Of the four castes in Indian system , Vaisyas play an important part in the development of the Society.
They are the economic powerhouse of the Indian Community.
Like Brahmins and Kshtriyas all the Samskaras, including the Upanayana Ceremony is applicable to them.
Their Deity is Vasavi.
In Tamil Nadu they are called Chettiars.
Chettiars have subdivisions, mainly they are Vaniba Chettairs(traders), Ennai Chettiars(Oil traders) and Nattukkottai Chettiars( denotes Geographical Location, they are mainly into Financing).
Artisans alos come under this category.
But over a period of time they got separated from the community.
Information is scant on this subject.
I will be grateful if Readers can contribute.
It is believed that Lord Krishna advised the ancient ancestors of the Mahuri to engage themselves in trade and commerce—that is, to take up the ways of the Vaisya—in order to earn their livelihood. They settled in fourteen hamlets nestled in the forests of Vrindavana (now Vrindavan) around the ancient city of Mathura, whence the name “Mahuri”. The fourteen original Mahuri surnames or family names (referred to by modern Mahuri Vaisya as “khatas”) are derived from the names of these forest hamlets.’
- Athaghara (अठघरा) – “Athaghara” khata is derived from “khelvan” which is believed to be the lila-ashali of Lord Krishan and Radha. A pond named “mansarovar” was believed to be located in the “khelwan”. “Chandra muni” is the gotra of athaghara.
- Bargaway (बढ़गवे) – Bargaway derives their Khata from “bahulavana”. Krishan-kunda and temples of Baldeojee and Bahula cow are located here. The gotra of Bargaway is “Kanta muni”.
- Barahapuriya – Barahapuriyas derive their khata from “madhuwan” where their ancestors used to reside. In this place, one king by the name of Brihat Sen is reported to have performed yagya under the priesthood of Shanta rishi. It is believed that the children performed yagya. It is believed that “barahapuriyas” are descendants of “baraha-sainis”. The gotra of “barahpurias” is “vashista muni” gotra.
- Bhadani (भदानी) surname was acquired by the families who resided in the hamlet of Bhadrawana. Bhadanis belong to Usha Muni gotra. (This name is also used by some other social groups in the Indian Subcontinent, but often with a modified spelling – e.g. Badani.)
- Charanpahari (चरणपहाढ़ी) – In Vrindavana area there are 5 hillocks, Gowardhan, Varasatu, Nandishawar, Charanpahari and Dushari Charanpahari. These small mountains gave the Khata “Charanpahari”. The gotra of “charanpahari” is “Saravesh muni”.
- Ekghara – From the “vatsha-vana”, Lord Brahama is reported to have stolen some calves. Here, Gwal Mandol and Haribole thirthas are located. It is believed that “Ekghara” families used to reside in “vatsha-vana”. “Chandra muni” is the gotra of “Ekghara”.
- Kandhaway Kandhaway is given to those families who resided in the hamlet of Kaamvana. Kandhaways belong to the gotra of Kashyap muni.
- Kapsimey (कपसीमे) – Kapsimey is derived from the “kumudvan”. Here, there is the shrine of Mahaprabhujee. The gotra of Kapasimey is “Shandilya muni”.
- Kutariyaar (कुटरियार) – Families residing in the “bhandeervana” acquired “Kutariyaar” khata. A well by the name “Bhandeer” is here. It is believed that this well appeared when the lord Krishan annihilated the demon “vatasha-ashur”. “Sharan muni” is perhaps the gotra of “kutariyaar”.
- Lohani (लोहानी) is given to families who resided in the hamlet of Lohawana (near the cave of the demon Lohasur). Lohani folks were initiated in the school of “kapila Muni” and accordingly their gotra is “kapil muni”.
- Pawanchaudaha – The temple of “pawan mohan jee” is located in Mahavan. Families residing in this area derived the Khata “Pawanchaudaha”. The gotra of “Pawanchaudaha” is “Surya muni”.
- Seth Or Gupta(सेठ) – Those families who were residing in “viharvana” acquired the khata “seth”. This location was believed to be a beautiful spot. Presently, there stands a magnificent temple built by Jaipur King Shree Madawajee. “Kamal muni” is the gotra of “Seth” Khata.
- Tarway (तरवे) is given to those families who resided in the hamlet of Talwan. Taraways belongs to “Vatasa muni” gotra. In the talwan, Shri Balaramjee is reported to have killed a demon by the name of ‘Dhenuka-asur”.
- Vaishakhiyar (वैश्यकियार) – Families residing in the “brihatvana” derived the khata “Vaishakhiyar”. This “brihatvana” was reportedly located on the eastern flank of “lohavana” where “Nimbakacharya” is believed to have appeared. “Vaishakhiyar” belongs to “Bhardwaj muni” gotra.(wiki)
Trading communities in India include:
• Agrawals of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab
• Guptas, related to Agarwals
• Varshneys of Uttar Pradesh
• Oswals of Rajastan, Punjab & Gujarat
• Rauniyars of Nepal ,UP, Bihar & West Bengal
• Barnwals of UP, Bihar & West Bengal
• Chetti from Tamil Nadu
• Gahoi of UP/MP
• Komti of Andhra
• Maheshwari of Rajasthan
• Pancham of Maharashtra, Karnataka
• Parwars of Madhya Pradesh
• Vaishnav of Gujarat
• Rauniars of Nepal ,UP, Bihar & West Bengal .