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HindiAwadhiBhojpuri . Angika/BhagalpurMarwari Punjabi
Hinduism, Jainism
Related ethnic groups
Muslim HalwaiBaniaVaishya

Halwai is a caste of Vaishya varna (community) with traditional primary occupation related to confectionery and sweet-making. The name is derived the word Halwa.

Traditionally Indians ate food cooked at their own kitchen, although food cooked with ghee/oil by halwais was considered to be an acceptable exception.[1][page needed]

Baba Ganinath Govind is the kul Guru of Halwai / Madhesia cast.[2] purity of sweets is considered to be an important attribute.

Origins of the Halwai Caste[edit]

In some parts of Uttar Pradesh, some believe that they have descended from a man by the name 'Bhalandan.' This Bhalandan came into being due to the will of the Hindu god Brahma. This individual married a woman named Marutwati. Their son was an individual who was named Vatsa Priti. One of the latter's descendents, an individual called Modan, took to making sweetmeats.[3]

The community was among the earliest to set up its own caste association, the Kanyakubja Vaishya Halwai Mahasabha, which was established in Varanasi in the year 1903.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The tribes and castes of the Central Provinces of India By R V Russell, R.B.H. Lal, Volume III, 1916
  2. ^ Ritual as Language: The Case of South Indian Food Offerings Gabriella Eichinger Ferro-Luzzi Current Anthropology, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1977), pp. 507-514
  3. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 597
  4. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 601