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Hindu Punjabi - Who Are They?

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A fellow member of this forum, very nicely asked me a question on another thread about a hindu Punjabi surname and caste, which has led to me question that maybe many of my Sikh brothers and sisters are not aware of what Hindu Punjabis and their caste, backgrounds or even way of life are.

So I will attempt to write as much information as possible here now (15 minutes break time, and update it periodically.)


If your not interested, fine, just try not be offensive.

(Ps I have used wikipedia in some parts)

Punjabi Hindus ( the original Punjabis, lol) are a group of people that follow the Hindu religion and have roots in ancient Punjab region. Today they are spread out across most parts of northern India, (mainly Punjab and Haryana) and in some parts of western India like Mumbai, Maharashtra.

In India, most Punjabi Hindus are concentrated in the states of Punjab and Haryana and the national capital territory of Delhi.

There has also been a continuous migration of Punjabi Hindus to major world countries like the USA, Canada and the UK.

The oldest Hindu texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads and the Mahabharata were composed in Punjab or in a nearby region. The Hindus of Punjab have, naturally, been there for much more time than Muslims since Islam was founded only in the 7th century C.E., entering India around the 11th century C.E, while Hinduism has been around since at least the 2nd millennium B.C.E.. Many Hindu Punjabis later converted to Sikhism.

In fact, Punjabi Hindus can trace their roots from the time of the Vedas. Many modern day cities in Indian Punjab and Pakistan Punjab are still named from that period like Lahore etc.

Former Prime ministers of India I.K. Gujral and Gulzari Lal Nanda are Punjabi Hindus. Former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev and great Indian scientist Hargobind Khorana are also Punjabi Hindus.

They are mostly employed in trade and commerce though some also work as farmers in the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana.

The most common castes are Khatri (Kshatriya in Sanskrit), Arora, Brahman, Baniya, and Rajput

Punjabi Hindus go to Hindu temples for worship,and many visit gurdwaras too.

1. HINDU - Brahmins - (everyones favourite), The Brahmins of the Punjab region are chiefly Saraswat Brahmins. They have a special association with the Punjab since they take their name from the river, Saraswati

A subgroup of Punjabi Brahmins whose surnames are Jaitly, Trikha, Kumaria, Jinghan, Rampal and Mohla.

In the changed socio-economic circumstances however, the rigidity of having matrimonial alliances within particular groups amongst Barahis, Bawanjais, Athwans and Mohyals has greatly diminished, and they generally intermarry nowadays.

Surnames of Punjabi Saraswats- Brahmins - Issar, Markandey (or Markande), Kumaria, trikha, jaitley, mohla, jhingan, shorey,punj, Rampal,Modgil,kapil,kaushal,kanav, lakhanpal, tejpal, sehajpal,Bhardwaj,Attri, Devgan,Bhaskar, Mannan,Biala,Agnihotri, Dwivedi,Davesar,Prabhakar, etc. Like Moyal Brahmins, Modgil Brahmins donot follow karm kanda, they are mainly agriculturist brahmans ,tracing their ancestry from Raj rishi mugalcharya.


2. HINDU - Sunyar - Mair Rajputs (Warrior Kings)

A majority of the Hindu Punajbis are from the Sunyar (goldsmith) sub caste and are Mair Rajput. They are one of the highest castes in Hinduism as they are RAJPUT, and are respected as Warrior Kings.

Dhunna, Shin, Bagga, Verma, Karwal, Kanda are all - Sunyars ( Goldsmith - sub caste) - Mair Rajputs ( Caste)

These peiople were described as among the tallest, fairest and well built in the whole of punjab by Ibbetson in his book the tribes and castes of the North western frontier ( 1855), the only difference between them and the Jat Sikhs as Ibbettson put it, was the fact that the Raputs were a little fairer and didnt have the hooked nose that many Jats do.

Ps the reason I say sub caste Sunyar is becasue over time when they lost there kingdoms, or when the need to fight was over these warrior kings ( Rajputs) used the gold they had for busienss and became known as Gold traders - Sunyars.

The Sunyar - Mair rajputs are spread out all over Punjab mainly in Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Jagrama, Nawanshahr, Amristsar

The majority of Hindu Punjabis in the UK, are from this caste or Brahmin caste.

3. HINDU Khatris/ Aroras ( Businessman) - whether they be Hindu or Sikh are a VERY tight knit community, and inter marry freely, and do have sense of aloofness about them, they are an extremely successful business orientated caste, adn this can often lead them to be perceived as arrogant. All 10 Sikh gurus hail from their caste.They are mainly based in Delhi.

4. HINDU Jats ( farmers) - first thing you will hear a hindu Jat say is ; We're HARD, just joking, lol. These are a group of Hindu Punjabis, living in mainly Punjab and Haryana regions of India, and are infact the majority caste in the state of Haryana, which formerly was part of the punjab. These people are among the tallest, and most well built in india, as described by Ibbettson, and are very similiar to the Hindu rajput punjabis in appearance, with the exception of a hooked or kink in the nose. There are more hindu Jats than Sikh Jats however the characteristics of both are very similiar. In my experience I find them to big hearted, jolly, good natured, good humoured people much like the rajputs, except we are better looking, more intelligent, just kidding. Hindu Jat surnames include Dhillon, Sidhu, Powar, Dev, Brar

To be continued……..

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