Village Granted to Brahmins
Agrahāra means a village or an area of land granted to Brahmins or temples. The Brahmins lived in houses generally granted to them by the Indian ruler in recognition of their learning and religious devotion. The lands were granted to the Brahmins who had performed sacrifices, who were spiritual guides, priests, and learned in Vedas, thereby rewarding high intellectual eminence. Brahmins occupied an important position in the Indian social setup. They formed the exclusive and distinctive class respected for their knowledge of Sāstras (sacred texts). Sometimes kings granted lands to their kula-brahminas (family priests).
Agrahāras began to appear in Sutra period and are well described in the ancient literary works like Brahmanical and Buddhist texts and in the inscriptions of the various kings . As Brahmin settlements they occupy privileged position. There are records of these gifts from the fifth century C.E. onward. Making a gift of land to an individual...
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