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The Paschatya Vaidik Brahmans of West Bengal : A Bio Anthropological Study

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Item Code: UBF603
Author: Sikha Chatterjee
Publisher: Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8185579903
Pages: 190
Other Details 9.50 X 6.00 inch
Weight 480 gm
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Book Description

The present volume is on the Paschatya Vaidik Brahmans of Bhatpara and Naihati, the two adjacent urban centres in the district of 24 Parganas (now in north 24-Parganas), West Bengal. The purpose of the present study is to describe the demographic and genetic structures of this population and also to understand the evolutionary processes, which are acting on this population. It is a fairly large population and widely distributed in West Bengal, though the main concentration is the study area, which is generally considered to be their homeland. In the study area a section of the population had migrated from Kotalipada (formerly in East Pakistan and presently in Bangladesh) after the partition of India in 1947, and permanently settled there. In the present study both sections have been taken into consideration and treated as a single endogamous population

The Paschatya Vaidik Brahmans, in comparison to other neighbouring populations, are economically better off and much more educated. They still pursue their traditional education, i.e., learning of Sanskrit literature, along with modern Anglo-Bengali education. Though considerable research work from cultural anthropological point of view has already been carried out by several anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists, there is herdly any systemetic research among the Paschatya Vaidik Brahman from anthropological point of view. So, there is a wider field for bio-anthropological study among the Paschatya Vaidik Brahmans who represents one of the modern urban society. All the present findings have been given in this book, which is a very modest attempt, withstanding several constraints.


The Vaidik Brahmans is one of the four major groups of the Brahmans in undivided Bengal (Raychaudhuri and Raychaudhuri, 1981: 1). According to 1931 Census, the population size of the Vaidik Brahmans was 28,249 with 14,655 males and 13,594 females. They were distributed in all parts of Bengal. In West Bengal, the population size of the Vaidik Brahmans was 14,210 according to 1931 Census. They were mainly distributed in the districts of Nadia, Burdwan, 24 Parganas and Malda of West Bengal .

The Vaidik Brahmans are divided in two endogamous groups: one is the Paschatya Vaidik Brahmans (henceforth for the sake of brevity it is also referred as P.V. B.) and other the Dakshinatya Vaidik Brahman (Risley, 1891: 154). In West Bengal, the largest concentration of the P.V.B. is found in Bhatpara and Naihati in the district of 24 Parganas. (now in north 24 parganas, fig. 1)

Location, Physical Characteristics and Population: The district 24 Parganas is situated (21°31' -20°57' N and 88°2' - 89°6' E) in the former Presidency Division of West Bengal in India. The area of the district is 5,639.9 square miles of which 1,630 square miles belong to the Sundarbans area according to the Director of Land Records and Surveys, West Bengal .

The district resembles an irregular parallelogram in shape and is bounded on the north by the Districts of Nadia and Jessore, on the east by the District of Khulna, on the south by the Bay of Bengal and on the west by the river Hooghly, which proceeding from north to south, separates it from the Districts of Hooghly, Howrah and Midnapur.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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