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Kumhar (related to Bhumi)
Ram Kumawat Sutti Prajapati/Kumhar, Working on wheel Chakk in Bainchan village in punjab May, 2010
Hindi, Rajasthani, Haryanvi, Awadhi, Gujarati Marathi Punjabi

• 76% Hindu 16%Muslim 1.5%Sikh

6.5% Other religions
Related ethnic groups

Kumhar or Kumbhar is a caste or community of India. Kumhar literally means potter in Indian languages.

The Kumhar community is found throughout India and is found in all religions.


  • Mythological origin of Kumhars/Prajapatis/Pandit 1
  • Traditional tools of Kumhars 2
  • Present circumstances 3
  • Kumhar/Kumbhar/Prajapati across World 4
    • Kumhars of Gujarat and different parts of India 4.1
    • Kumhars of Maharashtra(Maratha Kumbhar) 4.2
    • Kumhars of Haryana 4.3
    • Kumhars of Madhya Pradesh 4.4
    • Kumhars of Chhattisgarh 4.5
    • Prajapti of Rajasthan 4.6
    • Kumhars of North India 4.7
    • Kumhars of Pakistan 4.8
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Mythological origin of Kumhars/Prajapatis/Pandit

A section of Hindu Kumhars honorifically call themselves Prajapati, claiming descent from the Prajapati (the sons of the Hindu deity Brahma).[1]

The Kumhars derive their name from the Prajapati, the god of creativity, to make a pot. And Parvati gave her blood to decorate the pot. That is when the first kumbh[2] (earthen pot) was created and Prajapati became the first Kumhar (potter).

Traditional tools of Kumhars

  • CHAKK (चाक): wheel (Manual/Automatic/Semiautomatic)
  • GHIRNIYAN (घिरनीयां): Designing tools
  • SOOT/Brahm SOOTRA (सूत्र): To cut the made pot from the chak
  • THATTHU (थत्थू): External support to the raw material
  • THAPI (थापी): Internal supporting organ
  • MOOLI (मूल़ी): Refining tool for soil (by beating it into small pieces)
  • CHALLAKAD (चलक्कड़): To rotate the wheel using a rod; the rod is called Challakad
  • SANCHA (सांचा): A dye to make Handis
  • AAWA (भट्ठी-आवा): A hearth/kiln for raw material finalizing.
Gazoro, in his shop in HoshiarpurPunjab June, 2010

Present circumstances

The Kumhars have almost shun their castly business(Soil work) but some have kept it alive. there are Kumhars in the Indian continent that export their items around world.The Kumhar traditional occupation remains pottery, but many are farmers also. The community are Hindus of the Shaivite sect.[3]

Kumhar/Kumbhar/Prajapati across World

Kumhars of Gujarat and different parts of India

There are sub-caste in Gujarati Kumbhar like Prajapati kumbhar, Variya kumbhar, Vataliya kumbhar, Kadiya kumbhar, Sorathiya kumbhar.

Besides, there are Rajput Kumhars,Rao Kumhars, Yadav(Ahir) Kumhars,Rana Kumhars,Maratha Kumhars, Roy Kumhars, Kanet(Thakur) Kumhars,Wodeyar(means Lord) Kumhars ,Pal or Paul Kumhars, Gurjar Kumhars, Jaat Kumhars, Santhalian Kumhars,Nair Kumhars also in different parts of India.

Kumhars of Maharashtra(Maratha Kumbhar)

Maratha(kshatriya) kumbhar is the sub cast of Maratha clan. They are prominently found in western Maharshtra and konkan part of Maharashtra state. In western maharashtra they are situated in districts pune, solapur, satara, sangali, kolhapur, ahamadnagar and In konkan districts mainly raigad, ratnagiri. They are also present in Goa state in significant numbers. They were served for creation of maratha nation in the era of shivaji maharaj. They were given jahangiri (award given by king in the form of Land) for their bravery. After foundation of Maratha state later on their families have started business like bricks industries, making idols, farming and pottery.

Most of the Maratha kumbhar have their surname as kumbhar. In western maharastra their surnames are kumbhar, raje, shirke, patil, jadhav,kale etc. while in konkan side their surnames are mostly derived from their village name. In konkan side their surnames are kumbhar, salvi and derived from village name. In Goa state and konkan side most of Maratha kumbhar are having their surname as Shet indicating Rich family.In some families men proudly use Rav after their name which is indication of Maratha clan. Their family businesses differ in different districts of maharashtra. Like in Raigad, some part of navi Mumbai Maratha kumbhar make ganesh idols as "Ganesh Ustav" is the big festivel celebrated in Raigad and Mumbai, also in konkan side. Pen a Taluka in Raigad District is famous for making of Ganesh idols. Apart from this konkani Maratha kumbhar also involved in farming and most of them are having brick industries. In western maharasthra district Maratha kumbhar are usually having brick industries and do farming. Maratha kumbhar made matrimonial alliances with other maratha clans. They are khstriya community so prefer maratha clan for marriages. There are other kumbhars which are not belonged to Maratha clan lives in maharashtra and have occupation of making idols and pots.[1]

Kumhars of Haryana

The Kumhars of Sirsa are divided into the Jodhpuria, from Jodhpur, who use the furnace or bhathi and are generally mere potters, and the Bikaneri or Desi, from Bikaner who use kilns (pajawas), but are chiefly agricultural and look down upon the potter's occupation as degrading.The Kumhars of Kurukshetra are known as Guliyaan(gotra), Sangroye and Gejwals. Now the days also they are in their traditional Pottery business and some are in agriculture. In Hissar there are four nondescript groups, the Bidawati, Magrochi, Nagori and Bhandia and others. All those appear to be really different tribes and not separate clans of one and the same tribe or caste. Other groups mentioned in accounts from this District are the Gola, Maru and Mula, all three distinct and will not intermarry. But the other accounts make the Gola the same as Maru and Bidwati identical with the Megrechi. Several of the Kumhar tribes have abandoned pottery and taken to agriculture as an occupation.

Occupationally, the Bagri group is also sub-divided into Khapmarus or agriculturists and Khapbandas or potters. The Marwariss of Bagar use camels at a wedding. Besides Guga, they also affect Jin Devi, whose surine is on a hill near Jaipur. Fairs are held there on the 8th and 9th sudi of Chaitra and Ashad. The Marwari-Desi groups appear to be found only in Jind, and in Sialkot. Kumhar in Haryana - Mohinder Garh - Khudana village - Chhapolia Gotra,and in Haryana following Gotra Kumhar are available Bawalia, Jalwal, Dahmiwal, Luhaniwal, Dabodia, Beewal, Sukharawalia, etc., also known as Bhagat ji because of Durga Mata/ Jai Ambe pooja, Brijeshwari(Kagra), Jawala ji (Jawalapur) Chintpurni Maa, Arti/pooja are completed by Kumhar in Pooja Sthal. The caste of Kumhar are praying complete process in Pooja. They are nevr ingore any step in Pooja Smaroh. In Hisar area gotra of kumhars are dhuraan(doharan),ghorla, beehwal,ranoliya,kiroriwal, khowal, taak,baasniwal. Dhuraan gotra families stay in Hisar, matrashyam village, in Kharkari(Hisar)with Poonias families, Siswal, Dhand(Adampur), Gangwa(Hisar), Ladwa, Sisay(Hansi), Mada-Majra, Bhujhasar(near Bhadra), Baasraa(Bhadra), Beegar village in Fatehabad,Chhani(Bhadra) Prabhuwala near Uklana Mandi and in Hisar city,Chandigarh in Sirsa district and in Gohana Sonipat also. this dhuraan gotra/surname got from Guru Dronaacharyaa, in Hindi literature Drona means shreshth(best). the kumhar community who belongs to family of Guru Dronaachaaryaa(Guru Dronaachaaryaa was aacharya and expert in archery and in other weapons also) and who got their education and shiksha and whose koolaguru was Guru Dronaachaaryaa, they got this surname. some of these surname found in sirsa rajasthan touch area like Nohar.

Kumhars of Madhya Pradesh

Hathretie and Chakretie (or Challakad) Kumhars are found in Madhya Pradesh and refer to themselves as Prajapati. Hathretie Kumhars are called so because they traditionally moved the "chak" (potter's wheel) by hands ("hath"). Gola is a common surnames among Kumhars in Madhya Pradesh[4]

Kumhars of Chhattisgarh

Mahto are also found in Chhattisgarh who are Kumhars, while some others also denote themselves as Prajapati. While there are some Mahto in other states who belong to other caste "Kurmi" who are not Kumhars

Prajapti of Rajasthan

The Prajapti community in Gujarat, Rajasthan are further divided:

  1. Pandit
  2. Marwara
  3. Timiria
  4. Mawalia
  5. Mathera
  6. Sighatiya
  7. sihota
  8. Sunkdiwal
  9. Shardiwal
  10. Kirodiwal
  11. kudal

Each of these groups specialize in a particular form of earthwork.[3]

Kumhars of North India

Golas of Kathiawar (c. 1855-1862).

The Kumhars of Kangra (Jammu & Kashmir) appear richest, however, to be also known as Desi, and only their women wear gold nose-rings which is now a long tradition followed by many women in India. Their gots are Danial, Gan-gotra and Sonal. In Maler Kotla the Pajawagars are said to be Desi, there being no Marwaris in the State, and this Desi group is further sub-divided into Mahars and Golas. In Jind (Haryana) these two sub-divisions of the Desi group are also found, the Mahar being also called Maru. In Himachal Pradesh in some places the people of Kumhar community are the priest/pujaris of holy swarna Hindu Devtas Temples and are considered at par with Brahmin and make matrimonial alliances with Kanet(Thakurs) mainly in upper Solan,Shimla and Kullu Distt. Higher caste Brahmins accept Kachha & Pakka food only from Kumhar community members. Kumhars are considered swarna and are of Kshatriya origin in Hindu Verna Hierarchy. There are Lamberdars and Jaminders are also in some places. Moreover, in some places, the head of the family is worshiped like Thakur (God) by vaish community in some holy occasions. The verma/verman surname is commonly used by Kumhar community members. In Delhi Gotra of Kumhars are Gola, Tandewal, Sarotia, Beriwal, Dubaldhania.

Kumhars of Pakistan

The Kumhar caste is found in Pakistan, are muslim by religion and are known as Rehmanii.

See also


  1. ^ a b Saraswati Baidyanath (1 January 1979). Pottery-Making Cultures And Indian Civilization. Abhinav Publications. p. 46.  
  2. ^ The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - R. V. Russell - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  3. ^ 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 565 to 568 Popular Prakashan
  4. ^ ग्वालियर के प्रजापती ("the Kumhars of Gwalior")
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