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Nadar

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About us

Nadar (also referred as Nadan, Shanar) is a caste of Tamil Nadu & Kerala, South India. The Nadars are an entrepreneurial south Indian caste] and constitute 12% of Tamil Nadu's population. The Nadar community was not a singular caste, but an assortment of sub-castes and classes of different origins, which in course of time, came under the single banner Nadar. Nadars are predominant in the southern districts of Tuticorin, Kaniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar. 

The origin of Nadars as a social group is uncertain. Hardgrave states that the Teri palmrya forests around today’s Tiruchendur must have been their original abode. Samuel Sarugunar claimed that they are the descendants of those who ruled the Cheran, Cholan and Pandyan kingdoms and that when Nayak rulers captured the Pandya country, it was divided into several Palayams (divisions) for each of which Palaiyakkars were appointed as rulers. Sarugunar believes that the Nayak rulers of Tamil Nadu imposed Deshaprashtam (ostracism) on the ancient Pandyas (Nadars) to ensure that they would not rise. The traditions followed by the Nelamaikkarars and the existence of the ruins beneath the Teri palmrya forests of Tiruchendur and the Pandyan capital city of Korkai, where the Nadar population is predominant, suggest they could very well be the heirs of the Early Pandyas. Two inscriptions at Kalladaikurichi suggest that in medieval times the Nadars served as administrators and accountants in both the Chera and Pandya countries. However, there is little evidence to support the community's claim to be descendants of the later Pandya rulers. The identity or caste of the Pandyan kings remains a mystery. This belief, that the Nadars had been the kings of Tamil Nadu, became the dogma of the Nadar community in the 19th century. This FamilyTreeDNA project is aimed at the origins of Nadars with the help of DNA taking advantage of scientific advancements in genetics. If you are a Nadar, you are welcomed to join this project.