Top most common Indian last names list and their meaning

Top most common Indian last names list and their meaning

One's last name often indicates the family or lineage that they come from, and Indian last names are no exception. Last names give a person their identity within the community. While it is unusual for non-Indians to give their children Indian surnames, modern-day parents can do so. Some adults may also want to adopt Indian last names for different reasons.

Common Indian surnames
Source: UGC

In the ancient Indian culture, parents did not give their children surnames. The practice of giving people Indian last names was introduced by the British during the era of colonisation. Today, not all Indians have surnames, but they may adopt a last name out of necessity. Usually, the surname reflects the community, caste, family or village where one was born. Which are the most common Indian surnames and their meanings?

Most common Indian last names

The most common Indian last names are:

  • Acharya: The meaning is "priest" or "man of learning".
  • Agarwal: This surname comes from the word Agroha. Agroha was formerly the capital city of Agar Sen.
  • Asan: The meaning is "teacher".
  • Ahuja: This Sikh surname translates to "the descendant of Ahu."
  • Anand: This is one of the common Indian last names whose meaning is "joy".
  • Babu: The name Babu is one of the most popular on the Indian surnames list. It is a name that shows respect for a man.
  • Bakshi: This Indian last name translates to "paymaster." In ancient times, the name was given to officials whose role was distributing wages in Muslim armies.

Indian last names
Source: UGC
  • Balakrishnan: This name is one of the common Indian surnames, especially in South India. It translates to "child Krishna."
  • Bandyopadhyay: It translates to "respected teacher."
  • Basu: Basu is an appellation of Lord Shiva. It signifies wealth and radiance.
  • Bedi: It translates to "one who knows the Vedas."
  • Bhat: The meaning of this name is "the learned one."
  • Chattopadhyay: It refers to a teacher who hails from Chatta village in Bengal.
  • Chandra: The meaning is "moon" or "shining".
  • Chakrabarti: The meaning of Chakrabarti is "emperor".
  • Chaturvedi: It translates to "the one who is well-educated about all the four Vedas."
  • Chauhan: This name was associated with prestige and honour in ancient Hindu communities. Chauhan kings ruled in the state of Rajasthan as well as other states.
  • Chopra: It means the descendants of Chaupat Rai, who was a warrior.
  • Chowdhury: This surname was given to heads of communities in ancient times.

Indian surnames
Source: UGC
  • Deshmukh: It translates to "one who is the leader of a country or territory."
  • Desai: It means "landlord".
  • Deshpande: It refers to the head or leader of a region.

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  • Dhar: The meaning is "mountain" or "credit".
  • Dhawan: It translates to "messenger" or "runner."
  • Dhirwan: The meaning of Dhirwan is "the one who worships Maa Rajrajeswari and spreads his teachings".
  • Dubashi: It refers to a person who knows two languages or a translator.
  • Dwivedi: Dwivedi is a person who has learned and mastered two Vedas.
Common Indian last names
Source: UGC
  • Gandhi: It means "the one who sells perfume". In the Gujarati language, Gandhi is a pharmacist or grocer.
  • Ganguly: The meaning of Ganguly is "a teacher from the village of Ganga".
  • Ghosh: It means "cowherd".
  • Gill: The meaning is "prosperity", "moisture" or "lake".
  • Gokhale: It means "the eye of a cow".
  • Gupta: The meaning is "protected" or "a ruler".
  • Haldar: This name means "the one who holds a plough". It is also an appellation of Balarama.
  • Iyer: The meaning of Iyer is "noble".
  • Iyengar: This name refers to a person who has undergone all the five purification rituals.
  • Jain: It means "triumph" or "a follower of Jainism".
  • Jha: The meaning of Jha is "teacher".
  • Jindal: It refers to "a king who is made of steel".
  • Joshi: It is a short form of Jyotshi, meaning "astrologer".

Indian surname
Source: UGC
  • Kakkar: It refers to "a strong person".
  • Kaniyar: It refers to people who calculate before taking any step.
  • Kapoor: This name refers to the descendants of the moon. Another meaning is "camphor".
  • Kapadia: The meaning is "cloth merchant".
  • Kaviraj: The meaning of Kaviraj is "doctor".
  • Khanna: This name refers to the descendants of the Khan clan. It also translates to "sword".
  • Khatri: This is one of the most popular Indian family names, which means "ruler".
  • Kocchar: It means "armour".
  • Kori: The meaning of Kori is "clean".
  • Kumar: The surname Kumar is an epithet of god Kartikeya who was the son of Lord Shiva.
  • Lal: It means "darling".
Indian last name
Source: UGC
  • Mahajan: It translates to "a great or big person". It also refers to a banker.
  • Mahto: It refers to the leader of the village.
  • Mangal: The meaning of Mangal is "auspicious".
  • Maurya: It refers to one of the biggest and greatest empires in ancient India.
  • Mehta: The name means chief in modern Indian communities. In Gujarati, it translates to "accountant" or "teacher".
  • Mehra: It refers to the descendants of the sun.
  • Mishra: The meaning is "blended" or "mixed".
  • Mukherjee: The meaning of Mukherjee is "teacher".
  • Modi: It refers to a person from the Modi clan.
  • Nai: The meaning of Nai is "barber".
  • Naidu: This name means "leader" or "chief".
  • Nayar: It means "soldier" or "leader".
  • Nagarajan: It means "cobra king".

Common Indian surnames
Source: UGC
  • Odda: It refers to agriculture labourers and workers.
  • Pamireddy: It translates to "the snake killer".
  • Qassab: It translates to "butcher".
  • Rai: The name Rai means "chief", "king" or "the sovereign one".
  • Rajput: It means "ruler".
  • Saini: It refers to the head of the army.
  • Sachdev: It means "true", "good" or "virtuous".
  • Shah: Shah is a popular Hindu surname. It means "emperor". In the Jain and Gujarati languages, it also means "merchant".
  • Sharma: This is a prestigious name that means "shelter" or "joy".
  • Seth: The name Seth refers to a merchant or a banker.
  • Sinha: It means "lion".
  • Singh: It is a very popular last name. It means "the eminent one", "lion" or "hero".
  • Ranganathan: This Hindu last name translates to "the lord of mirth". It is also an appellation of Lord Krishna.
Indian surname
Source: UGC
  • Tandon: It means "sun" or "warrior".
  • Telaga: This name refers to agriculture labourers.
  • Thakur: It means "lord" or "deity".
  • Trivedi: It refers to the one who has learned and mastered three Vedas.
  • Pandey: This name comes from the word Pandita, which means "scholar".
  • Patel: This name ranks high on the list of most common Indian last names. Patel means "the headman of the village".
  • Parekh: It means "assayer" in the Gujarati community.
  • Purohit: Purohit translates to "one who is placed foremost". It denotes a priest in the Hindu community.
  • Undirmare: It refers to the one who kills mice.
  • Varma: Which is the most common surname in India? Varma is one of the most popular Indian last names. It means "protection" or "armour".
  • Velama: It translates to "agricultural labourers".
  • Venkatesh: It translates to "master", "lord" or "husband".
  • Waghdare: It refers to the one who catches tigers.
  • Warsi: The meaning of Warsi is "the loveable one".
  • Yadav: It refers to the clique of Krishna.
  • Zaveri: The meaning is "jeweller".
  • Zutshi: The name refers to a person who is friendly by nature.

The Indian community has beautiful and meaningful names. In the past, having a surname was not mandatory. People from the Indian communities started giving their children surnames after British colonisation. Today, almost all Indians have Indian last names that indicate one's family or community. If you are searching for the perfect Indian name for your child, the list above offers you a wide variety from which you can get the ideal name.


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