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Brahmin migration

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I have come across the following article which I want to share:

QUOTE[h=1]A contrasting story of Brahmin migration[/h]
Last updated: 27 June, 2010

M R Venkatesh, Coimbatore, June 27, DHNS:

Palakkad Iyers and Mysore Iyengars had fluctuating fortunes, says study

''Palakkad Iyers'' are as well known as ''Mysore Iyengars'' as two prominent Tamil Brahmin groups migrated under similar circumstances. But the two communities had to encounter contrasting situations, a research into the communities presented at the World Classical Tamil Conference here on Sunday revealed.

While “Palakkad Iyers” had to face the vicissitudes of history until their absorption in modern times into mainstream Kerala society, adaptation of the “Tamil Iyengar” families from Srirangam—“invited” to the erstwhile princely State of Mysore when the Wodeyars consolidated their kingdom — with the local community was smoother, said Dr Lakshman Singh, Bharathiyar University’s former head of sociology department, who presented his findings on the communities at the sociological session of the WCTC.

In his paper on “Plight of the Palakkad Iyers” in the migration’s aftermath, Singh said they were originally a group of Brahmins mainly from Kumbakonam in the heart of Cauvery delta.

They (the “Iyers”) in good numbers migrated possibly from the early part of the 18th century to Palakkad in Kerala and set up “agraharams” there under encouragement by the local “Nair chieftains,” Dr Singh said.

The Nair chieftains had a reason to welcome them to Palakkad, as the dominant land-owning “Namboodhri Brahmins” there refused to “cooperate in the coronation of Nair chieftains on the ascendant then,” Dr Singh said.

The immigrant Brahmins from Thanjavur district set up over 75 “agraharams” (traditional residential area) in and around Palakkad though the “Namboodris” resented their entry and their mode of temple worship.

Shedding their age-old Brahmin self-image, the “Palakkad Iyers” took to all kinds of works; such as domestic servants, cooks in “Namboodri illams” and even entering into marital relations with Nair women “to sustain their prolonged stay,” he said.

“These migrant Brahmins thus readjusted to the new situation and yet took care of their kith and kin in the agraharams of Palakkad,” Dr Singh who studied the sociological history of 120 families of “Palakkad Iyers” over three generations, highlighted.

Of those families surveyed in his field research, Dr Singh found that 36 of them had produced an IAS officer each. One of them was the inimitable former chief election commissioner TN Seshan’s family, he noted.

The Wodeyar Kings of Mysore ,too, facing “resistance to their coronation” from the local Brahmins at one time, encouraged a group of “Tamil Brahmins” from the Vaishnavite bastion of Srirangam, to migrate to Mysore.

AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa traces her ancestry to one such migrant “Iyengar” family, he said. Nonetheless, the “Mysore Iyengars” did not face the same level of hostility as the “Palakkad Iyers,” as the political transition of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore to British control and then into independent India was relatively smooth, Dr Singh added.


my childhood from palakkad agraharams.....i visited more than 30 small agraharams though my cousins......generally these

land owners and palakkad was highest rice producer of kerala.....thanks to EMS...these land owners became into ration

card holders.....many palakkad brahmins are lawyers/cooks/musicians/clerks/crooks too... chembai vaidyanatha bhagathar

like many great musicians are plakkad brahmins....generally mysore vadagalai iyengars patronised by mysore maharajhas....very smooth

transition and vaishnavism spread very well in mysore area.....STILL MELKOTTE IS VERY BEAUTIFUL VAIHANAVA CITY

VERY CLOSE TO MYSORE....even they patronised saint ramanuja.....
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