|Regions with significant populations|
|Tamilnadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia|
|Related ethnic groups|
Maravar (Tamil: மறவர்) also "Maravan" (meaning "Grateful Warrior", "Punisher") are one of the oldest social groups to be mentioned by the Sangam Tamil literature. This indicates an association with the Tamil land which is at least 2,000 years old. The writers of the Sangam Age place them in rural settlements withdrawn from cities. Maravars are the courageous breed and were involved in the major wars that Tamilnadu witnessed. The Kingdom of Ramnad was a Maravar kingdom and was ruled by the Setupati Kings. Ramanathapuram , Sivagangai and Thirunelveli are Maravars homeland and the entire Southern district is Maravar stronghold from ancient times.
Maravars are very brave, warlike, fierce, martial group and were involved in almost all the major battles and wars that ancient Tamilnadu witnessed. Maravars are found predominantly in the Southern districts of Tamilnadu viz., Madurai, Theni, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Thirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. They ruled the vast land mass of Tamilnadu along with the Kallars. Both these tribes seems to have common origin. The Southern martial arts of Kalarippayattu, Silambam, Varma Kalai have been practiced primarily by Kallars, Maravars, Gounders and Nairs of erstwhile Travancore areas.
The Maravar have close relation with Kalabhars even though they Maravars are a non-aryan, non-Kalabhar group. They were ancient rulers of Pandya kingdom of coastal land and inland from the First Sangam Tamil age. Their leaders were given the title "Meenavan" and "Pandyan" respectively. Edgar Thurston (1855–1935) a British museologist and ethnographer identified the use of the boomerang by Kallars and Maravars of South India.
Large number of Maravars served in the armies of many princely states of Kerala. But during the 18th and 19th centuries, most of them were assimilated in to the Tamil Padam Nair subcaste of the Nair community. The Maravar regiment of the Travancore army was known as "Maravar Padai", which supplemented Nair Pattalam, the larger indigenous military unit. Tamil Padam Nair is recognized as a part of the Malayala Kshatriya social grouping. The Ramnad Zamindars are accorded the title Sethupathi (protector of the Sethu bridge) even to this day.
Historians postulate that Pandiyans are Maravars. The discovery of Indian copper plate inscriptions provided a relative abundance of new evidence for use in evolving a chronicle of India's elusive history. Till date Singampatti, Thenkasi and Kayathar,which are the last Royal Houses of Pandiyans are dominated by Maravars.
There are 2 major subdivisions among the Maravar community. One is Appa Nattu Kondyankottai Maravar and another one is Chembiya Nattu Maravar. The Kondyan Kottai Maravars are related to the Kongu Vellalars and are still maintaining Killai(branches) as their sub sects like them. The Killai is inherited from mother. So a boy or girl will not marry in their same Killai. It is assumed that they are brother & sister. Such a practice is no longer prevailing amongst other maravars. The married women of kondyankottai maravers wear "Thali" (Thirumangalyam) in the shape of Shiva lingam. So it is called "Linga Thali". Most of the Tamil castes wear the same type of "Linga Thali".
Most of the Polygars (palayakkarar) who ruled Southern Tamilnadu as part of the Madurai Nayak dynasty and into the Colonial rule were Kondayankottai Maravars . One of them was Puli Thevar.  The Chembiya Nattu Maravars are Surya vamsam. They are historically from Thanjavur. Kondayan kottai maravars women were having habits of maruthalli. But Chembiya Nattu Maravars women were having habit of Udankattai yeruthal (Sati which is now banned and hence not in practise).
- Pasumpon MuthuramalingaThevar (முத்து ராமலிங்க தேவர்)-Freedom fighter, Politician, a descendant of Pandyas of Ramnad and known for his close friendship with Nethaji
- Dr.K.Ramanathan M.A,M.PHIL,PH.D,Principal of Pasumpon Thiru Muthuramalinga Thevar Memorial College Kamuthi.
- ^ a b D. P. Sivaram (15 May 1992). "On Tamil Militarism ; Part 2: Tamil Military Castes". Lanka Guardian: pp. 17-19. http://www.sangam.org/articles/view2/?uid=1005. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- ^ www.hindu.com/br/2007/05/15/stories/2007051500491500.htm
- ^ http://princelystatesofindia.com/Polegars/polegars.html