Tamil Brahmins form an estimated less than 3 per cent of the state's total population and are distributed all over the state.
However, accurate statistics on the population of the Iyer community are unavailable.
Like all Brahmins, they are also classified based on their gotra, or patrilineal descent, and the Veda they follow.
Iyers fall under the Pancha Dravida Brahmin sub-classification of India's Brahmin community and share many customs and traditions with other Brahmins.
In ancient times, rituals used to be performed when the baby was being separated from mother's umbilical cord. The child's first birthday is the most important and is the time when the baby is formally initiated by piercing the ears of the boy or girl.
The old capital of Travancore was Padmanabhapuram which is at present in Kanyakumari district.
There has also been a continuous inflow from Tirunelveli and Ramnad districts of Tamil Nadu which are contiguous to the erstwhile princely state of Travancore.
Apart from the prevalent practice of using the title "Iyer" as surname, Iyers also use other surnames, such as Sāstri The word Iyer is derived from the title Ayyā-garu which turned into ayyaru it is often used by Tamils to designate respectable people.
There are number of etymologies for the word Ayyā, generally it is thought to be derived from Proto-Dravidian term denoting an elder brother.