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Charan derives from the word ‘Char’ means grazing. It has one more meaning 'spread'.


Charan used to be poets who would sing songs about the kings. When Rajputs were kings, Charans were treated as Gods. Charan are known as Deviputras as well, which means Goddess’ sons.

Charans were also known as Gadhvi as they used to look after Gadh (fort) in Gujarat. Kings used to shower lot of gifts on Charans. The gifts include, but not limited to elephants, money, ornaments which will be equivalent to Rs.1, 00,000 today. The kings also invited them to the royal court

Charans had the ability to compose poems spontaneously. Because of this ability, they were also called as ‘Kaviraj’ which means ‘king among poet.

The Charans have their history well recorded and preserved.


Charans are divided into four endogamous groups as Agarvacha, Prajia, Tumbel and Seva. There is no hierarchial order to Chararn. Agarvacha, Prajia and Seva are cattle breeders and Tumbel are cattle breeders, agricultural labors and contract labors.

Irrespective to the economical and social background, the Charan are known to respect each other as equal, even though they do not know each other.


Charan have nuclear as well as joint family. The marriage in this community is arranged marriage. The female wear a veil in front of the male family members. On the death of the father, the sons get the property and the household responsibility falls on the eldest son. The females in this community are confined to domestic life and are not entitled to any property.

Marriage among the cousins is very common in this community.


Charan goes by many names like Bahror, Barath, Barhatta, Birm, Bhatt, Chiraniya, Dhaniwal, Gadvi, Gadhavi, Gadwa, Gadwi, Maldhari and Phaniwale


The Charan population in India is 3,18,000.Charan community is found in the following states largest population to the lowest: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, daman and Diem Tamil Nadu, Dadra and Nagar Have, Delhi, Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Jharkhand