Gor Banjaras are basically worshippers of Nature. They treat the Sun, Earth, Fire, Wind and Water as gods and worship them. The tribe, which worships the birth giver i.e. ‘pitru’ and the goddess might have been following the Vedic religion. Instances of Gor Banjaras first adopting the Buddha religion during the time of Gautam Buddha have been found (Jatak Katha, by Radhakrishna Choudhari, page 63).

 This tribe seems to have remained unaffected by class and caste system. In India Dhadi, Dhalia, Jogi, Nhavi, Sonar and Singada are Gorvamshiya castes. Going by the classes and castes this tribe is classless tribe. Gors conduct community worship in any religious or cultural ritual. They do not invite priests for the purpose. They have kept themselves away from the priests.

Brahmins and Gors have never interacted with each other. They perform all of their religious rituals without Brahmins. The Tanda system and culture never allowed to get exploited by them. They never felt any need of mediation between humans and the god. They consider their lifestyle as their religion. They have kept a distance from the traditional religion.

If any old woman from a Tanda is asked about her religion she will reply it as: ‘Gormati.’ The tribe has driven their Tanda culture as Gormati clan till the 20th century. Even after coming in contact with the urban civic life the Tandas celebrate their rituals, and festivals independently. They never came in contact with the Hindu gods. The tribe worships goddess hence they have a custom of offering her sacrifice of an animal.

The main Hindu festivals are celebrated by the tribe in their own i.e. Gor style. Rituals, worship and festivals, rituals of birth, death, and marriage are also performed in their Gor style. Basically it is again a matter of research as to how the method of performing rituals and celebrating festivals came to be different than the Hindus?

We will try to understand it in short. In order to get blessings of the five elements Gor sacrifice a goat in front of the Tanda and perform community worship. After it all members of Tanda used to take food together. The rituals include that of fire and water.

The fire is offered food items during the Pitrupooja. Then the water is sprinkled towards the Earth and West direction. The liquor is equally important in any ritual. A combined prayer is said at the time of sacrifice. The permission of the Goddess is first taken in whose name the sacrifice is to be given.

The custom of Dhabukar Bhog ritual is not found in the Hindus. The men and women face West direction during the worship and request the gods while in standing position and the house is also built facing the East.


Gorvamshiyas are basically Hindus. The kind of religious rituals performed today were not there earlier. Shamshersinh Narula in his book on the history of languages says: “Most of the Indian population was not following the religion, which we today call as the Hindu religion (page 64-65). Gors are the followers of Hindu religion till this century. They have kept distance from the present day Hindu religion. They celebrate the festivals as per their own style. Irrespective of the festival i.e. Padawa, Diwali, Holi or Dussehra, every time a sacrifice of goat or hen is given. Even at the time of birth, marriage and death rituals the practice of having non-vegetarian food and liquor are part of the religious ritual.

Gudhi Padawa

Earlier the Tanda members used to go for hunting on this day and celebrate the New Year. They believed that if they get a game today they would get it whole of the year. A second important festival is Dussehra. This day a sacrifice is given in the name of the goddess.


On the first day of this festival i.e. black day of the Kali Mata, a goat is sacrificed and the goddess is worshipped. Young girls, with lamps in their hand go to each household in the night and take blessings of the elders. The next day the girls perform the Godhan Pooja and also observe fast on that day.


The Gor remain awake throughout the night of Holi and burn it in the morning. The young ones born between the period of two Holis have their birthday celebrated on this day. A ritual of giving them a name (Dhunda) is also performed. For more information about this please refer to my book ‘Gormati’. It means the Gor Banjaras do not have any relation to today’s Hindu religion. Social scientist Ghuriye considers them as tribal backward Hindus. They might have been Mahayan Panthis based on their lifestyle. This point also needs to be researched.

Entry into India

Gor Banjara might have arrived in India in the beginning of the 1st century. Proof of their trading practice in loading goods on the back of oxen has been recorded. References have been found about Gor Banjaras trade of grain exchange in China, Tibet, Brahmadesh, Iran, Kabul and Afghanistan (Lokhitawadi: Saurashtra Deshacha Itihaas, page 31). Before entering into India instances of this tribe visiting the Central India every year have also been recorded. The period of Aryan’s entry into India is considered as 1700-1300 BC. All the groups of Aryans did not enter India at once. They arrived progressively over a thousand years (Samshersinh Narula, Book of Language, page 20). Gorvamshiya entered India from Afghanistan in search of food and water for their cattle. They gradually reached up to Malawa plateau. Some of the Gor groups further went to Bengal and even Tripura from 1st century till the arrival of Mahmud of Gazani (1018 AD). Gor engaged themselves in agriculture and goods trade in Narmada valley, Satpura plateau, and Tapi Valley. The Gor groups settled down in Chambal river area in the North-West; Narmada in the South; Bundelkhand, Kothabundi in the East; Aravali mountains range in the West; Vindhyas, Ajmer mountain in the North; Pali, Sirohi, Udaipur, Mandsaur, Palampur, Himmatnagar, Kherwada, Pratapgarh, Dungarpur, Malwa plateau and East-West Nimad.

 Banjara-Labhan Nomenclature

Gors had their settlements in the above mentioned areas. Agriculture was their main occupation. The tribe was also engaged in trade, which gave them the name Banjara. The Sanskrit word ‘wanik’ means trade. In Hindi it is Banaj; therefore a person engaged in Banaj is Banjara, which came to be associated with their name.

The word Lawan means salt. The Banjara were also trading salt. From this word originated the name Labani, which later became Labhani and further in the South it transformed to Lambadi/Lambada. In Encyclopedia also the origin of the word Banjara has been explained as above.

It also mentions my book on Banjara Samskriti (Encyclopedia Volume 6, page 10, 22 to 28). It means the word Banjara Lamani is not caste related rather it suggests their trade. Today the word Banjara is suggestive of a person who wonders in the world at will. Actually those referred to as Banjara, Lamani or Lambada are Gors. They are not Banjara, Lamani or Lambadi.

 Aryans and Non-Aryans

Gor is a clan. Its independent Clan Tree (Vamshavali) consists of around 200 Padas. Their physical built up, facial features, customs and rituals, worships, rituals of birth, marriage and death, festivals as also dialect, clothing and beliefs all point towards a fact that Gorvamsha might be one of the Aryan Vamshas.

The folk literature and lifestyle corroborate this statement. A renowned social activist and researcher of Banjara community Baliram Patil has opined in his book ‘Gor Banjara Samajacha Itihaas (1936)’ that Gor Vamsha is nothing but an Aryan Vamsha.

As a researcher of history of Banjaras and their literature I have written 5-6 books on this tribe. I have given written and oral proofs regarding Aryan origin of Gor Banjara in these books. There is not much point on debating over Aryans and non-Aryans.

Some researchers are studying about the non-Aryans in Gor Banjara community. This is a welcome step. I am not adamant about my opinion. If such a thing is proved on the basis of research and proofs I am ready to change my opinion. A wrong meaning is being drawn that Aryans mean Brahmins. The Brahmin attitude is found in all castes and religions. In ancient times this attitude proved to be the supreme caste. Banjara tribes do not approve this. They have no contacts with Brahmins whatsoever.

My objective is to prove that Gor Banjara is a Kshatriya Rajvamshi and ruling tribe. This tribe once upon a time ruled in Afghanistan and in India. I want to prove this to researchers and to the world. In the absence any such research in the past the ancient history of Kshatriya Gor Vamsha remained in oblivion. Pundit Gaurishankar Oza has putforth the proofs based on the stone carved inscriptions found at Sadadi. My research is based on these findings.

I wish to bring the history of Gor Rajvamshi tribe in front of the world, which has not seen the light of the day since thousand of years. Gor Banjaras were Kshatriya Kings who ruled their kingdom. I have prescribed the limits of my study. The process is unending and I also do not claim that it is complete in all respects.

 King Bhoj – Gorvamshi King

King Bhoj had his kingdom in Malwa region in the 4th Century AD. He was a Gorvamshiya king. Actually Malawa province is the original base of Gor Banjaras in India. A large number of Gor Tandas are still living in mountain ranges of Nimad. King Bhoj has been prominently featured in various literary creations. Today when the Gor gather together for any social and religious occasion they initiate the programme by paying tributes to the memory of King Bhoj. Relatives and friends enquire about well being of each other with the name of King Bhoj.

पंच पंचायत राजा भोजेर सभा एकेती एक सवाय,सभा लाखन सवा लाखेरी भाईर आनंद ,सगार आनंद

King Bhoj is highly revered by the tribe since thousands of years as he belongs to the tribe. In another instance the members of Tanda sing this Wajana folksong in front of the Naik’s home when they come for getting permission on the occasion of Holi festival. The song contains praise about the life of King Bhoj:

अन भाई रे…काळी अमावेसेरो एक भोजीया जलम लिदो अन भाईरे…भोजी यान जल्मो एक निलडी उपजी…

Wajana means praise-cum-request. The Kshatriya Gors can only praise about their own clan. Third reference to King Bhoj is that the Gor Banjara woman adorns a silver ornament called Bhojpatra around her neck. King Bhoja had purified the Wadatiya clan and given approval for it (Appendix I).

References about King Bhoja are found in folk literature, Samskar Geets and Gor literature. The Rawan Mountain on the Malawa plateau might have been his kingdom. And around two to three thousand Tandas in the region might be under his kingdom. Numerous tribal settlements had such kings of their own. The King Bhoja is supposed to have ruled in the 4th Century. He was the first Gorvamshi king. Therefore the statement that Gor tribe is a Rajvamshi tribe gets support. More research in this direction is needed.

 Unknown history of Kshatriya Gor Vamsha

Pundit Guarishankar Oza has researched and written history of all the Rajput Kings. He has also found number of stone inscriptions. He found the inscriptions about Gor Vamsha too. Here are his findings in the collection of Articles from pages 87-91. “I found a stone near the Bhramar Mata Mandir on a hill two miles away from village ‘Chhoti Sadadi’ in Udaipur.

It is in Sanskrit language and contains 17 lyrics. Sixteen lines are in lyrical form while the last one is in prose. First of all description of Goddess (Devi) is given. Later on Gor Kshatriya Vamsha has been referred.

मानव मणि कुलोध्दवां गोर श्रात्रे पदें

“King Som Gor dhanya som Rajwardhan’s son Rashtraputra’s son King Yashogan built this temple in the memory of his mother during 491 to 541 AD. It can be understood from this inscription that there was a kingdom of Gorvamsha around Sadadi.”

Ozha further says the people of this Vamsha were army chiefs in the army of Maharana Raimal. Raimal ruled in the year 1488 AD.

Pundit Gaurishankar Ozha also found another stone inscription. It was found at Mandsaur in the East of Udaipur. It contains 10 lines. The 7th and 8th line reveals that the monument was built after the death of somebody (page 130). Both the inscriptions make it clear that Gorvamshi Kings did exist in those times. The kings themselves used to get the inscriptions written by sculptors.

A monument named Banjara ki Chhatri is situated at Lal Sot near Jaipur. This chhatri has huge pillars like the Char Minar. A Gor king in the memory of their beloved also might have built this chhatri. Rana Udaysingh built Udaisagar. But there is a reference that the huge surrounding wall of the lake was built of Gor Banjaras (Rajasthan Ka Itihaas, B.C. Pangadi, page 13).

 Gor in Bengal

References about presence of Gor Vamshiya kings in Bengal-Tripura region are found in the folk literature. King Gopichand was a Gorvamshiya King as per a folk lore. This lore is still sung by Banjara Gor. It mentions that King Gopichand donates his Kingdom and becomes a jogi as per his mother Mainavati’s wish.

गोपीचंद राजा जोग लियो ,गोपीचंद राजारी माडी हवेली माडी हवेली छोड दियोä,गोपीचंद…


Hoogali Gazetteer of West Bengal has a mention that the king Gopichand was a ruler of the region (page 85-86). A meritorious king named Shashank from his dynasty also ruled the region. The real name of Shashank was Soma. Soma is a traditional name in the Gor Banjara tribe.

It is said that Shashank ruled in the period 603 to 638 AD. King Soma (Shashank) ruled in the forest region of Tripura to Hoogali for 32 years. Chinese traveler Van Huyan has also mentioned about him in his travelogue. Pundit Mahawar Shastri mentions in the Encyclopedia of Indian Culture-Volume 3 that Gorvamshiyas ruled the Bengal.

He says that ancient scriptures (Bakhar) mentions about Gor kings and Bengal. He further says: “The ancient Kings of Bengal were Gors. The Gor of Ajmer was quite famous. Gorvamshis ruled the Ajmer region before the reign of Chavan. Chavan forced them into impurity and won over them. Then a Gor army chief established his kingdom in the mountain region of central province.

It was in power for 700 years. Sindhia again won it from them in 1809. Radhika Das was the last ruler of the Gor Vamsha (page 203).

Lokhitawadi in his book ‘Rajasthan Ka Itihaas’ also mentions about the kingdom of Gor Vamsha in Bengali: “Men from the Gor dynasty were ruling in Bengal. Their kings were based in the mountain ranges of middle province. The Gor of Ajmer was known for his bravery. These Gors were also in the company of Prithviraj Chavan (page 27). The Banjaras in Bengal-Tripura region mention their caste as Gor even today. They do not mention their caste as Banjara. More research is needed to prove the fact that Gorvamshiya kings had ruled the region. It is a must to set the history straight.

In order to avoid presentation of history in a wrong manner ancient historical criterion are considered important. The reliable resources that have been accepted by the historians in the course of their research have proved that Gor Vamshiya had once ruled in India. Let us understand these ancient historical resources.

[1] Ancient Monuments: There is a place called Gor Paharia to the West of Kabul. The name derives from the fact that Gor tribesmen were living in large numbers here. The traditional attire of Gor Banjara women is still seen in this region of Afghanistan. Other monuments include Bhramar Mata temple at Sadadi, a wall named Pilibhiti built by Piriya Banjara, Gora Badal Palace, Jaimal Fatemal Memeorial, Banjara Chhatri, and boundary wall of Udaipur Lake, Banjara Hill etc. They are all built by Gor Banjaras.

[2] Coins and Stamps: A coin with the head of a bull on one side while the words Gor Vijay written on the other has been found. It might be belonging to a Gor King (Sanskrit Tatha Muslim Ekata ka Itihaas by Ramlalsinh, page 18). The coin is a symbol of the king’s stamp. Numbers of coins have been found in ancient Gandhar region. They also contain a sign of a bull and his horns, which are symbols of the Gor Vamsha. The Gor Banjara women don symbolic horn in the headgear while the men adjoin the word Singh in front of their names.

[3] Inscriptions: Two stone inscriptions found viz. at Chhota Sadadi, Udaipur and second at Mandsaur refer to the existence of Gor kings. These inscriptions are more reliable than any other document. (Continued…)