Gujjars : The second largest ethnic group of the region is formed by the Gujjars, a semi-nomadic people living along the hill slopes of Doda and Rajouri districts while in Poonch they also dominate the main valleys. Some of them have settled down to agriculture, but the majority are primarily herdsmen. They cultivate maize along the slopes of the mountains, but only as a secondary occupation.
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Initially the Gujjars were Hindus but during the rule of Mughal king Aurangazeb, most of them converted to Islam but retained their Hindu gotras or subcastes. The common gotras are: Bhati, Chandel, Chauhan, Baniya, Lodha, Bhensi, Chopra, Chechi, and Khatana. The Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir have also retained these gotras and
marriage in the same gotra is strictly prohibited. They speak a dialect which is different from Dogri and Kashmiri,
Traditionally the Gujjars believed, to an extent, in patriarchal family set up.