Who are Nattukotai Nagarathas?

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Sevvai Pongal which was held recently attracts hundreds of Nagarathars from across the globe.

About Nattukotai Nagarathas:

  • Also called Nattukottai Chettiars, Nagarathas are a people of Indian origin, well known for their financial dealings and hospitality. 
  • They are followers of the Hindu religion and worship the Shiva and Muruga deities of the Hindu faith. 
  • They belong to a very prolific Business Community, who in olden days moved out of India to foreign lands like Burma, Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam (Saigon) .
  • They hail from a place called Chettinad, an area situated in the South-Eastern region of Tamil Nadu.
  • They are considered the pioneers of modern banking. 
  • They introduced concepts like pattru (debit), varavu (credit), selavu (expenditure), laabam (profit) and nashtam (loss). These are all collectively known as iynthogai (trial balance) - a unified document which reflects the current financial status of the business at any given time.
  • They created 96 villages and built 9 temples with each family owing allegiance to a single temple only.
  • The Nagarathars were the primary providers of capital to Burmese cultivators through much of the colonial period. 

Chettinad region:

  • Almost centrally located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nādu, Chettinad is a culturally and historically important region famous for its unique cuisine, agriculture and architecture.
  • The origin of Chettinad begins in the 13th century when the Nattukottai Chettiars migrated to Karaikudi.
  • The new settlement eventually became the Chettinad region (Land of the Chettiars) of 96 villages (in 1947,) but now due to the movement of people out of certain villages, has diminished to about 75 villages.
  • Chettinad has well planned towns provided with well defined roadways, reservoirs to store and supply water to the town, a planned market place, temples and everything, providing the basic needs of people.


Q1) What is Pongal?

It is a harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community. It is a celebration to thank the Sun, Mother Nature and the various farm animals that help to contribute to a bountiful harvest.

Source: Sevvai Pongal attracts hundreds of Nagarathars from across globe