Palakkad Iyers

Palakkad Iyers also known as Kerala Iyers are Brahmin who have migrated to Palakkad from Tanjore district in the State of Tamil Nadu a few centuries ago. They are known as Palakkad Iyers because most of them settled down in the Palakkad district of Kerala which is close to Tamil Nadu. From Palghat they migrated to other parts of North Kerala which were part of the erstwhile Madras presidency like Kozhikode. Iyers were usually employed as cooks and temple assistants, since they were not considered qualified to conduct Pooja in Kerala (which follows Tantra-Vidhi of Namboothiri Brahmins).

Many families have migrated to other bigger cities in India like Bombay, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Calcutta, Bangalore, etc. in search of jobs. There are many Palakkad Iyers even at places outside India like the United States, UK, Gulf, etc. And today the majority of palakkad iyers reside outside Kerala something which can be attributed to the fact that there is a lack of skilled jobs available in kerala.

The mother tongue of all Palakkad Iyers is Tamil but the dialect that an Iyer from Palakkad speaks is influenced by Malayalam vocabulary to some extent. Their Tamil slang is highly influenced by Sanskrit also.

But, due to their hard work and dedication, many Palakkad Iyers have become scholars in many languages including Malayalam(the official language of Kerala, Tamil (Their mother tongue), Sanskrit, Hindi, English, Kannada and Telugu.

Iyers were initially confined to Tamil Nadu. The majority of them chose to stay in Tamil Nadu. However, some of them gradually started migrating to the neighbouring states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, a few centuries after the decline of all the great Hindu empires of Tamil Nadu (such as Chola and Pandya dynasties). The waves of Tamil Brahmin migration into Kerala continued till the first half of 20th century.

Over the years these migrants built up their own individual culture and established an identity of their own. In Kerala, they are commonly referred to as Pattars whereas people of Tamil Nadu call them Kerala Brahmins. The word 'Pattar' used for this and other Tamil Brahmin communities of Kerala is derived from the word 'Bhattar', a Sanskrit word indicating Brahmins. This was one of the earlier surnames used by the Tamil Brahmins.

ee Also

* [http://www.keralaiyers.com Kerala Iyers Offiial Website]


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