Chitrapur Saraswats

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 31 20:49:29 UTC 1999

Dear Sri Hebbar,

> From Saraswat Vol. 1 No.1, by Suryakanth Kamath, chief editor, Karnataka
Gazetteer, available online at
<> -

"A note on the Chitrapur Saraswats may not be out of place here. There
have been efforts to claim that these Saraswats are no way connected with
Gauda Saraswats. Dr. R. N. Saletore (Vide Dr. Gopal C. Hattangadi (Ed.),
Fifty Years of Bliss, Bombay 1965) while speaking of Gauda Saraswats as
'Konkanas' and distinguishing them from the Chitrapur Saraswats holds that,
"These two communltles are quite distinct" (p.269). But the arguments he
extends to support this view in his writing hold no water. In fact, the very
documents of the Chitrapura Matha speak of its followers as Gauda Saraswats
and Conlon, who has written a scholarly book on the Chitrapur Saraswats has
accepted that they belong to the Gauda Saraswat stock. The Deity worshipped
by the Swamis of Kavale Matha and of Chitrapur Matha is Bhavanishankar, and
the followers of the Chitrapur Matha were originally the followers of the
Kavale Matha. "The ancestors of the Saraswat jati were descendants of
brahman families of Goa. These families were part of the cluster known
collectively in later times as Gaud Saraswat Brahmans (Conlon, p. 14)"

The last reference is to Frank A. Conlon, A Caste in the Changing World: The
Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmans: 1700-1935 University California Press, 1977.


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