Pathare Prabhu

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Pathare Prabhu middle-class gentleman of nineteenth century.

Pathare Prabhu is one of the Hindu communities in the city of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay).


Members of this community are one of the original settlers in Mumbai - they migrated from Gujarat (Saurashtra) during the 13th century. They mostly live in Mumbai city and its suburbs. They usually speak Marathi. However, the older generation spoke the Parabhai dialect, which is a combination of Gujarati and Marathi. The Pathare Prabhus are believed to be descendants of King Ashwapati who reigned in Nepal. They are placed in the Kshatriya varna.[1][2]

The Pathare Prabhus and the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus (CKPs) are considered sister communities, both being part of the 'Prabhu castes'.[3] However, the Pathare Prabhu followed the Smartha tradition of Hinduism whereas the CKP followed the Advaita Vedanta tradition propounded by Adi Shankara, the first Shankaracharya.[4]

Along with all the Maharashtrian Brahmin castes and the CKP, they are considered one of the 'high' or 'elite' castes of Maharashtra.[5]

The Pathare Prabhu, in the 19th century would to refer to Bombay as 'Desh' (country). They formed the "Kshatriya Union Club" under which were the five primary collectives of Girgaon, Mazagaon, Parel, Mahim and Worli. In 1887, they held a meeting at the "Desh" level in which it was decided to stop inviting "naikins" (dancers) to sing at the Upanayana (thread ceremonies or "munja") and marriage celebrations. Historians cite an incident where a Pathare Prabhu member who broke this rule two years later was socially outcast by the community. He sued for defamation but the British Court ruled against him.[6]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ K.S. Singh (1998). People of India: A - G., Volume 4. Oxford Univ. Press. p. 2813. ISBN 0195633547. PATHARE PRABHU One of the original settlers of the Island City of Mumbai, they migrated from Saurashtra in Gujarat during the 13th century. They are distributed only in the Mumbai city and its suburbs in Maharashtra. They are Kshatriya who speak Marathi. However, the people of older generation still speak the Parabhai dialect, which is an admixture of Gujarati and Marathi languages, among themselves.
  2. ^ Āditya Mehendale. Rare Gems: A Non-vegetarian Gourmet Collection from Maharashtra. Om Books International. p. 79. The pathare prabhus are believed to be descendents of the King Ashwapati who reigned in Nepal
  3. ^ Christine E. Dobbin (1972). Urban leadership in Western India: politics and communities in Bombay city, 1840-1885. p. 225. Not only were the Pathare prabhus aware for the need for self help. In 1876 the members of their sister community, the Chandraseniya Kyasth Prabhus, began to organize themselves.
  4. ^ K.P.Bahadur, Sukhdev Singh Chib (1981). The Castes, Tribes and Culture of India. ESS Publications. p. 161. pg 161: The Kayastha Prabhus...The creed mostly accepted by them is that of the advaita school of Shankaracharya, though they also worship Vishnu, Ganapati and other gods. ...Most of the Pathare Prabhus are the followers of smart sect who adopt the teachings of Shankaracharya
  5. ^ "The American Economic Review - Volume 96, Issues 3-4". Nashville, Tenn. American Economic Association. 2006: 1228. High castes include all the Brahmin jatis, as well as a few other elite jatis (CKP and Pathare Prabhus).Low castes include formerly untouchable and backward castes (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Castes, as defined by the government of India). Medium castes are drawn mostly from the cultivator jatis, such as the Marathas and the Kunbis, as well as other traditional vocations that were not considered to be ritually impure.
  6. ^ Utsa Patnaik; Terence J. Byres; K. N. Panikkar, eds. (2002). The Making of History: Essays Presented to Irfan Habib (Anthem South Asian Studies). Anthem Press. p. 197.
  7. ^ Kanupriya; Amar Nath Prasad. Indian Writing in English: Tradition and Modernity. Moroba Kanhoba Vijaykar's novel Ghashiram Kotwal appeared in 1873. Ghashiram is not an imaginative character of literature.
  8. ^ Crossing Thresholds: Feminist Essays in Social History. 2007. p. 350. Perhaps the most highly publicized was the ill-fated marriage of Moroba Kanhoba Vijaykar, one of the earliest members of the Society, in 1870. It resulted in the family's excommunication by his Pathare Prabhu caste, despite reformist support. But most unfortunate was the tragedy that struck before a year was over. The newly-weds were found dead in the neighbouring...
  9. ^ "A flight over Chowpatty that made history". The Times Of India. The Times Of India. 18 October 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2015. Talpade belonged to the Pathare Prabhu community, one of the founder of Mumbai
  10. ^ Richard I. Cashman (1975). The Myth of the Lokamanya: Tilak and Mass Politics in Maharashtra. Although more at home in the cosmopolitan center of Bombay, and a member of the Council of the Bombay Presidency Association, the Pathare Prabhu lawyer, Mukund Ramrao Jayakar (1873-1959), expressed the typical response

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