Bania Gandha Banik in Bangladesh

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Bania Gandha Banik are called the "businessmen" of Bangladesh and northeast India. Their chief occupation is trade. They were originally sellers of spices, incense and perfume.

Today the Gandha Banik are known for selling almost anything except alcohol. Some of them are informal pharmacists for traditional Indian medicine. When an Indian gets ill, he or she will frequently go to a shop owned by a Gandha Banik for a herbal potion designed to heal the health issue.

Some Gandha Banik are classified in the Vaishya or merchant caste of Hinduism. Others are seen as being in the Shudra or fourth laboring caste.

The primary language of the Gandha Banik is Bengali.

Where Are they Located?

The Gandha Banik of Bangladesh live in the states of Rajshahi and Dhaka. Most of this people live in the nation of India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lives of the Gandha Banik vary depending on their income. Some are very wealthy business owners while others run small grocery stores in villages.

The Gandha Banik generally marry within their own community. They have an unusual wedding ceremony in which the groom climbs a tree or log and the bride is carried around the tree seven times. The Gandha Banik practice adult marriage arranged by the families of the bride and groom. Their dead are cremated. The Gandha Banik are not vegetarians but as Hindus they will not eat beef.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gandha Banik practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of the Indian subcontinent. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They give special attention to Vishnu, the preserver god, and his avatars of Rama and Krishna. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Gandha Banik visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.

The main yearly holidays of the Gandha Banik people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

The Gandha Banik of Bangladesh need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see Christianity lived out before them in practical ways. There may be no believers among the Gandha Banik of Bangladesh at the present time.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Bania Gandha Banik in Bangladesh.

* Pray that God sends laborers to the Gandha Banik to live among them and tell them about Jesus.
* Pray the Lord will start a movement of Gandha Banik families experiencing God's blessings.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Gandha Banik people love for God's Word and a desire to spread its influence.


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Bania Gandha Banik
People Name in Country Bania Gandha Banik
World Population 290,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Aut Asram; Bania; Chhatri Asram; Desa Asram; Gandha Banik; Gandhabania; Gandhabanik; Putali; Putali Bene; Putuli Bene; Sankha Asram; बनिया, गंधा बनिक
People ID 19698
ROP3 Code 115150
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 38  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 38  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Rajshahi 4,000
  Dhaka 2,800
  Khulna 90
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (6,900 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Bengali (6,900 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2000)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Bangla Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Mussolmani Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament- Common Version (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Bengali
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Bible Visuals
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 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source David Kugel  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest Bangladesh census data.  Current values may differ.