Marwari people

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For other uses, see Marwari.
Marwadi Husband and Wife in Traditional Attire Rajasthan India.jpg
Marwari husband and wife in traditional attire
Regions with significant populations
 India spread across parts of India and mainly in Rajasthan
   Nepal Terai region and Kathmandu Valley [1]
Marwari language, Nepali language and Hindi language.
Hinduism and Jainism
Related ethnic groups
Rajasthani people
Birla Mandir, New Delhi built by the Birla family in 1939

The Marwari or Marwadi are a South Asian ethnic group that originate from the Rajasthan region in 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 Barnwals, Agarwals, Khandelwals, Maheshwaris and Oswals.[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]


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.[2] Marwari traders often acted as connecting dots and intermediaries amongst them, often providing them with money and goods.

Kedia Family Haveli (Fatehpur, Shekhawati, Rajasthan)

Business history

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 I; 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

Main article: Marwari language

Marwari, or Marrubhasha, as it is referred to by Marwaris, is the traditional, historical, language of the Marwari ethnicity.[5] 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.[6]


The Marwari cuisine is mainly vegetarian, yet offers a diversity of different dishes. The locally famed Dal-Baati-Churma is a popular dish among Marwari people. Post millennium age Marwaris have started having meat but in smaller percentage. 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.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Marwari peoples starts fleeing Nepal". 
  2. ^ 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. 
  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. ^ "about Marwaris". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "aapka khansama". Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
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