Bania in Sri Lanka






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Vania people are also called Bania or Mahajan. The word Vania is derived from 'Vaniji', which means 'trader' in Sanskrit. The Vania community has gotras such as Agarwal, Dasora, Dishawal, Kapol, Nagori, Vagada, Modh and Nagar.

Many of these names are based on the names of the place they are from. The Agrawal, though they are settled mainly in North Gujarat, take their name from the Agar Town. The Jharola live in Eastern Gujarat and the come from Jalor of Rajashthan and Maharashtra. The titles used by the Vania are Shah, Shroff, Parikkh, Chokshi, Seth and Gandhi.

The Vania community consists of two religious divisions, namely Vaishnava and Jain. Most of the groups of Vania are split into Visha meaning twenty and Dasha or ten. These subdivisions are further divided into Ekda and Bagda. The Bagda mostly live in villages, while Ekda live in villages and towns. They have an organization called the Mandal to look after the temples and the community's property.

Business, trade, jewellery-making and agriculture are the traditional occupations of the Vania. Floor painting and folk songs represent the Vania's art and culture. The naming of the newborn ritual is performed by a Jangam priest by putting a thread around the infant's neck.

The Vania are Hindu by religion. They are Vaishnavite and devotees of Shrinathji. A section of them are from the Jain community. The Vania maintain intercommunity linkages with the Brahmin, Valand, Soni and other communities through trade and service. The Vania in the state of Maharashtra are mostly the followers of the Lingayat Cult.

Alternate names: Bania or Mahajan.

Religion: Hindu, Jain, Lingayat Cult.

Prayer Points

* For the salvation of the Vania people and that God may send several Christian workers among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* Pray for developmental and literacy programs among the people.

Profile Source:   India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Bania
People Name in Country Bania
Population in Sri Lanka 100,000
World Population 29,560,000
Countries 6
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Aggarwal, Agrawal, Arayia Vaisya, Arya Vaisya, Arya Vysya, Balija, Bandekara, Banikya, Baniya, Baniyan, Baqal, Bhatia, Chetti, Chettiar, Gomatulu, Gujarati Vania, Gupta, Jain, Komati, Komti, Komuti, Kongu, Kshatriya, Kumti, Kumuti, Lalaji, Mahajan, Mahajan Vania, Marwadi, Mathura, Padayachi, Rajput, Sahukar, Sarak, Shetti, Shetty, Vaishya, Vaisiyal Chettiar, Vaisya, Vani, Vani Bania, Vania, Vysy, Vysya
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Rajasthan
People Name General Bania
Ethnic Code CNN25o
People ID 16318
Country Sri Lanka
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 44  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Languages & Dialects on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gujarati Hindi Marwari Sindhi
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gujarati Hindi
Marwari Sindhi
For Primary Language: Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1809-1965)
New Testament Yes   (1820-1985)
Complete Bible Yes   (1823-2005)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Text / Printed Matter
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Gujarati Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online Scripture / Bible Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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