The Dogras or Dogra people, are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group in India and Pakistan consisting of the Dogri language speakers. Dogras 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, and in adjoining areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and northeastern Pakistan. The Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army primarily consists of Dogras from the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir.


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.


Scholar Omachanda Handa believes that the Durgara people were originally migrants from Rajasthan to the Terai belt, similar to the Gurjaras (or "Gurjars") and Kodavas. 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. 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. 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". The Rajatarangini mentions the Raja Vajradhara of Babbapura, vowing allegiance to Bhikshachara of Kashmir in 1120 AD, along with the chiefs of neighbouring kingdoms.

Jammu Dogras

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 dynasty 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 9March 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.

Jammu and Kashmir

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). 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.


Cultural profile

* ''Kud'', a ritual dance performed in honour of Lok Devatas. This dance style is performed mostly at night. It is spontaneous and people of all ages and sexes participate. Instruments used during the Kud are , , flute, and drums. The rhythm of music controls the movement of participants. This dance continues for the whole night. The number of participants ranges from 20 to 30 members. * ''Heren'', a traditional theatre form performed during the Lohri festival by 10–15 people. It is mostly performed in hilly regions of Jammu, Udhampur and ramnagar. * ''Fumenie'' and ''Jagarana'', a dance style performed by women on the eve of groom's departure to in-laws house. Both the songs are sung by a group consisting of 15–20 members. This traditional dance form depicts the feelings and emotions of women. * ''Bakh/Gwatri/Kark/Masade'', a chorus narrative sung by a group of 10 singers without any musical instruments. * ''Gwatri'', a singing–dance combined tradition in which the singers narrate some text which is acted by the Gwatari dancers. * ''Karak'', a narrative ballet sung by a community called 'Jogies'. They narrate a popular folk tale in their dance style, performed by three members with accompaniment of a typical folk instrument called 'Rabab'. * ''Benthe'', the chorus singing tradition performed specific community of tribal called Gujjar and Bakerwal. The dance is performed by 5–7 members.

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 ''Ambal'' (अम्बल) or ''Maani'' (म्हाणी).The whole dish is called ''Dal patth maani'' (दाल भत्त म्हाणी) and is savoured as a combination. ''Mittha madra'' (मिट्ठा मदरा) is a favourite and is cooked from milk, dry fruits, and semolina. Preparations of ''Rajmash'' (a special variety of red kidney beans); ''Mash Da Madra'' (Yogurt based gravy for black lentils); ''Auryia'' a dish of curd fermented by rye; ''Kulth di Daal'' (Horse gram); ''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 coagulation 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. ''Keyur'' (घ्यूर) 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 dish/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. Many types of pickles are prepared with ''Kasrod'' (Fiddlehead fern), Mango, ''Tyaoo'', ''Lasoode'' and ''Girgle.''

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.

Notable Dogras

* Hans Raj Dogra, Indian politician * Monica Dogra – singer and actor * Paras Dogra – cricketer who plays for Rajasthan Royals * Premchand Dogra - Indian bodybuilder from Punjab region * Prem Nath Dogra – founder of J&K Praja Parishad and later All India President of Bhartiya Jana Sangh * Ridhi Dogra - Actress * Tirath Das Dogra – former director All India Institute of Medical Sciences, forensic medicine expert, vice-chancellor of SGT University. Member of Medical Council of India. * Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Khan (1919-2003) Longest Serving Pakistani Parliamentarian from Rupochak, District Narowal/Sialkot * Alla Rakha – Padma Shri awardee and tabla player. *Mehta Basti Ram, Commander * Major Somnath Sharma – First recipient of the Param Vir Chakra * Bhim Singh – Leader of the JKNPP, Ex General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and international activist for secular democratic value * Banda Singh Bahadur - Sikh warrior * Maharaja Gulab Singh – General of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later Maharaja of the Dogra State of Jammu and Kashmir * Hari Singh (1895–1961) – last ruling Maharaja of the princely state / State of Jammu and Kashmir * Karan Singh – Congress leader and first President of Jammu and Kashmir. Son of Maharaja Hari Singh *Pratap Singh - King of Jammu and Kashmir * Ranbir Singh - King of Jammu and Kashmir * Zorawar Singh Kahluria - Military General of first Khalsa and later Dogras of Jammu



* * * {{Authority control Category:Ethnic groups in Pakistan Category:Ethnic groups in India Category:Himalayan peoples Category:Indo-Aryan peoples Category:Indian surnames Category:Social groups of India Category:Social groups of Pakistan Category:Social groups of Jammu and Kashmir