(also Banjari, Bangala, Banjori,
Banjuri, Brinjari, Lamani, Lamadi, Lambani, Labhani, Lambara,
Lavani, Lemadi, Lumadale, Labhani Muka, Gohar-Herkeri, Goola,
Gurmarti, Gormati, Kora, Sugali, Sukali, Tanda, Vanjari,
)are a community in India spread in
Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya
Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states of India.
About half their
number speaks Lambadi
, one of the
dialects of Hindustani
, while others are native
speakers of Hindi
and other languages dominant in their
respective areas of settlement. They are a Scheduled Tribe
in Andhra Pradesh (where
they are listed as Sugali) and Orissa, a Scheduled Caste
in Karnataka, Haryana,
Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh.
The traditional food of Lambadis is Bati which is Roti
. Daliya is a dish cooked using many
cereal[wheat,jawar]. Banjara people are very much fascinated about
non-vegetarian food. SOLAI is non-vegetarian dish made exclusively
by Banjara people.They prefer eating spicy food.
Women are known to wear colorful and beautiful costumes like
PHETIYA [as Ghagra] and KANCHALLI [as top] and have tattoos
on their hands.The dress is considered fancy
and attractive by Western cultures. They use mirror chips and often
coins to decorate it. Women put on thick bangles on their arms
[PATLI].Their ornaments are made up of silver rings, coins,chain
and hairpleat are tied together at the end by CHOTLA.
Men wear Dhoti and Kurta [short with many folds]. These clothes
were designed specially for the protection from harsh climate in
deserts and to distinguish them from others.
Arts, Literature and Entertainment
customs, language and dress indicate they originated from Rajasthan.They live in settlements called Tandas.They lived
in zupada [hut].Now many of them live in cities.
They have a
unique culture and dance form. On many occasions they gather, sing
Their traditional occupation is agriculture and trade. Banjaras are
also a group of nomadic cattle herders.
The accurate history of Lambanis or Lambadis or Banjaras is not
known but the general opinion among them is that they fought for
against Muhammad of Ghor
. The trail of the
Lambadi/Banjara can be verified from their language, Lambadi
borrows words from Rajasthani
and the local language of the area
they belong to.
Banjaras originally belong to Rajasthan and they were Rajputs who
migrated to southern parts of India for trade and agriculture. They
settled down in the southern or central area of the country and
slowly loosened contacts with Rajasthan, and their original
community. Over a period of time both the communities separated and
they adopted the local culture. The language spoken by Banjaras
settled in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha, Maharashtra is an
admixture of Hindi,Rajasthani and Marathi. The word "Banjara" must
have evolved from Prakrit
"Bana/Ban or Vana/Van" meaning Forest
meaning 'Movers'.The Banjara are (together with the Domba
) sometimes called the "Gypsies
Dance, Lambadi is a special kind of dance of Andhra Pradesh. In
this form of dance, mainly the female dancers dance in tune with
the male drummers to offer homage to their Lord for a good harvest.
At Anupu Village near Nagarjunakonda, Lambadi dance originated.
They are actually semi-nomadic tribes who are gradually moving
towards civilization. This dance is mainly restricted among the
females and rarely the males participate in Lambadi Dance. Lambadi
is a special kind of Folk Dance which involves participation by
tribal women who bedeck themselves in colorful costumes and
History of Banjaras
Sketch of Banjaras of Berar,Mr.cumberlege,supridentendent of police
of wu'n writes Banjaras of the Dakhan are in three grand
tribes:Maturia,Labana,Charan.The three hindu tribes all trace their
descent from the great Brahman and Rajput races of Upper
Notable Banjara people
- Ramu Naik Izardar of
Yeoli At one time the chief man of the Banjaras, though he
might have little influence outside his own caste, had great power
within it. When the Berar Gazetteer of 1870 was written the chief
man was Ramu Naik, Izardar of Yeoli in the south-east of Yeotmal
Taluk. The Superintendent of Police wrote, p. 197: ' Ramu's
authority and influence is greater than that of any man in Berar, I
believe,' and he was able to exact fines of Rs. 5000 and Rs. 8000.
It is said that thirty or forty years ago the Deputy Commissioner
asked him to provide some Banjara recruits for military service and
he, after due deliberation, offered some thousands of men.
Presently he explained that he could not send anyone for permanent
service. He had thought the men were only wanted temporarily in
some private quarrel of the Deputy Commissioner's.Ref.:
Central Provinces District Gazetteers Yeotmal District, Volume 'A';
- Shri Sevadas
Maharaj of Pohara Devi, Taluk- Pusad Sant Shree Sevalal Maharaj
was born on 15.02.1739, on this Holy Land, to parents Shree Bhima
Nayak and Dharmini Yaadi (Mother). At this time this location was
popularly known as Ramagundam or Ramji Nayak Tanda (Ramji Nayak is
Grand-father of SevaBhaya Ji, who came to this location with 360
families of his Tanda and about 4000 loaded cattles). Ramji Nayak
Tanda when deserted, by end of 18th century the local population
built a village known as Chennarayani Palle. This land now falls in
the revenue village of Peddadoddi, Taluk/Mandal: Gooty, District
Anantapur (A.P.). Sevabhaya (Shri Sevadas Maharaj is often refered
as Sevalal Maharaj or Sevabahaya by many banjaras) lived with his
parents, at this place, up to the age of 12. He bathed in KALO
KUNDO (transparent clean water of natural spring water pond),
Worshipped in Chanakeshva (Shiva) Temple on the top of Chandrayana
Gutta (Hill), near Ramji Nayak Tanda grazed his cattles in
ZOOMRI/ZHANDA JHOL (forest of Palms). All these relics and
monuments are existing even today. Banjaras and Non- Banjaras in
the locality hold Bhima Nayak Katta (platform) inhigh esteem. Since
residue (ORE) from the womb of Sevabhaya's Mother is buried below
this Katta (burying ORE under the ground is the tradition of
Banjaras, after child's birth). Therefore Banjara people hold this
Katta with high reverence. Shri Bhima Nayak (father of Sevabhaya
Ji) delivered his judgements to Banjaras of his and neighboring
Tandas from this Kattafrom banjara community was the great devotee
of 'Maa Aadimayashakti Jagadamba'. He is still worshiped by
majority of bajaras from all over the India. The banjara's gather
at 'Pohara Devi' every year on Rama Navami to sacrifice the goats
to one of the assistant devil of 'Devi Jagdamba' called as 'Lukkad'
as he demands for the same from the worshipers. No wish of any
worshiper will reach to 'Maa Jagdamba' without satiating 'Lukkad'.
- Vasantrao Naik was an Indian
politician who served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 1963
until 1975. He was born in Gavli,
Pusad in 1913. He died in 1979. His experience in
Grass-roots politics made him a responsible legislator. He was a
staunch supporter of Yashwantrao Chavan. After the death of Mr. M.
Kannamwar, he was elected Chief Minister of Maharashtra, a post
which he handled successfully for more than 11 years. He was the father of
the Green Revolution in Maharashtra. During his regime, Maharashtra became a
more developed state. His nephew Sudhakarrao Naik later became
Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
- Sudhakarrao Naik (1934-2001)
was an Indian politician who served as Chief Minister of
Maharashtra from 1991 until 1993. Born at the remote Gavli village
in the Vidarbha region, he was nephew of Mr
Vasantrao Naik who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra for 11 years.
He started his political career from his rural base as Sarpanch or
village head. He started his larger political career from Pusad.
His role as Education Minister of Maharashtra is still held with
high importance. Mr. Sharad Pawar gave
him the post of Chief Minister when he became a Minister at the
served as governor of Himachal Pradesh from 1994 to 1995. He is also remembered for
his work in water conservation.
- Ranjit Naik (22 October 1933 – 30
July 2004) was a renowned Architect and Social Worker, who helped
Mumbai slum dwellers, and particularly the Banjara people. Ranjit
Naik was the son of Shri P. Champla Naik, born in the
Naginayanichervu Tanda village, Mandal, Somandepalli, Anantapur
District, Andhra Pradesh State (India). He studied up to S.S.C. in
Govt. High School, Penukonda, Dist. Anantapur (A.P), as a boarder
of Shri Thakkar Bapa Lambadi / Sugali Free Hostel, founded by Late
Shri Bhagat Champla Naik (up to 1952). He did his Intermediate in
science at Andhra Christian College, Guntur (A.P) and Bachelor in
Architecture (B. Arch.) from J.J. College of Architecture,
University of Mumbai in the year 1964.
Dr Ranjit Naik is all india president of st banjaras , inspired many persons towards their destiny
he is a great intellectual person he is role model for many people
not only in anthapur but also all over india. its really proud to
have such a great personality in our banjara caste.