List of people from Tamil Nadu

List of people from Tamil Nadu

This is a list of famous and notable people from Tamil Nadu state in India include persons who are known to a large number of people and is not based on the extent of their popularity. Neither is the list viewed from the context of the present. Their fame could be brief, what matters is that they were well-known during the peak of their popularity.

Administrators and Heads of State

Presidents of the Indian Union

* Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, 2nd President of India.
* Ramaswamy Venkataraman (born 1910), 8th President of India (July 25, 1987July 25, 1992).
* A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (born 1931), 11th President of India (July 25, 2002 – 2007).

Governor-General of India

* C. Rajagopalachari (1878–1972), Only Indian Governor General of India (1948 - January 26, 1950), Writer & Statesman.

Dewans of Princely States

* Ramayyan Dalawa, Dewan of Travancore from 1737 to 1756.
* Sir A. Seshayya Sastri (1828-1903), Indian administrator. Dewan of Travancore from 1872 to 1877 and Pudukkottai from 1878 to 1894.
* Ramiengar, Dewan of Travancore from 1881 to 1887
* Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, longest serving Dewan of Mysore state.
* Shungrasoobyer, Dewan of Travancore from 1892 to 1898.
* P. Rajagopalachari, Dewan of Cochin from 1897 to 1901 and Travancore from 1904 or 1906 to 1914.
* Sir V.T.Krishnamachari - Dewan of Baroda.
* R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, Dewan of Cochin from 1931 to 1945.
* Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer (1879-1966), Advocate General of State of Madras in the 1920's, penultimate Dewan of Travancore
* Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar, last Dewan of Mysore state.

Indian Independence Movement

* Puli Thevar, Polygar chieftain who fought the British East India Company in the 1750s and 1760s. First general of Tamil origin to fight against the British.
* Kattabomman (1760-1799), Polygar chief of Panchalakurichi who fought the British in the First Polygar War. He was captured by the British at the end of the war and hanged.
* The Maruthu Pandiyar brothers Periya Marudhu and Chinna Marudhu who fought the British in the First and Second Polygar Wars.
* Dheeran Chinnamalai (1756-1805), Polygar chieftain and feudatory of Tipu Sultan who fought the British in the Second Polygar War.
* Sir S. Subramania Iyer (1842-1925), lawyer, jurist and theosophist who co-founded the Home Rule Movement along with Annie Besant, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He is affectionately called Grand Old Man of South India.
* G. Subramania Iyer (1855-1916), Freedom fighter and founder of "The Hindu" English newspaper.
* V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (18721936), independence fighter, who launched the first Indian ship on Indian waters under British Rule.
* V. V. S Iyer (1881-1925) Tamil scholar and freedom fighter.
* Subramanya Bharathy (1882-1921), Indian freedom fighter, Tamil poet and social reformer. Often regarded as the national poet of Tamil Nadu.
* V. Kalyanasundaram (1883–1953), Scholar and independence fighter
* Subramaniya Siva (1884-1925), Freedom fighter and close associate of Bharathi and V.V.S.Iyer
* Sir P. S. Sivaswami Iyer
* Sathyamurthy (1887-1943), Indian freedom fighter and leader of the Congress party in the erstwhile Madras presidency.
* Vanchinathan (1886-1911), Patriot who killed General Ash and committed suicide at Maniyachi.
* Champakaraman Pillai(1891-1934), independence fighter
* Kalki Sadasivam (1902-1997), Freedom fighter and husband of famous singer M.S. Subbulakshmi.
* Tiruppur Kumaran, independence fighter
* Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar (19081964), independence fighter and All India Forward Bloc Leader.
* QUID-E-Milath Mohamed Ismail, independence fighter, Member of Parliament and was the President of Indian Muslim League.
* Lakshmi Sehgal (1914-), Head of Rani Jhansi Brigade, women's wing of the INA and a close associate of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. Presidential candidate in 2002 President's election.
* Janaki Thevar

Political Leaders

Ex-Ministers in the Union government
* C. Subramaniam (1910–2000), Former Union Minister, Bharat Ratna Awardee & Father of the Indian 'Green Revolution'.
* R. K. Shanmukham Chetty (1892–1953), first Finance Minister of independent India.
* Mohan Kumaramangalam, Eminent Lawyer, Former Union Minister and Son of P. Subbarayan.
* Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, Eminent Lawyer, Former Union Minister & Congress/BJP Leader. Son of Mohan Kumaramangalam.
* K. Santhanam (1895–1980), Freedom Fighter & the First Railway Minister of independent India.
* T.T. Krishnamachari (1899–1974), Industrialist & Indian Finance Minister 1956–1958 and 1964–1966, resigning from the position twice.
* Satyavani Muthu Former Union Cabinet Minister, and the one of first non-congress and dravidian party members from Tamil Nadu along with Aravinda Bala Pajanor to be part of the Union government.
* Aravinda Bala Pajanor, (born 1935) Senior Advocate, Former Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas, Chemicals & Fertilizers, and one of the first non-congress and dravidian party members from Tamil Nadu along with Satyavani Muthu to be part of the Union government.
* [R.V.Swaminathan 1907–1984, Freedom Fighter and Minister of State for Agriculture.
* [Madhaviah Anantanarayanan, High Court Judge. []

Central Ministers
* P. Chidambaram (born 1945), Finance Minister of India.
* Mani Shankar Aiyar (born 1941), Panchayat Raj, Youth Affairs, Sports and North East Region Minister of India.
* A.Raja,Communications and Information Technology Minister of India.
* Dr. Anbumani, Health and Family Welfare Minister of India.
* T.R. Baalu, Shipping, Highways and Road Transport Minister of India.
* Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment of India.
* S. S. Palanimanickam, Minister of State for Finance of India.
* K Venkatapathy, Minister of State for Law and Justice of India.
* S Regupathy, Minister of State for Forests and Environment of India.
* EVKS Elangovan, Minister of State for Textiles of India.
* G.K. Vasan, Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation of India.
* R Velu, Minister of State for Railways of India.
* V.Radhika Selvi, Minister of state for Home Affairs of India.

Chief Ministers
*M. G. Ramachandran,ex-CM of TN; yesteryears actor
*Jayalalithaa Jayaram,ex-CM of TN; yesteryears actor

Defence (India)


* General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam (1913–2000), 7th Chief of Army Staff (June 7, 1966–June 7, 1969).

* General Krishnaswamy Sundararajan (1930–1999), 14th Chief of Army Staff (February 1, 1986–April 30, 1988).

* General Sundararajan Padmanabhan (born 1940), 20th Chief of Army Staff (September 30, 2000–December 31, 2002).

Air Force

* Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishna Swamy (born 1943), 19th Chief of Air Staff (December 31, 2001–December 31, 2004).


* Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson, 12th Chief of the Naval Staff (March 1, 1982–November 30, 1984).

* Admiral Sushil Kumar, 18th Chief of the Naval Staff (December 30, 1998–December 29, 2001).

* Commander Joseph Peter, (DOB December 25, 1954)
* Admiral Laksminarayan Ramdas

Award Winners

Nobel Laureates

* Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, for Physics - 1930.
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, for Physics - 1983.

Ramon Magsaysay Award

"The Ramon Magsaysay Award was established in April 1957 in memory of Ramon Magsaysay, the late president of the Philippines."

"The Ramon Magsaysay Awards are often considered as Asia's Nobel Prize."

* M. S. Swaminathan, for Community Leadership - 1971.
* M.S. Subbulakshmi, for Public Service - 1974.
* R. K. Laxman, for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts - 1984.
* T. N. Seshan, for Government Service - 1996.
* Jockin Arputham, for Peace and International Understanding - 2000.
* Aruna Roy, for Community Leadership - 2000.
* V Shanta, for Public Service - 2005.

Bharat Ratna

"Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian honour."

* C. V. Raman for Science & Engineering 1954.
* C. Rajagopalachari for Public Affairs 1954.
* S. Radhakrishnan for Public Affairs 1954.
* K. Kamaraj for Public Affairs 1976 (Posthumous).
* M. G. Ramachandran for Public Affairs 1988 (Posthumous).
* A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for Science & Engineering 1997.
* C Subramaniam for Public Affairs 1998.
* M.S. Subbulakshmi for Arts & Music 1998.

Padma Vibhushan

"Padma Vibhushan is India's second highest civilian honour."

"This is NOT a complete list, please add/modify."

* Naryana Raghvan Pillai for Public Affairs 1960.
* H. Vardaraja Iyengar for Civil Service 1962.
* A. Lakshmanasamy Mudaliar for Medicine 1963.
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for Science & Engineering 1968.
* K. V. Kalyana Sundaram for Public Affairs 1968.
* P. Prabhakar Kumaramangalam for Civil Service 1970.
* A. Ramasamy Mudaliar for Civil Service 1970.
* B. Sivaraman for Civil Service 1971.
* T. Swaminathan for Civil Service 1973.
* M.S. Subbulakshmi for Arts 1975.
* T. Balasaraswati for Arts 1977.
* M. S. Swaminathan for Science & Engineering 1989.
* A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for Science & Engineering 1990.
* Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer for Arts 1990.
* V. Arunachalam, for Literature & Education 1990.
* Lakshmi Sahgal for Public Affairs 1988.
* DK Pattammal for Arts 1999.
* R. Chidambaram for Science & Engineering 1999.
* R.K. Narayan for Literature & Education 2000.
* K. Kasturirangan for Science & Engineering 2000.
* R.K. Narayan, for Literature & Education 2000.
* C.V. Narasimhan for Civil Service 2001.
* C. Rangarajan for Literature & Education 2002.
* R.K. Laxman for Arts 2005.
* Raja Jesudoss Chelliah, for Public Affairs 2007.
* Balu Sankaran, for Medicine 2007.
* V. Krishnamurthy, for Civil Service 2007.
* Viswanathan Anand, for Sports 2008.

Padma Bhushan

"Padma Bhushan is India's third highest civilian honour."

The list is very big, a separate list is created.

"List of Tamils conferred Padma Bhushan"

Padma Shri

"Padma Shri is India's fourth highest civilian honour."

The list is very big, a separate list is created.

"List of Tamils conferred Padma Shri"

Param Vir Chakra

"Param Vir Chakra is India's highest military honor."

* Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran (1946–1987), Awarded in 1987 (Posthumous) for IPKF operations in Sri Lanka.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

"Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is India’s highest sporting honour."

* Vishwanathan Anand, for Chess (1991–1992).
* Dhanraj Pillay, for Hockey (1999–2000).

Arts, Music & Literature

* Akilan, Jnanpith Award, (1975).
* Jayakanthan, Jnanpith Award, (2002).
* Subbu Arumugam, Sangeet Natak Akademi award, (2005).
* L. Athira Krishna,Guinness World Record holders.
* R. K. Narayan,Sahitya Akademi.

Arjuna Award

"The Arjuna Award was instituted in 1961 by the Government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports."

The list is very big, a separate list is created.

"List of Tamils conferred Arjuna Award"

Industrialists & CEO's


* Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar, Industrialist, Philanthropist & Educator who established Annamalai University.
* Raja Sir Muthiah Chettiar, Industrialist, Philanthropist and First Mayor of Madras.
* RM.Alagappa Chettiar (1909–1957), Industrialist, Philanthropist & Educator who established Alagappa University.
* M A Chidambaram Chettiar, Industrialist.
* S. Ramadorai, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services
* PollachiN.Mahalingam Gounder, Educator, Industrialist and Philanthropist.
* Kalanidhi Maran, Media Baron.
* Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar, Industrialist, Philanthropist & Educator.
* Dr.M.A.M Ramasamy Chettiar, Industrialist, Philanthropist and Pro-Chancellor of Annamalai University.
* Shiv Nadar, Chairman HCL Technologies.
* Namakkal P.G.Periasamy, Founder and CEO PGP Groups.
* B Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel.
* Dharmaveera K Govindaswamy Naidu, Industrialist & Philanthropist
* Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton.
* Mallika Srinivasan, CEO of Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited
* M. V. Subbiah, CEO of the Murugappa Group.
* KG Baalakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director KG Group of companies, Coimbatore

Eminent Scholars


* Sir. A. Ramaswami Mudaliar, Mayor of Madras (1928-30), Vice Chancellor of University of Kerala(1951-61),Travancore.

* Dr. A. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar, First Indian principal of the Madras Medical College and Longest serving Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras.

* Dr. Chandran D.S.Devaneasan,First Indian Principal of Madras Christian College and First Vice Chancellor of North Eastern Hill University.

* V.L Ethiraj Mudaliar, Founder of Ethiraj College for Women

* Padmabhushan N. Ramaswami Ayyar, Founder of Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College and Savithri Vidyasala Hindu Girls' Higher Secondary School, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

* Malcolm Adiseshiah (1910–1994), Economist, Former Deputy Director General of UNESCO & founder MIDS (Madras Institute of Development Studies).

* V C Kulandaiswamy, An eminent Educator and Technologist. Formerly Vice Chancellor of Anna University, IGNOU & Tamil Virtual University.

* Mu.Varadharasan, Outstanding Tamil Scholar, Winner of Sahithya Academy award and Ex-Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.

* Sivaraj Ramaseshan (1923–2003), Distinguished Scientist & ex-Director of the IISc.

* M. Anandakrishnan, Chairman, Madras Institute of Development Studies & Formerly Vice Chancellor of Anna University.

* Arjun Appadurai, Contemporary Social theorist, Educator & Founder of the School of International Relations, JNU, New Delhi.

* M Lakshmanan An eminent Microbiologist, Former Vice Chacellor of Madurai Kamaraj University & Ex-President of Association of Microbiologists of India.

* Dr. V.C.Balasubramaniam - Director, Institute of Pathology, MMC,

* Dr.M Murugesh Mudaliar, Principal, BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore.

* Dr.T Kuthalingam An eminent Scientist and Technologist, Former Vice Chacellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.

* Dr.H.S.S. Lawrence, An eminent Educator who was formerly Director of School Education, TamilNadu and UNESCO Expert to Government of Afghanistan. He is known as the "Architect of TamilNadu Higher Secondary Education" and "Father of Vocational Education in TamilNadu"


* M. S. Swaminathan, A great Agricultural Scientist and is the Scientific Father of Green Revolution in India.


* Ganapathi Thanikaimoni (1938–1986), often referred as Thani was widely known for his manifold contributions to the science of Palynology.

Computer Science

* Madhu Sudan (born 1966), Computer scientist, professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

* Arogyaswami Paulraj (born 1944) Wireless Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. A pioneer of wireless smart antenna technology and also credited to be the father of Indian military sonar technology during his earlier career in India.
* Krishna Bharat, Principal Scientist,Google.
* Swami Manohar, Professor of Computer Science at Indian Institute of Science and inventor of Simputer.
* Siva Kumar , Computer scientist, professor of computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay and chairman of IIT Computer Centre.
* Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, director of Virginia Tech’s Terascale Computing Facility.

Finance & Economics

* C. Rangarajan, Economist & Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1992–1997).
* C.K. Prahalad, Management Expert & Professor at the University of Michigan Business School.
* Marti Subrahmanyam, Finance Expert & Professor at New York University (NYU) & Board of Directors of Infosys & ICICI.
* Bala V. Balachandran, Management Expert & Professor at the Kellogg School of Management.
* Ravi Jagannathan, Economist & Professor at the Kellogg School of Management.
* Lakshman Krishnamurthi, Marketing Expert & Professor at the Kellogg School of Management.
* H.V.R.Iyengar, Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1957–1962).
* S. Jagannathan, Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1970–1975) and Executive at the World Bank & IMF.
* M. Narasimham, Banker, Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1977) and Executive at the World Bank & IMF.
* S. Venkitaramanan, Ex-Governor, Reserve Bank of India (1990–1992).
* T. N. Srinivasan (born 1933), Economist and the Samuel C. Park, Jr. Professor of Economics at Yale University.
* Raghuram Rajan, Ex-Chief Economist, IMF.
* V.G. Narayanan, Management Expert & Professor at the Harvard Business School.


* Karthy Govender, Commissioner, South African Human Rights commission & Law Professor at the University of Natal.


* Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan (1887–1920), Brilliant 20th century Mathematician.
* Subbayya Sivasankaranarayana Pillai (1901–1950), well known for his work in Number theory.
* Kollagunta Gopalaiyer Ramanathan (1920–1992), known for his well-recognized achievements in Number theory.
* Christie Jayaratnam Eliezer (1918–2001) Mathematician & Tamil rights activist from Sri Lanka and a recipient of the Order of Australia.
* C. S. Seshadri, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute and Trieste Awardee.
* S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan - Mathematician & Fellow of the Royal Society
* Professor Mudumbai Narasimhan, Mathematician & Fellow of the Royal Society (1996)
* Professor Madabusi S Raghunathan, Mathematician & Fellow of the Royal Society
* C. P. Ramanujam (1938–1974), worked on number theory and algebraic geometry.
* T.S.Vijayaraghavan (1902–1955), Worked on Pisot-Vijayaraghavan number.
* Ravindran Kannan, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Yale University. Joint winner of the 1991 Fulkerson Prize in discrete mathematics for work on the volumes of convex bodies.


* Rangaswamy Srinivasan ultraviolet excimer laser / LASIK. inventor at IBM Research.
* V.S. Ramachandran, Neuroscientist; Director Professor at UC San Diego.
* S.S. Ratnam, Pioneer in Singapore in-vitro fertilisation.
* Ganapathi Thanikaimoni, Palynologist, French Institute of Pondicherry, awarded the Fyson Prize in Natural Science.
* Sundaram Ramakrishnan, Cancer researcher and Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
* Mohammed Rela, one of the World's top liver transplant surgeons at the King's College Hospital.
* R. Venkataswami, founder of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Stanley Medical College.
* Govindappa Venkataswamy, Founder of Aravind Eye Hospital
* Ravi Iyengar, Professor and founder of the Iyengar Laboratory, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
*Mayilvahanan Natarajan, Orthopedic Surgeon and pioneer of limb salvage surgery in bone tumours.
*R.P.Shanmugam, Founder, Dept of Surgical Gastroenterology, Stanley Medical College, Cehnnai and the First to perform a Liver transplant in a Government Hospital in India.


* Dr. Sukumar Devotta, Chemical Engineer by profession and Director of The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which shared The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 with Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.
* Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, 1930 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics.
* Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1983 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics.
* Dr K. Kasturirangan, Former Chairman of ISRO and present director of National institute of advanced studies (NIAS).
* Dr.Raja Ramanna, Former Chairman of Dept. of Atomic Energy and presided over India's first nuclear test in 1974.
* Dr.P.K.Iyengar, Former Chairman of Dept. of Atomic Energy.
* Dr.M.R.Srinivasan, Former Chairman of Dept. of Atomic Energy.
* R. Chidambaram, Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister of India & ex-Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission.
* S.R. Ranganathan, Eminent librarian who devised the five laws of library science.
* [ Dr.A. Sivathanu Pillai] , Defence Scientist and the CEO of the Indo-Russian Brahmos company, which developed and manufactures the world's one and only supersonic cruise missile.
* G. N. Ramachandran (1922–2001), one of the most important Indian scientists of the 20th century made major contributions to Biology and Physics.
* Ranjan Roy Daniel (1923–2005), Physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research & ex-Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Space Science at ISRO.
* Venkatraman Radhakrishnan (born 1929) is an internationally renowned Space Scientist and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
* Mylswamy Annadurai (born 1958), Project Director of ISRO's Chandrayaan-1.
* R. V. Perumal, Former Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
* Vedhachalam,Former Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.
* Veeraraghavan,Director,ISRO Inertial Systems Unit.
* Dr Krishnan. Associate Director,ISRO Inertial Systems Unit.
* S Ramakrishnan,Associate Director,Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
* Annamalai Pillai, Director,Satish Dhawan Space Centre
* M Natarajan ,Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, DGR&D and Secretary, DRDO
* [ Dr. Krishnamurthy Sekhar] , Chief Controller R&D (Implementation), DRDO
* Dr W Selvamurthy, Chief Controller R&D (Life Sciences) & R&D (Human Resources), DRDO
* G Elangovan, Chief Controller R & D (R&M),DRDO
*Mr.G.D.Naidu - Former Chairman of UMS and Scientist
* A. E. Muthunayagam, Former Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre& Chairman of Board of Governors, IIT Chennai.
* V.S. Arunachalam, ex-Defence Scientist DRDO & Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
* Ramanuja Vijayaraghavan (born 1931), Physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
* Poondi Kumaraswamy (1931–1988), Hydrologist and inventor of Kumaraswamy distribution.
* Subra suresh, Dean of School of Engineering, Massachuesetts Institute of Technology, USA.


* T N Ananthakrishnan, A distinguished Entomologist and Zoologist. Former Head of the Department of Zoology and founder director of the Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai.

* Mahadeva Subramania Mani, A distinguished Entomologist, famous for his studies on high altitude Entomology.

Arts & Music

Tamil Music

* Muthu Thandavar, one of the Tamil Trinity
* Marimutthu Pillai, one of the Tamil Trinity
* Arunachala Kavi, one of the Tamil Trinity
* T M Soundararajan, Playback Singer.

Carnatic Music

* Veena Dhanammal.
* E. Gayathri.
* M.S. Subbulakshmi.
* D. K. Pattammal.
* Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.
* Dr. N. Ramani.
* L. Athira Krishna
* T. Brinda.
* T. Mukta.
* T. Viswanathan.
* R. Vedavalli.
* Dr.Sirkali G. Siva Chidambaram.
* Sanjay Subramanian.
* T. M. Krishna.
* Seetha Rajan.
* Sudha Raghunathan.
* Nithyashree Mahadevan
* Nisha Rajagopalan

Film Music

* K. V. Mahadevan, Musician, Composer & Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1968) & (1980).
* M. S. Viswanathan, Musician & Composer.
*V.S.Narasimhan, Musician , renowned violinist , composer.
* Ilayaraaja (born 1943), Musician, Composer & Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1984), (1986) & (1989).
* A. R. Rahman (born 1967), Musician, Composer & Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction (1993), (1997), (2002) & (2003).
* Yuvan Shankar Raja, Musician, Composer & Best Musician in Cyprus Film Festival in 2006.
* Harris Jayaraj (born 1975) is a film composer from Tamil cinema.
* Mani Sharma Yanamandra (born July 11,Kumbakonam,Tamil Nadu) is a film composer from Tamil & Telugu cinema.
* Karthik raja is a film composer from Tamil cinema.

Western Music

* Xavier Naidoo, German singer/songwriter and founder of Söhne Mannheims.
* M.I.A., (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) British musician.
* Yogi B (Yogeswaran Veerasingam), Malaysian hiphop artist, founder of Poetic Ammo
* Landslyde, (Chandrakumar Balakrishnan) Lead singer of Dragon Red, a Malaysian Rap Metal band and former member of Poetic Ammo.
* Kamahl (Kandiah Kamalesvaran), Australian cabaret/easy listening singer.
* Tharini Mudaliar, Australian singer and violinist.
* Shaheen Sheik, Californian singer/song-writer.
* Jacintha Abisheganaden, Singaporean singer.
* Moksha, Heavy metal band from Chennai.
* Rudra, Singaporean Death metal band.

Classical Dance

* T. Balasaraswati.
* Kamala Lakshminarayanan.
* Padma Subramanyam.
* Rukmini Devi Arundale.



* A.P. Nagarajan
* A. Bhimsingh
* A. R. Murugadoss
* Balu Mahendra (born 1946) Director, Cinematographer & Winner, National Film Award for Best Cinematography (1978) & (1983)
* Bharathiraja (born 1941), Winner, National Film Award for Best Screenplay (2001)
* Bhagyaraj
* Cheran
* C.V. Sridhar
* J. Mahendran
* K. Balachander (born 1930), Winner, National Film Award for Best Screenplay (1982)
* Mani Ratnam (born 1956) Multi National Film Award winner.
* B. Lenin, Winner, National Film Award for Best Directing (2002)
* Agaththian, Winner, [ Film Award for Best Directing & National Film Award for Best Screenplay (1997)
* Bala
* Dharani
* Parthiban
* R.K. Selvamani
* Selvaraghavan
* S. Shankar (born 1963)
* Vasanth
* Vikraman
* Kamal Hassan
* S.J. Suryah (born 1968)
* Kothamangalam Subbu , poet, lyricist, writer, actor and director
* Perarasu , poet, lyricist, writer, actor and director

Music Composers

* A.R.Rahman [ [,9565,1013198,00.html Times Review of Rahman's Music] ]
* Illayaraja

Other Entertainers

* Aziz Ansari

ports & Games


* A. Maria Irudayam, World Carrom Champion & Arjuna Award winner for Carrom (1996).
* R. Arokiaraj, Carrom Champion.
* K. Radhakrishnan, Carrom Champion.
* B. Radhakrishnan, Carrom Champion.
* E. Mahimairaj, Carrom Champion.
* M. Natraj, Carrom Champion.
* A. Ponnarasi, Carrom Champion.
* G. Revathi, Carrom Champion.
* G.Raja, Carrom Champion.


* A. Palanisamy, First Arjuna Award winner for volley ball (1961).
* G E Sridharan, Arjuna Award winner.
* Kumaran, played for Indian team and currently playing for IOB,Chennai.
* Sundaram, former setter for Indian team and Indian Overseas Bank,Chennai.
* Mangala Jeyabalan, former setter for Indian team.
* Muthuraj, played for Indian team and currently playing for Indian Bank, Chennai.
* Sayee Krishnan, played for Indian team and currently playing for Indian Bank, Chennai.
* Pradeep John, represented India in Asian Games 2006 as part of Beach Volleyball.
* Mohan Poothanathan, represented India in Asian Games 2006 as part of Beach Volleyball.
* Sivaraman, played for Indian team and considered the best back row attacker during his playing time.
* Natarajan J, playing currently for India and IOB, Chennai. Also the captain of the tamilnadu volleyball team.
* Sivabalan, played for india and currently playing for IOB, Chennai.
* Selvarasu, played for Indian junior team and currently playing for ICF, Chennai.
* Raj Mohan, played for Indian junior team and currently playing for ICF, Chennai.
* Kamaraj, represented Indian youth team which finished 2nd in the world championships.


* Viswanathan Anand, World Chess Champion and the first Indian to earn the title of Grandmaster.
* Manuel Aaron, The first Indian to earn the title of International Master.
* Murugan Thiruchelvam, Chess player from United Kingdom.
* Krishnan Sasikiran, Grandmaster & Arjuna Award winner for Chess (2002).
* S. Vijayalakshmi, Six time Women's national champion of India, the First Women Grandmaster from India & Arjuna Award winner for Chess (2000).
* S. Meenakshi, Women Grandmaster and sister of S. Vijayalakshmi.
* Aarthie Ramaswamy, Women Grandmaster and under-18 girls' World Chess champion.
* R. B. Ramesh, Grandmaster and National Champion of India.
* P. Mahesh Chandran, Grandmaster.
* Ramachandran Ramesh, Grandmaster & Winner of the 2002 British Chess Championship.
* Deepan Chakkravarthy, Grandmaster & Winner of the Asian Junior Championship at Colombo in 2002.
* G. B. Prakash, Grandmaster Elect.
* P. Konguvel, International Master.
* Lanka Ravi, International Master.
* S. Arun Prasad, International Master.
* S. Kidambi, International Master.
* K. Murugan, International Master.
* T. S. Ravi, International Master.
* V. Saravanan, International Master.
* T. N. Parameswaran, International Master.
* R. Balasubramanian, International Master.
* S. Poobesh Anand, International Master.
* M. R. Venkatesh, International Master.
* N. Sudhakar Babu, International Master.


*Buchi Babu Naidu (died 1908)- Father of indian cricket in madras.
*Cota Ramaswami (born 1896, presumed dead), represented India in both International cricket & Tennis.
* M.J. Gopalan (1909–2003), represented India in both International Hockey & Cricket.
* C. R. Rangachari (1916–1993), Pace Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* C. D. Gopinath (born 1930), Batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
* S. Venkataraghavan (born 1945), ex-Captain of Indian Cricket Team and Test & ODI umpire.
* K. Srikkanth (born 1959), ex-Captain of Indian Cricket Team.
* T.A. Sekhar (born 1956), Pace Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* T. E. Srinivasan, Batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
* L. Sivaramakrishnan (born 1965), Spin Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* V. B. Chandrasekhar, Batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
* Bharat Arun (born 1962), Pace Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* Murali Kartik (born 1976), Spin Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* Sadagoppan Ramesh (born 1975), Batsman, Indian Cricket Team.
* Lakshmipathy Balaji (born 1981), Pace Bowler, Indian Cricket Team.
* Dinesh Karthik (born 1985), Wicketkeeper, Indian Cricket Team.
* Vignesh Venkatramam, (born 1984), Wicketkeeper - Batsman, Portslade Cricket Club, Sussex, England.


* Peter Velappan (born 1935), General Secretary of Asian Football Confederation and Member of FIFA Strategic Studies Committee & Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup.
* Peter Thangaraj, Olympion and the Goalkeeper of Indian football team that won the Gold Medal at the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games.
* Komaleeswaran Sankar, Only Indian FIFA Assistant Referee for the Football World Cup and have won the Asia’s 'Best Assistant Referee' award in 1999.
*Vikash Dhorasoo is a French professional football midfielder, who is currently without a club after being sacked from French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain. He has scored one goal in eighteen matches for the French national team, and he represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.


* Vasudevan Baskaran, Captain of the Indian Hockey team that won Olympic Gold in 1980 Moscow Olympics and Arjuna Award winner (1979–1980).
* Dhanraj Pillay (born 1968), ex-Indian Hockey Captain, Arjuna Award winner (1995) and also winner of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1999–2000).
* Mohamad Riaz, Olympion and Arjuna Award (1998).
* Adam Sinclair, Member of the Indian Hockey team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
* Raja, Member of the Indian Hockey team.
* Mathisan Selvananthan, Member of the Indian Hockey team.


* Subbiah Rajarathinam, Captain of the Indian Kabaddi team that won the Gold in 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games.


* Narain Karthikeyan, Coimbatore, India's first Formula 1 driver.
* S. Karivardhan, Coimbatore, Car Constructor and National Champion.
* N. Leelakrishnan, Coimbatore, 7 Times National Rally Champion.
* Naren Kumar, Coimbatore, 4 Times National Rally Champion.
* J. Anand, Coimbatore, 3 Times National F3 Grand Prix winner.
* R. Gopinath, Coimbatore, F3 National Champion and Founder of SpitFire Motorsports.
* B. Vijay Kumar, Coimbatore, Fiat Champion and LG sports founder.
* G. R. Karthikeyan, Coimbatore, 7 Times South India Rally winner and father of Narain Karthikeyan.
* Akbar Ebrahim, Chennai, 3 Times National F3 Grand Prix winner.


* Vijay Amritraj, International Tennis Champion & Actor
* Anand Amritraj, International Tennis player.
* Ashok Amritraj, International Tennis player.
* Prakash Amritraj, International Tennis player.
* Mahesh Bhupathi, International Tennis player.
* Ramanathan Krishnan, International Tennis player.
* Ramesh Krishnan, International Tennis player.
* Nirupama Vaidyanathan, International Tennis player from Coimbatore.
* Jeevan Nedunchezhian- Tennis player, World number 17th under 18

THIRUTHAMIZH - A Tamil Mind Sport

* Rajakumar Gopalan, Inventor of THIRUTHAMIZH - India's pioneering word building board game in Tamil on the lines of SCRABBLE, and creator of many new Tamil words.

Cultural Icons

* Thirumuruga Kirupananda Variyar, Scholarly Saint.
* Rukmini Devi Arundale, Bharatanatyam dancer & fonder of Kalakshetra.
* Balasaraswati, Bharatanatyam dancer.
* Alarmel Valli, Bharatanatyam dancer.
* Chitra Visweswaran, Bharatanatyam dancer.
* Padma Subramanyam, Bharatanatyam dancer.
* Medha Hari, Bharatanatyam dancer.
* Pithukuli Murugadas, Divine Musician who is know for his songs on Lord Murugan.
* K. B. Sundarambal, Actress/Singer.
* Sirkali Govindarajan, Vocalist and Carnatic Music exponent.
* Dr. Sirkali G. Siva Chidambaram, Vocalist and Carnatic Music exponent.

Tamil Language Icons

* Arumuka Navalar (1822–1879), Pioneer of Tamil Prose & Champion of Hinduism from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
* Maraimalai Adigal, Tamil scholar & Activist.
* Rev.Father Xavier Thaninayagam Adigalar (1913–1980), from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, founder member of the International Association for Tamil Research.
* Mahavidwan R. Raghava Iyengar, Tamil scholar & Researcher & Poet.
* U. V. Swaminatha Iyer (1855–1942), Pioneer of Tamil Popularly known as Tamil Thaatha.
*Thanthai Periyar, Popularly known for his rationalism
*Rajnikanth, One of the most popular Tamil Actors; born in Bangalore
*Annamalai Reddiyar, a Telugu but a great exponent of Tamil poetry.
*Rajakumar Gopalan, Inventor of THIRUTHAMIZH - India's pioneering word building board game in Tamil on the lines of SCRABBLE, and creator of many new Tamil words.

piritual Icons

* Alwars, There are 12 Alwars, who are devotees of Lord Vishnu and exponents of Vaishnavism.
* Nayanmars, There are 63 Nayanmars, who are devotees of Lord Siva and exponents of Saivism.
* Ramalinga Swamigal (1823–1873), popularly known as Vallalar.
* Ramanuja (1017–1137), Philosopher and one of the most important saint of Vaishnavism.
* Appayya Dikshidar (1520–1593), Philosopher, followed Advaita School of Indian Philosophy.
* Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950).
* Yogaswami (1872–1964), A Great Spiritual Leader from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
* Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963), A well known proponent of Yoga and Vedanta.
* Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy (born 1924), Cardinal Priest of S Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri, Vatican City.
* Dayananda Saraswati, Founder of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.
* Yogiraj Shri Vethathiri Maharishi, Founder of the [ The World Community Service Center] , an organisation striving for World peace from 1911 and propagator of the famous blessing phrase of "Vaazgha Vaiyagam Vaazgha Valamudan" (வாழ்க வையகம் வாழ்க வளமுடன்) roughly translated as 'Be Blessed by the Divine'.
* Sri Nithyananda (born 1978), Founder of the Nithyananda Foundation.
* Bala Prajapathi Adikalar, the present Pattathu Ayya of Swamithope pathi and leader of Ayyavazhi religion.
* D. G. S. Dhinakaran, prominent Christian Evangelist and founder of Jesus Calls Ministries.
* Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,is a spiritual and humanitarian leader.


Classical Literature

* Thiruvalluvar, Saint Poet & Author of Thirukural.
* Tholkaapiyar, Author of Tholkaapiam, one of the first Tamil grammar books.
* Illango Adigal, Saint Poet & Author of Silappathikaram.
* Srivilliputhurar, Author of Tamil Mahabharatham.
* Seethalai Saathanar, Author of Manimegalai.
* Kambar, Author of Kamba Ramayanam.
* Auvaiyar, Women Saint & Author of Aathichoodi.
* Tirutakakatevar, Author of Jivaka Chintamani.
* Eelattu Poothanthevanar, Classical Sri Lankan Poet of Sangam period.

piritual Literature


* Nakkeerar Author of Thirumurugattupadai .
* Thirumular, Author of Thirumandhiram.
* Arunagirinathar, Author of Thiruppugazh.
* Sekkizhar, Author of Periapuranam.
* Manikkavasagar, Author of Thiruvasagam & One of the Nayanmars.
* Nammalvar, Author of Tiruvaymozhi & One of the Alwars.
* Thirumazhisai Alvar, Author of Tiruchanda-virutham & One of the Alwars.
* Andal, Author of Tiruppaavai & One of the Alwars.
* V. Akilesapillai, Tamil scholar Poet & Author of Thirukonasala Vaipavam from Sri Lanka.


*Henry A. Krishna Pillai


*Umaruppulavar (1605–1703), Author of Sirappuranam, Islamic spiritual work on the life of Muhammad.
*Mohammad Ibrahim, Author of Muhaidin Puranam, Islamic spiritual literature.

Modern literature

* Subramanya Bharathy (1882–1921), Nationalist Tamil Poet.
* Bharathidasan (1891–1964), Tamil Poet & Rationalist.
* Pudhumaipithan (1906–1948), Tamil Fiction Writer known for his Modern outlook and Progressive thinking.
* Prof. Karmegha Konar (1889–1957), Tamil Poet.
* Akilan, Novelist.
* Thi.Janakiraman, Novelist.
* Laa.Sa. Ramamirutham, Novelist.
* Kalki Krishnamurthy (1899–1954), Freedom fighter, novelist and journalist.
* Jayakanthan (born 1934), Writer & Novelist.
* Kannadasan (1927–1981), Popularly called as Kavi Arasu Poet, Film lyricist & Winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (1969).
* Vairamuthu (born 1953), Poet, Film lyricist & Winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (1986), (1993), (1995), (2000) & (2003).
* Indira Soundarajan, Novelist & Short story Writer.
* Ashoka Mitran (born 1931), Novelist & Short story Writer.
* R. K. Narayan (1906–2001), English novelist & Essayist.
* Koththamangalam Subbu, Poet.
* Sandilyan, Novelist.
* Pa. Vijay, Film lyricist & Winner, National Film Award for Best Lyrics (2005).
* Vaali, Film lyricist.
* Sujatha (born 1935), contemporary Tamil & Film screen play writer.
* Krishna Srinivas (born 1913), World Poet.
* Kaavya Viswanathan (born 1987), Novelist.


* Veerappan, Sandalwood smuggler and forest brigand.
* Auto Shankar

ee also

*List of people by India state


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