Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Agrahāra

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_531-1

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 [1]. 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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. 1.
    Adhya GL (1966) Early Indian economics studies in economic life of northern and western India c.200 B.C.–300 A.D. Asia Publishing House, BombayGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chattopadhyaya D.P. (ed) (2009) History of science, philosophy and culture in Indian civilization, vol II part V. A social history of early India (ed: Chattopadhyaya BD). Pearson Longman, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fisher EM (2017) Hindu pluralism religion and the public sphere in early modern South India. University of California Press, OaklandGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ghoshal UN (1930) The agrarian system in ancient India. University of Calcutta, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stoker V (2016) Polemics and patronage in the city of victory Vyasatirtha, Hindu sectarianism and the sixteenth-century Vijayanagara court. University of California Press, OaklandGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thaper R (2000) Cultural pasts: essays in early India. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryK.J. Somaiya College of Arts & CommerceMumbaiIndia