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Khatris are mercantile community that originated in the Potwar Plateau of Punjab.


There are various stories about the origin of Khatris. Below are two famous stories:

  1. Parashurama met King Aru at Sindh and made him a warrior king. King Aru became a great warrior and had many followers. His followers were called as Aroras and the warriors were called Khatris. Later on they spit up and took up various other occupations.
  2. As Parashurama was killing all the kshatriyas, he caused all the pregnant kshatriyas females to cause miscarriage. Thus, the pregnant females took refuge in Brahmin families. The children born to such kshatriyas were called as Khatris.
  3. History:

    Khatris are highly educated people since beginning. They are hard working people who will adjust to any harsh situation.

    Earlier Khatris were into silk weaving business, which faced a downfall after the Muslim conquest. However, Khatris adopted to military and administration roles outside Punjab till the time of Mugal emperor Aurangzeb. During the Aurangzeb’s Deccan campaign, several Khatris were dead, and he ordered the widows to remarry, but they refused. As a result he dismissed the military services and thus they became shopkeepers and brokers.


    The religious belief of Khatris percentage wise is given below:
    Hindu – 69%
    Muslim – 22%
    Sikh – 11%

    Hindu Khatri: Khatris following Hinduism belong to Arya Samaj, Nirankari and Radhosami sects.

    Muslim: Muslim Khatris mainly live in Gujarat and majority belongs to Sunni Sect.

    Sikh: Sikh Khatris consider their ten Gurus of very high esteem. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was the 10 th guru of Khatris.

    Partition and Khatris:

    Khatris suffered a major loss due to India Pakistan partition. They lost a major part of their traditional home.

    They have a major contribution towards Indian culture, heritage, industry and commerce.

    List of famous Khatris:

    Here is a list of few famous Khatris:

    • Manmohan Singh (Kohli), Prime minister of India
    • Dev Anand - Bollywood actor
    • Om Prakash Malhotra Former Chief of Army Staff, Governor of the Punjab
    • Mulk Raj Anand, pioneering Indian novelist in English
    • Vijay Kumar Malhotra MP, Deputy leader BJP
    • Sangam Rai Kapoor - Founder of the house of Maharajas of Burdwan
    • Gurinder Chadha - Kenyan- Brit movie director ('Bend it like Beckham', 'Bhaji on the Beach')
    • Yash Chopra - Bollywood movie director and producer
    • Satish Gujral, artist and muralist who trained under Diego Rivera
    • Inder Kumar Gujral former Prime Minister of India