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.
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 Mughal 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. The Desai are fewer in number but superior in traditional status.
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