Rajput Ponwar (Muslim traditions) in Nepal

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge
* From latest Nepal census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Muslim Rajput Ponwar or Panwar live in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Rajput means "son of a ruler" in Sanskrit. Ponwar means descendants of the Paramara dynasty. This middle-sized kingdom flourished in the late medieval period in north central India. and Nepal. All Rajput Ponwar were originally Hindus. With the coming of the Muslim sultanates, some Ponwar converted to Islam for spiritual and political reasons. They converted to Islam by clans not as individuals.

The Ponwar take pride in their warrior history. The British recruited them as soldiers during the colonial period. The Ponwar became landholders of large estates. Some Rajput Ponwar are wealthy landowners who have other castes work their land. Some are less wealthy and till the soil themselves. Their military tradition continues in the Nepali Army. They hold positions of leadership in government.

The primary language of the Ponwar is Urdu.

Where Are they Located?

The Ponwar live in the south central region of Nepal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Rajput Ponwar enjoy a high status in Nepali society. They encourage their young people to pursue higher education. As Muslims, their women are often secluded in the home. When the women go out, they wear very modest clothing that covers their heads and bodies. Families arrange marriages within the Rajput caste but not within the near clan members. The ancient practice of child marriage is no longer followed. Sons inherit property. They are non-vegetarians but as Muslims they do not eat pork.

The Rajput Ponwar lives revolve around the five daily prayers. They attend services at their local mosque on Fridays where they mingle with other groups of Muslims.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Rajput Ponwar of Nepal are Sunni Muslims, the large majority section of Islam. Once in their lives they make a pilgrimage to Mecca that is called the Hajj. During the Hajj they perform certain rituals that reinforce their identities as Muslims.

The Rajputs participate in the two yearly Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of the breaking of the monthly fast of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice that celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Since the holidays are based on the lunar calendar, the dates change every year.

What Are Their Needs?

The Rajput Ponwar need humility and God's grace to see themselves as sinners who need a Savior. They must realize that no human works will ever satisfy a holy God. They need to see the love of Christ lived out before them in practical ways.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Rajput Ponwar (Muslim traditions) in Nepal.

* Pray the Lord sends Christians to befriend the Rajput Ponwar and show them the love and mercy of God.
* Pray that Rajputs living outside of Nepal would become Christians and return to India to share the gospel with their people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit leads many Rajputs to Christ and that growing
churches are planted among them.



Profile Source:   David Kugel  

The Rajputs
Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

Additional Info
Rajputs profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Rajput Ponwar (Muslim traditions)
People Name in Country Rajput Ponwar (Muslim traditions)
Pronunciation RAJ-puht pun-WAHR
Population this Country 1,200
Population all Countries 562,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Panwar; राजपूत पोंवार (मुस्लिम ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 20226
ROP3 Code 115970
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 34  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country Nepal
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 34  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Lumbini 1,200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Urdu (1,100 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Urdu (1,100 speakers)
Language Code urd   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Awadhi 60
People Groups Speaking Urdu

Primary Language:  Urdu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1747-1894)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1758-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1843-2007)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament - Pakistan Bible Society (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Audio Recordings Urdu Online Audio Bible
Film / Video God's Love Story
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Urdu
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Prophets' Story
Film / Video The Savior 6 - The Lord's Prayer
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links (Scripture Earth)
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 %
* From latest Nepal census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Video Source Asia Harvest
Profile Source David Kugel  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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