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People of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is the region of the proud Rajputs who are generally regarded as the personification of Chivalry and whose exploits and bravery in battle are legendary. Rajputs are generally stoutly built people of good height. Rajputs are Scythian descent- a stock which moved out from the Caucasus in Central Asia towards the Indus Valley on the one side and the Germanic parts of Europe on the other.

In 'Rajasthan Ki Jatiyan' written by Bajranglal Lohia, according to 1891 census report the society in Rajasthan is divided into castes, sub-castes and group under eight broad heads. The martial Rajputs not only belong to the well-known clans such as the Sisodias, Rathors, Chauhans, Kachawahas, Bhattis, Panwars and Solankis but have-off-shoots known as Musalman Rajputs or 'Musalman Sipahis'. The Bhatti Rajputs who were forced to embrace Islam between 1193 and 1684 were called Sindhi Sipahis and the Chauhans who were subjected to this conversion around 1383 formed the sizeable group called Kaimrhani in the Shekhawati and Nagaur areas.

Besides the Rajputs and the Musalmans, western region of the state enumerates at least 34 castes and sub-castes of Brahmins and seven interesting groups under the head 'Bards and other communities' among them being the Charan - the friend, philosopher and guide of the Rajput and the Bhat, who maintains the family tree and other chronological records of his patrons.

Rajasthan has eight, communities classified as 'writers and chroniclers'. They are Kayasthas, Khatris, Orwals, Mohnots, Bhandaris, Singhis, Lodhas and Mohatas, whose members are in the field of business, industry and administration.

The seven communities namely the Dholi, Dhadhi, Hinjara, Jagri-Patur, Bhagtan, Kalawat and Bhand are grouped under 'Minstrels and Instrument Players'. Among these the Hinjaras, Kalawats and Bhands are entertainers, jokers and festers.

The trading and business communities generally called Marwaris include the Mahajans, Sarawagis, Porals, Shrimals, Shrishrimals, Agarwals, Maheswaaris, Vijayvargias, Sunlas, Bohres, Pheriwalas, Baldias and Lohias.

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