Gahoi Bania in India

The Gahoi Bania have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

Gahoi is a subgroup of the Banias or Baniya. It is a Sanskrit word that means "trader." The Startup Journal, a secular Indian paper, reports they are experts in number-crunching and trading. They seem to have the business gene and know-how to take financial risks. They are bookkeepers who never miss opportunities to make money. The Gahoi Bania live in north central India and they have a curious story of their origin which indicates they are of mixed descent from several castes. Once upon a time there was a certain schoolmaster, a Biya Pande Brahmin, who could foretell the future. One day he was in his school with his boys when he foresaw that there was about to be an earthquake. He immediately warned his boys to get out of the building, and he led the way out. Only 12 of the boys followed, and the others were still hesitating. When the earthquake began, the school fell in, and the remaining in the classroom were all buried in the ruins. The schoolmaster formed the boys who had escaped into one caste, calling them Gahoi, which is supposed to mean that which is left or the residue. The teacher determined that he and his descendants would be the priests of the new caste. At Gaho weddings, an image of this schoolmaster is painted on the house wall, and the bridegroom worships it with offerings of butter and flowers.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Gahoi trade in grain and groceries. Many work as bankers, moneylenders and in the finance industry. Marriage to one spouse is their norm. Among the Gahoi Banias a man must not marry within his own clan nor in that of his mother or either grandmother. They always hold their weddings at the bride's house, and no ceremonies are performed at the bridegroom 's. At the ceremony the bridegroom stands in the center of the shed by the marriage-post and the bride walks seven times around him. At their weddings the Gahois still use the old rupees of the Nagpur Kingdom for presents and payments. They hoard this one type of rupees for this special purpose.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The rupee is sacred with the Bania, and this is an instance of the preservation of old coins for religious ceremonies. The Gahoi employ Bhargava Brahmins for their priests, and these are presumably the descendants of the schoolmaster who founded the caste. At the thirteenth-day feast after a death the Brahmins must be fed first before the members of the caste. On this occasion 13 brass or earthen vessels are filled with flour and a piece of money and presented to 13 Brahmins, while the family priest receives a bed and piece of cloth. At the Diwali festival the Gahoi worship the implements of their trade, pen and ink, and their account-books. The Gahoi are Vaishnava Hindus and abstain from all meat and alcoholic drinks.


What Are Their Needs?

The Gahoi Bania need to look to Jesus Christ for hope and joy rather than to worldly riches. He alone can forgive them of their sins and give them a meaningful life.


Prayer Points

Ask God to give the Gahoi a desire to investigate the claims of Jesus. Pray for a disciple making movement that will bless the Gahoi Banias this decade. Pray for the Lord to send out workers to the Gahoi Banias to tell the them about Jesus.


Scripture Prayers for the Bania Gahoi in India.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Additional Info
Bania profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-08-09
People Name General Bania Gahoi
People Name in Country Bania Gahoi
Natural Name Gahoi Bania
Population this Country 410,000
Population all Countries 410,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 8
Alternate Names Gahoi Baniya; Gohoyi; Goi; Mahajan; Vania; बनिया, गहोई
People ID 19697
ROP3 Code 115149
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 21
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Uttar Pradesh
129,000
Madhya Pradesh
128,000
Rajasthan
61,000
Maharashtra
14,000
West Bengal
14,000
Assam
12,000
Gujarat
9,200
Bihar
8,500
Haryana
7,600
Delhi
6,600
Punjab
3,900
Uttarakhand
3,900
Chhattisgarh
3,300
Jharkhand
1,800
Odisha
1,300
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 21  (only 20 largest shown)
  Uttar Pradesh 129,000
  Madhya Pradesh 128,000
  Rajasthan 61,000
  Maharashtra 14,000
  West Bengal 14,000
  Assam 12,000
  Gujarat 9,200
  Bihar 8,500
  Haryana 7,600
  Delhi 6,600
  Punjab 3,900
  Uttarakhand 3,900
  Chhattisgarh 3,300
  Jharkhand 1,800
  Odisha 1,300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (276,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Bundeli
13,000
Marwari
11,000
Bengali
8,600
Dhundari
6,600
Awadhi
4,500
Marathi
4,300
Gujarati
4,000
Shekhawati
3,300
Kanauji
3,000
Assamese
2,600
Bhojpuri
2,000
Bagri
1,600
Bagheli
1,400
Garhwali
900
Mewari
800
Primary Language Hindi (276,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Bundeli 13,000
  Marwari 11,000
  Bengali 8,600
  Dhundari 6,600
  Awadhi 4,500
  Marathi 4,300
  Gujarati 4,000
  Shekhawati 3,300
  Kanauji 3,000
  Assamese 2,600
  Bhojpuri 2,000
  Bagri 1,600
  Bagheli 1,400
  Garhwali 900
  Mewari 800
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1835-2019)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament DAVAR Partners International
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (EngSub) Create International
Film / Video Coconuts Create International
Film / Video Creation to Christ Create International
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.36 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
3.64 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Copyrighted © 2022  Michael E  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more