Muslims of Coromandel Coast-Society and Economy - A.D.1300-1901 - With Special reference to South Arcot District

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Dr. K. Kanniah


The contact of South India with Islam is much older than that of the north. In 639 A.D. the Muslims traders settled in the Malabar coast.1 The Moplahs  are the descendants of the Arab merchants and the native women of the western coast. The Muslims of different sects such as Marakkayars, Lebbais and Navayats came from Persia in the eighth century A.D,  married the women of the country and  settled in India. The Muslims of Coromandel Coast are generally called  Chulia or Cholia. The Hindus called them Jonagan or Sonagan. This article is aimed to trace the society and economy of Muslims of Coromandel Coast.

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India Office Record, London. Acc. No. 2568, Corallur, June, anno 1683, National Archieves, New Delhi.

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Nilakanta Sastri, A History of South India, 4th edition,Oxford University Press, Madras, 1975, p.439.

W.Francis, Madras District Gazetteers- South Arcot, Government Press, Madras, 1906, pp86-87.

Ibid., p.86.

Burton Stein, Peasant State and Society in Medieval South India, Oxford University Press, Newdelhi, 1980, p.38.

Ibid., p.39.

Raja Mohamad, Maritime History of the Coromandel Muslims, Published by Director of Museums, Government Museum, Chennai, 2004.pp.178-79.

Ibid., p.178.

Records of Fort St.George-Fort St. David Consultations: 1733, Government Press, Madras, 1933, pp.61-62.

. Records of Fort St.George-Fort St. David Consultations: 1732, Government Press, Madras, 1933, p.21.

Francis, Op.Cit., p.87.

Ibid., p.86

Ibid., p.87.

Ibid., p.88.

Raja Mohamed, Op.Cit., pp.280-84

Ibid., p.287

Computed from G.O. dated November 1890, No. 1771 M: Local and Municipal, p.14.

C.C. Dyson, Fragments from Indian Life, Low Price Publications, Delhi, (Reprint), 1993, pp.78-79.

Ibid., pp.86,87.

Raja Mohamad, Op.Cit., p.299