Payyan dynasty

A Painting of the mid-20th century which shows Chief Eunuch Ayya(One among Payyans), Payyan (eunuch) Chella Vadivu.

Payyan dynasty is the family which manage and administer Swamithope pathi, the temple of Ayyavazhi. It was believed to be the Payyans were brought from Pondiyanadu to serve as bell-boys at the temple but they eventually managed to take over the "pathi" in a clandestine way. In connivance with the local politicians they are able to amass large wealth from the temple donation and continue to do so. A recent high court ordered them to vacate the temple premises and hand over it to the state.

Payyan family

There are a number of claims about them. Some people says that they were the descendants of Pothukkutty who was the son of Paradevathai and her first husband. However, another oral tradition claim that the Payyans are descendants of Paradevathai - a brothel after leaving her first husband came to Poovandanthoppe for shelter. She also brought her three children, two boys and one girl. There she met Muthukuttan, who was known as Sampooranathevan in Akilam and fall in love with him. He too fall in love with her. They lived as husband and wife without marrying. One of the male child Paradevathai brought with her though married, died without descendants. And the remaining child was podukkutty and the ancestor of Payyan dynasty. He was taken as the primary Panividaiyalar by Ayya Vaikundar and called affectionately as 'Payyan' which later changed as the name of their dynasty. The female child was married to Vellaicchamiyar of a village Pallam, a devotee of Ayya Vaikundar.

Payyan in Akilattirattu

But the religious text of Ayyavazhi not even mentions a word about this Payyans. Only a quote in Arul Nool refers only a single word as Payyans as bell-boys.


  • Akilattirattu Ammanai published by T.Palaramachandran Nadar, 1989, 9th impression
  • N.Elango & Vijaya Shanthi Elango Ayya Vaikuntar the light of the world, 1997, The Gurukulam
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