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Nadars have turned out to common estate owners in Palani Hills from early 20th century. They are especially found in southern slopes and cultivate cardamom and coffee. The Shanars were concentrated in the southern-most part of Tamil Nadu and their main occupation was as toddy tappers of the palmyra palm. The Nadars we find in the region of the Palni Hills belong to those Shanars who during the nineteenth century migrated northwards.Here many of them became successful traders, businessmen and cultivators, marking their distinction from earlier times by, among other things, dropping the name Shanar in favour of the title Nadar, meaning ‘lords of the land’ It seems that the Nadars very early engaged themselves in agriculture when they moved north.

A Coffee Journey IN PALANI HILLS:

By the middle of the 19th century, coffee was being served at the many clubs that sprouted up around India, the first being the Bengal Club in Calcutta 1827, followed soon after by the Madras Club in 1832 and the Bangalore Club in 1863. With the hill stations being set up in the north and in the south, and British administration extending to the mofussil areas, coffee drinking also spread. Victorian style made it an after-dinner ritual, and coffee became de rigueur at many a banquet. Commercial planting of coffee started around 1820, with the Mysore government liberally handing out `puttahs Interestingly, even in the coffee planting districts. By 1860, coffee cultivation in the Western Ghats had gained momentum. Leo Coffee owes its inception in 1910 to P R K Nadar when the Little Flower and Santa Maria Estates in the Palani hills, run by missionaries, asked for help in selling coffee in the local market. W.P.Ayya Nadar started owning a tract of Coffee estates after starting as a Estate Manager. Schools in Pattiveeranpatti and Bodi were developed with the support of the successful Nadar Community estate owners.

S.G.Jeyaraj Nadar who developed business with the development of transport to Kodai Hill Ranges, also contributed for educational institutions in Periyakulam, Madurai and Thirunelveli.


The Picturesque and Lush green Hills, with their numerous rivulets and deep valleys in Idukki District's in Kerala has begining of an enterprising story in the early part of last century. When European left the Tea Estate, several estates went into the hands of either Royal families of Kerala. Corporate companies like Hindustan Lever, Tata Tea slowly garnered large number of estates. One enterprising person from Tamil Nadu worked hard to begin a successful corporate history in Tea estates and later the co. founded by him diversified into various successful

industrial setups predominantly in Kerala. The founder of AVT estate in Idukki District, Kerala was Mr.A.V.Thomas, . He had had the experience as a manager in tea estates in southern districts of Kerala. He came at Pasupapri in early years of 19th century and started planting of tea in the waste land there. AV Thomas collected shares from workers and refunded the same during their retirement. He belonged to Tamil Nadar Community. He converted to Christianity (CSI).Even now majority of middle management staff and a significant share of workers in AVT estates belong to Nadar or CSI Community.

Bsram B


I am a writer.

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