(Last Updated on : 20-09-2010)
Beldar caste is the occupational caste of India, who mainly works as navvies. The term Beldar means a person one who carries a hoe. In Beldar community, generally, the entire family participates in the construction work. Interestingly, several Beldars are nomadic by nature and are shifting from one place to another, looking for construction work at different sites. Few members of the Beldar community are also engaged in vegetable and fruit selling occupation. Beldar caste is a Hindu caste and they are largely found throughout the provinces of northern India mainly Uttar Pradesh
. They speak a dialect of Hindi language
. Beldar caste is also found in almost all the districts of the state of Maharashtra
. Beldar caste is further divided into a number of smaller sub-casts.
According to some legends, Beldar caste is said to have descended from Prithviraj Chauhan
. Beldar community is the traditional navvies of northern India. They are very similar to Odh community, the construction workers of western India. Both these communities claim common lineage with Lonia community. In Hoshangabad District
, some Muhammadan Beldars are also found. Regarding the origin of Beldar caste, it is also believed that probably the bulk of the Beldars and its allied castes have originated from non-Aryan tribes. The Murhas of northern districts of the country seem to be a subsidiary of the Bind tribe; further, those known as Matkuda or earth-digger are usually considered as offshoots of Gond tribe
. While the Sansias and Larhias of Chhattisgarh
seem to have originated from the Kols, Bhuiyas and Oraon tribe
. The term Raj, meaning a mason, is also used for the Beldars in the northern regions. The Murha, Nunia and Sansia castes are also frequently known as Beldars. Interestingly, they cannot be evidently distinguished from the main caste of Beldars.
The Beldar caste of Saugor claims that their ancestors were mostly engaged in refining salt. They also have a rich culture and their music and dance play an integral part of their life. Drums, fireworks accompany the wedding processions of Beldar community. Divorce is allowed in their society. The Beldar community has several indigenous customs, which they follow faithfully. They are religious by nature.