Marwari people

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Marwadi Husband and Wife in Traditional Attire Rajasthan India.jpg
Marwari husband and wife in traditional attire
Regions with significant populations
Rajasthan region of India
Marwari language
Hinduism, Islam and Jainism
Related ethnic groups
Rajasthani people
Birla Mandir, New Delhi built by the Birla family in 1939

The Marwari or Marwadi are an Indian ethnic group that originate from the Rajasthan region of India. Their language, also called Marwari, is closely related to Rajasthani, which is part of the Western Zone of Indo-Aryan languages, and often subsumed under Rajasthani.


The term Marwari once referred to the area encompassed by the former princely state of Marwar, also called the Jodhpur region of southwest Rajasthan in India.The word Marwar is considered to be derived from Sanskrit word Maruwat, the meaning of maru being 'desert'. Others believe that word Marwar is made up of Mar from alternate name of Jaisalmer and last part war of Mewar. It has evolved to be a designation for the Rajasthani people in general but it is used particularly with reference to certain jātis that fall within the Bania ethnic category.Those communities, whose traditional occupation has been as traders, comprise the Agarwals, Khandelwals, Maheshwaris and Oswals.[1]

The Marwari name was given to people of Rajasthan by Kolkata, who migrated for trading and to do business in Kolkata. Many people from various Marwari castes migrated to distant states for business, agriculture and later became successful. The term "Marwari" caught on as a way to refer to a businessman from Marwar. [2]

Dwijendra Tripathi believes that the term Marwari was probably used by the traders only when they were outside their home region; that is, by the diaspora.[3]


The Marwari traders have historically been migratory in habit. The possible causes of this trait include the proximity of their homeland to the major Ganges-Yamuna trade route; movement to escape famine; and the encouragement given to them to settle in kingdoms ruled by Rajputs who saw advantages in having their skills. Their abilities were valued by Rajput rulers because, in the period prior to the influx of the British to northern India, the Rajput kingdoms were often warring against each other and were also practitioners of conspicuous consumption in their royal courts.[1]

Kedia Family Haveli (Fatehpur, Shekhawati, Rajasthan)

Business history[edit]

Medha Kudaisya has said that the Marwaris:

... made the transition from being niche players in trading to becoming industrial conglomerates ... From being brokers and bankers, the Marwaris went on to break the British monopoly over the jute industry after World War 1; they then moved into other industrial sectors, such as cotton and sugar, and set up diversified conglomerates. By the 1950s, the Marwaris dominated the India private industry scenario, emerging as the establishers of its most prominent business houses.[4]

Linguistic history[edit]

Main article: Marwari language

Marwari, or Marrubhasha, as it is referred to by Marwaris, is the traditional, historical, language of the Marwari ethnicity.[2] The Marwari language is closely related to the Rajasthani language. The latter evolved from the Old Gujarati (also called Old Western Rajasthani, Gujjar Bhakha or Maru-Gurjar), language spoken by the people in Gujarat and Rajasthan.[5]


The Marwari cuisine is strictly vegetarian, yet offers a diversity of different dishes. The locally famed Dal-Baati-Churma is a popular dish among Marwari people. One thing common for baatis, irrespective of their cooking technique, is that they are always served dipped in ghee, accompanied with panchmel, or panch kutti dal and churma. The dal is cooked with ghee, the masalas in the dal are fried in ghee, and more ghee is mixed into the dal before serving.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kudaisya, Medha M. (2009). "Marwari and Chettiar Merchants. 1850s-1950s: Comparative Trajectories". In Kudaisya, Medha M.; Ng, Chin-Keong. Chinese and Indian Business: Historical Antecedents. Leiden: BRILL. p. 87. ISBN 978-90-04-17279-1. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  2. ^ a b "about Marwaris". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  3. ^ Tripathi, Dwijendra (1996). "From Community to Class: The Marwaris in a Historical Perspective". In Bhandani, B. L.; Tripathi, Dwijendra. Facets of a Marwar Historian. Jaipur: Publication Scheme. pp. 189–196. ISBN 978-81-86782-18-7. 
  4. ^ Kudaisya, Medha M. (2009). "Marwari and Chettiar Merchants. 1850s-1950s: Comparative Trajectories". In Kudaisya, Medha M.; Ng, Chin-Keong. Chinese and Indian Business: Historical Antecedents. Leiden: BRILL. p. 86. ISBN 978-90-04-17279-1. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  5. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri; R. K. Sharma; Devendra Handa (2005). Revealing India's past: recent trends in art and archaeology. Aryan Books International. p. 227. ISBN 978-81-7305-287-3. It is an established fact that during 10th-11th century ... Interestingly the language was known as the Gujjar Bhakha. 
  6. ^ "aapka khansama". Retrieved 2014-03-23.