Raut (caste)

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Not to be confused with a Maratha clan of the same name.

Raut (also spelled as Rout or Rawat) is an Indian caste.

The Rauts are mainly found in the Chhattisgarh state, and the neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Traditionally, they were predominantly distributed in the districts of Durg, Raipur, Bastar, Nagpur and Bhandara.[1]


Traditionally, the Rauts were involved in herding and milking the cattle.[2] Like many other cowherding castes of India, they claim descent from the ancient Yadu tribe through Krishna. As such, they are often considered a sub-caste of the larger Ahir caste. According to historian Robert Vane Russell, the word Rawat is a corruption of Rajputra ("princeling").[3]


The Raut men traditionally performed the local folk epic Candaini (or Chandaini) in a combination of dance and song. The epic tells the story of princess Candaini, who leaves her impotent husband and falls in love with a common man Lorik. Both the characters are from the Raut caste, and the epic seems to have originated in this caste.[4] As late as 1980, the Candaini performers used to be primarily from the Raut caste, but now people from other communities also take part in the performances.[2]


  1. ^ Kumar Suresh Singh; B. V. Bhanu (2004). People of India: Maharashtra, Volume 1. Popular Prakashan. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 1781. ISBN 9788179911006. 
  2. ^ a b Margaret H. Beissinger; Susanne Lindgren Wofford, eds. (1999). Epic traditions in the contemporary world: the poetics of community. University of California Press. p. 137. 
  3. ^ Robert Vane Russell (1916). The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India: pt. II. Descriptive articles on the principal castes and tribes of the Central Provinces. Macmillan and Co., limited. pp. 19–. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Arjun Appadurai; Frank J. Korom; Margaret A. Mills (1994). Gender, genre, and power in South Asian expressive traditions. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 196. ISBN 9788120811782.