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The Anavils are Brahmins by cast but they are "grahasthi" Brahmins and unlike the most other Brahmin communities they do not perform priestly duties. Hence, they got no alms or gifts from clients. This is why they are called "Ayachki Brahmins" - meaning Brahmins who don't take alms. Anavils usually follows Lord Shiva, however, these days this distinction is not acute - they are broader in their interpretation of religious affiliation.

The anavil itself is intersting. It is a combination of two Sanskrit words, UN and Avil. UN is a common Sanskrit prefix which means "not" and Avil means "dirty" or "impure". Thus, the two words together mean "not impure". The double negative usage signifies very pure. One might conclude from a historical perspective that Anvail must have had a reputation for being very upright and having integrity.

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