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Title: Kartha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Naduvazhi, Eranattu (Erattu) Kudumbam of Kangazha, Nair
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Kartha (in Kerala, India)or Karthavu is a Hindu Nair title name. It was conferred by the king to powerful Nair families who enjoyed Raja or Naduvazhi status.

The most important of the Kartha clans are Anakkottil Kartha, Meenachil Kartha and Kalathil Kartha. Their independent principality was annexed by Marthandavarma along with Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur (Meenachil near palai), Cheraneloor Kartha/Kattu kaimal (Cheranallore near Ernakulam), Thazhassary kotta Kartha.

The family deity Kottekkavilamma is seated in the pazhayakotta. The remains of the masonry basement of the fort and some portions of the 16-foot (width) fort walls with gun holes, are believed to have been built overnight during Hyder Alis invasion (1767) remain. They enjoyed four names as is evident from land and revenue records: Udayakumaran, Eravi, Kuruvikkat Kaimal and Kartha.

Until the recent past Kartha controlled the Cholamala near Thattekkad where the summer retreat of Chera dynasty existed (Kottappady near Thrikkariyoor), Karimattathu Kartha (Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor), Kalathil Kartha (Alwaye - Family Deity - Vettakorumagan), Chiral Kartha(Kadayiruppu, Kolenchery), Ambazhathumkal(Nattukariathil) Kartha (controlled Vennimala near pampady the capital of Thekkumkur), Anikkad Kartha, Ranni Kartha, Pattathil Kartha, Manayath Kartha, Vattakkattu Akathootu Kottayil Kartha,sankarankotha kartha, Kodassery Kartha, Vembanattu Kartha(Perumbavoor), Mannamparambath Kartha (Chazhur, Thrissur), kallarackal kartha(Alwaye), Tholali kartha (Okkal), Vadakkumcheri Akathoottu Kartha and Madathethu Puthenmadom Kartha, Pulumthanathu Kartha, Panavally Kartha, Thottappattu Kartha, ( Mudavoor, Muvattupuzha), Kulangara Akathoot Kartha(Kuruppampady, Perumbavoor), Huruthikkattu family ( shertallai ), Maloor Madom (Perumbavoor), Thottoor Madom (koovappadi), Maliekkal Madom(Thrissur), Pallathu Madom, Oorapra Kartha, Munjodi Kartha, Kulappura Kotta, Valayanchirangara, Ayilur Kodakara, Nenmara, Kummanottu Madom, Kolathayathu Kotta,(Puthencurushu), Chemmalakkudy kotta, (Vilangu, Aluva). Thandadil Kartha ( Perumbavoor), Thekiinethu,( Perumbavoor), Kovilakathu Kartha, Eramallore, Cherthalla, Ettu Veettil Kartha, (Chammanadu Devaswom).They belong to the Samanta Kshatriya group.[1]


  • Legend 1
  • Society 2
  • Samantans 3
  • Caste system 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Kartha, as a Kshatriya community, ruled smaller principalities or worked mainly in the Army, Police or as tax collectors. They were troop leaders. The Kartha surname is still used, although it is less prominent.[1]

The title Kartha, ("doer"), appears to have been used as a titular name by some of the rulers of Madurai. During the Madras census of 1901, the title Kartha was returned by Balijas claiming to be descendants of the Nayak kings of Madurai and Thanjavur. The Tekkumkur and Vadakkumkur Rajas are said to have first conferred the title Kartha on certain influential Nayar families who were related by blood to the Rajas. In social matters the authority of the Kartha was supreme. Only on important points were higher authorities called on to intercede. Karthas belong to the Illam sub-division of the Nayar caste.[2]


Until the 19th century, the Karthas strictly followed marumakkathayam or matriachical tradition where the female was the head of the family. Her children would carry her name and inherit her property. Now Karthas follows makkathayam.


The Samanthans of Chuntampattai and Cherupulasseri were known as Kartha or Karthavu. They were related to the Thirumulpads of Manchery and Amarampalam.[3]

Caste system

Karthas belong to the Illathu Nair caste. Some of these clans were later elevated to Samanthan Nair.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Kartha".  Kartha at Google Books
  2. ^ """Full text of "Castes and tribes of southern India. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Castes and Tribes of Southern India By Edgar Thurston p.284-289
  4. ^ Census of India, 1901, Volume 1 Census Commissioner, p.131
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