Kaniyar Panicker (Kaniyan, Kanisan, Ganaka, Kalari Panicker, Kalari Kurupu) is a community in Kerala State, India.
This community is famous for traditional Astrology.In olden days, this community was known for scholars of Sanskrit and Puranas. They conducted Pallikoodams (schools) for teaching others and so are also known as 'Ashaans' or 'Gurukkal', both meaning teachers. As they do astrological calculations, they have a strong background in mathematics and so were named ganaka or ganakan.
Kalari Panicker and Kalari Kurupu are in central Kerala and are known for kalaripayatu They conducted "Kalari" to practice and teach the other people. Nairs were the soldiers of ancient Kerala, and Kalari Panicker or Kalari Kurupu were the gurus in the kalaris (school or field were the practitioner get training). Panickar usually is short for kalaripanickar in the north while the same stands for Nairs in south. The Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) considers 'Kani, Kaniyan, Ganaka, Kanisan and Kamman, Kani and Kaniyar Panicker' as one group and 'Kalari Panicker and Kalari Kurupu' as another group.
They were good physicians in the system of traditional ayurvedic treatment, especially baala chikitsa (pediatrics) of kerala and they developed tanthric science in Kerala. They have got fourth place in palace conference or sittings.