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Saini Sikh Subcastes

Sainis are a Rajput descent  agricultural and landowning caste of  Punjab . The Saini Sikhs are found in the  sub-mountainous region of Punjab. They dominate in  a significant number of villages in  Hoshiarpur,  Nawanshehr,  Jalandhar, Ropar and Gurdaspur. The neighboring  sub-mountainous  districts of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also have considerable  Saini Sikh population.  They are not found in any significant numbers in the lower and the  interior Punjab, although the descendants of  Sardar Nanu Singh Saini of Phulkiyan, who were  a part of the Patiala nobility, at one time held one of the largest estates in  the erstwhile  princely state.  Their  real strongholds , however,  are  in the  areas of  Jalandhar and Bari Doabs  where they  exclusively own a   large  number of  villages, and where they  also  held the Zaildari  in the British era.
 
Interesting accounts are given about the origin of Sainis. Their origin is traced to the Jadubansi Rajputs of Mathura and Delhi who came to Punjab to thwart the repeated attacks of Ghazni's generals on this area.  These specific battles are said to be duly recorded in Tarikh-i-AlfiThese Rajputs were called Sainis or Shoorsainis because these rulers of Mathura region  traced their origin to Krishna's grandfather ,  Maharaja Shoorsen.  The existence of a Yadava origin  Saini Rajput dynasty, i.e. the Shoorsainis,    which ruled Mathura  in a period ranging between 700 and 1100 CE,   is recorded by historians such as Cunningham.  As per the historical and local  accounts, when these Rajputs lost these battles they had no choice other than facing slaughter or conversion to Islam. Some Rajputs converted under duress and started being addressed with the names such as Ranghars, Khanzadas , Ghauri Pathans, etc. Some,  desperate to retain their estates and influence,  started marrying their women to the Muslim conquerors as part of the prevalent "Dola" culture. This was considered a reprobate practice by the orthodox Hindus. These Rajputs were thus considered degraded and the inter-marriage between them and the other Rajputs  stopped. This  led to the birth of  various  endogamous groupings within the Rajputs.
 
Some  Rajputs living under the sword in the Muslim-ruled areas , however,  started downplaying their  identity to escape conversion and  "Dola"  enforced ritual pollution targeted at the rebellious Rajput groups (and also Brahmins in some cases) .  The  Sainis are said to be one such Rajput group who took up agriculture in this era.  Many of their clan names  such as Badwal, Tirotia,  Salaria, Dhamrait, Mangar, Darar, Gehlon, Tambar, Banwait, etc are identical or very similar  to those of the Rajputs found on the neighboring hills which suggests that  both were at one time part of the same stock which later got fragmented  into separate groups due to the reasons already mentioned. The comparative ABO distribution studies conducted on both the groups, which were  published in  American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 1961,  had  confirmed   identical  genetic  markers of both the groups, while at the same time showing significant differences between them and  those of other leading castes of the area such as Jats, Aroras, etc.  This also strongly indicates a common ancestry.  The oral and historical accounts thus do  have some scientific corroboration in this particular case.
 
Since 1931  the surname Saini is also used by Mali groups of Rajasthan and some other states.   These however are  different from the Sainis that are found in Punjab and are said to have no marital links with them. 
 
Saini Sikh Sub Castes
 
Annay (Anotra)
Attar
Badwal
Bajwalia
Banday, Bande
Banga
Banwait , Banait (Banawat)
Basoriye
Basuta (Basotra)
Baunsar
Bhangal, Bagal
Bhangura
Bhardwaj
Bhela
Bhondi (Bondi)
Bhowra, Bhaura, Bhaora
Bilauria, Bilowria
Bimb (Bimbh)
Bola, Bule
Chandel, Chandolia
Chera
Chilana, Chilne
Daulay,  Dolle
Daurka
Dhak
Dhamrait
Dhanota (Dhanotra)
Dhaul
Dheri
Dhoor
Dulku
Farad
Gaheer (Gahotra)
Gahunia (Gahoon/Gahun)
Gangian
Gehlen, Gehlon
Gharay
Gharamiye
Gidda, Gidde, Giddar
Girn
Golan, Goli, Goleria
Hadwal (pronounced 'Harhwal' )
Jadore, Jandoria
Jagait
Jangliya
Japra
Joshi
Indoria Kshatriya
Kaan
Kaberwal (Caberwal , Kabadwal)
Kadauni
Kainth
Kaloty,  Kalotia
Kamokhar Khatri
Kapoor Kainthaliye
Katariya
Keer
Khatri Kapoor
Khargal, Khadgal
Kharh Khatri
Khatri Andhaniye
Kheru
Khube/Khobe
Khuthe
Lada
Lair
Lalriye, Lulriye
Lattan
Lathar
Longia (Longiye)
Maheru (Mahotra)
Mangar
Masuta (Masotra)
Mehindwan
Meengatia
Mundh , Mundra
Nagoriya
Nanua (Nanuan)
Naru
Nawe
Pabe
Pabla (Pabe, Pablay and Pabme may be identical)
Pabme
Pamma (Pama)
Pangliya
Pantaliya
Papose
Partola
Patrota (may be a variation of  ''Tirotia '')
Pundrak
Sajjan
Sagara
Sair
Salaria , Salariye
Sandal
Sankhla
Saroha
Satmukhia
Satrola/Satrawala/Satrawali
Shahnan (Shanan/Sahnan)
Shahi
Suji
Tamber (Tumber, Tanwar)
Tanduwal, Tondwal
Taral
Taunque (Taank/Taunk)
Thind (actual pronunciation "Thinde or Thinday")
Tirotia (derived from ''Torawati" in Rajputana)
Togar (Togad/Taggar)
Toor, Tuar
Ughre, Oghre
Vaid
 
References :
  • The land of the five rivers; an economic history of the Punjab from the earliest times to the year of grace 1890, p 100, Hugh Kennedy Trevaskis, [London] Oxford University press, 1928
  •  "Another numerous tribe, the Saini (14000), also trace their origin to a few ancestors who came from their home in Mathura (North-West Provinces) in defence of the Hindus against the first Moslem invasions",  The Indian village community, p 274, Baden Henry Baden-Powell, Adegi Graphics LLC, 1957 (Originally published in 1896)
  • REPORT OF A TOUR IN EASTERN RAJPUTANA IN 1882-83 , VOLUME XX, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, pp 2,  7, 57-59, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1885 ,Item notes: v.20 1882-1883, Original from the University of Michigan
  • REPORT. VOLUME XIV, A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, pp 115-119, Published by Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1878-89
  • Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Volume 100, pp 119 - 120, SS Sashi, Anmol Publications, 1996
  • Chiefs and families of note in the Delhi, Jalandhar, Peshawar and Derajat, Charles Francis Massy, pp382,  Allahabad, 1890
  • History of the Panjab hill states, Volume 1, pp 217, John Hutchison, Jean Philippe Vogel, Asian Educational Services, 1994
  • Epic and Counter-Epic in Medieval India, Author(s): Aziz Ahmad, Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Sep. - Dec., 1963), pp. 470-476
  • Some Phantom Dynasties of Early and Medieval India: Epigraphic Evidence and the Abhorrence of a Vacuum , David P. Henige, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 38,No. 3 (1975), pp. 525-549,  Cambridge University Press
  • "Sainis show significant differences from only Jats, Chamars and Khatris of Punjab. They show non-significant difference with Rajputs of Punjab and Peshawaris. They also show non-significant differences with Punjab (Boyd) , Kayasthas, Khatri and Brahmin of UP(Majumdar) " American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1961 Sep;19:223-5.The study of ABO blood groups of Sainis of Punjab, SINGH IP, SINGH D.,PMID: 13913332
  • Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan, p 107, Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Banshi Dhar, Jain Brothers, 1989
  • Mangi Lal Mahecha, Rājasthāna ke Rājapūta (The Rajputs of Rajasthan) , Rajasthan, 1965
  • People  of India: Haryana, pp 432, 433, Author: T.M. Dak, Editors: Kumar Suresh Singh, Madan Lal Sharma, A. K. Bhatia, Anthropological Survey of India, Published by Published on behalf of Anthropological Survey of India by Manohar Publishers, 1994