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Lunia, a caste of salt-diggers - Tashrih al-aqvam (1825)

The Lonia (or Lunia) are a Hindu saltmaking caste, found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.[1]

Origins and status[edit]

Originally, the Lonia were resident in Rajasthan where they were engaged in the manufacture of salt.[2]

In some times and places, such as Uttar Pradesh in the mid-20th century, the Lunia were counted among the Untouchable castes.[3] In contrast, the community itself has at various times claimed to be of the Kshatriya (warrior) varna in the caste system.[4]

Present circumstances[edit]

In 1883, some Lonias formed a caste association called the Akhilbhartiya Shree Rajput Dharmpracharniya Mahasabha, under the leadership of Thakur Lalamathura Prasad Singh. The association later changed its name to Shree Rajput Heetkarni Mahasabha and in 1984 it merged into the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha at Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.[5][need quotation to verify]


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 907 to 912 - LUNIA The Lunia. salt makers and earth workers, are also known by the name Nuvra, Sambhri, Sambhri Chauhan ... and Thakur (same groups), superior to Dhobi, Dhanuk, Chamar, Kahar, Nai and subordinate to Brahman, Rajput and Bania.
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 907
  3. ^ Conditions of Labour in Indian Agriculture: Apparent and Real Pg 3 -- V. R. Joshi (1958) in his study of the growth of agricultural labourers in Uttar Pradesh states that they mostly belong to lower and untouchable castes like Lunia, Pasi and Chamar.
  4. ^ Falling Over Backwards: An Essay on Reservations, and on Judicial ... - Page 72 ...more dignified title, for admission to a higher caste or exclusion from a caste which is considered low in the social scale and is rarely based on any ... Bhat to Brahm Bhat Brahman; Panchal to Vishwa Brahman; Vidura to Parashar Brahman; Lunia to Lunia Kshatriya; Mahar to Kashyap Rajput; Gond to ... "The foregoing catalogue shows that several castes which had hitherto been classified as untouchable.
  5. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 911