From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 India, Pakistan
Related ethnic groups

The Pinjara (Rajasthani: पिंज़ारा (Devanagari) پِنجارہ (Perso-Arabic)) (Kannada:ಪಿಂಜಾರ ) is a community found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan in India. The terms Pinjara, Mansoori, Behna and Dhunia are used interchangebly in some regions of India whereas in other regions they are separate communities. They are also known as Mansoori, especially in Gujarat, where the name Pinjara is no longer used. The Pinjara is the traditional cotton carder of Central India, just like the Behna are the traditional cotton carders of North India This community came from Persia and Afghanistan for business purpose of cotton farming and industries. [1][2]

History and origin[edit]

The community originated from local converts to Islam and foreigners who immigrated from Persia Afghanistan and other regions outside Indian subcontinent , and were involved in the traditional occupation of cotton ginning/trading. Some Pinjaras who originated from converts to Islam claim their descent from Rajput . According to history, they came from Rajasthan to Gujarat at the time of the form of Ran Singh and resided here. Even today, their main caste - Rao, Deora, Chauhan, Bhati, which is also a Rajput clan[2]. The main origin of this community from Afghanistan and some of whose converted Muslim from Rajput's.But they were called Behna, Dhuna by the Hindu community and it's also mentioned that dhuna, Behna was stated to the Hindu carder not for Muslims. Most of the people of this community used no surname until recent times however most of them have adopted surnames like Sheikh while others use Mansoori as a surname because the ancestor's of this community was Persian Muslims and from Afghanistan.

The community is concentrated in the Awadh and Rohilkhand regions, with those in Awadh speaking both Urdu and Awadhi, and those in Rohilkhand speaking Khari boli. In Rohilkhand, the community is found mainly in the districts of Bar, Bijnor, Moradabad, and Rampur. While in Awadh, Uttar pradesh, Bihar, gujrat, rajsthan north India[2]

Present circumstances[edit]


In Rajasthan, the Pinjara are found mainly in Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Alwar, Bikaner Jhalawar, Kota districts. They speak a variety of Rajasthani, and have a working knowledge of Urdu. The community are divided into two major exogamous groups, the Baone and Terpane, the former is further divided into fifty two clans, and the latter is divided into fifty three clans. Some of their major clans are the Sherani,Qureshi, Asan, Galhot, Bhati, Chauhan, Aravalli, Tak, Aguan, Ajmeria, Bhulta, Bahaleem, Chitta and Multani. These clans are exogamous in nature...[1] The main situated area of clan sherani's is a town "kanore" near Udaipur.


In Maharashtra, the community is found mainly in the districts of Bhandara, Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha. They speak Marathi, although most also speak Dakhani. Unlike the Rajasthan Pinjara, the Maharashtra Pinjara do not practice clan exogamy. Most of them abandoned their traditional occupation of cotton gining and the manufacture of quilts and pillows. A process that began in the 19th Century, when many members of the community took to agriculture has accelerated. Most Pinjara are now small and medium sized farmers. Most live in multi-caste villages which they share with the Maratha, Mang, Gond and Bandha communities.


In Karnataka, Pinjaras population is about 1.3 million. They are found all over the State but majority of them live in Bijapur and Belgaum districts. Literacy is claimed to be less than 1 percent in the State. Pinjara Muslims mother tongue is Kannada where as other Muslims speak Daccani. In some parts of the State their traditional occupation continues with modern machines but overall they are badly affected by modern mattress makers. Some are agriculturist and others run petty-shops. Economically they are weaker section of the society and are struggling to embrace change.


  1. ^ a b People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part Two edited by B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas pages 750 to 755 Popular Prakashan
  2. ^ People of India Maharshtra Volume XXX Part Three edited by B.V Bhanu, B.R Bhatnagar, D.K Bose, V.S Kulkarni and J Sreenath pages 1733- 1737