Gurjar

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Nomadic Gujjar woman in Rajasthan

Gurjar or Gujjar (also translitterated as Gujar, Goojar, Gujjara and Gujjer) are an ethnic nomadic, agricultural and pastoral group of Jammu and Kashmir, Northwestern India, northern and central Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and northeastern Afghanistan.

The Gujari language is closely related to Rajasthani and Marwari. As per historical accounts parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat were known as Gurjar-bhumi or Gurjaratra prior to Mughal period in India.[1] The Gurjar-Pratihara dynasty acted as a barrier to invasions from Muslim Arabs for around 300 centuries.[2] However, in later times, circa the 14th century AD onwards, they were reduced to small principalities due to successful invasions and conquests by Muslim powers in northern and western India. During the 15th-16th century, there were Gujjar kings in the areas of Meerut and Dadri. The Gujjars in Pakistan and Afghanistan are Muslim.

After this time, with struggles against the rising Mughal power and later British India the Gujjars gradually fell into a decline. They became poor nomads and started living in jungles and forests. With Muslim rule in North India, the Hindu Gujjars of the area surrounding Delhi had to live in jungles in order to save their Hindu faith and to survive. Today, Hindu Gujjars are found in the Indian states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and to a smaller extent Punjab. Muslim Gujjars are found in the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and in the Pakistani provinces of Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in the Afghanistan province of Nuristan.

Reference[change | change source]

  1. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar; Achut Dattatrya Pusalker, A. K. Majumdar, Dilip Kumar Ghose, Vishvanath Govind Dighe, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (1977). The History and Culture of the Indian People: The classical age. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 153.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. Keay, John (2000). India: A History. Grove Press. pp. 95, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.