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Khatri

Punjabi Khatri : Punjabi Khatri

Other Surnames / Family names : Popular ones include Anand, Awal, Badhwar, Bagga, Bakshi, Bedi, Bhalla, Bhasin, Bhandari, Bindra, Chadha, Chandok, Chona, Chopra, Choudhary, Dhawan, Duggal, Dhupar, Dumra, Gadhiok, Gujral, Handa, Jerath, Jairath, Jaggi, Kakkar, Kapoor (Kapur), Khanna, Kochhar, Kohli, Koshal, Lal, Lala, Lamba, Loomba, Madhok, Mahendru, Maini, Malhotra, Malik, Mankhand, Manraj, Mehra, Mehrotra, Mehta, Monga, Nair (Nayyar), Nayer, Nijhawan, Oberoi, Ohri, Parwanda, Puri, Rai, Rajpal, Sabharwal, Sami, Sahni, Sarin, Sehgal (Sahgal), Sethi, Sial (Syal), Sibal, Sikka, Singh , Sodhi, Soni, Suri, Talwar, Tandan (Tandon), Thapar, Trehan, Uppal, Vadehra, Vij, Vinaik, Vohra, Wadhawan and Wahi (Wahie)

Religion : Hindu (some are also known to be Sikhs and Jain)

Varna : Vaishiya

Regional Spread : All over India, mainly Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Traditional Occupation : Trading. Today, Khatris can be found in all spheres of activities including business, civil and government services, landlords, and military. They are by far the most educated group in Punjab.

Place of Origin : Place of Origin

Food Habits : Prefer vegetarian, many are also known to consume non-vegetarian food

Marriage Preference : Within the caste of within their related castes

Related Communities : Khatris are related to Arora (Ahuja, Aneja, Khurana,Chawla, Juneja), Sood and Bhatia communities of the Punjab because of their similar cultural and mercantile background.
Famous Personalities : Prominent historical figures among the Khatris include all the Sikh Gurus (belonging to the Bedi, Trehan, Bhalla and Sodhi subcastes), Raja Todar Mal, Haqiqat Rai, Hari Singh Nalwa, the father and son pair of the Diwans Sawan Mal and Mul Raj Chopra.
  • Author / Writer : Kuldip Nayyar (journalist), Bhisham Sahni, Vikram Seth (novelist), Rajinder Singh Bedi (Urdu author), Narendra Kohli (Hindi author), Mulk Raj Anand (novelist), Devaki Nandan Khatri (Hindi author), Kartar Singh Duggal
  • Politics : Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, IK Gujral (former PM), Master Tara Singh Malhotra (freedom fighter), PD Tandon (freedom fighter)
  • Films : Raj Kapoor (actors, directors, and producers of Indian movies), Balraj Sahni (actor), Yash Chopra (director and producer), Shekhar Kapur (director), Gurinder Chadha (Kenyan- Brit movie director) Deepa Mehta (director), Meera Nair (director and producer), Kundan Lal Saigal (actor)
  • Business : M.S. Oberoi (founder of the Oberoi chain of hotels)
About Khatris : Most Khatris are devout Sanatani Hindus. Some are also Sikhs, Arya Samaji and a few are Jains. All these intermarry and form one community.

The Khatris were adversely impacted by the partition of India. It resulted in the loss of the traditional home regions of the Khatris. Traditionally Khatris have been an orthodox community, although there is now significant exposure to modernity in some Khatri families. Even when they are modern, the Khatris have a great affinity with their traditions and values. Khatris take pride in their Indian heritage and have contributed significantly to the Indian culture in terms of industry, commerce, administration, scholarship etc.

Divisions in Khatris : Khatri gotras are divided into three major groups- Baraghar, Bawanji and Sarin. There exists a hierarchy within the Khatri clan. At the top of the pyramid is the Dhai Ghar (i.e. 2 1/2 - the number 3 being considered unlucky) grouping comprising of Khanna, Kapur, and Mehra/Malhotra clans. Along with the Seth clan these four form the Char Ghar grouping. With the Chopra, Dhavan, Mahendru, Sahgal, Talwar, Tandon, Vohra and Wadhawan sub castes, all 12 form the barah-jati grouping. Another group is called Bavanjai (52). The Sarins are considers at the bottom of the pyramid.

History and Origin : In early Vedic Period the role of the Khatris during the war was to fight and during peace to rule. During Rajput Period (647 AD to 1021 AD) the Rajput order emerged. Being literate, proud and well verse in statecraft, many Khatris became administrators. During the Muslim rule (1021-1752 AD), many of them channeled their skilled to commerce and trade. Khatris continue to be the most educated group in modern Punjab. Their historical access to resources and education has translated into wealth and power.




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