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Gujjar Caste

Other Spellings : Gujar, Gurjar or Gurjara (the Sanskrit form)

Other Surnames / Gotras : At present there are about 900 sub-castes or sub-tribes within the Gurjars. Some well-known of them are: Ajar/Bakarwal, Awan, Bajjar, Bainsla, Bhand (a tribe in Gujarat), Bhatti, Bhati (also found among Rajputs), Bhumbla, Chauhan, Choudhary, Jagal, Khatana (related to Khotan), Khokhar (also found among Rajputs), Meelu, Munan, Nagar, Parmar, Poswal, Solanki, Khari, Bidhuri, Theckari, etc. Many are also honored with the title of Choudhary, Malik, Patil, Thakur Kasana, Bhadana and Patel .

Religion : Hindu (many Gujjars are Muslims and some are Sikh)

Varna : Kshatriya

Language : Gujarati and Gujari/Gojri (similar to Marwari or Rajasthani and Gujarati)

Regional Spread : Kashmir, Gujarat and northwestern India, Pakistan and even Afghanistan and Iran

Population : Population of Gujjars in India is approx. 30 million while in Pakistan There are about 33 million Gujjars

Traditional Occupation : Gujjars are well - represented in agriculture, urban professions and civil service. They are known as very good farmers.

Time of Origin : 5th/6th Century

Place of Origin : Northwest India

Food Habits : Mostly Vegetarian

Marriage Preference : Within the Community
Famous Personalities Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (awarded with Maha Vir Chakra), Gujjar Singh Bhangi (Sikh warrior), Vijay Singh Pathik (Indian Revolutionary and Hindi Poet), Dhan Singh Kotwal, Panna Dhaay, Choudhary Rahmat Ali, Mian Muhammad Baksh (Punjabi Poet), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajesh Pilot and Ram Chandra Vikal

History and Origin
The presence of the Gujjars in India is first attested after the 5th-century invasion of India by the Hunas (Huns). Gurjars formerly ruled the Gurjara-Pratihara Kingdom, which included much of northern India during the 8th and 9th centuries.

With the decline of Buddhism in the 8th-10th centuries in parts of northwest India and the rise of Brahmanism, Gurjars were assimilated either into the Kshatriya or Brahmins castes. The majority of Gujars fall into Kshatriya, evident from their sub-caste names of Chauhan and Kasana (kisan i.e.farmers).

The Gurjars once ruled over a large area of Northern India under the name of the Gurjara-Pratihara kingdom. It is said that Muslim Arab conquests in the 8th century and the rise of Sufism in the 11th century influenced many Gujjars to convert to Islam. Following the rise of Sikhism in the 16th century, many Hindu tribes in eastern Punjab converted to the Sikh faith. Place names such as Gujaranwala, Gujar Kot, Gujar Khan and Gujrat in Pakistan and the state of Gujarat were named after the Gurjars. It is believed the Gurjars of Gujarat (India) settled there sometime in the 5th/6th century.

Ethnic Makeup
The Gujjars are characterized by strong and large build. They are considered to be the descendents of Eurasian people including Scythians, Georgians and Khazars who took part in the Scythian invasions of South Asia from the 5th century BC to 1st century AD. Some even consider Gurjars to be the descendants of Turko-Iranian tribes that merged with local Indo-Aryan-speaking groups, mainly settling in the Gujarat, Punjab and Kashmir regions.

Maharastran Gujjars
There is also a community of Gurjars living in the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra, inhabiting Pangre, Hasol and other villages in Raipur District. Originally bearing the name Gurjar-Padhye, most now prefer to call themselves Gurjar. These Gurjars belong to the Brahmin caste and are called the Karhade Brahmin. Their native language is Marathi. Gurjar-Padhyes may have been a group of Gurjars who migrated from northern India to settle down in the Konkan region, although it is difficult to explain why and how Gurjars in Konkan became Brahmins rather than Kshatriyas.




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