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The Koshtis (or Koshta) are a Hindu caste mainly found in the states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka with a smaller population in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India.
As the time passed many Koshtis lost their jobs as soldiers and then adopted other occupations. Most common among them being weaving silk sarees and trading them. Currently people of this community have taken various kinds of jobs in different fields.
There are various theories to their origin. Some Koshtis believe that they are the descendants of Markandeya Rishi. The Koshti believe they are the descendants of the King Rajhans. Rajhans was the king of Devagiri (Berar) and died in battle with Ilober. The word koshti stands for a man of virtues, a title that the king Rajhans was honoured with in the year 1111 A.D. It is believed that after this episode, Koshti took jobs as soldiers in different erstwhile princely states, including the armies of the Peshwas and Tipu Sultan. koshtis are very aggressive.
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They belong to two main divisions Maratha and Kanada Koshtis. The Kanada-Koshtis speak Kanada at home and Marathi abroad. They rank with Maratha-Kunbis and above Salis. As a class Koshtis are religious, worshipping all Hindu gods and keeping all feasts and fasts. The Maratha-Koshtis daily worship their family-goddess Devi of Kolhapur or of Badami in Bijapur, laying flowers and sandal paste before her. They hold Brahmans in great reverence and ask them to conduct their marriage and death ceremonies. The Kanada-Koshtis worship Mahadev of Shingnapur in Satara and ask Jangam priests to conduct their birth, marriage and death ceremonies. They were formerly Lingayats but are not now strict observers of their.
Kanada-Koshtis are divided into Kurnaval and Patanval sub-divisions. Both the Kurnavals and the Patanvals are said to have come from Kanara. Their commonest surnames are Aikade, Badade, Bahirat, Bavad, Bhakre, Bhagvat, Bhalesing, Bhandare, Bibve, Bide, Bomdarde, Botre, Chakre, Chipade, Chorde, Dahure, Dandavate, Dhage, Dhavalshankh,Dhumne, Dhimate, Dhole, Dide, Dinge, Divate, Doiphode, Dugam, Galande, Ghodake, Ghate, Godase, Gulavane, Gursale, Hamade, Harke, Hule, Javare, Jhade, Kalse, Kaltavane, Kambale, Khadge, Khane, Kharve,khoje, Kudal, Kurkute, Kusurkar, Lad, Lakare,Lipare, Lokhande,Mahure, Makvate, Malge, Malvande, Mantarkar, Manyal, Mendhekar, Mukhavate, Nemane, Padole, Pandkar, Pandare, Parkhe, Rahatade, Phalke,Phaltane Rangare, Rasinkar, Shevale, Silvant, Sonde, Sopate, Tambe, Tarake, Taralkar, Tavare, Taravade, Tatparuk,Thombre Tipare, Ukarade, Upare, Varade, Vahal and Vedorde. Persons with the same surname cannot inter-marry. Their home-tongue is Marathi.
The following subcastes exist within the Koshti community. The names in the brackets denote alternate names for these castes. For example, Devang Koshti's (as known in the western part of Maharashtra) are known as Deulwada in Andhra Pradesh and Lingayat Koshti in the Nanded district of Maharashtra.
- Ahir - Former herdsmen.
- Aukule (Vidurs) - they are of mixed descent from Koshtis and other castes.
- Burad - Former bamboo workers.
- Deshkar - Meaning 'One belonging to the country' to state that they haven't migrated from another region but have been indigenous for sometime.
- Devang (Koshti)
- Devang (Lingayat)
- Gadewal Koshti (Garhewal)-Former residents of Garha, an old town near Jabalpur and presently also living in the area of Nagpur (M.S),Chhindwara(M.P.), sounser (M.P.). Some of the typical surnames are Gokha, Ghoke, Ghokhale, Barve, Kolhatkar, Shendre, Soounsarkar, Raut, Bangde)
- Jain Koshti - Former Jains 
- Koskati (Kachibandhe)
- Lad - From the Lad territory of Gujarat.(Titles- Dhongade, Parande,varade)
- Likhar - Former Rajputs.
- Maratha (Mattha) - Former Marathas.
- Mathe - Former Rajputs.
- Pawar - Former Rajput clan.
- Patwis - Deriving from patwa - a dyer who colours the silk thread which weavers use to border their cotton cloth.
- Sagunsale - A group of illegitimate descent.
- Salewar - Weavers. People of this subcaste have been weavers for the longest.
- Swakul Sali
Koshti people speak the Koshti language, s a distinct Indo-Aryan language with words derived from Sanskrit in either their tatsama or tadbhava form. Koshti also contains words borrowed from languages like Marathi, Khari-boli, Bundeli, Chattisgarhi and variants of Hindi. There are local dialects of Koshti which differ considerably with region. Lately, the Koshti people have begun speaking the major languages of their individual states, i.e. Koshtis settled in Maharashtra speak Marathi, while those settled in Karnataka speak Kannada.
Industrialisation and the introduction of power looms from the late 1800s (and continuing into late 1900s) heavily impacted the traditional handloom community; who lost their primary means of livelihood. Since then, koshti weavers have started to accept work in diverse industries—from bidi making, brass cutlery and utensils, tile and brick making and construction work. Now they are establishing their status in government field and many other higher fields.
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