Bishnoi Caste, Gotras, and Marriage Rituals

The Bishnoi caste is known for its deep reverence for nature and wildlife. They have certain rules, laws and clan systems which play an important role in their social structure. The people of this religion have preserved their unique traditions and beliefs. Relying on these qualities, this society has maintained its hold in the fields of agriculture, animal husbandry and handicrafts.

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Indian society has seen discrimination between communities due to the caste system since the beginning. Amidst this, some castes have also developed their culture, values and heritage. Bishnoi caste is considered a good example of this. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Haryana have the highest population of Bishnoi followers. In this, Rajasthan is at the first place where people of Bishnoi community speak Marwari and Hindi.

When it comes to marriage, special attention is given to Gotra in this caste. But in today's times, people take help of online platforms to get married where along with Gotra, their factors are also taken into consideration. Bishnoi matrimonial service of matrimonialsindia is increasing the respect of this caste by focusing on this.

Through this guide you will be able to get all kinds of information. So let's move on:

History and Origins

  • This caste was founded by the 15th century mystic Guru Jambheshwar. At that time Guru Jambheshwar was also known as Jambhoji. He preached a spiritual path that included compassion towards all living beings, vegetarianism, and a lifestyle that was away from materialism and greed.
  • Jambheshwar also gave 29 main principles. Based on these principles, this community got its name Bishnoi - which is derived from the Hindi words "bees" (twenty) and "noi" (nine).
  • The Bishnois have faced many challenges throughout history. Despite these difficulties, they have managed to maintain their unique identity.

Do You Know:

  • Bishnoi has deep respect for all living beings hence he has earned the nickname of "tree hugger".
  • These are guidelines promoting non-violence, environmentalism and social harmony.
  • This community has taken important steps to save the endangered blackbuck from extinction.

Gotras of Bishnoi Caste

Every Bishnoi person belongs to a specific Gotra, whose lineage is traced back from a common male ancestor. According to Bishnoi customs, marriage within the same gotra is prohibited as it is considered equivalent to marrying a brother or sister. This community mainly consists of Jats, making them the dominant clan. However, several other gotras exist within this community, including:

Major Gotras:

  • Jat
  • Rajput
  • Brahmin
  • Charan
  • Meghwal

Other Gotras:

  • Ghanchi
  • Babylonian
  • Bachiyal
  • Badiya
  • Garg
  • Bhojak
  • Bhambi
  • Gawal
  • God
  • Malla
  • Dhanka
  • Gurjar
  • Manda
  • Sisodia
  • Lamba
  • Zhang
  • Bhati

Marriage Rituals

Marriage within this caste follows the customs where marriages are allowed only between families of the same caste and religious background. Before marriage, the horoscopes of the future bride and groom are matched. The matching is checked as per other astrological criteria related to Moon Nakshatra and birth Nakshatra. Once mutually aligned prospects have been identified, elaborate wedding ceremonies last for several days filled with music, dancing and sumptuous community feasts.

Bishnoi Festivals and Celebrations

Bishnoi caste is known for festivals and celebrations. These festive occasions are marked by the community celebrating, praying, and reaffirming its commitment to its 29 principles.

Here are some of the most important Bishnoi festivals:

  • Jambeshwari Jayanti
  • Jambeshwar Mukam Mela
  • Goga Navami
  • Teej
  • Bishnoi Sthapana Divas

Clothing and Jewelry:

  • The men of this caste wear simple, hand-woven cotton dhoti and kurta. Women wear long ghagra and angrakha decorated with embroidery.
  • Both men and women wear colorful turbans and traditional jewelry made of natural materials.

Thus we can say that this caste is maintaining its natural heritage properly even in today's era. With a population of more than 7 lakhs, it is guiding its community for the times to come. Today this community stands as a ray of hope and inspiration for the world.


Where does Bishnoi live?

Most Bishnois live in western Rajasthan, India. Among these, they are mainly found in Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Nagaur districts.

What are the 29 principles of Bisnoi sect?

The 29 core principles that guide the Bishnoi sect focus on protecting the environment, worshiping their deity Jambheshwar, avoiding greed and materialism, adopting an ethical vegetarian lifestyle, and supporting community education and welfare.

Do Bishnois come from any particular caste?

Bishnoi are considered part of the Jat community under the Other Backward Class category in the Indian caste hierarchy. In particular, their customs suggest mixed Rajput and Jat tribal ancestry.

Are Bishnoi upper caste?

No, in the traditional Indian caste system, Bishnois do not belong to the upper castes. They are classified under Other Backward Classes (OBC) which is towards the middle level of the hierarchy.

Are Bishnoi a Jat caste?

Yes, anthropologically and sociologically, the Bishnoi community is considered a part of the peasant Jat group comprising 90% of the Jats.

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