SNDP first of all and then comment.

  103. Some people in Malabar think that they are fair complexioned but it is not true. Comparing with Ezhavas of south Malabar people are dark complexioned famous people like Sreenivasan (Film actor), Mullapalli Ramachandran, Late Sri. Sukumar Azhikode were dark complexioned.

    1. Dear Friends and Readers of this blog , It pains me to see these exchanges on this blog. As you are aware this is a purely personal blog with harmony and coexistence as an underlying theme. With immediate effect I intent to block all comments which are aimed against or derogatory to communities or groups of people no matter who they are; also would block any further posts on the current debate .I trust you will understand my sentiments in this regard.Regards, Hari

      1. Mr Hari kindly request you to block this man Rajan from this blog. It is nice to read about such good things about our community and the extent of research the members are doing to find the origins of this community and then this man stands out as a sore point. God he is really venomous and irritating. Kindly request you again to please block such characters.

      2. Hello , Yes the idea is to keep this blog free of malicious attacks or content which is generally offensive from whom ever it comes from.Regards, Hari

      3. Friends and readers of this blog , As I have been frequently saying this blog is a personal blog and has no place for malicious comments or caste related debates . I have deleted all the recent comments and intent to do so in future . Regards , Hari

  104. You know nothing, His holiness Sree Narayana Guru founded Siva in Aruvippuram many years before temple entry proclamation.There are so many temples owned by SNDP. which were founded by His Holiness Sree Narayana Guru and so many other devi temples, sarpakavus owned by aristocratic Ezhava families of south which were founded centuries before temple entry proclamation. . Ezhava priests and Bhramins do rituals in these temples. People of all communities are going there. One important thing more: you should refer Malyalam dictionaries and find the meaning of the word Thiyya. You may be shocked. The meaning given in Malayalam Dictonaries are Malabar Ezhava, Vedan (hunter), Dhushtan (wicked man) Athakrithan (down trodden) etc. My grand father ( my mother’s father and he was thiyya) told me that once upon a time Bhramins called them thiyya. In south Kerala nobody knows what thiyya is particularly other communities and so we do not say thiyya.

  105. Dear Friends, I’m a Thiyya from Malabar. It is true that Thiyyas could maintain a distinct cultural identity over a period of time and are economically more forward and probably having a better looking physique in general, owing to several factors like, help from natural boundaries like Western Ghats and Korapuzha to preserve their inherent culture, their Karali-Chekavar tradition, favorable British/French patronage and many other factors. But there is no point in fighting about our lineage. I personally think that Thiyyas as well as Ezhavas were given a lower status in Hindu community owing to their Buddhist lineage, and their apparent reluctance to accept Hinduism when AdiShankara brought back Vedic culture in India by defeating Buddhists teachers.

    Well, why we need to quarrel among ourselves. We all know Vedas form the bases of Hinduism from where all Sruthi’s comes from. Vedas never says that a person becomes a Brahmin by birth, but his become a Brahmin by his qualities. There are many occasions in Vedas/Upanishads where non-Brahmins by birth were imparted Vedic Knowledge by his Master (Guru), who were able attain realization, which is treated as the ultimate aim of both Hinduism and Buddhism. If you search in Mandukyopanishad, you can find example of Maharshi Satyakama who was born to a servant lady, who could not trace the origin of his father. He was considered as a Brahmin by his Guru, Sage Gautama because he dared to tell the truth even in testing circumstances. Women were treated as Sudras by Adi Shankara, who were considered not having right to practice or lean Vedas. But in Upanishads’s itself, (which is considered as Vedanda -Ending point of Vedas/Ultimate truth-real essence of Vedas) we can find many examples like Gargi and Maitreyi who has attained the ultimate purpose of life and who are well versed Vedic scriptures. So there is no need to fight among ourselves. Acutely, there is no Namboothiri, Nair, Thiyya, or Ezhava by birth. It is only by the deeds/qualities of a person, we can judge the Brahmanathawn of a person. I think this is the real essence of the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru.

    Hereby I’m not trying to degrade the teachings of Great Adishankara who put forward the great Adwaidha philosophy, which can be considered as the highest form of Philosophy ever originated in this world. It was the need of his era to bring back Vedic tradition in place of Buddhism, as Buddhism in his era became degraded to the core acquiring many vices. Keeping all respect to Adi Shankara and his supreme Adwaidha philosophy, I have to say that the support he rendered to cast system was baseless, and is not supported by Sruthis or Upanishads or his own Adwaidha philosophy. Probably that was need of that era where he had to muster the support of Brahmins to bring back the ancient Vedic tradition, but definitely not the need of this era, where great masters like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Narayana Guru, Sri Chattambi Swamikal and Matha Amritanandamayi has clearly shown our way. So dears brothers, let’s not fight about our castes and other petty things, but strive to acquire those Brahminical qualities (Brahmantwam) that will lead towards the ultimate aim of life.

  106. A correction to my post: Story of (Maharshi) Satyakama son of Jabala is is not told in Mandukyopanishad but in Chandogyopanishad 🙂 sorry for making this mistake

  107. Friends when i searched for thiyya in wikipedia i got result as ezhava page saying that ezhavas are called as thiyya in malabar.because of that post in wikipedia we are lossing the identity of our community .we have to post about thiyyas in wikipedia.i have seen many people here who know more about this topic,such as shamil ,hari etc etc.some one plz post a topic about thiyya as possible

  108. You are right Prajin. We need to create a separate and independent profile for the thiyya community in Wikipedia.Ever other caste/community including even the billawas have their own profile in wikipedia except for us.i did bring this to the attention of the members of the” thiyya mahasabha ” group on facebook a few months back .

    1. @surej we started a new article “thiyyar”(instead of thiyya which is redirected to ezhava) and included in the category social groups of kerala.i think you my post in thiyya mahasabha and malabar thiyya group in fb.the moderator of ezhava page sitush proposed DELETION OF THIYYAR from wikipedia through After ASD DISCUSSION plz share your views to support thiyya community after log in .contribute proper reference along with arguements.also participate in discusns above mentioned thiyya groups in fb

      1. In this connection please refer to my earlier mail regarding the The Thiyyas of North Malabar.For ready refrence it is repeated here.
        I refer to the article in your Sunday Supplement about the origin of The Thiyyas of North Malabar, propounded by Dr. N. C. Shyamalan. If remember correctly Mr. T. Damu [Regional Vice President Taj Group of Hotels] had written a book a few years ago on this subject. In his book he had indicated about the origin of Thiyyas and their migration from Tian mountains of Kirgizstan.

        I believe it was Mr. Damu who first to published this theory?.If so, the courtesy demands that this fact should have been indicated in the article.

        Origin of Thiyyas is subject of many speculations and legends. I am not aware of any systematic and scientific study done. One legend prevalent is about the connection to Srilanka .

        Around 5th century or earlier, The Buddhists had established a flourishing Monastery in a secure Island, which later on came to be known as Dharmadom , the place of dharma, near the present-day Thallasserry. In This area the beggars are still addressed as ‘Bhishakar” & “Dharamakar”, probably the Buddhist Monks daily routine of going around for alms must have let this imprint. The present day “Andalur Kavu” in Dharmadom ,was supposed to be a Buddhist Monastery. Vestiges of this culture can still be seen when they conduct the Annual festivals!!

        The legend goes on to say that a Sinhalese king was overthrown by his brother and he with a retinue sailed to this Island sanctuary, knowing fully the presence of the flourishing Buddhist Monastery. And took refuge in thisIsland. When the news of the Sinhalese king’s arrival reached the ruler of the land [ Chirakal Raja? ] he sent his emissaries and made all arrangements for his comfortable stay across the river – In the main land. There was a head village surrounded by smaller hamlets-“Thala” head and “Cheri” village later on became “Thalasseri”.

        The King later on the story narrates got back his kingdom and returned to his country. Some in his retinue preferred to stay back. The Thiyyas are supposed to be the descendants of these people from “Tivu” [Island] – “TIVU ARS”=Thiyyar.???

        The Buddhists were all well versed in self defense [Karate and Kung Fu were the gift to China by the Buddhist monks] and Ayurveda Medicine. Among North Malabar Thiyyas you will find many good Ayurveda doctors and people proficient in “Kalari Payattu”. Even Swami Ayyappan is supposed to have learned “Kalari “ from a Gurukal from North.?. Does this strengthen the legend of Srilankan origin of Thiyyas? .It is a point for thought.

        In North Malabar ages ago “Vellappam’, ‘Nool Puttu” were popular dishes. You can find these in SriLanka also.

        What about Ezhavas of South Kerala?. During the centuries before BC many wars were fought between Southern India and Northern Srilanka .During the centuries there were many migratory settlements from Northern part of Srilanka in southern India. They must be the people from “Elam” or “Ezham” [Srilanka’s other name] – “Ezhavar” The complexion, culture[they follow Makathayam] and features are very different. The Thiyyas follow “Marumakkathayam “ and are in the northern area of “KoraPuzha” upto Ezhu Malai.

        Even the “ Theanga” – Then Ka [Tamil] the Kera or the Coconut is from South-“Then Kaye’’, The Sothern fruit. It must have found a natural means like ocean currents to reach the shores here,

        Hence I feel the people in the millennium must have used the natural and easier highways to reach the Western Coast

        It is a fact the present day Kerala ages ago was a land of shrubs and forest occupied by Pygmy type short aborigines. The “Cherumakkal “ [ means Small children ] and other tribes found in the forest of Nilambur, Wayanad etc.


        I would like to insert a quote “, the Thiyyas of North Malabar are socially integrated with the rest of the country and have migrated far and wide, resulting in inter caste and inter region marriages .Many of them have fairer skins and different features from others in Malabar but the linkage to Greeks[Cretes and others]can at best be tenuous and perhaps irrelevant now. But this is the stuff of romantic tales and the legend I am sure will keep surfacing at cocktail circuits and around bonfires for generations to come”=With best wishes -premnathtm

  109. Lord Ayyappan was trained Kalarippayyattu from Cheerappinchira family in Muhamma, Alappuzha Dist. Cheerappinchira was a famous Ezhava tharavadu of Kalarippayattu experts.
    Cheerappinchira tharavadu still exists in Alapuzha and now Kumara Panicker is the head of the family. Late Sri. Chandrappan (CPI general Secretary) was one of the members of Cheerappinchira family.

  110. His Holiness Sree Narayana Guru visited Srilanka in 1918 and 1926. During his second visit, to Colombo, he was received by numerous Budhists monks in the main Budha Vihar and they declared him as second Budha. More than that, Gurudevan was honored by the Govt. of Srilanka and renamed a part of Colombo city as Sree Narayana Puram. There is a Gurumandiram in Colombo city and many people go there.

  111. Hi, Mr Rajan no offense but you do realize this is not a blog to learn about SNDP and a blog to know about the thiyyar community. I mean please live and let live. If you are so offended by the discussions on this blog kindly refrain from logging in. Everybody is entitled to their views but your attacking is actually painful and irritating. You can start a new blog and attack us all you want please don’t do this here. I nearly stopped coming to this link because of this. And really appreciate all the efforts put into the research especially by Shamil and Mr. Premnath.

  112. Whatever be the origins of the thiya community,the fact remains that from a growth point of view,very few communities in India have equalled this upwardly mobile one.
    My Aunt Dr Rukmani left Cannanore in 1930 or so to Madras to take up and complete her MBBS.I cant think of any other community girl go so far away 80 years back.My wife Sugathas grandmum was born in Kerala,her mum was born in Burma,
    she was born in in Dar-e-salaam and our daughter was born in Manama-Bahrain.
    You cant get more mobile than that.
    My Dad of the Puduvail family was the first few Indian Diploma Holders to serve in Hindustan Aeronautics -bangalore.Leaving Cannanore in 1941,our family settled in Bangalore and still have a huge family base here.Education seems to be the prominent preference.You’ll never find a non graduate here.It would be interesting to get in touch with Methan or kayath family from Kannur from where the Puduvail family emerged.So whether we emerged from Krygsthan,Sri Lanka or Crete,the fact remains,we are a great group of guys,with a rational views on religion,a sobre approach to life and the capabilility to laugh at our mistakes.

    1. This is very well said . It is so true that the Thiyyas are an upwardly mobile social group.Their progress would make an interesting study. Much more relevant than speculation on the origins of the community.Regards, Hari

    2. I completely agree with you doc, as two my maternal grandfather’s elder brothers went to England way back in the later part of the 19th century to do their MBBS and CA and later worked there. They belong to the Urumi family of Tellicherry. My grandfather was born in 1887 and was a port conservator who retired in 1945. He took over the charge from a Britisher at Beypore.

      Having white-collared jobs during British rule was unheard of in other communities.

      And talking about my paternal grandfather, Naakadi Bhaskaran, was the only Indian and captain of a local British cricket team in Calicut. This clearly shows how thiyyas rubbed shoulders with the British and goes against such rubbish comments about our community posted on this blog by vested interests.

  113. Wow.. I learnt a lot about my community from this blog! I study Sociology and I’m studying the Caste System deeply. Someone along the line, I realized that I know little about my own community. This has truly been informative! Keep up the good work. I hope the discussion hasn’t concluded.

    1. Thank you very much . The debate does continue , however one is shutting off malicious comments from which ever source it comes from .Comments / posts on getting to know the community better are always welcome. Regards, Hari

  114. Gentlemen, there is a lot of missing things here, if truely interested in knowing about Thiyyas of Malabar. If you are refering to eduction that thiyya’s got in the past, there are many educated men like Dr. PK Narayan and Dr TK Narayanan from Tellicherry, Dr Gopalan Manikkoth even befor them. They were well respected doctors, but won’t find their names mentioned generally anywhere, unless you inspect the Govt hospital records where they served.

    Then again one M.P.Damodaran, MLA, the first MLA from the British constituted election in the 1930s was a Thiyya. How many know these men.

    But talking of Thiyyas achievements, I also heard from the reilable sources that Guru of some of famous astrolgers in Payyanur was a Thiyya a few generations back probably in 1800s. This came to light when a member of that family visted the famous Narayana poduval in the 1970s and during the discussion the Poduval realised the visitor is from their ancestors’ Guru’s family and as token respect for that Guru, gave money to light ‘dipam’ at that house. That house is located Madapeedika near Thalasserry. But unfortunately or fortunately, none of these people engaged in politics and shunned visibility and hence not known.

    There are many such cases even before that which is not known about the achievement of this family. Instances like the association with Kalari, Astrology, Ayurveda etc

    I can understand this arm-chair approach you guys have opted to find the greatness of this community and appreicate it, and also appreciate the tolerance of diverse views and piqued egos and uncharitable opinons here. Interesting. Regards.

    1. Let me add to Mr.Suredran’s comments please.I happen to be the nephew of Dr. T.K.Narayanan mentioned here..We are the scions of Oracherry Gurunathanmar [Chokli, near Tellicherry ] who taught Dr.Herman Gundert Malayalam.As far as I know my maternal great grand father [grand father of Dr.T.K.Narayanan ] was the first Allopathic doctor-Dr.Chakyath Kunhikannan, -in the Thiyya community. Who had the tittle of of Apothecary.[1875 abt ] He did his studies in the Medical School.My grand father Dr.Thayyan Raman [father of Dr.Narayanan ] passed out from Madras Medical college in 1885, I have the certificate’s scanned copy.
      As Mr.Surendran indicated none had any faintest interest in Politics.
      Mr Padmashri ,R.K..Krishnakumar my cousin occupies a cove table position in Tata sons.His brother in Law Dr Padmavibhushan. .M.K.Vainu Bappu was the first Asian to be the President of the International Astronomical Union. the observatory , in Kavallur [TN] is named after him.
      Contributions of Murkoth family to Malayalam literature and in the social field is well known.Best wishes.

  115. As far as I know my maternal great grand father [grand father of Dr.T.K.Narayanan ] was the first Allopathic doctor-Dr.Chakyath Kunhikannan, -in the Thiyya community. Who had the tittle of of Apothecary.[1875 abt ] He did his studies in the Medical School.
    Please read it as my paternal great grand father.regret for the error.

  116. Thiyyas are every where , A holly wood director ,Manoj night shyamalan,Many intellects,first Pilot of Kerala etc etc

      1. I belong to one of the very ancestral Tharavads of Cannnanore – The Oyitty Tharavad. The road outside the Calicut Railway station – Oyitty Road was named after a prominent member. It was like a big banyan tree where due to marriages with members of many tharavads we all got connected. The Aarat tharavad is one of the closest tharavad associated with the Oyitty Tharavad. One of the doyens and last member of that generation the late Mr. Ramakrishnan was like an elder bro to my late dad and we used to be a frequent visitor to his house the Aarat House on Onden Road in the 70’s. It is sad to see that property in shambles today.

      2. Bharatettan was my mother’s brother . We have fond memories of the joyful times we had when the Baratans came visiting or we had a family event or get together. There was always a lot of fun and laughter and singing. It is sad that the old family houses are being sold to builders and apartments are coming in their place .

      3. Really? During my last visit around December 2012/ Jan 2013, there were still no takers for that place. A couple of years ago they got a miserable low rate that that does not commensurate with the prices a good piece of land in the Kannur town can fetch. The main reason is that there are so many share holders, I believe, close to 100 and several of them are on their death beds and it is difficult nowadays to give PoAs to relative as it has to be registered with the value of the their share of the land …so the registration % costs quite a bit. The adjacent land, some activity is happening.

  117. That was a nice read. Definitely i am a bit more informed about my community. Having been born and brought up in far away land (andamans), i hardly knew anything about the community as we hardly had any connections with kerala during my growing up years. Infact we had moved out before independence. Thanks everyone for the education. And yeah i am able to understand my folks better and the why they felt proud to be called thiyaas.

  118. Dear Hari008,
    Even though i am not a Thiyya, i found this site very informative & u r doing one hell of a job.
    The caste system in Kerala was a viscious cycle which turned us against one another. A factor worth noticing is that the arrival of the British & advent of Brahmins took place some what at the same time, at least in South Kerala.
    The british encouraged(discreetly) the cruel practices of Brahmins despite claiming to be “civilised & modern” . Even when temple entry was announced in the south, the Cochin & Malabar(under the British) refused to do the same. Certain influential Ezhavas even when claiming to be against untouchability, attacked A.K Gopalan during Guruvayoor Satyagraha. That is y i called it a viscious cycle in which the one “above” a particular caste exploited the other violently. One of the major method was the attack against women, in the form of rapes/sexual relations forced on them. We all know the pitiable condition of Namboothiri women of the past as they where even refused education. Irrespective of castes, women always suffered, from top to bottom.
    I had also heard that Thiyyas were the Ezhavas of the North(i am from south kerala) & that kalaripayattu was practiced by Ezhavas in the North(told by Ezhavas to me). Another thing i read is that certain Nair subcastes & some influential families(as in land lords/kiryathil nairs) had no marital relations/sambandhams with Namboothiris, as it was considered demeaning to them(im talkin about the situation in south). May be it was down to financial condition as the poor Nair families had no voice against it. I am no expert in the matter.
    Finding/re-tracing one’s root is a noble thing, but at the same time we shouldn’t let our humanity go & return to the dark ages of the past. Now a days, caste system is fast disappearing as inter-caste/inter-faith marriages r becoming common. It is a good thing if u ask me. It time that we come out of narrow things like caste difference & aim to attain education & economic progression.
    After all: ” panathinu meethe parunthum parakkilla”….

    1. Hello , Many thanks for your detailed comment . I to share your sentiment . Too much is made these days of caste and religion. Many people have moved on from these narrow confines due to education , more access to information , migration due to jobs, and marriage across regions and communities.Our family(including the greater family) as a history of marriages across regions and communities and in fact across countries . Best wishes , Hari.

  119. Many thanks. I had almost forgotten my roots since we had migrated to A & N Islands eons back. Your article was quite informative that way to find out about the community I belong to. Once again thanks

  120. Hari,

    My Grand Father’s name is Kattukandy Gangadharan, My Grandfather’s father’s name is Kattukandy Krishnan and his father’s name was Kattukandy Korappan, and here we are using three surnames all are same Kattundy, Kattuthindy and Kattukandy. I have heard that my Grand Grandpa Kattukandy Korappan was having his own Kalari out there in Calicut and migrated to Thrissur at the time of Mappilah Viplavam and then Samuthiri asked my Grand grand pa to protect his daughter, after migrating to thrissur they never returned back and got married here in Thrissur and settled here. Till my Grandpa (Kattukandi Gangadharan) was alive (he expired in 1992) we were in touch with our relatives in Calicut as he used to visit there and they used to visit him but lost touch after his death.

    So can you inquire about all these the reason being I am asking is like you me to proud of my ancestory and culture also would like to know more details about my ancestors. In short we are distant cousins can you help me on this. My id is kssaileshjobs1atgmaildotcom.

    Thanks & Regards

    1. The the “Tranditional” Thiayyas are north of Korapuzha and south of EzhuMala, who follow Marumakkathayam..Calicut side Thiyyas follow “Makkathayam” hence in olden times they were no inter marriages and hence it was considered differently..
      There is a “KattuKandy ” family in Mahe also.Family names were mostly based on the name of the property

  121. How does one find more about their genealogy?
    We are a Thiyya family from Peruvattoor/Kollam/QUilandy area.
    Unsure if there is anybody from that area – would be interested in researching how interconnected we are. My father has our family tree traced back @ 150 years so that maybe helpful. Most of the posts are related to the kannur area so would be great if I can get a different perspective

    1. DeaR Nitin,I maintain our family tree from 1730 , 13 generations, Mainly Tellicherry, Mahe, and KannurCan you please share

      1. Dear Mr Premnathtm,
        While searching for info on thiya on inet came across this blog. Its absolutely interesting to know about our roots. I´m a thiya too originally from Tellichery but living and working in Mumbai. Its very interesting to know that you have your family tree from 1730, 13 generations. Wish I could do that!!
        Best wishes, Lisha

  122. the original thiyyas were the disciples/descendants of agasthiya muni who was the master of agama/tantra ……. that means they were all over south india [south of the vindhyas] but over time got isolated in different places with different identities and languages …… as for parashurama people again confine him to kerala but i think he created vedic style brahmakshatriya tradition [nairs/naik/naidu] depending on the region [kerala/karnataka/tamilnadu/andhra/maharashtra/orissa] …….. of course those days these things were by training and not by birth ……… if you ask me its absurd for people to name themselves according to their caste [which is not supposed to be by birth] because it has no credibility in sanathana dharma at all ….. people passed down the name largely when the profession or type of skill or knowledge becomes hereditary …… india will only truly progress when every single vestige of this arcane slave registration system at birth is obliterated and people conveniently forget it [they can continue with their cultural religious traditions to the point it doesnt stifle individual freedom]

  123. There is also a difference of opinion as per Dr. NC Shyamalan as he had mapped his DNA and traced it to Tian Mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Also there is a small village by the name MURKUT in the Batken Region of Kyrgyzstan. please refer wikipedia page as per link . In a nut shell, we yet are to ponder of over our origin if it really is from Crete or Tian mountains !!!!!

  124. Hari Sir,

    Will you please let me know “Kattukandy” surname belongs to which Thiyya Tharawattu. Anxious to know about my Tharawattu. That’s why?

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