Sahastra Brahman :-
Audichaya Sahastra Brahman has a wide distribution but their main concentration
is in Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Kheda, Bharuch, Surendranagar, SabarKantha,
and Panchemahal districts. According to historical records, they were
brought to Gujarat by Mulraj Solanki the ruler of Anhilpur Patan. 'Audich'
in Sanskrit means north. So the Brahmins invited by Mulraj from Northern
India come to be known as 'Audichya Brahmans', they are also called
'Audichaya Sahastra Brahmin' (Sahastra means 1000) because there were
more then 1000 families of Brahmins that were invited for pran pratishatha
during the year 993 A.D.
Maharaj Mulraj Solanki came to throne of Patan in about 942 A.D. after
killing his Mama (uncle) Samanth singh. He for the pran pratishatha
of his palace called Rudra mahal had invited the Brahmins from north
of India because the local Brahmins had boycotted him for killing his
Mama (uncle) and coming on throne.
The 1000 families that had migrated from the North of India were donated
with villages around Siddhpur and Patan. Those who lived nearby Siddhpur
were called Brahmins of Siddhpur Sampradai and those who lived in and
around Shihor were called as Brahmins of Shihori Sampradai, those who
did not accept any donations and remained away from this group were
known as Audich tolakia Brahmins and those who had taken donations were
known as Audich Sahastra Brahmin.
Mulraj Solanki gave us Chatrala village as gift and hence we are also
known as Chatrala Vyas.
originally we are Sathapatha Brahman but, after migrating from north
of India for the pran pratishatha of Rudra mahal we were known as Audich
The Audichaya Brahman families invited from different regions of Northern
India consisted of 105 from Prayag Kshetra. 100 from the Ashram of Chavyan
Rishi, 100 families from the bank of the river Saryau; 200 from Kannauj,
100 'Kashi Kshetra' 100 'Haridwar': 100 from 'Kurukshetra': 100 from
'Naimishaaranya'; and 132 from Pushkar Kshetra. Thus, a total of 1037
families of learned Brahmins were invited for participation in the Rudra
Mahalaya and Rydra Yagna performed by Prince Mulraj Solanki. It is said
that a group of 1000 Audichaya Brahman accepted the gifts offered by
king Mulraj and their descendents are known as Audichaya Shastra Brahmins
of the remaining group of 37 Brahmins. Mulraj and his ministers divided
them into different groups according to their merit and their Vedic
The Audichya Brahmins have a number of 'Gotras'. The 'Gotras' are Vatsa,
Bhargav, Dalabhya, Dron, Maunas, Gangayan, Sankratrutya, Sankruit, Panlastya,
Mandakya, Shaunak, Bhardwaj, Kaudinya, Arti,Krushnatri, Swetatri, Chandratri,
Gautam, Kutsas, Angiras, Vashishth, Upmanu, Udvah-Audvah, Parashas,
Laugashi, Kashyap, Shandilya, Gabhil, Pipplad, Udalak, Audalals, Garga,
Kaushik, and Hirnyagarbh.
There are more than sixty different 'ataks' (Surnames) among the Audichaya
Brahmans. These atak names which are used as surnames are based on their
profession and field of proficiency. The most common among them are
Dave, Pandya, Thaker, Upadhhyaya, Trivedi, Jani, Pandit, Acharya, Raval,
Joshi etc. Earlier there were only 16 Surnames but in course of time
the number went up to 60. The Brahmans who studied and taught the Vedas
to other Brahmans were known as Acharya. The Brahmans who study and
teach the Vedas in different regions come to be known as Upadhyayas
are also referred to as Ozas, Pundits, Pathaks and Pandas. The Brahmans
serving Rajput Kings at the marriages of princes and princesses were
call Purohits irrespective of their original surnames.
Brahmans residing in Panchal Pradesh were called 'Pancholi' while those
who were well versed in Astrology are known as Joshis. Thakar Brahmans
were those who gave up their original vocation to manage their villages.
The Brahmans who possessed the knowledge of all the four Vedas were
known as Chaturvedis, those who possessing the knowledge of three Vedas
become Trivedis or Tripathis and those familiar only with two Vedas
are called Dwivedi and Dave. The Brahmans doing clerical work were called
Mehtas and those who were experts in making preparations of Yagna were
called Yagnik. The Brahmans possessing knowledge of the Vedas were called
The Audichaya Brahman practices Endogamy (marriage within one's own
tribe or group as required by custom or law) at the community level
and Exogamy (The custom of marrying outside the tribe, family, clan,
or other social unit) at the gotra level. The community is characterized
by and internal social hierarchy with those belonging to Siddhpur occupying
the highest position, followed by those of the Zalawad region and below
them are those belonging to the Sihor-kathiawad region. Formerly, these
sections had commenced relations but did not exchange brides. Now these
restrictions are not observed. But they follow sapinda and pravar exogamy.
Monogamy is the norm (The practice or condition of being married to
only one person at a time). Widow marriage is prohibited. The girls
are married off between 18 to 25 years and the marriage age for boy's
ranges from 21-28 years. Dowry in the form of gift is given as 'streedhan'
to the daughter. Junior sororate is in practice. Marriage alliances
are largely settled by negotiations. The symbols of marriage for women
include the wearing of 'mangalsutra', toerings and the bindi on the
forehead. The rule of residence is partrilocal though neuronal is also
present. Divorce is customarily not permissible, but one can get divorce
through low courts. Reason for divorce includes bareness, maladjustment
and chronic sickness. In case of divorce, children usually become the
liability of the father.
The Audichya Brahmins as their name shows are northerners and must be
considered to have migrated to Gujarat from the North. In 1891 they
numbered, in Gujarat just a few thousand more than 200 thousand Forming
36 per cent of the total Brahmins of Gujarat. According to the Gazetteer
(Ibid, pp.2-3) Brahmins of Gujarat totaled, in 1891, 570 thousand and
had fifty-three named divisions, though eighty-four were mentioned of
which seventy were traceable. In the Census Report of Mumbai of 1911
(p. 240) the number of divisions among the Brahmins of Gujarat is recorded
as ninety-three. Their main fission is associated with the reign of
the Gujarat King Mulraj (A.D. 961-996).
Some Audichya Brahmins were drafted by him to help him carry out a sacrifice.
On the completion of the sacrifice the King offered them inducement
to stop in his dominions. Only one thousand Brahmins are believed to
have accepted the offer, the rest forming toil (band) refused to reside.
But they, too, were later persuaded to stay on by the offer of further
benefits. The first setters naturally come to be known as Sahasra and
the latter ones as Tolakia. Strangely, how ever, the Sahasras are looked
upon as superior in social rank. The Sahastras have among them two sub-division
which are purely geographical i.e., Sihoras and Sidhpurias name after
the respective towns. Ten other sub-castes or castes are mentioned as
having originated with the Audich Brahmins (Desai, p. 4).
the registered Charity Trusts listed in the Charity Commissioner's Directory
mentioned above not only Audichya Sahastra (1162, 1427) and Audichya
Sahastra of Sidhpur (1239) figure but also Dandhavya Audichya Brahmin
(291) and Ghangoli Audichya (438) occur. Some people also write Avadich
instead of Audichya. Many audichya Brahmin families have migrated to
Rajasthan in search of jobs and other lively hood. Udaipur, Jaipur and
Kota, the former princely states in Rajasthan were preferred places
outside Gujarat. In Udaipur, the area called as Baiji Raj Ki Brahmpuri,
more popularly known as Chhoti Brahmpuri has a large concentration of
Audichya Brahmins.They include Yagnik [Jani],Dave, Vyas, Dixit, Shukla
and Mehta families. Formerly most of them were engaged in temple services.
Only few families particularly members of Yagnik family were in state
service. The community is proud of having freedom fighters also as its
member's viz. Shri Manoharlal Ganpatlal Yagnik and shri Ichchha Shankar