Arakh


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Who are they?

The Arakh are a small community of cultivators of about 250,000 in number.  It is believed that they migrated from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, which is one of seven sacred cities for Hindus.  The Arakh have two endogamous subgroups, namely, Suryavanshi Arakh (of the sun’s lineage) and Mooti Arakh. The Mooti Arak, smaller in number, have traditionally been horse-trainers and horsemen.

Origin

According to ethnologists Russel and Hiralal (Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, 1916) the Arakh are thought to be an offshoot of the Pasi or Bahelia caste of hunters and fowlers.  In fact, all their traditions connect them with the numerically large Pasi caste, and like them, occupy a low position in the Hindu caste system.  To raise their social standing, they claim to have descended from a warrior class and affix Singh, which denotes warrior lineage, to their names as proof of this.

Various legends about the origins of their community exist.  William Crooke (Tribes and Castes of the North-Western India, 1896) writes that Parshurama (warrior, sage and sixth incarnation of Vishnu) sent for persons of the Pasi community to help him in one of his wars but they ran away and hid in a lentil field and were called Arakh from then on.  Another meaning of Arakh is a front-liner in the army.

Another story relates how a leech bit Parshurama’s foot while he was bathing in the sea, causing it to bleed.  He divided the blood into two parts; one he made the Pasi and out of the other half, the first Arakh.  The Arakh speak Awadhi, an Indo-Aryan language but are also familiar with Hindi. The Devanagari script is used for both.  They have maintained traditional communal links with the Nai (barber), Dhobi (washer man), Dhanuk (cotton carder), Mali (gardener) and Kumhar (potter).

Location

The Arakh reside mainly in the vast North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh They live in the fertile alluvial districts of Kanpur, Lucknow, Hardoi, Lakhimpur, Barabanki and Meerut of Uttar Pradesh. They are also found scattered in some areas of central India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

While the traditional occupation of the Arakh is cultivation, some are employed in both government and private sectors at various levels.  Others earn a living as daily-wage labourers in agriculture and industry.  A very small number are engaged in bird-catching, hunting small game and training horses while some educated Arakh are professionals.

The Arakh eat meat except for beef, which is not eaten by Hindus for religious reasons.  Their diet consists of cereals like wheat and rice supplemented by pulses, seasonal vegetables, fruit and dairy products.  The men consume alcohol occasionally.

Formal education is encouraged for sons but daughters are less likely to be given the same opportunity.  The Arakh use both modern and traditional medicines and are generally in favor of family planning methods.

The Arakh marry only within the community and marital alliances are arranged by negotiation among family members.  They do not marry their daughters into the same village from which a daughter-in-law is from.  The main symbols of marriage for women are sindur (vermilion mark in the mid-head hair parting), bangles, toe-rings and anklets.  Divorce is permissible and one silver article is given to a divorced woman as a symbol of divorce.  Remarriage is socially acceptable for widows, widowers and divorcees.

In matters of inheritance, the Arakh follow the principle of male equigeniture by which all the sons get equal shares.  Daughters receive no share of the inheritance. The eldest son succeeds his father as the head of the family.  Though Arakh women are not considered equal to men, their opinions are considered when deciding family matters.  In addition to domestic duties, the women also help men in the fields and work to earn a living.

The Arakh have a strong sense of being a distinct community and the first community convention was held in 1924 at Meerut where they began a movement for recognition as Suryavanshi Kshatriya (second highest class of warriors in the four-fold Hindu class system).

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Arakh are Hindu by faith. They worship all the major deities of the Hinduism – Vishnu, Shiva, Kali (wife of Shiva), Rama (king of Ayodhya – personifying righteousness), Durga (the ten-armed warrior goddess), Hanuman (the monkey god) and Parashurama, a community deity.  They celebrate Hindu festivals of Holi (spring festival of colors), Diwali (festival of lights), Ramanavmi (birthday of Rama), Maha Sivaratri (great night of Shiva) and many others.

The Arakh observe pollution after the birth of a child and a ritual naming (namkaran) ceremony is held on the sixth day after birth.  A mundan (when the newborn’s head is shaved) is also performed.  Unlike other Hindus, they bury their dead and a ceremony known as juria is observed for three days during which grass, sesame and water are offered to the gods. This is followed by two more rituals performed on the tenth and thirteenth days.

 

16 Comments

  1. We r criater of own Destiny.

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  2. The author is seems to be a BASTARD. Either not aware with the history and origin of Arakhs, or he/she is trying to mislead the whole generation. Arakhs are one of the ancient-most kshatriya tribes of Indian origin and not the Passi or Bahelia. Check the Wiki for the details. Admin please update the details.

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  3. Above all the matter is wrong plz administration should stop the comments for caste of Arakh or arkvanshi. The caste is pure kshatriya clen in owdh. The Russell and Hiralal both are misconduct and misguided of Wikipedia. Look matter and take action about this. Thanks

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  4. Who soever written about Arakhs clan has really misguided. It’s not true at all but true is that Govt. has never given attention on this caste because of less number of population and almost nil participation in politics. Following is the real history of Arakh. I am also Post Graduate and have keen interest in History since beginning:

    The Arks are a martial Suryawanshi kshatriya tribe who at one time ruled large areas of Awadh. The heroes of Ark clan include sun-worshipper Maharaja Trilok Chand (who captured the throne of Delhi in 918 A.D. by defeating king Vikrampal), Salhia Singh (who established the town of Sandila), Malhia Singh (who established the town of Malihabad) and Maharaja Khadagsen (who established Khaga town in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh).

    Arks claim themselves to be the ancient-most kshatriya tribe of Indian origin. They claim their descent from ancient Suryawanshi kshatriya clan to which Lord Rama belonged. ‘Ark’ is said to be the distorted form of ‘Arka’ (a Sanskrit word meaning sun). ‘Arkawanshi’ is a synonym of ‘Suryawanshi’. Thus a clan of Suryawanshis was also called as ‘Arkawanshi’. The founder of Suryavansha Vaivasvat Manu was also known ‘Arka Tanaya’ meaning ‘the son of Arka’. ‘Arkawanshi’ became ‘Arka’ and later ‘Arak’ and ‘Arakh’ in locally spoken dialects. Arakhs have been the worshipper of sun god (Arka – and Lord Shiva. Arkawanshis also have different sub-clans as Khangars, Gauds, Bachhals and Adhiraj.

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  5. I m also arakh and I live in Delhi … But I have not knowledge about the history of our community… Please provide information….

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  6. I agree with the views given by mr s k thakur please forward more information about the arakh wansh

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  7. Please all history remove thats not truth.

    aapne likhne se pahle kisi arkvanshi samaj se arakh arkvanshi ki history ke bbare me conferm kiya. aapko sharm nahi aayi paasio bahelion ke sath jodte huye. please remove immideatly. nahi to court me hi mulakat hogi.

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  8. My name is Pradeep k.singh.I am gov.teacher in bangarmau Unnao u.p. Feels that Mr.Hiralal is surrounded with purvagrha of hate with Arakh.I want to tell him that arakh are not similar as pasi baheliya or other such castes.I heard from my purvaj’s and study in harivansh puran that arakhs are suryavanshi .which are Kshatriya of ayodhya and related with lord Ram.I study that arakhs are originated in the vansh of Ram;The king of Ayodhya.lord Gautam Buddha was related with Shatrughna younger brother of Ram.who rulled over Shravasti. In shatrughna’s vansh lord Buddha born .in hid vansha there originated Arakhs.Thus it is certified that Arakhs Are zSuryavanshi Kshatriya.I tell you that the Arakh word is distorted word of Ark.which meant Surya.This caste name is Ark which distorted as Arakh and after as Aarakh aspronunciated by old illitrate indian as they called Neelam as Leelam.thus they called arakh or aarakh to Ark.I want to tell you that arkh or ark are pure kshtriya not pasi or baheliya.so indian gov.had put it in Back word caste ;not in Sc caste.mr Hira Lal ! I asked you “from where you have received such wrong information.please get truth knowledge and remove this nonsense information from wabesite.

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  9. I am agree with Mr SK thakur its not arakh its arka and we r the vansuj of maharaja vikram Singh who established the fort of sandila.

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  10. I want to talk with Mr Op arkwanshi

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  11. Admin is really bullshit..He/She really don’t know about Arkwanshis history…I suggest you admin if you don’t know about history so don’t try to misguide anyone..

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  12. whole information have made just like a joke…admin has not any type of knowledge about arkwansh. ..plz take information with cool mind from mr.o.p.singh ji .i am sure u will get lots of information n u will also shame on that………jay ho

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  13. Bhismpitamah of Arkvanshi (Dr.jiwan arkvanshi

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  14. That’s not real matter provided by admin..and on that joke admin should go to hell… Understand.. We r ancient kshatriya n vanshaj of LORD SHRI RAM WHO IS WORSHIPER OF SUN…AND ALSO KASHYAP GOTRA….u tell that a past cast have its own gotra…I request to Mr op Singh presidenc of ARKVANSHI KSHATRIYA plz make an action against that bloody writer as soon as possible…because it provide false notion to the people of our cast.. Thanks

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  15. Educated people only beleives on wikipedia.

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  16. everything whatever here written totally destruct the mean of arkwanshi. i am not satisfied with author .no dought something will be written here right. but i think author don’t know about the arakh Civilization.i would like to talk the admin of this page … contact me-7275508768

    Reply

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