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Saraswat Brahmans of Panjab


Kalias belong to the Saraswat Brahmans of Panjab. Their gotra is Bharadwaj; their Veda is Shukla Yajurveda, Vajasaneyi Samhita. Traditionally they were purohits of the (i) Dhawan khatris (according to Rose and Ibbetson) (ii) Suri khatris (according to a publication of the Khatri Upakarak Sabha, Delhi) and (iii) Dhawan and Sood Khatris (according to B N Puri's The Khatris, a socio-historical study).

Their traditional habitat was the sub-montane and contiguous plains areas of Panjab (i.e. areas around Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Gurdaspur). As far as I know, Chintpurni is the only village in Himachal Pradesh with a predominantly Kalia population.

Just like other social groups, they have also moved away from their traditional living areas and pursuits and have moved into other professions.


From the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins - A Story of Migrations pages -

"Who are Gowda Saraswat Brahmins?

The Gowda Saraswat Brahmins 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.

Brahmins in India

The Brahmins in India were divided into two major groups based on the geographical origin of the people. The Brahmins that lived to the north of the Vindhyas were referred to as the Gowda Brahmins, whereas the Brahmins which lived to the south of the Vindhyas were referred to as the Dravida Brahmins. Each group was divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement."

For more information, please go to the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins - A Story of Migrations site.


The following information on Brahmans of Panjab has been taken from "A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes in the Punjab and North-West Province. Based on the Census Report for the Punjab, 1883, by the late Sir Denzil Ibbetson, K.C.S.I., and the Census Report for the Punjab, 1892, by the Hon. Mr. E. D. MacLagan, C.S.I., and compiled by H. A. Rose. Lahore : Printed by the Superintendent, Government Printing, Punjab, 1911-1919 [v.1 - 3].

"The Sarsut is essentially the Brahman of the Punjab, just as the Khatri is distinctively a Punjab caste. The Sarsut, as a body, minister to all the Hindu castes, possibly even to those which are unclean and so stand outside the pale of Hinduism. Upon this fact is based the leading principle of their organization, which is that the status of each section depends on the status of the caste to which it ministers..."

More information is available in a pdf file called Saraswat Brahmins of Punjab which is an excerpt from Rose and Ibbetson {266 kb).


You may also wish to look at the following pages -

Gowda Saraswat Brahmins of Konkan

Gowda Saraswat Brahmins - A Story of Migrations

Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins by Aarti Maskeri

The Saraswat Brahmins-Displaced Inhabitants of Saraswati by Amresh Vashisht

History of Brahmins


Some pages maintained by Arvind Kalia -

Mata Chintpurni Devi

Brahmans of Punjab


2004 Maintained by: Arvind Kalia | Date Last Modified: 19 March 2019