In Chennai, hundreds of RSS cadres were detained when they tried to commence the route march from near Rajaratnam Stadium, while similar numbers were held from various parts of the state, police said.
The cadres were later let off in the evening.
The Hindu Munnani criticised the arrests saying it smacked of 'high handedness' of police and pointed to the permission granted to RSS by the court to take out the march.
"RSS had got permission from Madras High Court to carry out the route marches. The police action against RSS cadres only shows their high handedness," Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan said in a statement.
He also condemned the Tamil Nadu government and state police for the arrests.
On November 7, the Madras High Court had held that the right of citizens cannot be curtailed, except on definite reasons, and directed the state government to permit RSS take out processions on specified routes and hold public meetings in places earmarked by them, with reasonable restrictions as the state deemed fit and proper.