India is a vast country with rich cultural heritage and diversified cast systems. A person is identified by the caste and his profession identifies the caste.  Thus a particular group associated with a profession is termed as a caste by the same name in spite of the fact that such groups belong to different religion or faith or culture. Ganiga is one such name of a caste, which is derived out of the job of vegetable oil extracting in the traditional method….more……
Oil extractors are known in different names according to the geographical and linguistic area of the country. In northern India they are called Teli or Tailik or Granthi etc. whereas in southern part of the country it is Ganiga, Ganigera, Gandla, Vanniar, Chettiyar etc. In course of time there emerged sub castes/groups among these. Some of them are known by different surnames such as Sahu, Patil, Shetty, Setty, Chetty and Sapalya etc.
Ganiga is a caste known in Karnataka State of South India. They are again split into different sub communities of different faith and beliefs such as Somakshatriya Ganiga, Ganiga Shetty, Jyothipana Ganiga, Ontettu Ganiga, Jodettu Ganiga, Veerashaiva Ganiga, Vijayanagara Ganiga etc. The name Ganiga is derived of Gana the traditional oil press used by them. In Sanskrit literature of about 500 BC there is a specific reference to an oil-press, or Ganis, although it was never described (by Monier-Williams, M. 1899. A Sanskrit-English dictionary by Motilal Bnarasidas of Delhi, India, Reprinted in1963).
We belong to the community of Somakshatriya Ganiga commenly known as Ganiga in the Coastal districts of Udupi, South Kanara and North Kanara of the state.

Population

A total of about 3725 households spread out at 1490 in Kundapur region, 910 in Barkur region, 875 in Bangalore region, 240 in Mumbai region and 210 in other regions are estimated. The population estimated is only of South Kanara and Udupi based and estimate of North Kanara is not done. The total population is estimated to be of about 18000 out of which males are of 51%. The literates constitute 96% of the population. While persons with elementary education stand at 39%, Matriculates are of 47% and Graduates and above are at 10%. Professional Graduates such as Doctors 32, engineers 156 and other professionals 30 are estimated. The above figures are of a rough estimate and the exact census is being done.

Amongst the members 1 has been elevated up to the top level, 2 have occupied the Senior Executive level in Nationalized Banks. 2 have occupied senior position in Govt. Depts. As many as 103 are IT professionals 12 are practicing Lawyers and 7 are practicing Chartered Accountants. Only one from North Kanara is representing as an MLA. While many have actively associated with local politics few represented as Panchayat members.