Padmashali

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Padmashali
పద్మశాలి
Total population

90,00,000[1] (estimated)

Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh
Languages
Telugu
Religions
Om.svg Hinduism

Padmashali (Telugu: పద్మశాలి) is a Telugu-speaking Hindu artisan community. The community members are traditionally weavers who specialise in weaving cloth of all kinds.[2] The community is related to the Brahmins.[2] They originally come from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and later some of the community members also moved to the neighbouring Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.[2] Most Padmashalis speak Telugu, except in the Dakshina Kannada district of Coastal Karnataka, where they speak Tulu.[2]

Although Padmashalis are related to Brahmins, they are considered as a backward (OBC) caste by the Indian government.[2] The community is highly Sanskritised, with all men wearing the sacred thread and performing the similar rituals which Brahmins do, yet most of the community members eat non-vegetarian food and worship local gods which are not worshipped by Brahmins.[2][3] They are not considered as Brahmins, despite their similar customs. Instead they are considered by some as Vaishyas[2] and by others as even Shudras.[4]

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