While going through details of Gujjar agitation (Dina malar
I came across a mention of “paari” caste of
The name sounds curious to me.
There was a Paari in Tamil nadu.
Paari of parambu malai is a famous one – among the kadai ezhu vallalgal
(the last of 7 philanthropists.)
He was a VeLir like others of his clan, Vori, Began etc –
all of whom belong to the clan called VeLir.
These VeLir were not Tamils originally,
but were brought by sage Agasthya from Dwaraka after the sub-mergence.
While one group of surviviors of Dwaraka deluge left for
(recorded in Mahabharatha),
another group left for
This is has been recorded by Nacchinaarkiliyar and quoted in my earlier posts.
The Velirs were of two types – one who tilled and did the farming operations
and others who engaged people in tilling and farming operations.
Some of them became ‘Aayars” – those who collected taxes (aayam or vari).
Aaya is a sanskrit word for income and is also used in Tamil.
‘Aay Andiran’ was a famous king of aayars
whose inscription says that he belonged to Yadava clan.
(I intend to write a detailed account on all these with proof –
both textual and on the basis of inscriptions,
but will resume writing them after August )
The issues to be noted are that they brought farming to Tamil nadu.
Certain groups of people who inhabited Tamil nadu until then
adopted farming from them.
The MukkulatthOr becoming Velaalar is one example.
The penetration of Dwaraka refugees is wide spread in Tamil nadu.
For instance the king VeL Evvi – who was praised in Puranaanuru and
whom poetess Ouvaiyaar was fond of,
and who also happens to the ‘paatudai-th-thlaivan’ (Lord of the songs)
belonged to the clan “Ovi”. (said so in Sirupaanaatru-p-padai)
Incidentally the sculptors who wrote the inscriptions
on the copper plates of Thirvaalangadu
(made in the 6th year of Rajendra Chola-I ‘s reign)
also were from Ovi family.
The last verse of the copper inscription mentions this as their signature.
They were born in Kancheepura –
showing that the families that came to settle down in Tamil nadu had spread
or penetrated at all places.
“(L. 518.) Four sculptors born at Kanchipura, ornaments of the race of Hovya, wrote this eulogy (prasasti) : — the high-minded Aravamurta who, though born of Krishna, was not of sullied (Krishna) conduct; his two younger brothers who bore the names Ranga and Damodara ; and (his) son, the famous Purushotama, who was the bee at the paid of the lotus feet of (god) Purushottama (i.e., Vishnu). By these four persons who were well versed in the various forms of mechanical art, who had their birth at the great (city of) Kanchipura, who were wise and who were born in the Ovi family, this edict was clearly engraved.
While those settled at regions of Karnataka and Kerala emerged
as distinct groups later (with their languages showing a mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil),
those settled in Tamil nadu merged with the local culture.
All these people constituted “dravidans” –
the term used in Raja Tarangini (6th century AD) of
for ‘the people who left to settle or rest’
That they were not original inhabitants of Tamil nadu is also proved by the fact
that none of the 3 rulers of Tamil nadu (chera, chola and Pandya)
ever accepted them.
The only occasion these 3 rulers united was
when they wanted to destroy Paari – the Velir
King IrungO VEl of Dwara samudram near
From Kapilar’s song in Puranaanuru
we come to know that he belonged to the 49th generation after Drishtadhyumna.
In seeking marriage for the daughters of Paari,
Kapilar’s immediate instinct was to seek alliances in Paari’s own clan.
That was why he had approached him and another one
for the marriage of Parri’s daughters.
However they refused – which made him to settle for some Brahmin boys
of his own clan.
The similarity in the name “paari” of the ST groups of
whether they belonged to the same clan as Paari Vallal of Parambu malai.
In the back drop of this,
I am curious to know whether the Paari of Kashmir share any genetic resemblance
with those in Gujarath and VEllalars of Tamil nadu.
I expect them to be of same origin.