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Religions Hinduism, Islam (Muslim Patel)
Languages Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Chhattisgarhi, Rajasthani and Bhojpuri.
Populated States Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.

Patel is a surname of Indian origin used primarily by Hindus and other groups whose ancestors were traditionally village-based tenured land owners.


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,[1] as well as the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar (Kurmi) and in some eastern part of Uttar 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,[2][full citation needed] and the third most common in the Greater London region.[3][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.[4]


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. Some have taken up vegetarianism influenced by Swaminarayan sect 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 and diamond industry in Gujarat.[5]

"Patel Motel" phenomenon[edit]

The "Patel motel" phenomenon, as it is popularly known,[5] 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.[6] 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]

"According to the Asian American Hotel Association (A.A.H.O.A), 50 percent of motels in the United States are owned by people of Indian Origin".[5] A large immigrant population of educated Gujuratis came in the 1960s and 1970s. These Patels are known as founding fathers, having worked hard, saved, and then invested in many properties. Having a steady amount of income and savings, they called over their distant relatives and friends from the villages of India. Upon their arrival, these immigrants would already have financial assistance from the founding fathers and would be able to find employment with them until they could afford to start up their own businesses.[5]

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 3 sub cast named Leuva Patel (or Leva Patel), Kadva Patel, and Amin Patel (Desai) and Koli Patel.



  1. ^ Washburn, Edward (2005). India Old and New: With a Memorial Address. p. 178. ISBN 0-543-99414-7. 
  2. ^ The BBC Four programme Meet the Patels asserted that there are around 410,000 to 670,000 Patels in the United Kingdom.
  3. ^ Most common surnames in Greater London, UK
  4. ^ US Census 2000: Most Common Surnames
  5. ^ a b c d Varadarajan, Tunku. "A Patel Motel Cartel?". The New York Times, 4 July 1999.
  6. ^ 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. 
  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


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29060 news items


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

In short, it is an addition to the fixture list that seems to have very little going for it, which means that to have a player in Samit Patel's position welcoming its arrival with genuine sincerity must seem almost like the answer to an ECB prayer ...

Times of India

Times of India
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:03:45 -0700

Renowned classical singer Sushilarani Patel died following a heart attack at her home here Thursday afternoon, a close disciple said. She was 96. A Sangeet Natak Academy laureate, she was a widow living alone in her Bandra home. "As she had no close ...


Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

A spark of that feisty girl remains, but Patel, now in her 50s, has for the most part settled down to become a serious author. She'll discuss "Teatime for the Firefly" on Saturday, July 26, at the Velma Teague Branch Library in Glendale and Saturday, Aug.


Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Dev Patel's next role could be another formula for success. The “Slumdog Millionaire” actor will star alongside Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons in a biopic about Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, Variety reported. Filming is set to begin ...
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:18:45 -0700

LyondellBasell Industries NV logo LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) EVP Bhavesh V. Patel sold 20,486 shares of LyondellBasell Industries NV stock on the open market in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 22nd. The shares were sold at an average ...

Jagran Post

Jagran Post
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

PM Narendra Modi releases Braille biography of Sardar Patel. Publish Date: 24 Jul 2014, 01:35 PM. Last Updated: 24 Jul 2014, 01:41 PM. quick bites. New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a biography of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Braille on ...
Times of India
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:51:07 -0700

Abhita Patel is not a new name when it comes to the Gujarati music industry. The singer has a number of Gujarati songs and albums to her credit. The singer's latest peppy number is in the new album Bewafa Dilno Kheladi. Abhita, who has sung seven ...

Daily News & Analysis

Daily News & Analysis
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:03:45 -0700

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat met Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel during his three-day tour of the state. "During his three day-long stay here, he also met Chief Minister Anandi Patel at the RSS office in Maninagar area here ...

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