|Classification||Weaver/ cloth merchants|
|Subdivisions||Based on Sampradaya
Based on type of cloth weaved
Padmashali (also spelt as Padmasali) is a Telugu-speaking Hindu artisan caste predominantly residing in the Indian states of Andhra pradesh ,Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Telangana, and Kerala. The caste is traditionally occupied in weaving and textile businesses and is identified by different names in various regions throughout India. They wear the sacred thread undergoing upanayanam as Dwija's and Bramhins classify them as Vaishya's while Padmasalis perform their day to day rituals as per brahmanical customs.
Padmashali name comes from Goddess Padmavati wife of Lord Vishnu. It is said that the Padmashalis and another weaver caste, the Devangas, were originally one single caste in ancient times, following Vaishnavism. The Devangas later split from this single caste owing to differences in faith; these members were influenced by Shaivism and Lingayatism and accepted Goddess Chamundeswari, the fierce form of Goddess Durga as their kuladevi, while the remaining members i.e. the Padmashalis, continued to adhere to Vaishnavism.
The Padmashalis eventually specialised in weaving clothes of all varieties.
Their subcastes are further divided into two groups based on Sampradaya- the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas. While the Shaivas give preference to worshipping Lord Shiva, the Vaishnavas give preference to worshipping Vishnu. These religious and occupational distinctions are no bar to intermarriage and interdining.
- P, Swarnalatha. The World of the Weaver in Northern Coromandel, C.1750-C.1850 (2005 ed.). Hyderabad: Orient Longman Private Limited. p. 31. ISBN 9788125028680. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- Padmasali subcastes