Tharavad (About this soundpronunciation ) is a Malayalam word for ancestral home, usually used as the common house for the joint family system practised by Nairs, Ambalavasis, Syrian Christians and Namboothris of Kerala, India.[1][2] Hermann Gundert in his Malayalam—English dictionary published in 1872, lists tharavad as "ancestral residence of land-owners" and also as "a house, chiefly of noblemen".[3] Contemporary usage of the word is now more generic to all social classes.[citation needed]

A typical tharavad reproduced from K. M. Panikkar's article published in 1918. Capital and small letters represent females and males respectively. Supposing that the females A, B and C were dead and the oldest male member karnavar being d, if the male members t, k and others demanded partition, the property would be divided into three parts.


  1. ^ Kakkat, Thulasi (18 August 2012). "Kerala's Nalukettus". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  2. ^ Kunhikrishnan, K. (12 April 2003). "Fallen tharavads". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 December 2017.[dead link]
  3. ^ Hermann Gundert (1872). A Malayalam and English Dictionary. C. Stolz. p. 434. Retrieved 15 February 2017.