Origin of Vishwakarma Caste
According to traditional belief, the Vishwakarma Castes are sub-divided according to the name of the sons of Lord Vishwakarma. The sons of Lord Vishwakarma were Manu, Maya, Thwastha, Silpi and Vishvajnya. People belonging to the Manu cast are black-smiths; those of the Maya group are carpenters. The metal craftsmen are known as Thwastha, sculptors are known as Silpi and those who are called gold-smiths are called by the name Vishvajnya.
Gotras of Vishwakarma Caste
The Vishwakarmi castes have been sub-divided into 5 gotras each corresponding to the name of a Rishi which has been mentioned in the Yajur Veda. The five gotras of the Vishwakarmi are namely Sanagasya Manu, Sanatanasya Maya, Abhuvanasya Tvashta, Pratanansya Silpi and Suparnasya Vishvajna. The five gotras of the Vishwakarmis are again sub-divided into 25 sub-clans.
Vishwakarma Caste in Different Regions of India
In India there are several sub-divisions of the Vishwakarma caste in the different regions. They are discussed below:
In Tamil Nadu the people belonging to Vishwakarma Caste are known by the name Kamaalar or Aachari or Aasaari. They are engaged in various occupations like gold-smiths, iron-smiths, carpenters and stone masons.
In Andhra Pradesh also the Vishwakarmis have been subdivided into a number of groups namely the gold-smiths, black-smiths, brass-smiths, carpenters and the stone masons. In Andhra Pradesh they also have territorial sub divisions as well. They are Murikinadu, Pakinadu, Dravida and a lot more. These people of Andhra Pradesh claim the status of Brahmins and follow similar customs as that of the Brahmins.
In the state of Kerala there are four divisions of the Vishwakarma Caste. The divisions are namely carpenters, braziers, gold-smiths and black-smiths.
In Karnataka also the Vishwakarma Caste is divided into several subdivisions. The sub-divisions are iron-smiths, carpenters, gold-smiths, sculptors and a lot more. The Vishwakarma sub-caste in Karnataka does not inter-marry with each other. Some of them follow the religion of Lingayatism and the Brahmin culture.
The other states of India also have a number of Vishwakarma population and all of them are black smiths, gold-smiths, copper-smiths, brass-smiths, carpenter, sculptor, stone-masons and a lot more.
Contribution of Vishwakarma Caste
The contribution of the Vishwakarmis to Hindu art and architecture is immense. The University of Nalanda has been an architectural marvel for ages together as also the iron pillars of Delhi. At the same time, Hindu Architecture as well as Buddhist Architecture represents great contributions of the Vishwakarma Caste.
The Konark Temple, the Ajanta Caves, the Ellora Caves, the caves of Mahabalipuram, the rock cut architecture of India and many other constructions of India reflect as to how the members of the Vishwakarma Caste were skilled and largely talented.
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