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The Khatri Community of India

Updated on November 28, 2013

Khatri, a well known and prominent community of India is a dominant community in Entertainment Industry, Politics, Defense, Sports, Literature, Journalism, Business and many other fields. They are mainly populated in the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. This community exists in Pakistan also.

Here are some interesting facts about Khatri community.

Geographical Spread of Khatris

Khatris are mainly populated in Indian state of Punjab. Besides Punjab, they are also found in Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajsthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Outside India, there are many Khatris in Pakistan. In last few decades, many Khatris are migrated to North America and Europe.

Origin, Social Status and Religions of Khatris

Khatri is another form of the word Kshatriya, meaning the warrior class. According to many anthropologists, they are descendents of ancient Greek warriors, who settled in India. Off course, in last 2300 of years they are mixed up with other warrior communities of North West India.

Like most of the people of Punjab, Khatris are tall, sharp featured and bright wheatish colored. Feline eyes is a common thing in many Khatris.

Khatris are high ranked people in Indian community. They speak mostly Hindi and Punjabi languages. They are very liberal about religions and follow Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Jainism. In Pakistan, most of the Khatris are followers of Islam. Intermarriages between Hindu, Sikh and Jain Khatris is a common thing, and Hindu-Muslim marriages in upper class of this community are now not surprising.

Kalpna Chawla, NASA Astronaut
Kalpna Chawla, NASA Astronaut | Source

The Greatness of Khatris

As I have written above, the Khatris are dominant people in various fields of life. Here are some examples:

1. A Khatri received Nobel Prize, two received Bharat Ratna (Highest Civil Award in India), three received Param Vir Chakra (Highest Military Award in India), 11 received Mahavir Chakra (Second Highest Military Award in India), and hundreds of others from this community won hundreds of other prestigious awards in other fields including Entertainment Industry, Literature, Science & Technology, Business, sports etc.

2. This community gave 3 Prime Ministers to India

3. A Khatri woman was famous astronaut of NASA

4. This community gave many Chief of Staffs and other officers to Indian Armed Forces. An interesting fact is that during Indo-Pak war of 1971, both the chiefs of Indian Air Force and Indian Navy were Khatris.This war was the most victorious war for India.

5. Khatris are dominant people in Indian Film and Entertainment Industry, on the screen and behind the screen.

Manmohan Singh, present Prime Minister of India
Manmohan Singh, present Prime Minister of India | Source

Famous Khatris

Now let me share some names of famous Khatris. I have classified the names according to the fields of their activities.


Sikh Gurus: Sikhism is one of the most important religions in India. It was founded by Guru Nanak Dev in 15th century, and then it was promoted by next 9 Gurus. All the 10 Gurus of Sikhs belonged to Khatri community. The names of the 10 Gurus are as following: Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Angad Dev, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Har Gobind, Guru Har Rai, Guru Har Krishan, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Guru Gobind Singh.

Jain Ascetics: Acharya Vijayanand Suri was one of the most famous Jain Acharyas in 19th Century. He was born in a Khatri family of Punjab. There are many other famous Jain Gurus who were born in this community.

Freedom Fighters: Madan Lal Dhingra and Sukhadev Thapar. Former was sent to prison in England and latter was hanged to death in British India.

Politics: Master Tara Singh (Sikh religious and political leader), Purushottam Das Tondon, Gulzarilal Nanda (Interim Prime Minister of India for two times), Inder Kumar Gujral (12th Prime Minister), Man Mohan Singh (13th and present Prime Minister), Kapil Sibal (Central Minister), Maneka Gandhi, Lal Krishna Advani.

Science: Har Gobind Khorana (Bio-chemist, Nobel Laurette), Birbal Shahani (paleobotanist), Kalpana Chawla (NASA Astronaut), Satish Dhawan (Space Scientist), Ravish Malhotra (Indian Astronaut)

Literature and Journalism: Bhishm Sahani, Lala Jagat Narayan, Amruta Preetam, Khushavant Singh, Deepak Chopra, Mulk Raj Anand, Roshan Seth, Vikram Seth, Vinod Dua, Prabhu Chawla, Karan Thapar, Devki Nandan Khatri, Narendra Kohli, Najam Sethi (Pakistan).

Defense: Colonel Prem Kumar Sehgal (key personality of Indian National Army during World War II), Admiral S.M. Nanda (Navy Chief in 1971 Indo-Pak war), Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chand Lal (IAF Chief in 1971 Indo-Pak war), Lieutenant General Jagjit Sing Arora ( General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the Eastern Command during Indo-Pak war of 1971), Guru Bachan Sing Salaria, Vikram Batra, Arun Kshetrapal (All three recipients of Param Vir Chakra, the highest Military Award of India), General J.J. Sing, General Nirmal Chandra Vij, General Om Prakash Malhotra, General Pran Nath Thapar, General V.P. Malik, General Deepak Kapoor,


Music and Singing: Kundan Lal Sehgal, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan, Mahendra Kapoor, Anup Jalota, Anu Malik, Baba Sehgal

Production and Direction: Chetan Anand, Ramanand Sagar, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Shekhar Kapoor, Rajesh Roshan, Raj Khosla, Deepa Mehta, Meera Nayar, Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor

Acting: Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Balraj Sahani, Vijay Anand, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Jitendra, Vinod Khanna, Parikshit Sahani, Rakesh Roshan, Suresh Oberoy, Prem Nath, Rajendra Nath, Prem Chopra, Om Puri, Om Shiv Puri, Amarish Puri, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Pankaj Kapoor, Ranveer Kapoor, Shakri Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Boni Kapoor, Roshan Seth, Rhitik Roshan, Akshay Khanna, Akshay Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, Vivek Oberoy, Gulshan Grover, Aadar Jain, Armaan Jain, Tushar Kapoor, Rakesh Bedi.......

...............Karishma Kapoor, Ravina Tondon, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Juhi Chawla, Bhumika Chawla, Twinkle Khanna, Sonam Kapoor and many more...

© 2013 Mahaveer Sanglikar


Submit a Comment

  • MG Singh profile image

    MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

    Interesting post. The Khatri are basically a trading community and have some friction with the more martial Jats

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    The Khatri Community of India an interesting hub with great thought thank you

  • torrilynn profile image

    torrilynn 4 years ago

    thanks for the interesting information. it was great of you to recognize these achievements of these individuals. they deserve it.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Wonderful and interesting information my friend. Keep writing these to bring the world closer together.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Thank you, that was very interesting. Many striking similarities to our Navajo here in the Southwest US.