Saturday, September 6, 2008

genetics, Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Muslims

The biggest analysis of Indian genes has not been able to get a clear answer on whether there is any genetic foundation behind caste or religion.

After analysing 75 genes from 1,871 individuals belonging to 55 caste, tribe and religious groups for the last three years, the Indian Genome Variation Consortium could not identify definitive genetic links to these groups.

The same is true with religious groups. The research shows Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims are genetically close and both share genetic similarities with Dravidians.
Read the complete report at Deccan Herald (26th April, 2008)

Also, my previous post about historical ties between South Indian and Kashmir


  1. The science of racial genetics is rather still primitive and any one can be linked to any race if the scientist wants to manipulate data. Forensic genetics though is very accurate. Besides there is no Dravidian Race and Dravid just means South. Also most Indians in every region are Aryans,though colour variablity varies due to climate. Besides, all races have similarities, though the Aryan Race originated surely in India

    Also The Aryan Gene Haplogroup R1a (Y-DNA)is found amongst the highest in Kashmiri Brahmins and in other regions of India. For example it is found upto (72%) in Kashmiri Brahmins and Ishkashimis (68%), and in the western extreme, more than (50%) of male lines amongst Sorbs, Poles, Belarusians, and Ukrainians.


    Prof. Subrata M.Ghosh

  2. ^^^Anony.
    IP Address
    ISP Optimum Online (cablevision Systems)
    Country United States
    Region New York
    City Brooklyn
    IE 7.0
    Search Engine Phrase used Kashmiris Purest Aryans
    You believe in something, fine. You want convince others to believe in something, fine. But, do not misuse the ability to comment with the intention of deceiving others withing multiple fake names.
    I am removing all you comments from the other post:

  3. Dear Vinayak,
    My family is one of those few who did not migrate during 1989-90 migration. My parents still live in srinagar. I am currently residing in Mumbai with my family. Though I have property in Jammu too. We, including my parents & my bro, are not registered as migrants anywhere. I have been visiting Srinagar often even during peak of militancy.
    Of late I have been looking for the roots of KP and googled for the same whcih lead me to your blog. I have read many threads & pages of your blog and found if very interesting & informative.
    We are malmas pandits & belong to paldoe wasgarge gotra. I know malmas pandits are descendants of those 11 families which remained in kashmir despite muslim oppression. I now want to know what or who is paldeo wasgarge. It is a gotra, I know. But where it came from & any info about this would be welcome.
    Secondly, due to migration i lost track of some of my KP friends. Is ther any place on the net where or with some help i can find whereabouts of these old pals?
    I await your comments. If possible please email me at

  4. Kapil,
    that's a really tough query.

    Anyway here's some of the stuff that I could digg up:
    "The Pandits are broken up into numerous gotras, or tribal divisions, and though the name of the gotra is repeated seven times by the Pandit as he performs his daily ablutions, the outside world rarely hears it mentioned, and the Pandits are known by their Gram, or family appellation. There are eighteen known gotras among the Levite Brahmans and 103 among the other Brahmans in Kashmir. In one gotra there may be many Krams, as the following instance will show. Among the Malmas gotras is one known as Paldeo Waasgarge, and this gotra embraces families belonging to the following Grams, or tribal subdivisions: - SopuriPandit, Mala, Poot, Mirakhur, Kadlabauj, Kokru, Bangru, Bakaya, Khashu, Kichlu, Misri, Khar, and Mam. Marriage is forbidden within the gotra, and a man of the Sopuri-Pandit subdivision cannot take a wife from the maidens of the Paldeo Wasgarge gotra, nor can he marry into the gotras of his mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother. Among the Banamas Pandits there is a gotra known as the Dattatrye, and from this gotra have sprung the great families of Kol and others less known, such as the Nagari, Jinse, Jalali, Watal, Neka, Sultan, Ogra, Amin, Moja, Bamjai, Dont, Tota, Sabin, Kissu, Manslal, Singari, Rafij, Balu and Darabi. As will be afterwards shown when discussing the tribes of the Musalmans, the Kram is often the relic of a nickname applied to the ancestor of the subdivision. Thus Sopuri-Pandit points to the fact that the ancestor came from Sopur; Kokru means fowl; Bakaya signifies that the ancestor formed one of a very numerous class in Kashmir, t he revenue defaulter; Khar suggests that the ancestor was connected with the iron trade; Sultan, that the family had close relations with one of the first line of Musalman kings, and so on.

    Among the leading Krams may be mentioned the following names: -

    Tikku, Razdan, Kak, Munshi, Mathu, Kachru, Pandit, Sipru, Bhan, Zitshu, Raina, Dar, Fotadar, Madan, Thusu, Wangnu, Muju, Hokhu, and Dulu. Of these the members of the Dar family have probably been the most influential, though proverbs suggest that their influence has not been beneficial. The Kashmiri Pandits will not intermarry with the Brahmans of India. It is said that in Raja Seh Dev's time a Musalman in the disguise of a Pandit mixed with the Kashmiri Brahmans and learnt their Sanskrit lore. On this being discovered the Pandits, in order to guard against similar frauds, decided to have no intercourse with foreign Brahmans. The village people always speak of the Pandits as 'Bat'.

    The other Hindus of the valley are not numerous. The Bohras or Khattris of Srinagar intermarry among themselves and are engaged in trade and shop-keeping. It is said that in former days some of them were admitted to caste among the Pandits, but at present, though they have adopted the customs and rites of the Brahmans, they enjoy no caste fellowship with them. With the two exceptions that the Bohra woman wears nose rings and discards the girdle round her waist, a Bohra of either sex cannot be distinguished from the city Brahman."

    from 'THE VALLEY OF KASHMIR' by Walter Roper Lawrence, who visited Kashmir in 1889 as the British Settlement Commissioner for land.

  5. What is Paldeo Waasgarge?
    The answer lies in knowing what a Gotra is:

    The Kashmiri Brahmins are divided into 199 exogamous sections (gotras) the members of which profess to be descended from the Rishi or inspired saint whose name the gotra bears. Among these sub-divisions social precedence is governed by the spiritual greatness or the inferiority of the respective Rishis, Koul being considered the highest of all the sub-divisions. But, generally, social position is determined by the nature of occupation followed rather than by the gotra and those who have been employed in superior State service since two or three generations hold their heads high above, those who are engaged in trade or cultivation. Originally there existed only six gotras, viz., Dhattatreya, Bharadwaja, Paladeva, Aupamanyava, Maudgalya and Dhaumyayana. By intermarriage and intermixture with other Brahmins the number of gotras multiplied to 199. According to some authorities there were only three principal divisions viz., Bhat, Pandit and Razdan, from which are derived the distinctive appellations of Koul, Sopori Pandit and Raina. From these three families, as each took to a particular occupation or by adoption or intermarriage with other gotras, other gotras came into existence.

    Read more about Gotra here

    And read a more detailed article(.pfd file) that mentions Paldeva Vasagargya Gotra here.

    About finding old friend you can try your luck at social networks. You can use the search feature at Orkut or may try to look for them at linkedin.

    It's not much...but I hope it helps.

  6. Many thanks for the info. I know the sites which you have linked here. I have already read what is written there. Probably i myself dont know what i am looking for. Well thanks anyway.

    No luck on Orkut, did not find. Shall try this linkedin.

  7. Vinayak, I am here again to ask you where can i find this film 'A passage to India' in Mumbai. The Kashmiri Sounds are awesome, it just made my heart beat faster especially Run Gayam Seeshas.

  8. So Back to Kashmir got someone interested in the film :)

    A passage to India is a very famous film by David Lean so should be easily available with most vendors. Also, it is available at lot of online Indian video stores and libraries . You can try them out.

    About the Kashmiri sounds, glad to read that you liked it.

  9. Kashmiris are descendents of Saraswat Brahmins (Central Asians who settled along the Saraswati River). With the drying of this river, the Saraswat Brahmins spread. A large number went to Kashmir valley (We have named it after our ancestor- Kashyap Rishi, one of the Saptarishis who was a Saraswat Brahmin as well).
    With the entry of Islam 700yrs ago, a large number of the Saraswat Brahmins (Kashmiri Pandits) were converted and some fled to other parts of India (Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharasthra). The majority of conversions however did not happen until 400 years ago. Our numbers as (Vedic followers) shrunk as majority of our people either converted or fled. As a result, a few people in our community inter-married with other ethnicities/castes, as our numbers had shrunk to minuscule numbers. In addition, some of our people who had moved to bengal and Karnataka came back to kashmir during the Sikh rule. But along the way, they had had inter-ethnic marriages.
    Therefore, keeping all this in mind, of course, there may be a certain chunk in our community that may have some Dravidian genes (because of Inter-caste and INter-ethnic marriages). However, the average Kashmiri Pandit is still close to his Aryan links (Central Asian). Our sharp thin nose and facial features on average are markedly different from the average Indian.
    I find that there are often "studies" conducted by Indian scientists with an agenda to homogenize all people of India....which is factually wrong. India has been settled by many different ethnicities throughout history and caste has been a basis (in some cases) to segregate based on ethnic differences. Would you believe that there are such fake studies conducted by indian "scientists" claiming that Parsi (like Sam Manekshaw, Perizaad Zorabain, Ratan Tata, Freddie Mercury and Ardeshir Cowarsjee) are the same ethnicity as the average Gujarati...This is total fabrication. These aforementioned Parsis stand out amongst 99.99% of Gujaratis on account of their facial appearance, height, eye colour.
    The fact is that Indian Scientists trying to prove that all Indians are almost a homogenous bunch clearly have some political agenda to do so. Likewise, Western studies that try to portray all Brahmins as being from outside of India is also NOT true. It all depends on which Brahmin (and Kshatriya) caste in which community of India one is talking about. And the majority of us Kashmiris are of Aryan origin(Central Asian), no doubt about it.

  10. Guyz ur comments have been very informative. Could you tell me wether Karkun is a Kashmiri surname. I'm a Karkun myself & a Hindu & my grandpa grew up in Bengal but accordind to my elders we came from somewhere North India(Kashmir/Indus) & are pure aryans.Also we look differet from average bengalis. Karkuns are extremely rare even to the point that all Karkun persons all over world are blood relatives. So could anyone confirm me about the surname Karkun wether it has any kahmiri influence/origin.

  11. Dear Vinayak,

    Is there a linkage between "Bhan" and "Bhanap"? I belong to Chitrapur Saraswats, a community of about 22,000, who are also referred to as "Bhanap's"

  12. dear vinayak
    I am myself a kshmiri hindu brahmin and want to know that if there is lots of similarities between kashmiri pandit and a muslim and the hitory says that the muslims of kashmir are all converts.Why there is so much animosity among them?
    these guys were converted by force to the other religion.Kashmiri pandits are known to be timid and gentle but how their same cousins behave very aggressively.The theory of conversion therefore doubtful

  13. Dear Vinayak Razdan

    Am always curious about the surnames/ castes of Kashmiri People, their origin...
    This led me to your posts and untold story of Kashmir...they are all mesmerising and the same time creating a void to connect back to our source....

    The paradise we lost but still dream to go back....

    Highest regards for bringing all these stories on internet.

    Antima Bazaz

  14. Dear Vinayak

    I come from Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin caste which u find mainly in Karnataka, Goa & Maharashtra. Our ancestors had come from Kashmir thousands of yrs ago when the Saraswati river dried up. They first landed & settled in Goa. During Portuguese inquisition in Goa, again there was an exodus into Karnataka, Kerala and Konkan area of Maharashtra. My family settled in South Coastal Karnataka. My father told me that our surname was Sharma when our ancestors left Kashmir. He had also mentioned that we were from a certain area in Kashmir, which I don't remember right now. Also i cannot check because my father is no more. Our gotra is Koundanya. Can u throw some light on this.

  15. Dear Mr. Vinayak ,

    Is there any ritual called ' kanakipuja ' which kashmiri pandit do follow ? It is something like bath to annapurna devi with panchamruta ?

  16. Interesting blog! I am fr Bengal. My so called caste is " Vaidya- Brahmin". Many folks in d community display looks that are markedly 'non Bengali'...more North Indian / North Western Indian ( erstwhile Frontier and present day Pak) ...can sm genetic link be established with our brethren in those parts/ KPs?

  17. Can you shed some more light on razdan's. I'm curious, being over myself. My mother is a chakoo , my father radan


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