The illustrious nagarathar community of Tamil Nadu has liberally contributed its might for the development of Tamil Nadu and its culture. The temples they have built stand as monuments for their magnificence and their interest in the religious sector, even in the field of literature they do no lag."Paduvaar Muthappar" is a poet of the first order belonging to the Nagarathar Community. He was born in Sivapatti which is a PM District now. His father was Alaggappa Chettiar belonging to the Nemam Kovil.

The Chettiars of those days had only a formal education – the rudiments of Tamil and simple arithmetic calculations. These were considered enough for them to look after their business in their home town and elsewhere. But Muthappar must have mastered Nalavenba, Tiruvenkata, Catakam etc.. Muthappar was a poet who could compose instantaneously.

The title Paduvaar, simply indicates his proficiency in learning and verification. Among his compositions, Jayankondar Catakam, Tirumuka Vilacam, Nakara Valttu, Karuppaga Cuvami Kutireyati are noteworthy. Jayankondar catakam is composed on God Siva of Nemam. Proverbs which are distilled wisdom of the people are handled by Paduvaar Muthappar who skillfully weaves them into the texture of his poems. Some apt striking situations from the classic – situations which are illustrative of the proverbs – are also enshrined in Jayankondar Catakam.

When Muthappar was young he lost his father and was brought up by his mother, Letchumi Achi. He was greatly interested in Tamil versification than in trade propensities. However Muthappar earned his livelihood by means of small trade.

He seemed to have lived in the 18th century.There is transparent internal evidence of his works to prove that he belonged to the 18th century. He has mentioned General Agnew, Maruthu Pandiyar, Muthu Vatukunatar of Sivakagai Jamin in Marutam Pillaiyar’s patikam.

Muthappar invokes the blessings of God so that Nagarathars should live forever free from worries. Perhaps this is the main reason for the Community honouring him and remembering him with gratitude.

It is commonly believed that the flourishing of the Nagarathar Community is only after the blessings of the divine poet, Paduvaar Muthappa Chettiar.



Excerpts from the Book Paduvar Muthappar by Dr.T.Chockalingam Prof of Tamil, Alagappa University, Karaikudi.

Parvathi Publishers, Thayal Nayagi Illam, No: 11, 8th St., Subramaniyapuram, Thenvirivu, Karaikudi 623003

Published in September 1988