Kongu Vellalan in India

The Kongu Vellalan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Vellalar or Vellalan people of south India have a long and proud history. They served as the landed aristocracy, military officers and court officials in three great Tamil dynasties. They were patrons of Tamil literature and the arts. The Vellalars made up the majority of government leaders and administrators in south India during the British Raj period. Lower castes began calling themselves Vellalars and acting like them in order to gain their high status.

The main language of the Vellalan is Tamil. They also speak other south Indian regional languages. A complete Bible and many Christian resources are available in Tamil.


Where Are they Located?

All Vellalans originally came from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Kongu subgroup remains there.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Today the Kongu Vellalans continue to be landowners, military officers, businesspersons, Tamil scholars, and Hindu temple patrons. They live at the highest levels of south Indian society. They take pride in their ancient Tamil heritage and are leading scholars in Tamil historical studies. The Vellalar encourage their children to attend universities and gain graduate degrees.

This particular subgroup has their own form of wedding ceremonies where they have a long wedding song. The sister of the groom and the brother of the bride play a big part in the wedding ceremony. Kongu Vellalans are endogamous, that is they marry within their own clans. Vellalars often marry their cousins. Sons inherit property from their parents. Most prefer to use their own priests rather than Brahmins in important life ceremonies.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The vast majority of Kongu Vellalars are Hindus. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Kongu Vellalar people worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Many Vellalar people follow a branch of Hinduism called Saiva Siddhantam. In this Hindu order adherents desire to be enlightened by Lord Shiva or Siva, one of the three main gods of Hinduism. Some Vellalars join monasteries and propagate the teachings of Shiva. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Kongu Vellalar visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods.

The main yearly holidays of the Vellalar people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn, and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.


What Are Their Needs?

The Kongu Vellalars need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see themselves as sinners in need of the Savior. They need to see Christianity lived out in a real way before them. They need to realize that only the Lord Jesus Christ can meet their needs.


Prayer Points

Pray for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done among the Kongu Vellalar people.
Pray for a movement of Kongu Vellalar households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Vellalar peoples to Jesus.
Pray for South Indian workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to tell the Kongu Vellalar people about Jesus.


Scripture Prayers for the Vellalan Kongu in India.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/18317/IN
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vellalar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Vellalar_sub_castes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kongu_Vellalar
https://www.konguvellalarmatrimony.com


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Vellalan Kongu
People Name in Country Vellalan Kongu
Natural Name Kongu Vellalan
Alternate Names Karganta; Karkatha; Karlatja Vellalar; Kongu Vellala Gounder; Kongu Vellalar; Kongu Wellala Vellalar; Malayan; Vellala; Vellalar; वेल्लालन कोंगू
Population this Country 25,000
Population all Countries 25,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 21275
ROP3 Code 117811
ROP25 Code 304179
ROP25 Name Kongu Vellalar
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Tamil Nadu
24,000
Kerala
1,100
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Tamil Nadu 24,000
  Kerala 1,100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.10 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.90 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Tamil (20,000 speakers)
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Malayalam
600
Primary Language Tamil (20,000 speakers)
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Malayalam 600
People Groups Speaking Tamil

Primary Language:  Tamil

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1714-1956)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1715-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1727-2024)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources General / Other
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible Oral Bibles
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tamil Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Comprehensive list of Tamil Resources General / Other
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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