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Mandyam Iyengar

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Mandyam Iyengar
VarnaBrahmin
GuruRamanuja
ReligionsHinduism
LanguagesMandyam Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit,
CountryIndia
Original stateKarnataka
Related groupsIyengars

Mandyam Iyengar is a caste of Hindu Brahmins of Tamil origin whose members follow the Visishtadvaita philosophy propounded by Ramanuja. They are found primarily in the Mandya and Mysore districts of the Indian state of Karnataka, especially in the temple town of Melkote.

The Mandyam Iyengars speak a unique language known as Mandyam Tamil which is a Kannadised version of Iyengar Tamil. As with other Iyengar communities, Mandyam Iyengars are also divided into two religious sects, the Vadakalai and the Thenkalai, though the vast majority of Mandyam Iyengars belong to the Thenkalai sect. As with other Hindu communities, they are also classified based on their gotra, or patrilineal descent.

History[edit]

The Mandyam Iyengar community traces its history to the establishment of Melkote as an important centre of Srivaishnavism. Due to the growing influence of the Cholas over Srirangam, Ramanujacharya migrated to the hill town of Melkote in the erstwhile Hoysala Kingdom, where he stayed for 12 years. There he revived worship at the Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, and established the Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt. He converted Hoysala king Bittideva from Jainism to Vaishnavism, renaming him Vishnuvardhana. With the establishment of Melkote as a major stronghold of Srivaishnavism, Iyengars migrated here in large numbers, enjoying patronage from the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagara rulers, and later the Wodeyars of Mysore. Fortunes rose in 1516 AD, when Krishnadevaraya, the ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire gifted several villages near Melukote to Sri Govindaraja Udayar, 12th successor in Ananthalawar’s lineage. Sri Govindaraja Udayar moved to Mandya with his followers and relatives from Tirupati, signing a covenant that laid the foundation for the Mandyam Iyengar community. From then on Iyengars settled in Melkote and surrounding regions came to be known as Mandyam Iyengars, forming a distinct cultural identity and marrying within the community.[1] [2]

With the establishment of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore, Mandyam Iyengars were given ministerial and scholarly posts and patronage for music, poetry, and the arts. During the reign of Hyder Ali and his successor Tipu Sultan, Mandyam Iyengars were persecuted for their loyalty to the royal Wodeyar dynasty, and many migrated out of the Mysore Kingdom to Madras. In 1783, on Naraka Chaturdashi Tipu Sultan massacred around 800 Mandyam Iyengars, including women and children, in Melkote for their loyalty to the dowager queen Maharani Lakshmammani. Naraka Chaturdashi is thus observed as a dark day for Mandyam Iyengars, and the majority do not celebrate Deepavali to this day. It is considered a day of mourning.[3][4]

In 1799 the Wodeyar dynasty was restored and became the rulers of the Mysore Kingdom and the community's persecution ended. Fortunes improved again and the community became prosperous. Large numbers migrated to Bangalore during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Notable people[edit]

  • J Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.[5]
  • Vyjayanthimala Bali, film actress.

References[edit]

  1. http://mandayamsabha.in/mandayam-history/
  2. https://postcard.news/tragic-story-of-mandyam-iyengars/
  3. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2016/nov/09/the-two-sides-of-tipu-sultan-1536521.html
  4. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/video/exclusive-why-does-melkote-go-dark-every-diwali-1219349-2018-04-24
  5. Babu, Venkatesha (6 December 2016). "Ammu to Amma: The life and times of Jayalalithaa Jayaraman". Business Today. Retrieved 9 December 2016.


This article "Mandyam Iyengar" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Mandyam Iyengar. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.


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