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Havyaka Brahmin

Havyaka Brahmins are Pancha Dravida Vedic Brahmins Hindus primarily from Karnataka and Northern Kerala.


The term Havyaka is derived from the word 'Haveega' or 'Havyaga' means one who performs Havana or Homa.


The Havyaka Brahmins were bought to Karnataka around 3 rd century from Ahicchatra in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that the Brahmin king Mayooravarma bought the first Havyaka Brahmin family. As per the inscriptions of Talagunda and Varadahalli, Kadamdas invited around 32 Havyaka Brahmin families to perform the royal rituals.

Beliefs and Practices:

Most of the Havyakas Brahmins follow Ramachandrapura Math or Swarnavalli Mutt today. They are guided by the advaita philosophy of Shankaracharya.


Some Havyakas are into agriculture, while others are priests. Now-a-days they also started exploring various other professions like education, business, etc.

Role during freedom struggle:

Havyaka played a major role during the India’s freedom struggle by participating in Salt Satyagraha and No-Tax Campaign.

Geographic Location:

In Karnataka, Havyakas are mainly concentrated in Chikmagalur, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Koadagu, Uttara Kannada, and Shimoga districts and in Kerala they are concentrated in Kasaragod and Palakkad districts.

They are also spread across various other regions like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and other industrial cities.

Outside India, they have migrated to United States of America, United Kingdom and other countries.


The Havyaka surnames are based on the jobs they perform and from the town or village of origin. Few of the surnames are, Adiga, Bhagwat, Bhat, Cukkemane, Dixit, Hebbar, Hegde, Joisa, Kukkemane, Nadig, Pandit, Puranik, Rao, Shastri, Sharma, Sabhahit, Maiya, Gaonkar, Murthy, etc.


Havyakas have their own unique language which is a dialect of Kannada Havigannada which is derived from the fusion of Havyaka+Kannada.

Art, Culture and Literature:

Havyakas developed the Yakshagana folk theatre. Karki Yakshagana group toured Maharashtra in the 19 th century and had inspired Marathi theatre. Rajasaheb of Sangli had asked his court artists to learn group acting and singing after he saw the performance by Karki Mela (group).

There are many writers, singers, doctors, from this community. The first social play in Kannada titled Iggappa Hegade Vivaha Prahasana was written in 1887 by Suri Venkataramana Shastri. This play portrays child marriage and various other evils in the society.


Havyakas follow lacto-vegetarian diet and mostly their diet consists of Tellavu (a type of dosa), todedev which is a sweet dish etc. They consume various types of buttermilk and leaf based diet as well. This community's food system is known for its medicinal value.

Gotra: Havyakas follow the below Gotra system:
  • Angeerasa
  • Bharadwaja
  • Bhargava
  • Gautama
  • Jamadagni
  • Kashyapa
  • Koundinya
  • Mounabharghava
  • Vasishta
  • Vishwamitra