Marwari or Marwadi (Rajasthani: मारवाड़ी ) or Rajasthani people are Indian ethnic group, that inhabit the Rajasthan region of India. Their language Rajasthani is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages.

The development of the fresco paintings on Havelis is linked with the history of the Marwaris. The work examines the early history of the Marwari community its social, religious, cultural and caste identities and its commercial activities in the eastern region of India, mainly its industrial activities and cultural and political contributions. Based on surveys and references to government records, it highlights qualitites of the Marwaris that have helped them achieve success in their pioneering efforts.



Although history of Rajasthan goes back to as far as Indus Valley Civilization, the foundation of Rajasthani community took shape with the rise of Western Middle Kingdoms such as Western Kshatrapas. Western Kshatrapas (35-405 BC) were Vaishnava rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan).[1] Saka calendar is used by Rajasthani community and it has been adopted as Indian national calendar. With time their social structures got stronger reorganizations giving birth to several martial sub ethnic groups (previously called as Martial race but now obsolete term). The several recorded account begins from the time of Mughal empire. Since the time of the Mughal period (16th century-19th centuries), particularly from the time of Akbar (1542–1605), Marwari entrepreneurs have been moving out of their homeland of Marwar and Rajasthan, and adjoining regions, to different parts of Undivided India. The first waves of migration took place during the Mughal period, and a number of Marwari baniyas moved to the eastern parts of India, currently comprising the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Jharkhand; as well as the nation of Bangladesh.

During the period of the Nawabs of Bengal, Marwaris exhibited their acumen, and controlled the mint and banking. Jagat Seth who controlled the finances of Murshidabad Darbar was an Oswal, one of several sub-groups of Marwaris. The business houses of Gopal Das and Banarasi Das, also Oswal Marwaris, undertook large scale commercial and banking activities. Sarkar Laxmichand Hingarh was a Marwari king who governed villages of the Gorwar region . Gorwar region's topmost HUF firm, Rikhabdas Sardarmal and Kesarimal Kundanmal was founded and managed by Oswal Marwaris from Rani, Rajasthan and they were pioneers in starting Umbrella in India.

After permanent settlement was introduced by the British Raj, several Marwaris acquired large estates in eastern part of India, particularly in Bengal. They included Dulalachand Singh (alias Dulsing), a Porwal Marwari, who had acquired several Zamindaris around Dhaka, currently the capital of Bangladesh, as also in Bakarganj, Patuakhali, and Comilla, all places currently part of Bangladesh. These Zamindaris were managed and co-owned with khwajas of Dhaka. Dulalchand Singh family also emerged as a business tycoon controlling jute trade.

After India’s First War of Independence (1857–58), when social and political disturbances subsided, another wave of large scale migration of Marwaris took place, and during the remaining period of 19th century, a number of Marwari business houses, small and big, had emerged. The Marwari community controlled all the major business ,social activities of a large geographical areas of the eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent. With a sizeable presence in present day Myanmar and Bangladesh, they controlled major trading and commercial activities in the regions currently comprising the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa,Assam,Jharkhand,Rajasthan and parts of Maharastra,Chattisgarh,tamilnadu and Gujarat They also had almost complete control of indigenous banking, finance and hundi. They took the hundi business to areas where the system was unknown, which included Chittagong, Khulna, Naogaon, Mymensingh, and Arakan.

Linguistic History

Rajasthani language is evolved from Old Gujarati (1100 AD — 1500 AD) (also called Old Western Rajasthani, Gujjar Bhakha or Maru-Gurjar), language spoken by the people in Gujarat and Rajasthan.[2] Formal grammar of Rajasthani language was written by Jain monk and eminent scholar Hemachandra Suri in the reign of Solanki king Siddharaj Jayasingh of Anhilwara (Patan).

The community

The Marwaris name was given to people of Rajasthan by Kolkata, who migrated for trading and to do business in Kolkata. The term 'Marwari' had a geographical connotation, so there can be a Marwari farmer, trader, Rajput, Brahmin, and so on. Traders and farmer of Mewar could be found all over the India, they have migrated in search of business.

Many people from various Marwari castes migrated to distant states for business, agriculture and later became successful. The term "Marwari" caught on as a way to refer to a businessman from Marwar. Other castes from Rajasthan did not migrate to such an extent, so awareness about them in other states is low. Marwaris comprise the people who originally belonged to Rajasthan, particularly, areas in and around Jodhpur, Jaipur, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Bikaner, Pali, Jalore, Nagaur, Alwar and certain other adjoining areas.

There are pre-dominantly five categories of Marwaris:


Marwaris are predominantly Hindu However, regardless of their affiliation, Hindu and Jain Marwaris mingle with each other socially. In some rare cases they share matrimonial relations and traditional rituals together.

The major Mandorva Rajputs Surnames are - [Joshi]( Highest Brahman cast; above goud brahman)Kachwaha, Dahiya Bhati, Loonawat, Parihar (Pratihara), Deora, Chauhan,rajpurohit Parmar (Panwar), Solanki, Tanwar, Sankhla, Rathore, Gupta gorwar region includes pali and some parts of jalore and here people speaks godwadi .


Marwar used to be a region of Rajasthan before independence of India, located in the central and western areas of the state and the residents of Marwar region were called Marwaris.

The Marwar region includes the central and western parts of Rajasthan. The word Marwar is considered to be derived from Sanskrit word Maruwat, the meaning of maru being 'desert'. Shekhawati region is adjacent to Haryana.


Dark green indicates Marwari speaking home area in Rajasthan, light green indicates additional dialect areas where speakers identify their language as Marwari.

Marwari is a language belonging to the Sanskritic subgroup, of the Indo-Aryan language family. Marwari, or Marrubhasha, as it is referred to by Marwaris, is the traditional, historical, language of the Marwari ethnicity.

The "Marwari" spoken by the marwari merchants of the previous generation was actually the dialect of Shekhawati/Dhundhar region. Large numbers, especially in Rajasthan, still converse fluently in Marwari. Various dialects of the language are found, which vary with the speakers' areas of origin, communities etc. The language is facing extinction.


Marwari spread to many regions of India, and even to neighboring and all other countries around the globe, as they expanded their business and trade networks. In many locales, Marwari immigrants over time (and, usually involving many generations) adopted, or blended into, the regional culture. For example, in Punjab, Marwaris adopted Punjabi, and in Gujarat, Gujarati. Significant concentrations of Marwari traders live in Kolkata in the Burrabazar area and are leading lights in business there. A large number of Marwaris are also in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad. In Pakistan, the largest numbers are found in Karachi, from where Pakistan's Marwari cricketeer Danish Kaneria hails. Marwaris have founded businesses in neighboring Nepal, especially in Birganj, Biratnagar and Kathmandu.

Marwari with their business acumen have migrated across many different parts of the country, and to other countries of the world. In the eastern part of India, they are found in Kolkata, Cuttack, Midnapore, Asansol, Raniganj, Bankura, Siliguri, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, etc., where Marwaris are among the prominent businessmen.


The Marwaris now constitute several social groups dispersed throughout India and Pakistan and across the globe, including many remote areas. The total population worldwide is difficult to measure and subject to secular, linguistic, cultural and other parameters of defining who is a Marwari. Nowadays, marwaris have also established their business in the western districts of orissa, in Bargarh , Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, angul, rourkela,and in bhubaneshwar and Cuttack also.They nearly dominate the whole economy of western orissa.In the megacities like Delhi,Mumbai and Kolkata also have a important Marwari population.

Marwadi had limited resources in marwad area so they spread their wings in multiple location in India , mostly involving in business. The pawn shop mostly deals with giving money to poor in debts. This network has been the harbinger of micro financing. They have brought in capital and financial systems to remote villages.

Marwadis as Business Community of India

Marwaris are among the major business classes in India. Most of the successful channel companies are headed by first-generation entrepreneurs. Almost 90% of the channel in Kolkata comprises Marwari business people. This community is strong in the western region and even down south in places like Chennai. In India, Marwaris contributes a measure sole in IT sector. In some cases, these people were encouraged by their family to get into the IT business. In other cases, people got into the channel business envisioning it to be a great success. Marwaris have all the characteristics what an entrepreneur may possess. They are risk taking people. They are very innovative, creative and broad thinking people. The world's great businessmen like Kumar Mangalam Birla, Laxmi Niwas Mittal, Shashi Ruia & Ravi Ruia, Gautam Singhania, Kishore Biyani, Vishnuhari Dalmia, Ajay Piramal, Rahul Bajaj, Sunil Mittal and many other marwaris are dominating the Business world.

Marwari communities lay a lot of onus on family and unity. Major business decisions are often taken after a family, especially elders, into consultation. Marwaris prefer to work with its community people even in business also. They strictly attach with their cultural values and ethics. MOst Marwaris are pure vegetarian people and followers of Hinduism and Jainism.

Marwaris are also very aggressive when it comes to business, and don't let go of any prospective opportunity that comes their way. Working hard is another aspect about Marwaris that helps in the long run. People's common perception about Marwaris is that they are very stingy by nature. But the people from the community themselves deny this. They are definitely very strict when it comes to finance in business matters as they believe that every penny saved is a penny earned.[3] Famous "Purta System"(Costing) is invented by Marwaris. This system helps them to ensure profit. Marwadis are unpopular among the economically ignorant people in India (a vast majority), many of whom steadfastly believe that the Marwadi community's main source of income comes from usury (interest) when they loan money at huge interest to small time borrowers.

Notable Marwaris

Marwaris are among the major business classes in India. Marwaris are present almost all over in the world. Marwaris contribute a large account to Indian economy in terms of Business.

Rank Name Net Worth (Billion USD) City Company Industry
1 Lakshmi Mittal 26.1 London ArcelorMittal Steel
2 Shashi Ruia & Ravi Ruia 15.0 Mumbai Essar Group Conglomerate
3 Kumar Mangalam Birla 8.50 Mumbai Aditya Birla Group Conglomerate
4 Sunil Mittal 8.30 Delhi Bharti Enterprises Conglomerate
5 Venugopal Dhoot 2.65 Mumbai Videocon Conglomerate
6 Gautam Singhania 1.40 Mumbai Raymond Group Conglomerate
7 R. P. Goenka 1.30 Mumbai RPG Group Conglomerate
8 Rakesh Jhunjhunwala 1.10 Mumbai Rare Enterprises Investment
9 Rahul Bajaj 1.10 Pune Bajaj Auto Automobiles
10 Kishore Biyani 0.912 Mumbai Future Group Retail
11 M S Pasari 0.747 Kolkata Pasari International Conglomerate
12 Deshbandhu Gupta 2.1 Mumbai Lupin Ltd Pharmaceutical
13 Aloke Lohia 2.0 Bangkok Indorama ventures Conglomerate
14 Ajay Piramal 1.40 Mumbai Piramal Healthcare Pharmaceutical
15 Mangal Prabhat Lodha 1.10 Mumbai Lodha Group Conglomerate
16 B. M. Khaitan - Kolkata Eveready industries Conglomerate
17 Savitri Jindal 13.2 New Delhi Jindal Group Conglomerate
18 Monty Jaiswal 1.28 CALL PUT Indiabulls Finance
18 Rupam Das 0.87 Properties Indiabulls Realty

See also


  1. ^ "The dynastic art of the Kushans", John Rosenfield, p 130
  2. ^ Ajay Mitra Shastri; R. K. Sharma, Devendra Handa (2005). Revealing India's past: recent trends in art and archaeology. Aryan Books International. p. 227. ISBN 8173052875, ISBN 9788173052873. "It is an established fact that during 10th-11th century.....Interestingly the language was known as the Gujjar Bhakha.." 
  3. ^ Jahan Na Jaye Gaadi, Wahan Jaaye Marwari

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