Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Origin of Gotras

A Gotra is the lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth. In most cases, the system is patrilineal and the gotra assigned is that of the person's father. Other names used to refer to it are Vansh, Vanshaj, Bedagu, Purvik, Purvajan, Pitru. An individual may decide to identify his lineage by a different gotra, or combination of gotras. For example Lord Rama was Surya Vansha, also known as Raghu Vansha. This was because Lord Rama's great-grandfather Raghu became famous.

The term gotra, itself, according to strict Hindu tradition is used only for the lineages of Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vysya families. A Gotra relates directly to the original seven or eight Rishis of the Vedas.

Recently, the term "gotra" has taken broader meanings to include any lineage, Brahmin or otherwise. Therefore, today, other terms are considered synonymous with gotra and the distinct meaning of the word and the esoteric connotations are lost to many, even within the Brahmin community.

A common mistake is to consider gotra to be synonymous with cult or Kula. A kula is basically a set of people following similar rituals, often worshipping the same God (the Kula-Devata - the God of the cult). Kula has nothing to do with lineage or caste. In fact, it is possible to change one's Kula, based on his faith or ista devatha.

It is common practice in Hindu marriage to enquire about the Kula-Gotra meaning Cult-Clan of the bride and bridegroom before approving the marriage. In almost all Hindu families, marriages within the same gotra are prohibited. But marriage within the kula is allowed and even preferred.

The word "Gotra" means "lineage" in the Sanskritgotra, as given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of residence or other important family characteristic rather than gotra. language. While it is somewhat akin to a family name, the given name of a family is often different from its gotra, as given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of residence or other important family characteristic rather than gotra.

People belonging to the same gotra also belong to the same caste in the Hindu social system.

Many lines of descent from the major rishis were later grouped separately. Accordingly, the major gotras were divided into ganas (subdivisions) and each gana was further divided into groups of families. The term gotra was then frequently started being applied to the ganas and to the sub-ganas.

Every brahmin claims to be a direct patrilinial descendant of one of the founding rishis of a certain gana or sub-gana. It is the gana or sub-gana that is now commonly referred to as gotra.

Over the years, the number of gotras increased due to:

  1. Descendants of original rishi also started new family lineage or new gotras,
  2. By inter marriage with other sub-groups of the same caste, and
  3. Inspired by another rishi whose name they bear as their own gotra.

While the gotras were classified initially according to nine (?) rishis, the pravaras were classified under the names of the following seven rishis:

List of Brahmin Gotras

The following is a partial list of gotras found in the Brahmin community of Hindus:

source: wikipedia


vikas said...

hi this is really nice blog,
now i want to know some thing very important, that to which hindu caste i belong

name - vikas singh

religion - hindu

gotra - keer

sanjay said...

i am hindu kumbhar want know my gotra

sanjay said...

name -Sanjay Kumbhar

Cast-Hindu Kumbhar

Gotra ?

amar pendharker said...

i want to know from which gotra me & my family belongs to

Apurva said...

i want to know whether the people worshiping the same kuldevata have the same gotra or not?
Please do solve this query!!! its important!! i cudnt find anything relevant to this...

Jogendra Yadav said...

i am belong to a yadav family and my gotra is lohtiya ,please tell me about my gotra my emai is ,

Raj Rajpoot said...

my religon is hindu and my cast is rajpoot. what is my gotra?

Narender Chauhan said...


my name is Narender Chauhan. What is my gotra.
My emailID is

Virendra Kumar said...

I have found one gautra in different caste. Is it possible.

Atheist said...

Worshipping the same kula devata doesn't mean they are of the same gotta..not necessarily.

Gowreshangkar Trivede said...

i from shunaka rishi gotra. one thin g was both my mother and father are same gotra, for they from same community but not relative get love marriage before 50 years ago. i the first son now feel it is sin. is there any way to over come from this sin.please mail me what todo now my id

Gowreshangkar Trivede said...

we from shaunaka rishi gotra,we sourashtra bharamin as shaunaka rishi has no vamsam how we from shaunaka rishi. another thing is there any chance in vedas to adopt some other gotra pl mail me my id

Gowreshangkar Trivede said...

by what we call in gujarat for shaunaka rishi in south india. as we migrated from gujarat i want to know the excate name of rishi shaunaka and also my kuildew here we pray angalamatha as kuldew.what is the real one pl mail me id

Aayushi Sharma said...

Is "koshish" is also a gotra ???

Rajat Dogra said...

We are Dogra (Brahmin) from Upamanyu gotra. Family is scattered in Chandigadh and New Delhi NCR.


hi my name is Ramesh kumar yadav and i am from Ballia (eastern UttarPradesh)i want to know my gotra pls reply me on


hi i m Ramesh Kumar Yadav From Ballia (eastern Uttar Pradesh) i want to know my Gotra pls confirm me on

Kanaiya said...

I am Kanaiya.Arjandas.Sadnani from Ahmedabad .. I want to know my Gotra(Lineage) & Kuldevi ..Pkease Mail me on

kiran r patilkulkarni said...

name: kiran

gotra :- ghrith koushik gotra

please provide information about this gotra

mdhva kdalkar said...

CAST hindu gavali 36,
Gotra :- ??? .