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Parvatiyar denotes a sub-caste belonging to Ambashtha caste of Bihar, India. Ambashtha is, in turn, a sub-caste of Kayastha community. The system of sub-caste in the Ambashtha caste is known as "Khaas Ghar" system.
Ancient Geographical Origins
Parvatiyar Ambashtha Kayastha, normally, trace their origins to Magadha region of Bihar.Perhaps, originally, their forefathers were from "Parvatti" or "Parvati" village of "Magadha", hence, they were known and designated as "Parvatiyar". However, in absence of any documentary or historical proof, it would be difficult to prove the true origins of the word "Parvatiyar". It may be noted that Ambashtha sub-caste or tribe were inhabitants, in ancient times, of North Western India in the lower Chenab region. They migrated eastwards, in course of time, to finally settle in Magadha region of Bihar. This fact is evident from description of their country in Mahabharata(II,48,14) and in Bhagavata Purana(X, 83,23).They are also mentioned in Brahmanda Purana(III,74,22), Matsya Purana(48,21), Vayu_Purana and Vishnu Purana(II,3,18). Panini also refers to it in one of his sutras(VIII, 3,97). Mahabharata mentions(II,52,14-15) Ambashtha as one of the north-western tribes.During the first quarter of the 2nd century A.D., the Ambashtha are referred to by the geographer Ptolemy as settled in the east of the country.(Ref: McCrindle authored 'Ancient India as described by Ptolemy', pp 311–312)
Parvatiyars follow a system of exogamous marriage, called "Ghar-Varjini" i.e. (i) not marrying within "Parvatiyar" sub-clan and (ii) also not marrying with persons belonging to "Khaas Ghar" of their father, mother, grandmother (both maternal and paternal) and so on, tracing upwards for three generations upwards the genealogical line (both maternal and paternal). This system is peculiar to Ambashtha caste. However, other castes, too, follow variants of this system.
Most of the members of Parvatiyar sub-clan serve in Government Service in Bihar and New Delhi. Though, of late, they have spread all over the world and serve in many divergent professions. Atul Parvatiyar, Deepak Parvatiyar, Anu Parvatiyar,Pankhuri Parvatiyar,Divya Parvatiyar, Kislay Parvatiyar,Swati parvatiyar,Tanya Parvatiyar, Abe Parvatiyar,Soumya Parvatiyar, Michelle Parvatiyar, Survi Parvatiyar are few of the Parvatiyars who can be dubbed as "googlable" Parvatiyars. There are many other 'Parvatiyars' but they do not use the surname 'Parvatiyar', hence, making it difficult to identify them. The Parvatiyars, generally, use the surnames such as "Ambastha", "Ambasta", "Sinha", "Sahay","Kumar","Praasd" etc. i.e. popular surnames beloging to Kayastha Caste. One such Parvatiyar family, using the surname "Kumar", is based in New Delhi now.Patriarch of this family is Sh. Ashok Kumar- a retired IAS of Bihar cadre, who has served as District Magistrate of Muzaffarpur in mid 1990s. His son, Amit Kumar, for example, though a Parvatiyar, does not use the surname Parvatiyar despite belonging to Parvatiyar family. He is an Advocate - on - Record of the Supreme Court of India. Similarly, Anant Kumar, CEO of Lifespring Hospitals, is also a Parvatiyar. It is notable that Anant Kumar is also a Ted fellow.
- McCrindle, J.W. (1885). Ancient India, as Described by Ptolemy.
- Ambastha Kayastha (The Evolution of a Family and Its Socio-Cultural Dimensions)/K.N. Sahay. New Delhi, Commonwealth, 2001, xxi, 344 p., $42. ISBN 81-7169-660-0.
- Encyclopaedia of Ancient Indian Geography
- The Indian Encyclopaedia
- Ancient India Described by Ptolemy