Padmashali (Telugu: పద్మశాలి) is a Telugu-speaking Hindu weavers caste, brahminical in origin, predominantly residing in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Padmashali (Telugu: పద్మశాలి) is a Telugu-speaking Hindu artisan community. The community members are traditionally weavers who specialise in weaving cloth of all kinds.

Total population
90,00,000[1] (estimated)
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,
Om symbol.svg Hinduism


The term Padmashali is derived from two words Padma and Shali, The Padma means lotus and Shali means weaver.[2] They support their Sanskrit origin with various myths and Puranas such as Kulapurana and Markandeya Purana.[3]

The Padmashalis claim to be descendants from Bhrigu Rishi and Markandeya Rishi, Markandeya's son Bhavana Rishi who were borne one hundred and one son; they took to weaving and the first clothes they wore was out of the fibres of the lotus stem so they came to be known as Padmashalis.[4]

Padmashalis TodayEdit

The Padmashalis divided into two groups based on Sampradaya, being the Shaivas and the Vaishnavas and they worship both Shiva and Vishnu.[3]

Although Padmashalis are related to Brahmins, they are considered as a backward (OBC) caste by the Indian government.[5] The community is highly Sanskritised, with all men wearing the sacred thread and performing the similar rituals which Brahmins do, like Brahminical classes, their origin relates to sages as gothras.[6]

The Padmashalis basically perform Brahmin rites and even today a group who are qualified as agama shastra pandits perform the poojas and vedic rites. They are identified as Padma Brahmins.[6]


  1. Padmashali population
  2. The Indian Textile Journal. Business Press. 1984. p. 63.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Swarnalatha, P. (2005). The World of the Weaver in Northern Coromandel, C.1750-c.1850. Orient Blackswan. pp. 31–41. ISBN 9788125028680.
  4. Journal of Indian Textile History. Calico Museum of Textiles. 1955. p. 56.
  5. Padmashali
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Dubai: Shettygars of Mangalore Form 'Padmashali UAE'". Retrieved 2019-08-14.

Other websitesEdit