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Total population
90,00,000[1] (estimated)
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,
Om symbol.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 comes Brahmanical origin and the people consider them as Brahmins although the government of India has offered them an Other Backward Category status.[2] They originally come from the Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and later some of the community members also moved to the neighbouring Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu.[2] Most Padmashalis speak Telugu, except in the Dakshina Kannada district of Coastal Karnataka, where they speak Tulu.[2]

Origin[change | change source]

The term Padmashali is derived from two words Padma and Shali, The Padma means lotus and Shali means weaver.[3] They support their Sanskrit origin with various myths and Puranas such as Kulapurana and Markandeya Purana.[4]

The Padmashalis claim to be descendants from Bhrigu Rishi and Markandeya Rishi, Bhavana Rishi was son of Markandeya Rishi and to Bhavana Rishi were borne one hundred and one son; they took to weaving and the first clothes they wore was out of the fibres of the lotus stem so they came to be known as Padmashalis.[5]

Padmashalis Today[change | change source]

The Padmashalis divided into two groups based on Sampradaya, being the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas and they worship both Shiva and Vishnu.[4]

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, like Brahminical classes, their origin relates to sages as gothras.[6]

They basically perform Brahmin rites and even today a group who are qualified as agama shastra pandits perform the poojas and vedic rites. They are identified as Padma Brahmins.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Padmashali population
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Padmashali
  3. The Indian Textile Journal. Business Press. 1984. p. 63.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Swarnalatha, P. (2005). The World of the Weaver in Northern Coromandel, C.1750-c.1850. Orient Blackswan. pp. 31–41. ISBN 9788125028680.
  5. Journal of Indian Textile History. Calico Museum of Textiles. 1955. p. 56.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Dubai: Shettygars of Mangalore Form 'Padmashali UAE'". Retrieved 2019-08-14.

Other websites[change | change source]