Member Eligibility
About Adyar Gopal Parivar
Adyar Gopal Parivar has
members who are as old as 70
and even 80 years but this club is
just born on the 23rd September
2007 by being inaugurated by
one of the active members, viz.
Sri Manchakal Mohandas Kudva.  
The Aim of the Parivar is to unite the
members of these families into one
cultural and social group

Now it is considered
necessary to set up a website
for publishing the activities of
the Parivar, and therefore this
has come into existence.
The Parivar is Young
Who Are Eligible to become Members?
  • Descendants of Sampige
    Madhav Kini
  • Descendants of the three
    sisters who married the grooms
    of Mijar Kamaths, Mijar Shenoys
    and Hiranki Kinis.
  • Descendants of Adyar
    Gopalakrishna Shenoy
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
Adyar Shenoys
Privacy policy
All the information provided to this
website and to the Adyar Gopal Parivar
is published on the web and so it will
all be available
to the public at large.
Only the names and their relationships
with the forefathers is published and
addresses and telephone numbers will
be retained in the files.  These
addresses and telephone numbers
may be made available to other
if asked for.
We invite the members to use this
website to announce births, deaths,
weddings, graduations, promotions,
giving thanks, winning awards, and such
other events in the family by contacting Dr.
Mohan Shenoy at phone 26797278 (
prefix with appropriate local and
international codes where necessary) or
sending email to
This is a free service.
In fact all member services are free of
any cost to members.
There is no membership fee of any
kind.  Members are members by birth in
the scheduled families.
Use of this website
Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
By Mohan Shenoy
To Read List
By Mohan Shenoy
By Mohan Shenoy
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 satellites.

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
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. 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 territory. 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 Goa

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 Devata

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 Goa.

The Gouda 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 Saaraswats.

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
Influence of the Kadamba and Keladi Kings

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.
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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. 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

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.
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

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. A
bride takes on the surname of the
husband after marriage. There is also a
practice to give a different name to the
bride as her married name. The married
name is chosen by the husband or his
mother. Since there is no marriage within
a Gothra among the Gouda Saaraswats,
the Gothra of the husband is assumed by
the bride and all their children will be
considered belonging to the Gothra of
the man. The marriage is between the
two families and the girl after marriage
becomes one in the husband’s family
assuming all his traits and identities.

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 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