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Family connections with Baroda, Bhavnagar and Vadnagar

The earliest reference to the Nagars (pronounced 'Naagars') is in the Nagar Khand of Skanda Purana, where they are considered to be the oldest Brahmin community. Between 300 to 770 CE, in order to counter Buddhist beliefs, the Nagars were assigned the task of promoting Hindu religion. The emperor, Skandagupta and the Vallabhi emperors sponsored Nagar writers to write the Skanda Purana. Since these Brahmins gave free service, the kings gave them land around Vadnagar (also called Anandnagar) in northern Gujarat, hence called Vadnagara Nagars.














The Vadnagara Nagars, were again sub-divided into two - grihasthas and vaidiks or bhikshuks - who could inter-dine but not inter-marry. Also the stipulation that Nagar-Brahmin women could attend Grihastha weddings so long as they didn’t wear blouses! Since this community served in the courts of Muslim rulers, they learnt Persian (Farsi), learnt Sanskrit and Brijbhasha under Hindu rulers, and later with the coming of the East India Company, English.

After King Vishaldev's conquest of Gujarat in 1040 CE, the king of Ajmer established the cities of Visnagar, Chitrod, Prashnipur, Krashnor and Sathod. He offered land to Brahmins who had descended from Nagars of Vadnagar. The sects of Nagars thus took the names of the cities in which they had settled. From earliest times, Nagars were well versed in literature and arts. They sought jobs in various professions which required good education, an asset they possessed.

Over time, many Nagars moved from Vadnagar to Ghogha, an ancient port on the Gulf of Cambay (Khambhat) about 18 kms from Bhavnagar. Ghogha was a busy port in Western India, and this town's inhabitants were reckoned to be the best sailors in India.

Reference: “Sir Lallubhai Samaldas - A Portrait”, by Aparna Basu, National Book Trust, India (2015), Chapter 1, pg 1-3

Map of Vadnagar >>

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