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Classification Khatri
Religions Hinduism and Sikhism
Languages Doabi, Punjabi
Populated States Punjab
Subdivisions Anand, Bhasin, Chadha, Chandok (Chandhoke, Chandhok), Chhachi (Chachi, Chhachhi): a sub section of the Kohli clan, Ghai, Kohli, Sabharwal, Sahni, Sethi, Suri.
See detailed article Khatri

The Khukhrain are an ancient group of eight specific clans of the Khatri caste[1] who originally hailed from the areas of the Salt Range and particularly the town of Bhera in Punjab. This area was the Sind Sagar Doab (Indus-Jhelum interfluve) and the Jech Doab (Jhelum-Chenab interfluve) region of Pakistan that comprised Khushab, Pindi Gheb, Talagang, Chakwal, Pind Dadan Khan, Peshawar and Nowshera. The name "Doab" literally translates to "land of two rivers" ("Do" two, "Ab" river; Punjabi). In former India, Sind Sagar Doab and Jech Doab were the main region where Khukrains were in large number. The language spoken in the region was majorly Doabi. The names of the eight clans are: Anand, Bhasin, Chadha, Kohli, Sabharwal, Sahni, Sethi and Suri. Later four new subclans originated those were Chandok (Chandhoke, Chandhok, Chandiok), Chhachi (Chachi, Chhachhi): a sub section of the Kohli clan, and Ghai.


There has been much debate as to the origin of the title “Khukrain”. Some say it is derivative of Khokhar while others say it is due to Khukhri (a dagger) as Khukhrains used to carry such a dagger during turbulent times. However the issue remains unsettled.

Clan details

GOTRA: As our surnames and family names represent our ancestors, GOTRA represents the name of rishi, who was the father of our ancestor. All the human beings and other creatures on earth are son or descendants of SAPTRISHI [seven sages].

Regarding, the gotra, Khukhrains original gotra is KASHYAP. Among eight clans Anands, Kohlis and Bhasins maintained their original Kashyap Gotra. While other five clans due to change of purohits (guru) of their times, started to accept different gotras of their own, by the 1st century AD.

Note: - In Hindu rituals (prarthana, havan, etc.) they say, “Kashyap gorta utpanah (born)” but for other five clans they use “dhaaran” (accepted). Because our gurus or purohits have given us our present gotra and our ancestors “adopted” them.

Gotras are subject to change only under very special circumstances such as stated about girls, when they marry they adopt their husband’s gotra. Thus Chadhas and Swahneys claim their gotra as VIRVANS (vats), SETHIs as PULAST, SURIs as BHARGAV and SABHARWALs as HANS.

Different castes/clans of different VARNA can be of same gotra as it depends on one’s family choice to select and to surrender for spiritual upliftment.

Got Vansh Gotra Purohit Kuldevta
Anand Suryavansh Kashyap Bijra Durga Mata
Bhasin Suryavansh Kashyap Bijra Durga Mata
Chadha Suryavansh Virbhans or Vats Vasudev Bhadarkali
Kohli Suryavansh Kashyap (Bharadwaj) Dutt Satyavati
Sahni Suryavansh Virbhans or Vats Vasudev Bhadarkali
Sabharwal Suryavansh Hansras Madankhamb Baba Medar
Suri Suryavansh Bhargav Panda Bhagwati(Durga Mata)
Sethi Suryavansh Palsth(Pulast) Soodan Vaishnoo Devi


The main place of their ancestral geographic location was the town of Bhera, situated in the Jech Doab region (Jhelum-Chenab interfluve) of Punjab, which now lies in the Sargodha District of Pakistan. The history of the Khukhrain is inextricably intertwined with the ancient town of Bhera

Bhera is also the historical town to which Porus or Purushotthama of the Puru tribe belonged. Purushotthama (c.325 BC) was the king of Kekaya the land of the Puru tribe, one of the Janapadas (kingdoms). Its location was in what is now middle Punjab, the areas between the rivers Jhelum and Chenab and its extent varied from time to time. The word Purushotthama means "Supreme Being". Purushotthama was 7 feet 6 inches tall according to Arrian.

The Kekaya are said to have occupied the land now comprised by three districts of Jhelum, Shahpur and Gujerat, now all in Pakistan.

The palace of Sopeithes which the Greek historian Arrian mentions as the place on the Hydaspes is supposed to be at Bhera. The Greeks refer to the Jhelum river as the Hydaspes River where Alexander the Great fought Porus in Battle of the Hydaspes River in 326 BCE (also see sources below).

Meanings of Khukhrain Clans

Anand: The word derived from Sanskrit word Paramanand also known as Anand (Joy), which means Feel of Heaven.

Kohli: The word is Kul Hari, based on the name of one of the goddess of North India (Kul Devi) and Lord Vishnu (Hari), the one who preserves "the Preserver". The word Hari came into existence in holy book Mahabharat in which it means "one who takes away". It is widely believed among Khukhrains that their continuance and survival up till the present day is owing to their preserving by the Kohli clan.

Suri  : The word is used in both Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. The word is used for `Sun' or 'Brightness of Sun'. It is also used in Vedic Sanskrit instead of "Shourya" and "Shoor Vir" (the most courageous). In Classical Sanskrit sometimes used in place of "Guru" or "Lord of Planets" that is, Sun.

Bhasin: Derived from the Sanskrit word "Bhuseen" means Power of Speech (bhu [tongue/speech] + seen [power]). In some places it has been used for "Sun".

Sahni: This word derived from Sainani and means the "chief commander" or "companion".

Chadha: The word is derived from the name of Chamunda, who was the slayer of evil lord Chanda & Munda. Chamunde means one who kills or punishes the evils.

Sethi: Derived from the Sanskrit word "Sresthi" which means Shreshth (the best among all).

Sabharwal: Derived from the Sanskrit word "Shubh Var" which means "the lucky one".

Chandhok: This clan was derived from Chadha clan and has similar meaning. Chandhok and Gandhoke clans were derived very recently before 1940 A.D. But the reason for their emergence is still unknown as the History of Khukhrain and Other Khatris vanished due to the Partition.

Chhachi (Chachi, Chhachhi): A sub section of the Kohli clan who settled in Chhachh in Attock District of Punjab, Pakistan.

Ghai: Origin of this clan is still unknown but more or less related to Suri clan.


Rules of Marriage

Khukhrain are exogamous within the same clan but endogamous with respect to their group. This means that Khukhrains use to marry within Khukhrain but cannot marry within the same clan. The Khukhrain again avoid only the got of the father and mother because they have so few sections to marry into.

A person from "Kohli clan" can not marry in the Kohli clan but can only marry within the other clans of the Khukhrain biradri.

Being the descendant of the same ancestor, they consider themselves as sibling. Thus, each Khukhrain consider every person born in their clan as their brother or sister and never get marry with their siblings.

In Earlier days, Khukhrain and Dhaiye Khatri used to marry among each other but preference was given to be married within their respective groups.

More over, Dhaiye, Baharaan and Bahujayee Khatri were exogamous within there respective group and clan. They use to marry within their group as well as within their clan.

Later, Bahujayee Khatri started marrying among Arora Community as many of them were living in the Multan region. Even Baharaan Khatri started marrying among the Bahujayee, Dhaiye started marring among Baharaan, and Khukhrain with Dhaiye.

Rituals and traditional practices among Khukhrain


  • The Anands give no alms on a Sankrant, the first of a solar month. Their women tabu ghi for the hair. They worship the ak which must not be touched by the women of the section, or mentioned by them. They worship it once a year.
  • The Chadhas hold the ak sacred, because they say their forefathers once fought with Babar near Eminabad and all fell, save one who hid under an ak bush. He re-founded the section and it still performs the Mundans at Eminabad and worships the ak.
  • The Kohlis, whose original home was at Jamsher, a village in Jullundur, worship the kite at the Bhaddan rite. They eschew the use of dry cotton plants as fuel because a snake once got mixed up with them and was burnt to ashes.
  • The Sabharwals perform the Bhaddan ceremony at their houses after 13 days of the birth of a child.

Mohyals, the Brahmins of Khukhrains

The Mohyal Brahmins were associated to the Khukhrains and have a long history of not following the priesthood occupation that was usually associated with Brahmins in the past.

The Mohyal of whom the Datt/Dutt are a sub clan were also purohits of the Khukhrain in earlier times however

Languages of Khukhrain

India has different languages, but all of them are siblings of each other. The north-western part of India (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh) and even the Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, western region of Uttar Pradesh share a very close and common platform of Language, Culture, Tradition and Rituals. As an example most of people of these regions (like Lahore, Amritsar, Barsana, Bharatpur, etc.) will use word Khatri instead of Kshatriya, Shikhya in place of Shiksha and many more. Punjabi language still has the influence of both Classical and Vedic Sanskrit not only in the language but also in their surnames/clans.

Most of the Khukrains who moved perforce to India following the Partition of India in 1947 descended from the Doab region of Pakistan that comprised Khushab, Pindi Gheb, Talagang, Chakwal, Pind Dadan Khan, Peshawar and Nowshera. Their mother tongue is Punjabi. In former India Sind Sagar Doab Jech Doab were the main region where Khukrains were in large number. The languages spoken in the region were majorly Doabi and Chhachi. In India the special dialect of Doabi that was originally spoken by the Khukrains who migrated from Western Punjab (now Pakistan) is fast being replaced by the local Eastern Punjabi language, in their new Indian residence of Punjab. Doabi is the main dialect of the Doab (mainly Jech Doab) of Pakistan. Bhera, situated in the Jech Doab region (Jhelum-Chenab interfluves) of Punjab, which now lies in the Sargodha District of Pakistan, is vocalised by three main dialects of Doabi, Chhachi and Potwari. Today, in the modern world people not only Punjabi but Multani, Sindhi, Jhangi consider themselves as Punjabi and even speak the same language, what they call the Punjabi Language.

Khukhrain and Bhera

Inscription on the lead plaque by the Khukhrain community at the Bhera Enclave, New Delhi

The Imperial Gazetteer of India records the History of Bhera -

In the recent past centuries, Bhera was an important trading outpost on the road to Kabul, and had a taksal or (mint) during the rule of Ranjit Singh. Bhera declined in importance due to the gradual shifting of the course of the Jhelum River, due to which the town lost the advantage of being located on a river bank.

Khukhrain Mohallas in Bhera

Old Hindu Mohallas in Bhera

Most of Bhera’s mohallas (neighborhoods) are historically named after Hindu castes, Muslim surnames, or various trades (e.g., Sahnian da mohalla, Kohlian da Mohalla, Sethian da mohalla, Gandhian da mohallah, Pirachian da mohallah, Khawjian da mohallah, Mohallah Ansarian wala, Thathairan da mohallah, Mohallah Tarkhanan wala, Loharan di Mori, etc.). The Punjabi names of Muslim mohallahs got a Persian touch after the partition, e.g., Pirachian da mohalla became Mohallah Pirachgahn, and Khowgian da mohalla turned into Mohalla Khowigahn. However, the names of almost all Hindu mohallahs were left unchanged and allowed to retain their caste names. It was a magnanimous gesture in view of the fact that hardly any Hindus had stayed back in Bhera after the partition. The eleven folders (buttons) on Bhera’s mohallahs seek to provide the names and locations of Bhera’s old, inner-town neighborhoods. These mohallahs are pictorially presented in their own individual folders or in group folders.

KohliaN Wala Mohalla in Bhera, Pakistan

Kohlian Wala Mohalla

Kohlian Wala Mohalla was once Bhera's largest neighborhood, having hundreds of houses and mansions (Maarris) many of which are now reduced with time as poor remains of their grand originals (khandar bataa rahe hain, imarat azim thi). This South Central Mohallas grouping of Mohallas includes Kohlian Wala Mohallah, Mohallah Hidayat Shah, Choorian Wala Mohallah, Mohallah Sadat and other mohallahs of Lalu wala, Alipurian, Peeran Wala, Frashan, Kassaban and Thatian wala.

Sahnian Wala Mohalla

Sahnian da Mohalla is an old mohalla whose residents of the pre-partition period were mostly owners of agricultural lands, but many of them were also known for their achievements in politics, sciences, arts, and business. Dewan Chaman Lal Sahni served as a member of the Central Legislative Assembly of India in Delhi. Among the other luminaries from this mohalla were Justice Ram Lal Sahni of the undivided Punjab's High Court in Lahore; Professor Birbal Sahni, a renowned Palaeobotanist (Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow - a national laboratory is named in recognition of his pioneer work), and the parents of the well-known actor, Balraj Sahni, and his brother Professor Bhisham Sahni, a renowned Hindi writer who also used to write short stories in Urdu until about 1950.

Vadda SethiaN Wala Mohalla, Bhera, Pakistan

Sethian Wala Mohalla

Bhera has two Sethian de Mohallas: Vadda Sethia da Mohalla that starts from Jethu di Khuee and the other, Chhota Sethian da Mohalla, that takes off near Kacheri Bazaar and terminates near Circular Road close to the pre-partiton-era Ram Leela Grounds. The houses in the main mohalla were famous for their carved doors.

Last Raja of Bhera

The last chief or Raja of Bhera was a Sethi Khukran, Diwan Bahadur Jawahir Mal.[7] The Diwan Family originally came from Peshawar, and tradition ascribes the abolition of the Jizya in Peshawar to his influence.

Khukrains like other Khatri castes were traditionally and historically a warrior community (although they are now well represented in many fields other than the army) and hence they bore the brunt of invasions from the various central Asian tribes now converted to Islam who came from the northwest during the 12th-16th centuries. The Hindu populations in Afghanistan and Northwest India continued to recede after the 11th century even as predominant areas of Afghanistan were still under non Muslim rule till the 10th CE. (See also Shahi and Jayapala).



The Khukhrain Biradari was founded by the far sighted fief (small kingdom) Raja Khokhar Anand in the 12th Century some 900 years ago. During this period the area of Khokhar(in ancient times known as Indus Valley) was influenced by Muslim raiders. Raja Anand saw a need for defensive measure. He married his daughter princess Anand into Sahni family instigating the system of Endogamy - meaning by birth and marriage. Soon there emerged a brotherhood of Eight clans who were related to each other by births and marriages called Khukhrain Biradari. Later Khukhrains setteled en force at Bhera. Bhera became known as city of Khukhrains. The Eight Arayan clans were Anand, Sahni (Sahaney/Sawhney), Suri, Chadha, Sabarwal, Kohli, Bhasin and Sethi. The brotherhood flourished with aims to defend the Hindu faith - property - women and to aid each other in time of need.[8]


The history of Khukhrains / Khukhrains was almost silent before 490 BC.

The king Kushrain of Bhera was succeeded in 490 BC by his eight sons, DHAN ANAND (thus Anand), KUAL HARI (thus Kohli), SHOOR SEN (thus Suri), BHUSEEN (thus Bhasin), SHESH SHAINI (thus Sahni), CHAMUNDE (thus Chadha), SERATH RAJ (thus Sethi) and the youngest one SHUBHARWAR (thus Sabharwal).

All these eight sons Kushrain ruled north-west India, currently Punjab and the area of present Pakistan. All the present eight surnames of Khukhrains were named after these eight kings.

Khukhrain Kingdoms at a glance

For Period Between 322 B.C. and 1026 A.D.[3]

ANAND Kashyap Raja Dhan Anand Takshila (Bhera)

Taxila (Takshila) to Bhera (Bhadravati)

Bhera to Sargodha

KOHLI Kashyap Raja Kual Hari Jamsher



Jalandhar to Amritsar

Jalandhar to Hoshiyaarpur

SURI Bhargav Raja Shoor Sen Kushpur (Kasur)

Kasur to Lahore

Kasur to Amritsar

BHASIN Kashyap Raja Bhuseen Salvan Nagar (Sailkot)

Sailkot to Jammu

Sailkot to Gujrat

SAHNI Virbhans

or Vats

Raja Sheshshaini Ravikul or Roopwal (Rawalpindi)

Rawal Pindi to Gujur Khan and Gujrat (Gurjahsthan)

Rawal Pindi to Kala Bagh

Kala Bagh to Pindi Gheb

CHADHA Virbhans

or Vats

Raja Chamunde Lavpur


Lahore to Gujrat
SETHI Pulast Raja Serathraj Jhelum

(Virat Nagar)

Ktakshraj (Katasraj)

Virat Nagar to Kotsarang (Swargang) via Talangang

Kotsarang to Peshawar via Pindi Gheb

SABHARWAL Hans Raja Subharvar Purushwar


Peshawar to Hindu Kush

Peshawar to Rawal Pindi

The last surviving Kingdom of Bhera fell in the Bera War in 1027 A.D. Later it was restored to Khukhrains by King Akbar’s order and the Khukhrains ruled there up to 1857 A.D.[3]

The Khukhrain Lineage

Khukhrain King Porus

A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Porus (Puru) during the Battle of the Hydaspes

The Sabharwal last name has many references during the time of King Porus who was a Sabharwal Khukhrain. Porus was 7 feet 6 inches tall according to Arian (see picture).

A painting depecting a mid war discussion between Porus and Alexander

In 326 BC, Alexander the Great, whose forces were then fighting against the army of King Porus, at the left bank of river Jhelum near Southern Salt Range, wrote in a letter to his mother and said, ‘I am involved in the land of leonine (lion-like) and brave people called 'Khukhrain’, where every foot of the ground is like a wall of steel, confronting my soldiers. You have brought only one son into the world, but every one in this land can be called an Alexander."

[9] According to some Pakistani anthologist, it is believed that Khukhrain originated from Porus.

Mahmud of Ghazni and Khukhrains

The Khukhrains spread over Khushab, Pindi Gheb, Talagang, Chakwal, Pind Dadan Khan, Peshawar and Nowshera[10] were a powerful tribe during the attacks of Ghazni and never submitted to the foreigners but always resisted them whenever the opportunity came to their hands.[11] The clash of the Khukhrains with Mahmud of Ghazni[12] took place in his third invasion after the defeat of Jayapala, at the Battle of Bhera in 1004-5 which was a powerful stronghold of the Khukhrain,[13]

Dr Ishwari Prasad also writes that the last invasion of Mohammad was against Bhadravati (Bhera) the capital of the Khukhrains.[14] While returning from Somnath with a huge booty, which Mohammad plundered from the famous Shiva temple of Somnath, which certainly shook the religious sentiments of the Hindus, a certain tribe called Khukhrain attacked him and snatched away a large part of the booty from his army.[15]

Finally when Bhera was sacked by Ghazni, Khukhrain King Biji Rai instead of submitting, committed suicide by ending his life with his own dagger.[16] Jaipals son Anandpal received support of the Khukhrains against Mahmud Ghazni in 1008-9 at Wahind[17]

Khukhrain and Ala-ud-din Khilji

The book 'A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces of India', records-

Other scholarly references such as in the publications of the Britannica also point to the close relation between Khukhrain and Khokhar. About the Khukhrain mention is made stating

Khukhrain Punjab Chiefs

The Punjab Chiefs were various ruling families who held positions of authority in Punjab. Sir Robert Montgomery, Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab in the 1860s during British Rule, commissioned the histories of the Punjab Chiefs and notable families to be written and compiled. The intention of the work was to give a picture of the Punjab aristocracy as it existed at the time. It was first published in 1909.

District Name of the Chief Clan/Caste/Tribe/Family Other genealogical information
Gujranwala District Sardar Mehr Singh Chhachi Kohli Khukhrain Khatri
Jhelum District Hira Singh of Chotala Suri Khukhrain Khatri
Gujranwala District Ganga Bishan of Eminabad Chadha Khukhrain Khatri
Shahpur District Diwan Bahadur Diwan Jawahir Mal of Bhera Sethi Khukhrain Khatri
Rawalpindi District Sardar Gurdit Singh Chhachi Kohli Khukhrain Khatri

Hierarchy among Khatris

Among Punjabis, there are several distinct communities, among all the communities the Khatris reside at the top. Khatris are divided into several sub castes. The 1891 Punjab census listed 3086 sub castes of Khatris and the 1911 census listed 1559. Even the 1911 number seems too large and shows the unreliability of Census figures in these matters. One possible reason for the discrepancy could be the different treatment of the Arora sub castes in the two censuses. While Aroras consider themselves to be Khatris they actually do not belong to the Khatri clan.

In ancient times, the name Khatri was not in existence, rather they were known as the Kshatriya, during the reign of Maurya Dynasty they concentrated in the Potwar Plateau of Punjab.[3]

There are five sub categories:-

1. Khukhrain Khatri (Eight Clan or Got)

2. Dhaiye Khatri (Three Clan or Got)

3. Bari Khatri (Twelve Clan or Got)

4. Bahunjayee Khatri (Fifty Two Clan or Got)

5. Sarin Khatri (Three Hundred Clan or Got)

All the above five words were derived from Sanskrit and later spelt in Punjabi.

Earlier only Khukhrains and Dhaiye Khatris existed and were known as Anands (Suryavanshi) and Purus (Chandravanshis), later three more sub categories were derived.

Khukhrain Khatri:- In Sanskrit spelt as Kushrayan, means Descendants of King Kush. It consisted of eight clans Anand, Kohli, Suri, Bhasin, Chadha, Sahni, Sethi and Sabharwal. Later four more clans were derived from above Chandhok, Chhachhi, Ghai and Ghandhok.

Dhai Ghar (Dhaiye) Khatri (number three being inauspicious):- It consists of clans Malhotra/Mehra/Mehrotra, Khanna, Kapoor/Kapur/Kupur. They are Chandravanshi and direct descendants of King Krishan.

Bahraan Ghar (Bari) Khatri:- They are the Suryavanshi but does not consist descendants of Khukhrain. This category consist of several clans Tandon/Tandan/Tondon, Chopra, Bohra/Wohra, Wadhaun/Wadhwa, Talwar, Sahgal, and Maindharu/Mahindru, Dhawan/Dhaun, Kakkar/Kakar and Seth.

Bahunjayee (Baavan) Khatri:- They are born in many castes, in different words this is the group of different sub-castes of Khatris (that is, Khukhrains, Dhaihye and Baharaan), who on the account of their indiscipline at any time, were out caste from their original higher castes. In Sanskrit, Bahujayee means "many birth" as, Bahu means Many and Jayee means Birth. They consists both the suryavanshi and chandravanshi. This category consists of many clans/castes.

Other than these, Khatri consist of Naagvanshi.

‘‘‘Naagvanshi’’’:- its clans are Nayyar, Nair and Naik. They consider themselves Kshatriya but separate from the Khatri community. These clans are also present in southern part of India and adapted different culture there.

Also, Arora community of Panjab, though are not but they extensively claim that they are Khatris.

Sarin:- Bara Sarin and Chota Sarin (comprise of 300 clans) Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh Panth, was born in the Mehta clan of Bara Sarin Bedi sub cast and his actual name was Nanak Mehta. His father was Kalu Mehta. He was later called as Bedi.

Alphbatical Order

KHUKHRAIN: Anand, Bhasin, Chadha, Chandhok, Chhachi, Ghai, Ghandhoke, Kohli, Sabharwal, Sawhney/Sahni, Sethi, Suri

DHAI GARHI (Extended Char Ghari): Malhotra/Mehra/Mehrotra, Khanna, Kapoor/Kapur/Kupur

BAHARAAN GARHI: Bohra/Wohra/Vohra, Chopra, Dhawan/Dhaun, Maindharu/Mahindru, Sahgal/Seghal/Saigal, Talwar, Tandon/Tandan/Tondon, Wadhaun/Wadhwa, Kakkar/Kakar, Seth

NAAGVANSHI: Nair, Naik, Nayyar/Nayer

BAHUNJAYEE: Adlakha, Awal, Badhwar/Budhwar, Bagga, Bahl, Bassi, Batta, Beri, Bhalla, Bhambri, Bhandari, Bindra, Dhir, Duggal, Dhupar, Dua, Gambhir, Gandotra, Gandhi, Gujral, Gulati, Gulla, Handa, Jaggi, Jethi, Jagga, Jolly, Katyal, Khosla, Khullar, Kiri, Kochar, Lamba, Madhok, Mahana/Mahna, Maini, Makan/Markan/Makin/Mawkin/Maken, Malik, Mankhand, Marwah, Monga, Mongia, Nehra, Nikhanj, Oberoi/Uberoi, Ohri, Parwanda, Puri, Pahwar, Pardal, Passi, Rai, Roshan, Sablok, Saggar/Sagar, Sahi/Shahi, Sarna, Sekri/Sekhri, Sibal, Sikand, Sikka, Soni, Thamman, Thakkar/Thukkar, Tuli, Thapar, Uppal, Vadehra, Vasudeva, Vig/Vij, Vinayak, Wadhera, Wahi

‘‘‘SARIN’’’: Bara Sarin and Chota Sarin (comprise of 300 clans)

Khatri to Khukhrain Hierarchy

Within Khatris, too, there was a distinct hierarchy. On the top of the Bari Khatris pyramid sat Dhai-gharais (two and a half houses- three being an inauspicious number), consisting of three sub castes - Kapoor, Malhotra and Khanna. The reference to two and a half is because of the Khatri superstition of the number three. Below them were Baharaan-gharais (twelve houses) including such castes as Gujral, Marwaha, Tandon, Chopra and Wahi. Further lower in the order were Bawinja-gharais (fifty-two houses). Distinct from these "ghars" were the "Khukhrain biradri" consisting of eight sub castes - Kohli, Sethi, Anand, Bhasin, Sahni, Suri, Sabharwal and Chadha. Khukhrains are very proud of their biradri. Some claim that Porus was a Khukhrain. These sub castes were exogamous within the same sub caste but endogamous with respect to the same group. In other words, a Kohli could not marry another Kohli but could only marry within the eight sub castes included in the Khukhrain biradri. These rules got relaxed over time with gradual broad banding to make all Khatris endogamous and then extending the circle of eligible matrimony to include Aroras as well. In modern India, these taboos have further broken down and Khatris now frequently marry Non-Khatris and even Non- Punjabis, but one still frequently finds matrimonial advertisements specifying ones Khukhrain or Khatri affiliation.

Post Partition of India 1947

Most of the Hindu or Sikh, Khukhrains moved perforce to India following the Partition of India in 1947. Khukrains are now settled not only in large concentrations in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana but also spread the world over. Their mother tongue is Punjabi.

Khukhrains in other religions

Sikh Khukhrain

Among the Khatri castes, the Khukhrain were one of the foremost followers of the Sikh Gurus and traditionally brought up one son as a Keshdhari Sikh[citation needed]. This is evident from the large number of Khukhrain surnames among Khatri Sikhs.

A predominant section of the Hindu Khukrains, continue to follow dual religious traditions of both Sikh as well as Arya Samaj. This has been in spite of the religo-political competitive zeal of both the Arya Samaj and Tat Khalsa effort at creating purified identities.

Intermarriage between Khatri as well as Khukrain Sikhs and Hindus are common. The dual religious Hindu and Sikh identity and Khukhrain biradri identity comfortably coexists.

Muslim Khukhrain

Most Khukhrains are Hindu or Sikh. Some are Muslim. Khukhrains of all these faiths collectively form one community. In Pakistan, there continues to be a large number of Muslim Khukhrains living in the eastern Punjab area. The Pakistani Journalist Najam Sethi is one such example. Some scholars such as Muhammad Ikrām Chutai believe that a number of Khukhrain were converted to Islam by the Sufi Baba Farid[22]

Places in Punjab and Afghanistan

Various contemporary and historical places in the Punjab and Afghanistan corresponding to traditional areas associated with Khukhrain or Khokhar bear the name or variants of Khokharain or Kokrana.



  1. Kohlian da Mohallah (Mohallah Kolianwala), Bhera, Pakistan
  2. Sethian da Mohallah (Mohallah Sethianwala), Bhera, Pakistan
  3. Sahnian da Mohallah (Mohallah Sahnianwala), Bhera, Pakistan
  4. Basti Khokharain, Mainwali, Punjab, Pakistan, also known as Shampur Khokharan
  5. Pindi Khokharain, SIALKOT Punjab, Pakistan
  6. Dhok Khokhran, Pakistan
  7. Pipli Khokhran,Dipalpur, Pakistan
  8. Bhagwala Khokharan (Gujar Khan)
  9. Jhangh Khokharan (Gujar Khan)
  10. Kathala Khokhran, Sahiwal, Pakistan
  11. Thatta Khokhran, Pakistan
  12. Mari Khokharain, Gujarat District
  13. Mohalla Khukhrain, Khanpur, Dist. Rahim Yaar Khan,
  14. Khokharain Wala, outside Dehli Gate Multan
  15. Khokharain, Bahawalnager Qalandar Pufr. Punjab, Pakistan
  16. Khokhar Agar Khan, Jhelum, Punjab. Pakistan
  17. Rhang khokhran (Sialkot)


  1. Kohlian,Dinanagar,Gurdaspur,Punjab
  2. Kotli Khokhran (Gujrat)[24]
  3. Shampur Khokharan (Gujrat)
  4. Khokhrain in Hoshiarpur Punjab India
  5. Khokharain in Kapurthala Punjab India
  6. Rindheer Khokharain, Gujrat


Khukhrains Hindu or Sikhs are by and large an urbanised highly educated and economically well off community. Khukhrains in India and Pakistan have excelled in almost all spheres including business, politics, arts, military, and in the field of sciences as well as in the Judiciary and law.

Famous Khukhrain personalities include:

Dr. Manmohan Singh with Former President of the United States George W. Bush

See also


  1. ^ M.A. Sherring, Hindu Castes and Tribes as represented in Banares, 1872.
  2. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose Page 509 Vol 11
  3. ^ a b c d The Punjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981
  4. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol II
  5. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol II Page 123
  6. ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India v22 page 214
  7. ^ The Punjab Chiefs " by authors W.L.Conran and H.D Craik and published by Sang-E-Meel publications of Lahore Pakistan Page 197
  8. ^ Ramesh Chandra Majumdar (1977). Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 8120804368
  9. ^ The Shah-Namah of Fardusi translation by Alexander Rogers LPP Publication Page 370
  10. ^ The Panjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1981 Page 195]
  11. ^ [(The Panjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981 PAGE 200)
  12. ^ [The Panjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981 page 200
  13. ^ The Punjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1981 Page 200)
  14. ^ The Punjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981 Page 205)
  15. ^ History of the rise of the Mahmomedan Power in India by John Briggs, Translated from the original Persian of Mohomed Kasim Ferishta Vol Page 22
  16. ^ The Panjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981 Page 195]
  17. ^ The Panjab Past and Present By Punjabi University Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies Published by Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University., 1981 page 201}
  18. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, Vol II Page 513
  19. ^ Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge by Walter Yust Published by Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952 Page 980
  20. ^ The Punjab Chiefs W L Conran and H D Craik, Sang-e-Meel Preface to the Original Edition
  21. ^ The Panjab chiefs : historical and biographical notices of the principal families in the Lahore and Rawalpindi divisions of the Panjab by Lepel Henry Griffin, Sir; Charles Francis Massy.
  22. ^ Babaji: Life and Teachings of Farid-ud Din Ganj-i Shakar By Muhammad Ikrām Chutai Page 433 Published by Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2006
  23. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol II Page 541
  24. ^ "Kotli Khokhran Map | Pakistan Google Satellite Maps". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  25. ^ Miracles of Ardaas:Author-M.S.Kohli:Page-28