Goud Saraswat Brahmin: Wikis


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Goud Saraswat
गौड़ सारस्वत
ಗೌಡ ಸಾರಸ್ವತ್
ഗൌഡ് സാരസ്വത്
Marathi:गौड सारस्वत ब्राम्हण
Total population
300,000 (approx)
Regions with significant populations
Primary populations in:

Populations in:


Konkani, Marathi



Related ethnic groups

Goud (also written as Gowd or Gowda or Gaud) Saraswat Brahmins (Konkani:गौड़ सारस्वत,Marathi:गौड सारस्वत,Kannada:ಗೌಡ ಸಾರಸ್ವತ,Malayalam:ഗൌഡ സാരസ്വത) are a Hindu Brahmin community in India and a part of the larger Saraswat Brahmin community. They are popularly referred to as GSBs. They are Konkani people and primarily speak Konkani or Marathi as their mother tongue.They claim their origin to the Brahmins who lived on the banks of the now extinct river Saraswati of Punjab. They derived their name from either the river Saraswati or from their spiritual leader Great Sage Saraswat Muni who lived on the banks of Saraswati. These Brahmins were one of the Pancha Gowda Brahmin groups who lived north of the Vindhyas. They belonged to Smarta tradition and primarily worshiped the five deities: Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya and Ganesha. Throughout the course of history, the Saraswat Brahmins have migrated to a variety of locations and are found mostly in Western coast of India[1].



The exact origin of the Saraswat Brahmins is difficult to ascertain. The Saraswat Brahmins are mentioned in the Vedas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata and even the Bhavisyottara Purana.Eiher they may have come from Central Asia to the Indian sub-continent through the Hindu-Kush mountains and the Khyber pass to south in about 2000-1500 B.C or they were Indigenous [2]The meaning of the word 'Saraswat' has more than one origin. One refers to 'offspring of Saraswati'[citation needed] , the Goddess of learning applied usually to learned and scholarly people. It may also denote the residents of Saraswati river basin. The brahmins of this region who are referred to as 'Saraswats' in Mahabharata and Puranas were learned in Vedic lore[citation needed]. They concentrated on studying subjects like astronomy, metaphysics, medicine and allied subjects and disseminating knowledge[citation needed].To trace the gaud saraswat brahmins ancestry from kashmir to goa,story of famous seer "saraswata" is considered,when there was a famine in north india,he continued to recite vedic texts by consuming fishes[3]

Due to geo-morphosis in the Himalayas, the Saraswati began to dry up and the Saraswats were forced to migrate to greener pastures. Some went to Kashmir in the north, others went eastwards. Few made their way to the Konkan and Goa. These came to be recognized as Goud Saraswats or Dakshinatya Saraswats, to distinguish them from other Saraswat groups of North.

Lord Parshurama with Saraswati brahmin settlers commanding Lord Varuna to make the seas recede to make the Konkan .

The new immigrants were called 'Goud' because they were followers of Monism or Advaita as preached by Goudapadacharya, who was guru of Govinda Bhagavatpada whose direct disciple was the great Shankaracharya, who resurrected Hinduism or Vedic religion in India. The first math of Saraswats dedicated to the memory of Goudapadacharya was established in Kaivalyapura or Kavale in Goa in the 8th century A.D. To this day, the swamis of Kavale math are known as Goudapadacharyas. Kavale Math is Goud Saraswat Community's Adimath (first math) and three main sub-sects of Dakshinatya Saraswats, viz., Sashtikar (Dorke including Bardeshkars), Shenvis (Karbharis), and Chitrapur Saraswats (Bhanaps) were all known as Goud Saraswats or Konkani Brahmins till three-hundred years ago. Other Saraswat subsects include Kudladeskars, Pednekars, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins and Balavalikars.

In the 13th century, Dwaita (Vaishnava) philosophy advocated by Madhvacharya became popular and many Saraswats adopted vaishnavism. They continued to worship the deities they brought with them from the North. These were 'Mahan Girish' or Mangueshi, Shakti or Shanta durga, Vishnu, Ganesh and Surya. They form the 'Panchayatan' or five deities, sacred to all Saraswats.

Goud Saraswats were in all the kingdoms of the western coast under different dynasties right from 6th century A.D. Kadamba, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Chalukya Shilahara and Vijayanagara kings had given important posts to Saraswats. There were admirals, treasurers, ambassadors, army chiefs and foreign language-interpreters among them. They were famous traders, who conducted maritime trade with Eastern and Western countries of the contemporary world. The spoken language of Saraswats is Konkani.

The Portuguese traders followed by Christian missionaries. Forcible conversions began to take place under the patronage of Portuguese government in 1560 A.D. Most of the Saraswat families left Goa with their family deities, risking life and limb. They settled down in the adjoining Hindu principalities. New temples came up in the coastal districts of Karnataka for Saraswat deities. When conditions improved in Goa and forcible conversions stopped, the idols were taken back to newly constructed temples in Goa. They are not in the original ancient spots, where churches were built, destroying earlier temples. Many people migrated to Kerala and built temples mainly dedicated to Vishnu and his different avatars. Kashi Math at Kochi came up in 1560 A.D. and at Bhatkal in 1540 A.D. This was shifted to Gokarn hence known as Gokarn Jeevottama Partakali Math to include the name of famous Saint-Pontiff by the name Jeevottam of the Math stationed at Partakal or Partakali, Goa. Finally, this Math was established at Canacona in Goa. All the Vaishnav Saraswats are Kulavis (followers) of either Kashi Math or Gokarn Math. 'Smarth' Saraswats owe allegiance to either Kavale Math or Chitrapur Math.

Saraswats continued to hold important posts under Keladi or Nagar rulers. Many families who emigrated from Goa settled down in smaller towns and villages in Shimoga, South and North Kanara Districts. Saraswats were the first beneficiaries of English education introduced in 1840 A.D[citation needed] .

The sub-sects of the Goud Saraswats[citation needed]

  • Bardeshkars (Kamat,Vengsarkar,Asgaonkar,etc)
  • Rajapur/Bhalavalikar Gauda Saraswat Brahmins (Sakhalkar, Tendulkar,...etc)
  • Shenavi and Sasashtikars (Wagle,Rajadhyaksha,Gavaskar,Ginde,Satoskar,etc)
  • Shenavi Paiki
  • Kudaldeshkar

GSB Mutts[citation needed]


Refer List of Goud Saraswat Brahmin surnames


Refer Saraswat cuisine mio


Gaud Saraswat Brahmins are a Maharashtrian Brahmin subcaste followed by the Chitpavan brahmins, Deshasthas as well as the Karhade brahmins.They are found all over the west coast of India ranging from Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, most of them having their deities in Goa. They are all linked together by the common Konkani language. Konkani has been substantially influenced by local languages in each of the regions. Gaud Saraswat Brahmins are categorized by Gotra's by Last name (indicating profession), Gotra (lineage) or Math (spiritual guru).


Kuldevtas are considered of utmost importance to the GSB's. Normally Saraswats believe in the concept of "Panchayatan" - worshipping 5 gods like form of Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Surya and Ganapati. Some GSB Temples still maintain this concept, while others have a single deity instead of five. "Kuldev" or "kuldaivat" are the deities which a set of families primarily worship. Their temples are built and maintained by these families, also called "Mahajans" (or Kulavis) of their respective temple[citation needed].

Many Kuldevs/Kuldevatas are situated in Goa. However, during the early Portuguese persecutions, many GSBs and Saraswats fled Goa along with their Kuldevs to nearby regions of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Mumbai, Gujarat, Punjab. Hence, besides Goa, there are many GSB Temples in Maharashtra (Konkan side like Malwan, Vengurla, Savantwadi, Kudal, Ratnagiri, etc.), Mumbai.

The Popular kuldevs of Gouda Saraswats are: In the Kuldevta system of the GSB is that they must have a Pallavi, that is supporting deity. The common among these are Shri Shantadurga, Shri Mahalakshmi, Shri Vijayadurga, Shri Mahalsa Narayani, Shri Aryadurga etc.


Kuldevtas located in Goa

  • Shri Mangesh Maharudra (Mangeshim/Priyol, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Shantadurga (Kavalem, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Madkai, Goa)
  • Shri Mahalakshmi (Bandiwadem/Bandora, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Nagesh Maharudra (Nageshim, Bandiwadem/Bandora, Ponda Goa)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Mardhol, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Ganapati Khandola (Khandola, Goa)
  • Shri Kaveri Kamakshi Rayeshwar (Shiroda, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Ramnath Shanteri Kamakshi (Ramnathim, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Shantadurga Ravalnath (Mulgaon, Goa)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Ravalnath Bhumikadeo (Marcela, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Mallinath (Marcela, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narsimha (Veilinga, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Nirakar Laksmi Narasimha (Mashem, Goa)
  • Shri Damodar (Zambavalim, Goa)
  • Shri Shankleswari Shantadurga (Gotna, Veiling, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Vijayadurga (Kerim, Ponda, Goa)
  • Shri Saptakoteshwar (Narve, Goa)
  • Shri Ravalnath Mahalakshmi (Mulgao, Goa)
  • Shri Laxminarayan (Khola, Canacona)
  • Shri Navadurga (Kundaim, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Poinguineim, Goa)
  • Shri Navadurga (Bori, Goa)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Mandrem, Goa)
  • shri Laxmi Narayan (kundaim)
  • Shri Vamaneshwar Temple, Dhavali, Ponda, Goa
  • Shri Bindumadhav Temple (Madkai, Goa)
  • Shri Kundodari/Shantadurga Mahamaya Temple, Ghudo- Avedem, Goa ( Was earlier in Kudteri - Approx. 500 Years Ago )
  • Shri Sharvani Vetal Maharudra,Advalpal Goa

Kuldevtas located in Maharashtra

  • Shri Navadurga (Vengurla, Redi, Maharashtra){shifted from Goa during Portuguese rule}
  • Shri Shantadurga, Malwan, Maharashtra
  • Shri Shantadurga, Sawantwadi, Maharashtra

Kuldevtas located in Karnataka

  • Shri Kundodari Mahamaya Chamundeshwari (Shedgeri, Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Aryadurga (Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mahamaya also known as Nagoa Mahamaya (Ankola, Karnataka)
  • Shri Ganapati Mahamaya (Shirali, Karnataka)
  • Shri Katyayni Bhaneshwar (Aversa, Karnataka)
  • Shri Ganapati Ravalnath Mahamaya (Asnoti, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Renjal, Karnataka)

Shifted Kuldevta Temples during the Portuguese rule

  • Shri Ramnath Shanteri Kamakshi (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Kaveri Kamakshi Rayeshwar (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Kumta, Karnataka)
  • Shri Shri Lakshmi Narsimha (Mulki, Karnataka)
  • Shri Devaki Krishna Ravalnath (Kagal, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalsa Narayani (Moodabidri, Karnataka)
  • Shri Mahalaxmi (Renjal, Karnataka)
  • Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mahamaya also known as Nagoa Mahamaya (Ankola, Karnataka)

The above Kuldevtas are of the Shenavi, Bardeshkars, Sasashtikars, Pednekars, Shenavi Paiki, Lotlikars and Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins of the Goud Brahmins of Karnataka.

The Kudaldeshkar & Rajpur Saraswats Kuldevtas temples are as below

  • Shri Sharvani-Mahadev Maharudra Vetal (Goa)
  • Shri Ravalnath (Khanoli, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Sateri Devi (Mhapan, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Siddheshwar (Valawal, Kudal, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Vetal or Vetoba (Goa Canacona Taluka & Maharashtra)
  • Shri Kaleshwar (Nerur, Sindhudurg Dist, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Aadinarayan (Parule, Taluka Vengurla, Maharashtra)
  • Shri Narasimha (Narasinghe, Karnataka)
  • Shri Bhavani-Shankar (Kavle Mutt, Goa)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Montimaru, Karnataka)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Bantwal, Karnataka)
  • Shri Durgaparameshwari (Mogeru, Karnataka)
  • Shri Adishakti Mahalaxmi (Laxmipura, Karnataka)
  • Shri Bhagvati Vana devi (Goa)
  • Shri Aryadurga (Kudal, Maharashtra)


  • Bharadwaja
  • Kaushik
  • Vatsa
  • Kaundinya
  • Kashyapa
  • Atri
  • Shankha Pingala
  • Garga cf. Gargya

Notable GSBs

[citation needed]

See also


  1. GSB Kerala website, Title: Saraswat History
  2. Saraswath Sudha, Page No 391, Authored by Late Shri K.Ramachandra shyama Nayak.

External links


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