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The word gotra means "lineage" in the Sanskrit language. While it is somewhat akin to a family name, the given name of a family is often different from its gotra, as given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of residence or other important family characteristic rather than gotra. Gotra means "go" means cow, land, veda and guru. Those who belong to Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya only have gotras. The other castes have no gotras, as they were not eligible for education in olden days. Nowadays all castes say the name of their gotra, which was self-declared. (Acharaya Gnaneswar)
People belonging to various castes may have same gotra Hindu social system. But there is a notable exception among matrilineal Tulu/Malayalee speakers where the lineages are the same across the castes.
Main Hindu gotras
Other Gotras By caste
For lists of gotras compounded by caste, refer to the following:
- Bhuiyar refer to List of Bhuiyar clans
- Jats: refer to List of Jat clans
- Brahmins: refer to List of Brahmin gotras
- Vysyas: refer to Komati (caste)
- Velamas: refer to Velama (caste)
- Dhangars: refer to List of Dhangar clans in India
- Kuruba Gowdas
- Gurjars: refer ro List of Gujjar clans
- Kongu Vellalar
- Khatris: refer to List of Khatri last names
- Rajputs: refer to Rajput clans
- Tuluva/Malayalees: refer to Tuluva Malayali lineage system
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