Sunday, May 17, 2015

Other community traditions in Gurjara

Outside of Rajput traditions, which mark the history of Gurjara, Maru, Malava, Saurashtra, etc., we should note the traditions of other communities like the Oswals and Srimala Brahmins who trace their history from Bhinmal in Gurjara Bhoomi.

Under the Chavadas and Pratiharas, Bhinmal was the city of traders and skilled crafts men, each organized into guilds. The Oswala Jains take their name from Osian, but state that they originated from Bhinmal, and settled northwards in Osian on the prompting of the Pratihara Rajput rulers who wanted a forward base to advance into Sindh against the Arabs. With the Rajput arms and Oswal wealth, Osian became a flourishing city.

The Shrimali Brahmins also originated in Bhinmal and later spread out to Marwar and Gujarat. Several other communities of craftsmen originated from Bhinmal and migrated to Kutch, Saurashtra, Marwar. It is said that the main cause was the drying up of the river in Bhinmal, which acquired the name Sukri (dried up) for this reason. Consequently the city of Bhinmal also declined from its flourishing state into a mere village.

It can be assumed that pastoral and agrarian communities too migrated out of the region due to this cause, giving rise to the community of Gujjars.