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Languages Gujarati, Hindi, English, Marathi, Chhattisgarhi, Rajasthani and Magadhi, Kurmali.
Populated States Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh,
Subdivisions Leva, Kadva, Koli, Charotar, Modh, Lingayat, Parsi, Kurmi, Kunbi, Khandayat, Aghria, khati

Patel is a trade name and previous caste of landowners, farmers and village leaders. The 'Patel' of a village in the mid-1500-1900 state of Gujarat, would be a member of the village committee who would help represent the whole village's views to the local council and take the lead in resolving problems and implementing ideas. They would do this by working closely alongside the village pandit and other members of the 'Brahmin' Community[1] mainly found in Gujarat, India but also across all parts of India and Pakistan. It is currently also used as a surname like Patidar, Bhakta or replaced by an ancestorial name.



The term patel derives from the word Patidar, "Pat," which refers to a piece of land. Consequently, the name "Patel" referred to one who was tasked with taking care of or farming that piece of land. The name Patel is found primarily in the Indian state of Gujarat,[2] as well as the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, (Kurmi) and in some eastern part of Madhya Pradesh; and metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Kanpur and Delhi. While most Patels originated from Gujarat, some Patels are not Gujarati in origin, a few such prominent individuals being J. H. Patel and Rustomji Dorabji Patel.

The surname is also prevalent in some English-speaking countries due to immigration from India. Within the United Kingdom, it is the twenty-fourth most common surname nationally,[3][full citation needed] and the third most common in the Greater London region.[4][full citation needed] In the US, the surname "Patel" ranks 174 among the top 500 list of most common last names, as of the 2000 US Census.[5]


Gujarati Patels were historically village-based landowners and farmers. The patidar community benefited from British Land Reforms during the 19th century and their wealth increased accordingly. The Patel community varies by religion and ideology, with disparate groups having their own samaj (social gatherings) and mandirs. Most of them follow vegetarianism influenced by Hinduism and Jainism and through the process of Sanskritization. The modern Patel communities have branched out of agriculture and landowning to a variety of business trades, especially in hotels. Patels dominate pharmaceutical, chemical, medical, plastic, building construction, ceramic and diamond industry in Gujarat.[6]

"Patel Motel" phenomenon[edit]

The "Patel motel" phenomenon, as it is popularly known,[6] has made a major impact on the American hospitality industry.

A sizable number of Indian immigrants to the United States came in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of them worked in blue collar jobs and saved up to buy undervalued or dilapidated properties, turning them into businesses.[1] As many as 60% of mid-sized motels and hotel properties all over the US are owned by people of Indian origin. Of this nearly one-third have the surname Patel - a popular one among Indian Gujaratis (those that came from Gujarat).[7][8]

In popular culture, a Gujarati film Kevi Rite Jaish satirizes the community's fascination with emigrating to the United States.[9] Patels are separated in 4 subcastes named Leuva Patel (or Leva Patel), Kadva Patel, Anjana Patel (Anjana Patidar or Chaudhari Patel) and Matiya Patidar or Matiya Patel.



  1. ^ a b Skop, Emily (2007). "Asian Indians and the Construction of Community and Identity". In Ines M. Miyares, Christopher A. Airriess. Contemporary ethnic geographies in America. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 271–90 [277]. ISBN 978-0-7425-3772-9. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Washburn, Edward (2005). India Old and New: With a Memorial Address. p. 178. ISBN 0-543-99414-7. 
  3. ^ The BBC Four programme Meet the Patels asserted that there are around 410,000 to 670,000 Patels in the United Kingdom.
  4. ^ Most common surnames in Greater London, UK
  5. ^ US Census 2000: Most Common Surnames
  6. ^ a b Varadarajan, Tunku. "A Patel Motel Cartel?". The New York Times, 4 July 1999.
  7. ^ Kamdar, Mira (2007). Planet India: how the fastest-growing democracy is transforming America and the world. Simon and Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7432-9685-4. 
  8. ^ Ungar, Sanford J. (1998). Fresh blood: the new American immigrants. U of Illinois Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-252-06702-0. 
  9. ^ Kevi Rite Jaish. IMDb


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patel — Please support Wikipedia.
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Eyewitness News

Eyewitness News
Thu, 21 May 2015 21:52:53 -0700

Fatima Patel murder: Family wants justice served, not delayed. A relative of Fatima Patel says the bail application has dragged on long enough and they want justice. Portrait of Fatima Patel. Picture: Justice for Fatima Patel official Facebook page ...

Vineland Daily Journal

Vineland Daily Journal
Thu, 21 May 2015 08:14:36 -0700

VINELAND – Dhruv Patel is the valedictorian of the Vineland High School Class of 2015. And Lindsay Olita was named salutatorian during the annual Moving Up ceremony held Thursday morning in the VHS South gym. The honors mean an additional ...
New Haven Independent
Fri, 22 May 2015 10:03:45 -0700

The state rejected Roshan Patel's efforts to sell booze in the Annex neighborhood, not because of all the complaints from neighbors—but because New Haven had reached a little-known state-calculated limit for the number of liquor stores allowed within ...
Daily Bruin
Fri, 22 May 2015 00:30:00 -0700

For all intents and purposes, University of California President Janet Napolitano has performed her job admirably well. Student perception of Napolitano has dramatically shifted since the demonstrative strip protest at the March UC Board of Regents ...


Economic Times
Fri, 22 May 2015 04:26:15 -0700

AHMEDABAD: As part of the two-day celebrations to commemorate the completion of her first year in power, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel today laid the foundation stone of a water supply project in Meghraj town of Aravalli district. The project ...
Wed, 20 May 2015 11:00:14 -0700

Rameez Patel is applying to be released on bail in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court after he was linked to the murder of his wife Fatima Patel. Fatima was beaten, shot and killed at the couple's rented apartment in Nirvana, in Polokwane, on April 10 ...

New York Times

New York Times
Sat, 16 May 2015 21:07:30 -0700

Dr. Asha Ravindra Patel and Rajesh Shah were married Saturday. Pandit Vimesh Thakar, a Hindu priest, officiated at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Dr. Shah, 32, is a dermatologist with the Kaiser Permanente health care system at multiple locations in ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Fri, 22 May 2015 00:47:22 -0700

New Zealand star Jeetan Patel believes a big home derby against Worcestershire Rapids tonight will give Birmingham Bears the perfect opportunity to get their NatWest T20 Blast campaign up and running. The reigning champions suffered a torrid start to ...

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