HISTORY OF NAGAR BRAHMINS
The earliest written book dealing with the
origin of Nagars is the Skand Purana containing some 81,000 slokas. With a view
to prorogate the Brahmin Dharma as against the Buddh belief various writers
wrote the Skand Purana from 300 to 770 A.D. sponsored by Skand Gupta and
vallabhi emperors. The elite Brahmins, called Nagars were assigned the task of
furthering the Brahmin religions. These Nagars were expert interpreters of
religion and were working without salary. Mostly they inhabited around Vadnagar
or Anandnagar. The kings therefore gave them land for maintenance. These Nagars
traveled far and wide and established the shiv belief in Egypt, Babylon, Brazil,
Kabul, Indochina and Cambodia.
It is said that after the death of emperor
Ashoka (232 B.C.) the Shakas and Yavanas made inclusions. The Nagars advanced
the idea of community living in Nagars (specified area) and came out of
hermitage to help people.
It is suggested that the Nagars came from outside Aryavarta into Kashmir and
later spread to Rajasthan, U.P., Malwa and Gujarat . Some historians
believe that Nagars came from Greece, Macedonia and Syria and established at
Nagarkot (Kangra Himalayas). Nag means a Mountain. These mountain dwellers earned
name as highly intellectual administrators.
A well known scholar opines that Nagars were
comparatively advanced in education, literature, Art and had a great analytical
ability as regards Shukla Yajurved. These Nagars joined the services of
prominent princes like Raja Bhoj and helped the state-craft. Even Tulshidasji
and Mirabai have mentioned Nagar in religious Bhakti songs. Shri Krishna was
called Natvar Nagar and the land where he moved Nagher. After coming from North
Asia some of the Nagars settled in Nagher - a fertile part of Sorath. ( Gujarat
As religious people the Nagars were of
sterling character, industrious, loyal and good interpreters of religious
concepts, jurisprudence etc. They were cordial and non-partism. The princes
then, chose them as counselors. The Vallabhi kings assigned the duty of
religious progress to them.
The Nagars came to combine religion,
state-craft and battle-craft and even fought battles for their belief and
When Gazni invaded Somnath Raj Navghans Commander and Minister Mahidhar and
Shridhar - both Nagars - laid down their lives to protect Somnath.
Nagars are believed to be one of the oldest
of the Brahmin groups.
Another view asserts Nagars to be of
or regions surrounding these places. When Alexander invaded
India, he had came with his army through Kashmir. While
returning, many Greek soldiers settled in Kashmir. They came
into close contact of Pundit community of Kashmir and the
progeny that resulted was known as Nagars. Afterwards, Nagars
migrated to other parts of the country. Nagars and Greeks are
considered similar even today so far as their physical
appearance is concerned.
Historians claim the origin of Nagars to be purely Aryan, having come to India
from Southern Europe and Central Asia. They migrated through the Hindu Kush to
either Trivishtapa or Tibet; later through Kashmir and settled around
Kurukshetra. Current research speculates the Aryan origin to be Hatak, where the
predominant deity is Hatak, Hatkesh or Hatkeshwar. According to the Skandapurana,
the land of Hatkeshwar was a gift from Lord Shiva for the Nagars to colonize.
This after Lord Shiva created Nagars to celebrate his marriage to Uma.
It is also believed that before Nagars first came to Gujarat in
404 A.D., they lived in Sindh. , Nagars are a cross-breed of "Shaks"
& "Dravids." It is also believed that that Nagars have
origin outside our country. Nagars from across the borders came
first to Kashmir and then they spread out in the states of
Rajasthan, Punjab, Utter Pradesh, Bengal, Malva, and Gujarat.
After migrating from Kurukshetra they had first settled in
Anandpur - Vadnagar of today.
Legend has it, this land (along with money) was awarded to the Nagars by King
Chamatkar of Anarta for having saved his life. According to the story, the King
was out on a hunt when he killed a deer suckling her young. The deer placed a
curse on the King. As a result of the curse, the King developed leukoderma. In
the area, lived a small village of Brahmins, who, with the use of herbs, cured
the King of his illness. King Chamatkar was thankful and offered them, as a
reward, money and land. The Brahmins were men of high principle and believed in
austere living; they refused the Kings offerings. The queen then went to the
village and spoke with the wives of the Brahmin. She persuaded 68 of the 72 into
accepting the offer. The four who refused, left the village for the Himalayas
with their family. Those who remained are called the founders of the Nagar
family descendant identity or "Gotra".
Another version of the legend claims the King of Anarta rebuilt an abandoned
city, Chamatkarpur, and consecrated a temple to Hatkeshwar to show his gratitude
to the Brahmins.
Through the years, and many name changes, the town is currently known as
Vadnagar. The inhabitants of the city were known as Nagars.
As time passed, the city of Vadnagar was invaded on more than one occasion.
Nagars sought refuge in the nearby areas of Saurashtra and Rajasthan. During
this time, they did their best to observe and preserve the code, to guard their
After King Vishaldev conquered Gujarat (around A.C.E. 1040), the King of Ajmer
established the cities of Vishnagar (formerly Vishalnagar), Chitrod (or
Chitakutpati), Prashnipur, Krashnor, and Sathod (or Shatpad). He offered these
cities to the Brahmins who were descendants or an offshoot of the Nagars from
As per the origin place of the Nagars,
gradually they are called with. Like Visnagara from Visnagar, Vadnagara from
Vadnagar, Prashnora from Prashnipur (Rajasthan) now settled in Bhavnagar and
other region in Gujarat, Krashnora from Krashnor, Sathodara from Shatpad etc.
The Nagar community and Shree HATKESHVAR
Mahadev are considered to be synonyms. - inseparable. Wherever a Nagar family or
community sattles, there will invariably be The HATKESHVAR temple nearby. There
are many legends popular for the origin of Shree HATKESHVAR.
Once Lord Shiva, feeling lonely due to separation from Parvati, was moving nude.
With his " Kapalpatra " ( begging bowl ) he came in the hermitage of Saints. The
wives of Saints got attracted towards him and followed him. Knowing this, the
Saintsgotvery upset and cursed Lord Shiva that his organ should fall off from
his body. It so happened and the organwentintodeepearth. Many disturbances took
place. Saints had norrecognized Lord Shiva. So INDRA and other Godscameand
prayed to almighty Lord Shiva to bear and attach the organ back to his body.
Lord Shiva replied, " I can do so if the world worships it. Lord Brahma
worshipped the organ and established one gold organ there ( HATAK means Gold ).
This templewas later known as HATKESHVAR temple. Legend has it that, the place
where Lord Shiva had traveled for the reclaiming the organ, produced a river
flow which later was brought to earth by the efforts of king Bhagirath & was
known as Ganga.
As is mentioned in Skundpurana, a man gets much benefit and spiritual advantage
when he worships and prays Lord HATKESHVAR with devotion and faith. It is said
that during winter, when there is heavy snowfall in Himalayas, the Lord
Kedarnath comes to Hatkeshvar temple of Vadnagar. There are many facets of Lady
Parvati also, established in and around Vadnagar.
When Shukhdevji, son of Lord Vyas, left this world soon after birth, Shree
Vedvyas and his wife Chetika had performed a difficult penance in the HATKESHVAR
region to get a son and got Kapinjal as a son due to the blessings of Lord
The holy place of Pushkar in Ajmer also had its origin in the HATKESHVAR temple.
Due to a request from a Saint Narad, Brahma desired to throw a lotus flower in
such a place which is the most sacred and where Kali has not entered. The Lotus
after moving all around the world, fell in the HATKESHVAR place. So this region
is famous as second Pushkar area also.
The three best holy places of India are, Prabhas temple, the Kurukshetra and
Saint Durvasa had established one Shiv-ling in the HATKESHVAR region and Saint
Gautam had performed penance for 100 years to make the holy homage of HATKESHVAR
for his son and wife.
Once there was a competition amongst eleven Saints of Kashi to have the first
sighting of HATKESHVAR. All ran in the direction of Vadnagar to lead and come
first. Lord HATKESHVAR felt happy and gave this sight (Darshan) to all the
eleven Saints simultaneously.
HATKESHWAR based NAGARS have a boon from LORD HATKESHWAR that, whatever they
speak will happen. ( However, no NAGAR family is able to permanently settle in
Vadnagar. )- due to curse from LORD HATKESHWAR.
In olden days, some Muslim kings attacked Vadnagar. This went on repeatedly. So
people of Vadnagar decided to build a fort around the town to save themselves
from the invasions. The senior and older citizens of the town advised to build
the fort in such a way that the temple of LORD HATKESHWAR will be inside the
fort and remain protected. For some reason, this could not materialize. So the
temple ended up being outside the fort. Hence, LORD HATKESHWAR gave a curse to
the Nagar community, " Just as you have kept me out of the town, you also will
always be out of the town for ever. Even today, the temple of LORD HATKESHWAR is
situated outside the town. It is said that, no NAGAR family has been able to
permanently settle in Vadnagar.
Nagars, are, though a sub-caste of Brahmins, a much different in many ways.
While people of other castes worship other GODS, Nagars and Brahmins - intellect
oriented as they are - worship LORD SHIVA. Even LORD SHIVA has two faces in his
worship. (1 ). One face of SHIVA surrounded by ghosts - a frightful one, and (2
) A perfect Tandav based beautiful face of LORD SHIVA. Even in this beautiful
face of LORD SHIVA, two interpretations are available. One is destruction and
the other new creation from destruction. SHIVA does not have any births - as
LORD SHIVA is omnipresent and his idol is absolute. Even amongst these facets,
LORD SHIVA's complexion of beauty and new creation is more positive. Nagars, in
order to live nicely with their original cultural values, have started devotion
of this lustrous and creative beautiful complexion. Only as a result of this,
the life style of Nagars is more culture oriented and illustrious - much
different from that of other communities.
EVOLUTION OF NAGARS ( NAGAR
NAVLU NAJARANU) by Kiritbhai Yadvendrabhai Baxi,
Nagar Association of Greater
American Regions (NAGAR)