Bharadwaja (भरद्वाज / भारद्वाज) was one of the greatest Hindu Arya sages (Maharshis) descendant of rishi Angirasa, whose accomplishments are detailed in the Puranas. He was one of the Saptarshis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa. Bharadwaja rishi was father of Dronacharya and grand father of Ashwatthama. Bharadwaja Maharshi, a sage of the Vedic period, is renowned for his thirst for knowledge. He attained extraordinary scholarship and the power of meditation.
Bharadwaj as Gotra means people who are the descendants of Rishi Bharadwaj. Rishi Bharadwaj was the son of sage Brihaspati. Sage Brihaspati was the son of Rishi Angiras. These 3 rishis are called the traya rishi of the Bharadwaja Gotra.in earlier days Sages were only Brahmins excepting Sage Vishwamitra. Also all the warrior brahmins became Kshatriyas later. Later all the business minded Kshatriyas became vaishyas. Hence there are people of all the three communities having a common Gotra especially Bhardwaj Gotra. Guru Dronacharya was the son of sage Bharadwaj.(more sattada srivaishnavas are belongs to this gotra)
In India, Bharadwaja is an ancestor of Brahmin People belonging to the Bharadwaja gotra. Bharadwaja who is the great grand son of Lord Brahma is the root for his clan, Bharadwaja gotra( eg: Rajpurohit ).
North India(Pancha Gauda Brahmins) Kashmir Himachal Pradesh: around 60% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Punjab: around 45% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Haryana: around 40%-45% of Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra. Rajasthan: around 35% of Rajasthani Brahmins have Bharadwaja as their gotra and kuldevta as Shri Lakshmi Narsimha. Uttrakhand South India(Pancha Dravida Brahmins) Maharashtra Vaidiki velanadi brahmans in Coastal Andhra Pradesh Karnataka: Among Smartha and Madhawa Brahmins Tamil Nadu: Among Iyers and Iyengars Namboodiri Brahmins In Kerala. Mostly found in the Brahmins who migrated southwards from Kannauj