The Rauniyar is a Hindu caste mostly found in India and Nepal. They are also known as Rauniyar, Roniyar and Roniaur, they use Rauniyar, Gupta, Sah, Shah, Keshri, Ranjan as their surnames.
The Roniaur is a sub-group within the Bania community, They are found throughout Awadh and Magadh. but their main concentration is the Maharajganj District and Saran district. In addition, they are also found in Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. They speak Awadhi, bhojpuri among themselves, and Hindi with outsiders. Like other Banias, they are strict vegetarians.
In Bihar, the Rauniyar call themselves as Namnihar. Most of the Rauniyars who are Nepalese citizens do not change their surname. They claim to have come from Awadh some three hundred years. The Roniaur are found mainly in the districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Munger, Bhagalpur, Nawada and Gaya. Their common surnames are Sah, Shah, Gupta, Keshri and Rauniyar also. They are strictly endogamous, and practice clan exogamy. The Roniaur speak Maithili in north east Bihar and Bhojpuri in western Bihar.
In Nepal, the Rauniyar or Roniaur live in Terai region mainly in Eastern Part. They use Gupta, shah,sah or simply Rauniyar as their surname. They speak Nepali and Maithili . Their main occupations are Business, Farming and are involved in different Jobs in various sectors.
The Roniaur are divided into three territorial groupings, the Purbia, Panchnaha and Bail Kuchnaha. Marriages are forbidden within each of these groups. They are further divided into a number of exogamous clans. The Roniaur are a landless community, and their traditional occupation has been the selling of cloths,food grains and pulses. They are often the petty shopkeepers in the villages of north Awadh. A few Roniaur were jagirdars, but they rarely ever cultivated their own land, depending on sharecroppers. Their customs are similar to other Awadh Bania, such as the Omar.
In Bihar, the Roniaur were both traders and landowners. Many were substantial jagirdars, but with the land reforms carried out after independence in 1947, and seen a break up of the larger estates in Bihar. Like other Bania communities, they are undergoing urbanization. Many rural Raniaur are village shopkeepers and money lenders. They have a statewide caste association, the Raniaur Mahasabha, which acts both as an instrument of social control as well as a communal welfare association.
- People of India: Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1224 to 1228 Manohar Publications
- People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 817 to 820 Seagull Books