Devendrakulathan in India

Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Devendrakulathan
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 97,000
World Population: 97,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The members of the Devendrakulam caste claim they gained their name because they are the descendants of Lord Indra, King of the Devas. Leaders of their community were brought to the temple with great fanfare. They would be riding on an elephant with white umbrellas and there would be trumpet and drum players. These were the privileges only the ancient Tamil kings had and were passed on to their descendants. The Devendrakulathan community now has Scheduled Caste status. They resent this large drop-in status. History explains how their status dropped so drastically. Research suggests that they are the descendants of Tamil kings who ruled what is now Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, part of Andhra Pradesh, and Maharasthra during ancient periods and Tamil Nadu up to the 16th Century. After the invasion of the Vijaynagar and Maratha Empires, Tamil kings and their community were relieved of their titles and land. They became agricultural laborers on the farms which they once owned. This new situation continued during the 17th Century until the mid-20th Century. The Devendrakulam now live in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the people of this caste are involved in agriculture. The people who live in villages have their own self-government. They have special priests for temples, barbers, clothes washers, and medical workers in villages. These people also have their own temples that are called King Temples. They are also the priests in village temples and shrines, exclusively owned by these people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

During the height of their culture, this people group built and owned many prominent temples. They take great pride in their past. This pride ties them to the Hindu religious system.

What Are Their Needs?

The Devendrakulathan people need to put all their trust in Jesus Christ so they can experience the abundant life God offers them. They need to learn new job skills so they can improve their position in Indian society.

Prayer Points

Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Devendrakulathan people to seek and find Jesus Christ. Pray for the Lord to send out workers to tell them about Jesus. Pray for a disciple making movement to flourish among the Devendrakulathan people this decade.

Text Source:   Keith Carey