Naidu is the caste name of the people belonging to the Kapu castes and its sub castes Balija/ Balija Naidu , Telaga, Ontari, and Turpu Kapu in Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa,Chattisgarh and Pradesh. This caste uses title Naidu and it constitutes more than twenty five per cent of Andhra Pradesh. Historical records suggest that the Kapu communities primarily served as soldiers hundreds of years ago, they protected the village communities against the attack of bandits in the medieval ages. They later took into other professions like village heads and farmers. Historians suggest the term Nayakas became Naidus over a period of time. The Naidu community is primarily concentrated in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.
In Kerala there are just about 5000 Naidu families spread all over the state. Their ancestors migrated 200 years ago from Madurai and are settled in Kerala. Some families also came from Tirunelveli region. In Kerala, the two major sub-sects of Naidu caste are Balija and Kavara (Gavara) Naidus. The Naidus of Pattipparambu of Kerala can be classified as Balija Naidus. Balija Naidus wear a conical shaped Thali (Mangala sutram), whereas the other sub-sect Kavara (Gavara) Balija wears a pot-shaped Thali (Mangala sutram). However there is no clear distinction between these two subsects in the modern times as some traditions are used by both the sub-sects, especially in marriages.
What does the word Naidu mean?
Nayakas title was originally conferred upon Kapu, Telaga and Balija communities. However, during the expansion of the Vijayanagar kingdom into Southern India, the title was conferred upon other non-Telugu speaking communities who served as Commanders, Barons or Governors under the Vijayanagar emperors in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Due to this reason the word “Naidu” is used as a surname in many non-Telugu speaking communities in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa.
What did it denote in the earlier days?
• The word Naidu denoted a commander or a Governor
• Title of honour among Hindus in the Deccan
• The general name of the Kings of Vijayanagar
Some of the common Gothrams found in the Kapu community are Janakula, Paidipala, Mahipala, Raghukula, Kasyapa, Dhanunjaya, Athreya, Achyuta etc. Naidu matrimony portals are now popular among the present generations. Naidu matrimonial portals have opened the opportunities for people who are settled in different States and countries to find their life partners.