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The Palliyan community is distributed across Idukki District and its neighboring areas in Tamil Nadu. Their language has strong affinities with Tamil. Each settlement is headed by a leader known as the 'Kanikaran.' Over time, the traditional headman system has evolved, and now a commonly accepted or occasionally elected president (Oorumoopan) takes on the leadership role.

Historically, the Palliyan people led a nomadic lifestyle within their territorial area and practiced shifting cultivation. While some members had access to land for cultivation, a significant portion of the Palliyan community has become plantation laborers in various tea estates within Idukki District.


The primary occupation of the Palliyan community is working as laborers on tea plantations. The transition from traditional livelihoods, like shifting cultivation, to plantation labor, has impacted their standard of living. Many have faced challenges in adapting to this change, and there is a need for community-specific programs that address their specific needs and uplift their living conditions.

Preserving Cultural Heritage:

As the Palliyan community adapts to changing livelihoods and economic conditions, it is crucial to preserve their cultural heritage. Their language, customs, and traditions are an integral part of their identity, and they deserve recognition and respect.

Sustainable Development:

For the sustainable development of the Palliyan community, it is essential to provide them with access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. Empowering the community with education and skill development can open new avenues for economic growth and social progress.



The Palliyan community in Idukki District has shown resilience in the face of changing times. While their traditional way of life may have transformed, their cultural heritage and identity continue to be valuable assets. By providing support and opportunities for education and sustainable livelihoods, we can ensure the well-being and prosperity of the Palliyan community for generations to come.

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