Ganak is the section of Brahmins who have been practising astrology and also have been performing various Vedic rituals in Assam since ancient times .This is not a caste but a title given to that section of the Brahmins of Assam,India who used to play the role of astrologers during the Royal events and also in case of individual Name-Giving ceremony which is called Ganana in Assamese and that is why they are called Ganaks.This is rather a professional title in general and at large. (see Encyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: Commercial, Industrial, and Scientific by Edward Balfour, http://books.google.co.in/books/about/Encyclopaedia_of_India_and_of_Eastern_an.html?id=GiPknQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y ), (see History of Sanskrit Literature by A.B. Keith,https://archive.org/details/SanskritLiterature )
They are also known as Surya Vipra, Daivajna Brahmins, Acharya, and Graha Vipra. They are the descendants of Sakaldwipiya Brahmins Sakaldwipiya history, but other Brahmin clans consider them to be a lower rank which is not based on facts. The common surnames used by this group are Sarma/Sarmah/Sharma, Changkakoti, Bordoloi etc.
During 1509 – 1686 AD, 11 talented Brahmins came to Assam from Kanauj, Uttar Pradesh. They were (i) Sathibar Pandey (1616 AD), (ii) Acharya Gopaldev Bhatta Chatruvedi (1586 AD), (iii) Umananda Chaturvedi (1671 AD), (iv) Keshavananda Pandey (1671 AD), (v) Acharya Gadadhara Pandey (1509 AD), (vi) Dharmmangada Trivedi (1681 AD), (vii) Gadadhara Upadhyay (1656 AD), (viii) Rangacharana Mishra (1661 AD), (ix) Bhisagacharya Ishwaragiri (1655 AD), (x) Kamalalochana Trivedi (1638 AD) and (xi) Swarupananda Dwivedi (1686 AD).Chaturvedi, Trivedi, Dwivedi, Pandey, Upadhayay and Mishra were the highest category Brahmin (under Yajurveda, Kandwa Branch and Mihirayan Gotra) in national level.During the rule of Ahom King, Shiva Singha, one Brahmin came from Simala Gaon, Nadiya District, Bengal name Krishnananda Bhattacharyya and got the royal support.The King divided the whole Brahmin community in two groups as Surya-vipra and Chandra-vipra. The above mentioned 11 families were given the status of Surya-vipra Brahmin or Ganak.(ref page no 70, Assam Buranji, Harakanta Baruah sadaramin)Thus Ganak Brahmin status was given by the local king in Assam.
- Bareh, Hmlet, ed. (2001). Encyclopaedia of North-East India: Tripura. p. 240.
- Sharma, Suresh Kant; Sharma, Usha, eds. (2005). Discovery of North-East India: geography, history, culture, religion, politics, sociology, science, education and economy. North-East India 5. Mittal. p. 226.