The Saraswats are a sub-group of Hindu Brahmins of India who trace their ancestry to the banks of the Sarasvati River. The Saraswat Brahmins are mentioned as one of the five Pancha Gauda Brahmin communities.
In Kalhana's Rajatarangini (12th century CE), the Saraswats are mentioned as one of the five Pancha Gauda Brahmin communities residing to the north of the Vindhyas. They were spread over a wide area in northern part of the Indian subcontinent. One group lived in coastal Sindh and Gujarat, this group migrated to Bombay State after the partition of India in 1947. One group was found in pre-partition Punjab and Kashmir most of these migrated away from Pakistan after 1947. Another branch, known as Goud Saraswat Brahmin, are now found along the western coast of India.
In Goa, the Saraswats were considered inferior in the caste hierarchy by the Chitpavan Brahmins. The Chitpavans, who are vegetarians looked upon the Saraswats as a polluted sub-caste because of their meat eating habits.
In Goa, the Saraswat Brahmins are Non-vegetarian and take fish of all kinds, chicken and mutton. In coastal districts of Karnataka, Gaud Saraswats are the Madhva Vaishnavite Saraswat Brahmins, followers of Madhvacharya,while the Saraswats are Smarthas, followers of Shankaracharya. They are largely vegetarians. The Saraswat Brahmins of the Konkan region are pescatarians. There are even reports of Saraswat Brahmins of northern India of eating fish.
The Saraswats are divided into various territorial endogamous groups, who at one time did not intermarry. Marriages between Saraswat and non-Saraswat Brahmins are on the increase though they were unheard of before, mainly because the Saraswats eat fish and occasionally meat, while all other Brahmins are vegetarians.
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The Saraswat Brahmins are non-vegetarian and take fish of all kinds, chicken and mutton.
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The Saraswats are largely a vegetarian community, whose coconut- based cuisine is famed for its variety.
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The Saraswat Brahman are an ancient and a dynamic community of India, spread from Jammu and Kashmir to Konkan. They are divided into various territorial endogamous groups, who at one time did not intermarry.
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In fact, marriages between Saraswat and non-Saraswat Brahmins are on the increase though they were unheard of before, mainly because the Saraswats eat fish and occasionally meat, while all other Brahmins are vegetarians.
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