Rangoon Nagara Viduthi,
180, Coral Merchant Street,
Mannady, Chennai - 600 001.
Email : info@nagaratharikkiyasangam.org.

 About Nagarathar

5. Later History

In 1278 AD, Eranikovil and Pillaiyarpatti the two branches of Ellayatrankudi separated completely and decided to live as separate Pangaligals. Till date the two branches have no marriage alliance among themselves.

As the days went by Kala mutt and Patharakudi mutt merged together and now Patharkudi mutt alone is for Nagarathar men as the Gurupeedam.

As days passed by the Nagarathar families which lived around the places of the temple spread to various places. It is described that they lived in ninety-six places and now they live only in seventy-five places.

The Vaishyas were basically traders. One of the groups of traders was called the Chetty. Later this word changed to Chettiar. One who does business is a Chetty is often referred to as a stingy person. There is no population boom for the community. They are very selfish in thinking and they think of themselves and their community.

Silapathikaram, a book written by Elango Adigal, states that the main character in the book Kovalan is a Chettiar. Salt trade was famous during the Pandya regime. After going to many places to do business finally they would converge at Palani during the festival of Thaipoosam and write "Magamai". Magamai is an annual tax paid to the god. According to the capital invested or profit got a percentage is calculated and the magamai is derived. Here they set right their accounts and look at there profits and accordingly write their magamai. Later they give free food to all called "Annadhanam". This can be seen in Palani on a stone engraving, where it states that Kuppan Chetty's son Kumarappa Chetty of Nemam Kovil was the first to do salt trade at Palani with the help of Deivanayaga Pandaram.
Usually all Saivaites strictly follow the two beneath i.e.;

  1. Pray to Lord Ganesha, Lord Siva and Lord Muruga.
  2. No one should do anything during the stars of Karthigai and Thiruvathirai according to the Sastras. But the Nagarathars being ardent devotees of Lord Muruga and Lord Shiva they performed the Karthigai Padumai for their sons and Nataraja's Thiruvathirai for their daughters. The above went against all sastras. No other Saivaite community do these functions, hence these solely belongs to the Nagarathars.
  3. The Nagarathars consider the viputhi as a sacred and holy item whereas others consider it just the opposite, since it is got from burning and as ash. The womenfolk of the Nagarathar community put viputhi and the manjal kungumam on their forehead, while the others put manjal kungumam only. The viputhi is considered so sacred that during marriages the oldest lady of the house, even though she is a widower, holds a lamp on the left hand and puts viputhi on the groom and bride. When the Nagarathars travel anywhere they make it a point that they carry viputhi in a special bag called the "viputhi pai". During death also the Nagarathars place viputhi considering it to be a sacred item. No other Saivaite gives so much importance to viputhi unlike the Nagarathars.
  4. The Nagarathar community also have people ordained as Nayanmars among the 63 Nayanmars. Karaikal Ammaiyar a lady was ordained as a Nayanmar and was the first person to sing "Thirupathigams". Her Thirupathigams were called "Mootha Thirupathigam". Before Saint Appar Swamigal and Saint Thirugnanasambandhar Swamigal could sing thirupathigams the womenfolk of the Nagarathar community sang thirupathigams. Another person to be ordained as a Nayanmar is Eyarkai Nayanar.
  5. TEMPLES(KOVIL)
    The Nattukottai Chettiars are divided among themselves on the basis of temples called "Nagara Kovils" (Temples of Lord Shiva, since they are Saivaites). They are divided on the basis of nine temples that have many sub divisions. Marriages can take place among the various divisions. One cannot enter into an alliance with in the same division, but in some temples if the sub division is different then the marriage can take place. The temples are the places for the registering of marriages for the Nagarathars. On the day of the marriage or earlier, the bride's and the groom's side have to go their respective temples to register their marriage. The bride would renounce her temple and would be enrolled with the groom. They become a proclaimed member of the community and they are called as a "Pulli". The marriage becomes legally valid. On becoming a member, they start paying their annual subscription to the temple. From the temple on registering, the couples are blessed with the offerings from the respective temples.

The temples and divisions are as follows:

1.ELLAYATRANKUDI
God : Kailasanathar
Goddess : Solnithya Kalyani
Branches (PIRIVU) (7)
Okkur udaiyar,
Pattina samiyar, Peru marudhur udayar,
Kazhni vasaka udayar,
Kinkini udayar,
Pera senthur udayar,
Siru sethur udayar.

2.MATHUR
God : Innutreswarar
Goddess : Periya nayaki
Branches :(7)
Uraiyur udayar,
Arumbakoor udayar, Mannur udayar,
Manalur udayar,
Kannur udayar,
Karuppur udayar,
Kulathur udayar.

3.NEMAM KOVIL
God : Jayang konda soleeswar
Goddess : Soundara nayaki
Branch : Ela nalam udayar.

4.ERANIYUR
God : Aatkonda nathar
Goddess : Sivapuri Devi
Branch : Thiru vetpur udayar.

5.PILLAIYARPATTI
God : Marudhueswar
Goddess : Vadamalarmangai
Branch : Thiruvetpur udayar.

6.ELLUPAKUDI
God : Thanthodrieswarar
Goddess : Soundaranayaki
Branch : Soodamani puram udayar.

7.SOORAKUDI
God : Desika nathar
Goddess : Aavudaiya nayaki
Branch : Pugal vendiya pakkam udayar.

8.VAIRAVAN KOVIL
God : Valar oli nathar
Goddess : Vadivudai Ambal
Branch : Siru kulathur udayar.
Sub Branch : (5)
Periya Vagupu,
Theiyana Vagupu,
Pillayar Vagupu,
Kazhni vassal udayar,
Maru thein thira puram udayar.

9.VELANGUDI
God : Kandeswar
Goddess : Kamatchi Amman
Branch : Kazhni nallur udayar.

Marriages are performed only intra Kovils - Exemption: Pillaiyarpatti and Inaniyur will not have alliance in between them as they have brotherly relationship

No marriages performed intra branches except in the ELLAYATRANKUDI and Mathur.