Khasa the Ancient race of Garhwal-Kumaon (Uttarakhand)

Khasa the Ancient race of Garhwal-Kumaon (Uttarakhand)
History of Kumaon-Garhwal (Uttarakhand) – Part -11
Ancient communities of Kumaon-Garhwal (Uttarakhand), Himalayas-7
Western Brachycephal Races of Uttarakhand -3
Bhishma Kukreti
There may be differences of opinion on when the Khasa race came to India and Himalayan belt. However, there is agreement among scholars that Khasa race dominated Himalayan belt from Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Garhwal, Kumaon, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Hills of Bengal and Rajasthan. Khasa were spread in Zagros Mountains of Iran-Iraq long before Christian era. From there, Khasa one race spread towards plains and reached to Bengal and Bengal. It is believed that one part of Khasa from Iran- Afghanistan reached and settled in Himalaya before one thousand years of Aryan entered to India.
There are mentions of Khasa of Himalayas in Mahabharata (Sabhaparva, Bhishm Parv, Udyog parv, Dron Parv etc); Brahmand Purana ( 27-62-62); Matsya Purana (120-43, 44,48,51); Vayu Purana (47,, 42-43,45,47-49); Vishnu Puran (2,4-8); Markendey Puran (58); Bhagwat Puran (2, 4); Kalika Puran III(6);Sanat Kumar samhita (36-41); Rajatrangani (Translated by Dr Stein). There are mentions of Himalayan Khasa in Brihat Samhita, Tibetan chronicle Dpag –bsam-ljon-bzah (The Excellent Kalpa Briksh).
The characteristics of Khasa are longer in height, long and straight nose, white or wheat color, strong built and wider chest and full of beard and mustache on face. Due to cross breeding with Aryan, it is difficult to find exact body characters today.
Many scholars support Dr. Dabral that following village names are the proof of Khasa culture and their dominance in the territory.
British Garhwal- Kashkhal, Kasunda, Kashbadi, Kashli, Kaslinagar, Kasmoli, Kashlodi, Kasyali, Keshta, Kapol, Kapeti, Kafola, Kafaldi, Kafolgan, etc (taken from Rajeshawri Prasad, Village Directory, Garhwal).
Tihri Garhwal villages- Kash, Kashani, Kashral, Masho, mana, Kash or Shas, Las, (taken from Rajeshawri Prasad, Village Directory, Garhwal).
Almora Villages –Kashan, Kashani, Kashauli, Khasparja, Kashur, Khasoti, Kashyari etc (taken from Rajeshawri Prasad, Village Directory, Almora).
Khasa were perfect in domestication of animals and were hunter and shepherd and farmers too. Khasa or Kasa used to worship Sun, Marut, Borij etc deities. Initially, the deity sign of Khasa was horse.
The main deity of Kasa or Kasa was Kassu. The Khasa,Khashas or Kasa left many old deities and adored new deities as per place, class and time. Sun worshiping was taken from Shaka by Khasas, Khashas or Kasas. However, they never left Kassu and Khasa beloved Kassu that they used Shu name in naming the villages and deities. The deity Mahasu is the monument to suggest that Khasa dominated in Garhwal-Kumaon.
The village names Amlasu, Utransu, Farsu, Gandasu, Masbuna or Patti/Pragnaa names Brahsyun,Dhoundiyalsyun suggest that before Aryan took over Khasa were main human societies of Kumaon and Garhwal and Nepal too.
The Khasa of Iran worshipped Shimliy goddess and then words were derived as Himadevi. Him became Uma. Kassu-Mahassu, maheshwar Shima,Hhima Devi , Uma devi show tha ezistance of Khasa in himalya for many centuries.
Khasa invented tens of village deities-goddesses in Uttarakhand and pilgrim places as Amarnath, Baijnath, Uttarkashi, Badrinath, Triyuginarayan, Dwarhat, Binsar etc. No doubt, later on other races or Khasa built temples on these pilgrim places. Khasa belied on village deity and used to offer cereal first to village deity before their own uses. Dabral states that this race believed in dead souls and used to offer prayer (Hantya). The images of Bada temples
Khasa also invented Yaksha, Jakh or jagas deity. The village or place names remind the people about Yaksha deity or protectors of Khasa –Jakhni, Jakhnikhal, jakher etc.The Khasa were believers of offering animals to their deities and Jakh (Yaksha).
The deities Vinayak, Kushmand, Gajtund, jayant, Mahakal, nandi, mahakal, Ghantakarn were yaksha or Jakh of Khasa race. The Jakh is gatekeeper of Badrinath temple.
Khasa was also called as Yaksha race or jakh race.Asoka had soldiers of Khasa race. There was caste system among Khasa at later stage.
Khasa race initially used to follow female leadership in the family that mother would be the career of property.
After entry and settlement of Aryan culture in India and Uttarakhand, the Khasa lost their ruling power but not the social power.
There are many cultural norms of Khasa race remained intact till date in Kumaon and Garhwal.
When Aryan entered hills of Himalayas the Aryanization of Khasa and Kols started (approximately? around 2000 to 2500BC).
References and Further Reading Suggestions:
Badri Datt Pandey, 1937, Kumaun ka Itihas, (second edition.) Shyam Prakashan, Almora (page 155-179)
Dabral, Shiv Prasad, 1968, Uttarakhand ka Itihas Bhag-2, (pages117 to321), Veer Gath Press, Dogadda, India
Dinesh Prasad Saklani, 1998, Ancient Communities of the Himalayas
D.D Sharma, 2009, Cultural History of Uttarakhand
Hari Krishna Raturi, 1921, Garhwal ka Itihas
Jagdish Bahadur , 2003 Indian Himalayas
Dr. Naval Viyogi, Professor M A Ansari, 2010 History of the Later Harappans and Shilpkara Movement (two volumes) Kalpaz Publication, Delhi, India
Khadak Singh Valdiya , 2001, Himalaya: Emergence and Evolution , Uni Press, Hyderabad, India
K.P nautiyal, B.M. Khanduri, 1997, Him Kanti (page 85 for Khasa)
O.P Kandari and O.P Gusain, 2001 , Garhwal Himalaya (Pages for Khasa- 309/360)
Lalan Ji Gopal and Vinod Chandra Shrivastava , History of Agriculture in India (up to 1200AD(article of Dr K.P Nautiyal et all – Agriculture in Garhwal Himalayas o to 1200AD, page 162)
O.C. Handa, 2003, History of Uttaranchal (Page 22 for Khashas)
O.C. Handa, 2009, Art and Architecture of Uttarakhand
John Whelpton, 2005, History of Nepal (page 22 , Khasa)
Narendra Singh Bisht and T. S Bankoti, 2004, Encyclopedic Ethnography of the Himalayan Tribes (Page for Khasa – 736 )
Dr.Bipin Adhikari , 2011, Nepal Khas Jati,
H.K Barpujari, 1990, The Comprehensive History of Assam (page 11)
Bindeshwar Prasad Sinha, 1974 The Comprehensive History of Bihar (Page-70)
Fisher, William B., 2003, The Middle East and Africa
S.N Sen, 1999, Ancient Indian History and Civilization
Carleton Stevens Coon, 1962, The Origin of Race
C.S. Coon, The Races of Europe
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti 13/4/2013
(The write up is for general readers and may not be properly suitable for history research scholars)
History of Garhwal –Kumaon (Uttarakhand) to be continued… Part -12
Ancient communities of Kumaon-Garhwal (Uttarakhand), Himalayas- to be continued…8
Western Brachycephal Races of Uttarakhand to be continued…4
Notes on Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Uttarkashi Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Tihri Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Chamoli Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Rudraprayag Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Haridwar/Hardwar Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Dehradun Garhwal, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Dwarhat Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Pithauragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Historical aspects on Khasa, Khasha the Ancient race of Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand to be continued…

  • SandeepSinh Chauhan

    Khashas are thakurs. They worship matri devi like indus valley civilization. Khasha are divided into two parts Shathi and pashi (kaurav and pandav). Khasha people built thahri, thakuri in their village’s. Dalip singh rana ,(the great khali) yogiadityanath, mahender singh dhoni, Ravindernath tagore , army chief Rawat , these all are khashas. Khashas are Aryans . Second chain of aryan is called khashah. Chand kings are mian. Chandels adopted Din_e_ilahi and become mian. Thats why muslim ruler give chand king the title of mian. In himachal and uthrakhand khasha thakur are landlords and jaildari’s . Khasha thakur not marry with chand because they become impure and became mian. Please dont serve incomplete knowledge. दूषित gyan ना बाटा जाए !

    • Uttarakhand

      Sab jagah khas logo Ka alag alag status hai.nepal me Puri society he khas hai.brahmin Kshatriya etc are in khas society.in Uttarakhand it’s different.brahmins and Rajputs entered from plains after8-9th century.khas were different category altogether.due to mixing khas Rajput became a different category later.there is no jaildari system in garhwal.instead they were called thokdars.most of them are Rajputs and not khas.some thokdars were brahmins too.there is no such thing as khas brahmins in garhwal.in Nepal local khas people became brahmins.but not in garhwal and kumaon.if a brahmin marries a khas in garhwal there is no way next generation would be considered brahmin.all jajmani would be lost and such people usually left the village. khas people only started wearing jaeno after British took over garhwal.earlier under the king it was an offence.now they have adopted Rajput surnames.but still Rajputs don’t marry them.
      nepali people should understand their society is different than garhwali or kumaoni society.although khas people are spread over whole Himalayan region but rituals customs and society structure vary.whereas Nepalis proudly call themselves khas, in Uttarakhand it is a derogatory term and a khas person is offended if he is called khas.
      Aur ye gyan dushit Nahi hai.aapko sirf Apne ilake Ka pata hai.aur hum aapko Uttarakhand Ka bata rahe Hain Jo hamari aankho k samne hai aur jo hum dekhte Aaye Hain roj

      • Rawat Pradeep

        there are non khas brahmins and non khas rajpoots from plains who lives in nepal other then khas brahmins and khas rajpoots ,and in garhwal also majority of brahmins are of khas origin very few came from plains ,and in regard to your claim that only after coming of britishers khas started wearing janeu let me tell you they were already given kshatriya status by kings of garhwal & kumaun and they were allowed to wear janeu and they had khas generals & soldiers in their army ,leave naxal mentality and do not misguide peoples to create division in the society.

        • Uttarakhand

          my comments here wont create division in the society.i am not that important.khasas have always served in garhwal army and were considered forward caste.there was also power struggle between khasas and rajputs in the king’s army.but it is a fact when pauri and chamoli came directly under the british the caste status began changing.over 40 percent of garhwal population was khas at that time of 1st census.by the time of next census all of them were considered kshatriyas.raturi in garhwal ka itihas book has mentioned this clearly.also raturi has written about this upward mobilty in narendra hindu law.both these books or documents were written by prime minister of garhwal harikrishna raturi.and king of garhwal endorsed this work.it was published by tehri riyasat.
          just visit garhwal and see for yourself how the system works.rajputs dont marry khas though they have same surnames.a person with negi surname can be a khas.another person with negi surname can be a rajput.but they wont marry their son or daughter in most cases. it does not mean that khas people are backward.even brahmins and rajputs dont marry each other.its not that i have any role in that.nor do i have any intention of belittling them but when talking about history its important to put facts.khas people in garhwal and kumaon dont like to be called khas.this is also a fact.the present generation do not even know this term.
          about creating division in the society.the division in hindu society has been there since ever.it is not my creation.i dont have to talk like a politician to please anyone.

  • SandeepSinh Chauhan


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