Aggarwal, Agrawalla, Agrawal or Agarwala
Other Surnames / Gotras:
Mittal, Bansal, Singhal, Jindal, Kansal, Airan, Tingal, Bindal, Garg, Goyal, Goyan, Mangal, Dharan, Madhukul, Tayal, Bhandal, Kucchal and Naagil. All eighteen of these names are synonymous with the Agarwal surname.
About four million
Time of Origin:
Around 3200 B.C.
Place of Origin:
Agroha (Sanskrit Agrotaka) near Hissar in Haryana
Known to be strict vegetarians
Apart from intra-caste marriages, marriage between Agrawals and Jains is common, as a lot of current Agrawals are Jains.
Related Communities: Marwaris
Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal Steel Company), Subhash Chandra (Zee TV), Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Telecom), Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways), Kedar Nath Agarwal (poet), Anu Agarwal (actor), Piyush "Bobby" Jindal (US Politician)
History and Origin:
Origin of Agarwal community has been described in the Mahalaksmi Vrat Katha. It is said that the founder of the community, Emperor Agrasen was a Kshatriya and a Suryavanshi (lineage from the Sun) born during the last stages of Dwapar Yuga. As a young Prince, Agrasen was extremely impartial and was known as an icon of non-violence and messenger of peace.
According to Hindu mythology, once Lord Indra - the King of Gods waged a war to marry Queen Madhavi, the wife of Agrasen. Eventually Narada negotiated peace between them. However, Maharaj Agarsen was deeply moved with the episode, as his subjects had to suffer a lot due to the war. He prayed to Goddess Mahalakshmi to grant long-term peace to his kingdom. Pleased with the devotion, the Goddess blessed Agrasen but asked him to give up the Kshatriya tradition and take up the trading tradition. Goddess Lakshmi also advised the King to establish a new kingdom to ensure her eternal presence with his descendants.
According to the wishes of the Goddess Lakshmi, Emperor Agrasen and Queen Madhavi established and ruled Agroha (now Hissar in Haryana), around 3200 B.C. With the blessings of the Goddess, Agroha soon became prosperous. Later, King Agrasen established 18 clans (or Gotras) for each of his 18 sons based on the names of their Guru. Besides, he conducted 18 Maha Yagna (sacrifices) and divided his kingdom among his 18 sons. Trade, agriculture and industry continued to flourish in the Kingdom of Agroha through Maurya, Kushana, Yaudheya, and Tomar period. Agrawal merchant Nattal Sahu and the first Agrawal poet Vibudh Shridhar lived during the rule of Tomar Anangapal of Yoginipur.
During the centuries that followed, prosperous Agroha Empire was invaded many times by foreign conquerors.
Contribution to Freedom Struggle :
- Agroha survived when Hansi was conquered by Turks in the 10th century, but was overrun by Ghori.
- In 1354, Feroze Shah founded Hisar near Agroha, and it became a main center of the Agrawals.
- During the rule of the Sultans, some of the Agrawals were able to obtain permission to build temples etc.
- In early 15th century Agrawals flourished under the Tomars of Gwalior. Many of them became very wealthy and supported carving of idols, and composition of literature.
- During the Mughal rule, a few Agrawals were able to secure influential positions in the Mughal court.
- In 1712, Lala Ratan Chand, originator of Rajvanshi section, was executed because of his involvement in the power struggle.
- Late during the Mughal rule and during the British East India Company administration, the Agrawals migration to Bihar, Kolkata (then Calcutta) began. Later, Agarwals living in Shekhawati region in Rajasthan came to called Marwari after they started setting in Calcutta.
During the British rule, Agrawals became involved in Swadeshi movements and established major houses like Dalmia-Jain, Bajaj, Singhania etc. Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the prominent Agrawals to sacrifice his life for freedom struggle. Bharatendu Harishchandra was responsible for establishing Hindi as India's national language, and wrote the first history of the Agrawal community.
Even today, as per Maharaj Agrasen's guidance, the Aggarwals are in the forefront of social service and carry the fame of their founder.
Details about the 18 Gotras in Agarwals :
The names associated with these original Clans / Gotras (and variations thereof) are the surnames of the Agarwal community today:
Original Gotra: Maitreya
Saint (Guru): Vishwamitra/Maitreya
Gotra: Bansal/ Vansal
Original Gotra: Vatsya
Saint (Guru): Vishist/Vatsa
Original Gotra: Shandalya
Saint (Guru): Shringi/Shandilya
Original Gotra: Gemino
Saint (Guru): Bruhaspati/Jaimini
Original Gotra: Kaushik
Saint (Guru): Kaushik
Original Gotra: Aurva
Saint (Guru): Atri/Aaurva
Original Gotra: Taandav
Saint (Guru): Shandilya/Tandya
Original Gotra: Vishist
Saint (Guru): Yavasya/Vashista
Original Gotra: Gargasya
Saint (Guru): Gargacharya or Garg
Original Gotra: Gomil
Saint (Guru): Gautam/Gobhil
Original Gotra: Gautan
Saint (Guru): Purohit/Gautam
Original Gotra: Maandav
Saint (Guru): Mudragal/Mandavya
Original Gotra: Dhanyas
Saint (Guru): Bhekaar/Ghaumya
Original Gotra: Mudgal
Saint (Guru): Aashvalayan/Mudgal
Original Gotra: Taitireya
Saint (Guru): Saakal/Taitireya
Original Gotra: Dhoumya
Saint (Guru): Bhardwaj
Original Gotra: Kashyap
Saint (Guru): Kush/Kashyap
Original Gotra: Naagend
Saint (Guru): Kaudalya/Nagendra