Garhwali people

Garhwali people

Last updated by Garhwali

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Garhwalis are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group who primarily inhabit the Garhwal Himalayas. Any person who has ancestral Garhwali roots or lives in Garhwal and has a Garhwali heritage is called a Garhwali. They include all those who speak the Garhwali language or any of its dialects.

The culture of the present Garhwal is an amalgamation of influences from the indigenous population coupled with traditions superimposed by immigrants who settled in the region. A majority of the people are involved in the agriculture, tourism and the defense industry.

Garhwali people are divided into three castes: Garhwali Brahmin, Garhwali Rajput and Shilpkaar. Their surnames are based either on the names of their villages (Raturi, Gairola, Joshi, Chamoli, Bahuguna, Mamgain, Bhatt, Pant, Hatwal, Juyal, Uniyal, Painuly (Panuly), Semwal, Nautiyal, Demri, Ratury, Naithani, Kothiyal, Kantura, Aswal, Kanswal, Badoni, Ghildeyal, Belwal, Kathait, Bagiyal, Bartwal etc.) or according to their professions (Bisht, Bhandari, Negi, Gausain, Panwar, Patwal Rawat,(Rajput) Kuthi and Koli, Lohar etc.)

Shipkaars, on the other hand, are composed of sub-castes and are classified as Scheduled Castes in the Constitution of India. Even with the wave of migrations, the ancient culture survived and was adopted by incoming people.


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