Chitpavan brahmins are basically from the coastal belt of western Maharashtra, India called as Konkan. Since they are from konkan they are called as Konkanastha. As anybody hailing from konkan is technically Kokanastha, the correct way to refer this community is as Chitpavans.
The community was based in konkan region till the 17th century. They were relatively unknown outside Konkan until, in the 18th century the ruler of Marattha kingdom Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj appointed a brave Brahmin from konkan , Balaji Vishwanath Bhatt as his Peshwa or Prime Minister. It was the first time a person from konkan was holding an important post in Deccani politics. Eventually, many people from konkan migrated to join the service of Marattha kingdom and in due course called the plateau of Deccan their home.
Characteristics : Chitpavan Brahmin folks are easily recognised by the certain characteristics (they are only indicative and not exclusive). They are mostly fair skinned and may have light coloured eyes (blue,green, grey). Straight sharp nose with distinctive jawline is another feature.Soft, radiant glowing skin. Hair colour can tend towards lighter blonde shade. Physique is average and generally supple.
Demographics :Before the Peshwa's, the community was predominantly found in the Konkan coastal belt of Maharashtra, India but afterwards migrated to various parts of India. Today the community is found mainly in the state of Maharashtra particularly the Konkan costal belt and the Deccan Plateau. They are also scattered in small pockets in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Many of the community members have migrated to the Middle East Gulf States -particularly U.A.E, U.K, Australia. Also , U.S.A - has maximum number of professionals.
The community consist of people who are very hard working, meticulous, punctual and intelligent. So obviously they prefer to work in such areas which are intellectually stimulating and hence not generally found doing blue collared jobs.
$ Updated : 2001 November 12 $ © 2000-2001 kokanastha.com. All rights reserved.