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For the village in Iran, see Savji, Iran.

Savji (or Saoji, Souji[1] or Sauji) are an Indian caste. They claim descent from the mythological Puranic king Sahasrārjuna.


When Savjis from north-central India migrated to the southern states, many of them were engaged in the silk cleaning and weaving business. Today, many Savji families in Karnataka, Andhra, and Tamil Nadu continue in the same endeavors.[2]

Culture and festivals

The main festival in the Savji community is Dasara or Dusshera, during which the goddess of power or Shakti is worshiped. Special culinary dishes such as edimi (made from wheat flour and graham flour) and arithi (made from wheat flour in the shape of Diyas) are prepared, and lalpani (intoxicants) are offered to the Goddess Bhavani. On every Kartika month Sapthami tithi in Shravana Nakshatra Savjis celebrate the birthday of Sri Sahastrarjun called "Sahastrarjuna Jayanti"[3] with much pomp and gaiety. Sahastrarjun's image is carried in a procession in many places on the Sahastrarjuna Jayanti.[4] Other traditional Hindu festivals that are celebrated include Diwali and Holi. Every year, communities in some places organize social gatherings and prayers to the deity called "Bhandara". The function is preceded with prayer, bhajan, and aarti of the deity, followed by meals in the form of Prasad. The meal served during the function is mostly vegetarian food.

Like Brahmins, Savjis perform the thread ceremony (Upanayana). Marriages follow the traditional Vedic wedding and take place over three days with rituals such as deity pooja, engagement, "Gandh", "Haldi", etc. Offering a dowry in any form is strictly forbidden in the community. This is a feature in which the Savji community takes a lot of pride. The marriage ceremony is performed by the bridegroom's side of the family. In many places, mass marriages and upanayanas are conducted for the welfare of poor samaj people.[5] During the wedding, the bride and the groom's families look for the Lagna and Janma Kundli to match between the boy and the girl, and also for the matching Gotra. The wedding date is fixed after consulting the Panchang for an auspicious day. Inter-caste marriages are not very common in the community. Marriages mostly happen within the community and in some cases between distant relatives. Partly because of this close association, the community has managed to preserve its distinct culture and traditions.


Savji community is known for its hot and spicy non-vegetarian delicacies and Savji masala in places where Savjis are concentrated in large numbers. Majority of the Savji people are non-vegetarian and hence preparation of variety of meat dishes is very common in the community. Goat meat, chicken and fish forms major component of Savji cuisine along with other vegetarian dishes. Alcohol consumption is not restricted in the community.[citation needed] Some of the common recipes include edmi (puris made of wheat flour, gram flour, chilies and other spices), khaimo or kheema (minced goat meat), shakanu chaknu (goat and chicken curry) prepared in special Savji spices.[6]

Savji food is famous for its very hot and spicy flavor in many cities (where they are in large number) served in small family style restaurants called Savji khanavali[7] or "Savji hotel" or bhojanalaya,[1] found in large numbers in places like Hubli, Bangalore, Belgaum in Karnataka, Nagpur and Solapur in Maharashtra. There are a line of Savji bhojanalays[8][9] in Nagpur that are very popular in Maharashtra. So much so that, the Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor once featured Savji mutton on one of his shows and its recipe is also listed on his website.[10]


Savji people speak a language called "Savji bhasha" or "Khatri bhasha" in some regions[11] that belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family and appears to be an amalgamation of Indic languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Marwari.


  1. ^ a b Beteille, Gopa Sabharwal ; with a foreword by André (2005). Ethnicity and class : social divisions in an Indian city. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-19-567830-3. 
  2. ^ Ernst, edited by Waltraud; Pati, Biswamoy (2007). India's princely states : people, princes and colonialism (1. publ. ed.). London: Routledge. p. 210. ISBN 0-415-41541-1. 
  3. ^ Sahastrarjun Jayanti Celebration In India – Date of Sahastrarjun Jayanti Festival In Year 2011
  4. ^ Correspondent, Staff (30 October 2006). "Hundreds participate in Sahasrarjun Jayanti Utsav procession in Hubli". Hindu. 
  5. ^ Joshi, K.G. (1993). Mass marriages in Karnataka : a sociological study. Calcutta, India: Minerva Associates (Publications). pp. 46, 49. ISBN 81-85195-52-8. 
  6. ^ Weaving a spicy cult.
  7. ^ Bhatia, Arun (Sep 2, 2002). "A 'khanavali' in our metropolis". Hindu. 
  8. ^ Joiye, Joiye. "Saoji food in Nagpur". Joiye. Joiye. 
  9. ^ nagpuronline, nagpuronline. "Restaurants in Nagpur". nagpuronline. nagpuronline. 
  10. ^ Sanjeev, Kapoor. "Saoji Mutton". sanjeevkapoor. sanjeevkapoor. 
  11. ^ Beteille, Gopa Sabharwal ; with a foreword by André (2005). Ethnicity and class : social divisions in an Indian city. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. pp. 133, 134. ISBN 0-19-567830-3. 

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