Multani (caste)

The Multani are a traditionally nomadic Banjara community of India who historically specialised in the transport and trade of grain.[1]


The community derives its name from the city of Multan, situated in Pakistan. Multani literally means an inhabitant of the city of Multan. They are said to have emigrated from Multan during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Begada. The Multani are said to have originally belonged to the cotton/ salt traders community. They are further divided into four territorial groupings, the Zhalmed (those from Ahmadabad, the Gohilvad (from Surat), the Chorasi (from Rajkot) and the Kathiawari (from Kathiawar). Each division consists of ten to twelve clans. For example, the Zhalmed Multanis have the following clans, the Hamod, Makhyola, Chauhan, Phor, Ghori, Vakani, Babar Phanota and Solanki. Like many Gujarati Muslim communities, they maintain the principles of gotra exogamy.[citation needed]

Present SituationEdit

Many modern day Multanis are of the Lubana caste. The community's are now occupied in cotton carding or ginning, but they are distinct from the Mansoori, another community associated with this occupation. Many Multanis are also employed in the diamond industry that has sprung up in the city of Surat. Like other Gujarati Muslims, they have their own caste association, which maintains social control over the community. In fact, each of the four divisions have their own caste associations.[citation needed]

Current day members of the Multani caste are involved in modern-day applications. Many members of the Multani caste live in both India and Pakistan, due to the creation of Pakistan, many migrated to India after the Partition of India.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Habib, Irfan (1990). "Merchant Communities in Precolonial India". In Tracy, James D. (ed.). The Rise of Merchant Empires: Long-Distance Trade in the Early Modern World, 1350-1750. Cambridge University Press. pp. 371–99. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511563089. ISBN 978-0-52145-735-4.