Bhumihar Brahmins are an influential Brahmin subcaste who have traditionally resided in fertile regions of Indo-Gangetic plains of North India, in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.They are commonly referred to as Bhumihars.
The word Bhumihar consists of two Sanskrit words, bhoomi, meaning "land" and har, meaning 'capturer'. It can be deduced that Bhumihars must have traditionally
It is generally believed that they are called Bhumihars because they are agriculturists but there may be slight variation
in the meaning of the word 'Bhumi', which generally means land. Perhaps at some point of time the word 'Bhumi' was also used
to denote some administrative units/revenue units or a geographical unit. Take the example of district names as Singhbhum, Manbhum, Birbhum or Dhalbhum. These are all administrative units at present and were also revenue units during
the British and Mughal periods. Here this word was used in same sense as 'Khand' like Bundelkhand, Jharkhand, etc. Perhaps the word, 'Bhumihar' originally meant something like jaagirdar.
They perform their religious ceremonies in the same manner as other Brahmins do, but as they also practice secular occupations
like the Laukik Brahmans of Southern India, they are not entitled to accept religious gifts
or to minister to anyone as priest. They are said to be 'trikarmi' brahmins, that is they do not go to beg alms at the doors
of nonbrahmins but instances of Bhumihar Brahmins engaging in priestly practices is not uncommon. The usual surnames of the
Bhumihar Brahmins are same as those of other Brahmins of Northern India. Being a warrior Brahmin by caste, many of them have
Kshatriya surnames like Singh too.
1. Bhumihar Brahmins are addicted to agriculture, a pursuit considered to be undermining the diginity of pure or orthodox
Brahmins. 2. They have accepted and adopted in their chief families the secular titles of Raja, Maharaja and so forth distinctions
which high brahmins eschew. 3. The Bhumihar Brahmin only perform a half of the prescribed Brahminical duties. They give alms,
but do not receive them; they offer sacrifices to their idols, but do not perform the duties and offices of the priesthood;
they read the scared writings, but do not teach them.
Dr Wilson in his book Indian Castes: Part II, page 134, describes the Mohiyals (related
Bhumihars)of Punjab as mentioned below: Another class of the character refers to is that of the Moyals or movals. They are extensively scatterd
over the Punjab. Taga(Tyagi) Brahmins of the Punjab are generally cultivators. They belong to the Gauda division of the Brahminhood. They care little
about religious rites of any kind... They are found principally on the banks of the Saraswati, near Thanser, some of the less
pure agrarian Brahmins of these villages are called Taga of Gauda Tagas.
Mr Crook in his book, The Tribes and castes of UP and Oudh: Part II, page 64, has written: Bhumihar (Sanskrit
Bhumi, 'land' and Kara(har), 'maker'): An important tribe and landowners and agriculturists in eastern districts.
They are also known as Babhan, Zamindar Brahmin, Grihastha Brahman or Pachchima (Western) Brahmin.
According to Sir Elliot's supplemental glossary, there are five divisions of the Kamkoobj Brahmins.
They are Kamkoobj proper, Sunadh, Surwaria, Jijhotia and Bhoinhar.
Mr William Oldham
Mr William Oldham in his book North Western Provinces Historical And Statical Memoir, has categorically mentioned
that Bhoinhars, both by themselves and by ethnologists, are believed to be the descendants of Brahmins, who on becoming cultivators
and landholders gave up their priestly functions.
Pundit Yogendra Bhattacharya
Pundit Yogendra Bhattacharya in his book Hindu Castes and Set, writes that Bhumihar Brahmin literally means landholder.
The Bhumihar Brahmins are evidently those Bhrahmins who held grants of land for secular services. Any Brahmin who held a secular
fief was a Bhumihar.
In the context of mythological perspective, Bhumihar Brahmins identify themselves with Bhagwan Parashurama, who was a Brahmin and who is believed to have killed all the Kshatriyas from the earth 21 times. The descendants and associates of Parshuram are called Bhumihars brahmins in Eastern U.P. and Bihar,
Chitpawan Brahmins in Maharashtra, Anawil Brahmins in Gujarat, Havyak Brahmins in Andhra Pradesh, Mohyals in the Punjab region and their variants are found with different names all across the Indian sub-continent.
The Bhumihars are or were predominantly farmers. Some are owners of vast quantities of land but many are small farmers
too. Presently, the majority of Bhumihars have been reduced to the status of peasants with the fall of zamindars and elite
Marriage of people in this community, like most of other social groups of India, is restricted to their own subcaste. In
fact, it is one of the five most endogamous castes of India (Allele frequencies for STR loci of the Powerplex 16 multiplex
system in five endogamous populations of India). English education was adopted very late by Bhumihar Brahmins because
they have been very orthodox Brahmins alongwith being well off from the rest. There had been some exceptions to this but nowadays
they are doing very well in all walks of life.
Bhumihar Brahmin clans
Usually Bhumihar clans are known by the original place from which they come. For example Bhumihars from Dighwa went to
Barahiya and settled there and known as Dighwait Bhumihars, similarly, Eksaria Bhumihars belongs to Eksaar village in Balia
but spresed over complete Saran district of Bihar. But there are others like Jijhoutiya Bhumihar Brahmins who reside in Eastern U.P. and the region of Jhansi. Chitponia Bhumihar
of Navada are form Maharastra. In fact at times they are considered as a separate Brahmin sub-caste altogether. Swami Sahajanand
Saraswati was from this clan of Bhumihar Brahmins. Then there are others like Bhriguvansh, claiming lineage from Maharishi
Bhrigu as the name suggests. There are around two to three dozen such clans.
Maharaja Of Hathwa Mahraja of Bettiah Raja of Amawan Raja of Tekari Zamindar of Chainpur, Sheohar, Pandooi The Village
Eksar from where the origination of Eksaria started is situated near Parsagarh, Ekma, Dt. Saran and not in Ballia. The First
clan of Eksaria Bhumihar Brahmins was Jaganath Dixit, who mirated probably from Indraprasth or from Hastinapur in the year
1551A.D. and became mantra guru of Nepal Mahraj. The eksaria migrated to Parsa garh and subsequently to Chainpur, Bagaura,
- Bhagwan Parshuram
- Shaheed Mangal Pandey [Misra, Amaresh, Mangal Pandey: True Story of an Indian Revolutionary, 2005, Rupa & Co. publisher, Delhi]
- Kashi Naresh : Banaras Maharaja
- Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan
- Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Social worker, saint
- Ramdhari Singh Dinkar Poet
- Sri Krishna Sinha First chief minister of Bihar
- Shri Basawon Singh (Sinha), Great Nationalist, Trade Unionist and First Leader of Opposition in Bihar; earlier active with HSRA (Hindustan Socialist
Republican Army) and later joined Congress Socialist Party. The government of India issued a commemorative stamp on him on
- Yogendra Shukla, among the greatest nationalist the country has produced and who also served in the Cellular Jail, Andamans(Kalapani),
among the founders of HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Army)
- Baikuntha Shukla, great nationalist who was hanged for murdering Phanindrananth Ghosh who had become a government approver
which led to hanging of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. He was a nephew of Yogendra Shukla.
- Ganga Sharan Singh, Littrateur and Nationalist.
- Kishori Prassana Sinha (Singh), nationalist
- Mithilesh Narayan Singh, Nationalist
- Ram Nandan Mishra, Nationalist and Socialist leader who spent years in jail in British India.
- Sham Nandan Mishra, Famous Congress Leader who was also in the ministry of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Digvijay Narayan Singh, Great Congress Leader and very close to Nehru-Gandhi family and Morarji Desai. Sir Mark Tully
in his book "No Fullstops in India" has committed one whole chapter on him.
- Sir Ganesh Dutt : Bihar First Education Minister.
- Ram Dalayu Singh : First Speaker of Bihar Assembly.
- Langet Singh : Rags to Riches : Philanthropist.
- Ram Briksh Benipuri : Great writer from Muzaffarpur.
- Kapildeo Singh : Socialist Leader.
- Sheel Bhadra Yajee(1906-1996) the fiery freedom fighter from Bihar was associated with the non-violent and the violent
form of freedom struggle. Yajee's participation in the freedom movement began in 1928 when, as a student, he attended the
Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. He joined the Congress Socialist Party four years later and became involved
in the Kisan movement. Later, he came in close touch with Subhas Chandra Bose, as well as Mahatma Gandhi. In 1939 he joined
Subhas Chandra Bose to found the All India Forward Bloc. He was actively associated with the INA movement. Yajee raised his
voice against caste prejudices and other social evils. He was a firm believer in the active participation of the peasants,
workers and the middle classes in the struggle for the transformation of society. He authored several books like' A Glimpse
of the Indian Labour Movement', 'Forward Bloc and Its Stand', 'Is Socialism a Necessity to India', and 'True Face of Monopolistic
American Democracy'.The government of India issued a commemorative stamp on him on 28/01/2001.
- Krishna Kant Singh, founder of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), Patna
- Sir C P N Singh : Governor of UP and first Ambassdor to NEPAL and later to Japan.*
- Rai Hriday Narayan Singh: Native of Muzaffarpur. He was actively associated with development work during english rule.He
was in the good book of Britons and enjoyed their support for his work.It was no one other than Mr. Narayan who made many
roads and small bridges for the convenience of the local people.
- Jagannath Singh: He was a freedom fighter and great grandson of Rai Hriday Narayan. His all the wealth was seized by the
british government for his active participation in Indian freedom movement.
- Anil Kumar ( Science and tech minister Bihar Govt.)
- Arun Kumar ( Ex M.P , Jehanabad)
- Dr C.P Thakur ( Ex Union Health Minister of india )