Kerala Nairs 18000 Years Old Nairs Gotra

 A reader wanted me t know the Gotra details of the Nairs of Kerala.

This is a complex issue.

Nairs , Kerala
Warriors of Kerala

If one removes the Goggles of regionalism and linguistic chauvinism, one can understand Indian history in its splendor.

Though the people of Kerala formed a part of Tamil kingdom Chera, the Nairs of Kerala had a social system of their own.

Nair comes from the word Nayaka meaning chieftain or a leader.

They were the leaders of a group of army of the Cheras.

‘The Nambudiri Brahmins were at the top of the ritual caste hierarchy and in that system outranked even the kings. They regarded all Nairs as shudra. Below the Nambudiris came the Tamil Brahmins and other later immigrants of the Brahmin varna. Beyond this, the precise ranking is subject to some difference in opinion. Kodoth has placed the Samantan caste below the Kshatriya rank but above the Nairs, but Gough considers that the Pushpagans and Chakyars, both of which were the highest ranked in the group of temple servants known as Ambalavasis, were ranked between the Brahmins and the Nairs, as were several other members of the Ambalavasi group. She also believes that some Nairs adopted the title of Samantan in order to emphasise their superiority over others in their caste. The unwillingness of the higher varnas to engage in what they considered to be the polluting activities of industrial and commercial activity has been cited as a reason for the region’s relatively limited economic development’

‘A theory has been proposed for the origins of the caste system in the Kerala region based on the actions of the Aryan Jains introducing such distinctions prior to the 8th-century AD. This argues that the Jains needed protection when they arrived in the area and recruited sympathetic local people to provide it. These people were then distinguished from others in the local population by their occupation as protectors, with the others all being classed as out-caste. The cross-disciplinary historian Cyriac Pullapilly describes that this meant they “… were given kshatriya functions, but only shudra status. Thus originated the Nair

Taking into consideration the caste  system of Sanatana Dharma was practiced by The Tamils , Cheras were Tamils,there was no discrimination in the Tamil land on the basis of caste , the views by western authors seem to be based on the Myth of Aryan dDravidian Theory which is now proved to be false and is a piece of disinformation to divide the people of India.

The fact that the Group who are currently called as Nairs were entrusted with Military duties , they were Kshatriyas.

The Nairs, Chera Period.

Some people think the name itself is derived from nayaka, an honorific meaning “leader of the people”, while others believe it stems from the community’s association with the Naga cult of serpent worship. Christopher Fuller, an anthropologist, has said that it is likely that the first reference to the Nair community was made by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, dating from 77 AD. That work describes what is probably the Malabar coast area wherein could be found the “Nareae, who are shut in by the Capitalis range, the highest of all the mountains in India”. Fuller believes it probable that the Nareae referred to the Nairs and the Capitalis range is the Western Ghats.’

Matrilineal Society.

Nairs operated a matrilineal (marumakkathayam) joint family structure called tharavad, whereby descendant families of one common ancestress lived under a single roof. Tharavads consisting of 50 to 80 members were not uncommon and some with membership as high as 200 have been reported. Only the women lived in the main house; men lived in separate rooms[clarification needed] and, on some occasions, lived in a separate house nearby. The families split on instances when they became unwieldy and during crisis among its members. When it split, the family property was separated along the female lines. The karnavan, the oldest male member in the tharavad, had the decision-making authority including the power to manage common property. Panikkar, a well-known writer from the Nair community, wrote in 1918 that,

Authority in the family is wielded by the eldest member, who is called karnavan. He has full control of the common property, and manages the income very much as he pleases. He arranges marriages (sambandhams) for the boys as well as the girls of the family. He had till lately full power (at least in practice) of alienating anything that belonged to them. His will was undisputed law. This is, perhaps, what is intended to be conveyed by the term Matri-potestas in communities of female descent. But it should be remembered that among the Nayars the autocrat of the family is not the mother, but the mother’s brother.

The husband visited the tharavad at night and left the following morning and he had no legal obligation to his children which lay entirely with the karnavan. In Nair families, young men and women about the same age were not allowed to talk to each other, unless the young man’s sister was considerably older than him. The wife of karnavan had an unusual relationship in his tharavad as she belonged to a different one and her interests lay there. Panikkar wrote that Karnavan loved his sister’s son more than his own and he believes it was due mainly to the instability of Nair marriages. Divorce rate was very high as both man and woman had equal right to terminate the marriage. Enangar was another family with which a tharavad remained closely related; a few such related families formed a social group whose members participated in all social activities. Nakane wrote in 1956 that tharavads as a functional unit had ceased to exist and large buildings that had once hosted large tharavads were occupied by just a few of its remnants.’

Being  a matrilinear society, the Gotra system must have been following the Mother’s Gotra.

Information is not available.

People may contribute with authenric source

The Nairs of Kerala and Bunts of Karnataka claim descent from the naga Śeṣa; these regions include the Nagavanshi clans who migrated from North India associated with the events referred to as the Sarpasatram. The Nairs were organized into various martial clans like Nambiar, Kiryathil Nair, Illathu Nair and Swaroopathil Nairs. The Illathu, Swaroopathil and Kiryathil Nairs have been classified as Kshatriyas of the Nagavanshi lineage Also claims as Nagavamsam in North costal region of Andhra pradesh state, where central government referred them under serial number 81 in NCBC (National Commission for Backward classed)

However, Nairs believe them selves to Belong to Kasyapa Gotra.

‘Vansh/Dynasty : Nagavanshi
Gotra : Kashyapa
Caste : Kshatriya

The Nair Clans of Kerala and Bunts of tulu nadu are the indigenous descendants of Anantha also these regions include the Nagavanshi clans who migrated from North India associated with the events as Sarpasatram. The Nairs were organized into various martial clans like Nambiar and Kiryathil Nair. Currently, warrior Sections of the Nair (Malayala Kshatriya) caste and Bunts of Tulu nadu claim descent from the Nagvanshi dynasty. The Nagavanshi are the known as the Serpent Dynasty.

Nāgas originated from Kashyapa, father of Surya from whom clan of Suryawanshi kshatriyas evolved. The Nether World known as Pathala was the inhabitation of Nagas and Anantha as the Emperor of Naga, Sarpa, Uraga, and Pannaga. The Vedas do not mention Kshatriyas of either Suryavanshi, Chandravanshi, Nagavanshi, Agnivanshi or any such lineage. The Puranas constructed such genealogies. The Nāgvanshis acquired the status of Devas due to their excellent qualities, behavior and actions. Purānas mention Nāgas along with devas. Purānas mention of many Nāga Kingdoms. In ancient times Nāgas were the rulers of entire India. Mathura, Padmavati and Kantipur were capitals of Naga dynasty.

The worshipers of Nāga were supposedly known as Nāgā or Nāgil. Nair, Bunt and some Rajput and Jat clans claim to be of Nagvanshi origin.’

There are some interesting issues here.

1.People of north East India and some portions of central India belong to Nagavanshi.Now we find them in the deep south.

2.In ancient India, the landmass was different and the sea route from the North east of India to south of India was much shorter.

There are references that Ravana visited his In Laws place in central India frequently, his wife Mandodari was from India through this short route from Lanka.

So it needs some more research on this issue as to how the  migration took place, whether the Nagavanshis, who were also credited with having been the people of Patala Loka,deep south moved to North during the Great flood, when Vaivaswatha Manu, ancestor of Rama moved to Ayodhya.

3.The issue of the location of the Chera Capital Vanchi.

Considering this and the fact that Lemuria was the location of the early Tamil Kingdoms, I feel that the present theory that Karur was the Capital of Chera needs a look into.My stand is that it might have been located some where down in the Indian Ocean.

3.The present date assigned to Nairs and Kerala needs revision.

Chera King Udiyan Cheralatha,n particpated in the Mahabharata war.

Poompuhar,Tamil Nadu which speaks of Chera Kingdom, the author of Cilapadikaram was the king’s brother, and Poompuhar is dated 20,000 years ago it is safe to postulate that the Nairs of Kerala, who were in the army of the Cheras date back to some 18000 years ago

Shall dig more and write.

References and citations.

Image credit.



13 responses to “Kerala Nairs 18000 Years Old Nairs Gotra”

  1. நாயன்-Nayan in Tamil refers to as leader. from this word Nayan adding suffix அர் the word Nair came…………


    The last Tamil Villavar king VEERA UDAYA MARTHANDA VARMA alias VEERAPANDYAN was forced to abdicate in favour of two Tulu princesses called ATTINGAL AND KUNNUMEL RANIS in 1314 AD. Attingal and Kunnumel Ranis were from the house of KOLATHIRI descendent of TULU invader BANAPPERUMAL. By forced adoption ATTINGAL RANI and KUNNUMEL RANIS became rulers of VENAD. MATRIARCHY came to effect.
    After the Malik Kafurs attack and the formation of MABAR KINGDOM (MADURAI SULTHANATE) was formed in this period (1310 to 1335) Tamil kingdoms of Kerala was removed from power and Tulu Bunts became rulers of Kerala. In 1335 ATTINGAL RANIs son became the king of Venad.
    SAMANTHA KSHATRIYA rule of Venad was supported by Pillais a Vellala (Tamil) mixed Nairs at Venad.
    When Europeans came in 1498 Kerala was under a Matirarchal race of Nairs of Naga descent. Europeans thought that fair coloured Nairs had subjugated dark (Dravidian) people. The Europeans did not realize that Nairs were invaders from Tulunadu and their roots was at Ahichatra. Europeans thought Nairs were Kerala equivalent of European Knights. Portuguese were unaware of the Delhis invasion which led to the ascendency of Tulu people from Dakshin Kannada in Kerala. Portuguese never realized that Nairs became rulers of kerala just 184 years before their arrival in 1498.
    European support to the Samantha Kshatriya and Samanthan Nair Kingdoms led to the suppression of Villavar Tamil people who were the Kshatriyas of Chera Kingdom. Nair ascendency in Kerala is the result of spice money and Modern weaponry supplied by the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rulers
    When the Kochi kingdom was under Portuguese control Venad was under a Tulu Samantha Kshatriya ruler who often married from Cholas(Kalakkad) Pandyas and had Tamil titles.These ethnically different Tulu rulers adopted the Chera titles such as Kulasekhara along with Delhi Sulthanate given Shamsher Jung title. Until 1600 Matriarchal Tulu Bunt rulers of Venad pretended to be tamils.
    Under Portuguese in 1600s by forced adoption two princes from BRAHMIN Vellarapally Kovilakam was adopted into Venads ruling family. Between 1600 to 1700s Nambuthiri Kings ruled over Venad with Kulasekhara title. This was opposed by Pillamar the Vellala mixed Nairs of Venad.
    Under British low ranking Samanthan Nairs from Beypore Pally Thattari Kovilakam were adopted by Venads Nambirattiyar Queen Umayamma Rani.
    Despite stiff resistance by Pillamar Marthanda Varma a Samanthan Nair from Beypore became the king of Venad in 1730s.
    After the installation of a Marthanda Varma a Samanthan Nair in Travancore Villavar people were crushed.
    The Tulu Bunt kingdoms did not use Tamil but they used Tigalari script from Dakshin Karnataka. With British support the indigenous Malabar Tamil (Lingua Malabar Tamul) and Malayanma languages were made obsolete as the British actively promoted the Tighalari based langauge of Nairs and Nambudiris in the 19th century. All the books from Keala written in Malabar Tamil and Malayanma also disappeared from Kerala.
    First Malayalam bible sporting Tigalari script of Karnataka was written by a Christian converted Nair called Govindankutty (Joseph Fenn) wrote the Malayalam bible with Tigalari Script in 1829. From this period Nair language was made official by the British. Most of the Malayalees dont remember that their ancestors used a language called Malayanma which was closer to Tamil.
    The Tulu Bunt-Nairs thus had the support of Delhis invaders as well as the protection of European colonial rulers leading to the suppression of Dravidian Villavar culture until independence.
    The Chera flag displayed Bow and arrow of Villavar people. But prolonged Tulunadus Naga rule destroyed Villavar culture and enslaved them.


    After the defeat of Pandyan kingdom in 1314 Kerala was ruled by Bunt subgroups such as Samantha, Nayara, Menava and Kuruba.
    The Naga Lords were
    Who descend from the Banapperumal as well Nairs.
    Nairs who have elevated themselves to Kshartiya status
    Moopil Nairs were nair chieftains who ruled over small territories
    Madambi(Mada=Himalaya Nambi=chieftains) were the feudal lords.
    Who were Aryan Brahmins from Ahichatra often had sambandham with the Samantha Kshatriya Queens and their offsprings could become kings. Ambalapuzha Devanarayanan, Edapally Nambiadiris and Vellarappalli Kovilakam in Kochi territory all could have Brahmin roots.
    (Villavar Tamil Kings married Dravida Kshatriya queenss and Brahmins cant marry Villavar queens)
    Four Matriarchal Kingdoms were formed (Kerala never had Matriarchy earlier).
    Kolathiri dynasties first king was the son of Banapperumal, Karipathu Kovilakathu Udayavarman Kolathiri according to Keralolpathi. Because of Naga mixture practised Matriarchy. Kolathiris were the leaders of all the Nairs in Kerala.
    Samuthri kingdom was a Samantha Kshatriya Kingdom created by the Union of Polanad with Calicut kingdom
    Kochi kings had Samantha Kshatriya as well as Brahmin mixture. Keralolpathi claims that matrilineal Kochi kings descend from the Tulu Cheraman Perumals sister married to a Nambuthiri. Earlier Kochi kings practised BUDDHISM.
    Chinese visitor Mahuan visited the coast in 1409 A. D. He writes of Cochin thus : —
    ** The king or raler is of the solar race and is a sincere believer of Buddhisai
    and has the greatest reverence for elephants aad oxen and eveiy morning at day-
    light presents himself before an image of Buddha. Tlic king wears no clothing
    on the upper part of his person ; he has simply a squai’e of silk wound round his
    loins kept in place by a cloured waist band of the same material and on his head
    a turban of yellow or white cotton cloth. The houses are built of the woed of
    the cocoanut tree and are thatched with its leaves. There are five classes of
    men. The Nayars rank with the king. In the first class are those who shave
    their beards and have a thread or string over their shoulders. These are looked
    upon as belonging to the noblest families. * In the second are Mahomedans* the
    third the Chetties who are the capitalists ; in the fourth Kohngs who act as com-
    mission agents, the fifth the Mukuvas.



    Until 1310 AD Tamil Nadu and Kerala was ruled by Tamil Villavars who were warrior clan of ancient Tamils. Villavar subgroups were Villavar Vanavar and Malayar(who give the name Malayali to Keralites) and their seagoing cousin called Meenavar. The later Chera king Kulasekharapperumal who ruled between 800-825 AD called himself Villavar. The Tripartite Villavar kingdoms were Chera Chola and Pandyan kingdoms who ruled over Kerala also. Until 1102 the Villavar Chera King ruled over Kerala. After the fall of Mahodayapuram (Kodungaloor) Chera dynasty the Villavar Cheras shifted their Capital to Kollam and merged with Ay dynasty forming Chera-Ay dynasty (1102-1335 AD).

    The Tamil Villavars followed Patrilineal descendency ie after father son became King. Tamil was the official language. Tamils patronised Dravidian religeon, Hidnuism and Jainism. Until 1102 Tamil Villavar Cheras ruled over Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu. Between 1102 to 1215 Chera-Ay rulers who ruled from Kollam were also Villavar Tamils (Matriarchy was not practised by them) rule over Kerala. Between 1215 to 1314 AD Pandyas ruled over Kerala and most of the Southern India with the help of a Srilankan army (Parakrama Pandya 11 went to Srilanka in 1212 and formed a Government there but he was assasinated. His son came back and established the Pandyan empire).

    Nairs are Tulu Bunts planted in Kerala by the Turkish invaders from Delhi Sulthanate in 1310 AD as rulers. Different Tulu Bunt subgroups such as Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha ruled over Kerala. Nairs and Bunts practiced Matriarchy and Matrilineal descendency which were unknown to ancient or Medival tamils. Tulunadus Bunts practised Matriarchy since ancient times. Polyandry was practised by Nairs after 1310 AD while Villavar Tamils never practised it. Naga worship practised by Nairs was not present in Kerala prior to 1310 AD
    Some of the Tamils (Panickars Pilais and Kiriyam Illam) joined the Tulu invaders.

    Bunts-Nairs who were of Naga descent and are migrants from Ahichatra (part of ancient Nepal Rohilkhand in Uttarpradesh) during the reign of Kadamba king Mayura Varma in 345 ad. Thus a people more relate to Nepalese Newars ruled over Kerala between 1310 to 1947. Matriarchy Polyandry, Naga worship are the distinct features of these Naga rulers. The Naga kings added their birth star to their names which was never done by the earlier Tamil Villavar kings.


  5. kerala’s caste system is [like the rest of india] a huge mess of misrepresentation of the historical varna system [which isnt birth based] …..nair is not nayaka but someone who has taken nayana deeksha from a guru [in malayalam they were referred to as nayanmar] …. menon is derived from melnokki which is the process of doing tapasya with the eyes moved up [not sure what the mudra is called] then of course there are others like nambiar/nambiyathri/kurup/pillai etc which obviously also has spiritual significance but are today construed as something else….. the original system of village organization/spiritual organization set up by parashurama had tharas and kazhakams ….. all this classification of ezhavas/thiyya/nair etc. today is bogus because there are many common tharavads between the so called different caste groups including christians and muslims


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