Travel in Rajasthan, India
A Rajasthani Kid is playing "Ek Tara"
Thar Desert Jaisalmer in Background, Rajasthan, India

Experiences of Rajasthan - Tribes

Fast Facts
Ancient History
Fairs & Festivals
Art & Culture
Music & Dance
Weddings
Textiles
Crafts
Palace on Wheels
Shopping Ideas
Deserts
Rajasthan Geography
City Guide & Map
Costumes
Cuisine
Archaeology
Forts
Gardens
Lakes
Languages
Monuments
Museums
Religion
Sam Sand Dunes
Adventure Safari
Temples - Holy Places
Tribes
Thar Desert
Transport
Distance
The Royal Orient
The Fairy Queen
Wildlife

Tribes

The various tribes of Rajasthan are:

Bhils The bow men of Rajasthan
Minas The militant defenders
Lohars The nomadic blacksmiths
Garasias The fallen Rajputs
Sahariyas The jungle dwellers

Rajasthan's population includes many tribals, who today constitute 12% of the state population, nearly double the national average. The main tribes of Rajasthan are the Bhils and the Minas that were the original inhabitants of the area now called Rajasthan. But they were forced into the Aravalli Range by the Aryan invasion. Smaller tribes include the Sahariyas, Garasias and the Gaduliya lohars.

The tribes share common traits, which seem to link their past together but it is the differences in their costumes and jewellery, fair and festivals that set them apart from one another.

Bhils
The Bhils compromise 39% of Rajasthan's tribal population. Their stronghold is Banswara. The generic term derives from Bhils, which describe their original talent and strength. The Bhils maintained their numbers by mingling with rebellious outcaste Rajputs.  According to legends, the Bhils were fine archers. Bhil bowmen are mentioned in both the Mahabarata and Ramayan. They were highly regarded as warriors and the Rajput rulers relied on them. Although originally food gatherers, the Bhils these days have taken up small-scale agriculture, city residence and employment.

The Baneshwar fair is a Bhil festival held near Dungarpur in January/February each year and large number of Bhils gather for several days for singing, dancing and worshipping. Holi is another important time for Bhils. Witchcraft magic and superstition are deeply rooted aspects of the Bhil culture.

Minas
The Minas are the second largest tribal group in the state after the Bhils and are the most widely spread. They may have been original inhabitants of the Indus Valley civilization. The Vedas and the Mahabharta mention them, and it was the Kachhawah Rajputs who finally dispersed them and forced them into the Aravallis. The Minas have a tall, athletic build with sharp features, large eyes, thick lips and a light brown complexion.

They live in the regions of Shekhawati and eastern Rajasthan. The name Minas is derived from 'men fish'. Originally they were a ruling tribe, but their slow downfall began with the Rajputs, and was completed when the British Government declared them a 'Criminal tribe' in 1924, mainly to stop them from trying to regain their territory from the Rajputs.

Just like the Bhils, the literacy rate among the Minas was very low, but is improving. Marriage, arranged by the parents is generally within the tribe and most marriages take place when the children are quite young.

Gaduliya Lohars
The Gaduliya Lohars, named after their beautiful bullock carts ('gadis'), were originally a martial Rajput tribe, but nowadays they are nomadic blacksmiths. They are said to have wandered from their homeland of Mewar because of their promise to their 'lord' Maharana Pratap who was ousted from Chittaurgarh by Akbar. This clan of warring Rajputs vowed to re-enter the city only after the victory of Maharana Pratap who was, however, unfortunately killed in the battlefield.

Garasias
They are a small Rajput tribe found along the Abu Road area of Southern Rajasthan. The Garasias have an interesting custom of marriage through elopement, which usually takes place at the annual Gaur Fair held during the full moon in March. After the elopement, which can be spontaneous or pre-arranged, a bride price is paid to the bride's father.

Sahariyas
They are thought to be of Bhil origin and are found in the areas of Kota, Dungarpur and Sawai Madhopur in the south- east of the state. The Sahariyas are jungle dwellers, their name possibly deriving from the Persian 'Sehr'. The Sahariyas are regarded as the most backward tribe in Rajasthan and make out a living as shifting cultivators and by hunting and fishing.

Damors
The small tribal community of Damors probably migrated from their original home in Gujarat to settle in Dungarpur and Udaipur districts. They are mainly cultivators and manual labourers

Thar Desert Rajasthan

India offers immense climatic diversity and topographical varieties. Deserts form the backdrop of many a legend in India, and in the present times, are touted as tourist interest destinations.

Thar or Great Indian Desert is an arid region 800 km long and 400 km wide, in North West of India and East of Pakistan, between the Indus and Sutlej river valleys on the west and the Aravali Range on the east. Largely a desolate region of shifting sand dunes, broken rocks, and scrub vegetation, it receives an annual average rainfall of less than 25 cm.

Nothing can prepare the visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance of the desert cities of Rajasthan. The camel rides on the sand dunes are an unforgettable experience as are the sunsets. These places boast of some very fine reminders of the glorious past - palaces, forts, temples and other elegant monuments of architectural and historical value and unforgettable treat for any visitor. Chattris of Jaisalmer

Explore the enigmatic desert of India that will mystify your mind with its beauty and vastness. The gateway to the great Indian Thar desert through Jodhpur will take enchant you with a vast waste dotted with shifting sand dunes and sparse hamlets with cenotaphs called 'Chattris'.

Our Travel Network
 [India Palace on Wheels]  [Indian Tigers]  [Car Rental in Rajasthan] [ Tour Operator India]
 [Indian Wildlife Tour]  [
India Travel Club]  [India Travel Guide]
 [
Hotels in India]  [Rajasthan Hotels]  [Indian Heritage Hotels]
 [Hotels in Rajasthan]  [Rajasthan Heritage Hotels]
 [Travel Agents in India[Indian Himalayan Journeys]
 
 Click Here Our International Travel Agents &  Hoteliers
Rajasthan Hotels Directory

 Home Page

 Tour Booking

 E-Mail

 Hotel Booking

 Car-Rentals

 City Guide & Map

 Contact Us

Copyright 2004 -2011, All Rights Reserved
Conceptualized & Developed by travel-in-rajasthan.com