India, officially called the Republic of India, is the second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people. The culture of India is the way of life of the people. It is influenced by history that is several millions of years old. The customs, traditions, religion, language, music and dance differ from region to region within the country.
Just like the customs and traditions of this country, the last names of Indians are influenced by region, caste, profession and religion.
Here is a list of 100 most popular Indian last names:
Acharya is the Brahman Hindu surname. The surname comes from Sanskrit word ‘acarya’. The term is also applied as a title for a man of learning.
Agarwal is a Jain surname. The Agarwals are one of the most prominent mercantile communities of India. The surname comes from the word Agroha, the former capital of the ancient city Agar Sen. One of the most common indian last names.
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The surname Khatri is a synonym for Kshatriya. Kshatriya is one of the five major castes in Hinduism.
Ahuja is a Sikh surname meaning the ‘descendant of Ahu’. Ahu was the name of an Arora ancestor.
Anand is a Hindu surname derived from the Sanskrit word ‘anada’, which means joy. It was initially a given name but is now popular as a surname.
[ Read: Popular Indian Baby Girl Names ]
Laghari is another common Indian last name. The last name is taken from the Laghari tribe in Baluchistan.
Patel is a common surname amongst Gujaratis. It means the ‘village headman’ in Gujarati.
Reddy is a caste in Southern India. The people of the Reddy caste are known for good administration. Their other profession beside administration is farming.
Bakshi is a Hindu and Punjabi surname. The surname comes from the Persian ‘bakhshi’, which means ‘paymaster’. Bakshi was originally the title of officials who distributed wages in Muslim armies.
The last name Anthony is a surname popular amongst Christians in South India. It is derived from the personal name Anthony.
Babu is a Hindu surname meaning ‘father’. It is derived from the Prakrit word ‘bappa’, a respectful term of address for a man. It is also a term of endearment for a baby boy.
Arya is a Hindu surname popular in several communities. It comes from the Sanskrit word ‘arya’, which means an ‘honorable man’.
The surname Balakrishna is derived from the Sanskrit word bālakṛṣna, which means ‘child Krishna’. This surname is common in South India.
Banerjee is a Bengali surname. Its first element ‘Ban’ is a short form of the village named Bandoghat and the last element ‘jee’, is derived from ‘jha’, which means ‘teacher’.
[ Read: Indian Celebrity Baby Names With Their Meanings ]
Burman is a Rajbanshi surname for Sanskrit word ‘varman’, which means ‘protection’. Burman is also the cognate of North Indian surname Verma.
The surname Bhatt is based on the name of a subgroup of goldsmiths in Punjab. It means ‘the learned one’.
Basu is a Bengali surname. It comes from the Sanskrit word vasu, which means ‘wealth, gem, and radiance’. The surname Basu is also an epithet of Lord Shiva.
The surname Bedi is based on the name of a clan in the Khatri community. Bedi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘vedi’, which means ‘one who knows the Vedas’.
Varma is a surname common in North India. It comes from the Sanskrit word ‘armor’, which means ‘protection’. It was initially used only by the Kshatriya caste, but is now adopted by non- Kshatriya communities as well.
Dara is a Parsi surname. It is based on Old Persian royal name Dārayavahush, which means ‘possessor’.
Dalal is an occupational surname for a broker. It comes from an Arabic name ‘dallal’, which means ‘auctioneer’.
Chowdhury is a status name for the head of a community. The title was originally awarded to people of eminence. It is now a popular surname among both Indian Muslims and Hindus.
Chabra is a Hindu and Sikh surname. It is based on the name of the Arora clan.
Chadha is a Khatri Hindu surname. It is based on the name of the clan in the Khatri community. The Ramgharia Sikhs have a clan named Chadha.
The Bengali surname Chakrabarti comes from the Sanskrit word čakravartī, which means ‘emperor’. It also denotes a ruler whose chariot wheels rolled everywhere without obstruction.