Havyaka Brahmins (ಹವ್ಯಕ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ) are a Brahmin subsect primarily from the Indian state of Karnataka and Northern Kerala. Havyakas mostly profess the advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankaracharya. Most Havyakas can trace their immediate ancestry to either Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada or Shimoga districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
The word Havyaka was transcended from words Havyaga or Haveega which means the one who performs Havana (Havya) and Homa
(Gavya), since the very purpose of Havyaka Brahmins was to perform the royal rituals
and the related functions of the empirical government. In ancient times the region of today's Uttara Kannada
in the north & Tuluva
in the south was known by the name of Haiva. This could be the possible source of the term 'Haiga' as Havyakas are also referred to. In fact, the name "Haiga" persists in Havyaka lexicon
The word Havyaka might also be derived from the place named Haigunda. That region of Karnataka which has been inhabited by Havyakas from ancient times is also called Parashuramakshethra, Gorastradesha, Gokarnamandala.
Origin of Havyakas
Exact facts about Havyaka's origin are hard to come by since there is very little research available. Historically, it is believed that Havyakas are the first of the Brahmin kind to descend to the present day Karnataka around 3rd century ACE, followed by other sects like Shivalli
etc., who arrived much later, around 7th century ACE. However, the scientific school of thought places the date of Havyaka's immigration back to about 1300 years ago. The Brahmin king Mayooravarma
was instrumental in bringing the first Havyaka families. It is believed that Kadambas
brought many Havyakas in to perform the royal rituals and the related functions of the empirical government from a place called Ahichchathra
in the state of Uttar Pradesh
. Thus the first few families were settled in Banavasi
, the capital of the Kadambas and the place adored by Pampa
. King Mayooravarma's
act of inviting Havyakas to Banavasi has been inscribed on a stone slab (Shilashasana
) from the period of the Kadambas, which now lies near the village of Varadahalli
in Sagar Taluk
of Shimoga district.
Havyakas today are the followers of either Ramachandrapura Math
or Swarnavalli Mutt
and are guided by advaita philosophy of Shankaracharya. Havyakas derive their last names from the jobs that they perform rather than by their origin. Till recently Havyakas were primarily engaged in vedic
professions like priests
or they were in agriculture
especially growing betel nut
etc. A few decades back they also started entering into all other vocations like business, education
etc. During Indian freedom struggle
, Havyaka community played a prominent part. Men and women took leading role in Salt Satyagraha
and No-Tax Campaign. Dodmane Hegdes of Siddapur
had an important role in freedom movement at all stages.
Havyakas are mainly concentrated in the state of Karnataka. Dakshina Kannada,Udupi
,Uttara Kannada, Shimoga
Districts in Karnataka and Kasarogod in Kerala are the districts where Havyakas have lived for centuries. They are now spread all over India, especially in metropolitan cities of Mumbai
, New Delhi
and other industrial and business centres. Havyakas are also in large numbers in countries like United States of America
, United Kingdom
and other places outside India.
Population of Havyakas all around the world is estimated to be more than 1,00,000.
The Havyakas are united by their unique language. They speak a dialect
known as Havigannada (Havyaka+Kannada). It is 60-70% similar to mainstream Kannada but draws more words from ancient Kannada
. However, most mainstream Kannada speakers find it difficult to understand Havyaka Kannada. The Havyaka dialect is supposed to be quite old. Its origins, like many other things in India, are shrouded in mystery. Notably certain Havigannada
speakers, more so in Uttara Kannada and Sagara region, uses neutral gender
in place of feminine gender while addressing females. But Havyaks in certain part of Karnataka, like Kundapur, Thirthahalli, Kodagu do not speak Havigannada. They love Yakshagana. Their contribution to Yakshagana literature is immense.Certain Havyakas settled in coastal areas also speak Konkani
Havyakas are the subsect of Brahmin caste of Hinduism
, followers of Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Advaitha.
Havyakas celebrate almost all festivals celebrated in Hinduism
Art, literature and culture
As Havyakas gained population in Karnataka they became influential in politics and also cultivated fine arts. The Yakshagana
folk theatre has been exclusively developed by Havyakas. Music, dance and writing came very attractive to Havyakas. Karki Yakshagana group which toured Maharashtra in the mid-19th century has the credit of inspiring Marathi theatre. In 1842, Karki Mela (group) performed before the Rajasaheb of Sangli (Maharashtra State), who encouraged court artists to learn from the group acting and singing. This laid basis for Marathi Professional theatre.
The first social play in Kannada was written by Suri Venkataramana Shastri in 1887. The play titled Iggappa Hegade Vivaha Prahasana deals with child marriage and evils of incompatibility. There have been a good number of writers, singers, teachers, doctors, industrialists, scientists, engineers and executives from Havyaka community.
A good number of youngsters have taken up Hindustani classical music and Karnataka classical music.
Havyakas are pure vegetarians (probably 'Lacto-vegetarian' is the exact name).
Havyaka recipe consists of some unique food items like "Tellavu" "Todedevu", "Melara", "Odape","kocheegayi gojju","Holige","AppehuLi", korskayi gojju, korskayi tambli, ThambLi", Halasinakayi huLi (very famous in kalache-yellapur region of Uttarakannada district) etc.
hagalkai hashi, kai gojju, kai rasaa, karkli, KaDle Gojju (famous in sagar prantya), Famouse Soppina TambLI-Swarle-kudi, Honegone soppu, Vidangada soppu, Vasange soppu, Yelurge soppu, Kanchi-soppu, ChoGte-soppu.
KaLale-palya, Huli, Sasame made of mango , Kannekudi katne.Many items prepared by jackfruit even sweet pappads,101 types of 'ThambLi's and variety 'chatni pudi's,Sendige,Happala which can preserve for a long time. They are experts in preparing "Halva" of Banana, "Berati" of Jackfruit.
Havyakas have a unique food system which contains medicinal values as well as delicious taste. Some of the food items includes wiled leaves, roots/herbs, barks of the trees which are directly obtained from the nature and processed fresh and consumed. By the end of the each meal, one is assured of protection from the nature itself. This was possible because most Havyakas lived in the villages where abundant sources were available around them.
- His Holiness Shri Shri Shri Raghaveshwara Bharati Swamiji.The living legend who organised First world Cow Conference(Gow-Sammelan).
- Shri Gangadharendra Saraswathi Swamiji, Swamiji of Sonda Havyaka Mutt and a great environmentalist.
- Vidyaranya,founder of Vijayanagar Kingdom (according to Shatavadaani Ganesh)
- Varanasi Subraya Bhat, founder of CAMPCO
- Daivarata Sharma, lived in Gokarna who is considered as modern Brahmarshi.
- Suri Venkataramana Shastri, The first social play writer (1887)in Kannada.
- K.V. Subbanna - Playwright and writer. Recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award.
- Ramakrishna Hegde - Former chief minister of Karnataka and former union Minister, Former Deputy Chairman of Planning commission during the 10th Plan.
- Murooru Devaru Hegde - Famous yakshagana artist.
- Dodmane Shri Ganesh Hegde, prominent socio-religious worker, philanthropist and proponent of educational institutions and Banks in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka
- Dr. Ramachandra Gangadhar Battu (R. G. Battu), Principal of the Govt. Pharmacy college, Bangalore since 1966 until he retired from there. He was one of the first Havyaka to reach USA and did PHD there.
- Hosabale Puttappa Hegade, A Multitalented leader. Founder of Havyaka co-op socity.
- K.V. Akshara - Playwright and writer.
- Jagannath Rao Hegde - Former Sheriff of Mumbai.
- Bharatisutha-Novelist. His works include children's literature, short stories and novels. Edakallu guddada mEle, BayaludAri, Huliya hAlina mEvu to name a few
- Narayan Hosmane, Distinguished Research Professor, two-times Humboldt Award winner and 2007 Lifetime Achievement Pravasi Award and Bharath Samman Medal from NRI Institute, Film Producer of Raghu Romeo (Rajat Kapoor's Direction), Ramya Chaitra Kala (Sunil Kumar Desai's Direction), Meera Madhava Raghava (T.N. Seetharam's Direction), MukhapuTa (Roopa Iyer's Direction) and e-Preethi (Priyabharathi's Direction).
- Ganapathi Rao, HasaNagi- Hindustani vocalist
- Parameshwara Hegde- Hindustani vocalist
- Chittani Ramachandra Hegde-Yakshagana
- Keremane Shambhu Hegde-Yakshagana
- Doddamane Mahadevi Hegde or Mahadevi Tai - Noted social worker, Sarvodaya movement leader, freedom fighter
- Late Dr. Sheni Gopalakrishna Bhat-Yakshagana
- Dr Narayana Rao Ajjanagadde - Writer
- Rama Bhatt, Urimajalu - Social worker, Ex MLA and former Correspondent of Vivekananda College Puttur. He has called bheeshma of karavali BJP
- Vidvan N.Ranganatha Sharma, Living Legend of Sanskrit/Kannada literature and a scholar. Recipient of many national & State awards including Rashtrapathi Gold Medal.
- Dr. Kalladka Prabhakara Kattinakere - Social reformer and RSS Leader.
- K T Shankaranarayana Rao Kudhva - Founder of "SELF COMPRESSED AIR ENGINE" for FOUR WHEELER - Published in Indian Gazette - Got the Patent obtained by Govt. of India from Patent Office Madras
- Kuntikanamata Balakrishna Bhat -Kannada poet, writer, social worker, global man award winner in Bahrain.
- Dr K G Shastri Kumta - Writer - Havyaka Bhashe Kannadada Moola
- Ashakiran Kilankaje - Lyrics writer in Malayalam.
- Venkataramana Kattinakere - General Manager - Projects @ Hyderabad International Airport Construction, GMR.(2007-Present)
- Thimmappayya Madeyala - IPS - Former Police Commissioner, Bangalore
- Sri Paramadeva - Poet, author of "Turanga Bharatha"
- Cha Mu Krishna shastry founder member of sumskritha Bharathi wing of RSS which propagate speaking Sanskrit
- B.T.Lingappa, Banadakoppa. He was one of the first Havyaka to reach USA and continued higher studies there.
- Subraya Chokkadi Famous Poet
- Dheraje Seetharamayya Book Writer
- Padyana Ganapathi Bhat Yakshagana Bhagavatharu
- Kuriya Vittala Shastri Yakshagana Artist
- Soori Kumeri Govinda K Bhat Yakshagana Artist
- Ajjanagadde Ganappayya Yakshagana Bhagavatharu - He wrote many books related to Yakshagana
- Kadatoka Manjunatha Bhagwath Yakshagana Bhagavatharu
- Kadatoka Krishna Bhagwath Yakshagana Bhagavatharu
- Maambaadi Thirumaleshwara Bhat Yakshagana Bhagavatharu
- Padyana Shankara Narayana Rao Yakshagana Himmela artist
- G Bheemeshwara Joshi Dharmakartharu Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple
- Kote Laxminarayana Social Worker
- Kote Vasantha Kumara Social Worker
- Shashidhara Kote Singer
- Dr Thimmappayya
- Colonel Krishnayya Ex Colonel - Indian Army
- Kanjarpane Gopala Krishnayya Ex-Military - Indian Army - Founder of Dhakshina Kannada Bee keeping Society
- ABASAMA Kanjarpane Founder of ABASAMA Language - one of the national language approved by Indian Govt. and we can find the language in Indian Currency
- Dr P. Subrahmanya Shastri - Freedom fighter from Kasargod District, religious leader, Founder of schools and temples in the area.
- Late Shri Shreepad R. Hegde, Kadave- Social worker and politician who fought for the welfare of lakhs of totagars (farmers) through co-operative revolution
- Dr. Thimmappa, Manchale Former VC, Bangalore university.
- Mrs. Madura Hegde, famous woman entrepreneur/industrialist started Leather Exports from Bangalore. She received 'Best women enterprenuer Award' for 9 consecutive years.
- Mr. Rama Jois, Governor UP and rajya sabha member.
- R.V.Shastri, Chairman Canara bank, Vice Chairman IBA
- Noojibail Krishna Shastri, Partner, Indo-American Hybrid Seeds, Bangalore
- S.Gopal Krishna Kilankaje, well known priest and farmer - Balekoppa
- Raghu Ram Rao, Cricketer
- B.J.Shreedhara, Well-known Industrialist and Former President, KASSIA.
- H.R.Subbarao, Hosabale, Honoured by Mysore Maharajas.
- Dattatreya Hosabale, Former General Secretary and Organising of ABVP, Presently Akhila Bharatiya Saha Boudhika Pramukh of RSS.
- L.T. Hegade, Former MLA, Congress/BJP Leader.
- Hosabale Narayan Rao, a versatile agriculturist. He was Director of many organisations.
- Hosabale Sitharama Rao, A Gamaka scholar. Recipient of Rajyotsava award.
- Ramakrishna, Kannada film hero at a time.
- Vijaya Kashi,Kannada film hero at a time.
- M.K.Janardana, A pioneer Industrialist from Mumbai.
- P.B.Ramamurthy. An IPS and IAS officer. He was/is chief officer of many govt. offices. First He was IPS officer, he achieved his IAS when he broken his leg during an accident, studied and passed the exam! A great Model/Icon for achievers.
- P.Gopalakrshna (Pa. Go) renowned veteran journalist & Columnist of Mangalore.
- Seetaram Shastri Eminent Stage Actor of fiftees.
- Kuntikanamata Kumar Business man,Social worker,Actor,oratory,Literary.
- Dr.Lingappa B.T., Banadakoppa is one of the earliest havyaka representative migrated to USA in 1952. He has done doctorate in Microbiology & wrote a book in 1992 on “whole some Nutrition for mind, body & micro flora, the goal of Lacto-vegetarianism (Havyaka’s famous food)
- Further Details of Hosabale Ramappa Hegde & Hosabale H.R. Subbarao
- Shri Hosabale Ramappa Hegde (1853-1908):He served,as a member of the Mysore Representative Assembly, for 15 years between 1889 &1904.
- Shri. H.R.Subbarao (1901-1986):H.R.Subbarao,popularly called as Hosabale Subbarayaru, the second son of Shri.Ramappa Hegde was born in 1901. He devoted most of his life time towards Social, Religious and Co-operative activities. He served as the president of Havyaka Cooperative Society Ltd. Talakalakoppa for 35 long years from 1933 to1968 with a great deal of sincerity, commitment and honesty. His passion towards the social upliftment and well being of all the citizens has earned him the populous name “Ajatha Shathru” (A man without any enemy).During the coronation ceremony of the Sri Jayachamarajendra Odeyar Bahadur Mysore in the year 1940, Hosabale Subbarayaru was honored as one of the best co-operatives and awarded the GOLD medal. He served as the Member of Representative Assembly, Mysore, for 5 years between 1938 & 1943.Also,he served as the Director of the Mysore State Apex Bank Ltd., Bangalore, for 5 years from 1940 to1945and was one of the Directors of the State Land Development Bank Ltd., Bangalore for 6 years from 1950 to1956 and was one of the Directors for State Marketing Federation, Co-operative Printing Press, District Areka Marketing Cooperative Society and the Taluk Society for many terms. He was the convener of Sri Vinayaka Temple Kodanakatte for 25 years. Hosabale Subbarayaru was one of the founders of Annavar Adike Company Ltd., Sagar along with Mr.LaxminarayanaRao Mattikoppa and Mr.Ganeshiah Mugimane, in the year 1945.Since then, this company never had any set back and even now it is actively operating for the cause and betterment of the Areka Cultivators in Sagar Region. In the year 1949, Sri Sri Sri Srimadjagdguru Shankaracharya Sri Srimadragahvendra Bharati Swamiji of Ramachandrapura Mutt, Hosanagar (tq),Shimoga(dt) graciously bestowed the General Power of Attorney(GPA) to Hosabale Subbarao till the later breathed last.
- H.R. Puttppa Hegde, H.R. Subbarao & H.R. Sheshagiriappa , the sons of Sri. Ramappa Hegde, being important officers, had engaged Mr.Hiranyappa, a Master Craftsman, along with seven other craftsmen to prepare an “Ivory Throne” for Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt. The craftsmen devoted 17 years to complete the throne successfully in the year 1936.On this glorious throne, one can see the beautifully carved scenes of Ramayana, Mahabharata,Pictures of Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva etc. The Ivory throne on completion was handed over gracefully to Shree Shree Jagadguru Shankaracharya Maha Samstanam Shree Shree Ramachandra Bharathi Swamiji of the Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt,Hosanagara.
- Hosabale Srinivasarao son of Shri.H.R. Subbarao, is continuing from where his father had left – the cause of serving society. He served as a director of District cooperative central Bank Shimoga, District Cooperative Union Shimoga, Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society Shimoga, Havyaka Cooperative society Talakalkoppa and Land Mortgage Cooperative Bank ,Sorab and Sagar Prantya Adike Balegarara Sangha. He also served as The President of Horticulture Cooperative Society, Hosabale. Currently, he is serving as The chairman of Annavara Adike Company Limited, Sagar & also as the convener of Sri Vinayaka Temple ,Kodanakatte , near Hosabale.
- Dr. Gopal K Kadekodi, Honorary Professor at Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research, Dharwad, Karnataka: Recipient of Rajyotsava award in 2005, former President of Indian Society for Ecological Economics, former Director of Institute for Social and Economic Cahnge, Bangalore, currently, Member of National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi.
- Dr.N.K.Bhat,prominent rural surgeon,served n retired as the medical superintendent,karnataka power corporation ltd.(KPCL).An eminent surgeon n much sought-after person for his visions regarding building up various patient friendly rural setups.Served at gerosoppa,ambikanagar/dandeli,shaktinagar(RTPS)/raichur for almost 4 decades,currently serving as asso.professor of surgery,navodaya medical college,Raichur
- G.S.Bhat Jaddigedde-A Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award Winner
- Shri K G Kadekodi is an internationally known philatelist and also numesmeric. He has been awarded the highest award by the Karnataka Government for his collections of Indian stamps from the British period till date. He is also a specialist in antique collections reflecting day-to-day lives of people from Malnad region in harmony with ecology.
- Late Shri.R M Hegde,Karki --Retd Asst Commissioner -Revenue & former MLA Kumta
- Sri Vishweshwar Bhat-- Editor of Vijaya karnataka leading kannada daily and also a writer
- Sri MR Hegde- Retired Election commissioner of karnataka
- Late Dr Dodderi venkatagiri Rao,was a well known kannada writer and novelist, well known for his photography and has won several awards
- Justice VG Sabhahit-- Hon,ble Justice,High Court of karnataka
- Sri MS Thimmappa --Rtd Vice Chancellor of bangalore University
- Dr.Giridhar Kaje --Noted Ayurvedic doctor,writer residing in Bangalore,who organized first "World Ayurveda Summit" spreading the importance of Ayurveda to the people across the world, also the writer of the book called "Professional Secrets".
Weekely magazine, Hai Bengaluru Srishti 560