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Migration

When did they migrate?

We have not been able to find an answer to this question in spite of maximum efforts put in. Almost all the old famous families are able to trace their ancestry to 6-7 generations i.e. to about 300 years. But on the basis of available evidence they could have migrated any time between 300- 700 years ago. Nobody is able to identify his or her ancestor in Tamil Nadu unless the migration is more recent i.e. 100-200 years ago. Some of them believe that the migration is 1000 years old. There is a story that the Viswanatha temple of Kalpathy is about 700 years old. But research done earlier has concluded that majority of them migrated in the 15th century. Concentrated research needs to be done in this area. The sources could be the various district Gazetteers published by the British administration including the Malabar Gazetteer.

Where from did they migrate?

Most of the Palakkad Brahmins believe that they migrated from the Tanjore District of Tamil Nadu. In earlier days of this century Tamilians were referred to as Kongans. A Kongan is the citizen of Kongu Nadu, the present day Coimbatore. It is a mystery why the Brahmins from Kongu Nadu did not migrate to Kerala. One reason could be that they went to Kerala temporarily and then returned back to their place because it was nearby. There is also another wave of migration from Madurai through Shenkottai Pass and from Tirunelveli via Trivandrum. The origin of Pattars in the village of Monkombu has been traced back to Tanjavur district.

The origin of some of the families could be traced by the names given to their children based on the God of their native land. For instance, the families with names of Vaidyanathan or Vaitheeswaran migrated from Vaitheeswaran Koil. The families where girls were named after Abhirami migrated from Tirukkadayur of Tanjore district. Names like Pachainayagi, the Goddess of Perur in Coimbatore District among Kerala Iyers, seem to indicate that family might be originally from Perur. It is believed that all the Iyers who have settled down in Pallassena village belonged to Vaitheeswaran Koil. There is also reference to Vaitheeswaran Koil in the stone edicts of the temple in Kootalai. The Ashtasahasram subgroup of Brahmins claims that they migrated from a village called Ennayiram (meaning 8000) in the North Arcot District of Tamil Nadu. Similarly a subgroup of Brahacharanam Brahmins traces their origin to Mangudi in Tamil Nadu. Some groups claim that they have migrated from Satyamangalam, Kandarmanikkam and Malanadu. Lot more research tracing migration of the families needs to be done

The recent book entitled "Tamil Brahmins in Kerala " by Sri.G.Sivaswamy mentions that they chose to name their new villages in memory of the place from where they migrated. For Eg.Those from Vaitheeswaran Koil called thir village as Vaidyanatha puram, those from madurai called their village as Chokkanathapuram , those from Champa called their village as Chempai and so on.

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