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Family name
Meaning toponymic; literally "Head of the fort"
Region of origin India
Language(s) of origin Sanskrit

Hegde or Hegade is a surname from coastal Karnataka in India. It is found among Hindus of the Bunt community.[1]


The word "Hegade" is derived from the words "hegg" ("head") and "gaḍ" ("fort"); thus, it means "head of the fort".


During the period of the Vijayanagara Empire, the warriors who used to protect a fort were called Hegades or Hegdes. It was also a title used by the Bunt chieftains and other village heads. Hegde is also used as a surname by the Madhwas and Havyaka Brahmins. The surname also occurs among some Ramakshatriya (Kotegar) in Udupi, Kundapur region and Vokkaligas (in Shimoga). The surname is also used by Kurubas of Mandya and Mysore. Hegde is also the name of a village in Kumta, Karnataka.

Notable people[edit]

The following is a list of notable people with last name Hegde.

Sanjay Hegde, Senior Advocate - Supreme Court and constitutional expert.


  1. ^ "Hegde Family History". Oxford University Press. Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press.