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Nadars Families List :


Nadar is a caste of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Nadar was a not a single caste, but various other sub-castes came together to form Nadar.


Nadars origin is one of the debatable topics among the historians.

As per some Nadar activities in the 19 th century, they are the descendents of the rulers of Pandyan kingdom. Nayak rulers later captured Pandyan kingdom and the land got divided into various Pandyams or divisions. For each Pandyam, Palaiyakkars were appointed as rulers. According to Hardgrave these theories were baseless, and their origin would have been from the Teri palmrya forest around Tiruchendur.

The origin of the Pandyan kings still remains a mystery.

Family and Religious belief:

Nadars were hereditary tax collectors. They rode horses and bought slaves for household work.

Nadar women only rode in covered palanquins and revealed themselves only in front of the men of their house.

Adityans are the oldest Nadars and claim to be descendents of Surya. This family had constructed pavilions of the Shiva temple and had special privileges in the temple.

Although the Nadars had such great power and money, few sub-castes of Nadars were denied entry to the temples built by the higher caste. However, Nadars had owned many temples of Southeastern Tirunelveli. As per Nadars, due to the Nayak invasion they lost their privileges and rights.

Conversion to Christianity:

In 1680, the first Nadar woman got converted to Christianity at Vadakkankulam. These conversations were neither from the lowest nor from the highest caste of Nadar, but from the middle class climbers. The Nadars firmly opposed these conversions; however, the missionary offered protection to the people who converted.

Due to these conversions to Christianity, the Nadan (highest class in Nadars) felt threatened and they became the biggest rivals of the missionary. There were many anti-Christianity societies like Vibuthi Sangam (the Sacred Ashes Society), which the Nadars openly supported.

By 1860s, the oppositions started declining and many Nadans got converted.

Tranvancore Nadans:

In Southern Travancore, Nadan climbers served as palmrya climbers in the eastern Kanyakumari which were the lands of aristocrat Nadans. As per tradition, the kings of these regions had given the lands to the Nadan families in return to their services to the king.

Present day:

The Nadar community got educated and they distracted from the tree climbers to various other sectors like education, business and other fields.

Martial Arts:

The Nadars practiced the Tamil martial art adi murai, chinna adi and varma adi. Today these martial art forms are referred to Southern-style Kalaripayattu. However, they are very distinctive from the traditional Kalaripayattu.


The Nadars are approximately 12% of the Tamil Nadu population.