This article includes inline citations, but they are not properly formatted. Please improve this article by correcting them. (May 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Bagar, also Bagad (बागड़) and even Bar,[1] a term meaning the "dry country",[2] refers to the sandy tract of north-western India and eastern parts of current Pakistan bordering India.[3] For example, area north and south of Ravi river between Chenab river and Sutlej is called Ihang Bar.[1]


Bagar means the prairie (grazing shrubs and grassland) of northern Rajputana,[4] which likely comes from eponymous Arabic word "bagar" meaning "cow" (sacred to Hindus),[5] derived from the Arabic word "cattle".[6][7] Baggara in Arabic means "cattle herders".[6][8] Bagar tract refers to the semi-arid semi-fertile rain-fed sandy shrubby grassland tract at the confluence of arid Thar Desert and fertile bangar and khadir areas of Indo-Gangetic Plain, which as historically inhabited by the cattle herders who remained semi-nomadic until they began to adapt to settled life in the mid to late Medieval Period. Before the adoption of the Arabic name bagar, the area was earlier known as Jangladesh during the Vedic era of Mahabharata and even in early medieval times at least until the end of Hindu reign of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Rājputāna, meaning "Land of the Rajputs",[9] is a historic term for a region in India that includes mainly the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat,[9] as well as adjoining areas of Punjab and Haryana, and some adjoining areas of Sindh in modern-day southern Pakistan.[10] It lies to the west of the Aravalli Hills, and was earlier known as Samarkand, the earlier form of Registan, before it came to be known as Rajputana, early in the Medieval Period.[11] The name was later adopted by British government as the Rajputana Agency for its dependencies in the region of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān,[12] which comprised 18 princely states, two chiefships and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara, which was renamed to "Rajasthan" in 1949.[12]

Bagri people

Mani Ram Bagri with Rajiv Gandhi.

The term Bagri people was originally applied to the Hindu Jats, Gurjars[13] and Rajputs, such as Bagri Jat and Bagri sub caste[2][14][15][16][17][18][19] but now also applied to Bishnoi and one of the sections of Agarwal Banias and Maheshwari banias as well as Badhik ("butcher"), Pardhi ("hunter") and Bawariya (semi-nomads) castes.[15][18] Prominent bagri people include was politician from Haryana Mani Ram Bagri (1 January 1920 – 31 March 2012, a politician from Haryana), Raj Bagri, Baron Bagri (24 August 1930 – 26 April 2017, India-born British businessman and a Conservative member of the House of Lords from 1997 to 2010, who was made a life peer in 1997).[20]

Bagri language

Main article: Bagri language

A Bagri speaker.

Bagri people of the sandy dry Bagar tract speak the Bagri language (बागड़ी), a dialect of overlapping Rajasthani language, Haryanvi language and Punjabi language of the Indo-Aryan family, spoken by about five million speakers.[21][22]

Bagri region

Bagri region or tract is long strip of shifting sand dunes called tibba (टिब्बा) and relatively semi-fertile lands between them called lal (लाळ ) along the western border of Haryana and eastern border of Rajasthan.[23]

The Bagar region has potentially very fertile alluvial soil interspersed with highly permeable very sandy tracts in several places with water table more than 100 feet below ground containing brackish water usually unfit for human consumption, where dust storms frequent during the warm summer months from April till the end of July when monsoon arrives. Previously the tract was solely based on the rain and irrigation was possible only in the small area of Bagar region in districts of Fatehabad, Sirsa, Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar where the season Ghaggar river flows. After the opening of Bhakra Nangal Dam canal system in 1963 as well as the earlier Western Yamuna Canal now irrigate most of Haryana including all of the Bagar region falling in Haryana on its western border. Opening of Indira Gandhi Canal in 1983 brought the water of Sutlej and Beas rivers to the fields of Rajasthan including its Bagar tract stabilizing the sand dunes and soil erosion by preventing the expansion of desert.[24]

In Haryana, it covers southern parts of Sirsa district (earlier known as Bhattiana), and western villages of Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri districts.[21][22][23]

In Rajasthan, it covers parts of tehsils of Ganganagar; Bhadra, Nohar in Hanumangarh district; Taranagar tehsil in Churu district.[21][23]

In Punjab (India), bagar tract covers Fazilka district and southern villages of Muktsar district.[21][22][25]

In Punjab, Pakistan, Bagri as minor language is spoken in Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar district, though these are not considered parts of Bagar tract.[21][22][26]


See also


  1. ^ a b 1892 , Haryana District Gazetteers: Ambala district gazetteer, Page 2.
  2. ^ a b Nonica Datta, "Forming an identity", The Tribune, 3 July 1999.
  3. ^ "Revised Land and Revenue Settlement of Hisar District 9006-9011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  4. ^ Elaine King,1998, Tales & legends of India, Page 61.
  5. ^ 2002, Abubakar Garba, "State, city and society: processes of urbanisation", University of Maiduguri - Centre for Trans Saharan Studies, Archaeological Association of Nigeria, Page 82.
  6. ^ a b Deepak Kumar Behera, Georg Pfeffer, 2002, The concept of tribal society, Page 284.
  7. ^ Mohamet Lawan, 1997, No travel is little, Page 66.
  8. ^ Jemera Rone, Brian Owsley, Human Rights Watch/Africa, 1996, Behind the Red Line: Political Repression in Sudan, Page 274.
  9. ^ a b "Rajputana". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  10. ^ "Rajput". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  11. ^ Bose, Manilal (1998). Social Cultural History of Ancient India. Concept Publishing Company. p. 27. ISBN 978-81-702-2598-0.
  12. ^ a b R.K. Gupta; S.R. Bakshi (1 January 2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages The Heritage Of Rajputs (Set Of 5 Vols.). Sarup & Sons. pp. 143–. ISBN 978-81-7625-841-8. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  13. ^ Ajay Singh Rawat (1998). Forests on Fire: Ecology and Politics in the Himalayan Tarai. Cosmo Publications. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-81-7020-840-2.
  14. ^ Robert Vane Russell, 1916, "pt. II. Descriptive articles on the principal castes and tribes of the Central Provinces", page 435.
  15. ^ a b Robert Vane Russell, 1916, "The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India (Volumes I and II)", Library of Alexandria publication, ISBN 1465582940.
  16. ^ B.S. Nijjar, 2008, "Origins and History of Jats and Other Allied Nomadic Tribes of India: 900 B.C.-1947 A.D.", Atlantic Publishers, page 51, ISBN 8126909080.
  17. ^ 2000, "Haryana District Gazetteers: Rohtak district gazetteer, 1910", Government of Haryana Gazetteers organization, page 237.
  18. ^ a b Vīrasiṃha, 2006, "The Jats: Their Role & Contribution to the Socio-economic Life and Polity of North & North-west India, Volume 2", page 305, ISBN 8188629529.
  19. ^ Nonica Datta, 1999, "Forming an Identity: A Social History of the Jats, Oxford University Press, page 12.
  20. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 219. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  21. ^ a b c d e Gusain, Lakhan: Reflexives in Bagri. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 1994
  22. ^ a b c d Gusain, Lakhan: Limitations of Literacy in Bagri. Nicholas Ostler & Blair Rudes (eds.). Endangered Languages and Literacy. Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference. University of North Carolina, Charlotte, 21–24 September 2000
  23. ^ a b c India District Census Handboook, 1961
  24. ^ E. Walter Coward, 1980, "Irrigation and Agricultural Development in Asia: Perspectives from the social sciences", Cornell University press, page 302, ISBN 0801498716.
  25. ^ Census India 2001
  26. ^ Gusain, Lakhan: Bagri Grammar. Munich: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 2000, p. 384