For other uses, see Bhandari (disambiguation).
|Regions with significant populations|
|Primary populations in:
Maharashtra - primarily Tal - Konkan, Goa, Karnataka - primarily coastal Karnataka, Mangaluru, Udupi and interior Shimoga up to Belgaon, Madhya Pradesh - erstwhile Maratha dominions like Gwalior, Indore, Uttar Pradesh - Jhansi, Kanpur, Bundelkhand,Kasargodu regions of Canarese Kerala.
English used for professional purposes, Sanskrit used for religious purposes
|Related ethnic groups|
Karhade (also written as Karada) Brahmins (Marathi: कर्हाडे/कराडे) are a predominantly Pancha Dravida Brahmin sub-group, who speak Marathi and Konkani and to a lesser extent Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. In isolated pockets in Northern Kerala and Southern Konkan a few Karhada families still speak the old Karhadi dialect of Marathi/Konkani – which although lexically similar to its parent languages is heavily influenced by Dravidian languages such as Tulu, Kannada and Malayalam.
Etymology and Origin 
Multiple narratives describe the origin of Karhade Brahmins. According to one such theory the name Karháda or Karáda is the progressive evolution of the name Kshaharáta, the name of the founding dynasty of the Indo-Scythian (Saka) Western Satraps.Kshaharáta evolved into Khaharáda...Kaharáda...Karáda....and subsequently modern day Karháda. Satrap derives from the Persian word Ksatrapavan which means a governor or viceroy. The Western Satraps were an Indo-Scythian (Saka) viceroyalty of the erstwhile Kushan empire, and belonged to the White Hun subsect of the lost Yuezhi tribes, which set out of the Tocharian homelands in Western China.
The Western Satraps governed the region that roughly extended from the Chutus (and later Shilahara) borders in the south (near the modern town of Karad) to the northern frontiers with their fellow Mleccha tribesmen, the Kushans. This included the fertile regions of modern day Malva near the town of Ujjain and from northern Konkan and parts of Saurashtra to their eastern frontiers with the powerful Satavahanas somewhere in modern day Marathwada.
During the relentless battles with the Andhra Satavahanas, some influential Kshaharata tried to secure peace by diplomacy through marriage. Kshaharata daughters were regularly given as wives to notable Satavahana gentry. Thus it can be reasonably believed that the modern Karhada race is a result of matrimonial alliances of the Western Satrap and the indigenous Satavahana.
After the decline of the Satavahana, the Karhade clan continued to receive patronage from subsequent dynasties in the Deccan. The patronage from the Chalukya is particularly evident from the various copper-plate grants found in Konkan and Goa that suggest that many Brahmins were settled in the southern Konkan area. At least in one such grant – there is clear evidence of a peculiar custom of a settlement around the Vimaleshwar temple (Muth)near Rajapur, which was sustained by four fruit/vegetable orchards called Karhataks. This copper plate was found in the possession of a Karhada family still living in the region. This is not the only copper-plate grant that has been found – several others were found with similar Karhada/Padye families, most now archived. This copper plate grant suggests that the peculiar gardens around the temples were characteristic of a group of Brahmins, thus bearing the Karhatak name.
European theorists such as Sir James Campbell and Reginald Edward Enthoven cite historical anecdotes that link the Karhadas to lost tribes of Khajjar or Qajar. This view was supported by eminent historian, D. R. Bhandarkar, stating that certain members from foreign tribes such as the, Maga, etc., were possibly the remnants of the short-lived Western Satrap dynasty. Bhandarkar includes castes such as the Bhojaka, Chitpavan, Havyaka, Karhade and Nagar Brahmins as of partly foreign origin. Medieval Deccan folklore cites anecdotes, such as the Sahyādrikhaṇḍa hints at the resurrection of the tribe from the bones of a camel.
Most modern Karhada share the gotra with other Brahmins of the sub-continent. It is not known how the various Brahmin tribes with such diverse origins came to inherit the same paternal lineages. The Gotra system may have been philosophical/ideological at its roots rather than the popular belief that it indicates the genealogical origins.
Goan historian Balakrishna Kamat Satoskar,in his work Gomantak-prakruti ani sankruti maintains that Goan Padyes started claiming to be Karhades late in history and originally belonged to non-Brahmin, nature worshipping priests native to Goa and Konkan, who did not follow Vedic religion and later attained Brahmin-hood.
Culture and Language 
Under the patronage of Adi Sankara and Madhwacharya, now Karhades are (Smarta and Vaishnava) and followers of the Advaita or Dvaita school of philosophy. They are Rigvedi Brahmins and follow the Ashwalayana Sutra. Although a vast majority adopted Vedic Hinduism a few profess other religious traditions.
One of the distinctive features of the Karhades belief system, is that their titulary deities (Graam Devatha or Kula Daiwat) are almost always different versions of Shakti or Durga. Four 'Durga' temples are in the four corners of Kerala-Karnataka region where there is concentration of Karhaade population – Kongoor at Mangalore and Aavala, Agalpaady and Thaire in Kasaragod. Similarly in the Marathi speaking domains, Karhada populations have always patronised Mahalakshmi-Kolhapur and Durga-Goa. Similarly, the Marathi dominions host 3 1/2 'Durga' temples in its four corners, Kolhapur, Tuljapur, Vani and Mahur. Originally the Kshaharatas perhaps spoke an old Eastern-Iranian language, however under the increasing cultural influences from the Satavahanas gradually their languages were Prakritised. They used Kharoshti and Brahmi scripts for writing. Subsequent Brahminisation during the Middle Ages inspired the Karhades to learn Sanskrit as a medium to officiate religious ceremonies.
Most modern day Marathi-speaking Karhade live in Maharashtra and Goa, though a significant population exists in Madhya Pradesh. A southern branch of Karhade Brahmins settled around the Kasaragodu region (north of the Chandragiri river) of the Malabar coast and are called the Karada and share their traditions with fellow Tuluva Brahmins of Kasargode and Dakshina Kannada/Udipi. Other Tuluva Brahmins of the region are Shivalli and Havyaka. South of the Chandragiri river, collectively the Tulu and certain Karhada Brahmins, who assimilated with the Kerala Brahmins are loosely called Embranthiri.
In some pockets the Karadi dialect has been preserved or has influenced the spoken languages of Karhade, e.g. the Karada Bhashe of Dakshina Kannada/Kasargodu, the Karhadi Boli of Rajapur/Sawantwadi and some peculiarities of the Marathi spoken by the Karhade of Bundelkhand.
Particular mention is made of the Karhadi language of Kasaragodu, several researchers like Dr. Radhakrishna Belluru - Kannur University, Nozomi Kodama - Tokyo University and Smt. Saraswathi - Hampi University have studied this intra-community language unique to the region. Dr. Radhakrishna Belluru published a book on Karada grammar and edited Karada Vocabulary. Nozomi Kodama also published a book on Karada language. Research has shown that the Kasaragodu Karhadas retained this language which appears to be a dialect of Konkani with significant structural borowings from Kannada and notably Tulu.
According to Dr. Radhakrishna Belluru, two Karada dialects are very popular in Tulu Nadu and Kasaragod region. The second dialect is called Bekila Bhaashe, spoken by later Karhada migrants to the region.
Kasaragodu Karhadas are essentially multi-lingual, resorting to Kannada, Malayalam and Tulu, when communicating outside their community. Unlike them, other Karhadas like those from Hosdrug, interior and northern Canara, Goa and Maharashtra, are now monolingual and can communicate only in the local languages of their residence, i.e. Malayalam, Kannada, Konkani and Marathi respectively.
The modern Karhade celebrate several festivals according to the Hindu Calendar.
Karhadas have actively participated and patronised classical and folk music and art forms. In the Marathi speaking areas, Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki and several others have contributed immensely to the Hindustani Classical music.Another Karhada from Belgaum, Annasaheb Kirloskar promoted the Marathi Natyasangeet. In Kasaragodu region, they have been involved in the local art forms of Yakshagana and Talamaddale. Balipa Narayana Bhagwat is one of the last remaining vocalists from an era where microphones were not so common. Karhadas like Nataraja Sharma, Balasubrahmanya Bhat (son of very popular violinist late Vishnu Bhat Kolikkaje) and Ballapadavu Yogeesha Sharma actively run music schools in Kasaragodu. Prince Rama Varma a descendant of Swathithirunal regularly visits - Veenavadini, Agalpaady to conduct music classes for young aspiring Karhade Brahmins.
Food and Culinary Culture 
The diet of all sub-groups of Karhada Brahmins is essentially lacto vegetarian. Regional influences have flavoured Karhada cuisine, notably the southern Karhada food is influenced by Shivalli and Havyaka Brahmin habits. Similarly in Marathi speaking regions the food is indistinguishable from that of Deshastha and Chitpavan Brahmins.
Dairy based products such cow milk, yoghurt, clarified butter (Ghee) and butter milk are consumed in large quantities.
Anecdotally in Maharshtra, there is a saying which goes as follows;
"Karadyani Swayampak karava, Deshasthane vadava aani Kokanasthane avarava" - Translated meaning - Karada should cook, the Deshastha should serve and the Chitpavan should tidy up - that tanatamounts to a perfect meal.
Population estimates 
The exact population of Karhade Brahmins is not known since the sub-caste wise census was not conducted after 1931. In 1931, the population of Karhades in Ratnagiri, Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Satara, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Khandesh was 22,997.
In 1931, the population of India was 278,977,238. In 2011, the population of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (that were India in 1931) reached 1,545,193,422. Proportionately, Karhades work out to 127,375.
The 1931 number does not include the Karhades in Kasargod district. They were 26,000+ in 2002 (as per their records), including those who migrated to Bangalore, Mangalore and surrounding areas. Adding a proportional 30,586 implies a Karhade population estimate of 157,961 as of 2011.
Population growth across India was uneven after 1931. The population grew in northern and eastern India. However, it stabilized and has been falling in the southern and western states, as amply evidenced by natural growth rates. Since Karhade Brahmins concentrated in southern and western states, in all likelihood, the population of Karhade Brahmins did not grow in the same proportion as the whole of India. Karhade Brahmins took to education and other developmental parameters before World War II. Arguably their natural growth rates and population growth followed trends similar to the United Kingdom. The educated population of the United Kingdom which grew by about 36% from 1931 to 2011. Assuming similar population trends, the population of Karhades in and around Mumbai works out to 31,208. Adding 30,586 from Karhades outside of Maharashtra makes this population to be 61,794.
The Joshua project lists the total population of Karhade Brahmins as 87,000. Considering all the numbers above, it is likely that the population of Karhade Brahmins is less than 1,00,000, making these group of people a micro-minority in India.
Sub-Groups and Other Classification 
Sub grouping tend to follow regions of settlement. The following groups can easily be identified:
The Maharashtrian "proper" group constitutes the largest group and mostly hail from, reside in or have strong connections with modern Maharashtra, Belgaum, Indore, Baroda and Vidarbha. This groups speaks standard Marathi. It has traditionally been endogamous, except with Rigvedi Deshastha Brahmins, with whom intermarriages were not uncommon. In modern times the group is exogammous with Chitpavan Brahmins also.
Gurjar/ Padhye: This ancient group hails from the southern Konkan area – notably from Rajapur extending into the erstwhile Sawantwadi state. This group speaks standard Marathi but is believed to have once spoken a dialect that is very rare in modern times. Typical surnames in this sub-group are Gurjar, Palsule, Patwardhan, Shouche, Degwekar, Prabhudesai, Thakurdesai, Sardesai, Padhye, Huzurbazar, Kirloskar, Kirtane and others. Traditional occupations were temple priests and horticulturists. The family deity of this sub-group is Arya Durga of Devi Hasol. This sub-group has traditionally been exogamous with Karhade, Padye and Deshastha.
Goan/Padye: This is the largest sub-group residing or having strong connections with modern Goa. They speak variant of standard Konkani called Bhati Bhasha and are primarily temple priests and horticulturists (Kulagar). Typical surnames are Abhisheki, Nawathe, Dhavalikar, Prabhudesai, Desai, Sardesai and Thakurdesai.
Goan/Bhat Prabhu: This group appears to be a further sub-group of the Padye. This group constitutes descendants of a formerly degraded group of Padye, who were readmitted into the group in the earlier part of the 20th century. They speak standard Konkani.
Kasaragode Karada: This group is believed to have descended from a few Karhade/Padye families who emigrated out of Rajapur/Goa during the Portuguese times. This sub-group still retains the use of the Karada Bhasha – which is a form of old Marathi/Konkani highly influenced by local Dravidian languages. The Kasaragode Karada like their northern kinsmen were traditionally temple priests and horticulturists.
Karade from Tulunadu: This relatively smaller sub-group descends from economic migrants of Maharashtrian Karhade during the ascent of the Maratha Confederation across India. Few have traditionally been horticulturists. They speak standard Kannada and Tulu. Due to linguistic affiliations this group is exogamous to the Kasaragode Karada, Chitpawan of Dakshina Kannada and occasionally Padye of Goa.
Sagar Karhade: Like the Tulunadu Karhada - a small but influential group of Karhada families emigrated to northern India, wherever the Maratha Confederation was dominant. Places like Indore, Gwalher, Jabalpur and notably Bundelkhand received many Karhada immigrants. Especially in Sagar, a Karhada sub-culture can be argued to have been formed. Most Sagar Karhada held high positions during the Maratha rule, and now are mostly professionals. The speak standard Hindi and can communicate in Bundeli and Marathi. This sub-group is endogamous to all Marathi speaking Brahmins such as Karhade, Deshastha and more recently Chitpawan.
Karhade Brahmins have been significant participants throughout the history of India.
- Hemadpant, Prime Minister of Yadavas in 13th Century
- Keshav Pandit (Purohit), Rajpurohit of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Sambhaji and Rajaram
- Chimnaji Damodar (Moghe), Minister of Chhatrapati Shahu and Peshwa of Kolhapur state
- Govind Pant Bundele (Kher), Peshwa Bajirao's General who died in the Battle of Panipat (1761)
- Mahadaji Pant Guruji (Karkare), Advisor and Tutor of Peshwa Madhavrao I and Sawai Madhavrao
- Visaji Krushna Biniwale (Chinchalkar), Peshwa Madhavrao I's General in Northern India.
- Moropant (Paradkar), One of the highly respected Marathi poets
- Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi
- Hardekar Manjappa - 'Gandhi of Karnataka' Freedom Fighter
- Vaidya Purushottamsasthry Nanal - Notable Ayurveda researcher and practitioner from Pune.
- Padmabhushan 'Riyasatkar' Govind Sakharam Sardesai
- Padmabhushan Mahamahopadhyaya Datto Vaman Potdar, Historian & Vice Chancellor of University of Pune
- Padmabhushan Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi, Indiologist
- Tryambak Shankar Shejwalkar, historian
- Dr. Vishwakumaar Kaayargadde, founder & C.E.O. of Saankhya Labs., internationally recognized technology firm
- Mundodu Gopalakrishna Bhat, winner of a series of kerala state government awards both at district & state level for innovative and progressive approach to dairy farming and fodder development.
- Girish Bharadwaj - 'bridge-man' building eco-friendly, cost effective hanging bridges in remote villages of India.
- Nithyananda Padre, Assistant Editor of the Kannada Daily Udayavani
- Dr Vijay Ramanan,Clinical Hematologist & Stem cell Transplant Physician, Pune
- Durga Bhagwat The only writer who refused to accept Jnanpith Award.
- Balshastri Jambhekar Father of Marathi journalism and Social Reformer.
- Jayant Narlikar, astronomer, astrophysicist
- Gajanan Balwant Riswadkar - Indian Volleyball Player, Refree, Coach, Mountaineer
- Balipa Narayana Bhagavatharu, renowned Yakshagana vocalist.
- Suresh Bhat, famous Marathi Poet, established the form of Ghazal in Marathi
- Shantanurao Laxmanrao Kirloskar, Industrialist
- Narayana Subbarao Hardikar - Freedom Fighter, Satyagrahi
- Ganeshpant Sadashivrao Oze, Diwan of Baroda State.
- Vasant Kanetkar, Marathi - playwright
- Prabhakar Panshikar, Marathi - Stage (theatre)
Personal names 
Names in Karhade families generally follow conventions.
Marathi and Konkani(avanti)-Speaking Karhade and Padye Brahmins 
The names of Marathi and Konkani speaking Karhadas are characterised by three part structure;
The given name is granted to the infant typically during the first month, during the Barsa ceremony. Traditional examples are Vishnu, Mahadeo, Durgadas, Bhagwan, Ramachandra, Bhargavram and Shankar. Honorary suffixes such as pant, rao, shastri and bhat were attached to male names to signify status. Traditional examples among females were Savitri, Narmada, Ahilya and Ganga, with suffixes such as bai, tai and akka.
The father's name, is the given name of the father (or husband of married women). The honorary suffixes are usually dropped.
The surname is often derived from the family's original village. Like other Marathi people, the suffix -kar is attached at the end, e.g. one who hails from the village Satavla, would call himself Satavlekar. Other surnames suggest the occupation or simply ones gotra. Listed below are Karada surnames.
Thus when asked, a Karhada would recite his name typically like Vishnupant Mahadeo Satavlekar and his other half might call herself Savitribai Vishnu Satavlekar.
Nicknames such as Dada, Tatya, Nana, Anna and Appa often replace the first and middle names among the immediate family and in case of socially prominent personalities. In the latter case the suffix -saheb applies to such affectionate nicknames. Thus Dada Satavlekar to his close relatives and Dadasaheb Satavlekar to his community.
Some Karhada families that assimilated into Hindustani- and Gujarati-speaking regions of Northern and Western India, modified their erstwhile Marathi surnames. Surnames ending "e" were altered to end with a "ia" or "iya". Thus Jade became Jadiya, Athale became Athalya and Nawathe became Nawathia.
Karhade Brahmins settled in Tulu, Kannada and Malayalam-Speaking regions 
Tulu, Kannada and Malayalam speaking Karhada names are also characterised by three part structure;
Male traditional given names include, Shreerama, Shankaranarayana, Venkatesha and Ganapathi. Females include Savithree, Ahalya and Ganga.
Aouthern Karhadas use honorary titles such as bhat, bhatta, sharma, sasthry' Bhat' is indicative of Brahmin status - every Brahmin including Havyaka or Shivalli is called 'bhat' irrespective of sub-caste or family name. It is a common practice to append 'sharma' to one's name at the time of Munja. For example, Brahmopadesham indicates that after Upanayana Samskaara, one attains 'brahminhood'. The early migrants were priests, scholars, astrologers and cooks - making them all Bhats, Jois, Sharmas, Shastrys, Paadhyes and Upaadhyes.
The third part of southern names is typically derived from the original village. However, the suffix -kar is not attached, e.g. one who hails from the village Pathanadka, would merely call himself Pathanadka. This is distinct from the Shivalli practice of using the suffice -aya - where the surname in the example above would have been Pathanadkathaya. Other surnames suggest the occupation or simply use gotra.
Thus when asked, a southern Karhada would recite his name typically like Srirama Bhat Pathanadka or Pathanadka Srirama Bhat and a female would call herself Savithri Bhat Pathanadka.
See also 
- Enthoven 1990.
- Kamat Satoskar, B.D (1979). Gomantak:Prakruti ani Sanskruti,volume one,prachin Gomantakacha itihas. Pune: Shubhada Prakashanhouse. pp. Pages:456,see pages 180–190.
- Gune, Vitthal Trimbak (1979). Gazetteer of the Union Territory Goa, Daman and Diu 1. Goa, Daman and Diu (India). Gazetteer Dept. p. 229.
- "Karhade Brahmanancha itihas" by Late V. V. Athalye (Page 37)
- "Eminent Karhade Brahmin Personalities". The Karhaadaa. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
Further reading 
- The Tribes and Castes of Bombay – R.E.Enthoven ISBN 81-206-0630-2 to 81-206-0633-7.
- The Tribes and Castes of H.E.H The Nizam's Dominions-Syed Siraj-ul-Hassan ISBN 81-206-0488-1.
- "Foreign Elements in the Hindu Population," Indian Antiquary, no. 40 (1911):7-37, 179-180 Bhandarkar, Devadatta Ramakrishna
- J. A. Auld Memoir on the Sawunt Waree State at Google Books