Sanketi Brahmins

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Sanketi Brahmins

Sanketi Brahmins are smarta Brahmins originally from Tirunelveli district. They migrated from Tirunelveli to various parts of Kerala and Karnataka around 800 years ago. The Sanketi Brahmins are well educated and well employed and they make their presence felt all over the world today. They still have their roots in Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Trivandrum districts and Mysore districts in Karnataka.

Historical Records

There is no historical record of Sanketis available; however there is a brief mention about the sanketi community in Mysore General Census of 1871 and in the book written by E Thurston on Castes and Tribes of Southern India. Some excerpts from these books are given below.

‘Sanketis are smarta Brahmins and greater portion of them are vaidikas and well versed in Vedas. Sanketis are hard working, intensely conservative and industrious Brahmin community. They are referred to as models for simultaneously securing two fold object of preserving the study of Vedas while securing a worldly competence by cultivating their gardens; and short of actually ploughing the land, they are pre eminently the only fraction of the Brahman brotherhood who turn their hands to the best advantage.’

‘Sanketan means certain terms to be subscribed and acted by all of them i.e. they should hold together in all circumstances. ‘ Mysore Sanketis Sanketi Brahmins moved to Mysore during the 13th century on the invitation of Jagatguru Vidyaranya of Sringeri Peetam. The imperial message from the Vijaya nagara court offered all help and protection in the form of money, land and houses to all and pious and learned Brahmans who would go and settle down in that country to help revival of Dharma by maintaining sacrificial fires or teaching Vedas. The Mysore Sanketis speak Sanketi language which is a corrupt form Tamil and Malayalam mixed with Kannada. Some years back there was a report that in one of the villages where Mysore sanketis live, they made successful attempts to speak Sanskrit in their day to day life. Since the Mysore Sanketis migrated around 800 years ago there is no link between the Tamil Nadu Sanketis and Mysore Sanketis.

Sanketis service to Sringeri Mutt

The Sanketis became so famous that when the Sringeri Mutt wanted a competent Pandit to teach the young Swamiji of that Samasthanam in those early days, the choice fell upon one Vidyanipuna Ramasastry of the Sanketi community. When at the close of the course of study he was asked what he would desire to have as fee for teaching, he asked for exemption of his community from the customary fees payable by the disciples. This privilege is enjoyed by the sanketi community even today.

Sanketis’ service to Travancore State

Many Sanketis migrated to Trivandrum at the request of Maharaja of Travancore to take care of the Government administration. One of the prominent early Sanketi who became very popular even today was Ramayyan Dalawa. Ramayyan Dalawa and Marthanda Varma are the two important personalities who created the Travancore empire. Ramayyan moved from Tirunvelveli District to Trivandrum during the 17th century and served in the court of Marthanda Varma initially as a petty clerk and later became the Dalawa (Army General). Ramayyan proved himself in battlefield by conquering and annexing many other kingdoms and created the Travancore state from Kanyakumari to Cochin. He was a great administrator and increased the sources of revenue and streamlined expenditure. He was responsible for the construction of many roads and public buildings and the fort in Trivandrum.

COMMENTS

H. SUBRAMANIAN at 05 Apr 2011

Shri Moni, As another Sanketi Brahmin I operate a Trust that provides monetary help to poor Brahmin girl students for their higher education after plus 2. The problems mainly are in identifying the deserving ones, ensuring that the amount sent reaches the awardee and ensuring that the amount is used for the purpose it was meant. Would like to have your email address so that I could send you a detailled note on this topic. Would like this info about our charitable Trust to reach the really economically weaker section of our community living in the rural areas so that they could benefit by it. Hence this request.

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