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Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh (1895 - 1961).jpg
Total population
2.5 Million (2011) [1]
Regions with significant populations
Majority: Jammu region Minority: Himachal Pradesh, Punjab
Dogri, Hindi
Predominantly Om.svg Hinduism, with a minority of Muslims and Buddhists
Related ethnic groups

The Dogras or Dogra people, are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group in India and Pakistan consisting of the Dogri language speakers. Dogra ruled Jammu from the 19th century, when Gulab Singh was made a hereditary Raja of Jammu by the Sikh Emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whilst his brother Dhian Singh was the empire’s prime minister, until October 1947. Through the Treaty of Amritsar (1846), they acquired Kashmir as well. They live predominantly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, [2] and in adjoining areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and northeastern Pakistan. [3] The Brahmin Dogras are predominantly Saraswat Brahmins, genetically of common origin with Saraswat Brahmins of Jammu and Kashmir. [4]


The Dogra Regiment and the Punjab Regiment of the Indian Army primarily consists of Dogras and Sikhs. [5]


The term Dogra is thought to derive from Durgara, the name of a kingdom mentioned in an eleventh century copper-plate inscription in Chamba. The inscription mentions the Raja of Chamba facing an attack by Kiras aided by the Lord of Durgara (durgāreśwara). In medieval times the term Durgar is believed to have turned into Dugar, eventually transforming to "Dogra". Kalhana's Rajatarangini makes no mention of a kingdom by any of these names, but the kingdoms could have been referred to by their capital cities (such as Vallapura, modern Billawar, or Babbapura, modern Babor). In modern times, the term Dogra turned into an ethnic identity, claimed by all those people that speak the Dogri language, irrespective of their religion. [6]


Scholar Omachanda Handa believes that the Durgara people were originally migrants from Rajasthan to the Terai belt, similar to the Gurjaras (or "Gujjars"). The allusion to durg (fort) in their name indicates that they may have remained a warrior people, eventually founding powerful kingdoms between Chenab and Ravi, and possibly dominating up to the Sutluj river. [7]

According to M. A. Stein, there were some eleven Dogra states in the region, all of which were eventually absorbed into the Jammu state, which emerged as the most powerful among them. [8] Prior to the rise of Jammu, Babbapura (Babor) is expected to have been the chief state of Dogras. Lying 45 km east of Jammu, Babor contains the ruins of six magnificent temples representing a "thriving artistic activity". [9] [10] The Rajatarangini mentions the Raja Vajradhara of Babbapura, vowing allegiance to Bhikshachara of Kashmir in 1120 AD, along with the chiefs of neighbouring kingdoms. [11]

The Jammu region

The Jammu region, one of the two regions of UT of Jammu and Kashmir (the other being the Kashmir Valley), is bound on the north by the Pir Panjal Range of the middle Himalayas, in the south by Punjab, to the east by Ladakh, and close to the west by Pakistan. The lower Himalayan ranges begin behind the town of Jammu, which rests on a slope over 1,300 feet (400 m) above sea level, overlooking and commanding the plain watered by the Chenab, Ravi, Tawi and Ujh rivers. The Jammu region consists of ten districts: Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Poonch, Kishtwar, Reasi, Samba, Ramban and Rajouri. The city of Jammu is the winter capital of the UT of [[Jammu and Kashmir (union territory)}Jammu and Kashmir]].

The Jammu Dogras traditionally inhabited the area between the slopes of the Shivalik range of mountains, the sacred lakes of Saroien sar and Mannsar but later spread over whole of Jammu region. They generally speak Dogri and other dialects similar to Dogri. The majority of the Dogra are followers of Hinduism, but a large number in Jammu and Kashmir believe in other religions. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, some Dogras embraced Islam. These factors, together with the effects of immigration into the region, have resulted in the Dogra population of Jammu and Kashmir including members of all three religions.

The Dogra Raj emerged as a regional power, particularly after Maharaja Gulab Singh emerged as a warrior and his subjects received special martial recognition from the British Raj. The rule of Gulab Singh's Raj extended over the whole of the Jammu Region, a large part of the Ladakh region as early as March 1846, and a large part of the Indian Punjab (now Himachal Pradesh). The Kashmir Valley was handed over to Gulab Singh by the British government, as part of the territories ceded to the British government by Lahore State according to the provisions of Article IV of the Treaty of Lahore dated 9 March 1846. Under the Treaty of Amritsar in the same year, the Dogra king of Jammu and the state was thereafter known as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir State (Raj), also thereafter referred as Kashmir State. The term Dogra hence is more akin to the subjects of Himachal Pradesh, some areas of Punjab and the whole region of Jammu that was ruled by Raja Gulab Singh as part of the Dogra Raj irrespective of the religion of the inhabitants.

Cultural profile

The Royal House of Jammu and Kashmir (Dogra dynasty)

The Dogra dynasty was a dynasty of Hindu Rajputs who ruled Jammu & Kashmir from 1846 to 1947. They traced their ancestry to the Ikshvaku (Solar) Dynasty of Northern India (the same clan in which Lord Rama was born; he, therefore, is the 'kuldevta' (family deity) of the Dogras).

Gulab Singh, the first Maharaja of Dogra Rajput dynasty which ruled Jammu & Kashmir. Gulabsingh1840.jpg
Gulab Singh, the first Maharaja of Dogra Rajput dynasty which ruled Jammu & Kashmir.
Maharaja Hari Singh, the last monarch of Dogra Rajput dynasty which ruled Jammu & Kashmir. Sir Hari Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, 1944.jpg
Maharaja Hari Singh, the last monarch of Dogra Rajput dynasty which ruled Jammu & Kashmir.

Among the enlightened rulers of Jammu was Raja Ranjit Dev (1728–1780) who introduced certain social reforms such as a ban on 'Sati' (immolation of the wife on the funeral pyre of the husband) and female infanticide. Later, under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the state became part of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab after it was captured from its Afghan rulers. Ranjit Singh rendered this state to his general, Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal, who belonged to the Jamwal Rajput clan that ruled Jammu. He extended the boundaries of Jammu to western Tibet with the help of General Zorawar Singh.

The Sikh Empire rule extended beyond the Jammu Region and the Kashmir Valley to the Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom of Ladakh and the Emirates of Hunza, Gilgit and Nagar. After the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846, the British gave Kashmir and the title of 'Maharaja' to Gulab Singh — the chief minister — as a reward for aligning with them against the Sikhs. [13]


Dogra cuisine

Wheat, maize and bajra are staple food besides rice, cereals and a tangier preparation made out of mango or tamarind popularly known as maani. The whole dish is called dal puth maani and is savoured as a combination. Mitha madra is a favourite and is cooked from milk, dry fruits, and semolina. Preparations of rajmash (a special variety of red kidney beans); auria a dish of curd fermented by rye; ambal made from pumpkin, jaggery and tamarind are favourites, especially during ceremonial cooking. The expert cooks are called Siyans, usually Brahmins. Kalari is a milk preserved by cogulation of proteins and then fried in a pan to make it delicious.

Non-vegetarian food was limited to Rajputs and Vaish (Mahajans). 'Khatta meat' is mutton cooked with sour pomegranate seeds (Anardana) or lime juice and flavoured with fumes of a burning charcoal soaked in mustard oil. Keur is one of the well known foods of Dogras. It is prepared by flour and butter and served with sugar and curd. Mostly, it is served to bridegroom at the time of marriage by the in-laws. Kalaari is a favourite food of Dogras in the rainy season. It is prepared by flour mix, cottage cheese and milk cream (malai) with water with help of a small cup shaped pot. Kalari is served with milk. Kalari cheese is popular in the Jammu region and in Jammu and Kashmir state more generally. Babbru/pathoru are prepared with flour and fried in mustard oil. Babbru is served with maani/potato/kheer/curd.

Kheer is a dish prepared from milk by adding some rice and dry fruit in it. It is served at all the special occasions and festivals. Another popular exotic dish is guchiyyan (dried black morel), usually added as an ingredient in pulao. As it grows naturally in forests and cannot be cultivated, it is a priced commodity (approx 500 Rs. per 100 g) and makes an excelled dish with mountain potatoes (pahadi aloo). Saffron or kesar is extensively used to flavour sweet dishes and for its anti-oxidant benefits. [14]

Military history

The Dogra Regiment was among the regiments of the British Indian Army, which made significant contributions in both the world wars on all fronts from East Asia to Europe and North Africa. At Independence, it became an infantry regiment of the Indian Army composed largely but not exclusively of the Dogra people. The Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, another regiment of the Indian Army, consisting of mainly Dogras was formed out of the former army of the Kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir after it was absorbed into the Indian Army. [14]

Notable Dogras

Related Research Articles

History of Kashmir

The history of Kashmir is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions, comprising the areas of Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Historically, Kashmir referred to the Kashmir Valley. Today, it denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Pakistan-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.

First Anglo-Sikh War conflict

The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company in 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom and cession of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate princely state under British suzerainty.

Mirpur, Pakistan Place in Pakistan

Mirpur, more commonly known as New Mirpur City, is the capital of Mirpur district and the largest city of Azad Kashmir. The city itself has gone through a process of modernization, but most of the surrounding area remains agricultural. Mirpur is known for its grand buildings and large bungalows, primarily funded through its expatriate community, which comes mainly from Europe, Hong Kong, the Middle East, and North America. The main crop cultivated during summer is millet and pulses. However, other crops such as wheat, maize and vegetables are also grown. The produce of quality rice from the paddy fields of Khari Sharif, between Upper Jhelum Canal and Jhelum river, is very famous and popular for its aroma and taste. The production of electricity from Mangla Dam provides the energy needs for Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Punjab.

Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Indian Army regiment

The Jammu and Kashmir Rifles is one of the most prestigious infantry regiment of the Indian Army. Its origins lay in the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. After the accession of the state to the Indian Union in October 1947, the State Forces came under the command of the Indian Army. They remained in the original form until 1956 when Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly effectively ratified the state's accession to India. Then the State Forces became the Jammu and Kashmir Regiment of the Indian Army. In 1963, the designation was changed to Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. After the conversion, the Ladakh Scouts came under the aegis of the Regiment, where it remained until raised as a separate Regiment in 2002.

Dogri is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about five million people in India and chiefly in the Jammu region of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also spoken in the state of Himachal Pradesh, and in northern Punjab, other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere. Dogri speakers are called Dogras, and the Dogri-speaking region is called Duggar. Although formerly treated as a Punjabi dialect, Dogri is now considered to be a member of the Western Pahari group of languages. Unusually for an Indo-European language, Dogri is tonal, a trait it shares with other Western Pahari languages and Punjabi.

Sikh Empire Empire in the Indian subcontinent that existed from 1799 to 1849

The Sikh Empire was a state originating in the Indian subcontinent, formed under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who established a secular empire based in the Punjab. The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849 and was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls. At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. Religiously diverse, with an estimated population of 3.5 million in 1831, it was the last major region of the Indian subcontinent to be annexed by the British.

Gulab Singh First maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir

Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal (1792–1857) was the founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state in British India, which was created after the defeat of the Sikh Empire in the First Anglo-Sikh War. During First Anglo-Sikh War, Gulab Singh helped the British against the Sikhs. The Treaty of Amritsar (1846) formalised the sale by the British to Gulab Singh for 7,500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees of all the lands in Kashmir that were ceded to them by the Sikhs by the Treaty of Lahore.

The Khakha of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan are clan of Muslim Rajputs.

Zorawar Singh Kahluria Military person

Zorawar Singh Kahluria (1786-1841) was a general of the Sikh Empire in the Indian subcontinent. He was subordinate to the Dogra ruler Gulab Singh, who was a vassal of the Sikh emperor Ranjit Singh. In reference to his legacy of conquests in the Himalaya Mountains including Ladakh, Tibet, Baltistan and Iskardu as General and Vizier, he has been referred to as the "Napoleon of India", and "Conqueror of Ladakh".

Bhimber Place in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Bhimber is the capital of Bhimber District, in the Pakistan-administered territory of Azad Kashmir. The town is on the border between Kashmir and Pakistan, about 29 mi (47 km) by road southeast of Mirpur.

Dogra dynasty Hindu dynasty of Jammu and Kashmir

The Dogra dynasty was a Hindu Dogra Rajput dynasty that formed the royal house of Jammu and Kashmir.

Poonch District was a district of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, currently divided between India and Pakistan. The Pakistani part of Poonch District is part of the Azad Kashmir territory, whilst the Indian Poonch District is part of the Kashmir union territory. The capital of the Pakistan-controlled side is Rawalakot; while the capital of the Indian side is Poonch.

Jammu and Kashmir (princely state) former princely state in British India

Jammu and Kashmir, also known as Kashmir and Jammu, was a princely state during the British East India Company rule as well as the British Raj in India from 1846 to 1947. The princely state was created after the First Anglo-Sikh War, when the East India Company, which had annexed the Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, and Gilgit-Baltistan from the Sikhs as war indemnity, then sold the region to the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, for rupees 75 lakh. (75,00,000)

Kharak Singh 2Nd Maharaja of the Sikh Empire

Maharaja Kharak Singh (22 February 1801 – 5 November 1840), was a Sikh ruler of the Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the eldest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharani Datar Kaur. He succeeded his father in June 1839.

Jaswan was a precolonial Indian state centred at Rajpura, in modern-day Himachal Pradesh, commanded by the Jaswal Rajput clan. It was founded in 1170 AD by Raja Purab Chand, a cadet of the Katoch lineage, ancient royal family of Kangra.

History of Azad Kashmir

The history of Azad Kashmir, a part of the Kashmir region administered by Pakistan, is related to the history of the Kashmir region during the Dogra rule. Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the south and west respectively, Gilgit–Baltistan to the north, and the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to the east.

The term Dogra Rajput refers to a number of Dogri speaking Rajput clans found in the Jammu region and parts of Himachal Pradesh. Dogra Rajput dynasty ruled Jammu and Kashmir till 1947. Hari Singh was the last ruler of this dynasty.

Jammu Division Administrative Division in Jammu and Kashmir, India

Jammu Division is a revenue and administrative division within Jammu and Kashmir, a union territory of India. It consists of the districts of Jammu, Doda, Kathua, Ramban, Reasi, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur and Samba. Most of the land is hilly or mountainous, including the Pir Panjal Range which separates it from the Kashmir Valley and part of the Great Himalayas in the eastern districts of Doda and Kishtwar. Its principal river is the Chenab. Chenab Valley is another important division in Jammu region.

Jammu City in Jammu and Kashmir, India

Jammu is the winter capital and the largest city in Jammu district of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Lying on the banks of the river Tawi, the city of Jammu, with an area of 26.64 km2 (10.29 sq mi), is surrounded by the Himalayas in the north and the northern-plains in the south. Jammu is the second most populous city of the union territory.

The people of Jammu have the following traditional costumes:


  1. Statement 1 : Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011
  2. "Government planning to redraw Jammu and Kashmir assembly constituency borders".
  3. "People of Jammu-Dogras of Jammu". Retrieved 19 January 2012.
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  5. John Pike. "Punjab Regiment". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  6. Handa, Textiles, Costumes, and Ornaments of the Western Himalaya 1998, pp. 178–179.
  7. Handa, Textiles, Costumes, and Ornaments of the Western Himalaya 1998, pp. 178–180.
  8. Stein, Kalhana's Rajatarangini 1900, p. 432.
  9. Saraf, D. N. (1987), Arts and Crafts, Jammu and Kashmir: Land, People, Culture, Abhinav Publications, pp. 198–, ISBN   978-81-7017-204-8
  10. Babor Temple, Directorate of Tourism, Jammu, retrieved 25 July 2018.
  11. Charak & Billwaria, Pahāṛi Styles of Indian Murals 1998, pp. 6–7.
  12. Govt of J&K Website
  13. Nalwa, V., 2009. Hari Singh Nalwa-Champion of the Khalsaji. New Delhi: Manohar, p. 220, ISBN   81-7304-785-5.
  14. 1 2 "Index of /". Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.