About Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins (CSBs) and Gowd Saraswat Brahmins (GSBs)- History and Culture
Saraswat Brahmins, one of the five ancient Gowda Brahmins, derived their name basically from the mythological river Saraswati that had flowed in the present Punjab and Rajasthan region, from the Himalayas to the western sea near Dwaraka in Gujarat.
Even today it is believed that the River Saraswati flows underground as detected by the remote sensing satellites.
As stated in the Sahyadri Khanda of Skanda Purana Lord Parashurama after reclaiming land from the western sea invited various groups of Brahmins from different parts of Bharat Khanda. In response ten families of Gowda Saraswats who lived on the bank of river Saraswati, came down with their deities of daily worship and settled down in Gomantak now known as Goa.
In the course of time the ten families multiplied and with the passage of time they took to trade and commerce as permitted by the scriptures, besides officiating as priests.
Their brother Saraswats like Chitrapur Saraswats and others migrated to various other parts of the region.
This in a nutshell is the mythological and historical background of the Saraswat Brahmins popularly known as GSBs and CSBs.
Their spoken language is "Konkani" which has originated from "Prakrit" a colloquial language of the past, which has it's roots in the ancient "Sanskrit" language.
Today, members of this community are settled mostly in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. Many youngsters of this community are now scattered all around the world.
The Bhanap or Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community represents a relatively small group who established their identity in the year 1708.
Bhanaps also call themselves as "Amchigale" or "Amchis". They are also known as "Karwaris" in Maharashtra.
Some of the eminent, famous and talented Indians from this community are:
- The late Shri Gurudatt - Eminent Film Director and Actor
- Shri Shyam Benegal - Eminent Film Director
- Shri Girish Karnad - Rhodes Scholar and Film Director, Writer and Actor
- Smt Suman Kalyanpur - Popular playback singer
- Smt Leena Chandavarkar - Popular Hindi Film Heroine
- Shri Nandan Nilekani - Managing Director, President and Chief Operating Officer, Infosys Technologies Ltd.
- Shri Prakash Padukone - World-famous Badminton Champion
- Smt Anuradha Paudwal - Popular playback singer
- Ms Isha Koppikar - Bollywood Film star
- Ms Amrita Rao - Bollywood Film star
- Ms Deepika Padukone - Bollywood Film star