Culture & Heritage
Sultanpur district belongs to Avadh area of the state and the cultural heritage are accordingly still maintained by people.
In the villages of the district the man usually wears kurta (long and loose shirts) or a ganji (half shirt), a dhoti, an angauchha (scarf), and a turban or cap, and a woman saluka (loose blouse), dhotis/saris or a lehnga (long skirt) and an orhni (long scarf) to cover the head and the upper part of the body. The common dress of a male Muslim consists of a lungi or pyjama, a kurta or shirt, sometimes also a sherwani (long coat) and a cap or a turban and Muslim women wear pyjamas, kurtas and orhanis or dupattas (long scarf). Towns women ususally were saris and blouses and young girls salwars and pyjamas, kurtas and dupattas. Whereas the educated and more advanced townsmen dress in the western style, bushcoat or bush-shirts with trousers or slacks being the more popular dress.
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).
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 numerous sub-castes.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 places. 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.