Bhavsar

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Bhavsar Vaniya, Bhavsar Kshatriya,Bhavasar, Bhaosar, Bhawsar, Bhawasar, Rangrez,
Religions Hinduism, Jainism
Languages Marathi, Gujarati, Bagri, Marwari
Populated States Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh
Subdivisions Bhavasar, Rangārey, Pamadi Shimpi, Namdev Shimpi.

The Bhavsar are basically Gujarati community an ethnic group in India, traditionally associated with woodblock printing on textiles. They also run grossary business within several part of India, including the state of Gujarat.They mostly live in the regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, with some also located in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Gujarati and Rajasthani Bhavsars refer to themselves simply as Bhavsars. In Maharashtra, however, the community is subdivided, and its members refer to themselves variously as Bhavsar Kshathriya, Bhavsar Shimpi, and Namdev Shimpi. Namdev Shimpis are considered a distinct group, even though they are an offshoot of the Maharashtrian Bhavsars, because they are followers of Namdev, However, they use the same surnames as Maharashtrian Bhavsars.

Bhavsar, or Bhavasar, is also the surname of some members of the ethnic group. By profession, Bhavsars are divided into Rangrezs, who were traditionally involved with woodblock printing on textiles, and Shimpis/Darzis, who were traditionally involved in tailoring.

History[edit]

Legendary origins[edit]

According to legend, the Bhavsar originated in the Saurashtra region.[1][2] Epic stories hold that Parshuram, said to be an avatar of Vishnu, had vowed vengeance against the kshatriyas (a community of warriors) and wiped most of them off the earth. This scenario worried two young princes of Saurashtra, Bhavsingh and Sarsingh, who had foreseen their dynasty's end. The princes had been directed to appeal to the Hindu goddess Hinglaj Mata at a shrine on the banks of the Hingol River in Hinglaj, the semi-arid coastal strip of Makran, part of present-day Balochistan, Pakistan. There, the goddess assured the protection of their dynasty by compelling Parshuram to leave it alone, on the condition that no one from the princes' community would confront Parshuram, as he, too, was a son to her. The Bhavsar community was named after the two princes.[3]

Modern times[edit]

The Bhavsar community has negotiated with the Pakistani government to assure passage for regular pilgrimages to Hinglaj.[4] The community fled the Sindh area around Hinglaj and settled in Gujarat and Maharashtra during the Middle Ages, when they were faced with forced conversion to Islam by Mughal invaders. The Maharashtrian Bhavsars moved further south, as far as Tamil Nadu, settling along the way in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Another branch moved east to Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh.

Culture and demographics[edit]

Bhavsars are found mostly in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.[5] Gujarat and Maharashtra are the primary regions from which more recent migrations have occurred. The Bhavsars started migrating to South India in the time of Shivaji and have settled there for several generations. However, they have maintained their Marathi cultural ties.

Diet[edit]

Bhavsars tend to be vegetarians, The cuisines of the Maharashtrian and Gujarati Bhavsars are strongly influenced by the local cuisines of their respective states.

Traditionally, the oldest woman in a Bhavsar family is the "Gruhalakshmi" of the family and decides what is to be cooked. Families used to give importance to lunch and dinner, sitting on the floor together and eating with their hands.

Languages[edit]

The Bhavsar community in Rajasthan speaks Bagri, a Rajasthani dialect.[6] Further south, many Bhavsars have Gujarati or Marathi as their mother tongue. Migrants to states other than Gujarat or Maharashtra continue to speak their native tongue but are also proficient in the local language. For example, migrants from Maharashtra to the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu speak Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil, respectively.

In Gujarat, the community has two linguistic divisions, Gujarati and Malvi, which are endogamous but slowly opening up.

Weddings[edit]

Weddings among Bhavsars are given great importance. Couples marry in a Hindu ceremony that includes a number of rituals and customs.

Marriages are usually arranged by the parents or an older family member. However, the modern practice is to use a matchmaking agent, a matrimonial site, or a trusted third party. Love marriages and inter-caste marriages have grown more common in newer generations outside the Bhavsar community.

Religion[edit]

Bhavsars worship Hinglaj Mata or Hingulambika. The oldest temple dedicated to her is in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Hinglaj temple is also an important place of pilgrimage for other Hindus in that area and is maintained by a small Hindu community there. There is no temple or deity in any other part of India that is commonly worshiped by the Bhavsars. It is therefore speculated that the Bhavsar community originated in the northwestern part of undivided India (present-day Pakistan).

Most Gujarati Bhavsars follow Vaishnavism, while some others follow Jainism. Most Bhavsar in Maharashtra worship Amba Bhavani or Tulja Bhavani at Tuljapur.

Bhavsar Samaj[edit]

Bhavsars in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have traditional caste councils, or panchayat, known as Bhavsar Samaj or Bhavasar Kshatriya Samaj.[4] Their main function is to settle inter-family feuds and quarrels. The council members are elected.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh, Anthropological Survey of India (2003). People of India: Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. p. 206. ISBN 81-7991-104-7. 
  2. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh, Anthropological Survey of India (1998). People of India: Rajasthan. Popular Prakashan. p. 146. ISBN 81-7154-766-4. 
  3. ^ Pravin, Dhayfule. "History of Bhavsar Kshatriya Samaj". Community Portal. 
  4. ^ a b Singh, Kumar Suresh, Anthropological Survey of India (1998). People of India: Rajasthan. Popular Prakashan. p. 148. ISBN 81-7154-766-4. 
  5. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh, Anthropological Survey of India (1998). People of India: Rajasthan. Popular Prakashan. p. 206. ISBN 81-7154-766-4. 
  6. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh, Anthropological Survey of India (1998). People of India: Rajasthan. Popular Prakashan. pp. 146. ISBN 8171547664.
  7. ^ "I enjoy acting: Disha Vakani". Mumbai Mirror. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Monumental Love". The Times of India. 8 October 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Advanced communities among the Kshatriyas of Malwa and Western India - Shankar Patwardhan, Arvind Vyas Paper no. AS056/2007 submitted to Anthropological Survey Of India

External links[edit]