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History and origin

The origin and meaning of the word Dangi cannot be asserted with exactness. There are many different interpretations of the word. It is associated with the geographical nature of the county where the Dangis might have lived.

Dang in Sanskrit refers to a high upland region. As such, Dangis may be the inhabitants of the Dang region. That is south of the Tapti to the Southern Rajasthan. Even the Dangis are called by their genetic name by virtue of their occupation of high land region which is empirically established.

On the basis of the data regarding the distribution of Dangis in Rajputana provided by the Rajputana Census of 1931 in Rajasthan. It could be said that they are distributed in the high land areas. It thus appears that the word Dangis might have its origin in the geographical characteristic of their habitat.

The exact origin of the word Dangi can be examined from another point of view also, viz on the linguistic basis. According to Sir George Abraham Grierson, linguistic survey of India, Vol IX, Part III, the word Dangi refers to certain dialects spoken in the hilly region known as the Dangis as well as Northern parts of the former state of Jaipur including the Karauli area where Dangi is spoken as sub-dialect of Braj Bhasha.

It is difficult to state with any degree of certainty about the origin of Dangis. Though by profession the Dangis can be classed under the Vaishyas, one among the four principal Castes, it fails to throw any light on their origin. The M. A. Sherring (Hindu Tribes and Castes, Vol II, PP.105–106) makes only a passing reference to the Dangi being a tribe of good cultivation in the Sagar District. According to a Kalu Ram Bhat the Dangis originally belong to the region of Mathura from where they migrated towards south to Gujarat via Malva from where they moved either westward from Malva or north ward from Gujarat.

The movement of Krishna from Mathura to Dwarka as related in the Mahabharata (the great Indian epic) may have some bearing on the movement of the various Yadava Tribes including the Dangis from the Gangetic plain to the south in the Gujarat.

According to several local Dangis families, it was learned that among the places of pilgrimage in the preferential order, the first place is given to place called Salada near Jaisamand lakein Udaipur district followed by pilgrimage to Dwarka and also to Ganges for holy dip recent to Northward movement.

Locally, in Rajasthan and Gujarat the Dangis are also referred as Patels, a term commonly used.

Dangis have a well built physique and are always found alert. The Dangi ladies are more fair skinned and are very active. Dangis go for good quality of land, economically, socially and psychologically. They are hard working people and all the time remain clinging to their agricultural pursuit. The Dangi are more inclined towards the religion. Being an agriculturist a Dangi family remains busy for whole of the year and thus may be considered as the most hard working caste of the society.

Dangi (डांगी) Dange डांगे Jats are found in Sikar, Jodhpur, Hanumangarh and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan. Bibasar, Ojtoo & Hansas villages in Jhunjhunu district are fully Dangi gotra jats. In Haryana 'Dangi' Jats are found in Village Madina in Rohtak District. The great personality belonging from this village includes Ch. Anand Singh Dangi, MLA Meham.

Eran is an ancient historical place in Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh, India. It can be called to be the oldest historical town of Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh. In earlier coins and inscriptions its name appears as Airikiṇa. From an early inscription at Sanchi we know that the residents of Eran had made some gifts to the famous Stupa situated at Sanchi. Eran is derived from Eraka. The word erakā probably refers to a kind of grass which grows at Eran in abundance.Eraka is also the name of a Nagavanshi King descended from Kauravyamentioned in Mahabharata Adi Parva.[1]

Eran is the site of first reported case of Sati in India. The archaeological site nearby Eran has revealed several Gupta inscriptions. The village of Eran has a most interesting collection of archaeological relics. There is a fort in rulings attributed to the Dangis, who formerly dominated over this region. The site had a number of Vishnu shrines but nothing now remains except some of the lower courses of masonry, four standing columns with there architrave and some beams and part of door ways. The Principal statue is a colossal Varaha about 10 feet high. The excavation conducted by the Department of Archeology of the University of Sagar have yielded relics similar to those found at Maheshwar and Tripuri showing that Eran formed the Northern most limit of the Chalcolithic culture in Madhya Pradesh. Excavations were carried out at Eran in 1960-61 to 1964-65; and 1987-88. Excavations at Eran have revealed about the earliest fort built by mud ramparts. Prof. K.D. Bajpaihas has studied coins from Eran excavations and has done a chronological analysis. He has given a note on ‘Svabhoganagara’ in the Eran inscription of Samudragupta.

Present circumstances

Although with the change in the society the Dangi class too is changing fast with the opening of schools in its own village, town and also in city for higher education. The Dangi has become aware of his hard work and with the sucking policy of Mahajan and thus started direct dealing with the nearby mandis and market to get reasonable and sufficient cash reward of his hard work. They are scattered in all over India.