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Title: Chekavar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kalaripayattu, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, Northern kalaripayattu, Ezhava, Single combat, Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, Suraj Venjaramoodu
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


For the film, see Chekavar (film).

The Chekavar (also Chekava, Chekavan, Chevakan, Chon) is an Ezhava sub caste with origins in southern India, including Sri Lanka, Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu.


There are various etymologies for Chekavar.

  • It is derived from the Sanskrit words Sevakar, Sevakan or Sevaka, which means soldiers in service or soldiers in royal service.[1][2]
  • According to Hermann Gundert's English-Malayalam Dictionary, it is defined as being militiaman and warrior.[full citation needed]


Sangam literature and hero stones found in Tamil Nadu show that Chekavars were engaged in combat, often on behalf of a lord. On these hero stones, Chekavars are generally depicted by an image of an armed man along with a Shiva Linga. Hero stones were erected to commemorate men who had fallen in battle or cattle raids and were tradtional during the Sangam period.[3]


Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker, was an Ezhava warrior lived in the 19th century in Kerala who has also fought against the caste oppression by the upper castes. His original name was Kalisseril Velayutha Chekavar. His grandfather, Vallikadavil Perumal Chekavan (Perumalchekon or Perumalchan), was proficient in Tulunadan kalari techniques which were not common in the southern style of Kalaripayattu.[4]

See also


External links

  • ( Ashram / Hermitage of "Chekavar"/"Ezhavar")
  • Adhwaitha Vedantha ( Monism ) of "Chekavar" / "Ezhavar"
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