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Havyaka Brahmins (Kannada: ಹವ್ಯಕ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ) are a Hindu Pancha Dravida Brahmin sub sect primarily from the Indian state of Karnataka and Northern Kerala Havyakas profess the Advaita Philosophy propounded by Adi Shankaracharya The word Havyaka was transcended from words Havyaga or Haveega which means the one who performs Havana (Havya) and Homa (Gavya), since the very purpose of Havyaka Brahmins was to perform the royal rituals sand the related functions of the empirical government. In ancient times the region of today's Uttara Kannada between Konkan in the north & Tuluva in the south was known by the name of Haiva. This could be the possible source of the term 'Haiga' as Havyakas are also referred to. In fact, the name "Haiga" persists in Havyaka laxicon. All of them are from Malanad and Costal tract of Karnataka and Kerala. The word Havyaka might also be derived from the place named Haigunda. That region of Karnataka which has been inhabited by Havyakas from ancient times is also called Prashuram Kshetra, Gorastradesha, Gokarna Mandala.

Havyakas today

Most of the Havyakas of today follow either Ramachndrapur mutt or Swarnavalli mutt and are guided by the Aadvaita philosophy of Shankaracharya. Till recently Havyakas were primarily engaged in agriculture, especially growing betel nut, paddy, banana, coconut etc., while some practiced Vedic professions like priests. A few decades back they also started entering into other vocations like business, education and, employment etc. During Indian freedom struggle, Havyaka community played a prominent part. Men and women took leading role in Salt March and No-Tax Campaign. Doddamane Hegdes of Siddapur had an important role in freedom movement at all stages.

Population

Population of Havyaks all around the world is estimated to be about 3 00,000.

Surnames

Havyakas derive their last names from the jobs that they perform rather than by their origin. Names include Bhat, Hegde, Avadhani, Bhagwat, Gaonkar, ,Hebbar, , Joisa, ,Joshi , Karnik, Murthy, Pandit, patel, Puranik, Rao, Sabhahit, Sharma, Shashtri, Shanbhag , Upadhyaya and Vaidya

Language

The Havyakas are united by their unique language. They speak a dialect of Kannada known as Havigannada (Havyaka+Kannada). It is 60-70% similar to mainstream Kannada but draws more words from ancient Kannada. However, most mainstream Kannada speakers find it difficult to understand Havyaka Kannada. The Havyaka dialect is supposed to be quite old. Its origins, like many other things in India, are shrouded in mystery.