“Sourashtra” in Tamilnadu !

Gujaratis are known for their willingness to travel for fun and business. We easily settle down in faraway unknown places and live happily ever after. This trend has been there since the length of the history we have known. One such “lived happily ever after” community is found in Tamilnadu and around Madurai, the Sourashtra community (not Saurashtra).

Palkaar_Dance

The Sourashtra ancestors migrated from Saurashtra in present day Gujarat centuries ago.  The first generation of Sourashtrians were fine weavers. There are several theories on when and why they migrated from Saurashtra. Some history books suggest, the Sourashtras migrated to save their families during Mohammed Gazani’s attacks on the Somanath Temple and Saurashtra regions.  Some books of history suggest they were invited to live in Madurai by the Naykars rulers during the great Vijay Nagar Empire period. Sourashtra ancestors seem to have migrated around 1025 A.D.

Sourashtrians have now spread across Tamil Nadu. They still speak “Sourashtrian” language at home. The lipi of their language has changed however it still carries words like betki (beti), kavad (kamad – gujarati word for door), angli (aangali – finger). Sourashtra recipes have acquired Tamilian influence but still contains kathiawadi touch in peanut ladoos.  Sourashtra Konangi folk dance contains several elements of modern day Dandiya Raas.

Sourashtrians, also known as Palkars proudly share their Saurashtra connections with all Kathiawaris they come across.  Whenever you come across a Palkar, don’t forget to say ..Ram Ram Bapu !