The Most Popular Last Name in India, Ranked

Choose the last name you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 21, 2024 07:01
Determining the most popular last name in India can be quite insightful, given the country's rich tapestry of cultures and languages. By ranking these names, one gains an understanding of the diverse ancestry and regional variations that characterize this nation of over a billion people. This list not only reflects historical and geographical influences but also illuminates common cultural threads throughout the population. Engaging with this list allows users to contribute their perspectives, enhancing the accuracy of the ranking. Your votes help refine the visibility of each surname, providing a clearer picture of naming trends across different states and communities. Through your participation, we create a more dynamic and representative ranking that truly mirrors the societal composition of India.

What Is the Most Popular Last Name in India?

  1. 1


    A title, middle name, or surname that means 'lion' in various South Asian and Southeast Asian communities.
    • Meaning: Lion
  2. 2


    Originating from the Indian subcontinent, Patel is a surname representing a caste of village leaders.
    • Caste Association: Village leaders
  3. 3


    A common surname and given name in India, meaning 'prince'.
    • Meaning: Prince
  4. 4


    Derived from Sanskrit, Gupta is a common surname meaning 'protector' or 'governor'.
    • Meaning: Protector or governor
  5. 5


    A common surname in India and Nepal that denotes joy or shelter.
    • Meaning: Joy or shelter
  6. 6


    A surname of Indian origin, particularly common among Telugu-speaking people, denoting a village head.
    • Ethnic Association: Telugu
  7. 7


    A surname of Mongolic and later Turkic and Persian origin, widely used in South Asia.
    • Origin: Mongolic, Turkic, Persian
  8. 8


    A surname representing followers of Jainism, a religion originating from India.
    • Religious Association: Jainism
  9. 9


    A surname of Indian origin that means 'chief' or 'great'.
    • Meaning: Chief or great
  10. 10


    A surname of Indian origin, particularly among the Agarwal community, meaning 'trader'.
    • Community Association: Agarwal

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular last name in India. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or surname is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 189 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each surname once every 24 hours. The rank of each surname is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Last Name in India

Rank #1 for the most popular last name in India: Singh (Source)
In India, last names carry deep cultural and historical significance. They often reflect a person's heritage, community, and even profession. The most popular last name in India is widespread, cutting across various regions and linguistic groups. It represents a large segment of the population and holds a rich tapestry of stories and traditions.

Historically, last names in India have roots in the caste system. This system, though less rigid today, once played a crucial role in determining social status and occupation. Many last names are derived from the caste to which a person belonged. Thus, a last name could indicate whether someone was a priest, warrior, merchant, or laborer.

Geography also influences last names in India. The country has many states, each with its own language and customs. As a result, the same last name can have different pronunciations and spellings across regions. This diversity adds to the complexity and richness of Indian last names.

Migration within India has further spread popular last names. People move from rural areas to cities for better opportunities. This movement has blended cultures and communities, making certain last names more common in urban centers. The spread of popular last names is a testament to India's dynamic and ever-evolving society.

Religious influence is another factor in the prevalence of certain last names. India is home to many religions, each with its own traditions and naming conventions. Some last names are associated with specific religious groups, yet they are shared by people across different faiths. This overlap highlights the interwoven nature of Indian society.

Education and modernization have also played a role in the popularity of last names. As more people gain access to education, they often adopt last names that reflect their aspirations and achievements. This trend has led to the rise of certain last names that symbolize progress and success.

Despite the changes in society, the most popular last name in India remains a strong marker of identity. It connects individuals to their roots and provides a sense of belonging. It is a reminder of the rich history and cultural diversity that define India.

In conclusion, the most popular last name in India is more than just a label. It embodies the country's complex social structure, geographical diversity, religious plurality, and evolving identity. It is a symbol of unity in diversity, reflecting the myriad influences that shape the lives of millions of Indians.

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