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Classification of Indian Race

Updated on November 16, 2013

Herbert Hope Risley was a British ethnographer and entered the Indian Civil Service in 1873. In 1890, he attempted the racial classification of India and conducted the study on the basis of Anthropomorphic Technique. He presented his report in 1915 in 'The Peoples of India'. Risley classified Indian population into seven racial types.

Turko - Iranian Type: Characteristics of this type - broad head, medium nose sometimes long and prominent. they are fairly tall and the stature is average varies from 162cm to 172cm. Plentiful hair on the face and eyes are generally dark, fair complexion. They live in Baluchistan Province. This type is represented by Baluchis and Afghans. They are formed by the inter-mixture of Turki and Persian.

Indo - Aryan Type: Characteristics of this type - long head, long nose, narrow and prominent. They markedly differ form Turko - Iranian. Fair complexion and have dark coloured eyes. People live in the regions of Rajasthan, Patna, Punjab and the valley of Kashmir were included in this group.

Scythio - Dravidian Type: Characteristics of this type - medium to broad head and nose is medium. Fair complexion. Scanty hair on the face and body. Stature is medium. They differ from Turko - Iranian Type in larger heads, flatter faces, higher noses and shorter stature. This type is an inter-mixture of Scythians and Dravidians. They are found in Gujarat and Coorg regions.

Aryo - Dravidian Type: Characteristics of this type - long heads with tendency towards medium. Nose is medium but broad. Skin colour varies from light brown to dark. Their stature varies from 159cm to 166 cm. They differ from Indo - Aryan type in shorter and dark nose. Found in Uttar-Pradesh, Rajputna, Bihar. This type is an inter-mixture of male Aryans and female Dravidians.

Mongolo - Dravidian or Bengali Type: Characteristics of this type - broad head with tendency towards medium and nose is medium. Their skin colour is dark. They have plentiful facial hair. Stature is medium and short sometimes. They differ from Indo - Aryan type in broad heads. It is an inter-mixture of mongolians and dravidians.

Mongolian Type: Characteristics of this type - broad head and nose varies from fine to broad. Stature is short or below medium. Broad Mongolian face with Oblique eyes showing epicanthic fold. Their skin color is dark. Scanty body with hair on the face. This type is found in and around Assam Nepal and Burma.

Dravidian Type: They are short statured people. Long head and Nose is broad, sometimes depression seen at the root of nose. Skin colour is very dark and dark coloured eyes. Hair is dark in colour and tends to curl. They were the true aborigines of India. They are found in the regions from ceylon to ganges covering whole south-eastern India.

There are many criticisms on this classification particularly form different authorities in respect of dravidian, scythio - dravidian and mongolo - dravidian types. The Points are based on preconvienced notions.


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    • fucsia profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting Hub. I learned something new! thanks for sharing

    • feenix profile image


      7 years ago

      dialogue, this hub is particularly interesting to me for two reasons: (1) I have always had a very deep interest in the peoples and cultures of the sub-continent of India. (2)I am an amateur anthropologist and ethnographer.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      7 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Some useful info there. Thank you.


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