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Lohar are considered to be a caste among Hindus and Sikhs and a clan among Muslims in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. They form part of a loose grouping of traditionally artisanal castes known as Panchals. Regional synonyms include Vishwakarma and Saifi.
Writers of the Raj period often used the term Lohar as a synonym for blacksmith, although there are other traditional smithing communities, such as the Ramgarhia and Sikligars, and numerous non-traditional communities, including the Yadavs, Kayasthas, Rajputs and Brahmins.
The Lohar are one of the most widespread communities in Uttar Pradesh. They are divided along religious lines, with the Hindu Lohar known as Vishwakarmas and Muslim Lohars known as Saifis. They are further divided into a number of exogamous groupings, the main ones being the Kanaujiya, Purbia, Bahai, Moulia and Magajia. Most Lohar are still engaged in their traditional occupation of metal fabrication, although the majority of those in western Uttar Pradesh are cultivators. The assimilated Lohar speak Hindi and its various dialects such as Awadhi; others speak the Ho language.
- Bhattachan included the Lohar among the Madhesi Dalit in his report on minorities in Nepal, listing some 82,000. Bhattachan, Krishna B. (2008). Indigenous Peoples & Minorities of Nepal. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN). p. 49. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12.
- In Annex I, Bhattarai lists the Lohar as iron-workers under the Madhesi as 0.36% of the Nepalese population. Bhattarai, Hari Prasad (2004). "Cultural Diversity and Pluralism in Nepal: Emerging Issues and the Search for a New Paradigm" (PDF). Contributions to Nepalese Studies. 31 (2): 293–340, page 339. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-05-15.
- Perez, Rosa Maria (2004). Kings and Untouchables: A Study of the Caste System in Western India. Orient Blackswan. p. 80. ISBN 978-8-18028-014-6.
- Judge, Paramjit S.; Bal, Gurpreet (1996). Strategies of social change in India. M.D. Publications. p. 54. ISBN 978-81-7533-006-1. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 902 to 906 Manohar Publications
- "Ho". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- "Indigenous Communities from India: Lohara". Native Planet.