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 What is this Website

Sengunthars.in is the complete website for SENGUNTHARS, with the objective of connecting sengunthars worldwide  to know each other and help each other

This maintains the largest database of sengunthars viz., Sengunthar Family Profiles around the world, Sengunthar Familytree, Sengunthar Matrimonial, Sengunthar Directory and many more facilities.

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Sengunthar Matrimonial

maintains sengunthar matrimonial profiles

based on our sengunthar traditions giving importance to

horoscope and relatives

 

Horoscope based search is the unique facility,

where one can select their preferred horoscopes

(for example- chevvai in eighth place or raghu in second place etc.,)

as advised by the astrologer.

 

Matrimony profile is linked with their relatives profile,

which facilates to find their family origin,

family background, relatives circle, family tree etc.,

           

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Sengunthar Family Profiles

Preserves Sengunthar family profiles. Every member have the facility to preserve their family member details (viz., Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Husband, Wife etc.,). Later Add relatives in each profile (viz., uncle, aunt, Brother-in-Law etc.,) This is directly linked to Matrimony search so that one can find their family details also along with the Matrimony profile.

 

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Sengunthars Directory

This service maintains the contact details of  sengunthars through various category

so that to find each other and help each other

 

 

 

                        

 

ABOUT SENGUNTHAR

Sengunthar, also known as the Kaikolar and Sengunthar Mudaliyar, is a community of Tamil people commonly found in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and also in some other parts of South India and Northern Province of Sri Lanka. They are traditionally a weaving community. They are sub divided into numerous clans based on a patrilineal system called Koottam or Kulam, which is similar to gotras.
 

Contents

 

Sengunthar Etymology

Sengunthar History

Literary evidence about sengunthar

Sengunthar Traditions and Festivals

Sengunthar Culture and Customs

Sengunthar Gods/Goddesses

Sengunthar Subgroups

Sengunthar Heritage

Sengunthar Occupation

Sengunthar Scholars

72 Sengunthar Nadus

Sengunthar Literature

Sengunthar Mahajana Sangam

 

 

 

Sengunthar Etymology


The ancient occupational name of Kaikkolar comes from the words kai (hand) and kol (a shuttle used in looms). The appended -ar means people. Kaikkolar also means men with stronger arms.

Sengunthar means red spear people, which the community believes connects them to the god Murugan, who is known as a red god. They believe that the original nine Kaikolars, called Navaveerargal, served in an army fighting on behalf of Murugan and that they descend from these nine people.

In ancient times they were also called as Kaarugar (weaver), Thanthuvayar (weaver), Sengunthar padaiyar (soldiers), Senaithalaivar (army commander), Kaikolar (Weaver).

The adoption of the Mudaliyar title, thus Sengunthar Mudaliyar, is probably aspirational. It was traditionally used by higher-ranking non-Brahmin castes but various less prestigious communities have come to use it as a means of expressing their desire for upward social mobility. Mudali means first, suggesting that the title bearer is of the first-ranked among people.[8][9] They also use the title Nayanar after their names.

 

Sengunthar History
 

Myth of origin
Shiva was enraged against the giants who harassed the people of the earth and sent forth six sparks of fire from his eyes. His wife, Parvati, was frightened, and retired to her chamber and in so doing, dropped nine beads from her anklets. Siva converted the beads into as many females, to each of whom was born a hero. These nine heroes (Navaveerargal), namely Virabahu, Virakesari, Viramahendrar, Viramaheshwar, Virapurandharar, Viraraakkathar, Viramaarthandar, Viraraanthakar and Veerathirar with Subrahmanya at their head, marched in command of a large force, and destroyed the demons. Sengunthar claim to be the descendants of these warriors. After killing the demon, the warriors were told by Siva that they adopt a profession, which would not involve the destruction or injury of any living creature and weaving being such a profession, they were trained in it. Chithira valli, daughter of Virabahu, one of the above commanders was married to King Musukuntha Cholan. The descendants of Navaveerargal and Musukunthan were claimed as first generation of Sengunthars.

Chola period
The earliest literary evidence about Sengunthar occurs in Adhi Diwakaram, a Tamil lexicon written by Sendan Diwakarar. This dictionary, probably from the 8th century CE, is thought to refer to them as weavers and army commanders, which may be indicative of their dual role in society at that time.

Inscriptions from the 11th century suggest that by the time of the Chola dynasty, the Sengunthar had already developed its involvement in weaving and trading, together with a role in military matters that was probably necessary to protect those interests. They were a part of the Ayyavole 500 trading group during the Chola period and there are also references in the 12th century that suggest they had armies and that some specific people were assigned to act as bodyguards for the Chola emperors. Such historical records emphasise their military function, with the poet Ottakoothar glorifying them and suggesting that their origins lay with the armies of the gods.

They were militarized during the medieval Chola period, when some of them held the title Brahmadaraya or Brahmamarayan, which was usually reserved for high-ranking Brahmin officials in the Chola government.

Some were chieftains and commanders-in-chief of the later Cholas. Kaikkolar commanders-in-chief were known as Samanta Senapathigal or Senaithalaivar.

According to Vijaya Ramaswamy, in early thirteenth century large number of Kaikolars were migrated to Kongu Nadu from Tondaimandalam. 

Vijayanagara period
After the 13th century, Sengunthars became associated with weaving completely. According to Deepak Kumar, the Sengunthar weavers very often figure in the capacity of kudi, i.e. tenant-cultivators and also holders of kaniyachi, that is hereditary possession over the land. During the period of Sadasiva Raya of Vijayanagara empire, the sthanathar of the Brahmapuriswara temple made an agreement that they would cultivate certain lands of the Kaikkolar regiment.

According to Himanshu Prabha Ray, in 1418 in Tiruvannamalai temple, Sengunthars were given the right to blow the conch, ride palanquins and elephants and wave the temple fly whisk. In 16th century some of the Kaikolars were migrated to Kerala region from Tamil region.

 

 

Literary evidence about sengunthar

 

The following literature mention about Sengunthar as early as 9th century AD.

 

Sengunthar Tivakaram – tamil lexicon

The earliest literary evidence about Sengunthar occurs in Tivakaram, a Tamil lexicon (dictionary) from the 9th century AD. This dictionary refers to Cenkuntarpatai – an army of Sengunthars. This proves that the dual name of Sengunthar or Kaikolar was existing for over 1000 years.

 

Sengunthar Ittiyelupathu – Seventy Spears – By OttaKuttar

The major book about Sengunthar was written by Ottakuttar in 9th century AD. This book called Ittiyelupathu refers to the historical and mythological account of origin of Sengunthar and their relationship with the Chola monarchs.

 

Senguntha Prabanda Thiratu – Editor Sabapathi Mudaliar

The book Senguntha Prabanda Thiratu was published by editor Sabapathi Mudaliar. This is a collection of songs collected from old manuscripts. These are songs mainly about Sengunthar and their tradition.

 

Sengunthar Kaikolars using Mudali title from the Diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai

It is customary for Kaikolars to use Mudali title after their personal name. In Pondicherry there were many weaver families in the 18th century. Since each caste was represented by two head-men known as nattars, the weavers also were required to select two head-men. Since there was dispute in selecting these two-headmen, the chief dubash of that time Ananda Ranga Pillai was requested by the Governor of Pondicherry to select the two head-men.

The two head-men selected were Muttu Mudali and Ana Nayakka Mudali both from Kaikolar caste. From this we understand that Mudali surname was used by Sengunthars as early as 1750AD.


Sengunthar pillaittamil by Ñanappirakacacuvamikal, Tiricirapuram Kovinta Pillai, Ilatcumanacuvami

Cenkuntar pillaittamil was a book published in later 19th century. This is also a collection of songs from palm-leaf manuscripts about Sengunthars. It was published by Ñanappirakacacuvamikal, Tiricirapuram Kovinta Pillai, Ilatcumanacuvami

 

 

 

Sengunthar Traditions and Festivals


Sengunthar Shaivite priests are vegetarian, wear the sacred thread, and shave their foreheads in the Brahmanic fashion. Both alcoholic and sexual abstinence are valued, as is control of the passions. But when they are concerned with the sacred locus of the interior, meat eating, blood sacrifice, spirit possession, and the worship of small gods are all prominent. Sengunthars thus follow both a priestly model and a Dravidian tradition.The Kaikola Teesikar or Desigar who were non Brahmin priest at temples of Murugan. Sengunthar community practices both the vegetarian and non vegetarian traditions.

Each family (kulam) of the Sengunthar had their own Kula Deivam (deity). Sengunthars share Murugan as a common deity and additionally have any one of several other deities, such as Angalamman or Ambayamman.

The Sura Samharam festival is a traditional ritual where the Sengunthars dress as the lieutenants of Karthikeya and re-enact the killing of the demon Suran.


Kandaswamy Kovil, Nallur, Sri Lanka , where flag ceremony held: In the flag hoisting ceremony at Sri Lanka Nallur Kandaswamy temple, the Sengunthar families who were military heroes in old Jaffna Kingdom have rights to bring out the temple flag and carry the flag as the ceremony of Sura Samharam battle. The houses of Sengunthars are beautifully decorated curtains with the picture of rooster, the legendary vehicle of Lord Muruga hang in their houses, in the day of the flag ceremony.


Nadu system
Historically there were 4 thisai nadus, which in turn was divided into 17 kilai nadus, exclusive of thisai nadus, totally making 72 nadus in the Sengunthar. The thisai nadus were Sivapuram (Walajabad) to the east, Thonthipuram to the south, Virinjipuram to the west, Chozhasingapuram (Sholinghur) to the north.

The head of 72 nadu was Kancheepuram nadu which was called as Mahanadu by the Sengunthars. The head officer of Mahanadu were called as Aandavar and Aandavar is highest authority leader for Sengunthars. The head officer of the each nadu council were called as Naattaanmaikarar or Periyadhanakarar or Pattakarar.

 

Sengunthar Culture and Customs

 

Sengunthar caste consists of diverse group of people even though they are classified under the same group by the government of India. There is a diverse culture and customs among Sengunthar.