Membership is free
Adyar Shenoys
All those persons born in the
families of Sampige Madhav
Kini including the
descendants of his children
viz. Subbamma, Radhu,
Venkatray and Narasimha,
are invited to join as
members after filling in the
information form provided
here. The same holds true
for those born in the families
of the three sisters that
married into the Mijar
Shenoys, Mijar Kamaths,
and Hiranki Kinis.
Adyar Gopalakrishna Shenoy
had three sisters and two
brothers.  His grandfather and
father, both died in the
small-pox epidemic that
devastated Adyar village in
1909. Apart from the
descendants of Gopalakrishna
and his brothers and sisters,
there are no other survivors in
the Adyar family of Adyar
Person to Contact for Information
regarding this website is
Dr. Mohan Shenoy and his
mailing address is as follows:
House No. 13/D, 5th Cross, Opp.
R.K.Layout, Padmanabhanagar,
Bangalore 560070, India.
He can be reached by phone at
+918026797278 of which 91 is
country code for India and 80 is
the Bangalore City telephone
One can write email to him. His
email address is
The state of Karnaataka has many other
languages spoken by its people apart
from Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi,
Tamil and Telugu. Kannada is the
official language used in the government
offices but Malayalam is spoken in the
regions bordering Kerala; Marathi in the
regions bordering Maharashtra, Tamil in
the regions bordering Tamil Nadu state
and Telugu in the regions bordering
Andhra Pradesh. A kind of Hindi mixed
with Kannada and Persian words is
spoken by Mohammedans  of
Karnaataka origin. This language also
known as Khedi boli, Hindavi or Dakhni
has many Arabic, Persian and Iranian
words. Pure Urdu is rarely spoken but
Hindi is more common among settlers
who arrived from North India.
Kannada Dialects
Like in most of the languages of the
world, Kannada is also studded with
dialectal and regional varieties.
1. Badaga Kannada is spoken by some people in the Chamarajnagar, Kollegal and
Mysore districts adjoining Nilgiris.
2. Nadavara Kannada is spoken by agriculturists of Uttara Kannada district.
3. Harikantras Kannada of Fishermen and cultivators of Uttara Kannada district.
4. Halakki Kannada of Halakki Vokkals and Mukris of Uttara Kannada district.
5. Bajantri Kannada Halleer Vajantris of Belgaum and Uttara Kannada districts.
6. Koosa Kannada spoken by Koosas of Dakshina Kannada district.
7. Koraga Kannada of Koraga community living around Mangalaore.
8. Iruliga Kannada is a Kannada mixed with Tamil words.
9. Sholiga Kannada of Biligirirangana Betta inhabitants.
10. Toda Kannada of Todara community of border areas of Nilgiris.
11. Korama and Koracha Kannadas are Kannada language with Tamil and Telugu
12. Kodava Kannada is spoken in Kodagu district.
13. Banjari Kannada and Lambani Kannada of Tanda dwellers in North Karnaataka.
14. Dasari Kannada of Chenna and Holaya Dasars.
15. Dombara Kannada spoken by Dom, Dombara, Paidi and Pano people.
16. Madari Kannada of Madari community.
Kannada spoken by the people of South
and North Kanara districts is called the
bookish Kannada because they learnt to
read and write Kannada in the schools.
Their mother tongue is a language other
than Kannada. Those Kanara people
whose mother tongue is Kannada speak
the language in the perfect tone and
style of the Mysoreans. However the
Newspapers and text books make use of
the formal Kannada in publications.
Konkani Language
Konkani is the language spoken by
substantial number of residents of
coastal Karnaataka. They include the
Gowda Saraswath Brahmins (GSB), the
Saraswath Brahmins (SB), Christians
and Mohammedans. The Dakshina
Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi
districts, in the coastal regions are
where Konkanis are concentrated. The
style and accents in these Konkanis
differ but there is now an attempt to
popularize a formal style and accent in
order to introduce the language in the
schools. The Goans speak Konkani with
the original accent. Their Konkani
resembles that spoken in Uttara
Kannada district. The Konkani spoken
by GSBs differs substantially from that
spoken by the Christians. Also the
Konkani of GSBs around Mangalore in
South Kanara is slightly different from
that spoken by the GSBs living in North
Kanara around Karwar town. The
community of Daivajna Brahmans with
the surname Shet is mainly Sonars
(Sonnaranche) concentrated in Uttara
Kannada district and they speak a
Konkani with their own accent and tone.
Kudumbi people speak a Konkani which
has some strange words akin to Marathi
words. They are long-time residents of
Mangalore, Mijar and Moodbidri. The
Muslims living around the Bhatkal town
are known as the Navaayat(s) and they
speak Konkani at home having a number
of words borrowed from the Arabic and
Persian languages.
Tulu Language
There is a very original language known
as Tulu, spoken by a large section of
people in and around Mangalore. More
than 80 percent of people in Dakshina
Kannada can converse in Tulu. It is
being popularized in the 21st century by
Tulu lovers.
If one knows Tulu then it is certain that
he lived in Mangalore and surroundings
for for a long time. There is a variety of
Tulu which may be its dialect spoken by
Havyaka Brahmans. Havyakas are
among the original Kannada residents of

The Saaraswat People
The Saaraswat people got their name
from the Saraswati river along the banks
of which they were originally settled. The
Saraswati river is now seen only as a
subterranean shadow in the pictures of
the state of Punjab taken from the
There occurred a 12-year famine in
about 5000 B.C. (period mentioned
needs authentication) in Punjab which
caused the river Saraswati to dry up and
vanish. This famine was enough to kill a
large number of people in the area due
to starvation. A lot of information which
the people of the time kept memorized
was lost by the death of the masses.
The written information on papyrus was
either left unattended to be lost to
nature, or carried along to the
destinations by the escapees.
A large number of able bodied survivors
escaped to the east and came to live
along the banks of the river Ganga and
its tributaries. Many families settled
down in the new location but a good
percentage of the new generations
returned to Punjab in later years.
After many many years the migrant
Saaraswats in Gangetic plains gained
name and fame in the new colonies as
wise men. They had known ways and
means to appease gods and to consign
the souls to the heaven after death.
They performed elaborate fire sacrifices
and dictated the correct procedures for
the same. They were in demand in all
different kingdoms and courts. They
were identified by their family names
such as Bhrigu, Angirasa,
Vsishta, Kashyapa, Agastya and Atri. All
those men through the ages born to
Bhrigus for example would be known by
the same name. They were placed in the
highest class among men and called the
Brahman(s). The Saaraswat Brahman
had other rivals such as the Kanyakubja,
Maithila, Gauda and Utkal Brahmans
who were either original residents or
off-shoots of the new settlers.
Meanwhile in the peninsular portion of
the land known as Bhaarath (later
referred to as India) below the Vindhya
mountain ranges, there were Brahman
families bearing names such as Dravida,
Tailang, Karnaata, Madhyadesi, and
Gurjara. Thus there were in the course
of time, about ten different primary
divisions constructed among the
Brahmans of Bhaarath.
The Story of Lord Parasurama
The history of Saaraswat Brahmans is
incomplete if Lord Parasurama is not
taken into account.
Reference: History of Karnataka in the Karnataka state gazetteer Part 1 edited by
Suryanath U. Kamath, 1982.
The Saaraswat Brahmans
The Saaraswat community in Goa and
along the Westcoast of India has three
main sub-communities.
They are 1. Chitrapur Saaraswats, 2.
Gouda Saaraswats and 3. Dravida
The Chitrapur Saaraswats have been
the original Parasurama invitees and
referred to as the Shenvi families
because of their high levels of
intelligence, physical growth, exceptional
character of honesty and integrity. They
were employed in high positions in the
courts of the rulers of Goa and of other
surrounding places.
The Gouda Saaraswats were the
Saaraswat families who arrived later in
the fourth to eleventh centuries and
brought with them their food habits and
enterpreunerships. They commonly ate
fish but not any other non-vegetarian
food items. Like all Hindus they were
cow-worshippers. They were also
capable of taking up occupations such
as agriculture and shop-keeping. They
wanted to retain their separate identity
when they arrived in Goa from Gouda
desha that existed in Bengal and Bihar
region during the first three centuries
A.D. There are other explanations also
for Gouda word.
The Dravida Saaraswat Brahmans are
those that live mainly in Konkan and
Thane regions of Maharashtra.
They have taken up the traditions and
practices of the Maratha Brahmans such
as Chitpavan and Deshastha.
Influence of the Kadamba and Keladi
After Parasurama, history tells us of the
Kadamba dynasty ruling Goa and
surrounding areas. Kadamba kings were
themselves Brahmans belonging to the
Haritha gothra. The Saaraswats of Goa
lived peacefully in the Kadamba
kingdom. Banavasi a town situated
southeast of Goa was its capital. In the
14th Century Muslims conquered Goa
and ruled it briefly. In the 16th Century
the Portuguese arrived and took over the
administration of Goa. The Saaraswats
were forced to leave Goa and settle
elsewhere to escape persecution and
conversion into Christianity. Most of
these refugees were rich people in Goa.
When they left their lands and houses
back they carried as much gold and
jewelry as they could with them. The
Keladi king received the fleeing
Saaraswats with open hands and
encouraged them to settle down in his
kingdom. The Saaraswats flourished in
the Keladi kingdom. They were traders,
soldiers and advisors. They were invited
by the small and big kings alike because
they were honest and hard-working.
They often brought gold and jewelry and
shared their wealth with the king.
Later in the Keladi kingdom all the
Saaraswats came to be known as
Shanbhogue. Shanbhogue also
indicated that the person is a writer or a
literate person employed by the king to
collect revenue from the subjects and
deposit it in the treasury of the kingdom.
These Shanbhogues were known for
their honesty and integrity and they were
considered to be fully reliable in every
Many of the families went further south
along the coast and reached Kochi
(formerly Cochin) in Kerala. Many
families broke their journey and settled
down when they found a good place
along the route. At present Saaraswats
are found in every town and village along
the coast from Goa down to Kochi and
beyond. They are spotted easily
because they have a fair skin and a
handsome physique.
Concept of Gothra
The Gothra of the
Shenoys/Shenois/Shenais is commonly
Vachcha which is not listed in any of the
Gothra lists. Vachcha is not the same as
Vatsa which is listed in every list of
Gothras. Therefore Gouda Saaraswat
Brahmans belonging to the Vachcha
Gothra are probably the most recent
migrants into the Konkan, Goa and rest of
the West coast regions.Shenoy (Shenoi)
who are There have been religious
conversions among the GSB community
during the Portuguese rule in Goa. Many
people with Shenvi or Shanbhag
surnames have been converted into
Christianity but they retained their
surnames. Some of them changed their
surnames into Shenoy or Shenoi, the
latter more common among the Christians.
The surname Shenoy/Shenoi occurs
among the Christians who got converted
voluntarily from Hinduism. The
Portuguese clergy insisted on changing
the name and surname of the converted
Hindus into Christianity in the 16th
Century and later until Goa was liberated
in 1964. Since Goa became a part of the
Indian Union, some of the progressive
Goans got themselves converted often
because of their marriage to a Christian.
However since the religion was not a
significant factor for citizenship and other
identification documents, the names were
not changed like before.
During the Portuguese administration in
the year 1630 for example in the city of
Madgaon (Margoa) a Krishna Kamath got
converted and changed his name to Brizio
Fernandes. A new born male infant in
1596, in the town of Velim born to the wife
of Loku Shenai was christianed as Pera
Da Cruz.. (Reference: History of the
Dakshinatya Saraswats by V.N.Kudva,
published by Samyukta Gowda Saraswat
Sabha, Chennai, India.).

The word sankara in Sanskrit language
means joining of two different kinds of
people in marriage to produce a third kind
of people. The third kind are known as
Sankaraja. This is supposed to have
happened after the Kurukshetra war
between the Pandavas and Kauravas in
India. There could have been shortage of
men with the result that a few men
married many women.
There were children born to these mixed
race couple who had some common
features of both the races. In later years
there were marriages among these new
groups resulting in further merger of the
races. New languages and cultures
developed among these new people. It is
said that Sanskrit was the spoken
language during the Vedic period. But
during the days of Mahavira and Buddha
the spoken language was Prakrit
language, a derivative of Sanskrit. Many
languages evolved in later decades which
derived their names by referring to the
regions where they developed. Hindi was
the language spoken in Central India,
referred to as India by the  international
travellers and traders. Later as time
passed Hindusthan and India became the
common names for Central India. The
language spoken in Hindusthan and India
was referred to as Hindi language. Tamil
developed in Tamil country, Kannada in
Karnataka, Bengali in Bengal and Odiya
in Orissa, and so on.
To Read List
By Mohan Shenoy
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Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
Kannada is such an ancient language that
through the centuries people speaking
other languages when settled down in
Karnaataka added words and accents to it.

People speak the same language in
varying tones and style to create a dialect.
Malayalees when settled in Kanara
districts north of Malabar developed a
Kannada with accent borrowed from

The Dharwad Kannada varies from
Mysore Kannada in the way words are
used in forming sentences and in the tone
and style of speaking. Bilingual people
such as those whose mother tongue is
Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Konkani, Tulu,
Hindi, or Urdu used the words of these
languages while speaking Kannada to
give rise to dialect.
speak Tulu which varies slightly from
that of the Havyakas. Both Havyaka and
Kota Brahmans and Shivalli Brahmans,
and many Bunts and Jains also speak
Tulu at home but with varying accents
and style. The Havyakas of Sirsi,
Siddapur and Yellapur regions speak a
type of Kannada and not Tulu.
Kodava Language
The Kodava language deserves special
mention. Kodagu had been a princely
state since the 17th century. Kodagu
people have their own language with
many words from Malayalam and Tulu
languages. The language of Kodava
people is called the Kodava
language.The state of Kodagu (erstwhile
Coorg state) was a separate state ruled
by the British and merged with the Indian
Union in 1947; later it was merged with
the new Karnaataka State. The people
of Coorg are called Coorgis. Coorg was
a word coined by the British for Kodagu.
The official name for Coorg is now
Kodagu. There are naturally many words
borrowed from Kannada, Hindi, Persian
and English in Kodava. Kodavas are
descendants of warriors and their
traditional dress includes a sword that
signifies their combatants' lifestyles.
Kodagu is a hilly region and has a
salubrious weather. Large tracts of
Kodagu are dense forests with varieties
of flora and fauna.
But the Maharashtra state which was
also formed for the Marathi speaking
people incites the Marathis in Belgaum
district to launch agitations to demand
the excision of Belgaum district from
Karnaataka and inclusion in the
Maharashtra state.

Predominance of English
English is the language of the educated
class and it happens to be the language
used by the Central government offices
besides Hindi and the local lanugage.
English is also used as a second
language in the state government offices
and in the Karnaataka Judiciary. When
people wish to communicate with a
stranger/visitor, the English language
comes in handy for those who know it.
Especially the people who visit
Karnaataka for either pleasure or
business use English for communication.
Hindi replaces English when the visitor
is from Indian northern states,
northeastern states and northwestern
It is said that Parasurama was the godly
administrator of the west-coast of India
so much so that he had thrown his
pickaxe across the sea to extend the
land upto the line along which his axe
fell. Therefore the land consisting of
Konkan, Goa, coast of Karnataka, and
Kerala is known as Parasurama
To give a more rational explanation to
this improbable legend, the discovery of
land beyond the Western Ghats and
conquering it by Parasurama led to the
theory of the pickaxe. This land was
inaccessible for people of Gujarat,
Madhyadesha, Karnaata, Tailang and
Dravida and hence it was a new
discovery when Lord Parasurama rode
across the Western Ghat mountains and
established his control over it.

The Story of Brahman settlements in
Once Parasurama established himself as
the ruler of Konkan, Goa and other
coastal territories, he experienced the
lack of Brahmans in the region. He
arranged to bring in Brahmans from the
Tri-hotra region of northern Gangetic
plains. The region in the northern
Gangetic belt (consisting roughly the
present districts of Champaran, Saran,
Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur) was known
as Tri-hotra which later shortened to
Tirhut. The first batch of Brahmans were
settled in Goa. Their family names or
Gothra(s) were the following:
Bhaaradwaaja, Kausika (also known as
Kaumsa), Vatsa, Kaundinya, Kashyapa,
Vasishta, Jamadagni, Vishwaamitra,
Gautama and Atri. More Brahmans from
other areas including the Bengal came to
Goa on invitation of the rulers following
Parasurama. These families were
belonging to Sankha Pingala Kamsa,
Garghya, Angirasa, Nair dhruva,
Dhananjaya, Mudgala, Vainya, Harsha,
Hariha, Shandilya and
Sankhyana.Family Deities or Kula
The Brahmanas brought the idols of
gods along when they arrived in Goa.
Their gods were Mangesh, Mahadeva,
Mahalakshmi, Mhalasa, Shanta Durga,
Nagesh and Sapta Kotishwara. Each
person knows and remembers the name
of his family deity since during various
rituals the family deity is first invoked and
thereafter the god that is to be
worshipped. Also it is a practice for the
newly married Saaraswat couple to visit
the temple of their family deity in Goa
immediately after a marriage. The
temples of all the family deities of
Saraswats are located in and around
Their women are some of the most
beautiful ladies in the region and in the
world. Most of the Saaraswats refrain
from alcohol, fraudulent deals, breaking
laws of the land, and taking bribe to show
favours to perform the duties assigned to
them. They maintain good business
practices and pay taxes honestly. They
do not indulge in rape and murder and
respect women and the elderly.

The Surnames of the Saaraswats
There were no surnames before the 16th
Century for Saaraswats because they
were identified by the place they lived in
or if they had recently migrated to
another place then by the name of the
place they came from.  A man from Goa
would be known as Goakar, and one
from Tendul would be known as
Tendulkar. But the Portuguese wanted a
surname added for identification and
there arose the practice of using Pai as
the surname for the Saaraswats. Every
Saaraswat was known as Pai added to
his given name. It would be Mohan Pai
for Mohan along with the place of his
birth included as the fore name.
A Mohan Pai from Karwar would be
known as Karwar Mohan Pai.
The Bhanup, or Shenapaiki, or
Shenapanche sect stopped using their
surnames during these early years of
British rule in Kanara districts, and
instead they used the name of the place
of their birth as their surnames. Karnad is
such a surname. Karnad is a village in
South Kanara. Gulvady, Hattangady,
Manjeshwar are other names of places
which have become the surnames of
many of the Bhanups or Shenapaiki
people among us. It is necessary for us
to merge all these Konkani Brahmans
into a common people so that there can
be more marriages between members of
these communities, facilitating
Indianisation, and ultimately globalisation.
In Goa the surname Shenai or Shenoy
was common along with the surname Pai.
The Pai surname was reserved for the
rich landlords and the surname
Shenai/Shenoy was given to the
accountants, clerks, agents, and
employees of letter. They were always
employed in the court by the kings of
Goa. They were employed to read or
write letters by even the Pais. The
Shenai/Shenoy was always a Saaraswat
Brahman. Later when the Gouda
Saaraswat population increased in the
Kannada areas and in Kerala, they
adopted the surname Shanbhogue first
and later changed it to Shenoi, Shenai,
or Shenoy for convenience. There was
confusion in writing the word
Shanbhogue in English. Often the name
was written as Shanbhag. There was
confusion in the spelling of Shenoy also.
Many people adopted the spelling
Shenoi. Those using Shenoi are found in
Goa, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina
Kannada, Kerala and in big cities like
Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Those using the spelling Shenoy are
more frequently seen among the Gouda
Saaraswats than those using the spelling
Shenai or Shenoi. Any one using Shenai
or Shenoi  (with a letter i instead of y) is
only digressing from the common practice
of using y to write Shenoy. The
surnames exclusively used by Gouda
Saaraswats are Kamath, Kudva or
Kudav, Baliga, Kini, Nayak, Prabhu,
Mallya, Bhandarkar and of course Pai
and Shenoy. These surnames do not
indicate the Gothra of the person.
However except for Pai and Shenoy the
surname of the groom is different from
that of the bride until they are married.
Concept of Gothra
For each person his or her language is
the basis of his identity.
Every person eventually feels
comfortable with his language to speak,
read and write, and to make deals with
others. A trader would learn the
languages of his customers and use the
language of the customer to do
Every trader finds that the customer is
attracted towards the traders who speak
and deal in the language of the
customer. All the rulers of Indian states
in the past have tried to learn the
languages of the local people in order to
rule them effectively. Mixing of the races
of the invaders and the residents
continued rapidly during the period
between the Kurukshetra war and the
present. That is why we see in India
faces that are showing colours and
features of Chinese, Dravidian, Negroid,
European, and Middle East people. The
features that have evolved have
developed the identity of an Indian. It is
not difficult to pick and identify an Indian
in a large crowd in an airport lounge.
Sometimes it is not difficult for a person
to identify his own kind. A GSB woman
can fairly correctly point out another
GSB woman in a crowd of different
kinds of people in an audience. Yet
there are many common features that
add to this identity, such as the skull
cap of a Muslim, the 'bindi' on the
forehead of a Hindu married woman,
etc. These added features are
becoming rarer and rarer with the result
that there is now a trend towards
merger of cultures. Each one tries to
find a common denominator to claim
membership of a community, region,
nation and continent.
Our latest craze for photo identity cards
is an example. Now it is useful to
possess a photo identity card to
announce our names, dates of birth and
residential address. Our religion could
be identified based on the name and
surname that appears on the card.
There has been an attempt among the
people in India to wipe out the
surnames that announce the caste.
Many GSB people have stopped using
their surnames. Many upper caste
people in Tamil country have also
stopped using their surnames to make it
more convenient to get work done in
offices, market places, schools, colleges
and other institutions.
The opening of schools and admission
of children in these schools by the
British Government in this period of time
was responsible for this change in
name. People preferred the shorter and
concise name Shenoy in place of
cumbersome Shanbhogue, although the
name Shanbhogue is not really
cumbersome. The name Shanbhogue
however had different spelling in
different areas. Some people used to
write it as Shanubhag or Shanubhogue.
It will also be inevitable for boys of our
community to seek girls from other
castes to marry. This is because there
are many choices available to the
present generation of children in India.
Times have changed.
An educated boy from the GSB
community can live happily with an
educated girl from any other caste, and
vice versa. A new culture will be born
from among these intercaste marriages.
Sankara is actually Indianisation leading
to globalisation.
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