Odh (also written 'Od' or 'Oad') (pronounced [oᶑ]: Hindi: odh) are a Rajput community and a tribe with origins in Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan and Rajasthan in India. The tribe has a distinct and unique history dating back thousands of years. They are considered to be of Rajput origin. However, not much is documented about this tribe. One of the earliest reference to Odhs is found in the 18th century poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, who has praised Ods for their hard work and simplicity.
There are a number of traditions of the origin of this tribe. One of tradition relates to an ancestor by the name of Bhagirat. Bhagirat vowed never to drink twice from the same well, and so he dug a fresh well everyday until one day he dug down and never came up. In honour of this ancestor, the Oad took to working as navvies.
According to another tradition, the ancestor of the Oad was Odang, a king of Orisa. They then migrated from Orissa to Rajasthan, and from there to Sindh and Punjab. They claim their original name was Sagarbansi.
The Ods are a large community spread over a large region with concentrations in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana in India and in Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan. The Oads have been nomads for centuries since Mughals ruled South Asia, and were known in the South Asia as indigenous civil engineers, constructors of ponds, walls, structures, canals and embankments.
Those in Sindh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan speak their own language called Oadki, which resembles Marathi and Gujarati with borrowings from Marwari and Punjabi. The Od of Punjab, Pakistan speak Punjabi, while those of Haryana speak Haryanvi.
The Hindu Oads are Shivites, and worship Shiva, as oppose to other Punjab tribes that are Vaishnavi. While those of Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat follow a number of local deities, as well as being Shivite. Oads mainly worship their ancestors and lighten "Diya" on every Thursday.
The independence of Pakistan and India has effectively divided the Odh in two distinct communities. In Pakistan, the Oads are Hindu, with the exception some Muslim Odhs in Sindh.In punjab Pakistan the total Oads are Muslim .
The Odh community in Pakistan remain associated with the building trade. A recent study made the following discovery:
In Delhi, Community claim to be Suryavanshi Rajputs, who emigrated from Marwar. They are found mainly in Mehrauli, Dakshin Puri, Sanjay Colony and Bhatti Mines neighbourhoods. Their main clans in Delhi are the Dewat, Panwar, Bhatti, Sisodia, Majoka, Gadai (Bhatia), Shrawan, (Rathod) Rathore, Sirkiband, Chauhan,Dhanetiya, Kudawala (Bhatti) and Galgat,Doodya . The community maintain its traditional occupation of digging canals or working in mines.They were involved in making sirki or chhappar in past time also and were called Sirkiband oad. They are an extremely marginal community, and child labour is fairly prevalent.
In Rajasthan, the Oad claim descent from a Rajput king, by the name Sagar. They are found mainly in Alwar and Sri Ganganagar districts and divided into number of exogamous clans, namely the Doodya, Kudawla, Gondli (Gondley), Beeka, Soora, Kalhiya (Tanwar), Udesi, Galgat, Mudai, Gadai, Shrawan, Majoka, Yodha, Mangal, Nahar, Gagwani, Lola and Japlot. They are largely engaged in digging earth, construction of roads,Farming and masonry work. The Oad rajput speak Oadki among themselves and Hindi with outsiders, and are Vishnavi Hindus.
In Haryana, the Oad mainly found in Panchkula, Hisar, Balawas village, Tohana, Ratia, Fathehabad, Sirsa, Panipat, Sonipat, Hansi, Karnal, Kaithal, Faridabad, Gurgaon and other parts of Haryana.Their main clans in Haryana are the Hansu,Chitra,Tihil,Botia,Gundlii, Japlot,(Rathod)Rathore,Borde,Kudawala,Chunthal,Hadgal,Somora,Moriye and Galgat. In the History of Haryana Politic only Sh.Gyan Chand Galgat, who has been elected MLA twice from "Ratia" Constituency from [2004 to 2009] and again in . In District Hisar village namely "HAZAMPUR" 80% Oad Community resides in Tohana and also in many villages. In Haryana, the Education Level and living standard has increased too much but still more improvement needs.Apart from above the prominent personality in Od community Sh.Lakhu Ram Majoka was migrated from village Khatlabana(Sri Ganaganagar)and settled in a forest area near village Shakerpura, tehsil-Tohana in 1950. he died in 1980. But the small village is known by his name LAKHU WALI DHANI. After his death his family members left the village and settled in Hisar(Haryana).Chaudhari Devaram Mudai has been Numberdar in Barwala Village. His son Shri Gian Chand retired as a DCWE from Defence Services.His grandsons are serving senior officials in Haryana State Services and in the Indian Army.
In Punjab, according to the traditions of the Odh community, they are Rajputs of Udaipur, and were originally known as Ude, which became corrupted to Odh. Most of the East Punjab Odh have immigrated from territory that became Pakistan in 1947. They are found mainly in the districts of Ferozepur, Sangrur and Bhatinda. There traditional occupation was earthwork, digging wells and construction of roads. The community is endogamous, and maintain clan exogamy. There main clans are the Hadola Dao, Hansi, Chitada, Mahdwara, Tehil and Mikrani. A number of Oad families of the Shrawan, Chauhan, Yodha clans have established themselves in Union Territory of Chandigarh'.
In Gujarat in Gujarat (India) according to their traditional they claim that own self to 'rajput'.in present due to 'jashmadevi' they work as buildar so they also called beldar.in bhuki (a gret oad woman was die own self for the selfrespect )the shati is very popular oad cast give their bali fulfill their wants. In Andhra Pradesh & Maharastra In Andhra Pradesh, the Oad mainly found in Adilabad, Nizamabad and Karimnagar while in Maharastra mainly found in Nagpur, Kinwat, Yeotmal, Pusad, and Mumbai.
- Tribes and castes of North western provinces by William Crooke
- A Glossary of the tribes & castes of Punjab by H. A Rose
- People of India Haryana Volume XXIII
- A Glossary of the Tribes & castes of Punjab
- People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T Ghosh & S Nath pages 530 to 533 Manohar Publications
- People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part Two edited by B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas page 716 to 710 Popular Prakashan
- People of India Punjab Volume XXXVII edited by I.J.S Bansal and Swaran Singh pages 348 to 349 Manohar