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The first and highest of the four hierarchically-organized Varnas in the Caste System. Brahmins alone are allowed to read, recite, and teach the Vedas. According to the Laws of Manu, "On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority of his origin, on account of his observance of (particular) restrictive rules, and on account of his particular sanctification, the Brahmin is the lord of (all) castes (varna)" (X,3).

Golak Brahmins, Deorukha Brahmins, Karada Brahmins, Palshe Brahmins, and Chitpavan Brahmins. These are examples of smaller, local Maharashtrian caste groups within the large Varna category of Brahmin. Only the Karadas (also known as 'Karhada') and the Chitpavan Brahmins (also known as 'Konkanasth') are mentioned in the Imperial Gazetteer.