The Melaka Chitty community, also known as the Malacca straits-born Hindus or Indian Peranakans has been in Melaka, Malaysia since the reign of the Malacca Sultanate in the early 15th. century. Years before Parameswara the founder of Melaka in 1401 became the first sultan, Hindu traders had already come to Melaka. Trading between the West and East had long been established before then.
Due to the distance and weather conditions, traders had to make several stops along their trading route the Straits of Malacca and Melaka was seen as the best location. It was exactly the ideal choice for these traders as it was strategically located and food supplies were easily available. As Malacca gained its popularity, more and more traders including the Hindus from the Corromandel Coast, Southern India thronged its port Inter-marriages between the Hindu traders and the Malays, Chinese, Javanese and Bataks were then unavoidable.
Through the process of assimilation, these traders had gradually adapted themselves to a new lifestyle. Thus the term ‘Melaka Chitty’ was born. As staunch believers of the Hindu faith, the Melaka Chitty community still uphold their religious ceremonies and beliefs but with a unique blend. In Melaka, one can easily notice this unique community in Kampung Chitty, Gajah Berang which is situated about 2.5 kilometres from the city centre. It consists of a few castes namely; Pandaram, Pillay, Neiker, Raja, Pathair, Chitty and Padaichi.