Sunar: Hindu Caste in India

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Sunar Hindi: “Goldsmith”, alterately Sonar or Swarnkar) is a Hindu caste in India referring to the community of people who work as goldsmiths. Sunars of Hindu origin are found ethnically in many religions such as Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity, Atheists and more. Typically a subclan found within the Rajput clan/tribe. This caste is found in varying categories within the caste system of India such as Mair Rajput, Taunk Rajput, lower reserverd backwards castes, other upper khatri descents and other castes. A story from Hinduism tells a great deity Lord returns to his kingdom and the first thing he asked was how are the sunars(Goldsmiths).

The main attribute of Goldsmiths are that they determined the economy of a nation and throughout most civilisations the common currency was Gold. India being renowned as the Chicken that lays Golden eggs for its vast myths that were spread in ancient time for the amount of Gold that laid throughout India and the quality of it was renowned.

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The quality of Indian gold was unlike anyother in the world. Sunar: The occupational caste of goldsmiths and silversmiths. The name is derived from the Sanskrit Suvarna kar, a worker in gold. In 1911 the Sunars numbered 96,000 persons in the Central Provinces and 30,000 in Berar. They live all over the Province and are most numerous in the large towns.

“The Sunars also have a story that they are the descendants of one of two Rajput brothers, who were saved as boys by a Saraswat Brahman from the wrath of Parasurama when he was destroying the Kshatriyas. The descendants of the other brother were the Khatris. This is the same story as is told by the Khatris of their own origin, but they do not acknowledge the connection with Sunars, nor can the Sunars allege that Saraswat Brahmans eat with them as they do with Khatris. ”“Owing to their ssociation with the sacred metal gold, and the fact that they generally live in towns or large villages, and many of their members are well-to-do, the Sunars occupy a fairly high position, ranking equal with, or above the cultivating castes. ”

The two primary tribes of goldsmiths in present-day Punjab are the Mairs and the Tanks. The two tribes have several gothras in common so it is possible that movement between the two tribes or simultaneous entry by gothras into both tribes has historically taken place. Currently, Mairs claim to have a higher status than the Tanks.

This was true historically also, as Rose wrote in 1914 that Mairs did not accept water from Tanks (440). The Tanks had claimed Kshatriya descent in 1911 but later did not pursue that claim. It may be that the Tank goldsmiths are descendants of the ancient Takshac, or Taunk Rajput tribe mentioned by Tod (69). Rose does write that the Tanks worship the snake as an emblem of Takshac, the founder of the Nagvanshi, or Tank family (443). It would seem that the Tanks have a reasonable case for a claim to Rajput heritage, which for some unknown reason, they have stopped pursuing in this century.

The Khudabadi Sindhi Swarankar (alternately Khudabadi Sonara Community) is a cultural and ethnic group of India, historically associated with the Sindh region of modern Pakistan prior to the Partition of India, and the city of Khudabad as well as city of Hyderabad. It is said to date as far back as the Vedic Age, and is associated in legend with Satya and Treta Yug.

The Khudabadi Sonara community (sunar or goldsmith) is affiliated with the Lohana faction of the warrior Kshatriya caste of Hindu society. Historically associated with military professions, many Lohana groups, including the Sonaras, turned to peactime occupations including bricklaying, agriculture, and shopkeeping. The Khudabadi Sonara Community became involved in goldsmithing, a trait still associated with that community. The people of this caste believe that they are Kshatriya descendants of Suryavanshi, affiliated with Lohana.

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Sunar: Hindu Caste in India. (2018, Jun 10). Retrieved from

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