Kapadi is one of the minority Hindu community of India, who are followers of Kapadi Sampradaya.
Origin of Kapadi community, according to the folklore, is associated with Lord Rama. The legend states that Rama visited Hinglaj (Sindh, now in Pakistan ), dressed as a Kapadi, to get rid of the sin of killing Ravana, who was a Brahmin by birth.
This dress was given by Rama to one Laljusraj, who accompanied him on the trip. Laljusraj is said to be founder of Kapadi sect. It is believed that it is the same dress, that is preserved at Mekan Dada Temple at Dhrang.
Kapadi community are mainly found in Kutch, Gujarat, where they are held in very high regards and there are many followers of this sect. Kapadi are considered to be descendant of Kshatriya princes.
A Kapadi priest or saint is called Dada as a mark of respect. In Kutch, Kapadi priests, hold the post of chief priest of temple of Ashapura Mata at Mata no Madh, which is chief deity or Kuldevi of Jadeja rulers of Kutch. They are known as Rajabawa, and were given villages as an estate by the rulers of Kutch.
Divisions of Kapadi Sect
There are main four groups of Kapadi Sampradaya.
- Ramsnehi Kapadi - who worship Rama as their chief deity and are found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh
- Ashapuri Kapadi - who worship Ashapura Mata, and were originally located in Kutch but have now migrated to other areas.
- Sravani Kapadi - who are mainly found in Banaskantha district of Gujarat
- Mekapanthi Kapadi - who are followers of Mekan Dada, and are the most recent sect of Kapadi community.
The community consider themselves at par with other upper caste community and this is accepted by others also.
The dead among Kapadi are given samadhi. Only Raja Bawas are cremated.
The agriculture is main occupation of Kapadi community, others being involved in small business and jobs.
- ^ a b c d e f  Gujarat, Part 1 By Kumar Suresh Singh, Rajendra Behari Lal, Anthropological Survey of India.
- ^  Kutch in festival and custom By K. S. Dilipsinh