People Groups India

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…a rich tapestry of cultures, ethnic mixes, languages and traditions. India’s landscapes span from the awe inspiring Himalayas, beaches, forests, the Deccan plateau and the Rajasthani desert. From North to South, East to West – there are changes to color of skin, clothing, food and language. These may appear to be superficial regional and language changes. Yet, varying religions, traditions, culture and caste add another layer to the complexity of Indian society. India’s caste system is intricately entwined with the people’s identities. The people group name denotes everything – it is a person’s occupation, religious beliefs, social standing, traditions and life story.

India – tradition and change

As India continues to grow, many people are drawn away from their traditional occupational groups into other professions and locations. A father and grandfather who are itinerant cattle herders have a grandson who works at a call centre in Delhi. Although he is an office worker, the community identifies this young man with his people group. Everything about who he is, his surname and who he will marry is entwined with the knowledge of this background.

People Groups of India

There are over 72 People Groups with a population of more than 100,000 each in Uttar Pradesh, North India. This site currently features 72 profiles of these groups from the Agaria to the Yadav. There are, of course, many hundreds more depending on how you define these groups. Here are 5 random profiles. You can find a full list on our profiles page:

Khatik - Who are they? The Khatik are a large community of butchers, numbering around 1.7 million. They are distributed throughout Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat. Origins The term Khatik is derived from the Sanskrit khatika meaning a… ...Read More...
Darzi - Who are they? The Darzi or Darji, are a community of tailors, numbering around 3,240,000 people. Darzi is derived from the Persian word darzan, meaning to sew or from darz, meaning seam. The Darzi are largely a landless community whose main occupation is tailoring. Origin The Darzi have various synonyms… ...Read More...
Arakh - Who are they? The Arakh are a small community of cultivators of about 250,000 in number.  It is believed that they migrated from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, which is one of seven sacred cities for Hindus.  The Arakh have two endogamous subgroups, namely, Suryavanshi Arakh (of the sun’s lineage) and Mooti… ...Read More...
Bari - Who are they? The Bari, also known as Rawat and Paanwale (betel-leaf sellers), are a community of household servants and makers of leaf-plates. Location They live in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.  In Bihar they are also known as Donwar. Ethnologists, Russel and Hiralal, describe the Bari as… ...Read More...
Teli - Who are they? Traditionally, the Teli are an occupational caste of oil-pressers. The traditional wooden oil press was driven by blindfolded oxen around a mill. This labour intensive mill has been replaced by motor operated mills. However, many of today’s oil mills are owned by other communities. Consequently, the Teli… ...Read More...

Community Forums


We have now also added a new forum feature to give members a space to communicate more freely around a broader range of topics. You can find a forum for each of the people groups and several others to discuss other topics. More will be added later.