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Karmakar (Bengali: কর্মকার) is a Bengali Hindu caste spread throughout West Bengal and Bangladesh. The Karmakars are traditionally blacksmiths or goldsmiths by trade. They are recognized as Other Backward Class by the Government of India and Government of West Bengal.[1]


According to mythology the forefather of Karmakars was the son of Vishvakarma and a Shudra mother.[2] The Karmakars are one of the nine trading castes that constituted the Navashākha group.[3][4]


The Karmakars used to be blacksmiths by profession. Over time, the Karmakars have produced engineering masterpieces.[citation needed] In 1637, Janardan Karmakar (Blacksmith) of Sylhet built the great gun of Murshidabad, the Jahan Kosha Cannon 'Destroyer of the World', which is 18' in length and weighs around 7 tons.[5][6][7] Another grand cannon named Dal Madal Kaman was built by Jagannath Karmakar in 1565 for the kingdom of Mallabhum.[8]In the late 18th century, Panchanan Karmakar pioneered the Bengali printing industry by inventing a movable type punch marked Bengali scripts.[9][citation needed]

Religious practices[edit]

Traditionally they worship Lord Viswakarma, all through the year but particularly on the last day of the month of Bhādra in the Bengali calendar, which normally falls on 17 September every year.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Government of West Bengal: List of Other Backward Classes". Govt. of West Bengal. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  2. ^ Ansari, Naval & M. Anawar (2010). History Of The Later Harappans And Silpakara Movement (2 Vols.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 308. ISBN 9788178357515.
  3. ^ Ray, Nihar Ranjan (2009). Bangalir Itihash. Deys Publishing, p. 246.
  4. ^ Dasgupta 2009, p. 72.
  5. ^ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh: Humanities, Volumes 36-38 Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 1991
  6. ^ The Land of the rupee Bennett, Coleman, 1912, the University of Michigan
  7. ^ District Census Handbook, West Bengal: Birbhum India. Superintendent of Census Operations, West Bengal, Bisweswar Ray, Superintendent, Government Printing, the University of Michigan
  8. ^ Dasgupta 2009, p. 55.
  9. ^ "Flower power resurrects Carey legacy". timesofindia.com. The Times Of India Kolkata. Retrieved 9 February 2012.