Mahar Community, Maharashtra - Informative & researched article on Mahar Community, Maharashtra
 Indianetzone: Largest Free Encyclopedia of India with thousand of articlesIndian Religion

 Art & Culture|Entertainment|Health|Reference|Sports|Society|Travel
Forum  | Free E-magazine  | RSS Feeds  
Indian Food|Indian Religion|Indian Personalities|Indian Villages|Kamasutra|Indian Costume|Indian Weddings|Astrology|Indian Jewellery|Indian Women|Indian Tribals
Home > Society > Indian Religion > Indian Communities > Mahar Community
Mahar Community, Maharashtra
Mahar Community was the earliest settlers in Maharashtra. Mahars are also considered as pre-Aryan or aboriginal tribes. Mahar regiment was one of the prominent infantry of the national army of independent India.
More on Mahar Community, Maharashtra (1 Articles)
 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar with Mahar RegimentMahar community is a significant group residing in the state of Maharashtra. The Mahars form around nine percent of the total population of Maharashtra. In the year 1956, over 80 percent Mahars turned to Buddhism, under the leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, to free themselves from the shackles of caste and to remove the stigma of untouchability by building a new religious and cultural identity for them. They are mostly found in Wardha District, Nagpur District, and Bhandara District. However, considerable colonies of Mahars are found in Chhindwara, Betul and Balaghat. People of Mahar community largely speak Marathi language. In the state of Gujarat, they also have some surnames like Panwar, Solanki, Rathor and Chauhan. There are references that recognise Mahar community as the oldest resident of the regions of Nagpur and Berar.

It has been claimed that the Mahars were the earliest settlers in Maharashtra but were pushed out by the invading Aryans. They belong to the early marital race of the country. Mahars claim that they are the descendents of Mahamuni, an orphan picked up Goddess Parvati from the banks of Ganga River. In the 14th century, a Mahar poet named Chokhamela joined the ranks of the cult's pantheon of saints. His poems and those of his wife and son are sung even today by devout bhaktas. Mahar community has several sub-divisions basically of a territorial or local type such as Daharia, residents of Dahar, Baonia of Berar, Khandeshi from Khandesh and Nemadya from Nimar. The highest division in their society are the Somvanshis. Further, there are certain exogamous groups in Mahar community, whose names are derived from animals, plants and other natural objects. Some of the interesting names are Darpan, Khanda Phari, Aglavi, Andhare, Khobragade, Bhajikhai and so on. A man is not allowed to marry within his own clan. Regarding funeral rites, Mahars either bury or burn the dead. A new born baby is named either on the seventh or the twelfth day. They celebrate various festivals like Nagpanchami, Dussehra, Holi and more. The main occupation of the people belonging to Mahar community is weaving. However, in the present times, they have also started working in mills.

Mahars have a well-organised society. In appearance the Mahars look much like the agriculturists of Maharashtra, the Marathas. In many ways, the long struggle for a self respecting identity has finally led the Mahars into the mainstream of Indian life.

(Last Updated on : 31/01/2011)
More Articles in Indian Communities  (186)
Sikhs  (2)
Sindhis  (1)
Kumaonis  (1)
Recently Updated Articles in Indian Religion
Birth of Ganga
Birth of Ganga or the arrival from heaven to the earth was made possible by severe penance undertaken by Bhagiratha, the king of Ayodhya.
Panchavati is the name of a fascinating and alluring valley in the heart of the dark forest Dandaka.
Conch Shell
Conch shells, the hard crust of sea creatures, are revered immensely in Hindu rituals and capable to annihilate.
Conch Shell Sthaapana
Installation of a right-handed conch needs measured and strict following of rules stated in Hindu scriptures.
Types Of Conch Shell
Two distinct kinds of conch shells are used to achieve divine benediction and also mythological beliefs rooted.
E-mail this Article | Post a Comment
Forum on Indian Religion
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to Free E-Magazine on Society
Mahar Community, Maharashtra - Informative & researched article on Mahar Community, Maharashtra
Contact Us   |   RSS Feeds
Copyright © 2008 Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. All rights reserved including the right to reproduce the contents in whole or in part in any form or medium without the express written permission of
Jupiter Infomedia Ltd.