Chola descendants - Proof from Vijayanagar literature
  • My letter to this group has been long due since I have been a member for the past 5+ yrs without sending a single mail (probably my request for membership would have been the only mail I had sent till now!!).

    Having raised in and around Chidambaram and my grand dad being the VAO of a village near pitchavaram, I grew up hearing stories of how the "chozhanar" zamins of pitchavaram had the sole right of coronation in the ambalam halls of thillai and their claim of imperial Chola descent. (BTW, my granddad was a family friend of theirs).

    This coronation and their right, finds a mention in Edgar Thurston and Rangachari's "Castes and Tribes of south India" This along with movie (AO)'s theory intrigued me and I decided to plough through all the available literature to find any mention of cholas after 13th century AD.

    Lucky for me, I stumbled upon number of books which talk about Vijayanagar History mentioning a certain "solaga" ruling from a "theevukotai - Divukottiption we can ascertain that he was an important person and was unwillingly allowed a self rule and how he challenged the Vijayanagar authority from time to time.
    What's more interesting is one of the authors trace this solaga to the "chozhanars" living at pichavaram.

    I have given the list of such books and the sources that they quote. I know this discussion has come up now and then and this possibility has been discussed. But now that ample literary evidences are available, we can have full length discussion on this. I am sure this solaga would be one of the last remnants of the chola dynasty because we do not find any other principalities/nobles/chieftains claiming chola name or descent. And the solaga was one of the three major rulers that vijayanagar had to subjugate inorder to conquer
    Tamil country. The others being Sambuvarayars and Madurai Sultanate.
    Considering their coronation right from the perspective of the below mentioned periyapuranam lines, we can to a significant degree of certainty conclude that they are the rightful descendants of the great cholas.

    'Mallal nyaalam parakkinraar mani maa mavuli punaivatharkku Thillai vaazh anthanar thammai venda avarum sembiyar tham thollai Needum kula sirandhor kkanri mudi soottom enru nalkaaraki cheralathan than malai naatanaya nannuvaar'

    "Inorder that he who conquered the world(kootruvar) may not be bereft of a royal crown he requested the crowning services of the ancient three thousand servitor priests at Chidambaram(thillai). Thereupon the priests refused the same saying that they are entitled to perform the ceremony only to the most deserving of the ancient clan of sembiyars(cholas). Having said this , they quit their dwelling to reach the hill country(kerala) of the ancient tamil chera king.".
    Please review these books and the sources they quote and please let me know your feedback. And please forgive me for wasting everyone's time, if this angle had already been thoroughly discussed!

    History of Gingee Chapter1, pg 103 Rao Bahadur & G.S. Srinivasachari MA
    (I have attached the pages mentioning solaga as images)
    Nayaks of Tanjore by V.Vriddhagirisan pg56,74,75,94
    Sources of vijayanagar history - sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar 1919
    South India under the Vijayanagara Empire: the Aravidu dynasty, Volume 2 Henry Heras

    Sources they quote:
    Raghunathabyudoyam by Ramabhadramba
    sahityaratnakaram by Yagnanarayana Dikshita
    Portugese Jesuit traveler Father Pimenta (1597-1598
  • Attaching the pages from "History of Gingee"
  • Any of the descendants live in that area? We could meet them sometime...
  • Remember seeing their family in "Acchamillai" show by actor Lakshmi in Jaya TV long back..

    Heard that a Chozhanar contested in the last state assembly as an independ and lost. They must be still living in any of the villages in @ around that area.

    - Karthik
  • No sign of activity here in this thread.. Looks like people in this group are not intrested on chola descendants or fed up with the topic..

    Atleast a simple acknowlegdement would have lifted my spirits!! :)

    Anyways, I stumbled upon this piece of information when I was searching for the link between the Padaiveedu (virinchiyapuram) sambuvarayars and kadambur sambuvarayars (who are related to me from my mother's side).

    I feel that some amount of research on kadavaraya and his ministers could throw some light on the last days/ vestiges of the imperial chola dynasty (heard from my dad that one of our ancestors (kalingarayars) was a samantha mudali to the kadavarayas. Whose descendants were called kachiya-rayars, there by giving raise to the present day kachirayar clans living in & around cuddalore.

    - Karthik Kalingarayar
  • Any connection with kachirapalayam near kallakurichi
    I saw some ruins of a fort at a small hill some twenty years ago.
  • Dear Karthik

    Please keep writing.

    Please understand that in certain subjects you will be the Master and we will be just listening to you and may not know much to discuss.

    90% of the people read all the mails and if we donot know much on the subject, we keep quiet.

    Please keep writing and we are interested to get more on the subject
  • Shash & Sankar,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. This is all the impetus I needed.I will sure keep digging but I am severly limited in means, to secondary literature and word of mouth in this search. A direction from someone with a little authority/expertise on the subject would greatly help.

    As for mention of Chola or Sozhaga after the downfall of imperial cholas. There is a mention of one "Sozha Kon of arasur", who was the military general of kadavaraya.

    More study/ research is needed in this direction, probably some interested archaeology student can take it up as his PHD topic. My investigations within the family took me only upto the zamindari times and the present generation lacks interest in the subject.
  • Hi,

    Please continue your research on this and present it to this group. We have discussed this topic quite often in the past.

    Your should do lot of research into this. Some families might even possess some important evidence on this... copper plates, palm leaves, grant deeds given by British or Muslim or Vijayanagar rulers on this.. You should befriend with them and bring such things to the limelight..

    If the chola descendants are alive today, the society needs to know and acknowledge them.

    Go on with your research and write back..
  • Hi Karthik,

    This is my first ever reply to this group. It doesn't mean that I am not
    interested in the mail chain posted. I don't have any expertise in this field
    and I feel it is much better for people like me to shut our mouth instead of
    making some stupid comments. I hope other members will not misunderstand my
    words :). So please continue your work.
  • My knowledge about Kachirayars come from my inquiries within my family.
    I have two sets of kachirayar relatives, one from a village called thiagavalli(also called naduthitu since it is sort of an island) near cuddalore. They claim origin from another island near kollidam(coleroon)(strikes a resemblance to the 'theevukotai' of sozhaga??)but have resettled here since it got submerged!

    Another set of them from arasur(near sirkali). I've read that there are kachirayars in other towns like Muvasa parur etc.. but they are not related to my family. Am yet to come across any connections with kachirayapalayam..

  • Hi Karthik

    Your comments have been interesting. A point or to that you might
    consider to examine further, because of your last name ends with "--rayar".

    The add-on of "rayar" originates from western Karnatka region. I believe
    "rayar" is the Tamil honorific form. The word "raya" is Prakrit, and of
    course the Sanskrit equivalent is "raja".

    Raj Mutharasan
  • Hi Raj,

    Thanks for observing. Actually, its one of the reasons for my interest in chola history.

    officials. Whether the Vijayanagar nayaks copied it from cholas or cholas copied it from hoysalas is not clear. As for the etymological root, it is ofcourse the equivalent of sanskrit raja.. some say that 'Rao' has similair roots..

    -Karthik Kalingarayar
  • Karthik-

    The term "-raya" has been in use in western Karnataka region probably
    since about 300 BC or so. This follows from the migration or influx of
    Jain ascetics and teachers to the southern region in late Chandragupta
    Maurya ruling years. That title "raya" has an ancient linkage. As you
    probably know Jains used Prakrit, and avoided Sanskrit, and I guess to
    avoid confusion with Hinduism. This is somewhat similar to Buddhist
    scholars preferring Pali for their wrting.

    I had thought about connections to Rao, but have not dug into that as yet.

    Good luck with your digging.

    Raj Mutharasan
  • Mr.Karthi,

    There are 2 more kachirayar clans.One is the Kachirayar of mukasa parur. mukasa paur is located near Vridachalam in south arcot district.
    Among all kachirayars the parur kachirayars were known to be powerful.According to inscriptions kachirayar rule was there in parur during the time of Sundara pandya!!!Its interesting to know that these kachirayars managed to rule parur starting from Pandyan(later) time and they continued to rule as poligars and zamindars.Even now the descendants of parur kachirayars live in parur.Mr.Bala Dhandayuthapani kachirayar is the present descendant and the chief of the parur village.

    Another kachirayar known were the kachirayars of Vilandai(present Andimadam).They were the rulers of Vilandai(Andimadam). Inscriptions mentioning the names of Vilandai kachirayars were also found."vettungkai azhagiya kachirayar", sevugaperumal kachirayar were some kachirayars of vilandai known from inscriptions.

    I think i have heard of the kachirayars from sirkazhi area.I guess they were the kachirayars of Olayamputhur in the same area.

    The Olayamputhur kachirayars always had quarrel with the Vannamudayars
    (though they belong to the same caste) but later their quarrel somehow ceased
  • Dear All/ Mr. Karthi,

    The surname KACHIRAYAR is also found with a family in IRUGAIYUR; this place is near Pazhur (T. Palur) near Jayamkondam.
    I am sure more interested/ planned effort will bring in more info on the hidden facts. All the best!
    Interstingly,There is also a nearby Village by name SUTHAMALLI- the daughter of Kulothunga chola.
  • Nice information, but
    i have seen one village called KACHIRAPALAYAM near kallakurichi in
    villupuram district and also nearby that village there is a hill and ruined
    fort and temple.
    Do you have any related news about that kachirapalayam.
  • Naresh,

    Awesome!!!! I wonder even if my relatives would know such details. I was long awaiting your reply on the subject!!

    I have been reading "Perambalur maavatta thadayangal" by Nadana Kasinathan and he has listed out all the inscriptions and such regarding Kachirayars, Vandayars, Thevars (not mukkulathors), Raagutha minda nayinars of the district.. thanks to Kainga Balu sir for the book.

    My maternal grandfather and his ancestors' was the main family in Olayamputhur. I hear that his father (Sadasiva Kachirayar) was the maniyakkarar for 9 villages.

    The quarrels between them and vannamudayars must have been things of the past, because out of the six daughters he had, he married three of them to vannamudayars!!

    I still remember how my periyappa used to boast "Puli vaai-kul pugundhu pon-unjal aadiya veera vannamudayar" about their past glory!! Those days it sounded funny, but now reflecting on that, I am suspecting that it might be an allegory to a successful skirmish on the chola territory carried out by these people? ( I am just speculating).

    We are related to the vilandai vaandiyars, thevars, kandiyars, raagutha minda nayinars (must be "raa-yutha-meenda" nayinars?) from my father's side.
  • Dear Mr. Karthik,
    I have sent a reply note. Not yet published.
    Please let me know whether you have received it or got edited (no problem if it
    is edited also)
  • Mr.Karthik,

    Thank you very much for your reply.Regarding Kachirayars there are lot more for us to know.There is a catholic chruch in a small village called Konankuppam near vridachalam.The chruch was built by Veeramamunivar the well know tamil scholar of italian origin.
    The land for building the temple was granted by the kachirayar of parur.I heard that during the festival time(even today) the Kachirayar will come to attend the festival in dress reflecting his royal past.

    All these kachirayars whether related now or not were the descendants of the Kadavarayar dynasty(IMHO). The father of the kadava ruler kopperunjinga was a kachirayar.During the (later )Pandyan period with the death of Kopperunjinga the second the kadavarayar rule came to an end.After that we find inscriptions mentioning about kachirayar families.Kopperunjinga held control over a vast area up to north of Tanjore and so there is no wonder Kachirayar families were found scattered starting from south arcot to Mayavaram area.

    I also heard there was poligar rule in naduthittu(not sure abt the location but think its near cuddalore) which was ruled by a kachirayar.
    Regarding Kalingarayar i don't know much but according to my knowledge they live in chidambaram and sorrounding areas.I heard that the former MLA of Chidambaram Mr.Arunmozhithevan belong to the family of Kalingarayars.I also heard about a man called Jayachandra kalingarayar who belong to a poligar line.

    Some Kalingarayars became christians too.A man told me about a kalingarayar who is holding the position of "cardinal" in Vatican.
    He is cardinal Lourdusamy.But i am not sure about his kalingarayar connection.

    And i agree there are no enemities between Kachirayars and Vannamudayars at present.The fact is the quarrel was put to an end only through marriage alliance between Kachirayars and Vannamudayars.

    Vilandai came under the Vandayars after the Kachirayar rule.There are 2 main Vandayar clans.One is Vilandai Vandayar and the other one is the Vandayar of "sothamangalam". Sothamangalam is in Mayavaram area.

    Many people don't know about the Palayams in Northern districts.Many think Palayams existed only in southern districts.The reason is we get ample info about Southern palayams and sources are scarce to know about Northern Palayams.
    Because of the Madurai Nayak's rule and due to frequent wars in those areas i think light was thrown only on southern Palayams.

    Though the info on Northern Palayams are very rare we do get some info.For example in Chidambaram region itself there were poligars apart from the famous "sozhaganars".Padayandavars and sethurayars were known to be poligars too and their native is in the chidambaram region.Vadaku Mangudi was a palayam ruled by Padayandavars. Sethurayars were the Poligars of Kilaangaadu.

    Poligar rule existed in Gangaikonda Cholapuram area too.A thevar family who were the relatives of Udayarpalayam Poligar ruled the gangaikonda Cholapuram area with "kaatagaram" as their capital.These poligars were mentioned as "Gediyarasu petra Gangayathipathi sennamalai Kandiya Thevar"

    Ravutha minda Nayanars were the poligars of Sirgazhi seemai.They ruled from Vadakaal near Sirkazhi.I think ravutha refers to their connection with horse.They might be skilled horse riders as well as tamers.

    Mayiladuthurai was also ruled by poligars belonging to the family known as" Anjatha Singam". The poligars use this title along with their names(like Thambusami Durai Raja Anjatha Singam).

    All the above mentioned Poligars were bonded together by marriages.A poligar will have marriage relation only with another poligar family.They never have matrimonial relations even with people of their own community if they are not connected with any poligar families.
  • Possibilities are there for considering the "Kachirapalayam" in Villupuram district was once under the control of the Kachirayars of Mukasa Parur.

    The Kachirayar families in T.pazhur area must be the descendants of the Vilandai kachirayars.
  • Dear Mr.Karthik,

    Try to find and read these books:

    1.Ariyalur Varalaaru andrum inrum

    2.varalaatril Pennagadam

    3.Sambuvarayar Varalaaru by Prof.L.Thiyagarajan & Prof.Thangavelu

    4.Aristocratic families of South India by Vadivelu

    I read these books nearly 15 yrs back and i am giving you the info i have in my mind.

    But more than the books mentioned above the most useful ones were those written by Mr.Natana Kasinathan.

    I think it will be convenient for you since the publisher of these books were from Chidambaram.(Thenral Pathipagam)

    Buy these books without hesitation:

    1.Vanniyar (Rs.100)

    2.Vanniyar Maatchi

    The address of the publishers Chidambaram : Thenral nilayam, 12-B, Mela Sannathi Theru,Chidambaram -608001. Phone Number:30069(pls check the phone number)

    2.In Chenai :9,Sivaprakasam Theru,T.Nagar, Chennai -600017.
    Phone: 4357832

    I hope the 2 books mentioned above will be useful to you since you belong to a Poligar family.

  • Mr.Karthik,

    Also try to find a book written by Mr.Rasamanickanar.I dont remember the title exactly but its like this "Pathu paatil kuripitappadum mannar muthalaanoor"

    Mr.Rasamanickanar gives info to consider who were the present day descendants of the Mazhavars of Sangam age.

    Tamil Thaatha U.V.Swaminathaiyer also mentions the same."The mazhavars were ancient warring tribe.Now they are living in Ariyalur area as Vanniyars"
  • One more book. Silai Ezhubathu written by Kambar.The book was written in praise of the Vanniyars.Seek the above mentioned book with explanation.
    (moolamum uraiyum)
  • The Sambuvarayars of Tondaimandalam were NOT the descendants of Val Vil Ori. They were the descendants of Oymans of Kidangal(in Tindivanam area).

    Oymans of Kidangal were ancient rulers. Oyman Nalliyangodan was the noted ruler of Oymans.The other rulers whom we come across are 1.Oyman Nalliyaathan 2.Oyman Villiyaathan

    Tindivanam and sorrounding areas were know as Oymanadu.The Samburayars trace their origin from the same region.In one inscription

    a Sambuvaraya mentions himself as Oy mainthan.

    Sambuvarayar had bull as their symbol. Why they had bull symbol? 1.May be because they are saivities 2.May be because of their connection with the pallavas.

    Kadavarayars were also mentioned as "Sambu Kula Kadavar".
  • cordinal LORDOUSAMY was from cuddalore st.joseph's school. i have seen him. he is from panruti region. i do not know whether he is a vanniyar.
  • I think Bull denotes saivism - particularly followers/worshippers of Lord Shiva !

  • gopalji! Correct me if Iam wrong. We need not link Bul to any religious sybol. It has been a symbol used even in Asoka sthambha (Sanchi) too, needless to say that Asoka was a proclaimed Buddhist.

    Hari Om

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