OriginsThe Kongu Vellala Gounders were referred as Gangakulam (Tamil: கங்காகுலம்) meaning the one descended from the King Gangadatta (Sanskrit: meaning "the one" given by the Goddess Ganga) (Tamil: கங்கதத்தன்) in Tamil, Hindu literature and religious works.
The name Gounder is a caste title derived from the Sangam Tamil word Kamindan (root word being Kavunda) which means "people who protected land, people and country" and was originally accorded to the "Feudal Lords" of the Kongu Nadu who had distinguished themselves bravely and fiercely in protecting the honour of the Kongu region and its people. References to this can be seen in the copper-plate inscriptions of the Chola, Chera and Pandya dynasties of Tamil Nadu. It is also found in the later Ganga and Pallava dynasties of South India. The name Gounder is the Prakrit of Sanskrit word Gamunda, meaning head or chieftain, which is Kaminda(n) in Tamil. It was later modified as Kavundan in speech.
Gounder was a hereditary title of the Village Headman in the system of decentralised panchayat administration in South India. The root word Kavunda became Kavundan (கவுண்டன்). This system gained greater prominence and wider political ascendancy during the reign of King Durvinita of the Ganga dynasty. The posts of the Village Headmen (நாட்டாமை) is hereditary and was usually bestowed on the Kshatriya warrior clans of the Kongu Nadu and hence accustomed to the ruling Gangakulam (ref.: Kongudesa Rajakkal).
The ancient recorded history of Kongu Nadu and Tamilakam reveals that the Chola warriors expanded into then heavily forested Kongu territory, took up agriculture and made the lands cultivable. They are traditionally considered to be Tamil speakers of the Kongu Nadu, an ancient division of Tamilakam that includes parts of northwest Tamil Nadu, portions of neighbouring Kerala and the southern Mysore region of Karnataka. They are one of the prominent castes within the Tamil community who have their roots in the Sangam Tamil culture. Their elaborate marriage festivities are mentioned by Kavirayar Kambar in his famous Kongu Mangala Vazhthu songs.
"These cultivators’ families have been growing from before the third century BCE (before the current era), so were their requirements. One notices an amount simplicity, politeness, and sincerity in their manners and customs. Their language is known for courtesy and respect. The Gaunders never go back on their word and are akin to “Satya-putras”, Sons of Truth. It is not with out basis that they call the ancient Atiyamaan Chieftains as a vellala. They are never tricky in their dealing but always straight forward. They are God fearing and large hearted people. Though Saivites they were never exclusive in their but patronize all sects of Hindu religion alike."
Kongu Velalar Puranas - BodhayanaA study of Vellalar records reveals that they claim the Vedic sage Bodhayanar as their originator. Many South Indian Brahmins and Adi-saivacharyas follow the code of life prescribed by Bodhayana still today. . As the Gounders also claim the same origin, some of their customs like e.g. marriage and other domestic life style follow Bodhayana's teachings, the Bodhayana gruhya sutras.
Introduction of paddy fields and sugar cane cultivationThe Kongu Vellalar also believe that Siva of the Himalaya gave 12 measures of paddy seeds to the goddess Parvathi, the daughter of Himavan. These seeds where cultivated the Gounders cultivated and so they brought the technique of paddy cultivation to the south. Some families even now call themselves Gangeyas, “People of the Ganga region”.
A 2,000 years old Tamil Sangam poem credits the ancient Chieftain Atiyaman’s family with the introduction of sugar cane cultivation in the south. "The Association of the Himalayas and the Gangetic banks with their life and the legends of their migration points to the historicity of their origin and migration pattern and contribution to paddy and sugar cane cultivation."
With the blessings of Maharishi Bodhayana the first progeny of the Gaunder was born and nourished by the Mother Ganga (the river Ganges), and was named “Marabalan”.
KshatriyasThe Kongu Vellalars also known as "Gangakulam" were the Kurunila Mannars of ancient Tamilakkam. The seven great Kadaiyezhu Vallalgal hailed from this community who were great patrons and philanthropists. . The Royal family of Pattakkarars were the traditional administrative heads. These regions are often suffixed by the word Nadu and represent the area they include like Annamalai Nadu, Poondurai Nadu, Thenkarai Nadu, Rasi Nadu, Poovaniya Nadu, Kilanku Nadu. Under this organizational system, the chiefs of the 24 regions would get together and decide on various political and social issues and accordingly govern the people and its region.
Surnames and titlesThe people in the Kongu Vaellalar community have two titles in general:
1) The title, which is Goundan or Gounder. Some use honorary titles like Sankaradampalayam Pattakkarar (also known as Venadudayar) from the (Sankarandampalayam - Peria Kulam) , Mandradiar (the Pattakarar of Palayakottai), Deva Mandradiar (Kulaiyan Kulam), Vanavarayar (the Zamin of Samathur), Kalingarayar (Zamin of Uthukuli), Pallavarayar (Kangayampalayam near Kangeyam) , Palayakottai Pattakkarar (Payira kulam), Katayur Pattakkarar (Porulanthi kulam), Puthur Pattakkarar (Cenkannan kulam) and Kangeyan, Kaadavarayar(Keechaka vamsam/kaadava dynasty/kaadai kootam whose kuladeivam at Keechakanoor (Keeranur) -the Kichakan of Mahabharatam), Vanchirayar(Mayilan kulam), Achyuta Thondaiman(Poosan kulam), Kolu Senai Mandradiar ('கொலு சேனை மன்றாடி'ஓதாளர் குலதத்து பிறவியான் Odhaalar kulam), Mummudi Mandraiar ('மும்முடி நல்லதம்பி மன்றாடி'Kannan Kulam).
2) The clan or Kulam, Kootam name, which is the surname generally like Periya kulam, Cenkannan, Payiran, Porunlanthi etc.
There is historicity in the list furnished by Cinnasami Gaunder in his book “Kongu Vellala Gaunder varalaru” (History of Kongu Vellala Gaunder) wherein he has stated that the following titles assumed by some families are the titles conferred by Kings in ancient times. Gangeyan; Mandradiyar; Kamindan; Vanavarayan; Deva Mandradiar; Kaccirayan; Kalingarayan; Tondaiman; Pallavarayan; Ulakudaiyan All these names are found in mediaeval inscriptions from Coimbatore.
people from the kongu vellala gounder community of Tamil Nadu have in general two titles: the caste title Gounder and the clan name, example Perungudi. Nowadays it is common for people not to use any of these titles.
Royal housesThere have been 36 titled royal families of the Kongu region, known as the Pattakarars. They are :
1) Pundurai Pattakarar - Nannavudayar - ('Sa' Kadai gotram)
2) Vellode Pattakarar - Ulagudayar - (Sathandhai gotram)
3) Nasiyanur Pattakarar - ('Moda' Kanna gotram)
4) Elumathur Pattakarar - Nallakumarudayar - (Panangadai gotram)
5) Morur Pattakarar - Kangayar - (Kanna gotram)
6) Paruttipalli Pattakarar - Mudali Kamindan - (Chella gotram)
7) Elur Pattakarar - Kangayar - (Panna gotram)
8) Sankaradamplayam Pattakkarar - Venadudayar - (Periya Kulam)
9) Mulanur Pattakarar - Tondaiman - (Pusa gotram)
10) Puthur Pattakkarar - Pallavarayar - (Cenkannan Kulam)
11) Kadaiyur Pattakkarar - Kangayar - (Muzhukkadhu Porulanthai Kulam)
12) Anoor (Palayakottai) Pattakkarar - Sarkkarai - (Payiran Kulam)
13) Valliyarachal Pattakarar - Tondaiman - (Pilla gotram) are the top thirteen
The thirty six titled families lived in the twenty four nadus of the Kongu region. These titles were given by the Sangam Chera kings who ruled from Karur, Dharapuram, Mulanur and Vilangil.
The ruler of Ratnagiri and Sivalayam had the title "Arthanari Venadudayars" (அர்த்தனாரி வேணுடுடையார்) and he was also the Prime Minister of the Chola King Kulothunga Chola I. The Cenkannan (lit.: red-eyed) Kulam have the title Pallavarayar which translates "the slayer of the Pallava King's head in the battlefield", referring to the beheading of the Pallava King in the battle between Pallavas and Cholas. The title Kalingarayar means "the slayer of the Kalinga King's head in the battlefield" in the epic battle between Kalingas and Cholas. A Pandyan ruler, Veerapandian, made a Kongu chieftain named "Kalingarayar" his Prime minister. During this period, the famous Kalingarayan Canal was constructed by this visionary. It still continues to irrigate the fertile lands in the Kongu region.
The first of the many titles of Venadudayars is the Chetti Venadudayars which was bestowed after they were asked to bring their feudatories Chettinad back under the original Chola King, who then proceeded to make Chettis subjects of Venadudayars and granted the rights of tax collection and annual tributes to the Venadudayars. They usually carry a Regal staff and their word is taken as the final authority, which was traditionally much respected by the Kongu people. Their sovereignty over the independent country "Nadu" which they ruled was much respected and honored by all the Moovendar Chera, Chola, Pandiya Tamil Kings and also by the Dravidian Pallava and Vijayanagar empires of South India. The Sankaradampalayam Pattakkarar was also bestowed an honorific title by then Vijayanagar Kings in as late as the sixteenth century 16th century A.D.
The Kulaiyan Kulam ("Kings who wear stud") of the Kongu Vellalars were the Kurunila Mannar of the old Kulithalai region with their capital at Koiloor (near present day Aravakurichi). The feudal lords from Kulaiyan Kulam are called Deva Mandradiars. They were the herediatry receivers of the Moovendar Chera, Chola and Pandiya Kings when they visit Kongu Nadu but this honor later went to Periya Kulam after a minor accident. Kaadavarayar(Keechaka vamsam/kaadava dynasty/kaadai kootam whose kuladeivam at Keechakanoor (Keeranur) -the Kichakan of Mahabharatam.
"The Vēļāļar of the Tamil country (the descendants of the Vēļir) have retained the honorific till this day in their names (c.f gavundan and 'gouņder' (from Sanskrit Gamunda)" The name Gounder is the Prakrit of Sanskrit word Gamunda, meaning head or chieftain, which is Kaminda(n) in Tamil. It was later modified as Kavundan in speech. The Kadaiyezhu Vallal (Seven Great Patrons)
Oris (ruling Kollimalai region from Rasipuram, famous king Valvil Ori)
Malayaman Karis from Tirukoyiloor (rivals of Adiyaman and Cheras, probably the Kari kootam in Gounders of today, famous king Irumudi Kari who was a rival of the Chozas)
Begans (ruling from Vaiyavoor or Pazhani which originally was called Vaiyapuri, famous king is Viyavoor Began,belongs to Aviyar Clan)
Paris (ruling Mudiramalai or the Gobi -Sathy ghats from the Pariyur of today, famous king Parivallal)
Kumanan (ruling Kudiramalai region)
Killis (ruling the Mudiramalais)
The Velir constituted a large and powerful ruling class in the early historical Tamil society. The frequent phrase ventar-um velir-um('the Kings and Chieftains') in the Cankam poems (e.g.,patir,30,49,75,88) indicates the high position occupied by the Velir in the Tamil polity next only to the three great crowned kings.The Velir ruled the smaller principalities as Chieftains and also served at the court of the crowned Kings as nobles,Ministers and Generals. it is mentioned(Naccinarkkiniyar in Tol.Purattinai,79)that the Velir had the right to give their daughters in marriage to the Royal princes.The Velir chiefs known as Vallals were famous for their liberality and patronage of Tamil poets.The Velir of the Cankam Age,the Velir of the medival period,and the Velalar,the great mass of Tamil peasantry down to the modern times, all seem to belongs to the same stock.Naccinarkkiniyar(Tol.,Porul.,34)mentions that tha Vellalar were men at the command of the velir,and divides them into two classes,namely those who owned the land and those who actually cultivated it.The attachment of the Vellalar to the land is so proverbial that the word for agriculture in Tamil is velanmai(abstract noun formed from velal. The folklore of the Tamil Velalar still preserves the tradition that they are Gangeyas('Children of the Ganga river').
Southern migration from the banks of the Ganga or from Dvaraka were ancient and widely shared by many of the Dravidian dynasties including the Chalukyas and the Hoysalas.
Kongu Vellalar clans are from the four great tribes called the Malavar, Kocar, Konkar, Velir.
References to the community have been found in the Purananooru of the Sangam age, Koduval Kongar and Karungaik Kongar, meaning Kongars with battle sickles, Kongars with their physical feature of massive arms respectively) and Silappadhikaram Kongilam Kosar and Kudagak Kongar, meaning Kongars of the Kosar clan.
Kosars were called Nar Kosar or Nanmozhi Kosar in the third Sangam literature. Nannul or Tholkappiam notes them as Kannadam (Kannadigas), Vaduku (Tulu), Kalingam (Oriya) and Telugu people. Kamba-ramayanam Payiram says Kosars were Vadakalai (Prakrit), Thenkalai (Tamil), Vaduku and Kannada people. Kosars were truthful to their kings and were called ‘Vai-mozhi Kosar’ (truthful in keeping their words).
The Mathurai Kanchi 508-09 & 771-74 records them as: "Poyya Nallisai Niruththa punaithar, Perum peyar Maaran Thalaivan Aka, Kadanthadu vai val Elampal Kosar, Eyaneri Marabin Vai mozhi ketpa" and "Pazhayan Mokoor Avayakam vilanka Nanmozhi Kosar Thontri yanna".
The Chera dynasty's Nedunchezhian’s army head was Mohoor Pazhayan Maaran. Kosars were present in his army. They followed Maran’s words in battle and were honored for their job in his court.
Elampal Kosar (young Kosars) were present in the armies of the Cheras.
Silappatikaram says Kon kilam Kosar were present in the Kongu Army (Kongunadu).
The Prakrit form of Vai-mozhi Kosar is Saththiya Putthirar.
and Asokan inscriptions call the Vadukus by this name. The Akananooru 15, 2-7 records: "Thokai Kavin Thulu nattu anna Varunkai Vampalaith Thankum panpin Cherintha Seri Chemmal Moothur". (Then captured Kudaku Nadu and Erumai Nadu and settled in Tulu Nadu with Moothur as their capital).
Polity inscriptions of Tamil Nadu from Kongu clansEpigraphy provides an account of various aspects of Sangam polity and has been used to verify some of the information provided by sources such as literature and numismatics. The names of various kings and chieftains occurring in the inscriptions include Nedunj Cheliyan, Peruvaluthi, Cheras of the Irumporai family, Tittan, Netunkilli, Adiyaman, Pittan and Korrantai.
Chera clanCheras of the Irumporai family- chera king,Still we have Cheran koottam in Karur, Mulanur and Dharapuram, the ancient vanjis (capitals) of Cheras....fyi all thier kanideivams are "vanjiyamman"! sangam chera queens were belongs velir clan(i.e. kongu vellala clans),first chera queens belongs to veliyan clan of kongu vellala
AdiyamanSatiyaputra (Adiyaman) of Dharmapuri (the Adi kootam of modern Gounders),he is also a velir
In the course of time Kongu country witnessed long drawn out power struggles between the different kingdoms of south India: here mainly within the Gounder clans of the Satiyaputra (Adiyaman) of Dharmapuri (the Adi kootam of modern Gounders) , Cheras (the Cheran kootam of modern Gounders) of Karur (Vanchi) and during the decline of the Sangam, the Gangas dynasty of Kannuva Gotra (the Kannan kootam of modern Gounders).
Pittan kotranPittan kotran was army head of Cheran and in their army ‘Elampal Kosar’ (young Kosars) were present.Silappathikaram says about “Kon kilam Kosar’ who were present in Kongu Army. The Kutiraimalai region ruled by Pittaṅkoṟṟaṉ alluded in Puṟananūṟu(168-172) is situated in Kongu region.
CholaTittan-Veliyan Tittan(Veliyan is one of the clan belongs to Kongu Vellala Gounders)
Tittan-Veliyan is founder of Chola dyanasty
Cholas - Early Sangam CholasVeliyan Tittan (50 B.C.E- 25 B.C.E)
Porvaikko-Perunarkilli (25 B.C.E-1 B.C.E)
Mudittalaiko-Perunarkilli a.k.a Ilan-set-Senni (1 B.C.E-25)
The king of Urayur Ilancetcenni married a Velir princess from Azhundur(Periya Kulam/Clan of kongu vellala gounder) and she became pregnant and gave birth to Karikala.
Karikalan I (1-25 C.E)(Karikala married a Velir girl from Nangur and Sankaradamplayam Pattakkarar family first person is karikalan uncle Irumpitarthalaiyan)
Velpahtadakkai-Perunarkilli (25-50 C.E)
Uruva-pahter-Ilan-id-Senni (50-75 C.E)
Karikalan II (75-100 C.E)
Sed-Senni-Nalankilli (100-125 C.E)
Kulamurrattu-tunciya-Killivalavan (125-150 C.E)
Rajasuyam-Vetta-Perunarkilli (150-175 C.E)
Cholan Ko-Cenkannan (175-200 C.E)(there is clan named cenkannan also present among Kongu Vellala Gounders )
The Chola line:
Veliyan Tittan ,the captor of Uraiyur and the founder of the Chola power,was one The Chola line:of the many vels or kings who occupied territories near the coast in the basin of the river Kaviri(the modern Kaveri).Like the Predessors of Alunturvel and NanKurvel,he was the vel or king of virai,a coast town near the kaveri delta veliyan titan
Medieval Cholas and VelirBhuti Aditya’s son Madhurantakan Irukkuvel alias Achchan (Adityan) Vikrama Kessari figures in two inscriptions from Kudumiyamalai (Nos. 413 and 414) dated in the 21st year of the king,l wherein he is stated to have endowed a village called Marudangudi for all the requirements of the temple at Tirunalakkunram (Kudumiyanmalai).
No. 436 from the same place dated in the 33rd year of Parakesari (Parantaka) introduces as donor a certain officer by name Mayilai Tidan alias Avantiyakova-Pallavaraiyan of Pudukkudi in Urattur-kurram. This person is already familiar to us from a record (S.I.I. VIII, No. 694) of the 3rd year of Rajakesarivarman (Gandaraditya) where he is stated to have obtained the permission of Virasola Ilangovelar alias Parantakan Kunjaramallan mentioned above, for bringing a land under cultivation before making a grant of it to the temple.
There seem to have been more than one person bearing the tile Virasola Ilangovel. A record of Parakesari’s 10th year (No. 249) from Uyyakkondan Tirumalai (Tiruchirapalli district) registers a gift of sheep to the temple by one Peranana Viranarayanan alias Sembiyan Marayan who is referred to an officer (perundanam) under Virasola Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur without mentioning the chief’s proper name. Taking this Parakesari as referring to Parantaka I we may equate Virasola-Ilangovelar with the chief of that tile or name figuring in a record of the 28th year of the same king from Tiruppalatturai (S.I.I. VIII, No. 566) and with Virasola Ilangovelar Adittan Tiruvorriyauradigal of another record (Ibid No. 632) from Tiruchendurai dated in the king’s 23rd year. He was possibly a brother of Adittan Bhuti alias Madhurantakan Irukkuve; already mentioned. And it is likely that the latteer had a son also called Virasola-Ilangovel alias Orri Madhurantakan (Ibid, No. 611) whose sons again were Parantaka (Ibid No. 676) and Madhurantakan (Ibid, No. 611) whose sons again were Parantak (Ibid No. 676) and Madhurantakan Achchapidaran, the donor mentioned in No. 33 of Volume XIII of the time of Rajaraja I. The relationship of all the members of this dynasty so far mentioned, as surmsed above (and one or two others also) may be expressed in the following provisional genealogical table for easy reference.
Rājarāja’s mother was born in the family of Malaiyamāns of Thirukkoyilur(kari kottam)
The record starts with an invocation to Sūrya, as annihilator of clouds of darkness, (andhaka) and the progenitor of the Chola royal family, in which Rājarāja was born. In addition to the praise, this passage also suggests that Sun is identical with Siva who destroyed Andhakāśura, an exploit connected with the Thirukkoyilur Vīraṭṭāna temple. It also alludes to Rājarāja, born in the solar dynasty, as a destroyer of his enemies who appeared as dark clouds. The inscription continues with the greatness of Rājarāja and his prowess, and conquests . Following this, the inscription proceeds, in well laid out parts, to describe Rājarāja’s mother, Vānavan mahādēvī , the glory of the family of Malaiyamāṇ in which she was born, the greatness of Thirukkoyilur, the river Peṇṇai that passes through this town, and the hilly boulder on which Kapilar, the sangam poet left his mortal coils, the sanctity of the temple of Vīraṭṭānēśvara Śiva to which gift of lands were made and the services and payment. Finally it praises the Commander Kamban Vīthiviṭankan who was responsible for the donation. Praising Kamban the inscription ends as ḻhe the Chief of Poṉṉi nādu.
Death of Rājarāja’s motherAlmost one thousand years later Rājarāja’s mother Vānavan mahādēvī immolated herself on the funeral pyre of her husband Sundara Chola, leaving an infant child. This episode is mentioned in this record alone. Rājarāja’s mother was born in the family of Malaiyamāns of Thirukkoyilur who had an unbroken lineage from the Sangam age . There is also a clear suggestion that she hailed from the lineage of Pāri on her mother’s side . Rājarāja obviously had in his vein the lineage of two of the greatest chiefs of the Sangam age, Malaiyamāṉ and Pāri, both liberal patrons of Sangam poets. There is no doubt this unique parentage inspired Rājarāja to compose his inscription in Sangam tradition. Incidentally this also shows that Sangam tradition continued in the 11th century under the Cholas.
Malaiyamāṉ and Pāri both are velirs
Rajaraja had a number of wives.The mother of Rajendra I, the only known son of Rajaraja, Princess of Velir. Rajaraja must have had at least three daughters of whom the names of two are said to be Kundavi. Rajaraja was succeeded by Rajendra Chola I.
Korrantai Ilavan(கொற்றந்தை இளவன்)
Korrantai Ilavan belongs to Korrantai clan of kongu vellala Gounder,The earliest reference to generations of Chera kings are found in the Kongu Country at Pugalur (Arnattar-malai ) in that same Inscription Korrantai Ilavan also mentioned .
Tamil-Brahmi Rock Bed Inscription, 2nd Century CE.
Arunattarmalai, Pugalur Near Karur Line 1 Korrantai (I*) lava (n) Line 2 munru http://www.tnarch.gov.in/epi/ins1.htm
2 nd C.E inscription about chera kings present,in that same inscription Korrantai (I*) lava (n) ,were present, Korrantai till this day ,clan of Korrantai present among kongu vellala gounder
Pandya clanNedunj Cheliyan, Peruvaluthi- pandya kings(pandiyan king were later amalgamated in to kongus,one our clan name were pandiyan and to know oldness of clan)
A renowned dynasty of local rulers of Taramangalam. The title, Gatti meant 'solidity' and' firmness' and 'mudhali' means 'primary'. They were known for their firmness in word, Veracity, and reliability. Their insignia - a combination containing representations of green mat, unwitting garland of flowers and tiger - is seen in all of the temples built and renovated by them. some authorities believe that the descendants of Gatti are the Kongu Vellala Clans of Athiyar, Kanavalar, Marhavar, Narmudiyar, Vadakaraiyar.
The earliest mention of Gatti is found in the Sangam Literature of Agananooru (first century) in a list of tribes, Konganar, Kalingar, Karunadar, gangar and Gattiyar.
A nadukal of the seventh century mentions Kunra Gatti. A stone inscription of 1289 AD by a Madhurai King, Sadaiyavarman Sundhara Pandiyan, mentions nine Gatti Mudhali's of Tharamangalam.
According to a manuscript in the Mackenzie collection, the founder of the then Gatti dynasty was a valet in the Service of Thirumalai Nayakan the ruler of Madhurai Kingdom. Having Committed some indiscretion, he left royal service, came to Amarakundhi where he was trained as a barber-medicine man. When he cured the carbuncle on the back of the local vettuva Chief, Kunni Vettuvan, he was rewarded with a palayam. The Mackenzie manuscript mentions thirteen Gatti Mudhali's but lists only the following six in order of succession. Siyazhi, Ragunatha, Immudi, Punkkan, Vanangamudi and Kumara. Francis Buchaman also mentions, 'Guttimodalies'. Their rule extended east-west from Thalaivaasal to Dharapuram and north-south from Omalur to Karur. Their Chief Capital was Tarmangalam while Amarakundhi served as a second capital. The town of Kaveripuram was another centre of strategic importance of the Border of Mysore. After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire, the Gatti became the Palayakarar of Omalur are under Thriumalai Nayakan of Madhurai in 1623 AD.
Ay Kingdom-Veliyan clanThe Ay Kingdom was the earliest ruling dynasty of the southern parts of present-day Kerala in India. The Kingdom is believed to have flourished from the early Sangam Age down to the 10th century AD.
The Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy refers to the region from River Baris (River Pampa) which discharges into the sea at Thottapilly near Purakkadu to the north of present Kanyakumari district as Aioi (Ay). Original home of these Kings was at Aykudi near Palani and were a tribe known as Veliyan. The queen of the first King of Chera dynasty was Veliyan Nallini, obviously from this tribe. Veliyan Chieftain was the principal Military General of the First Chera Kingdom. He annexed the Pandian Trade Center located 22 km east of Thottapilly. This Trade center was called Nelcynda by the Roman scholar, Pliny the Elder and the unknown author of 'Periplus Maris Erithrae'. Ptolemy called it Nelkunda in his 'Geographia'. With the annexation of this trade center the Veliyan Chieftain was conferred the tittle Ay by the Chera King and the lands south of River Pamba to the boundary of the chiefdom of Nanjil Valluvan (Thovala and Agastiswaram in Kanyakumari District) was given to him as reward.
They established another Aykudi near Kuttalam in Tamil Nadu and ruled from there. Ay rulers were one of the 18 independent rulers called Vel in South India. They later established their administrative capital at Vizhinjam. The last Ay ruler Vikramadithya Varagunan transferred most of his remaining kingdom to a prince Veerakotha of second Chera dynasty in the tenth Century by a cooper plate edict called 'Paliam Chepped'. Later these lands were invaded by the Cholas. They were chased away by the last king of the second Chera Dynasty, Rama Kulasekhara. The rulers of present Travancore Royal family were also called Cheruay Moopan meaning the chieftain of the small Ay.
Veliyam is a very beautiful village in Kerala. It is situated near Kottarakara in the Kollam district of Kerala. A king named "VELIYAN" ruled this place , nearly 2500 years back. Later this place known as VELIYAM. It is located on the Oyoor Kottarakara road in between Pooyapally and Odanavattom, 12 km from Kottarakara and about 6 km from Oyoor.
Praise of a chief Gāngēya and his prowess in Veṇpā metermentioned that there exists a poem inscribed in the Riṣabhēśvara temple of Chengam and the record refers to Malai kadam pāttu. The record is in Chola characters of 12th cent Tamil script in Tamil language. It does not refer to the ruler but there are inscriptions of the later Cholas in the same temple and that the inscription is in 12th cent characters brings it under the mediaeval period. It is in praise of a chief Gāngēya and his prowess in Veṇpā meter. The record reads:-
Mūvēntar tār maṉṉarai malaip pa•ait teṉ maṉṉarai
Veṇkaṇda tiṛal gangar komāṉ kaṇ civappa paṇdē
malai kadām pāṭṭuṇda mālnavarai cencoṛi
alai kadām pāṭṭuṇdatē
When the eyes of the Ganga chief,
The conqueror of the crowned kings three
And more so the victorious ruler
Pandya of mountain ranges like army,
Turned red with merciless anger
The great Navirai hill, that received
Praises in days of yore, in
The song Malai kadām pāṭṭu,
Was reddened with waves of blood
(Of the vanquished).
note on this inscription in Kalvettu Quarterly no 5, p. 13. The reference to Malai ka•ām pāṭṭu of the Sangam age pattu pāṭṭu anthology is of equal interest like the Thirukkoyilur record. In the manuscripts of the Pattu pāṭṭu collection, edited by U.V.Swaminatha Iyer, the title of the poem is given as Malai pa•u kadām, but the inscription calls it Malai kadām pāṭṭu. In all probability the original title of the poem was Malai kadām pāṭṭu attested by the inscription. The village Chengam, not far away from Thirukkoyilur, situated near the hill Naviarai malai is well known. So is the town Cengam then known as Chenganmā. Both are mentioned in the Sangam classics. Both these inscriptions point clearly to the influence of Sangam poetic tradition very much alive in this region in the Cholaage. These two decidedly provide firm historicity to Sangam personalities.
chengam are was ruled by Malai kadām pāṭṭu Nannan(velir king) in Sangam Age
Konganivarman Madhava Rayan-Ganga Dyanasty(kannan Kootam or clan)Konganivarman Madhava Rayan(350A.D-370A.D) founder of Ganga Dynasty
The rise of the GangasThe rise of the Gangas can be said as the socio-political cementing of the Vellala chiefs of the Gangakulam as the sole lords of the Ganga (Kongu) country. The Cheras also had a few feudatories from other castes. The Gangas, earlier the feudatories of the Cheras themselves filled the powervaccum left by the declining Chera empire. The Cheras became one of the feudatories of the Gangas.
These Vellalas are descendant from the ancient Kshatiriya Suriyavamsam (Solar dynasty) through the Gangakulam (preserved in names like Suriya Kangeyan and titles having Kangeyan).
The Ganga copper plates and inscriptions (ex: Korni and Komaralingam plates) have maintained that the kings of the Gangas always called themselves Kongunis (Sans: of the Kongu). For example Kongunivarma Madhavarayan is the first mentioned ruler who establishes his capital at Kangeyam (Sans: Gangeyam or the seat of the Gangas). Durvinita calls himself as not Gangeya but Durvinita Konguni in his Kannada treatise Kiratararjuniya. In fact, the language spoken by the Gounders itself is called Gangee Tamizh, a language which is very close to original non-sanskritised Kannada. Wilkins, a British historiographer writes an account immediately before the conquering of Mysore (Dheeran Chinnamalai):
"In the southern part of Mysore the Tamil language is at this day named the Gangee from being best known to them as the language of the people of Kankayam". (Wilks, Mysore, p. 4, F, N.2).
Thus we have titles such as Magadarājan , Chedirāyan, Nishadharājan, Kāliṅga rājan, Ayodhi-rājan, Vaisāli Peraraiyan etc. All these chieftains lived in Tamilnad from 600 (or even earlier) to 14th cent. During this time a powerful Tamil chieftains named Gāṅgeyas were well known as Gaṇgas lived here who obviously hailed originally from Gaṅgā region. They became independent rulers from about 400 CE, in the west coast regions and were known as Western Ganga. They played a crucial role not only in the political field but also in all fields including art and architecture. Agriculturalists from Gangetic plains There had been a great migration of agriculturists as well from Gangetic region to Tamilnad. These men also called themselves Gaṅgā-kulod-bhavas, or Gāṅgeyas. Called Veḷḷāḷas, these cultivators, spread first to Kanchipuram and later to east and west coasts where they improved agricultural economy. Their experience in cultivating paddy, sugarcane, plantain etc., in alluvial belt of Bengal, helped them to improve cultivation in Tamilnad. A powerful and numerically great section of these cultivators now called Gauvuṇḍars(Gounder) claim that they originally hailed from Gaṅgetic regions.
Pallava-Kadava Dynasty-Kadai Kottam of Kongu
The earliest reference to the Kaduvetti is to be found in the Siragunda stone record of about 480 A.D. The Kaduvettis are largely mentioned in the inscriptions of the Telugu and Kanarese districts, but their connection with the Kadavas of the Tamil country is not yet well established. Pallava subordinate kings also seems to have acquired the title "Kaduveeti".
The Kadai clan of Kongu Vellala Gounders have been historically mentioned as Kadavarayan,later the title confused with the bird kadai (linguistically undergoing the suffixation process -ai of Tamil).Their clan deity is Keeranur and nearby Kadaveshvaran(the god of Kadavas).Later due to the Kalabhira influx, they moved to Kongu Nadu.
Poosan clan and Pallava Royal 'Uthayendra Simman'Poosan Clan(பூசன் கூட்டம்),One of Clan of Kongu Vellala Gounders.CholamahaDevi Stone Inscription this Clan is mentioned as Poosagar(சோழமாதேவி கல்வெட்டில் இது 'பூசகர்' ).The earliest reference(~400A.D-600 A.D or Inscription) to Poosan Clan are found in the North Arcot(Present Day Vellore and Thiruvannamalai District) Gudiyatham Taluk, Uthayendram.This Inscription is known as 'Uthayendram Stone Inscription'.Uthayendram Inscription has Note that had Mentioned 'Uthayendra Simman' belongs to Clan Named 'Poosan(பூசன்)' .Poosan MatruThurai(பூசன் மாற்றுத்துறை) one of type of war.
Several Thousands of Hero stone had found all over Kongu Nadu and also in Chengam. The Warriors of Hero stone belongs to Kongu Vellala Gounder clans, has mentioned with their names, along with their clan name, their village name and also their titles
like this each and every clan warriors of kongu vellala were present in hero stones .and too each and every 214 clan of kongu vellala gounders have continuous documented history from sangam time to present. our clans totem symbols are present in Indus Valley civilization too.
Kongu Vellalar(Gounder) clans & familiesPeople belonging to the same Kulam/Kootam usually will not intermarry. They are considered as brothers and sisters. The list of kootams / Kulams (family) in the Kongu Vellalar clan sums up to 214 nos.
Sub-divisions of Kongu VellalarsThe Kongu Vellalas have also been divided into number of territorial groupings such as Sendalais (red-headed), Padaitalais (leader of armies), the Vellikkai (silver-handed), the Pavalamkatti (wearers of Coral), the Malaiyati (foot of the hills), Tollakatu (ears with big holes) etc., Though they belong to such sub-divisions,the Kongu Vellalas observe in common some essential customs which are getting amalgamated nowadays into the mainstream, some of the differences are Nattu Gounders also known as Oor Gounders = Gounders who were rulers of Nadus, Narambukatti Gounders (Vadakarai vellalars) = who are from the northern banks of river Bhavani (Mostly around Gobichettipalayam), Padaithalai Gounders ( the people who joined and abstained Tippu sultan's army respectively), Sendhalai Gounders (Coimbatore and Erode region), Irumudi Gounders - Vellala Gounders = Gounders who fell under two rulers and proper Kongu respectively, Vellikkai Vellalars found mostly in Krishnagiri, Pochampalli, Dharmapuri, Palakodu, Hosur and Rayakottai Taluks of erstwhile Dharmapuri District and in few villages in Alangayam Firka of Vaniyambadi Taluk in Vellore District.
Some kulam/kootams betray a totemic origin, whereas others appear to be names of lineage founders or place name of the clan's original inhabitance. Others show other ethnic origins such as Kannadiga and Toda. From the clan name it appears that at some point in history many different people came together to coalesce into this social group.
- Kongu Vellala Gounders (கொங்கு வெள்ளாள கவுண்டர்கள்)
- Vellala Gounder (வெள்ளாள கவுண்டர்) akaSendhalai Gounder oth Tendisai Vellalar(தென்திசை வெள்ளாளர் என்பது மறுவி செந்தலைக் கவுண்டர்)
- Nattu Gounder (நாட்டுக் கவுண்டர்)are a endogamous subsect of the Sendalai Gounders who are from the Pattagar gotras 
- Thondu Vellala Gounder (தொண்டு வெள்ளாளக் கவுண்டர்) are a sect also called இளங்கம்பன் who were born out of Gounders and Devadasis
- Modivandi Gounder (முடிவாண்டிக் கவுண்டர்) are the caste beggars of the community who are descended from the handicapped children born in the community.
The Velalapuranam and Kambar's MangalavazthuThe Velalapuranam, a 19th century work which tells the legend of the man who originated from the River Ganga called here as Marapalan who started the Gangakulam. This is a construction based probably on Kambar's Mangala Vazhthu (மங்கல வாழ்த்து) which is even today sung during one of the Kongu Vellalar marriage rites. Kambar himself describes the various rites associated with the Kongu Vellalar marriage. One is the Kaikorvai (கங்கா குலம் விளங்க கம்பர் சொன்ன...) in which he blesse the Gangakulam couple. These Vellalars are descendant from the ancient Kshatriya Suriyavamsam (Solar dynasty) through the Gangakulam (preserved in names like Suriya Kangeyan and titles having Kangeyan).
Kongu Mangala Vaazhthu composed by Tamil National poet Kavirayar Kamban is a beautiful treatise in chaste Tamil elaborating the marriage festivities of Kongu Vaellalars, his patrons. This song explains in detail and in sequence all the events related to a marriage from the beginning to the end and is regarded as a masterpiece on ancient customs and traditions of Tamil people.
A land of poetsThe Kongu country consisting of Coimbatore , Salem, a part of Trichy, and Dharmapuri districts constituted the ancient Kongu country. It developed a character of its own and in many ways unique among the Tamils. For example most of the population of this region generally called Gaunder – Cultivating Agriculturist declare that they are the “devotees in perpetuity” “adimai” of the famous Tamil Poet Kamban. It is unique in the history where an entire community owes their allegiance to a Poet, for the past eight to ten centuries. Their attachment to Kamban who wrote Ramayana in Tamil arises from another important factor namely it was Kamban who eulogized the greatness of the Plough and the Cultivators in seventy immortal poems called “Er Ezhupatu”. In addition some songs ascribed to Kamban were sung in the marriage rites of every Gauvunder family to this day. Further all Villages in this region and the Sub-castes among the Gauvunders appoint a Poet of their own, Confer honours on him and request him to sing Tamil Poems in their family functions.
Honoured SaivacharyasSimilarly all the villages and Sub-castes among them have a Temple of their own to which they are attached and take collective communal decisions in the temple. They likewise appoint a Saivacharya of their own and bestow honours on them and entrust the maintenance of the temple to them. They hold them virtually as their Guru and were ready to sacrifice everything for them. Their copper plates say that they will sacrifice even their life for the sake of the Sivacaryas of their own, from whom they take diksha- initiation.
Titles of Saivacaryas1. Adi Saiva Cakravarti .p 177; 2. Avimukta Nayaka nambi; 3. Avinasi Panditan; 4. Carntarai kappan; 5. Citrameli bhattan p 55; 6. Idangai nayaka battan; 7. Irajaraja battan; 8. Narpatennayira Cakravarti; 9. Nayakan p1 64; 10. Parmananda Devan p 52; 11. Pukali Cakravarti p 117; 12. Rajaraja Siva battan p 234; 13. Saiva Cakravarti p 157; 14. Saiva Ccakravarti p 208; 15. Saiva mamuni p 269; 16. Saiva Purandhara Cakravarti; 17. Senaptikal Devan Mukti Udaiyan p 39; 18. Sri Vallaba devan; 19. Srivallava devan p 45; 20. Vikkrama chola bhattan; 21. Vira Chola Bhattan; 22. Virabhadra bhattan; 23. Virana devan
Some of them had names after the presiding deity of the village.The number at the end denote the page number in the publication “Coimbatore Distric Inscriptions Vol I” published by the Tamilnadu Archaeology department, Chennai; year of publication 2006
DemographyThe traditional Kongu Vellalar belt is the western region of Tamilnadu known as Kongu Nadu. This area now comprises the following regions in the western part of Tamil Nadu: Coimbatore, Gobichettipalayam, Pollachi, Tirupur, Erode, Nilgiris, Udumalaipettai, Madathukulam, Avinashi, Perundurai, Bhavani, Komarapalayam, Sathyamangalam, Thiruchengode, Namakkal, Rasipuram, Karur, Kallakurichi, Palani, Dharapuram, Kangeyam, Omalur, Salem, Konganapuram, Idappadi, Sankagiri, Attur, Dharmapuri, Hosur, Krishnagiri, northern Dindigul, western parts of Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur, Vellore and Villupuram. They are also sparsely distributed in Thanjavur, Madurai and Theni districts of Tamil Nadu.
Kongu Vellalars are one of the Tamil Speaking majority communities in Tamil Nadu. They are also spread across the globe ranging from Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, America, Australia, Europe, Fiji, South Africa and many other countries abroad.
The vital statistics on Kongu Vellalar community shows that they have the lowest fertility rates (total fertility rates (TFR) and gross reproduction rates (GRR), among all communities in India.In the 1960-70 period, the Kongu Vellalas had a very low birth rate of 25.5 as against a CBR of 37.3 for the Harijans and CBR of 32.7 for the other castes in Tamilnadu. At that time, India's CBR was 38.9. The Kongu Vellalas' birth rate at that time was even lower than the birth rate in many devolped countries. It is well known of the very low fertility of the Kongu Vellala caste in Tamil Nadu, whose low birth rate is 24 as against the high birth rate of the Harijans,other non Harijan Caste. Among the inhabitants of this region(Kongu Nadu the Population of Gaunder group Numbered around 80,00,000 (eighty lakhs ) around 1960 and the rest are about 45,00,000.(Kongu Nadu). The Kongu Vellalars have however reached this level coming down from 1/4 of the total state popualtion during the British Raj.They adopted family planning very much earlier even before the Indian Government started advising small families. For the last 30 years, 90% of their families do not have more than two children.
When the government announced the two children norm, the Gounders were already having up to 80% of single-child families. Now the estimates stand around a near hundred.Today one can see single child families in thousands of their families thereby might be credited as the only caste in India having reverse growth ratio thus projected to lose its majority status in the region. This along with the nuclear families concept has made the individual families prosper though shattering many of the age old cherished values of Gounders. These single children from the lonely nuclear families have become lonely isolated and self-centered individuals popularly called islands. Thus the community is losing its identity and distinct culture due to over adherence to norms. This materialist lifestyle has resulted in the steady decline of the Gounders to 10% of the total state population from the pre-independence 25%. This self centered lifestyle has resulted in the undesirable increase of egotic personalities unwilling to unite even at the most demanding situations. Thus Gounders are silently slipping into political and demographic doom though outwardly they seem to prosper. We have to remember that no government eternally is steady to guarantee safety and there is always a safety in numbers. Concerned scientists have warned the community to have at least two children per family to maintain steady trends.
Economic & Political weekly had published articles confirming this statistics wherein the lowest fertility rates in Coimbatore and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu showed the lowest in the country and to some extent equal and lower than that of fertility rates in America.
But they are being continuously overlooked by the government in terms of development and privileges. So Recently, Kongu Vellalars started a political party, Kongunadu Munnetra Peravai, KMP in February 2009 and contested in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies and will contest in 50 Legislative Assembly seats in the regions of Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris, Erode, Gobichettipalayam, Salem, Tiruchengode, Namakkal, Karur, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, and Dindigul representing the western region of Tamil Nadu.
Customs and religionThe Kongu Vellalars are followers of the (Dvaita) Saiva Siddhanta maargam of Hinduism. It is one of the oldest existing school of thought in Shaivism. A sizeable population seems to have taken followed the Samana faith (Jainism) (temples are found even today at Vijayamangalam, Jinapuram, Vellode, Perundurai, Palani, Aivarmalai and Poondurai). They were later brought back to Hindusim by the Siddhars (most of the Siddhars lived in Kongunadu). The Kongu Vellalars follow the system of Kootam/Gotra keeping with their Kshatriya tradition, in which persons from the same Kootam are considered brothers and sisters and hence do not marry one another. Each Kootam has its own Kulaguru (or popularly saamiar- a brahmin - for example, the Kulaguru of Melkarai Poonthurai Nadu Kootam is Pasur Akilanda Dikshitar), who is traditionally respected. Every Kootam also has one or more Kuladeivams or a Clan Deities.
Some of the different customs followed by the pious, observant Kongu Vellalar families are:
1) Ancient and Pre-historical Tamil vestiges (reverence for Tamil language, feeding the Tamil scholars, Puzhavars with milk and fruit mash, worship of demi-gods, etc.,)
2) Kshatriya vestiges (Gotra system, Annamar vazhipadu (hunter-warrior conflict), Kannimar Vazhipadu (sapta kanyas), Udankattaiyeral (sati) (banned and not in practice), Kuladeivam, Kulaguru, benovalence, marriage customs, holding the marriage ceremony in the bride's house, giving handicapped children to Modavandis thereby eliminating weak genes, etc.,), (eating before dark, white saree (vella seelai) for widows, preference for white dress, cooking meat outside the house, etc.,)
KulaGuru tradition of GoundersThe Bhagavat purana attributes the foundation of the city(Dwarka) to Anrita, the brother of Ikshwaku, of the Solar Race
Source for slokas : Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.1.2-3
Yo ‘sau satyavrato nāma, rājarṣir draviḍeśvaraḥ
jñānaḿ yo ‘tīta-kalpānte, lebhe puruṣa-sevayā
sa vai vivasvataḥ putro, manur āsīd iti śrutam
tvattas tasya sutāḥ proktā, ikṣvāku-pramukhā
That saintly king and ruler (king) of the Dravida Countries who was known by the name of Satyavrata, at the end of the last kalpa (before the Pralaya) .. received knowledge by service to The Purusha, he indeed was Vaivaswata Manu, the son of Vivaswan, his sons have been proclaimed as the kings, famous as the Ikshvakus. The Gounders hold their Kulagurus equal and sometimes greater than God. The acharya of all Kongu Nadu Kulagurus as to all South Indians is the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.
Agastya and the southern migration of the VeilrThe story of the southern migration of the Velir from Dvaraka under the leadership of Agastya is narrated by Naccinarkkiniyar in his commentary on Tolkappiyam (pa$yiram ; Porul|.34).
According to this legend, the gods congregated on Mount Meru as a result of which the earth tilted, lowering Meru and raising the southern quarter. The gods thereupon decided that Agastya was the best person to remedy this situation and requested him to proceed to the South. Agastya agreed and, on his way, visited ‘Tuvarapati’ (Dvaraka) and led the descendants of netu-muti-annal (Visnu or Krisna) including ‘eighteen kings, eighteen families of the Velir and the Aruvalar’ to the south, where they settled down ‘clearing the forests and cultivating the land’. The sage himself finally settled down on the Potiyil hill. The fact of Agastya’s leadership of the Velir clan rules out the possibility that he was even in origin an Aryan sage. The Ventar-Velir-Velalar groups constituted the ruling and land-owning classes in the Tamil country since the beginning of recorded history and betray no trace whatever of an Indo-Aryan linguistic ancestry. The Tamil society had of course come under the religious and cultural influence of the north even before the beginning of the Can^kam Age, but had maintained its linguistic identity. As M. Raghavaiyangar (2004: 27), has pointed out veilr, means ‘one who performs a sacrifice’ (namely a ‘priest’). The Agastya legend itself can be re-interpreted as nonAryan and Dravidian even in origin and pertaining to the Indus Civilisation.
Jain,Jainism and Kongu Vellala Gounders
Tamil classic Perunkathai-Jain Kongu Velir-UdayanaPerukathai is an epic by auother jain Kongu Velir who was not only a poet but also a Prince and Patron of Poets . it is full of discriptions and details of institution , Instruments ,customs and manners of auhour's times.The Story is here about Udhayanan King of Vatsa.Some Part of Work are irrecoverably lost ,and only 16,000 lines are available Now.
The Tamil classic Perunkathai, dealing with the story of Udayana, is probably an independent work, not included in any of the traditional lists. The author of this work was a Jaina by name Kongu Velir, the Vel (Chief) of Kongu. Though very little is known of his life, a verse, in a recent work, the Kongumandalasatakam, states that he was a native of Mangai, which has been identified with Vijaymangalam in the Coimbatore district. The work is also known as Konguvenmakkadai, after the author and Udayanankathai, after the hero..
The story of Udayana king. of Kausambi, capital of the Vatsa kingdom, is dealt with in several works. The main focus of these works is the story of his adventures, conquests and final renunciation. The Brhatkatha of Gunadhy.a, written in about the first or second century A.D., and in the Paisaci language, contains the story of Naravanadatta, the son of Udayana, besides a lot of other stories. Of these the story of Udayana alone is treated in the Brahatkatha written in Sanskrit by the Ganga king Durvinita. In the opinion of Swaminatha Iyer, The Perunkathai is indebted to this Sanskrit version of the Brhatkatha. Two other works, in which the story of Udayana is treated, are the Uditodaya Kavyam in Sanskrit and the Udayanakumara Kavyam, two minor Kavyas of the Jainas, held in equal esteem with the story of Jivaka. The story of Udayana is also referred to in the Manimekhalai and other Tamil works. The Udayanankathai, one of the minor epics, is apparently another version of the same story. In the days of Adiyarkkunpllar, the celebrated annotator of the Silappadikaram, the belief was current that the Udayanankathai is based on a study of several works of the age of the second Sangam. This has led to the conclusion that this work may date from the third century or even earlier. But it is probable that this Udayanankathai referred to by Adiyarkkunallar is the minor epic and not the Perunkathai. Since the Perunkathai is admittedly a work based on the Brhatkatha of Durvinita, it must be dated after the sixth century A.D. or about the close of the Pandya-Pallava period i.e. 9th century A.D.
The author Kongu Velir, being a Jaina, discusses the Jaina doctrines in some detail. He has adopted a simple but beautiful style and the poem rightly takes a high rank among the literary classics of the Tamil world. The work embodies the essential characteristics of the mythology and cosmography of the Jains and in particular deals with the Vidyadharas.
Rock inscriptionsThis ancient inscription carved into the rock near a natural pond 25 km from Salem:
"Parampan Kokur kilan makan Viyakkan Kopan Kanadevan Tota Cunai (lit.: The inscription records that Viyakkan Koban Kanadevan son of Paramban, head man of Kogur has dug this well."The name Iyakkan is associated with Jains. For the benefit of the monks who come and stay here this well was perfected by Ganadeven. Jain monks stayed in the hillocks and served the nearby villages with medicine and education. This inscription belongs to 2nd century CE.
Another medieval inscription belongs to the Vera Rajendran Period (11-12th century A.D) of the Cholan state. It mentions the chieftain of kokur (ruler of Kokur area) Named 'Pillandevan from Sathathai Clan of Kongu Vellala Gounder
Kamba Ramyanam,Thakai Ramayanam and BharathamSadayappa Vallal, who patronised Kambar in authoring Ramayanam, and Kongarkula Varapathiyatkondan who supported Villiputhur Azhvar to write Baaratham .
Other Patronage from kongu Paalayakaarargal and PattakaarargalThe patronage to most of the Tamil poets of the region came from Sangarandampalayam Venadudayar, Samathur Vanavarayar, Uttukuli Kalingarayar, Perurk-Kangeyar, Kaadaiyurk-Kangeyar, Kangayam Pallavarayar, Pazhaiyakotai Sarkarai Marabinar and Puravipalayam Kopana Mandradiyar – all Feudallords and Chieftains (Paalayakaarargal and Pattakaarargal).
They were responsible for the poets composing great works.
On Pazhaiyakotai Pattakaarargal alone 50 poets have sung paeans. In Kongu Region the following are the Saivite centre on which a few songs of Thevaram were composed – Karur, Vengsamangkoodal, Kodumudi, Thiruchengode, Bhavani, Avinashi and Thirumuruganpoondi.
In the past couple of centuries too there have been a number of persons from this area who have served the cause of Tamil. Palani Maambazhak-Kavich-singa Naavalar was patronised by Navalar Veluk-kurichi Vallar Velappa Gounder. He has composed poems on several scholars, including Velappa Gounder on whom he wrote Chandiravilasam.
Ve.Ra. Deivasigamani Gounder, who dedicated his life to retrieve manuscripts, brought to light and printed Panjamarabu, an Isai Tamil work authored by Arivanaar.
Ma.Pa. Periyasamy Thooran not only compiled Bharathiar's works but also gave Tamil's first encyclopaedia. Pulavar Kuzhandai, who authored the 3,100-song Ravana Kaaviyam is from this part of the country.
And so are Muthusamy Konar of Tiruchengode, who printed many manuscripts, Ku. Nadesa Gounder
And this contribution continues to date.
Education and GoundersThe family is the basic unit of the Gounder community. It is the most important institution of social education and cultural importance. The Kongu Vellalars are traditionally a Forward community in India competing as such in the educational and government sectors with other forward classes till 1970's. Since most of the rural areas didn't have any schools and the missionary schools were slowly becoming the order of the day, the non-converting caste like Gounder were largely let off from modern education from the start of the 20th century. The Gounders were educationally lagging behind other communities who benifited enormously from missionaries who were running their own community banks and schools. It took another couple of decades for the revival of the Gounders in the educational sector after the community was accorded as an educationally backward class.
Kongu Vellalars in AmericaAlthough migration of Kongu Vellalars to North America started in the early sixties, real opportunities in America started in mid and late sixties mainly due to the Vietnam war.
Bleak employment opportunities in India forced many of the first generation of educated Kongu Vellalars to search for employment opportunities in America. Most of the Kongu Vellalars came to America to pursue higher education and eventually getting a job. Slowly the number of Kongu Vellalars in United States increased and reached a critical mass and a resulting dilemma owing to the clash of values, culture and civilization. The first meeting of Kongu Vellalars was held in May 1995 in Columbus, Ohio in America. Many Gounders have also made the crucial journey back to homeland and made significant contributions and made use of their high expertise to their native country in their respective chosen field with a distinction.
Marriage tradition of the Kongu VaellalarsThe original marriage type of marriage in Konga Vellala, like all Kshatriyas is Swayamvara. This is observed from the Manaimel Panam rite. Girls who have attained puberty (Theratti) were immediately given the choice of marrying one of their rightful hands, usually the maternal uncle's son, if not, the paternal aunt's son. The breaking of this system has lead to many evils like dowry, frustration, immorality, irresponsibility, competition, delayed and sometimes not marriying at all, female foeticiede and infanticide. Examples of post puberty marriage is seen throughout the elders. Especially in Annamar story, the thirteen-year-old twin brothers were married to their eleven-year-old paternal aunt's twin daughters. Due to the following of the Kula - Gotram system, cross cousin marriages do not spoil the genes as in other castes who have no such system. The Muslims and Christians follow parallel cousin marriages that will destroy genetic variety. All research reagarding Consanguinity have been done only on this system and not the south Indian Hindu system of cross cousin marriages.
The marriage rites of Kongu Vellalar (கொங்கு வேளாளர்) are ancient and stands as testimony to their cultured upbringing and grooming. Their marriage customs are unique amongst other communities in Tamil Nadu.
In the ancient times, like that of the Annamar story, the Kulaguru Brahmins officiated the marriages, but later due to a death omen: Among the Konga Vellalas of the Salem district, it is the Ambattan who officiates at the marriage rites, and ties the tali, after formally proclaiming to those present that he is about to do so. Brahmans are invited to the wedding, and are treated with due respect, and presented with money, rice, and betel. It would appear that, in this case, the Brahman has been ousted, in recent times, from his priestly functions by the Ambattan. The barber, when he ties the tali, mutters something about Brahman and Vedas in a respectful manner. The story goes that, during the days of the Chera, Chola, and Pandya Kings, a Brahman and an Ambattan were both invited to a marriage feast. But the Brahman, on his arrival, died, and the folk, believing his death to be an evil omen, ruled that, as the Brahman was missing, they would have an Ambattan ; and it has ever since been the custom for the Ambattan to officiate at weddings.
quotes Edgar Thurston in his Castes and Tribes of Southern India
The Kongu Vellalars were of great support to the King by assisting with their own army. They also held high positions such as chieftains, army generals and ministers of Chera and Chola empires. Some of the Chera kings are of Kongu Vellalar origin (lineage Cheran kootam) which lives mostly near the seat of the Cheras, the ancient city of Vanchi, modern day Karur.
Hence rites relating to government administration and war find their places in Kongu Vellalar marriages. The events such as bridegroom riding a horse in olden days, giving gifts and presents including weapons are examples of the above. The main occupation of Kongu Vellalar became agriculture and they excelled in it by their sheer hard work, tenacity and dedication for which they are known. Hence agriculture related rites such as boiling paddy and seer koodai formed part of the marriage rites of Kongu Vellalar.
Kongu Vellalars marry outside their Kulam/Kootam and are renowned for their elaborate three-day marriage extravaganzas.Kongu Vellalar do not conduct marriages in the months of Aadi and maargazhi. Generally, they do not choose even Chithirai for conducting the marriage. Marriages are held mostly in the months of Vaikaasi, Aani and Aavani taking into consideration the fact that the season will be good during these months and also jasmine flower of lovable fragrance which is required in large quantities for the marriage, will be available in plenty during this season.
Arumaikaarar: A respected elder of the community who actually conducts the marriage. The arumaikaarar is also called ‘arumaiperiyavar’, 'seerkaarar’ and ‘pudavaikaarar’. The arumaikaarar should be married and have offsprings of his own. On the specified day, the three arumaikaarars, after planting the ‘Muhurthakaal’, will go to an anthill of white ants, offer prayer, gather sacred earth in three baskets and bring the same to the wedding place. The First day event: The first day event is called Naal virundhu. On this day, close relatives of the bride and bridegroom will host feasts for the bride’s family and bridegroom’s family respectively.
The Second day event: On the second day, marriage arrangements will be done by bringing together all relatives. Events such as erection of pandhal (temporary shed), cutting of Muhurtha Kaal, hairdressing of bridegroom by kudimagan, informing the marriage event to village community by drum beating, hosting of feast for the relatives in the bride’s family as well as bridegroom’s family, bridegroom leaving for the bride’s house will take place on the second day.
The Third day event: The Muhurtham will take place on third day. The bride and the bridegroom will be seated on the marriage platform on completion of appropriate rites. The Thaali (Mangala naan) will be tied by the bridegroom around the bride’s neck and one can see the famous Kongu Mangala Vaazhthu song being recited only at their weddings.
The marriage events will come to a close with the serving of grand feast to all relatives, friends and neighbors. The marriage events will be performed by a respected elderly person of the community itself called arumaikaarar. All the rites are performed only in the Tamil language. Ezhuthinga Seer
The Mangal Vaazthu song of the Kongu Vellalars is an extremely beautiful song in chaste Tamil and was written by the great Tamil poet Kamban in honour of the Kongu Vellalars.
Kongu vellalas engage their own elderly men to officiate as priests whereas Kongu Vellalars were upper Caste in the traditional Society. In both Communities women were enjoying a superior position than their counterparts in other groups.
Freedom fighters from Kongu NaduThe famous story about the Maaveran Dheeran Chinnamalai (மாவீரன் தீரன் சின்னமலை) and his brothers and their historical battles against the British remains highly inspiring to the people of South India. The history of Dheeran would have been completely consigned to oblivion except for the heritage of oral story telling that existed in the Kongu culture. The credit goes to Puzhavar Kulanthai who heard this story from his grand father during early 1900s. However, during the British rule it was not possible to write about the freedom fighters as the those literature was banned. Puzhavar Kulandai could write about Chinnamalai only after independence from the colonial British rule. However, by the time he was about to write, he could not recollect everything his grand father told him. However he was able to create the first account of the story of Dheeran Chinnamalai and in course of time not just the Kongus but also people of India understood Dheeran Chinnamalai's role in their independence from the British.
Likewise, the life and history of the legendary Periyanna Venadudayar (பெரியண்ண வேணுடுடையார்), the most popular Kongu Chieftain in the recent history remains a source of inspiration to the Kongu people. Sri Periyanna Vaenadudeyar coming from the Royal family of Sankaradampalayam Pattakkarars who have strong history of bravely resisting the British attempts to subjugate Kongu Nadu and its population under British rule. The Pattakakarars of Kongu remained unfazed and withstood the onslaught of the British government to subjugate them under their Imperial rule. Many valiant men of Kongu have even laid down their lives for the noble cause of freedom and their sacrifices didn't go waste. Sri Periyanna Vaenadudeyar successfully ran a parallel independent government in the Kongu Nadu without any outside support during his life-time against the colonial British rule in India. His story of independence, remains a greater inspiration to the valiant people of Kongu Nadu even to this day but remains also in oblivion even in South India due to the earlier British regulations. Many of the Pattakkarars who have bravely resisted every British attempt to subugate them and laid down their lives fighting against the British forces and one can see statues(idols) of Ejamanar in the temples of Kongu Nadu. They are revered deeply as Ejaman by the ever grateful Kongu people.
The Tamil Nadu government earlier named a Transport corporation in the honour of Dheeran Chinnamalai. A "Mani Mandapam" (memorial) for Dheeran Chinnamalai was constructed in Arachalur, Erode district by the Tamilnadu government at a cost of about 30 lakhs. Tamil Nadu government recently placed a statue of Dheeran Chinnamalai in Chennai city.commemorative stamp on freedom fighter Dheeran Chinnamalai.
CultureThe Kongu culture is reflected more in its folklore. Folklore is an archive of human civilization along with other forms of oral tradition like story telling. It consists of customs, beliefs, value systems, festivals and rituals of a Community. And tells about their morals, ideals, values and dharma for which they lived. It also reflects its greatness and shortcomings. Kula Puranams are the chief folkloristic expressions found in many communities in South India. The Annanmar Swami Kathai is considered the national literature of Kongu Nadu. The Ponnar Shankar epic tells the story of the historic war between the Vellalars and Vettuvars. It was popularized by Sakthikkanal at the regional level and by the American Anthropologist Brenda E.F. Beck at the international level. Kunnudiak Kavundan, Thamarai Nachiar, Ponnar, Sankar and Thangam represent the kind of human beings we see in every age & in every society. The valour, heroism, social concern & the sacrifice of the brothers Ponnar Sankar still inspire and guide thousands of people living in and outside Kongu region. Visiting Valanadu Fort - where the warrior brothers are believed to have lived and ruled, Virappur - where Peria Kandi Amman Temple the clan deity of Annanmars is located and Padugalam where the sister Thangam revived her dead brothers with her divine power is considered to be a holy task cutting across caste and creed.
Kongu womenAll these traditions and customs tend to elevate the position enjoyed by kongu women among their affines,which is far above the accessible to Brahmin Women.Greater freedom in mobility and expression ,participation and control over limited resources are quite evident.In essence, a Kongu Vellalar Women usually does not lose her identity as a person in Spite of accepting impurity in a male-dominated society.
The net Outcome is that a Kongu women ,even among her affines,is neither driven to feel total helpnessness nor made completely submissive.She has a supportive network drawn from her consanguines as well as her affines,available locally or at a short distance,which can be activated.All these,in association with her active roles in the economy,enable her engage in controversies,disputes and open Challenges at times.She is traditionally empowered
JallikattuThe annual bull-baiting sport known as Jallikattu is held in Kongunadu but remains a relatively unknown to outsiders.Everyear during Pongal festivities known as Mattu Pongal. Jallikattu is conducted in the three Kongu villages of Kolumam, Kallapuram and Andipatti near Udumalai, Tirupur district. Highly trained bulls and malai madus are used for this highly ferocious sport. The participants are the local Kongu people (mostly Gounders).
Significance of the Kongu regionThe Kongu region flourishes mainly due to their extreme hard work, commitment, objective nature and innovation in their respective fields.
- Agriculture - the whole of Kongunadu
- Textiles - Tirupur, Coimbatore, Somanur, Erode, Perundurai, Gobichettipalayam, Attur, Pallipalayam, Tiruchengode, Salem, Rasipuram, Dharmapuri, Namakkal, Karur, Kallakurichi, Madathukulam and Dharapuram.
- White silk - Gobichettipalayam - First automated Silk reeling unit in India.
- Poultry - Namakkal
- Education - Coimbatore, Erode, Gobichettipalayam, Tiruchengode, Rasipuram, Namakkal, Salem.
- Automobiles - Coimbatore, Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Perundurai, Salem.
- Milk - Erode (Aavin), Karur
- Edible oil - Erode
- Turmeric - Erode has the largest market in South India), Gobichettipalayam.
- Pump Industry - Coimbatore
- Vegetables - Oddanchatram
The Gounders are an influential community in Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Karur, Tiruchirapalli, Namakkal, Erode, Tiruppur, Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Dindigul districts. A good section of the community is highly educated, many from the US and UK. Most of them are third-generation businessmen and put together, they generate roughly Rs 40,000 crore of export revenue annually. Through sheer hard work, its members have attained international recognition. They figure among the global leaders in several sectors including grey cotton, home textiles, hosiery, industrial and automobile components, heavy vehicles and even turmeric and eggs.
"The Kongunad elite—the Gounder caste—were unlike the valley elite in that they continued (proudly) to work in their own fields."
Prominent Kongu Vellala GoundersSee List of Prominent Kongu Vellala Gounders
- ^ Toponomy of Canara - Google Books
- ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=u8vvtDI9kt0C&pg=PA417&dq=konga+vellala&hl=en&ei=YtarTa6NE4bVrQeOjfGnCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=konga%20vellala&f=false
- ^ Sixty Gaunder Kuttams
- ^ Kongu History
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- ^ a b c d Nagaswamy, R. (15 September 2007). "Kongu History". Tamil Arts Academy. http://www.tamilartsacademy.com/journals/volume8/articles/article1.xml.
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- ^ Manickam, V. (2001). Kongu Nadu, a history up to A.D. 1400. Makkal Veliyeedu. http://books.google.com/books?ei=XAX1TM-OA8asrAe_gPnwBg&ct=result&id=WTRuAAAAMAAJ&dq=kongu+vellala&q=kongu+#search_anchor.
- ^ a b <line>The Kongu Vellalar Marbu</line>
- ^ Irācu, Ce (1989). Muruṅkat Toluvu Periyakula varalāru [History of the Periyakulam clan of Vellalas from Kongu Region, Tamil Nadu]. Tiruppaņik Kuluvinar, Aruļmiku Vākaittolu Amman Kōyil. http://books.google.com/books?id=UgYYHQAACAAJ&dq=kongu+vellala&hl=en&ei=WPr1TIKYLs_wrQe8rvDaBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBTjmAQ.
- ^ Arnold, David (1986). Police power and colonial rule, Madras, 1859-1947. Oxford University Press. http://books.google.com/books?ei=ahX1TIrgOYnIrQei1OiIBw&ct=result&id=cTYFAQAAIAAJ&dq=kongu+vellala&q=pattagar#search_anchor.
- ^ (in Tamil) கொங்கு வேளாளர் செப்பேடு, பட்டயங்கள். 2007. http://www.viruba.com/final.aspx?id=VB0002335.
- ^ கொத்தனூர்க் காணியாளர், குழாயர்குல வரலாறு. 1998. http://tamilbooks.info/final.aspx?id=VB0002365.
- ^ Mahadevan, Iravatham (1970). "Dravidian Parallels in Proto-Indian Script". Journal of Tamil Studies (International Association of Tamil Research) 2 (1): 157–276. http://books.google.com/books?lr=&hl=fr&id=rWRkAAAAMAAJ&dq=velir+velalar&q=velalar#search_anchor.
- ^ Mahadevan, Iravatham (2009). "Meluhha and Agastya : Alpha and Omega of the Indus Script". Chennai, India. p. 16. http://www.harappa.com/arrow/meluhha_and_agastya_2009.pdf. "The Ventar - Velir - Vellalar groups constituted the ruling and land-owning classes in the Tamil country since the beginning of recorded history."
- ^ Bhalchandra Deo, Shantaram; Chedarambattu Margabandhu, Agam Kala Prakashan (1996). Spectrum Of Indian Culture (Prof. S. B. Deo Felicitation Vol.). 1. Agam Kala Prakashan. ISBN 978-8173200229 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]. http://books.google.com/books?ei=ud_1TOH4EcrKrAeMrsClBw&ct=result&id=cv5tAAAAMAAJ&dq=kongu+vellala&q=authored+by+Kongu+Velir+a+vellala+prince+of++kongunadu#search_anchor. "...Kongu Velir, a vellala prince of kongunādu,..."
- ^ Encyclopedia of world cultures, Volume 3 by David Levinson page 304:"There is fairly strong literary and archeological evidence linking core Vellala subcastes with a group of chieftains called Velir,..."
- ^ Annual bibliography of Indian archaeology, Volumes 17-20 By Instituut Kern (Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden) page 111: "... the Irukkuvels are the immediate forefathers of the modern Vellalas."
- ^ People of India: Tamil Nadu By K. S. Singh,R. Thirumalai,S. Monoharan: "...the Velir, who are identified with Vellalar..."
- ^ On the history and social customs of Kongu Vellalas, etrhnic group of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu,Irā Vaṭivēlan̲ India,Koṅku Vēḷir varalāṟu,Aruṇōtayam, 2003 ,Original from the University of Michigan
- ^ Epigraphia Indica, Volume 30,Devadatta Ramkrishna Bhandarkar, Archaeological Survey of India, India. Dept. of Archaeology, India. Archaeological Survey ,Manager of Publications, 1987
- ^ http://www.ulakaththamizh.org/JOTSpdf/030024037.pdf
- ^ The Hindu Property Plus tried collecting details about the Kongu region and Coimbatore from the official records and the following is the information available in The Coimb atore District Gazetteer:
- ^ Mahadevan, Iravatham (2003). Early Tamil Epigraphy: From the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D.. Harvard Oriental Series vol. 62. Cambridge, Mass: Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University. ISBN 978-0-674-01227-1 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]. pp. 50–51.
- ^ Coins of southern India by Sir Walter Elliot,Prithivi Prakashan, 1970 - Antiques & Collectibles
- ^ Studies in Indian epigraphy, Volumes 26-27,Epigraphical Society of India,Published on behalf of the Epigraphical Society of India by Geetha Book House, 2000
- ^ The journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Volume 67
- ^ a b Electronic Journals of Tamil Arts Academy Volume-8 15-Sep-2007 " "கொங்கு நாடு சிறப்பிதழ்(Kongu Nadu Spicial Edition)" by Dr. R. Nagaswamy
- ^ "appear to have been a great warrior race which had used for the first time in South India horses" Journal of Indian history, Volumes 32-33,1955
- ^ "I identify the Satyaputra with the Kosars of Kongu Nadu" Thus it is clear that the Kosar,were it class of men who enjoyed a reputation in the Tamil Country for determination and truth,for great military prowess.... ,Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society, 1923
- ^ <line>The Kongu Vellalars</line>
- ^ Indian culture: journal of the Indian Research Institute, Volume 1, Part 1,Indian Research Institute,I.B. Corporation, 1984
- ^ Archaeological and literary sources of Kongu Region
- ^ Encyclopaedia of Tamil literature (Madras: Shu Hikosaka, Director for Administration, Institute of Asian Studies, 1990)
- ^ Encyclopaedia of Tahe Chronology of the Early Tamils
- ^ VOLUME XIX - INSCRIPTIONS OF PARAKESARIVARMAN
- ^ a b Sangam Poetic traditions under the Imperial Cholas by Dr. R. Nagaswamy
- ^ <line>Sangam Poetic traditions under the Imperial Cholas</line>
- ^ Annual bibliography of Indian archaeology, Volumes 17-20 By Instituut Kern (Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden) page 111: "... the Irukkuvels are the immediate forefathers of the modern Vellalas."
- ^ Pivot politics: changing cultural identities in early state formation processes By M. van Bakel page 165: "Chieftain Irunkovel (a Velir) proudly mentions the forty nine preceding generations of his lineage and their ancestral home at Dvaraka (Puram, 201.10; PPTI 445)."
- ^ a b சிந்துவெளித் தமிழ்ப் பெயர்கள்(Indus Velley's Tamil Names)
- ^ a b Dinamai"சிந்துவெளித் தமிழ்ப் பெயர்கள்(Indus Velley's Tamil Names) "
- ^ Tamil studies: essays on the history of the Tamil people, language, religion and literature By Muttusvami Srinivasa Aiyangar pages 63: "No traces of the Tamil kings are to be found at present in this country, and it is highly probable that they should have merged in the pure Vellala caste."
- ^ a b Journal of Tamil Studies
- ^ a b "கல்வெட்டுக்களில் கொங்கு வேளாளர் கூட்டப் பெயர்கள்" by கட்டுரையாளர் : சு.இராசவேலு Rajavelu, S கட்டுரையாளர் பணி : Epigraphical Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, South Zone, Madras கட்டுரைப் பிரிவு : Epigraphy - கல்வெட்டியல் ஆய்விதழ் எண் : 036 - December 1989 பக்கங்கள் : 067 - 074,read page 71 of this PDF
- ^ "கல்வெட்டுக்களில் கொங்கு வேளாளர் கூட்டப் பெயர்கள்" by கட்டுரையாளர் : சு.இராசவேலு Rajavelu, S கட்டுரையாளர் பணி : Epigraphical Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, South Zone, Madras கட்டுரைப் பிரிவு : Epigraphy - கல்வெட்டியல் ஆய்விதழ் எண் : 036 - December 1989 பக்கங்கள் : 067 - 074,read page 73 of this PDF
- ^ Salem cyclopedia: a cultural and historical dictionary of Salem District, Tamil Nadu
- ^ Gatti Dynasty
- ^ Mackenzie manuscripts; summaries of the historical manuscripts in the Mackenzie collection, Volume 1,Colin Mackenzie,University of Madras, 1972
- ^ Journal of Kerala studies, Volume 14,University of Kerala., 1987
- ^ Journal of Indian history, Volume 42,Dept. of Modern Indian History, 1964
- ^ Porunthal Excavations-Porunthal (77° 28’ 38” E; 10° 22’ 58” N), a tiny village, situated on the foothill of Western Ghat about 12 km southwest Palani
- ^ STUDIES IN TAMIL LITERATURE AND HISTORY
- ^ he surnames of the Caṅkam age: literary & tribal,University of Madras, 1968 - Family & Relationships - 226 pages
- ^ http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/OgAAAK4IjWh1WUWZhqKjlION1EP492CDzxKPfYZa4-YcN1IxivFljd-H0D8TIA3W8g17Egz49x_7eE1_NfMeN2I4_o8Am1T1UDVqO-FatzGs3_T-KOrFHzclDRnD.jpg
- ^ http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/OgAAAB5H1G3Frxq89krnlFA9ckEENMHlVF88BOiBkYCQjFQX0lqUCC8_e04YaDg3aLj8iBgwEM3etf3hsU_-zJRutnsAm1T1UMy7cbSlpIR9eGxEkj45DJNtQSVG.jpg
- ^ http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/OgAAAJ42oSbfJvyHDlekMwO6zGZonJKt8my69Az_plsXQwYmMvnRAWnIgvzJcaczlBlLOIc1FdAeJOawWIaCUfvpQT4Am1T1UKc5doin47TuTNBPD9HW-fK_Ldlx.jpg
- ^ Ganga Dynasty www.britannica.com.
- ^ Kongudesarajakkal, Government manuscript Library, Chennai
- ^ Sewell, Robert (1883). A sketch of the dynasties of Southern India. E. Keys. http://books.google.co.in/books?ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&ct=result&id=d7UIAAAAQAAJ&dq=kongu+or+ganga&q=KONGU+OE+GANGA+KINGS#search_anchor.
- ^ Lists of inscriptions, and sketch of the dynasties of southern India. 1884. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=S8wOAAAAQAAJ&q=kongu+or+ganga&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ.
- ^ History of Kongu. 1. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=SP03AQAAIAAJ&q=kongu+or+ganga&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAw.
- ^ Logan, William. Malabar manual. 1. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=9mR2QXrVEJIC&pg=PA280&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=kongu%20or%20ganga&f=false.
- ^ A handbook of Kerala. 1. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=FltwAAAAMAAJ&q=kongu+or+ganga&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CE8Q6AEwCA.
- ^ "Antiques & Collectibles". The journal of the Numismatic Society of India 54. 1992. http://books.google.co.in/books?ei=jH46TfvhEsHrrQf7ucXnCA&ct=result&id=5U1mAAAAMAAJ&dq=kongu+or+ganga&q=kongu#search_anchor.
- ^ Kapoor, Subodh, ed. The Indian encyclopaedia. 8. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=KjlbinB5Xj8C&pg=PA2522&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=KIQ6Tdb-Ks3IrQforc3JCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=kongu%20or%20ganga&f=false.
- ^ Fleet, John Faithful; Burgess, James (1878). "Pâli, Sanskṛit and old Canarese inscriptions from the Bombay Presidency and parts of the Madras Presidency and Maisûr". Archæological Survey of Western India. H.M.S.O.. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=M3MIAAAAQAAJ&q=kongu+or+ganga&dq=kongu+or+ganga&hl=en&ei=nYY6TcfTOY3PrQe6mbjiCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBDge.
- ^ Kongu Chronicle (one of the manuscripts of the Mackenzie collection)
- ^ Le Fanu, Henry (1883). A manual of the Salem district in the presidency of Madras. Government Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=_ZEIAAAAQAAJ&q=kongu+solar+race&dq=kongu+solar+race&hl=en&ei=tK0yTcjNLcnYrQfbs9iYCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAg.
- ^ The land of the lingam by Arthur Miles Hurst & Blackett, Ltd., 1933 - 288 pages
- ^ Mysore and Coorg, a gazetteer by Benjamin Lewis Rice 1876
- ^ "With this preface I proceed to give a list of the first seven kings of the Kongu country, of the solar race "Lists of inscriptions, and sketch of the dynasties of southern India
- ^ South Indian inscriptions, Volume 1, by Eugen Hultzsch, Hosakote Krishna Sastri, V. Venkayya, Archaeological Survey of India,Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, 1991
- ^ Mackenzie manuscripts; summaries of the historical manuscripts in the Mackenzie collection, Volume 1 by Colin Mackenzie,University of Madras, 1972
- ^ History of Kongu, Volume 1 by V. Ramamurthy International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilization, 1986
- ^ Toponomy of Canara. http://books.google.com/books?id=-qY9AAAAIAAJ&q=southern+mysore+kangee&dq=southern+mysore+kangee&hl=en&ei=m1edTfrBM8LprAeV_vGjBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA.
- ^ Nagaswamy, R. (01 Mar 2007). "Tamil Arts Electronic Journal Volume V". Tamil Arts Academy. http://www.tamilartsacademy.com/journals/volume5/articles/article4.xml.
- ^ Nilakanta Sastri, K.A. (1955). A History of South India, OUP, New Delhi (Reprinted 2002).
- ^ Inscriptions of India, South-Indian Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
- ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_12 - Pallava Inscriptions Table of Contents @ whatisindia.com
- ^ World classical Tamil Conference 2010 Manaatu Serapu Malar p.no 124
- ^ R.Poonkunran, 1979: Tharamangalam, publication No.58. Tamilnadu Dept.of Archaeology, no pagination. "Kongunadu was well known for its palayams", R.P.Sethupillai, op.cit, p.76.
- ^ Cattle Raiding and Heroic Tradition: Sedentary Pastoralism in Upland Tamil Nadu (Sixth to Tenth Century CE)Indian Historical Review January 2007 vol. 34 no. 1 91-124
- ^ விருபா : தமிழில் வெளிவந்த புத்தகங்களின் தகவல் திரட்டு
- ^ totem name even now current among kongu VellalasIndus script among Dravidian speakers,Irāman̲ Mativāṇan̲, N. Mahalingam, International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilization,International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations, 1995 - Foreign Language Study
- ^ Kongu Vellalar segmentary social structure, where division into separate lineages who moved onto new land,Conference series: Issues 7-8,New Zealand Geographical Society., 1973 - Science Includes the Proceedings of the New Zealand Geography Conference.
- ^ Journal of Tamil studies, Issues 15-16,International Association of Tamil Research, International Institute of Tamil Studies,International Institute of Tamil Studies, 1979
- ^ கல்வெட்டுக்களில் கொங்கு வேளாளர் கூட்டப் பெயர்கள்by Rajavelu, S,கட்டுரையாளர் : சு.இராசவேலு Rajavelu, S கட்டுரையாளர் பணி : Epigraphical Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, South Zone, Madras கட்டுரைப் பிரிவு : Epigraphy - கல்வெட்டியல் ஆய்விதழ் எண் : 036 - December 1989
- ^ Madras District Gazetteers: Tiruchirappalli (pt. 1-2),by Madras (India : State), B. S. Baliga,Printed by the Superintendent, Govt. Press, 1998 - History
- ^ ex: palace name like "palani", Palani,Jammu and kashmir ,India, palani,arbil,iraq, palani,musbate,Philippines(captured by cholas), palani,Azad Kashmir,pakistan
- ^ Palani Map — Satellite Images of Palani, original name: Palāni geographical location: Mirpur, Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, Asia geographical coordinates: 33° 28' 10" North, 74° 9' 50" East
- ^ Palani Map — Satellite Images of Palani original name: Palānī geographical location: Arbil, Iraq, Asia geographical coordinates: 35° 49' 29" North, 43° 35' 20" East
- ^ Kongu Vellalars 214 clans Information along with 392 Stone Inscriptions of 82 clans, also with Kani patu of each clans of Kongu vellala Gounders.
- ^ The Kongu Vellalas of Coimbatore - A Historical Sketch of A Dominant Peasant Community,கட்டுரையாளர் : சுந்தரராஜ் மாணிக்கம் Sundararaj Manickam கட்டுரையாளர் பணி : கட்டுரைப் பிரிவு : Culture - பண்பாடு ஆய்விதழ் எண் : 016 - December 1979 பக்கங்கள் : 034 - 047, Journal of Tamil Studies
- ^ Encyclopaedia of Backward Castes - Google Books
- ^ Madras District Gazetteers: Salem ... - Google Books
- ^ a b Castes and tribes of Southern India - Google Books
- ^ Castes and tribes of Southern India - Google Books
- ^ கொங்கு வேளாளர் திருமண மங்கலவாழ்த்து கவிச்சக்கிரவர்த்தி கம்பர்(Kongu Vellalar Marriage Mangala Valthu Kavichakaravarthi Kambar)(wikisource)
- ^ Mangala Vazhthu-Part I.wmv(u Tube)
- ^ angala Vazhthu-Part II.wmv(u tube mp3)
- ^ கொங்க புலவனார்கள்
- ^ Nagaswamy, R. (01 Mar 2007). "Tamil Arts Electronic Journal Volume V". Tamil Arts Academy. http://www.tamilartsacademy.com/journals/volume5/articles/article7.xml.
- ^ The number at the end denote the page number in the publication “Coimbatore Distric Inscriptions Vol I” published by the Tamilnadu Archaeology department, Chennai; year of publication 2006
- ^ Demographic transition and development strategies in India,B.R. Pub. Corp., 1996
- ^ The Kongu Vellalas' birth rate at that time was even lower than the birth rate in many developed countries.
- ^ In the 1960-70 period, the Kongu Vellalas had a very low birth rate of 25.5 as against a CBR of 37.3 for the Harijans and CBR of 32.7 for the other castes in Tamilnadu. At that time, India's CBR was 38.9.The Kongu Vellalas' birth rate at that time was even lower than the birth rate in many devolped countries
- ^ Participatory experiment in holistic rapid development: successful strategies for empowerment of women, regulation of fertility, and rural development in Andhra Pradesh,B.R. Pub. Corp., 2002
- ^ Population transition in South Asia by Ashish Bose, Mahendra K. Premi B.R. Pub. Corp., 1992
- ^ Ency.of Women in 21st Century By A. Kumar
- ^ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 15, Part 15 By James Hastings
- ^ KONGUNADUM SAMANAMUM by Pulavar S.Rasu
- ^ கொங்கு குலகுருக்கள்
- ^ http://www.harappa.com/arrow/meluhha_and_agastya_2009.pdf
- ^ Encyclopedia of Indian Tribes by S.S. Shashi page 216: "...Sage Agastya repaired to Dwarka and, taking with him eighteen families of Vels or Velirs, moved on to the south..."
- ^ Meluhha and Agastya: Alpha and Omega of the Indus Script by Iravatham Mahadevan, Indus Research Centre, Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai, India, page 16: "Agastya agreed and, on his way, visited ‘Tuvarapati’ (Dvaraka) and led eighteen families of the Velir, the descendants of netu-muti-annual (Krishna), to the south,..."
- ^ Pivot politics: changing cultural identities in early state formation processes By M. van Bakel page 165: "Chieftain Irunkovel (a Velir) proudly mentions the forty nine preceding generations of his lineage and their ancestral home at Dvaraka (Puram, 201.10; PPTI 445)."
- ^ Indian Literature
- ^ Jainism in South India" -P. M. Joseph,International School of Dravidian Linguistics, 1997
- ^ on www.jainsamaj.org ( Jainism, Ahimsa News, Religion, Non-Violence, Culture, Vegetarianism, Meditation, India. )
- ^ "Jain directory: who is who & Jain contribution in Tamil Nadu",Dhanraj Baid Jain College, 1976
- ^ "There are two notable exceptions however in Tamil- the Ramayana by Kamban and the Perum Kathai by Kongu Velir. Both the authors gave an entirely Tamil orientation to their works and stamped them with their own personalities",-The story of Udayana: Dr. U.V. Swaminathaiyer's Tamil prose work,U. Vē Cāminātaiyar, T. R. Rajagopala Aiyar, Koṅkuvēḷīr,Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. U.V. Swaminathaiyer Library, 1983
- ^ Introduction to Tamil studies-V. Perumal-CBH Publications, 1989 - Tamil literature-"A Collection Of Research Articles Concerning The Deeper Aspects Of Various Facets Of Tamil Culture And Its History "
- ^ Monuments - Inscription - Rock Pool And Inscription - Periyayerippatti
- ^ a b S. Raju, Pulavar (3 June 2010). "Kongu region's role in development of Tamil". The Hindu. http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article482113.ece?service=mobile.
- ^ Prasad, K.V. (2009). Looking to create a Kongu stronghold. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/08/stories/2009050854060500.htm. "From a Forward Caste, the Kongu Vellala Gounders and 14 sub-castes became Backward Caste in 1975 following a representation to the Government"
- ^ Communal reservations and constitutional safeguards in Tamilnadu,Copies can be had from G. Thangavelu, 1999
- ^ Report of the Backward Classes Commission, Tamil Nadu, 1970, Volume 2,Govt. of Tamil Nadu, 1975
- ^ Kongu Natpani Manram
- ^ Read the ebook Castes and tribes of southern India (Volume 1) by Edgar Thurston
- ^ especially of the Kongu country, had their own chieftains and they were good cavalry men.They Contributed soldiers and commanders to the Chera armyTamil studies: essays on the history of the Tamil people, language, religion, and literature,Muttusvami Srinivasa Aiyangar,Asian Educational Services, 1986
- ^ the Kongu People's long history as warriors and a plains-style social structure based on kinship and military hierarchy.The agrarian economy of Tamilnadu, 1820-1855,Arun Bandopadhyay,K.P. Bagchi & Co., 1992
- ^ The armies of the Chera kings were recruited from the people of the Kongu country who were a race of fine stalwart warriors,Tamil studies: or essays on the history of the Tamil people, language, religion and literature,M. Srinivasa Aiyanger,Guardian press, 1914
- ^ The Indian economic and social history review, Volume 39, Issues 2-4,Vikas Pub. House, 2002
- ^ "Kongar-warriors of the kongu country",A grammar of old Tamil with special reference to Patirruppattu: phonology & verb morphology,S. Agesthialingom ,Annamalai University, 1879
- ^ some spicial and Important regiments of rajaraja chola,one of regiment "Konka- vabar (Swordsmen of the Kongu country)"
- ^ "A clan of the Kongu Vellalar who were supposedly related to the Chera rulers of the Kongu Nadu"
- ^  "Note also Kulacekara[vir(ca.A.D.800,but cf.Dasgupta and De 1962:38ln.),a king of the Kongu-Chera line" ,The Journal of Asian studies, Volume 52, Issues 1-2,Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.),Association for Asian Studies, 1993 - History Vols. for 1956-1968 include: Bibliography of Asian studies, ISSN 0067-7159, as the Sept. issue. Beginning with 1969 this bibliography is issued separately.]
- ^ A handbook of Kerala, Volume 1,T. Madhava Menon, International School of Dravidian Linguistics,International School of Dravidian Linguistics, 2000
- ^ Kongu Vellala Gounder marrage customs, sagunam paarthal, nichayadhaartham, Naal virundhu, Muhurtha Kaal, mukurtham, thaali (mangala naan)
- ^ Details about who perform the rites in Kongu vellalar community Arumaikaarar, Ezhuthingakaari, Naavidhan, Vannaan, Pandaram,Kammalar
- ^ Ezhudhingam Seer for Kongu Vellala Gounder females after marrage by Aarumaikaarar
- ^ http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/OgAAAGIBtlco6U5xuSy8DgXRXcYmTGy9DhFPJWJLB_-HtX9f2SWO8LwAfajy59kT_yMkCmpuTlIt9cSqBAbIlPSiRLsAm1T1UGcGPn5qX_oT3AO1Cm_oFXT_Vg30.jpg
- ^ http://images.orkut.com/orkut/photos/OgAAAGXPN36pUT19P763YEbZIrGAa8nVpHzQBhBp-RTZs7bouwmOvUBG6c3YaX0uDJBE4uJ0_ipsvbOzSEQDGCli37MAm1T1UCB7Co7xDfO8RFA-1oGrOBnS9fMH.jpg
- ^ orungkuRi | Google Groups
- ^ கொங்கு வேளாளர் சீர்களும், இலக்கியங்களும(Kongu vellalar Sirkalum Illakiyakalum)
- ^ History, Religion and Culture of India By S. Gajrani-2004
- ^ Women's studies in India By L. Thara Bhai-2000
- ^ Social and economic dimensions of caste organisations in South Indian states,Dr. R. Balasubramanian, University of Madras
- ^ Meenakshisundaram, Dr. K., A Brief Study of the Marriage System of the Kongu Vellala Gounder Community, Journal of Tamil Studies Vol. 6, December 1974.
- ^ HONOURING A LEGEND: The DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, receiving the Konguvel Dheeran Chinnamalai Commemorative Stamp from Union Minister for Information Technology, Dayanidhi Maran, in Chennai on Sunday. Mr. Karunanidhi is flanked by TNCC president G.K.Vasan (left) and Union Minister, E.V.K.S. Elangovan. — Photo: M. Vedhan
- ^ History of the Vellalas from the Kongu Region, Tamil Nadu.Koṅku Vēḷāḷar varalār̲u,Ṭi. Kē Caktitēvi, Ṭi. Em Kāḷiyappā,Tēvi Patippakam, 1992
- ^ Government considering celebration of Dheeran Chinnamalai birth anniversary
- ^ Dheeran Chinnamalai statue to be installed in Odanilai soon
- ^ An agrarian history of South Asia, Part 4, Volume 4 By David E. Ludden
- ^ Folklore of Tamil Nadu,Cōmale,National Book Trust, India; [sole distributors: Thomson Press (India, 1973
- ^ Annamar swami kathai (15th century poet பிச்சை பட்டன் written) full download link
- ^ Ponnar SankarBharathiar University,Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2009
- ^ An intriguing Tamil epic, still told in the Kongu region, is the basis for Brenda Beck's assessment of popular standards...,ICSSR journal of abstracts and reviews, Volume 11,1982
- ^ Design and rhetoric in a Sanskrit court epic: the Kirātārjunīya of Bhāravi By Indira Viswanathan Peterson
- ^ The Legends Of Ponnivala(A 26 Episode Animated Epic)
- ^ Perspectives on a regional culture: essays about the Coimbatore Area of South India by Brenda E. F. Beck,Vikas, 1979
- ^ The Kongu Vellalas of Coimbatore - A Historical Sketch of A Dominant Peasant Community,கட்டுரையாளர் : சுந்தரராஜ் மாணிக்கம் Sundararaj Manickam கட்டுரையாளர் பணி : கட்டுரைப் பிரிவு : Culture - பண்பாடு ஆய்விதழ் எண் : 016 - December 1979 பக்கங்கள் : 034 - 047, Journal of Tamil Studies
- ^ Problems of widows in India By P. Adinarayana Reddy, Institute of Development Research & Alternatives (Tirupati, India),2004
- ^ Fraternal capital: peasant-workers, self-made men, and globalization in Provincial India By Sharad Chari
- ^ The Indian journal of economics, Volume 79, Issues 314-315 University of Allahabad. Dept. of Economics, University of Allahabad. Dept. of Commerce, Indian Economic Association
- ^ "Trade and Urbanization in Medival Kongu" Proceedings of the ... annual conference ..., Issue 13,Business Archives Council (Great Britain). Conference, South Indian History Congress. Conference, Business Archives Council (Great Britain)
- ^ THE INDIAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY REVIEW by BURTON STEIN - 1977
- ^ Change Makers At Grassroots: Local Governance In Action By G. Palanithurai (etal.),2008
- ^ Coimbatore district gdp is more than chennai district gdp http://www.tn.gov.in/dear/State_income.pdf
- ^ Once farmers and now entrepreneurs, the Gounders seek to gain a political voice to further their interests
- ^ How Efficiently is Capital Allocated?
- ^ Gounder consolidation could pose headache to major parties - The Times of India
- ^ " The Journal of Economic History ,CAMBRIDGE An Indian Rural Economy, 1880–1955: The Tamilnad Countryside. By Christopher John Baker. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984. Pp. xvi, 616.
- http://kongugounder.com/ - “Kongu Nadu Illam” which is accommodating about 30 girls for a short stay who comes to Chennai for Projects, Special Coaching for C.A. ,I.A.S, Training and for the freshers who get jobs in Chennai mainly in Software and other areas.
- http://www.kongujobs.com/ - for jobs
- Konguvellalar.in An Exclusive Kongu Website, only for Kongu Vellala Gounders
- gounder.org - Site for Kongu Vellala Gounder matrimonial
- kongumarriage.com Exclusive Kongu Velaala Gounder matrimonial
- Sivaselvi Amman Temple - Kannan and Kannandhai kottam
- Arulmigu PudhuVangal Amman -Varagunna Perungudi Kootam
- KonguVenadar Sankarandampalayam