Anavil Brahmin

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Anavil Brahmins are a community of Brahmins who, despite not being numerically superior, are particularly dominant in the Surat and Valsad districts of south Gujarat, India, where they have been significant land-owners and have an influential role in politics.[1][2]

The Anavil are among the Brahmins communities who do not perform a priestly function. They comprise two sub-groups, called the Desai and the Bhathela. The former acted as tax farmers during the era of the Maratha Empire, then as minor rulers and eventually underwent a process of sanskritisation that saw them conform more closely to the classical Brahmin practices, such as dowry marriage. The Bhathela still prefer the brideprice system for marriage.[1] The Desai are fewer in number but superior in traditional status.[2]


  1. ^ a b Goody, Jack (1990). The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia. Cambridge University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-52136-761-5.
  2. ^ a b Streefkerk, Hein (1985). Industrial Transition in Rural India: Artisans, Traders, and Tribals in South Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-86132-067-7.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jan Breman (2007). The Poverty Regime in Village India: Half a Century of Work and Life at the Bottom of the Rural Economy in South Gujarat. Oxford University Press.
  • Klaas W. van der Veen (1972). I Give Thee My Daughter: A Study of Marriage and Hierarchy Among the Anavil Brahmans of South Gujarat. Van Gorcum.