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Kulkarni is a family name native to the Indian state of Maharashtra and northern Karnataka.[1]

The name Kulkarni is believed to be a combination of two words (kula and karani). Kula means the root of the family, and Karanika means one who maintains records or accounts. Traditionally, Kulkarni was a title used for people who used to maintain the accounts and records of the villages and used to collect taxes. The title of the Kulkarni was later replaced by the Talathi. The Pargana and Kulkarni Watans were abolished in 1950.[2]

As a surname, Kulkarni is found among Brahmin communities of Maharashtra and Karnataka,[3] although majority of them being Deshastha Brahmins,[4].It is also found among some Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus.[3]

Notable Kulkarnis[edit]


  • Jñāneśvar 1275 - 1296
  • Eknath: Pre-sainthood name: Eknāth Kulkarni : 1533 - 1599
  • Samarth Ramdas: Pre-sainthood name: Narayan Kulkarni (Thosar): 1608 - 1681
  • Nivruttinath: Pre-sainthood name: Nivrutti Kulkarni : Elder brother and teacher of Dnyaneshwar
  • Sopan: Pre-sainthood name: Sopan Kulkarni
  • Muktabai: Pre-sainthood name: Mukta Kulkarni





See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kulkarni Family History". Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Bombay Paragana and Kulkarni Watans' (Abolition) Act 1950" (PDF). Bombay High Court. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The Illustrated Weekly of India". 91 (3). Bennett, Coleman & Company. July 1970: 12. Generally speaking, excepting names such as Kulkarni, Thackerey, Chitnis, Deshmukh, Deshpande, which are common to many communities in Maharashtra, a C.K.P. can be recognised by his surname. 
  4. ^ Kumar Suresh Singh (2004). People of India: Maharashtra. Popular Prakashan. pp. 478–. ISBN 978-81-7991-100-6.