Somvanshi in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Somvanshi
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 584,000
World Population: 584,000
Primary Language: Marathi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Somvanshi Khatri or Somvanshiya are a people who live throughout northern, western and central India. Experts say that the Khatri originally came from Punjab and over the centuries moved south into central India. Most Khatri fall in the third of the four main castes of Hinduism, the Vaishyas. Some Khatri see themselves as Kshatriya, the descendant of kings and warriors. Most of the Somvanshiya Khatri live in Delhi, the national capital territory and Haryana, the state west of the city. The main languages of the Khatri are Hindi, English and Eastern Punjabi. Only a very tiny group of Khatri consider themselves followers of Christ.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today Khatri are known as financiers, business owners, traders, and industrialists. Some are involved in the cotton fabric and silk trades. The Khatri also work in law enforcement, the military, medicine, entertainment, and science. The Somvanshiya are one of the most powerful, forward castes in north central and western India. The Khatri live as members of the modern, urban Indian society. Somvanshiya are monogamous that is marriage to one spouse is their practice. They marry within their group. Families arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. Parents encourage their children to graduate from universities and graduate schools. Sons inherit property upon the death of their father. Brahmin priests officiate at important family ceremonies such as births, weddings and funerals. Caste associations settle legal disputes and promote their interests. The Khatri eat meat except for beef.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Khatri practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Khatri visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. The Khatri have built multiple Hindu temples in and near the city of Mumbai. Mumbai is the financial center of India. The main yearly holidays of the Khatri people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday. The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories. Dalits and tribal peoples are outside of the caste system.

What Are Their Needs?

The Khatri need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. It is often difficult for more successful people to humble themselves before the Savior. The Somvanshiya Khatri must see themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness from a holy, personal God.

Prayer Points

Pray that God sends Hindu background believers to the Somvanshiya Khatri to tell them about Jesus Christ. Pray that Hindi and Eastern Punjabi Bibles fall into the hands of Khatri who are seeking for truth. Pray that a strong movement to Jesus will bring whole Somvanshiya Khatri families and communities into a rich experience of God's blessings. Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing the spread of His gospel among the Khatri.

Text Source:   Keith Carey