Khangar

Who are they?

The Khangar claim that they are of the same status as Rajputs who are of the Kshatriya caste (second highest class of warriors). They trace their ancestry from Khet Singh and Bhopat Singh of the Grah Kundal princely state of Tikamgarh (Russel and Hiralal, 1916). There is a print of the caste genealogy that establishes their Kshatriya identity. However, this status is not accepted by the higher castes and they are considered to be middle or low in hierarchy.

They are called Khangar Thakur (a title used by Rajputs) in Uttar Pradesh where they number around one hundred and fifty thousand. In Bihar they are known as Raj Thakur and in Kota, Rajasthan, as Gohenja. Other names they are known by are Khengor, Khand, Kharal, Khara, Kharwal, Kotwar, Kotpal, Rao Khangad, Rawat and Roy.

Origin

The term Khangar has been derived from the words khang and dhoran meaning sword-holder or sword-bearer. They are thought to be a courageous people and were in the past employed by local chiefs and kings to fight in their armed troops. However, colonial anthropologist, William Crooke (1896), describes the Khangar as “landless laborers, servants, village watchmen and prone to commit thefts and burglaries.”

They are listed as a Scheduled Caste in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This status is given to lower castes that have been oppressed and inhumanely treated by the society over centuries. Under India’s affirmative action programs, this new status grants the Khangar many special benefits such as fixed quotas in government jobs and colleges, reserved seats in all legislative bodies and other opportunities.

Language

The Khangar speak local dialects of the regions they live in as well as Hindi and use the Devanagari script. In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh the Bundelkhandi dialect of Hindi is used, in Bihar their mother tongue is Angika, while in Rajasthan Hindi is used. They accept food and water from the communities considered higher in the social rank, but usually food cooked by them is not accepted by the higher castes.

Location

The Khangar’s are widely distributed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. They originated from the rugged Bundelkhand region which is spread over parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and migrated to neighboring states.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The traditional and primary occupation of the Khangar is agriculture. The exception is the vast central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where their traditional vocation is weaving. However, at present only a few Khangar pursue weaving, having given it up in favour of more profitable enterprises such as selling cloth, manufacturing and sales of perfumed oil and cosmetic goods, or masonry. Among the Khangar who farm, almost all families own at least small plots of cultivable land except in the state of Bihar where the majority is landless and works as farm labourers. Even in Rajasthan where land is scarce and unsustainable, they resort to farming. During lean periods they migrate to neighboring places in search of work. Some Khangar work for the government or private sector; some build roads and construct houses, collect and sell firewood or are tailors. Political leadership has emerged at a village level – that executes development programs at grass-roots level.

Overall, the Khangar’s attitude to education is favorable in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The reality is that the literacy rate is still below the national average. Both boys and girls study up to college level. In Rajasthan and Bihar, girls especially are not sent to school and the literacy levels are poor.

The Khangar practice family planning and do believe in modern medicine, avail of official development programs and agricultural loans from nationalized and cooperative banks. Bihari Khangars however do not.

The Khangar eat meat such as chicken, mutton, fish and pork, but not beef, which is religiously unacceptable. Those living in Madhya Pradesh do not eat pork as well. Their staple cereals are wheat, rice, millet, lentils, seasonal vegetables, fruit and milk and milk products. Alcoholic drinks, mostly country liquor purchased from the local market, are also consumed by them. They smoke bidis (rolled and dried tendu leaves) and cigarettes and relish zarda (flavoured chewing tobacco) and paan (betel leaves with aromatic ingredients).

Customs

The Khangar are endogamous at the community level and exogamous at the clan level. Marriages are arranged by relatives and adult marriages are more common now though child marriages are still common in the desert state of Rajasthan. The marriageable age varies from ten to sixteen years for girls and from twelve to twenty years for boys.
The Khangar are largely monogamous and polygamy is observed in rare cases.

Marriages are performed by a Brahmin priest in the bride’s home and after marriage the couple lives with or near the husband’s family. Bangles, vermilion mark in the hair parting, toe rings and nose rings are the symbols of a married woman. Both dowry and bride-price are paid in cash and kind. However, dowry is preferred to bride-price now. Divorce is socially acceptable and either spouse can instigate it, and compensation is given to the aggrieved party. Widow, widower and divorcee remarriage is permitted but the marriage ceremony is kept simple. If a married woman elopes with her lover, he has to pay compensation to her humiliated husband. Junior sororate and junior levirate are practiced by them.

Traditional extended families as well as nuclear families exist among the Khangar. Only males receive an inheritance. Some portion is saved as dowry for unmarried daughters. The eldest son succeeds his father as head of the home. Women are subordinate to men and have a low status in every aspect of their lives. They perform specific roles in social, religious, domestic and economic activities.

The Khangar have traditional Jati Panchayats (caste councils) with their members, who are usually senior in age and experience, being generally elected by voice vote. These councils resolve minor civil and criminal matters concerning the community members such as those relating to marital breakdown, elopement, divorce, hooliganism and property squabbles. Punishments in the form of cash fines, social boycott and/or excommunication are imposed by the councils on the guilty.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Khangar are Hindu by faith. They worship various clan, family, village and regional deities. Many temples have been constructed by them for Radha, Krishna, Shankara and Gopala. Radha was Krishna’s favorite mistress as well as an incarnation of Lakhsmi, the goddess of wealth.

Worshippers of Radha Krishna celebrate the divine and carnal love of this couple. Their love is a popular theme with poets and artists over centuries. Shankara (beneficent) is one of Shiva’s 1008 names and Gopala (cowherd) is a name given to Krishna. The Khangar also worship many other gods and goddesses such as Balaji (another version of Krishna), Rama, (hero of the Ramayana, a religious epic), Durga (savage demon slayer) and Ganesh (elephant-headed son of Shiva, remover of obstacles and god of good luck and wisdom).

The Khangar believe in evil spirits and witchcraft. They rely on local sorcerers and witchdoctors called bhopa and bhagat to ward off evil spirits and evil eye and to cast spells for them. Ancestor worship is prevalent among them, and ancestors are appeased during marriages and pitra paksha (manes’ fortnight). This is the dark half of the month of Asvina (September-October) in the lunar Hindu calendar during which spirits are supposedly active.

The Khangar engage a Brahmin priest to conduct religious rituals and to cremate their dead. Birth and death pollution for specified periods is observed. Varanasi and Gaya are important places of pilgrimage. They celebrate the festivals of Janamashtami (birthday of Krishna), Holi (spring festival of colours), Diwali (festival of lamps), Rakshabandhan (when girls/women tie a thread around their brothers’ wrists who in turn pledge to protect them).

 

43 Comments

  1. why we are not arrange khangar samaj introduction meeting

    Reply
    • false informetion…………………………wrong

      Reply
      • yes;its true we are arranged meeting on time to time…AS required……..’;

        Reply
        • समाज में जागरूकता लाना अति आवश्यक है। इसके लिये प्रतिमाह मीटिंग यदि होती रहे तो अति उत्तम होगा।

          Reply
          • The information given in this dialect is not upto the mark or it can be said that it was just stated on the basis of the verdict as specified by the rich or the clan’s who are jealous to us (KHANGARS) as earlier most of the so called “Kshatriya” or “Rajputs” have been defeated by “Khangars” and later it was the matter of the time period that the other Rajput Chieftains succeeded and they changed or disrupt the original history of the “Khangars”.
            In fact it can be said that if a great clan can defeat earliest most of the local Rajputs and the greatest of the greatest king Prithviraj himself take lunch with the Khangars then how the Khangars could be of low category, however it was due to the poverty and scarcity of khangars, the government put the society under reserve category.
            The description mentioned is not very well studied and it is the result of just to “who soever it may concern and nothing else”, otherwise the reality is more than the expectations..

      • The community ruled areas of present-day Bundelkhand after the fall of the Chandelas in 1182 A.D. and until the mid-14th century Their seat of power was at Garh Kundar, a fort built by Khub Singh Khangar. During Khangar rule, Bundelkhand was known as Jujhauti, implying the land of warriors.

        Reply
        • i m not agree with this kind of lines who describes the Khangar as
          “landless laborers, servants, village
          watchmen and prone to commit
          thefts and burglaries.”(If they were
          prone to thefts and burglaries;why
          district govt. give them service as
          watchmen ?) It is contradictory info.
          3) “They accept food and water
          from the communities considered
          higher in the social rank, but
          usually food cooked by them is not
          accepted by the higher castes.” is a
          false information..i think we have to improve your unity in our cast .jai maa gajanan & jai gad kundar jai khangar

          Reply
      • Then can you please tell me the true imformation..

        Reply
  2. this caste is muslim also in pakistan i am one of them

    Reply
    • No, this caste is not muslim…
      we are hindus…
      who the hell r u to call us muslims

      Reply
    • What the hell are you still alive if don’t know your religion..??

      Reply
  3. Good work but Some corrections reqd:-
    1)… the Grah Kundal it is “Garh Kundhar” in Teekamgarh district of M.P.
    2)… describes the Khangar as “landless laborers, servants, village watchmen and prone to commit thefts and burglaries.”(If they were prone to thefts and burglaries;why district govt. give them service as watchmen ?) It is contradictory info.
    3) “They accept food and water from the communities considered higher in the social rank, but usually food cooked by them is not accepted by the higher castes.” is a false information.

    Reply
      • hi how r u frend ? i am also khangar…. my name is manish bachhote,,,from surat( Gujarat )

        Reply
  4. The information which is given is appreciable but along with that there is something wrong….So please update it.
    Because now have improved ourselves. We don’t know about the people who are living in UP,MP, Rajshthan. But in Maharashtra we have accepted lots of new things of the new generation.

    Reply
  5. This information is not totally correct as per my knowledge…. so please i request you kindly to update it

    Reply
    • hi how r u frend ? i am also khangar…. my name is manish bachhote,,,from surat( Gujarat )

      Reply
      • Yedllll

        Reply
  6. Khangar cast sc in madhya pradesh And uttar pradsh high cast & not record in U.P. gov.

    Reply
  7. We are real kstriya rajput,so treated as general category not in sc,so plz serching the reality of this caste and than after write some trully story and plz treated in general caste

    Reply
  8. I requesting to the Indian government,plz treated as general caste of katriya khangar vansh,because this is a defem of my caste and my prastige

    Reply
  9. rajsingh khangar
    requesting to the Indian government,plz treated as general caste of katriya khangar vansh,because this is a defem of my caste and my prastige

    Reply
  10. atam singh rana khangar

    Reply
  11. Good work , but some things need to update and correct.

    Reply
  12. I am khangar

    Reply
  13. endangered species of our country

    Reply
  14. information is not appropriate and it required lots of changes and few things are totally wrong so plz dnt believe in such kind stupid things v r hindu n kshatriya thakur rest of the thing are general hindu tradition and culture and we hv deep rooted history in india

    Reply
  15. All khangar vans of Ra khangar junagarh girnar and other jadeja khangarot vanse of Ra khangar

    Reply
  16. i am also a khangar kshatriya, i want improve our cast with our powerty .

    Reply
  17. Mp me sc me ate h to sab log nichi samaj ka samaj te h to mujhe sarm ati h sab ko milkar mp me bhi ganral me name lane ke liy sarkar se bat karni chahiy.

    Reply
  18. it’s true ki hum rajput h to sc yaa general se koi fark nhi padtha or sc mai ane ka matlb hai ki MP mai kuch khangar ki financial condition sahi nhi hai ye nhi ki hum rajput hai yaa nhi………….. ”jai kheta khangar”.

    Reply
  19. Comment iam chhatriea khangar me khangar samaj ke vikas samradhi aurkhushali ke kamna karta hoo gadkundar ke vikash me hamesh sahevagi bane ji ma gajanan ji khetsingh khangar ji chhatrieakhangar

    Reply
    • Hiii.i am subham anand from araria(bihar).i am also khanghar(mandal).we are all happy in our state.and how are you.we are come in Obc.i am proud because i am khanghar…

      Reply
  20. i m not agree with this kind of lines who describes the Khangar as
    “landless laborers, servants, village
    watchmen and prone to commit
    thefts and burglaries.”(If they were
    prone to thefts and burglaries;why
    district govt. give them service as
    watchmen ?) It is contradictory info.
    3) “They accept food and water
    from the communities considered
    higher in the social rank, but
    usually food cooked by them is not
    accepted by the higher castes.” is a
    false information..i think we have to improve your unity in our cast .jai maa gajanan & jai gad kundar jai khangar

    Reply
  21. This information is totall wrong and only in mp and raj we come in sc in all over rindia we are in gen catogry

    Reply
  22. I m not agree this information

    This is false information in our caste……

    Jai khangaar

    Reply
  23. Khangar means sword holder is itself enough to define everything no need of more explanation. This article looks that some body is so much jealous of khangar’s. We dont need any approval for being a Rajput

    Reply

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