Ordinary people of this empire spoke different languages and followed different religious traditions.
There were some small traders and local merchants use to live in cities, trade centres, port towns and villages. Local communities of merchants known as kudirai chettis or horse merchants participated in exchanges.
Pensants, workers, slaves etc. were including in ordinary people. There were ordinary Brahmanas, traders and women also. Different odd works and jobs were taken by ordinary people as a labourer.
The workers were called ‘Vipravinodin’. This class consisted of ironsmiths, goldsmiths, carpenters, sculpture-makers etc. who often quarrelled mutually for their rights. The Vellore inscription of 1555 tells that there was a quarrel between the peasants and the artists. It seems that during that period, need was felt to frame laws for the society to execute social justice.
Kaikkol or the weavers were in large numbers. They lived near temples. They played significant role in running the administration of the temples. In Vijayanagara state there were Gadarias known as Kambalattar. They followed the customs of polyandry. The special characteristic was that the wife was elder to the husband. Their women had physical relations with the husband’s kinsmen like father, brothers etc. The customs of divorce, sati and remarriages were prevalent.
There was an orthodox bigot section in Vijayanagara called as Reddis. They were the owners of the land. In the Telegu region of Vijayanagara, they had enough influence. In the society there were a few low class people, who were non-influential. They were Dombar, Marva, Jogi, Paraiyan, Boi, Kallar etc. Some low caste people were converted to Christianity due to the influence of the Portuguese. The evils of caste system and untouchability were practised in the society. Many poets protested against these evils.
The ordinary people of the Vijayanagara Empire lived in ordinary houses. This is how the sixteenth-century Portuguese traveller Barbosa described the houses of ordinary people, which have not survived : “The other houses of the people are thatched, but nonetheless well built and arranged according to occupations, in long strees with many open places.”
The system of slavery existed in the society. The men were sold and purchased. It was called Besabaga. There were some special rules for the slaves. The masters of the slaves treated them with kindness.