Tuesday, April 8, 2014

BHANUSHALI - भानुशाली (गुजरात की एक प्रमुख वैश्य जाति)

Bhanushali (Gujarati : ભાનુશાલી) / Bhānshali / Bhansali (Gujarati : ભણશાળી) is a Hindu Vaishya community, who claim to be of Kshatriya origin and mainly belonging to State of Gujarat in India.

Bhanushalis are believed to be Kshatriya people who were mainly living in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab region before their migration to present day Kutch and Halar region of Gujarat, somewhere in 330 BC due to Alexander and subsequent Mughal invasions.Bhanushalis claim to have descended from Chalukyas and often have Rajput surnames, while there is also a major opinion to have descended from Lava, son of Rama and hence Suryavanshi and are related to or a bifurcation of Lohana clan.

Bhanushalis are divided in to two sub groups according to their region of living, that is :- Cutchhi Bhanushali Community,  those living or having ancestry in Kutch region  and Halai Bhanushali Community those living or having ancestry in Halar (Jamnagar) region.

Bhanushalis were mainly involved in agriculture and farming.

Bhanushalis worship different kuldevis as per their clan names / surnames. and follow Hindu customs and beliefs and worship God like Maa Hinglaj, Asapura Mataji, Shiva, Durga and Vishnu.Further, they also worship Veer Dada Jashraj and claim, like Lohanas, that he belonged to their community.They are largely Vaishnava community.and are considered as a trading or vaishyacommunity in Gujarat. Bhanushalis chiefly worship Hinglaj, whose main temple is in Baluchistan, Sind, their ancestral home.

Among their community Sant Odhavramji of Vandhay was prominent figure of Kutchi people and did much work for up-liftment and education of Bhanushali community in decades of 1930-1950s.

Relationship with Lohanas

Bhanushalis also shared their early home in Sind with Lohanas and seem to share common history. Like Lohanas, Bhanushalis are largely involved in trading and have gained name as businessman and identified as Vaishya community although have its origins asKshatriya clan. They like Lohanas worship Dada Jashraj as their kuladevata. Many of the surnames of Bhanushalis, coincidentally, are also found among Lohana community and as they and Lohanas share common history or lineage. Like Lohanas, Bhanushalis are largely involved in trading and have gained name as businessman and identified as Vaishya community although have its origins asKshatriya clan.


Bhanushalis often use their community name also as their surname and as such you can find many people using Bhanushali and Bhanshali surname. However, other surnames among this community are Shethia, Amal, Kataria, Hemani, Damani, etc. etc. It is said that Bhanushali's had 96 surnames. Few others are Katarmal ,Nanda, Gori, Bhadra, Hurabada, Joisher, Joisar, Mithiya, Gajra, Mange, Fuliya, Visariya, Nakhva, Chandra, Dhabha, Chunada, Mengar, Khichda, Vador, Maajania, Mav, Motani, Ratda, Dama, Gajra, Dama. Kanakhara, Nanda, joisar, And Bhadra are said to be most largely used surnames.

Again, it seems that many Bhanushalis, changed to Jainism during course of history and therefore Bhanushali surname can be found among Jain people of Gujarat.

Notable Persons

Sant Odhavramji (1889–1957) - prominent saint and social worker of Kutch

Shyamji Krishna Varma (1857–1930) - prominent freedom fighter from Mandvi, Kutch

Jay Bhanushali - television actor and achor

साभार : विकिपीडिया


  1. Thank you for this. It is the most accurate narrative of my history I have read so far. I have heard of the same from my late grandfather who passed this on from his father. My great grandfather affirmed that though we are largely in agriculture we are of Kshatriya and Suryavanshi. My mom also confirmed that we worshipHinglaj maata but unfortunately have not been able to visit the Shaktipeeth in Baloch :(
    Thanks again for this accurate post.

  2. we are suryavanshi kshtriya so pl dont consider as vaishya community


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