Khatri, Muslim traditions in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Khatri are a trading and business caste, which originated in Punjab. Their name comes from the Sanskrit word "Kshatriya" which is the second of the four castes of Hinduism. In the early 19th century, they almost had a monopoly on trade in Punjab and Afghanistan. During the British times, they were the chief civil administrators.

Traditionally, they specialized in trading in cloth but now have expanded to spectacles, flour grinding mills, grain shops and work as painters and tailors. Many members belong to the middle class and have entered teaching and civil service professions. They are found largely in Punjab of India and Pakistan but little known outside Punjab. They are one of the most advanced and progressive communities in India and value education. They will only eat food cooked by Brahmins or caste members.

They have a legend that when Parasurama (the sixth Avatar of Vishnu) was engaged in subduing the Kshatriyas in the interests of the Brahmins, he caused as many Kshatriya women as possible to have violent miscarriages. Some pregnant Kshatriya women took refuge with Saraswat Brahmin families who protected them to the point of eating with them to show Parasurama that they were Brahmin women. The children born of these women became the Khatri.

Saraswat Brahmins and Khatris still eat together giving credence to this story. Another more recent legend, has Khatris serving as soldiers in the Dakshin wars over a thousand years ago. Many died in the war and out of pity the council of the most respected Khatri in Delhi proposed widow remarriage. The clan headmen Lallu and Jaghdar opposed the concept and the council dissolved without a decision. The Emperor dismissed Khatri soldiers from military service and asked them to take up being Dalals (brokers). They proved to be excellent soldiers and governors of many states.

Men and women marry within the community. Earlier, child-marriage was practised but now adult marriage is the norm. The elders of the family negotiate marriage alliance. The giving of gifts is mutual. Adult marriages is the norm though child marriages used to be favoured. Divorce is traditionally not allowed, but due to modernization, divorce is allowed under extreme maladjustment. Both nuclear and extended family types are found. The elders command respect and authority while the younger members receive love and affection from elders. Their women have a reputation for outstanding beauty. Women generally wear sarees or salwar-khameez in the north. They are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Only men drink alcohol and smoke.

Khatris take their religion seriously. They celebrate traditional Muslim, Hindu and Sikh festivals and fasts as applicable. Muslims will go to Masjid and for Haj pilgrimage. Sikhism was founded by Khatris and some of their well known leaders, Guru Nanak and Guru Govind, were Khatris. Hindu Khatri are staunch, practising Hindus.

Profile Source:   India Missions Association  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Khatri, Muslim traditions
People Name in Country Khatri, Muslim traditions
Population in India 51,000
World Population 1,158,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Katri, Khakha, Khakha Khatri, Khakhar, Khattri, Rangara
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Sindhi
People Name General Khatri, Muslim traditions
Ethnic Code CNN25p
People ID 17586
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:  10  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gujarat (33,000) Maharashtra (10,000) Haryana (3,300) Punjab (2,300)
Madhya Pradesh (1,000) Karnataka (1,000) Jammu and Kashmir (400) Uttar Pradesh (90)
Chandigarh (80) Himachal Pradesh (60)
Total States on file:  10  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gujarat (33,000) Maharashtra (10,000)
Haryana (3,300) Punjab (2,300)
Madhya Pradesh (1,000) Karnataka (1,000)
Jammu and Kashmir (400) Uttar Pradesh (90)
Chandigarh (80) Himachal Pradesh (60)
Languages & Dialects on file:  7  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gujarati (16,000) Kachchi (16,000) Urdu (10,000) Panjabi, Eastern (8,000)
Purik (300) Marwari (200) Malvi (100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gujarati 16,000 Kachchi 16,000
Urdu 10,000 Panjabi, Eastern 8,000
Purik 300 Marwari 200
Malvi 100
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: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
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: Naveed Akhtar  
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source: India Missions Association  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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