Mudaliar (alternatively spelled: Mudaliyar, also Muthaliyar, Muthaliar, Mudali, Muthali or Moodley) is a title used by people belonging to various Tamil castes. Castes using Mudaliar title speak Tamil as their native language. The title was mostly used in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in medieval times as an honorary title to feudal land lords.
A person of first rank in the Tamil Chola feudal society was bestowed upon top-ranking bureaucratic officials and army commanders in medieval South India with the Mudaliar title. The title was primarily used by the Kaikolars, Karaiyars, Vanniyars and the Vellalars.
The title was used in Sri Lanka as an administrative and military rank for the Sri Lankan Tamils by the European colonizers. They were known as Ceylonese Mudaliyars. The Sinhalese people used the equivalent term for Mudaliyar as Mudalige or Mudianse.
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