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Kulkarni is a family name native to the Indian state of Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. It is found among the Brahmin[1] communities of these states such as Deshastha[2][3], Karhade[4] and also among the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu(CKP)[5] community. The reason the Kulkarni was a Brahmin or CKP was because literacy was mandatory for the office. The Kulkarni operated at the village level but at a Pargana level he was known as a "Deshkulkarni", Deshpande or Nadkarni(in Karnataka).[6]

The name "Kulkarni" is a combination of two words (kula and karni). Kula means "family", and Karanika means "archivist".[7] Traditionally, Kulkarni was a title used for people who used to maintain the accounts and records of the villages and used to collect taxes. The title of the Kulkarni was later replaced by the Talathi. The Pargana and Kulkarni watans (land rights) were abolished in 1950.[8]

Notable KulkarnisEdit


  • Jñāneśvar 1275 - 1296
  • Eknath: Pre-sainthood name: Eknāth Kulkarni : 1533 - 1599
  • Samarth Ramdas: Pre-sainthood name: Narayan Kulkarni (Thosar): 1608 - 1681
  • Nivruttinath: Pre-sainthood name: Nivrutti Kulkarni : Elder brother and teacher of Dnyaneshwar
  • Sopan: Pre-sainthood name: Sopan Kulkarni
  • Muktabai: Pre-sainthood name: Mukta Kulkarni
  • Mahipati: Chronicler of many Indian saints, author of the Bhaktavijaya: (1715-1790)

Historic FiguresEdit

  • Ramchandra Pant Amatya: 1650–1716 The third Peshwa, Finance Minister (Amatya) to Emperor (Chhatrapati) Shivaji and Imperial Regent (Hukumat Panah)
  • Parshuram Trimbak Kulkarni: Held post of Pantpratinidhi







See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Kulkarni Family History". Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ A. Rā Kulakarṇī (2000). Maharashtra: society and culture. Books & Books. p. 74. However,the rural areas were still dominated by the Deshasthas,another sub-caste of the Brahmins. The Kulkarni generally belonged to the rural based deshastha community, even under the chitpavan rule.
  3. ^ Irina Glushkova; Rajendra Vora (eds.). Home, Family and Kinship in Maharashtra. Oxford University Press. p. 118. The wada tells us of a story of three generations of a family called Deshpande who belong to the Deshastha Brahmin caste. ....Spread all over Maharashtra as a result of this process, Deshastha Brahmans held, in particular, the office of kulkarni.
  4. ^ Bryan Sharpe (1973). Bombay Teachers and the Cultural Role of Cities. University of California, Berkeley. p. 106.
  5. ^ "The Illustrated Weekly of India". 91 (3). Bennett, Coleman & Company. July 1970: 12. Generally speaking, excepting names such as Kulkarni, Thackerey, Chitnis, Deshmukh, Deshpande, which are common to many communities in Maharashtra, a C.K.P. can be recognised by his surname. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "The Quarterly Review of Historical Studies - Volume 8". Institute of Historical Studies. 1969: 44. The accountant of the Village was simply known as 'Kulkarni' and that of the Pargana or smaller areas was called Deshkulkarni, or Deshpande, or Nadkarni (in the Karnatak)...As work required the incumbent to be a literate man, he was generally a [Brahmin] or a [chandraseniya] kayastha prabhu by caste Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ J. Bloch (1970). Formation of the Marathi Language. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 318–. ISBN 978-81-208-2322-8.
  8. ^ "The Bombay Paragana and Kulkarni Watans' (Abolition) Act 1950" (PDF). Bombay High Court. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  9. ^ Stargardt, Julian (2014). "A Man of his Words". Asia Asset Management.