Khatri

Who are they?

The Khatri are a trading and mercantile community, who originated in Punjab and spread to the many states in which they now live. Numbering around 2.5 million, they live in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chandigarh. In all, they are distributed in over 132 districts in the country and have 241 segments.

The Khatri claim to be Rajput: the second highest class of warriors in the fourfold Hindu caste system. They believe that their name is a corrupt derivation of the Sanskrit word Kshatriya, which is a synonym of Rajput. During the British rule of the 19th century, the Khatri virtually had a monopoly over trade in Punjab and neighbouring Afghanistan. There is no doubt that the Khatri is an influential community of northwestern India; one that has emerged as one of the most progressive and dynamic in recent years. Before India’s independence and resultant partition in 1947 the Khatri were settled mainly in the western part of pre-partition Punjab (now in Pakistan) and shortly after began migrating to India.

Origin

There are many theories regarding their origin. One legend relates that Parashurama (Rama, 6th incarnation of Vishnu) wanted to massacre the Kshatriyas and caused every Kshatriya woman to miscarry. However, some women escaped and took shelter in Brahmin (highest priestly caste) houses. The Brahmin declared them to be Brahmin and even ate with them in order to show Parashurama that the Kshatriya women were from their caste, and thus saved them. According to this story, the children born of these women became the Khatri.

Language

The language spoken by the Khatri people varies from state to state. In Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, the Indo-Aryan language, Punjabi, is their first language and the Gurumukhi script is used to write it. However, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, they also speak Dogri and Bhadrawahi. Hindi is the primary language in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and it is written in the Devanagari script. They speak Maithili in Bihar, Mewari or Marwari in Rajasthan, Pahari in Himachal Pradesh and Kacchi in Gujarat. Most Khatri are also fluent in Hindi language and many educated Khatri speak English.

What are their lives like?

The Khatri are businessmen, traders, professional moneylenders and financiers. Their business pursuits range from owning and operating village shops to being major wholesale traders and industrialists. However, there are also some who practice agriculture and rear animals. Many are contractors and transporters, while a few are employed in government and private sectors. The Khatri of Gujarat are known for their cloth which they print and dye as well as the specialized art of bandhini (tying and dyeing fabrics), while in Maharashtra they are the traditional weavers of silk saris, especially the famous paithani saris.

The Khatri are also engineers, doctors, scientists, army, police, administrators, politicians and creative artists. Generally, they are highly literate. They encourage both sons and daughters to study and graduate.

The Khatri use modern medicine as well as indigenous medicines. They practice family planning. Official development programs have brought numerous opportunities to them and they make full use of the schemes offered relating to subsidized loans and irrigation facilities; and made optimum use of the Public Distribution System and national banks for personal savings and obtaining loans for commercial purposes.

Customs

This is an endogamous community – that is they do not marry outside their group. However they do marry between clans, and often, villages. The clan names are also often used as surnames. In Punjab (where they are largely concentrated in the districts of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, and Patiala), the Khatri have four subgroups, namely, Bahri, Bunjahi, Sariu and Khokhrar, which are further divided into a large number of clans.

In Haryana, large numbers live in the districts of Hissar, Ambala, Rohtak, Faridabad, and Yamunanagar, and have subgroups or sub castes like Bunjahi, Sarin, and Bahri Khokhrar, divided into clans. There are two main subgroups in Delhi – the Purbia, (eastern) and Pachhadha (western), who are divided into clans such as Mehra, Kapoor, Mehrotra, Khanna, Tandon and Seth. In the hill state of Himachal Pradesh their subgroups are Bari, Bunjahi and Sarin, of which the first and second have twelve sections each and the third has one hundred and fifty-two sections. Some clans here are Chaddha, Sethi, Ratwan, Chopra, Kaure, Mehta, Mehra, Verma, Jagota and Vaidya, which are also surnames.

The Khatri of Uttar Pradesh are divided into subgroups like Kakkar, Kapoor, Khanna, Lahauri, Seth and Tandon, as well as clans like Bhalla, Bhasin, Mehra, Mehrotra, Bedi and Sodhi. The Khatri of Bihar have six subgroups, namely the Charjati , Panchjati, Chhajati, Barajati, Bahannajati, while those of Rajasthan have two subgroups divided into eighty-four gotras such as Dodecha, Gaba, Saghia, Morgoja, Morbani, Kangra, Bagecha and Sada.

Marriages are arranged through negotiation between elders and parents. Adult marriages are preferred today. There are no symbols of marriage among the Sikh Khatri women, but among those who are Hindu, married women wear (sindur) the vermilion mark, glass bangles, a coloured dot on the forehead known as bindi, toe-rings and finger rings. Monogamy has been and remains the rule among them. Dowry is common among this community, given in both cash and kind.

Both Hindu and Sikh Khatri discourage divorce, but it is allowed in extreme cases of maladjustment or barrenness. Remarriage of widows, widowers, and divorcees is allowed. However, in states like Bihar widow remarriage is forbidden. Junior sororate prevails. Traditional extended families are found among the community, although they are becoming less common as young couples increasingly choose to set up new homes apart from the parents and in-laws. Only the sons inherit ancestral property. It is divided equally but the eldest son inherits the late father’s authority as head of the family. Daughters, traditionally, receive no share of the estate.

Khatri women care for their homes and do housework. They are given a specific role in the ritual, religious and social spheres of family and community life. In many cases, especially in urban settings, they also participate in economic activities and contribute to the family finances. They are proficient in embroidery and knitting. The Khatri have oral traditions in the form of folksongs and folklore. In Punjab and Haryana folksongs such as Ghori and Mahia are sung at the time of marriage. Dances such as the bhangra are performed by men and gidda, by women) at celebrations. Traditional musical instruments include the harmonium, chimta (tongs), dhol (drum), daphli (tambourine) and bansuri (flute).

The Khatri have informal councils headed by the elders who deal with issues relating to marriage, divorce and property. There are other organized societies for the welfare of the community like the All India Khatri Mahasabha in Uttar Pradesh.

What are their beliefs?

The Khatri are 69 % Hindu, 22 % Muslim or 11 % Sikh by faith and strictly adhere to the tenets of their respective religions. Some belong to the egalitarian Arya Samaj and the Guru-centric Radhasoami and Nirankari sects. Sikh Khatri hold the ten Gurus of their religion in high esteem. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, as well as Guru Govind Singh, the tenth guru was a Khatri. The Muslims among the Khatri live mainly in Gujarat and adhere to the tenets of the Islamic faith, and belong to the dominant Sunni sect.

The Hindus of this community devotedly worship all the deities of the Hindu pantheon. In addition, the Khatri of Maharashtra also worships a communal deity and a regional goddess. Sitala Mata (goddess of small pox) and Shrinathji are regional deities of the Khatri of Rajasthan.

Brahmin priests perform all rituals relating to births, marriages and deaths for the Hindu Khatri, while the granthi (Sikh priest) do so for the Sikh Khatri. The dead are cremated and the ashes immersed in a river, preferably the sacred Ganges River at Haridwar and a thirteen-day period of death pollution is observed. However, infants and young children are buried. Ancestor worship prevails among the Hindu Khatri. All major festivals and fairs are the same as those observed by other Hindu and Sikh. Muslims observe Id, Bara Wafat (Prophet Mohammed’s birthday) and others.

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86 Comments on "Khatri"


Guest
sunil
4 days 23 hours ago
Niceeee
Guest
Ankur
2 months 9 days ago
Plsss tell me Salhotra caste in which category ???
Guest
{deepak kataria}
4 months 4 days ago
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Guest
Jamika
5 months 1 day ago
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Guest
PRASHANT LAL
5 months 14 days ago
Yes, We are great, brave, and can lead all community and religion .
Guest
Samarth Khanna
5 months 16 days ago
Real Rajpoots who are mainly concentrated in Rajisthan and Khatris are as well the decedents of Prabhu Ram,no offend to Rajpoots but saying that Khatris are Rajpoots..feels like an attempt to dilute once identity!!there doesn't exists any vertical relation between the two but a horizontal one.
Guest
Kunwar Ajit Pratap Singh
6 months 13 days ago
Hi, I m a (raghvanshi)suryavanshi rajpoot and in love with a girl of your community who is a tandon of Uttar pradesh. We are descendants of lord Rama and as we are highest among kshatriya clan. So we have always married rajpoot of inferior clan... but strictly only rajpoots. I saw people are claiming that khatri are also a rajpoot. I will be highly highly obliged and happy if you can provide me real information claiming tandon of uttar pradesh as kshatriya. It will be a real help as I will be able to convince my family by facts. So please share info. Thank you
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Dilipp
9 months 25 days ago
Can khatri be Maheshwaris?
Guest
KHATRI | Mangwani Family Tree
9 months 29 days ago
[…] above reference:http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/khatri/ […]
Guest
chandu bochker
10 months 15 days ago
hey guys stop this conversation about aroar and khatris first of all let us spread out community many of them dont know who khatris are .....?and from where this caste is came from
Guest
rishi syal
10 months 19 days ago
please mail or call at 07669199502 tell me syal caste under general cast or not
Guest
purushi murali
10 months 23 days ago
i am sourashtrian from tamilnadu our caste also known as sourashtra in tamilnadu near about 8lakh population, in madurai itself our population more than 3lakhs we were migrated from somnath and dwaraka during 11 th century all part of india particularly settled in tamilnadu more than 600 years our people silk weaving specialists we were migrated from gujrat due to md ghajni invasion actully we are khatri people from gujarat we follow brahminical system our ancestor khatri people refer in wikipedia as sourashtra we are speaking sourashtra language also called sourashtra caste we are traditionaly khatri people as per research done by research scholors from sourastra university our language mixed with gujarathi marathi sanskrit and south indian language khatri from from north india please contact sourashtra madya sabha ta madurai in tamil nadu they established enginerng colege polytechnic arts colege also higher secondary school with 12000 students modi gurarat c.m support us he attented our sourashtra meet held madurai tamilnadu by murali
Guest
Muhammad yousaf
10 months 22 days ago
geo khatri geo
Guest
akshay chandak not ok
10 months 26 days ago
http://rajputana.htmlplanet.com/scy_raj/scy_raj.html Click on link when coloured or copy link n paste in website writing area n enter Aryans are diverse group european etc.
Guest
akshay chandak not ok
10 months 26 days ago
Khatris are a ethnically diverse group of punjab some have accepted khatrization and sum went to rajasthan who were of rajput aka scythian origin n related, type scythic origin of rajput race eg of maheshwari s who have khatri as one surname are called chattris origin according to community committe. Theyr nakh ppl of scythian descent of dahae. Wr united but ethnically diverse from place to place . Somr rajput khatris of rajasthan are presrnt in greater punjab spk punjabi but khaps or surnames are rajput kin. Many are recent origin sum evn creatd in 1800 s for variety of reasons Neva blv the net but our samaj or commutte historians see max Mueller conspiracy V complicated but yes interrsting. There is rajputization for various reasons but the bulk not ol 36 royal races are doliochocephaly race. No obligation s but check max Mueller conspitacy, so called divide and rule and arya samaj hare krsna website on aryans which proves migration.tc wer united
Guest
Aastha
10 months 28 days ago
Sewalia which cast?tell me in details please
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Gagan Pandhi
10 months 25 days ago
2nd way, know surenames of relatives of "sewalia" thn find caste of relatives,
Guest
Rajan Khatri
11 months 1 day ago
Aap sab ko mera: iiIi
Guest
Muhammad yousaf
10 months 22 days ago
ok sir jee
Guest
jalwan
11 months 6 days ago
meaningless is caste n meanigless is (caste) name the same shadow protects all beings(gg 83). what caste can do ? truthfulness is true criterion(gg 142). don't inquire caste n birth , preach true shastra ; caste n honour determined by deeds(gg 1330). vidur sudra , impotant pandu akshtriya , dhritrashtra zero, suka brahman diciple of janaka raja/akshtriya all sons of vyas brahman s/o satyawati fisher caste female n parasar brahman. satyakama brahman s/o prostitute. kauntikeya biolgical father unknown named after mother similarly radheya on given out anga desh were akshtriya n raja. mother of vyas fisher caste satyawati lateron became rani/ grand daughter-inlaw of bharat after whose name present india was called bharat including nepal, bhtan, mayamar, banladesh, pakistan, afganistan etc n step mother of bhisham s/o santanu with whom parsuram had fought. it may not be out of mention that ganga mother of bhisham too was of same fisher caste of satyawati. caste is known by character/deeds. corrupt people created caste by birth in their childrens' intersts like claver monkey looting share of two fighting cats over a loaf of roti n big barking dog snatching away piece of bread from poor puppies. it is simple that from color- varna/caste---varnashankar--intercastes n castes names as vyas parasar n vashist ie son/father/grand father same blood r found in all shades of colors as black, dark,brown, red n white. how son from brahman female called chandal n another son from akshtriya female called khatri can be of lower status. simple saying wealth is lost nothing lost, health is lost something is lost, however if character is lost everything is lost. deeds/character lost where is identity of indivisual. do u think anybody promotinng caste superioty does really care for religion/ huminity man n woman our father/mother created by parmatma whose ansh atman in all beings.
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uday veer
11 months 6 days ago
i feel disgusted after reading this .... arnt you ppl ashamed , what rubbish are you talking about its nothing to do what last name uve got , its all about your "KARMA" Guru Gobind singh formed khalsa n abolished the cast system gave a name called SINGH & KAUR Jatts , khatris , aroras your just use less if you judge ppl or marry by taking into account some ones last name ... ive never in my life cared to ask anyones last name no matter what you were born human, you dont have to be anything else !!!
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saksham
10 months 13 days ago
Kya guru gobind singh ji ne ya unki family mein kisi ne inter caste marriage ki thi?
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p.k.mehta
11 months 6 days ago
pl. help me,iam in search of any khatri plateform.sameeti/organigation in bangalore.i am eager to join.my mobile no.9342026107
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Chetan Gangji
11 months 11 days ago
There are many khatris in South India. They are the descendant of Somavamshi Sahasrarjun. They are Silk traders & weavers. The Surnames of these people are Gangji, Mengji, Damji, Namaji, Khoday, Katwe, Shalghar, Gorak, Dewan, Vishwanath, etc.