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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. Some have taken up 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 2 subcastes named Leuva Patel (or Leva Patel) and Kadva 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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8459592 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 01:37:30 -0700

Noted Goa-based psychiatrist and professor of international mental health, Dr. Vikram Patel, has made it to the Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Dr. Patel, co-founder of the Goa-based mental health research ...

Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Like Purvi Patel, the Indiana woman recently sentenced to 20 years on charges of feticide and child neglect, I once suffered the loss of a pregnancy. Like Patel, I hid my pregnancy, although when I felt the first waves of cramps and my uterus turned ...

International Business Times, India Edition

International Business Times, India Edition
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 23:22:30 -0700

Early in March, "Yeh Hai Mohabbatein" actress Divyanka Tripathi fractured leg after which she had shoot for the daily soap seated in a wheelchair. Although she would get bored by just sitting on it for hours, she claimed books and phone had become her ...


Thu, 16 Apr 2015 03:52:30 -0700

It is hard to imagine a more difficult challenge than addressing the unmet needs of those from resource-poor countries who live with and suffer from mental-health disorders. And yet Vikram Patel has spent his career doing just that. Some champions of ...

Zee News

Zee News
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 01:06:54 -0700

New Delhi: Welcome to our live cricket blog for Match 15 of IPL 2015 between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. Follow live score and all the latest updates here: Over 20 | Score 156/4. CSK end with 156.

International Business Times, India Edition

International Business Times, India Edition
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:11:31 -0700

According to a Bollywood Life report, Upen Patel and Karishma Tanna have been offered the highest fee for the show. "The couple is undoubtedly the hottest jodi in this season of Nach Baliye. Their real life romance will certainly add more value to the ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:03:45 -0700

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand plan to erect a giant statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the “Statue of Unity” expected to be the tallest in the world at 182 metres, on the Sadhu Bet island on the Narmada near Vadodara, has come under National ...

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Chattanooga Times Free Press
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 20:56:15 -0700

But Milan Patel is convinced that Bradley County residents are hungry for a broader menu of offerings. The 36-year-old restaurateur, who brought Tennessee's first Orange Leaf Yogurt shop to Cleveland in 2011, will bring another new restaurant concept ...

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