Agharia (अघरिया) Aghariya (अघरिया) Agaria (अगरिया) Agari (अगरी), Agri (अग्री) are Jats found in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Chhota Nagpur. They have originated from Agra region and hence known as Agaria which later on changed into Agharia due to linguistic variations. But Angarya Jat clan is found in Afghanistan.
- 1 Origin
- 2 In Mahabharata
- 3 History
- 4 Parity with Jats
- 5 Distribution of Agharia population
- 6 R. V. Russell and Rai Bahadur Hira Lāl on Agharias
- 7 Notable persons
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
Agharia have descended from Tomar/Tanwar is attested from the Agharia Bisaundhi (Bhat) records. Bisaundhi (Bhat) records reveal that Viduratha (विडूरथ) of Chandravanshi Yadava Kula was their ancestor. They are also known as Dasharha or Dasharna.  
The Mahabharata Tribe - Bhadra (भद्र) is mentioned to be associated with Rohitaka and Agreya tribes in Karna's conquest (III. 241.67). They had many branches and fought on both sides in the war (Pandavas VI.52.9 and Kauravas VI.47.9).
Agharia Jats' original settlement is considered to be region near Agra and Bharatpur. They migrated to Orissa and Chattisgarh around 15th/ 16th century during Mughal rule from Aghpur/Aghapur near Bharatpur (Rajasthan) which is in radius of 84kose around Vrindavan & Mathura. The Agharia-Jats are known as Chourasi-Agharia Jats in Chhattisgarh & western Orissa. Some were serving in Maratha-Army & are known as "Jagtap Maratha Jats" now. 
It is necessary to study the history of Aga and Agha Jats found around Agra. It is very likely that Agha and Agharia are both related with one another and have linkages to Kushana history, who are considered Jats. A branch of Tocharians was Hunga who came to Brij area in India and settled on the fertile banks of Yamuna River. Hunga Jats are believed to get their name from Hungamas satrap who came from the region of "Huang He" river and "hingu" hills in China. The Hunga over a period became "Aga". Aga in Sanskrit became "Agre" meaning advance, since these were the people first to come to Brij area. Kanishka had made the Hunga people the rulers of Mathura. Another branch of Tocharians moved to Afghanistan and upto Iran. Kanishka made these people the rulers of Ghazni.
Dr. Vinita Naik of Chhattisgarh Considers the Agharias of Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhota Nagpur as the Jats who migrated from areas around Agra. Since they came from Agra so they were called Agaria in the new habitations. Their traditions, titles, religious faith, habits, bravery and self respect etc. all confirm similarity in the two communities. Common titles are Chaudhary, Naik, Patel etc.  
H.A. Rose tells us that Agari (अगरी), Agri (अग्री), Agaria (अगरिया) "a worker in salt," from āgara, salt-pan. The Agaris are the salt-makers of Rajasthan and of the east and south-cast Punjab, and would appear to be a true caste2. In Gurgaon they are said to claim descent from the Rajputs of Chittaur. All are Hindus, and found especially in the Sultanpur tract on the common borders of Delhi, Rohtak and Gurgaon, where they make salt by evaporating the brackish water of the wells. Socially they rank below the Jats, but above Lohars. A proverb says : " The ak, the jawāsa, the Agari and the cartman — when the lightning flashes these give up the ghost" apparently because the rain which is likely to follow would dissolve their salt. Cf. Nungar/Nunia.
Parity with Jats
Recent researches on Agharias, particularly distribution of their chromosomes and blood groups, reveal that they are from northern Gangetic plains. Scientific, historical and linguistic analysis tells that Agharias are Indo-Europeans. Their Genetic Affinity is grouped with north Indian higher and middle castes particularly Jats, Rajputs, Gujars, Tarkhans and Khatris. 
Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA): Although it is rare in South Asia, some populations show relatively high percentages for R1b. These include Lambadi (Andhra Pradesh) showing 37%  , Hazara 32% and Agharia (East India) at 30%. The point of origin of R1b is thought to lie in Eurasia. The DNA Study proves that there has been male DNA into the Jats from Ukrainian Scythians (Saka, Massagetae) and White Huns. 
They have similarity with Jats in traditions, Language and Physique. Jats and Agharias have common gotras and vanshas. Their Genetic Distance is least with Jats as is clear from the following tables:
|Caste||Blood group 'O'||Blood group 'B'||Blood group 'A'||Blood group 'AB'|
|Caste||Blood group 'X2'||Blood group 'P'||Blood group 'Q'||Blood group 'R'||Blood group 'D'|
Average-Heterozygosity of Agharias in comparison to other Kshatriyas:
1. Agharia - 0.824+0.019
2. Bhumihar - 0.821 +0.018
3. Jat - 0.816 +0.015
4. Maratha - 0.814 +0.015
Dr Vinita Naik has concluded that on the basis of similarity of Chromosomes, Blood Groups, Physique, Language , Vanshas and Gotras Agharias are closely related with Jats. 
Dr Atal Singh Khokhar has supported the view of Dr Vinita Naik on the basis of deep study of Gotras included in the list of Agharia Kshatriyas. He writes that these Kshatriyas migrated from Agra Division were called Agaria which due to linguistic difference changed to Agharia. The leader of Agharias who migrated to Chhattisgarh and north-west Orissa was Bharos Singh Rawat. Rawat (रावत) and Sahrawat were titles used by Tanwar sardars which later began to be used as gotras. 'Mathura Memoirs' considers them ruling independently and located at Pura situated on 12th mile of Mathura-Bharatpur Highway. 
Dr Dharm Chandra Vidyalankar in his book "Jaton ka Naya Itihas" Rawat as variant of Rajwat (राजवत). Their famous village is Jatpura in Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh. Rawats have 8 villages near Palwal in Haryana and 80 villages in Iglas (Aligarh). Pratap Singh Shastri considers Jat Kshatriya Rawat as a branch of Tanwars/Tomars.  Agharias descended from Tomar/Tanwar is also attested from the Agharia Bisaundhi (Bhat) records. Bisaundhi (Bhat) records also reveal that Viduratha of Chandravanshi Yadava Kula was their ancestor. They are also known as Dasharha or Dasharna. 
Distribution of Agharia population
Dr Vinita Naik has provided the information about Distribution of Agharia population in Chhatisgarh and Orissa. The historical records of Agharias are maintained by Bisaundhi (bard). The Bisaundhi records reveal that they have come to Chhatisgarh and Orissa from Agra, Rajasthan and Delhi during the rule of different rulers.
The earliest migrating Agharias were led by Raja Bharos Singh Rawat, along with Bam Singh Jat (Bam Jatta), Ram Singh Bankawat (Ram Singh Banka) and Lakhi Singh Sodhi (Lakhi Sodhi).They were from royal families. Along with them came Kshatriyas of 36 vanshas. 
According to the Bisaundhis of Bilaspur area in Chhatisgarh they came from Rajasthan. From Rajasthan they moved to around Agra, lived for some period and from there came to Bilaspur. These Agharias never went to Jagannathpuri. Initially they settled in five villages of Akaltara in deep forests and later spread over 30 villages where about 150 families live at present. 
The Agharias of Raigarh and Mahasamund districts of Chhatisgarh settled at Phuljhar (Lormi), Basna, Saraipali (Kota Chhattisgarh) etc migrated to these areas during the reign of Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Lodi rulers. 
Some Agharias of Orissa migrated during the reign of Adil Shah. During the rein of Aurangzeb religious atrocities on Hindus were extreme and probably during this period more Agharias came to Orissa. According to Orissa Gazeteer Agharias migrated during the rule of Chauhan Raja Baijal Dev II at Patnagarh (Balangir) who was under the reign of Chalukya king Gajpati Mukund Dev (1460) of Puri . According C.W.Wills South Kosal (Chhatisgarh) was always under Hindu rulers and out of the influence of Mugal rule. 
During 10-17th century South Kosal (Chhatisgarh) was ruled by Haihaya rulers with capital at Tripuri near Jabalpur. Raja Kalingaraja was from this dynasty whose capital was at Tuman. The ruins of capital Tuman can be still seen in north-west of Laafaagadh Jamindari (Kota tahsil) in present Bilaspur district. His son Ratan Singh founded Ratanpur which was capital of South Kosal for a long period. In 16th century Marathas defeated Raja Raghunath Singh, the last ruler of Ratanpur. 
Mughal rule declined with the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. The Maratha ruler of Nagpur Raghuji Bhonsle-I occupied Orissa in 1751. Orissa remained under the Maratha Subedar with Cuttack as its capital. Marathas encouraged pilgrimage to Orissafrom other parts of the country. they divided Orissa in to two separate divisions namely Mughalbandi and the Garhjat.
Marathas established Suba system and the area of 36 Subas was named Chhatisgarh. The Maratha rulers adopted a system of giving land in place of salary to the Army personnels. Villages were leased on pattas and this helped Agharias in permanent settlements. 
Agharias were very regular in paying land-taxes to the rulers. They became big Gotiya/Malgujar/Jamindars in their areas of settlement. Maratha rulers awarded the influential families titles like Chaudhary, Nayak, Patel, Khoont/Khot, Mukaddam, Subedar etc. As per records of Bisaundhis of Agharias, 6 vanshas were awarded Chaudhary, 18 vanshas Naik and 60 vanshas Patel/Patil titles. 
R. V. Russell and Rai Bahadur Hira Lāl on Agharias
The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India, Volume II, Author: R. V. Russell, Assisted by Rai Bahadur Hira Lāl, Macmillan and Co., Limited St. Martin’s Street, London. 1916 gives following details about Agharias.
Agharia (a corruption of Agaria, meaning one who came from Agra). —A cultivating caste belonging to the Sambalpur District and adjoining States. They number 27,000 persons in the Raigarh and Sārangarh States and Bilāspur District of the Central Provinces, and are found also in some of the Chota Nāgpur States transferred from Bengal. According to the traditions of the Agharias their forefathers were Rājpūts who lived near Agra. They were accustomed to salute the king of Delhi with one hand only and without bending the head. The king after suffering this for a long time determined to punish them for their contumacy, and summoned all the Agharias to appear before him. At the door through which they were to pass to his presence he fixed a sword at the height of a man’s neck. The haughty Agharias came to the door, holding their heads high and not seeing the sword, and as a natural consequence they were all decapitated as they passed through. But there was one Agharia who had heard about the fixing of the sword and who thought it better to stay at home, saying that he had some ceremony to perform. When the king heard that there was one Agharia who had not passed through the door, he sent again, commanding him to come. The Agharia did not wish to go but felt it impossible to decline. He therefore sent for a Chamār of his village and besought him to go instead, saying that he would become a Rājpūt in his death and that he would ever be held in remembrance by the Agharia’s descendants. The Chamār consented to sacrifice himself for his master, and going before the king was beheaded at the door. But the Agharia fled south, taking his whole village with him, and came to Chhattīsgarh, where each of the families in the village founded a clan of the Agharia caste. And in memory of this, whenever an Agharia makes a libation to his ancestors, he first pours a little water on the ground in honour of the dead Chamār. According to another version of the story three brothers of different families escaped and first went to Orissa, where they asked the Gajpati king to employ them as soldiers. The king caused two sheaths of swords to be placed before them, and telling them that one contained a sword and the other a bullock-goad, asked them to select one and by their choice to determine whether they would be soldiers or husbandmen. From one sheath a haft of gold projected and from the other one of silver. The Agharias pulled out the golden haft and found that they had chosen the goad. The point of the golden and silver handles is obvious, and the story is of some interest for the distant resemblance which it bears to the choice of the caskets in The Merchant of Venice. Condemned, as they considered, to drive the plough, the Agharias took off their sacred threads, which they could no longer wear, and gave them to the youngest member of the caste, saying that he should keep them and be their Bhāt, and they would support him with contributions of a tenth of the produce of their fields. He assented, and his descendants are the genealogists of the Agharias and are termed Dashānshi. The Agharias claim to be Somvansi Rājpūts, a claim which Colonel Dalton says their appearance favours. “Tall, well-made, with high Aryan features and tawny complexions, they look like Rājpūts, though they are more industrious and intelligent than the generality of the fighting tribe.”
Owing to the fact that with the transfer of the Sambalpur District, a considerable portion of the Agharias have ceased to be residents of the Central Provinces, it is unnecessary to give the details of their caste organisation at length. They have two subdivisions, the Bad or superior Agharias and the Chhote, Sarolia or Sarwaria, the inferior or mixed Agharias. The latter are a cross between an Agharia and a Gaur (Ahīr) woman. The Bad Agharias will not eat with or even take water from the others. Further local subdivisions are now in course of formation, as the Ratanpuria, Phuljharia and Raigarhia or those living round Ratanpur, Phuljhar and Raigarh. The caste is said to have 84 gotras or exogamous sections, of which 60 bear the title of Patel, 18 that of Nāik, and 6 of Chaudhri. The section names are very mixed, some being those of eponymous Brāhman gotras, as Sāndilya, Kaushik and Bhāradwāj; others those of Rājpūt septs, as Karchhul; while others are the names of animals and plants, as Barāh (pig), Baram (the pīpal tree), Nāg (cobra), Kachhapa (tortoise), and a number of other local terms the meaning of which has been forgotten. Each of these sections, however, uses a different mark for branding cows, which it is the religious duty of an Agharia to rear, and though the marks now convey no meaning, they were probably originally the representations of material objects. In the case of names whose meaning is understood, traces of totemism survive in the respect paid to the animal or plant by members of the sept which bears its name. This analysis of the structure of the caste shows that it was a very mixed one. Originally consisting perhaps of a nucleus of immigrant Rājpūts, the offspring of connections with inferior classes have been assimilated; while the story already quoted is probably intended to signify, after the usual Brāhmanical fashion, that the pedigree of the Agharias at some period included a Chamār.
3. Marriage customs.
Marriage within the exogamous section and also with first cousins is forbidden, though in some places the union of a sister’s son with a brother’s daughter is permitted. Child marriage is usual, and censure visits a man who allows an unmarried daughter to arrive at adolescence. The bridegroom should always be older than the bride, at any rate by a day. When a betrothal is arranged some ornaments and a cloth bearing the swastik or lucky mark are sent to the girl. Marriages are always celebrated during the months of Māgh and Phāgun, and they are held only once in five or six years, when all children whose matches can be arranged for are married off. This custom is economical, as it saves expenditure on marriage feasts. Colonel Dalton also states that the Agharias always employ Hindustāni Brāhmans for their ceremonies, and as very few of these are available, they make circuits over large areas, and conduct all the weddings of a locality at the same period. Before the marriage a kid is sacrificed at the bride’s house to celebrate the removal of her status of maidenhood. When the bridegroom arrives at the bride’s house he touches with his dagger the string of mango-leaves suspended from the marriage-shed and presents a rupee and a hundred betel-leaves to the bride’s sawāsin or attendant. Next day the bridegroom’s father sends a present of a bracelet and seven small earthen cups to the bride. She is seated in the open, and seven women hold the cups over her head one above the other. Water is then poured from above from one cup into the other, each being filled in turn and the whole finally falling on the bride’s head. This probably symbolises the fertilising action of rain. The bride is then bathed and carried in a basket seven times round the marriage-post, after which she is seated in a chair and seven women place their heads together round her while a male relative winds a thread seven times round the heads of the women. The meaning of this ceremony is obscure. The bridegroom makes his appearance alone and is seated with the bride, both being dressed in clothes coloured yellow with turmeric. The bridegroom’s party follows, and the feet of the couple are washed with milk. The bride’s brother embraces the bridegroom and changes cloths with him. Water is poured over the hands of the couple, the girl’s forehead is daubed with vermilion, and a red silk cloth is presented to her and the couple go round the marriage-post. The bride is taken for four days to the husband’s house and then returns, and is again sent with the usual gauna ceremony, when she is fit for conjugal relations. No price is usually paid for the bride, and each party spends about Rs. 100 on the marriage ceremony. Polygamy and widow marriage are generally allowed, the widow being disposed of by her parents. The ceremony at the marriage of a widow consists in putting vermilion on the parting of her hair and bangles on her wrists. Divorce is allowed on pain of a fine of Rs. 50 if the divorce is sought by the husband, and of Rs. 25 if the wife asks for it. In some localities divorce and also polygamy are said to be forbidden, and in such cases a woman who commits adultery is finally expelled from the caste, and a funeral feast is given to symbolise her death.
The family god of the Agharias is Dulha Deo, who exists in every household. On the Haraiti day or the commencement of the agricultural year they worship the implements of cultivation, and at Dasahra the sword if they have one. They have a great reverence for cows and feed them sumptuously at festivals. Every Agharia has a guru or spiritual guide who whispers the mantra or sacred verse into his ear and is occasionally consulted. The dead are usually burnt, but children and persons dying of cholera or smallpox are buried, males being placed on the pyre or in the grave on their faces and females on their backs, with the feet pointing to the south. On the third day the ashes are thrown into a river and the bones of each part of the body are collected and placed under the pipal tree, while a pot is slung over them, through which water trickles continually for a week, and a lighted lamp, cooked food, a leaf-cup and a tooth-stick are placed beside them daily for the use of the deceased during the same period. Mourning ends on the tenth day, and the usual purification ceremonies are then performed. Children are mourned for a shorter period. Well-to-do members of the caste feed a Brāhman daily for a year after a death, believing that food so given passes to the spirit of the deceased. On the anniversary of the death the caste-fellows are feasted, and after that the deceased becomes a purkha or ancestor and participates in devotions paid at the shrādhh ceremony. When the head of a joint family dies, his successor is given a turban and betel-leaves, and his forehead is marked by the priest and other relations with sandalwood. After a birth the mother is impure for twenty-one days. A feast is given on the twelfth day, and sometimes the child is named then, but often children are not named until they are six years old. The names of men usually end in Ram, Nāth or Singh, and those of women in Kunwar. Women do not name their husbands, their elderly relations, nor the sons of their husband’s eldest brother. A man does not name his wife, as he thinks that to do so would tend to shorten his life in accordance with the Sanskrit saying, ‘He who is desirous of long life should not name himself, his guru, a miser, his eldest son, or his wife.’ The Agharias do not admit outsiders into the caste. They will not take cooked food from any caste, and water only from a Gaur or Rāwat. They refuse to take water from an Uriya Brāhman, probably in retaliation for the refusal of Uriya Brāhmans to accept water from an Agharia, though taking it from a Kolta. Both the Uriya Brāhmans and Agharias are of somewhat doubtful origin, and both are therefore probably the more concerned to maintain the social position to which they lay claim. But Kewats, Rāwats, Telis and other castes eat cooked food from Agharias, and the caste therefore is admitted to a fairly high rank in the Uriya country. The Agharias do not drink liquor or eat any food which a Rājpūt would refuse.
As cultivators they are considered to be proficient. In the census of 1901 nearly a quarter of the whole caste was shown as mālguzārs or village proprietors and lessees. They wear a coarse cloth of homespun yarn which they get woven for them by Gāndas; probably in consequence of this the Agharias do not consider the touch of the Gānda to pollute them, as other castes do. They will not grow turmeric, onions, garlic, san-hemp or tomatoes, nor will they rear tasar silk-cocoons. Colonel Dalton says that their women do no outdoor work, and this is true in the Central Provinces as regards the better classes, but poor women work in the fields.
- Late Dr Shatrughn Lal Patel (Kotmi) - Adhyaksh All India Agharia Samaj
- Durga Charan Patel (Cheragapali/Patelpali) - MLA
- Ghan Shyam Varma (Kapasada) - MLA
- Laxmi Prasad Patel - MLA, Member UPSC, Chairman MP Agro Industries
- Mohan Lal Chaudhary (Chattigirhola) - Deputy irrigation Minister(M.P)
- Nand Kumar Patel (Nandeli) - Home Minister MP&Chattisgarh,President- Chattisgarh State Congress 2011
- Dr Shakrajit Naik (Nawapali) - Ex Irrigation Minister Chhatisgarh
- Dr Jawahar Naik (Lodhia) - MLA
- Trilochan Patel (Saraipali) - MLA
- Balak Ram Patel - Chairman Pichhada Varg Kalyan Parishad
- Dr Ravi Shankar Naik - President Agharia Kshatriya,Surgical specialist
- Dr Mukund Lal Naik - Ex. Chairman Chhatigarh Council of Science Raipur
- Rewati Charan Patel - First IPS
- Om Prakash Chaudhary - First IAS
- Kripa Sindhu Chaudhary - DSP
- D N Patel - DS
- Kalpana Patel-President Chattisgarh Mahilla Congress
Kanha Rawat - Kanha Rawat (कान्हा रावत) (1640 AD-1684 AD) hailed from village Bahin, the place of origin of Rawat Jats, situated 60 miles South of Delhi in Faridabad district Haryana. He was a revolutionary freedom fighter. He lost his life fighting for protection of the Hiduism against the oppressions of the Mugals.
- अघरिया क्षत्रिय, लेखक - डॉ. विनीता नायक, प्रकाशक - डॉ. विनीता नायक, ४८ , आर्य नगर, दुर्ग, छत्तीसगढ़. २००८, कीमत रुपये १००/-, पृ.१५० . Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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