Religion and Caste-wise classification
In 1961, there
were 87.7% of the population of the district was Hindus population. In the rural area,
88.1%, and in the urban area 69.0% of the inhabitants were Hindus. In 1971, their number
rose but the percentage came down to 87.0%. They were, as usual, divided into the four
principal castes, the Brahmins, the Kshatriya, the Vaishya and the Shudra, and their
The Brahmins are found in every part of the district in large numbers and are generally
engaged in agriculture, trade or business. The majority of them belong to the Sarwariya or
Saryuparin subdivision, followed by Kanaujias or Kanyakubjas, Sakaldipis, Sanadhya,
Tiwaris and Upadhyayas. The Tiwaris of Lachhamanpur had a great reputation for Sanskrit
learning and Astronomy and they maintained a free Sanskrit pathshala at their houses.
Mention may also be made of the Shukul and Pandeya subdivisions of the Brahmins the chief
village of the former being Shukulpur. Other Shukuls are to be found in Jagdishpur, where
they have given their name to Bazar Shukul. The Pandeys form the bulk of the population in
the villages of Gangapur, Paliya Golpur, Gopalpur, Budhna, and Kotiya, while there
scatterted colonies are also to be found in many other
Among the Kshatriyas or Rajputs of the district, representatives of almost every sub-castes are found. The most important are the Bachgotis and
Rajkumars. Other well known sub-castes are the Bhale Sultan, Bais, Bandhalgoti, Chauhan,
Kanhpuriya, Raghuvanshi, Bisen, Gaharwar, Gautam, Kachhwaha, Somvanshi, Chandel, Panwar,
Sakarwar, Surajvanshi, Gargvanshi, Durgavanshi, Bilkharia and Baghel.
The vaishs are distributed all over the district, though their number in the Jagdishpur
and Baraunsa parganas is large. They belong mostly to the Agrahari subcaste. Of the
remainder a large number are Kasaundhas and Baranwals. The chief occupation of the Vaishs
has been moneylending, trade and business. Many of them are also government servants and
memebers of lerned and technical profession.
The Kayasthas are also fairly numerous and are spread all over the district. Large numbers
of them reside in the villages of Parasrampur, Sondhanpur, Tilokpur, Nawada and Gursari.
There is also a colony of Kayasthas at Isauli, another at Amrupur.
Among the cultivating castes, the Ahirs, who also call themselves Yadavas, are very
numerous in this district. They are fairly distributed over the district but are found in
larger number in parganas Isauli, Asal and Chanda. They are very industrious and can be
classed among the first rank of cultivators.
Next come Muraos, Kurmis, Lodhs and Garariyas. The last named frequently persue their
traditional occupation of keeping sheep and goats, but are chiefly engaged in agriculture.
The other subcastes, mostly occupational and generally included in the other backward
classes are the Kumhars, Kahars, Barhai, Bharbhuja, Lohar, Loniya, Tamoli, Mali, Sonar,
Barai, Gosain, Nai and Darzi.
Among the Scheduled Castes are included the Chamars, also known as Ghusiya, Jhusia or
Jatav; Kori, Pasi or Tarmali, Dhobi, Banmanus, Khatik, Hela, Dharkar, Nat, Musahar,
Beriya, Baheliya, Majhwar, Kanjar, Bansphor, Shilpkar, Majhabi, Chero, Karwal, Ghasiya,
Bhuyiar, Kol, Bajgi, Dabgar, Kalabaj, Bhantu, Bangali, Beldar and Dhanuk.
The status of harijans in society has improved very much and notions of untouchabilty and
restriction on the use of wells and temples by them are fast disappearing. Intercaste
relations are also, in general, getting increasingly harmonised.
The Muslims constituted 12.2 % of the total population in 1961 which has increased now. In
this district, as elsewhere, they are divided into two main sects, the Shiya and Sunni.
Their subdivisions represented in the district are numerous. The Saiyyads reside chiefly
in pargana Isauli. The Sheikhs previously owned a few villages in Isauli and Sultanpur.
They belong mostly to the Siddiqui and Qurreshi subdivisions. The chief clans to which the
Pathans of the district belong are the Yusuf Jai, Ghori and Lodi formerly they held a large area
of land, particularly in village Hamzapur in pargana Aldemau. There are also in the
district the muslim Rajputs, mostly converts from the Bachgoti, Bhale Sultan, Bais,
Chauhan and Shakarwar sects of Hindu Rajputs. Besides these, there are also Kanhpuriyas,
Bisens and Raghuvanshis. These converted Rajputs are confined largely to the parganas of
Miranpur, Gaura Jamo, Jagdishpur, Aldemau and Isauli. The remaining muslims of the
district belong mostly to occupational subdivisions like the Julaha, Ghosi, Faqir, Behna,
Nai, Darzi and Churihar. There is large number of Muslim Gujars in the Sultanpur and they
are chiefly found along the western borders in Jagdishpur, Gaura Jamo and Amethi.
In 1961, they constituted 0.1% of the total population and they mostly resided in the
urban ares. According to the census of 1991 their number, however, decresed. Some of the
Sikhs consist of immigrants from Pakistan.
There were very few Christians in the district in 1961 but they are increased in number
now. They belong to the Roman Catholic and Protestant sects and are mostly Indians
converted to Christianity by the Zenana, Bible, and Medical Mission which started evangelical work
in the district around 1891.
They are very few and negligible in the district.
The basic pattern of the houses has not changed very much except in regard to the use of
bricks and cement in place of mud. Mud is predominant
material of house walls in villages and burnt bricks in the town. Tiles constitute an
important roof material in villages. However, in urban areas the roof materials generally used are concrete and stone slabs.
The only item of furniture in the houses of poor in rural area are
ordinary munj and bamboo cots and a wooded takhat. However, chairs, tables,
beds, sofa etc. are also used by financially better off people, specially
in urban areas.
The inhabitants of the district are generally vegetarian by habit and preferance, although
the number of those who use meat, fish, eggs is considerable.
Wheat, gram, rice, maze and pulses, together with milk, curd, ghee or vegetable oil, other
edible oils, sugar or jaggery and common vegetables constitute the staple food of
well-to-do section of population. Among villagers, jwar, bajra, barley, sattu
(flour of parched gram and barley) and chabena (parched grain) are
also common. The principal constituents of food are roti and a bowl of pulse with or
without cooked vegetables. Tea (in towns) and smoking of bidi
is common (in rural areas).