top of page

Gujjars & Bakarwals of Jammu & Kashmir

Arihant Gahlot

Who are Gujjars and Bakarwals of Kashmir valley?

Those, who journey across the valley, temporarily halt and take shelter in meadows and forest.

Just that, no its way more.

If I say, Gujjars and Bakarwals are unsaid hero community that has been saviour of Kashmir valley from barbaric intrusion of Pakistan irregulars, it's a fact sheet ! Such is the grandeur of this community that the author unwinds.


It is believed that Gujjars moved to Jammu and Kashmir from Gujarat and the Hazara locale of North Western Frontier Province. Most likely within the 5th and 6th century A.D. at the occurrence of droughts they moved out of Gujarat and entered the green pastures of the Shiwaliks and the Himalayas. The reasons of their relocation were diligent dry spell, inadequate grazing facilities, increasing populace, political or devout abuse within the plains of Punjab by invaders from the west. A slight contrast between both is that the Gujjars live in hilly locales, raise Cattle and depend on little scale agribusiness while the Bakarwals are still roaming in nature and relocate to the elevated pastures with their herds of goats and sheep in the summers. They start their upward travel towards the knolls and timberlands in higher reaches in April or May.

Larger part of the Gujjars and Bakarwals populace is rural in character as rustic ranges and pastures are the need of the transhumance populace for the reason of grazing their animals. By and large the community has bigger family framework since within the transhumance society bigger family is the need. Half of the populace of the Gujjars and Bakarwals community is underneath 24 years of age. In spite of the fact that covetous of having formal education, frequent seasonal relocation and lack of education facilities within the higher reaches are the greatest hurdles for them to be educated. The literacy rate among the Gujjars and Bakarwals is low as compare to other occupants of the state.

But in close future literacy rate would rise as few of them have as of now begun to center towards teaching their more youthful ones. The Gujjars and Bakarwals have tall identity with the Jewish highlights. They possess cultural and etymological character. Their lifestyle, culture, conventions and dress are bit diverse as compared to their counterparts settled within the state. Their dress is to some degree comparable to that of the Pashtuns. They by and large wear adornments like Jumka, Kangan, Sierie, Challa, Payal, etc.

Maize is the staple nourishment of Gujjars and Bakarwals. It gives warmth and quality to the body which makes a difference to outlive in winters. There may be vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well. Staple dishes of the Bakarwals are maize roti, noon chai and goat milk. Other than maize and other milk items Gujjar and Bakarwal too utilize different naturally grown plants as their nourishment. They celebrate all the festivals of national importance apart from community particular ones. The Gojri dialect is talked by all the Gujjar and Bakarwal. The dialect is associated to Rajasthani dialect and lingo. Gojri speakers constitute the third biggest gather in UT of Jammu and Kashmir after Kashmiri and Dogri speakers. Gojri is one of the old dialects of India. The students of history have followed the root and hone of Gojri dialect since BC time.

The dress of the Gujjars and Bakarwals is very distinctive from the Kashmiris and Dogras. Bakarwal Gujjar for the most part wear Shalwar-Kameez, Vasket, Angoo and Paghari (Headgear) whereas the women wear long outfit called Jubo, Pherni, Shawl, Cap and Jotti, Jora. The salwar is known as suthan and the kameez as pherni or kurti. Within the winters they wear coat and shawl known as chadri, to keep warm within the biting old.

Little triangular scarf fundamentally worn by the more youthful ladies is kasawa. The embroided cap worn by the Gujjar and Bakarwal ladies is suitably called as lachka. Due to the move towards the sedimentation, there's a bit alter in the culture of the community. In place of conventional panchayats, nowadays the institution of the panchayti raj is working within the tribal ranges of Jammu and Kashmir. Few of the Gujjars and Bakarwals still hone Jirgas and settle their cases inside their community whereas rest have the sees that jirgas do not exist presently and they settle their cases with the assistance of police and modern courts. Amid the display time Gujjar and Bakarwal effectively participate within the different levels of elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Their focus towards education is expanding day by day and moreover their intrigued to take part in the elections have too increased.

Since times immemorial the Bakarwals, take their sheep tall into the mountains, over the tree-line to brush within the lush glades. It may take them as numerous as sixty days to reach these glades. Amid the summer, they move from one meadow to the other. But presently these roaming Bakarwals who lead a forlorn and extreme life within the tall-height glades of the Himalayas and the Pir-Panjal are steadily settling down for all time in Plain zone. The changing financial structure has changed their family structure, institution of marriage and family relationship have too seen a few changes. Because it may be a reality that when an alter comes it has both positive and negative results. Additionally alter in vocation design and financial structure of the Bakarwal tribals have too brought both things with it. Whereas on one hand it has put the culture of these tribals beneath risk as a result of acculturation and digestion forms on the other hand it has given the various facilities and progressed the quality of life. Their children can presently go to the schools, medical facilities and other well being care measures are accessible for them and over all he changing occupational design has given them with awesome roads of social portability too.

Credits : Raja Shabir Khan






· Wikipedia.

· IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS)

126 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page