Gudigar in India

The Gudigar have only been reported in India
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Gudigar are a small group of people who live in the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The word "gudi" means temple in Kannada and a Gudigar is one who builds temples.

The Gudigar consider themselves to be Kshatriyas, the second highest caste in Hinduism. The Gudigar claim to be descendant of kings and royalty. The Gudigar encourage their sons and daughters to attend universities.

The two main languages of the Gudigar are Konkani and Kannada. Many also speak Tamil. Many Christian resources are available in all three languages including the whole Bibles and JESUS Film.

Where Are they Located?

Most Gudigars live in the south Indian state of Karnataka. A smaller group resides in nearby Tamil Nadu.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The traditional occupation was building Hindu temples. Today the Gudigar are known are master craftsmen who make items from wood and stone. They used to make beautiful ornaments from ivory but use of ivory is now illegal under Indian law to protect elephants. Another type of material used by the Gudigar was sandalwood, a small tropical tree. The wood from this tree is pleasantly fragrant. Sandalwood oil has been utilized in Indian medicine for thousands of years to heal skin ailments. Almost all the sandalwood trees are gone and the Gudigar have had to use other kinds of wood for their carvings.

The lifestyle of the Gudigar is changing as more and more become college graduates and urban professionals. Many of the older men still work as carvers of toys, Hindu idols and sacred wooden things used in religious ceremonies. Some of the Gudigar own large tracks of land, which is farmed by lower castes. Young people are moving to India's modern cities to work as engineers, teachers, scientists, administrators and physicians. The old life of carving and painting wooden art objects is disappearing.

The Gudigar tend to marry within their caste but will marry into other Kshatriya families. Parents formerly arranged marriages but today many young people find their mates with the approval of their families. Sons and unmarried daughters inherit property. Their dead are cremated.
The Gudigars are not vegetarians but as Hindus will not eat beef.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gudigar people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They pay special devotion to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of good fortune and wisdom. They are proud of their Hindu heritage as builders of temples. The Gudigar worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.

The main yearly holidays of the Gudigar people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

The Gudigar need to see that their Hindu rituals and ceremonies will not make them right with the one, true God. They also must see that coming to Christ will not destroy but enhance their culture and families.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Gudigar culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Gudigar family and community leaders to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Gudigar people.
Pray that soon the Gudigars people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.

Scripture Prayers for the Gudigar in India.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Gudigar
People Name in Country Gudigar
Alternate Names Chitraka; Gaud Chitraka; Gaudchitrakal; Gaudchitrakar; Gudigara; Gudikar; Rathakara; गुड़िगर
Population this Country 3,400
Population all Countries 3,400
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 16875
ROP3 Code 112157
ROP25 Code 302827
ROP25 Name Gudikara / Gudigar
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Tamil Nadu
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Karnataka 2,900
  Tamil Nadu 500
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Konkani (1,500 speakers)
Language Code knn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
Konkani, Goan
Primary Language Konkani (1,500 speakers)
Language Code knn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 3
Secondary Languages
  Kannada 1,000
  Konkani, Goan 400
People Groups Speaking Konkani
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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