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The Manihar are a Muslim community, found mainly in North India,[1] and the province of Sindh in Pakistan. A number of Manihar are also found in the Terai region of Nepal.[citation needed]

History and origin[edit]

The word Manihar is derived from Man, meaning jewel in Urdu, and the agentive sufix har. Their traditional occupation is bangle seling, and they are also known as saudagar, this word being derived from they claims descent from the first Caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr, and as such are sub-group of the Siddiqui Manihar community.[citation needed]

Their main clans are the Bachchal, Bhadauriya, Banjara, Chandchi, Milki, Gaddi, Kachchoiyana, Rana, Khalri, Talwar, Turk, Uzbek, Parmaar, Rohilla, Rananjay and Raikwar.[2] Some of these clans are territorial groupings, others reflect a background from originating from other communities, such as the Kachwaha and Parmar. The community uses the surname Siddiqui. A sections of the Manihar to be Rajput converts to Islam.[citation needed]

Present circumstances[edit]


Selling of glass bangles has been the traditional occupation of the Manihar. Some members of the community have now taken to other occupations, such as tailoring, others have opened shops, and many have taken formal education. Some of them who do not sell bangles are Qualified Siddiqui Sahab(Shaikh). The Qualified Siddiqui Sahab(Shaikh) are one of the most widespread Muslim communities in India.[2]

The Manihar of Uttar Pradesh also known as Soudagar or Saudagar in Madhya Pradesh have a traditional community council, which resolves disputes within the community. They are an endogamous community, and have a preference of cross - cousin and parallel cousin marriages. The Manihar are Sunni Hanafi Muslims and like other artisan communities in North India, have now become fairly orthodox. In Rajasthan, the Manihar are found in Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, Sikar, Churu and Ajmer districts. They are bangle makers and dealers in lac or sealing wax. They are divided into three territorial groupings, the Shishgar, Shekhawati and Padiya, which are further divided into several clans. Their main clans are the Balara, Chauhan, Kasali, Gori, Nausal, Milki, Kidwai, Bathhot, Sheikh and Mughal. The community speak the Shaikawati dialect of Rajasthani. They are endogamous community, and maintain a system of gotra exogamy.[3]

In Gujarat, the Manihar are also referred to as the Shaikh sahab. They are mainly concentrated in Ahmedabad, but also found in the districts of Kutch, Khada, Jamnagar and Vadodara. The community claim to have come from Sindh and speak Kutchi, and have three clans, the Lodani, Kachani and Ishani. They have their own caste association, the Gujarat Manihar Jamaat.[4]


The Manihar community from the town of Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh have settled in the city of Hyderabad in Sindh. The Sindh Manihar are still involved in the manufacture of the glass bangles.[citation needed]

Their main settlements are Churi Para and its neighbouring localities of Noorani Basti and Ilyasabad all located in the historic core of Hyderabad. The Manihar emigrated to Pakistan after independence in 1947, and form an Urdu-speaking community, although many are now bilingual, speaking Sindhi as well. Unlike their Indian counterparts, the Manihar are no longer just involved in the manufacture of glass bangles, but also involved in the retail side, and many have now become small businessmen. The traditional community council has now been replaced by the Siddiqui Welfare Society, which is involved in a number of activities for the improvement of the community, and has established a charitable hospital in Churi Para in Hyderabad. [5]

In addition to the Hyderabad community, the Siddiqui Manihar are also found in the cities of Karachi, Rohri and Sukkur.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two by K S Singh page 937
  2. ^ a b People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Two by K S Singh page 936
  3. ^ People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part Two edited by B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas page 617 to 543 Popular Prakashan
  4. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen pages 859-862
  5. ^[permanent dead link]