Karmakar (Bengali: কর্মকার) is a Bengali Hindu caste spread throughout West Bengal and Bangladesh. The Karmakars are traditionally blacksmiths by trade. While some of them use Karmakar as their family name, others use Rana, Das, Roy, Mullick etc.
According to mythology the forefather of Karmakars was the son of Vishwakarma and a kshatriya mother. The Karmakars are one of the nine trading castes that constituted the Navashākha. The Brihaddharmapurana categorizes the Karmakars in the upper tier of the pure castes hierarchy. According to the Brahmabaibartapurana, implying that Brāhmanas can dine at their households.
The Karmakars used to be blacksmiths by profession. Over the time the Karmakars have produced engineering masterpieces. In the 17th century Janardan Karmakar, gunsmith from Dhaka designed and built the world famous Jahan Kosha Cannon, 5.5 metres long and weighing around 7 tons and still showing no signs of rust. Another grand cannon named Dol Madol was built by the Karmakars in the 18th century in the kingdom of Bishnupur, in order to fend the Maratha raids. In the late 18th century, Panchanan Karmakar pioneered the Bengali printing industry by inventing movable type punch marked Bengali scripts.
In course of time, Karmakars living in and around Kolkata, Dhaka and other smaller towns of Bengal entered into other professions like goldsmiths, working with machineries, trading etc. To this day there are many Karmakars who are jewellers. In some remote villages of West Bengal and Bangladesh, to this day, the Karmakars still practice their original trade of a blacksmith
Now most of the Karmakars are not engaged with the original blacksmith trade in the principal city and suburbs, the other communities like brahmans, kyasthas, sudras are also not doing their own business what is mentioned the ancient shastras, similarly Karmakars are engaged with different business other than blacksmith trade. But it is considered that the Karmakars are eligible in any technical work for their heredity..
Traditionally they worship Lord Viswakarma, all through the year but mostly on the last day of the month of Bhādra in the Bengali calendar, which normally falls around on 17 September every year.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
- Janardan Karmakar, gunsmith and designer of Jahan Kosha.
- Jagannath Karmakar, gunsmith and designer of Dalmadal Cannon situated at Bishnupur, Bankura
- Panchanan Karmakar, inventor of movable type Bengali scripts and pioneer of Bengali print industry.
- Dr. K G Karmakar, Ex- Managing Director, NABARD
- Radhu Karmakar, Famed Cinematographer and Director, RK Studios, Mumbai.
- Sudhir Karmakar, East Bengal and India footballer, best defender and bronze medalist at the 1970 Asian Games.
- Nilmadhab Karmakar, President of Confederation of Other Backward Classes.
- Harashit Kesari Roy, designed the present Biswakarma image, worshiped in the technical work centers in our country.
- Joydeep Karmakar - 4th finish in Olympics
- Prakash Karmakar - Famous painter
- Ganga Prasad Karmakar Former director of PDPU
- Pradeep Karmakar- Famous Telecom Professional
- Patit Paban Karmakar, A famous Engraver, sculptural Artist, graduated from the then Art School completed his course before the tenure of course was the Disciple of Great Abanindranath Thakur
- N.C Karmakar, Professor at IIT BHU,Great orator,Educationalist,Outstanding sense of Humour...........
- Bhanubandhu KarmakarCashier Lic of India.
- The different type of Biswakarma image, it is situated in a village named Parira, near Asansol is considered as an ancient image.
- "Government of West Bengal: List of Other Backward Classes". Govt. of West Bengal. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- Ray, Nihar Ranjan (2009). Bangalir Itihash. Deys Publishing, p. 246.
- Ray, Nihar Ranjan (2009). Bangalir Itihash. Deys Publishing, p. 248.