Kalbelia in India

Joshua Project has identified the Kalbelia only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Kalbelia live a nomadic life and have belonged as members of the untouchable castes, shunned by mainstream society. Their main occupation has been catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to that of serpents. Traditionally, Kalbelia men carried cobras in cane baskets from door to door in villages while their women sang and danced and begged for alms. They revere the cobra. Kalbelias have traditionally been a fringe group in society, living in spaces outside the village where they reside in makeshift camps called deras. They move their deras from one place to another in a circuitous route. More recently, performing arts are a major source of income for them, and others are employed in agriculture. They are Hindu.

Ministry Obstacles

Spiritual opposition can be expected as Jesus is presented to this Hindu community. Workers need to prayerfully prepare for this.

Outreach Ideas

Perhaps some of the Kalbelia will discover the Jesus film and Gospel recordings on the Internet, as well as scripture. Pray the Lord will prompt them to listen, view and download, and that he will give them understanding.

Pray for the Followers of Christ

None of the Kalbelia community have reported themselves as Christians to the Indian census. There probably are no followers of Jesus among them today. Perhaps the Lord will soon call many to himself, and they will need prayer support.

Pray for the Entire People Group

Please pray this low caste community will find ways to improve their standard of living. They need better education for their children, and they need employment opportunities.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Video Links:
A Pilgrimage
People Name General Kalbelia
People Name in Country Kalbelia
Population in India 101,000
World Population 101,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chauhan Ghiharia, Daliwal, Gattiwala, Jogira, Kalbi, Kalbu, Mewara, Poongiwala, Pooniwala, Sapela, Sapera
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Name General Kalbelia
Ethnic Code CNN25g
People ID 17051
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Rajasthan (74,000) Madhya Pradesh (26,000) Delhi (1,100) Punjab (300)
Maharashtra (200)
Total States on file:  5  (up to 20 largest shown)
Rajasthan (74,000) Madhya Pradesh (26,000)
Delhi (1,100) Punjab (300)
Maharashtra (200)
Languages & Dialects on file:  11  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hindi (56,000) Marwari (15,000) Mewari (15,000) Dhundari (4,000)
Merwari (3,000) Malvi (2,900) Haroti: Harauti (1,200) Shekhawati (1,200)
Bagri (1,100) Panjabi, Eastern (200) Maithili
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hindi 56,000 Marwari 15,000
Mewari 15,000 Dhundari 4,000
Merwari 3,000 Malvi 2,900
Haroti: Harauti 1,200 Shekhawati 1,200
Bagri 1,100 Panjabi, Eastern 200
Maithili 0
For Primary Language: Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1806-1962)
New Testament Yes   (1811-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1818-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Christ for the Nations Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Hindi Bible Text / Printed Matter
Hindi Bible stories Audio Recordings
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Hindi Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) 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: Isudas   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Joshua Project  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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