Tarar and Ranjha Jats

In this post, I will look at the two tribes of Jat status, that are found between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, with the Tarar also found further east, across the Chenab in Hafizabad district. My post on the Gondal Jats gives a bit information on the Jats of this region.

Below is a breakdown by population of the larger Jat tribes of Gujrat District, which included Mandi Bahaudin for the 1911 Census of India.

Tribe Population
Waraich 41,557
Gondal

23,355

Tarar

14,365

Totle 4,192

Langrial

3,736
Sahi

3,736

Sandhu

3,442

Hanjra

2,751

Cheema 2,572
Thathaal 1,930
Bangial 1,679
Sial 1,511
Heer 1,451
Dhotar 1,355
Sipra 1,084
Mangat 1,075
Kang 1,032
Virk 1,030
Chadhar 976
Ghumman 846
Chauhan 726
Dhillon 692
Badhan 662
Sarai 631
Bains 596
Bagril 586

The absence of the Ranjha from 1911 Census was clearly an omition, as the Ranjha are a major tribe of what was then the Phalia tehsil of the old Gujrat District. I would ask the reader to look at my post on Warriach as well, which gives further information on this region. After the Warriach and Gondal, the Tarar were the third and Ranjha were the fourth largest tribe in the Jech Doab. The central and southern regions of the Jech are entirely inhabitted by the Jats, but as we move north, the region is largely Gujjar, indeed Gujrat means land of the Gujjars, until we reach the hilly region, most of which was in Jammu and Kashmir, that we found the Chib and other Rajputs.

Map Showing the Doabs of Punjab. Source Wikepedia

Tarar

I start off this post by looking at the Tarar tribe of Jats. The Tarar consider themselves and are considered Jat by others. So who exactly are these Tarars? According to their tribal traditions, their ancestor was Tarar, was a Rajput originally from Bikaner in Rajasthan, who took service with Mahmud of Ghazna, and converted to Islam. His elder son Lohi is said to have stayed behind in Bhatner (now Hanumangarh in Rajasthan), inheriting the family lands, while Tarar settled in what is now Gujrat district.

The Mandi Bahaudin Tarar claim descent from Bhatti, third in descent from Lohi, who, with his ten sons, settled at Jokalian. Three sons are said to have disappeared, going south; the remaining seven founded many villages south of Jokalian, in the Phalia tehsil of Mandi Bahaudin and in the Hafizabad district. The seven subdivisions of the Tarar claim descent from the seven sons. There are said to be a total of 83 Tarar villages in this region.

The Hafizabad Tarars have slightly different origin story. Here there ancestor was Banni, third in descent from Tarar. Banni settled in Jokalian, it is possible that Bani and Bhatti are one and the same person. One of his sons, Amrah left Phalia and settled in what is now Hafizabad district, founding the village of Amrah. In Hafizabad, they are now found in sixty two villages, all whom claim descent from Amrah. This origin myth does seem to suggest that the Tarars are certainly one of the oldest of the settled Jat tribes. Most of their villages are found near the banks of the Chenab river, which does suggest a pastoral background. With the breakdown of Mughal Empire, Sultan Muhammad a Tarar chieftain created a mini state that was destroyed by Ranjit Singh in the late 18th Century.

In Hafizabad District, Tarar villages include Beri Wala, Vanike Tarar, Kolo Tarar, Sindhowan Tarar, Rasoolpur Tarar, and Muzaffar Tarar While in Mandi Bahauddin district, most Tarar villages are found in Mandi Bahauddin and Phali tehsils. In Phalia Tehsil there villages include Adda Pahrianwali, Agroya, Bahri, Bhagat, Bhekho, Bherowal, Bhoa Hassan, Bumbi, Burj Ghanian, Chak Abdulla, Chak Kamal, Chak Mitha, Charound, Chayto, Dhaboola, Dhal, Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd, Dhunni Kalan, Dhunni Khurd, Ghanian, Ghoghanwali, Gujjan, Haigerwala, Jago Kalan, Jokalian, Haigerwala, Kala Shadian, Kot Hamid Shah, Kot Sattar Sharqi, Kuthiala Sheikhan, Ladher, Lakhia, Mailu Kohna, Mangat, Mano Chak, Melu, Mureed, Pejo Kot, Pindi Kaloo, Raike, Randiyali, Saida Sharif, Sainthal, Sarang, Sohawa Dilowana, Sulaiman, Tariqabad, Thatha Alia, Thathi Mureed, and Thatti Shah Muhammad. In Mandi Bauddin Tehsil and include Balhar, Chak Basawa, Chak Shabaz, Chak Mano, Barri Tarar, Kala Shadian, Kot Pundiwala, Lak, Ghanian, Rattowal, , Shaheedanwali, Takhat Mal Tarar and Wasu.   Outside the core Tarar area, there are also several Tarar villages in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District such as Dhudhi Thal, Kot Umer and Sherpur. In Chakwal District they are found in Dhok Virk.

Distribution of Tarar by District According to 1911 Census of India

District Population
Gujrat 14,365
Gujranwala 4,841
Shahpur (Sargodha) 1,716
Jhelum 745
Lyalpur (Faisalabad) 514
Lahore 170
Total Population 22,351

 

The Tarar of Lyalpur were largely settlers from Phalia, brought in by the British to settle the Bars of Punjab in the late 19th Century, while those of Lahore claimed descent from an ancestor who left Amrah in last days of Mughal rule (around 1700s).

Ranjha

The other tribe I am looking at in this post is perhaps the most famous of the Jat tribes, that of the Ranjha. They are famous on account of the fact that Deedo Ranjha, the hero of the famous Punjabi legend of Heer Ranjha belonged to this tribe. Despite being refered to as Ranjha, the actual name of this folk hero was Deedo, with Ranjha being the name of the tribe. So who exactly are these Ranjhas. The answer is far from simple, with several traditions. Early British writers on Punjab ethnography suchSir Denzil Ibbetson classified them as Bhatti Rajputs. Howver, others such Horace Arthur Rose did note claims to Arab or even Qureshi ancestry. According to this tradition, the Ranjha are descended from Abu Jahl, uncle of the Prophet Mohammed, as such are of Qureshi ancestry. Ikrama’s son by name of Jagis is said to have settled in Ghazna, in Afghanistan. A descendent of Jagis by the name of Duranah accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna to the Kirana Bar. Ranjah, the son of Durranah founded the town of Nasirpur, near present day Sargodha. Ranjah and his three sons Khamb (said to be the ancestor of the Khamb tribe), Chuha and Jhal, divided the Bar among themselves. When the Gondal are said to have arrived, a hundred years later, both the tribes co-operated in pushing the Gujars out of the Kirana Bar.

There he settled, and by marrying other Jat clans, the Ranjha became Jat. By the early 20th Century, traditions of descent from Abu Jahl were dropped in favour of emphasising his son Ikrama bin Abi Jahl. Ranjha writters began to refer to a Sultan Mohammad, who was said to be a commander in the army Muhammad Bin Qasim, the Arab conqueror of Sindh. While Mohammad Bin Qasim was recalled back to Damascus, Sultan Mohammad stayed on in Sindh, marrying a local girl. The only problem with this legend is that Ranjha are seen by others as Jats, and indeed intermarry with other Jat tribes such as the Gondal and Tarrars, their neighbours. While groups claiming Qureshi descent very rarely marry Jats.

In addition to the Ranjha proper, the Gudgor and Khamb are branches of the Ranjhas, that have now evolved into distinct clans. However, as I say on the post on the Khamb, they also have separate origin myths. The Ranjha are found in the eastern uplands of Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat districts, with a smaller number are also found in Jhelum and Gujranwala districts

Villages Kirana Bar Mandi Bahaudin District

In Mandi Bahauddin District, the Ranjha are found in the villages of Bhindar Kalan, Bohat, Bosaal, Chak Fateh Shah, Dhok Jori Madhre, Ratowal, Khamb Khurd, Mianwal, Pandowal, Kotali Mastani, Nain Ranjha, Ghang, Sajan, Sahbowal, Bhojuwal, Khairewal, Burg Agar, Bhukh, Ghanni Ghanna, Chak Mian,Kot Sher Muhammad, Musa Kalan, Kot Hast Khan, Musa Kurd, Hamber, Walayt wala, Ghut Kurd, Chut Kalan, Noorpur Kehna, Khamb Alam, Ghar Lakhan, Chak chut, Burg Hassan, Burg Ghanian, Raan, Bherowal, Takhar Miana, Fatehwala, Wariyaam and Wasu. Thatha Hust, and Thatha Ameer. In Malakwal Tehsil, Ranjha are found in Ajjowal, Khai, Kot Pindiwala and Makkewal. While in Phalia Tehsil, they are found in Agroya, Anhay Sharif, Bhinder Kalan, Chayto, Dhal. Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd,  Dhoul Bala, Dhoul Zairen, Furkhpur Kohna, Ghoghanwali, Kadher Gharbi, Khamb Kalan, Khamb Khurd, Kot Rehm Shah, Lakha, Madhary, Mianwal Ranjha, Thakkar Kalan, Thatti Bawa, Thatti Shah Muhammad and Noorpur Katvi

Villages Kirana Bar Sargodha District

While in Sargodha, District, their villages include Badar (in Bhera Tehsil), Ran, Rahimpur, Garhi Kala, Mela, Kot Sher Mohammad, Wah Miana, Midh Ranjha, Buccha Kalan, Mela, Dhingran-aali, Chak 88SB, Kot Fazal Ahmed and Jholpur.

Villages Jhelum/ Chakwal

Outside the Kirana Bar, opposite the bank of the Jhelum River, are several Ranjha villages in Jhelum and Chakwal districts. Almost all the Ranjha villages in Jhelum are found in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, which situated across the river Jhelum from Sargodha. There main villages are Baghanwala, Daulatpur, Chak Mujahid Shumali, Dhudi Thal, Ghowra, Maira Ranjha, Pinanwal, Sial, Sammanwal  and Thil. Outside Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, Ranjha are also found in the village of Ranjha near Dina. In Chakwal District, the Ranjha are found in the villages of Munday, Ranjha and Sutwal.

Other Ranjha Villages

Kot Ranjha in Gujrat District, Ado Rai and in Kamoke in Gujranwala District. In Dera Ghazi Khan District, the Ranjha are found in Basti Ranjha and Rakh Ranjha.

Distribution of Ranjha by District According to 1911 Census of India

District Jat Rajput
Shapur (Sargodha) 7,536
Jhelum 579
Total Population 7,536 579

Rathore Rajputs of Poonch

In this post I will look at a particularly interesting tribe, that of the Rathore of Poonch. The Rathore of the Poonch region have clear traditions of migrations from the Marwar region of Rajasthan. I shall start off my giving a general description of the history of the Rathore and then to look specifically at the Rathore of Poonch.

 

The Rathore were rulers of Jodhpur, historically called Marwar and latter extender their rule over Bikaner. Reference can be made to “khyats” (traditional accounts) written down in the seventeenth century, which refer to the fact that the Rathores were originally feudatories of the  Ujjain based Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, and may perhaps have been domiciled in the vicinity of Kannauj in the heyday of that dynasty. Pratihara-ruled Kannauj was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1019 CE, which ushered in a chaotic period for that area. A family known to us as the Gahadvala gained control of Kannauj and ruled for nearly a century; their best-known ruler was Raja Jaichand, their last king. The Gahadvalas were displaced from Kannauj by the invasion, in 1194 CE, of Muhammad of Ghor. It is said that Sheoji, a surviving grandson of Jaichand, made his way into the western desert with a group of faithful followers, finally settling in the town of Pali in Marwar, which was ruled by another branch of the Pratiharas. Sheoji is regarded as the patriarch of the entire Rathore clan and all Rathores trace their patrilineage back to him. The tradition finds supports from a number of inscriptions found in the vicinity of Kannauj that mention several generations of a Rashtrakuta dynasty ruling there for two centuries. A very similar account is also mentioned in the “Rashtrayudha Kavya” of Rudrakavi, finished in 1595, who was the court poet in the court of the Rathore king, Narayana of Mayurgiri.

 

Marwar to Poonch

 

The Rathores gradually spread across Marwar, forming a brotherhood of landowners and village chieftains, loosely bound to each other by ties of clan and caste. An epoch in the history both of Marwar and of the Rathores was marked by Rao Jodha, a warrior who founded a kingdom that grew to encompass all of Marwar. He also founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459, and moved his capital from Mandore. One of his sons, Rao Bika, with the help of his uncle Rawat Kandhal, established the town of Bikaner in 1488, in the Jangladesh region lying to the north of Marwar; that town was to become the seat of a second major Rathore kingdom.

 

The various cadet branches of the Rathore clan gradually spread to encompass all of Marwar and later spread to found states in Central India and Gujarat. The Rathore were actually recruited as soldiers in the Mughal Army. In 1596, one such soldier of fortune, Raja Siraj-Ud-Din Rathore, the descendant of Rao Jodha and Rao Suraj Singh, was made by the Mughal emperor Jahangir the new ruler of Poonch. The establishment of the Rathore state led to the migration of several Rathore in the Poonch region. Not all the Rathore however converted to Islam, and there are several villages of Hindu Rathore Rajputs found mainly in Bhaderwah and Kishtwar areas of Jammu Province.

 

Rajahs of Poonch

 

Siraj-Ud-Din and had two wives, from his first wife’s son Raja Fateh Mohammad Khan (ruled – 1646-1700), descend the Rathore rulers of Poonch. From a second wife, who was a Chauhan Rajput had two sons Noor Mohammad and Khan Mohammad. His successors included Rajah Abdul Razak Rathore (1700-1747), on his death the throne of Poonch was usurped by Latifullah Tarkhan. With the help of Islam Yar Khan Kishthwaria, the Tarkhan was defeated and killed and Baqa Mohammad Rathore was made ruler of Sarhon and Kahuta. Meanwhile the throne of Poonch passed to the Kishtwaria chieftain. On his death in 1760, the throne returned to the Rathores, with Raja Rustam Rathore becaming next Raja (ruled – 1760-1787).

 

Rajah Rustam Rathore was born as Ali Gohar, and his period was considered a golden age of the Poonch principality. The territory of the Rathore then covered all of Poonch, including the what is now Haveli district of Azad Kashmir. He was succeed by Raja Shahbaz Khan who ruled from 1787-92, Raja Bahadur Khan who ruled from 1792-1798, who was overthrown by his vizier Ruhullah. The Rathore chiefs of Sarhoon, under Rajah Sher Baz Rathore expelled Ruhullah and assumed the thrown of Poonch. Sher Baz ruled from 1804-1808, when his state was conquered by the Sikhs. This put an to the main line of the Rathore, but two branches continued as jagirdars until the end of the Jammu and Kashmir State in 1948.

 

The Chaudhary of Sarharon and Kahuta

 

The territory of Sarharon and Kahuta is located north of Poonch city, and now lies largely within Pakistani Kashmir in what is now Haveli District. The Ratjores of this chieftainship descend from the second son of Rajah Fateh Mohammad by the name of Mohammad Moazam Khan. This occurred in 1667, and the chieftainship lasted till 1787, when last chief Rajah Azamatullah Khan was defeated by the Sikhs. In 1846, the territory became part of the Dogra state of Jammu and Kashmir. Raja Sarandaz Rathore, the then ruler was granted a jagir within the Dogra state. His descendents maintained this position until the end of the Dogra state in 1948.

 

The Chaudharies of Shahpur and Mandhar District Poonch

This branch of the Rathore claims descent from Raja Noor Mohammad Khan, who was the son of Siraj-Ud-Din Khan. He was granted the jagir of Shahpur, that lies just south of the line of Control in Indian administered Kashmir. The Rathore of Shahpur descend from the eldest son of Raja Noor Mohammad Khan, while those of Mandhar, also located close to the line of control, descend from the younger brother. These two minor principalities were never independent, but were feudal states loyal to the rulers of Poonch. When the Poonch State was annexed by the Sikhs, they continued as jagirdars until the end of the Dogra State in 1948.

 

Distribution

The Rathore are now divided by the Line of Control, with Kahuta branch now found in Haveli District of Pakistani Kashmir, while those of Shahpur and Mandhar now found in Indian Kashmir.

 

In Haveli District and neighbouring Kotli, there are several Rathore villages such as Budh, Barengban, Chapa Najl, Jokan, Halan, Werha Khas, Padr, Palan Chaudriyan and Kalali.

 

Large number of Rathore are also found in Nakar Bandi (about 60 km East of Bagh) in Azad Kashmir.

Muslim Labana of Punjab

In this post I will look at Muslim members of the Labana caste. I will ask the reader to look at my post on the distribution of Labana caste according to the 1901 Census of India. The Muslim Labana often refer to themselves as Rahmani. They are one of the lesser known communities of Punjabi Muslims.

Etymologically, the word  labana is derived from two Sanskrit words, where lun from Lavana which means salt and Vana from Vani which means to trade. The Labana, Lobana or Libana  were those who were involved in salt-carrying and salt trading. Originally, the Labanas were traders and carriers and were largely nomadic, like Banjaras and Lambadis. They used animal-powered transportation and moved with entire families, cattle and dogs, around the Punjab.  During the Mughal period (16 and 17th centuries), the Labana groups in Punjab were employed by various empires for transportation of military material. The Banjaras are the traditional peddlers of North India, and their place has been taken by the Labanas in Punjab. Indeed, both groups served under empires of Mughals, British, and Sikhs as a commissariat. Sir Horace Rose, early 20th Century British ethnologists observed the following about the Labanas:

 

Indeed the Labana is occasionally called a Banjara. In Ambala he is also said to be called Bahrupia, on account of his versatility in adopting different avocations. Headmen among the Labanas are called Naik, and under them work is carried

 

This shows a very close connection between the two groups. However, the Punjab experienced war and famine throughout the 18th Century, and many Labana settled down as agriculturists. By beginning of the 20th Century, the Labanas were largely agriculturists group. A major setback to their traditional profession was the introduction of  railways by British, so there dependence on agriculture increased.

 

The Labana are of a very mixed background as shown by the fact different groups had different origin stories. In Ludhiana they claimed descent from Chauhan Rajputs of Jaipur and Jodhpur. In Gujrat Labana groups claimed that they were originally Raghubansi Rajputs, while in Kapurthala descent was claimed from Gaur Brahmans, who had come from Rohilkhand. The Labana were largely Sikh, with two exceptions. Those of Firupzur district were entirely Muslim, and were found in Abohar. A bit further down along the Sutlej, in Bahawalpur State, many Labanas were also Muslim. Their villages are found mainly along Sutluj near Minchinabad, extending towards Abohar in British territory. In Bahawalpur, Muslim Labanas claimed to be Panwar Rajputs who had come from Delhi. There was also a single Muslim Labana village in Hissar District called Panniwala. The Labana spoke Labanki, which was very close Seraiki. This reflected a eastward migration from Bahawalpur towards Hissar.

 

After partition, Muslim Labanas from Firuzpur and Hissar migrated to Pakistan, where many are now found in Bhakkar District. I would ask the reader to look at Muhammad Alamgir’s excellent interview with a Muslim Labana from Hissar now settled in Multan.

 

Muslim Labana Population According to the 1921 Census of India

 

District / States Population
Firuzpur 2,730
Bahawalpur State 1,009
Dera Ghazi Khan 66
Hissar 54
Multan 51
Other Districts 152
Total 4,062

 

 

 

Warraich/ Waraich Jat

In this post, I will look at the Warriach, the largest Muslim Jat clan according to the 1901 Census, and the second largest according to the 1911 Census, the last that tabulated the Jat clans. The Warraich  clan is concentrated in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin districts, in an area intermediate between the high  central plateau and the lowlands of the Chenab, both in the  Gujrat and the Phalia tehsils. Depending on the region, Warraich can also be pronounced as Baraich, Braich, Araich, and Varaich, depending on which Punjabi dialect is being used. They are also known as Chungh. In this post, I shall focus on the large Wariach community found in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin, where there customs were very similar to the other tribes such as the Gondal, in that they are a Muslim and followed a pastoral lifestyle. In East Punjab, the Wariach were and are largely Sikh, with a about 20% following Islam. The Muslim Wariach of Indian Punjab are now found scattered throughout Central Punjab in Pakistan.

Like most tribes, there are various theories as to the origin of the Warriach. According to Captain Hector McKenzie, the first British officer to administer Gujrat, the Warriach Jats were divided into two main tarafs, or sections, Abu and Jeo. His account of this division is as follows:

A Jat being killed in battle near Thanesar, his wife became a outcaste, took refuge in a tree, gave birth to a son and died. Raja Jaipal, when outhunting discovered the child, gave it protection. The tree under which it was found was a bargat: the most appropriate name for the child was therefore baraicha; the name of Waraitch was accordingly given to the boy. When he grew up to manhood, the Raja gave him his daughter in marriage,  and having no son was succeeded by him, and his descendants for three generations in his raj. Waraitch was a mighty man, worthy of his good  fortune. His descendants, therefore, continued to distinguish their family  by his name, Adversity came, then they fled to the Punjab, and settled  down as tillers of soil. Sixteen generations later, two men, named Abu and Jeo,  attained a pre-eminent position among the clans, and became Muslim, and  since their time there have been two tarafs or sub-divisions in the clan — one  composed of the descendants of Abu, and the other of Jeo

In another version, this time written by Captain Nisbet, author of the first Gazetteer of Gujranwala, which describes that Warraich was the son of one Mutta, who came  from Ghazni and settled in the Gujrat district, from where the tribe  spread to Gujranwala. While Captain Waterfield author of the second revised settlement report of Gujrat District gave a very different account. He wrote that the clan traces  its connection with Raja Karan of the Mahabharat. Twenty-seven generations, or 500 years previously, Warraich, the founder of the clan, came from the city of Kistah to Delhi,  and became an important courtier of the Sultan Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah, and settled in the village of Taika, in the district of Hissar. He had five sons; among them, these three, Wadrah, Shahajrat and Tejrah, received permission of the Sultan to settle in Gujranwala. They called their village  Tarka Ladda. Gradually they expanded to control over 80 villages, and, crossing  the Chenab settled in Gujrat. Around the 1300s, in the time of Sultan Mahmud Tughlak (reign: 1394 – February 1413 CE), Jaits, a descendant of the eldest Wadrah, became famous. During one of the invasions of Amir Timur (9 April 1336 – 17–19 February 1405), he met Jaits in Multan, where he joined him with his family and dependents, and, coming to terms with Nawab Sayad Khan, one of the confidential followers of Taimur, attached himself to his army. They reached Kunjah, and there met and fought a local Raja called Jaspal, and defeated him, and took possession of the country. For his services it was made over to this Jaits, in order that he might colonise it and collect the revenue. On  the death of the Khokhar chieftain Malik Jasrat of Manawar by poison at the hand of his wife, the daughter of Mandeo, a Dogra chieftain, who the latter  descended from Jammu to take possession of the country. He was opposed by Jaits, but they came to terms, and agreed that the Tawi and Chenab should divide their territories; Jaits retaining the southern and western sides, Mandeo, the northern and eastern. Jaits remained in possession until his death, when his jagir was confiscated, and his son succeeded him ; about that time one- fourth of the area was cultivated, the rest was jungle. New villages were then founded by different members of the clan. Hariya and Gunia, two sons of Jaits, became the most powerful; Kardal and Hambo never acquired any position. From Hariya, descend the Jis Waraich, and from Gunia the Abu Waraitch. The Emperor Akbar is said to have formed the Waraitch into two tappas,  called after Abbo and Jis, who were given the position of chaudhry.

However, according to another British colonial historian Sir Lepel Griffin, the tribe migrated to Punjab during the reign of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna and settled in Gujrat, in present day Pakistan. In his“ Punjab Chiefs” (pages 410 — 11), Griffin gives two versions, — one substantially the same as that given by Mackenzie, the other an amplification of the  Ghazni story. In this version, however, it was not Warraich, but a  remote ancestor, named Shah, who was the first of the family to settle  in India. He is said to have accompanied Sultan Mahmud in his invasion of India in A. D. 1001, and to have been present at  the battle fought with Jaipal, the last Hindushahi ruler. Impressed with the fertility of the country around Gujrat, Shah settled near the  Gujar village of Kulachar, where for 350 years his family lived  in obscurity, until in the person of Waraitch, son of Mattu, it  rose to the surface, and expelling the Gujars expanded by  degrees to its present importance. This rise is said to have occurred during the rule of the Emperor Akbar.

According to the Epigraphica Indica, Volume I, page 29, a rock inscription at Chamak Harsati Balaghat mentions that “Bharhaich” Jats performed ten asvamedha yagnyas (Sanskrit “Horse sacrifice”) and, constructed ten ghats in Varanasi. Whether the reference to the current tribe is difficult to confirm. In terms of distribution, the complete absence of Wariach in Uttar Pradesh probably suggest that connecting the Wariach with the inscription would be incorrect.

According to a tribal tradition – Waraich, a Jat, had five sons who settled in the Chenab valley raising cattle. Three of brothers moved to Gujrat and the other two moved to Gujranwala. In or about the tenth century A.D. they moved down to the Jhelum River in large numbers and settled down there. Until the thirteenth century AD they continued to fight with Gujjar tribes. Today these Waraich occupy a very compact area comprising 360 villages in a region called Jatat. During the period of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a certain Haria leader of these Waraich converted to Islam founding a village later called after him Hariawala. With the conversion to Islam, the Wariach of the Jhelum and Chenab valley converted to Islam. However, in the Gujranwala Bar, there remained several villages of Sikh Wariach until partition of Punjab in 1947.

In another tradition, Waraichs are the progeny of three brothers, Haria, Gunia and Kurtal, who were rulers of Bahraich principality (in what is now eastern Uttar Pradesh state of India). During Sher Shah Suri’s conquest of Bengal, they captured his treasure en-route to the province. It was believed that the Shah would not succeed in his campaign however to their surprise, Sher Shah conquered Bengal and established his rule over a large part of Northern India. Following their defeat these Waraichs left Bahraich and travelled westwards. They settled upon finding suitable grazing grounds on the banks of the Chenab river. This new home was on the lands previously used by Gujjars for grazing cattle. This settlement led to rivalry between the Waraich Jats and the established Gujjars. The Wariach eventually defeated the Gujars, and made themselves masters of Gujrat, in Punjabi a word meaning land of the Gujjars.

Both these traditions make reference to two facts, one that the centre of the tribe is Gujrat, and secondly, they original rulers of this region were the Gujjars.

They now occupy 141 villages in Gujrat (including Mandi Bahaudin district) and 84 villages in Gujranwala. By the 18th Century groups of Wariach had crossed the Jhelum and settled in the Pind Dadan Khan plain, while other groups moved settling in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. A significant number of this second group became Sikh.

Wariach Population According to the 1901

With regards to the Hindu Warraich, most were followers of the Sultani sect, and by the mid-twentieth century had converted to Sikhism. Today most Wariach are either Sikh or Muslim.

District / States

Muslim

Sikh

Hindu

Total

Gujrat 37,813  138  212 38,163
Gujranwala 8,106 1,537 1,425 11,068
Sialkot 4,368  468  678 5,514
Chenab Colony 3,703  616  215 4,534
Amritsar  492  1,893  32 2,417
Patiala State 11   631  1,653 2,300
Lahore 1,162 524  28 1,714
Gurdaspur 809  307  325 1,436
Malerkotla State 388 842 1,230
Ludhiana  98  109  616  823
Ambala  12  447  180  639
Jalandhar  33  165  272  470
Shahpur  443      443
Jhelum

 

 388      388
Rawalpindi  347      347
Firuzpur 180   105  18  303
Bahawalpur State  287      287
Nabha State    53  114  220
Multan  216      216
Montgomery  149   149
Karnal 26 57 21 104

Other Districts

 

 

Total

58,936 7,483 6,652 73,071

Daha Rajput

In this post, I wll look at the Daha Rajput tribe, now found mainly in Khanewal District of Punjab. The Daha were rulers of an independent principality in the Neeli Bar and are an extremely influential tribe in Khanewal District. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Kathiato give more information on the Bar nomad tribes.

The Daha are a branch of the Panwar Rajputs (also pronounced as Parmar), who ancestor was Mahrajah Shri Khand, ruler of the state of Dharanagri in Malwa region of Central India. The ancient Paramar kings of Dharanagri claimed to be members of the Agnikula or Agnivansha (“fire clan”). The Agnikula myth of origin, which appears in several of their inscriptions and literary works, goes like this: The sage Vishvamitra forcibly took a wish-granting cow from another sage Vashistha on the Arbuda mountain (Mount Abu). Vashistha then conjured a hero from a sacrificial fire pit (agni-kunda), who defeated Vashistha’s enemies and brought back the cow. Vashistha then gave the hero the title Paramara (“enemy killer”). The earliest known source to mention this story is the Nava-sahasanka-charita of Padmagupta Parimala, who was a court-poet of the Paramara king Sindhuraja (ca. 997-1010). The Parmar ruled an important state in Malwa until their decline in the 13th Century.

Coming back now to the the Daha, 20th in descent of Shrikhand was an individual by the name of Dohaj. Dohaj was a prince of Dharanagri, and it was his son Daha, from which the Daha Rajputs get their name. Twentieth in descent from Daha, was an individual who converted to Islam and took the name Taqi Khan. A descentdant of Taqi Khan by name of Singhaar Khan left Malwa and settled in the Neeli Bar, near where Khanewal is located. This migration is set to have occurred in the 13th Century. The Daha were pastoralist at this point, although they built a fort near present day Khanewal. Both the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire maintained a very light control over the Bar nomads.

According to another tribal tradition, Daha, who was said to be a Muslim holy man, was married the daughter of Parihar Rajput, who were said to be the rulers of Multan. They claim kinship with the Bohar and Parhar Jats, who are also of Parihar Rajput ancestry. While another tribal tradition claims the tribe originated in Dharwar in central India, from where they migrated to Pakpattan. The tribe then spread to Khanewal and Multan. There original name was dharawal, or in English people of the town of Dharwar, which was shortened to Daha. During the period which saw the break up of the Mughal Empire (circa 18th Century), the Daha became effective rulers of the portion of the Neeli Bar that forms the modern Khanewal District. The town of Khanewal is name after Khan Daha, the founder.

With the collapse of Mughal authority in the 18th Century, the Daha chief Hasan Khan carved out an independent principality. The principality included Tulamba, Luddan and Tibbi Sultanpur. However, like many of these petty Muslim Rajput principalities, the Daha also saw the arrival of the Sikhs. During the rule of Ziarat Khan, the Daha chiefs acknowledged Sikh overlordship (around 1790). The Daha chiefs were granted lands in Bahawalpur such as Khairpur Tamiwali, to which they paid tribute to the Daudputra rulers of that state. When the region came under British rule in 1849, the Daha chief was Khan Mohammad Khan, who was made a zamindar by the new authorities. Like other Bar chiefs, Khan Mohammad lost his indipendence. When Khanewal was founded by the British, and the area opened up to canal colonization, the Daha were granted extensive estates by the colonial authorities. The current member of national assembly from Khanewal is Muhammad Khan Daha .

In terms of distribution, they are found mainly in Vehari, Khanewal, D G Khan, D I Khan,Faisalabad, Multan and Rajanpur districts. Important Daha villages starting with Khanewal District include Dera Nishat Khan Daha, Rajanpur District Kotla Esan and Kotla Daha, and in Muzaffargarh District, their main villages are Head Bakaini, Mahiwal Daha, Sardar Mohammed Daha, Mohammed Daha, Chak Ali Daha and Ali Daha. 

Noon / Nun Rajput

In this post, I will look at the Noon, sometimes spelt Nun, tribe of Rajputs. Two of their branches, those of Shujabad near Multan and Hamooka near Khushab achieved political power, although Noons are  also found in Bhakkar, Jhang and Faisalabad.  The Noons of Khushab are closely connected with  the Tiwana, and I would ask the reader to look at my post on that tribe.

Origin Myth
The Noon are a tribe of Jat and Rajput status, found in mainly in Shujabad Tehsil of Multan District. According to one of their traditions, they are descended Noon, a Bhatti Rajput, who said to have left Delhi. According to other traditions, Kalyar was a son of Rana Raj Wadhan, who had four other sons, (1) Utterā, (2) Nun, (3) Kanjun, (4) Hatar. The tradition is that the ancestors of Raj Wadhan lived in ancient times near Ghajni (which is said to have existed near Rawalpindi), from where they migrated to Delhi, which after a time they left for Bhatner (now known as Hanumangarh). In the 7th century of the Hijra Raj Wadhan together with his tribe left Bhatner and settled near Chhanb Kulyar (now in the Lodhran District), which in those days lay on the southern bank of the Sutlej and formed part of the dominions of Rai Bhutta, the ruler of a city, the greater part of which was destroyed by the Sutlej flowing over it; but parts of its ruins are still to be seen on the right bank of the Ghāra (in Lodhran District). Rana, Raj Wadhan had a beautiful daughter whom Rai Bhutta, desired to marry. The request was refused by Kalyar, the eldest son of Raj Wadhan ; and the result was that a sanguinary battle took place in which Rai Bhutta, was slain. The tract of the country thus conquered by the Kalyars became known as Chhanb Kalyar, which name it still retains. At this time Sher Shah Sayyid Jalal was living in Uch, where Rana Raj Wadhan and his sons went to see him and embraced Islam. Raj Wadhan remained at Uch, Uttera, occupied the  Viah  (Bias), Nun, also known as Nano began to live on the banks of the Ravi, (and that tribe is now dominant in Shujabad tahsil), Kanjun at the Donari Mari, and Kalyar made Chhanb Kulyar his residence. Hatar was deprived of his share of the inheritance. Although, as my post on the Hattars show, they are now a substantial tribe in Sargodha District. Rajah Nanoo had sevens sons. One was said to have settled in Mitha Tiwana, another at Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District, one was settled in Shikarpur in Sindh and four were settled in Shujabad in Multan after accepting Islam on the hands of Makhdoom Jalaluddin Jahanian Jahangasht of Uch. All Noons except of those Sargodha write Rana as their title, except those of Mitha Tiwana, who use the title Malik.

Noon of Shujabad

There is however another tradition among the Noon of Shujabad, who claims descent from a Rajah Ganj, a Chandravanshi Rajput. The Rajah was prince of Thana Bhawan, which is a town in Uttar Pradesh, located  near the city of Delhi. A descendent of Rajah by the name of Nano converted to Islam at the hands of Makhdum Jahanian (b 1308- d 1384). The tribe, according to this tradition, gets its name Noon from Nano, and after their conversion to Islam they settled near Multan. They remained a pastoralist tribe living near the banks of the Chenab until the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556 to 1605). He granted the title of rana, which is a historical title meaning lord, and used by Rajput groups in South Asia, to their chiefs. The various Noon of Shujabad claim descent from six brothers, Ranjha, Janah, Ali Sher, Langa, Umar and Walan. These six brothers are said to have fled from near Multan, and founded the town of Bangala. From this original settlement, they founded further villages such as Basirpur, Mohanpur, Kachotha, Sat Burji and Jalalabad. A number of further settlements were established during the rule of the  governor of Multan, Nawab Muzaffar Khan. Two of the most important villages were those of Basti Mithu, Mari Noon and Dadu, while their other villages include Garwezpur, Basti Dad and Panoi. During the later Mughal period (18th Century), the Noon of Shujabad were independent, their most important chief being Rana Mithu. Rana Mithu’s son, Rana Gamah acknowledge Sikh sovereignity, and was an important courtier in Ranjit Singh’s court. When Sikh rule ended in 1848, his nephew, Rana Ahmed Yar Khan  was appointed zaildar. The Noon’s of Shujabad are still active in politics, with Rana Ijaz Ahmad Noon , serving as a Member of the Punjab Assembly.

In addition to the Shujabad Noons, another branch of the family is settled in Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District.

Noon of Khushab / Sargodha

This branch of the Noon tribe also traces its descent from Rajah Ganj. Rajah Nano here did not settle in Shujabad, but arrived with his kinsmen in the Thal.  Here they established close relationship with their neighbours, the Tiwanas, with whom they have long inter-married. While the arrival of the Sikh reduced the power of the Shujabad Noons, the Sikh power strengthened the Khushab Noons. Their chiefs, Malik Bakhsh Khan and his son Malik Jahan Khan served in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and held some villages in jagir, which were then lost in the last period of Sikh rule. Malik Fateh Khan, the Noon chief at time of the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1848, helped the British put down a Sikh uprising in 1849. The Malik was giving an estate by the British as a reward. From this branch of the Noon family came the Pakistani prime minister Feroze Khan Noon.

The Noon established fifteen villages in Sargodha District in the late 19th Century, after a grant of the large jagir. The most important of which are Alipur Noon, Nurpur Noon, Sardarpur Noon and Sultanpur Noon.

Distribution of Noon Rajputs According to the 1901 Census of India

District / State
Population
Multan 3,653
Shahpur 1,213
Total Population 4,866

Population of Noon Jats According to the 1901 Census

District / State
Population
Chenab Colony 172
Other Districts 205
Total Population 377

Barya/ Varyah and Taoni Rajput tribes of Punjab

This post will look at two Rajput tribes, who were found in what is now the Punjab state in India, namely the Varya (also spelt Braah, Brah, Baria, Warya, Waria, Warah) and Taoni. The Varya were much more widespread than the Taoni, but both tribes were centred mainly in what were the Phulkian States (Patiala and Nabha). These two tribes had much in common, both were largely Muslim by the beginning of the 20th Century, used the title Rana, and had seen their political power weakened by the rise of the Sikhs. Unlike some of tribes of Rajput status that I have looked earlier, in particular in the Pothohar region, the distinction between Rajput and Jat was very clear in the region inhabited by these two tribes.

The historical homeland of the tribes was the Puadh, (sometimes anglicized as Poadh or Powadh) region. This is a historic region in north India that comprises parts of present-day Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the U.T. of Chandigarh, India. It has the Sutlej river in its north and covers the regions immediately south of the Ghaggar river. In Haryana, the region includes Pinjore, Panchkula, Naraingarh, Kalka, Ambala and Yamunanagar districts. Other areas include Jagadhri, Kalesar, Pehowa, Gulha tehsil of Kaithal district and Fatehabad district. The people of the area are known as Puadhi and speak the Puadhi dialectof Punjabi. Among the Rajput tribes, the Varya and Taoni were pre-eminent in the Puadh region.

The Puadh region consists of the eastern districts of Punjab, the north-western portions of Haryana and the southernmost strip of Himachal Pradesh.

Map of the Puadh Region Source Wikepedia

Chhat and Makan

The Rajputs of the Puadh had an interesting institution, that of the Chhat and Makan. The author of the Hoshiarpur Gazetteer describes it as such:

The word chhat is explained as an abbreviation of chhatar makan, equivalent to taj or “ crown.” It may possibly be translated canopy. The canopy used to be one of the insignia of sovereign power. A chhat makan is a village which enjoys a pre-eminence over, or is held in special veneration by, the other villages of the brotherhood (biradari). It is generally called simply chhat. A makan is a village of lower grade than a chhat. The title of makan is earned for a village by some person’s performing a meritorious deed at a wedding or a funeral, and it is then said of it that ‘village so and so ia a makan, koi lallu panju gaon nahin — “it is not an ordinary village, but a famous place.” Tika is the title of the heir-apparent to a reigning prince. Hence it is applied to villages which are the seats of a prince’s rule It would appear that a chhat makan was originally a tika, a tika being a village which is the seat of a house still actually ruling or exercising authority in some way.

Baria / Varya

The Varya or Baria had a number of origin myths . They generally placed themselves within theSuryanvanshi division of the Rajputs. It seems that there original settlement was in Patiala. The name Baria / Varya is very likely  derived from Sanskritic: Varaha which means boar, which was very likely their totem. Another form of the name appears to be Warah, which is used by those of Jalandhar.

There is general agreement that the ancestor of the tribe was Binepal of Bhatinda, and had emigrated at a very distant past from Udaipur. The Varya are descendants of Warah, whose grandson Rājā Banni Pāl, is said to have founded Bhatinda, after conquering Bhatner and marrying the daughter of its Rajā. Banni Pāl’s son Udasi was defeated by a king of Delhi but received a jagir. His son Sundar had seven sons, of whom the eldest founded Badhar in Nabha. (Cf. Barian). Rai Kalu of Kakra near Bhawanigarhwas said to be the first Varya chief to have embraced Islam in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (October 1542[a]– 27 October 1605). Different groups of Varya them began to convert, but there still many Varya who are Hindu such as those of Bakhtri in what is now Sangrur District. In the Patiala State, the Varya, both Hindu and Muslim owned nearly 30 villages in the tehsils of Sunam, Bhawanigarh and Amargarh. At the beginning of the 20th Century, they were organized along chhats or villages of the first rank and makans or villages of the second rank, other villages being inferior to these in social status. The author of the Patiala Gazetteer wrote the following:

Barahs have 12 chhats and 24 makans, the chhats in this State being Samana, Talwandi, Kakra, Bhumsi, Jhal, Jhondan, in Nabha Baena, Badbar, Baragraon, in Jind Bazidpur, and in British territory Budlida and Moranda

According to another tradition, the tribe is descended from a Warah, whose grandson Rajah Banni Pal, who is said to have founded Bhatinda, after conquering Bhatner and marrying the daughter of the Raja. Banni Pal’s son Udasi was defeated by a Sultan of Delhi but latter received a jagir. His son Sundal had seven sons, of whom the eldest found Badhar in Nabha. Malwa Ithaas states that Raja Vineypal Variah, who was a descendant of Vikramaditya, built the fort of Bhim Garh, that evolved into the town of Bathinda on the banks of the Sutlej in 655 CE and established his rule. This rule contained property from Bhatner,Lahore, Sarhind, Mandlik, Licchabadi, Thanesar, Bhadhaur, Dango, Peshawar, and most of Punjab. This kingdom had two capitals, one at Batthinda and one at Lahore. It also states that Variah was a son of Varga, 26th generations down from Bikarmaditya. Variah’s descendants were Taskmas, Ajaypal, Abhaiypal, Vineypal, Lakhanpal, Rattanpal, Naiyapal, Nainpal, Vijaypal, , Jashpal, Satpal, Gunpal, and finally Gillpal whose descendants are the various Gill Clans in Punjab. According to Malwa Ithass the last Raja of this clan was Jayapal whose grandson was killed by Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1008 CE .During the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, most of the tribe converted to Islam.

In Jallandhar, the Varya had a tradition their ancestor Mal, a descendent of Raja Karan of the Mahabharat, came from Jal Kahra in Patiala in around 1500. While those of Sialkot, where they are found in small numbers and rank as Jats, not Rajputs, say they are of Chandravanshi descent. However, most Varya Rajputs consider themselves to be Rajputs of the Suryanvashi lineage. The Varya may be connected with the Barhaiya Rajputs in the Azamgarh and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, who also connect themselves with Udaipur.

After the partition of Punjab in 1947, the Muslim Varya migrated to western Punjab, where they are found in districts such as Faisalabad and Sahiwal.

Population of Baria Rajputs According to the 1901 Census of India

District / States Muslim Hindu Total
Patiala State 11,168 306 11,474
Nabha State 4,498 33 4,531
Hissar 1,451 1,451
Ludhiana 1,433 1,433
Jalandhar 647 19 666
Malerkotla State 528 528
Ambala 389 49 438
Hoshiarpur 288 41 329
Firuzpur 286   286
Rohtak 265 265
Karnal 220 220
Lahore 141   141
Other Districts
366 19 285
Total Population 21,986  467 22,453

Taoni

The Taonis claim Chandravanshi descent from the legendary king of Punjab Uggar Sain, who is said to have migrated from Agroha in 6th Bikrami and settled  in Ambala. One of the descendent, Rai Amba, is said to have founded the city of Ambala. While the Patiala Taonis claim descent from Raja Gopal (7th in descent from Uggar Sain). Over time, two distinct Taonis principalities arose, one based in Ambala, the other in Banur.

There conversion to Islam is said to have occurred during the rule  Shahab-ud-din of Ghor (1149 – March 15, 1206). After the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan at Tarain, Dhirpal, embraced Islam and took the name  Nawab Abdul-Karim. His tomb is said to be at Banur; which became an import Taoni centre. Prior to partition the Muslim Taonis were numerous in that tehsil and in  Patiala, Rajpura and Ghanaur all located within the Patiala State. While the Hindu Taonis held Bular (in tehsil Patiala), Lilru, Nagla and Khelan in Bathinda. The Toani are divided into twelve clans, said to be named after the sons· of Raja Gopal; vis., Dhirpali, Ambpali, Bhitiian, Motian, Rai Ghazi, Jaisi, Sarohd, Ajemal, Jhagal and Lagal, the last six holding the title of rai.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, they occupied the low hills and sub-montane in the north of Ambala district including the Kalsia State, and some of the adjoining Patiala territory. Prior to partition the Muslim Taonis in Patiala territory were numerous in that tehsil and in  Patiala, Rajpura and Ghanaur. While the Hindu Taonis held Bular (in tehsil Patiala), Lilru, Nagla and Khelan in tehsil Bathinda, and Dhakansu, Tepla, Banwari, Pabra and Dhamoli in  Rajpura. About their Chhats and makans, the author of the Phulkian States gazetteer wrote the following:

Socially they have 14 chhats and 24 makans, the chhats in this State – being Banur, Shamdo, Kauli,, Ghanaur, Patton, Khera Gujju, Suhron, Ajrawar, Chamaru, Manakpur and Jausla, and in British territory Kharar, Khanpur and Morinda,

The Bacchal clan of Jats, which occupies the same region like Taoni, are descended from Taoni Rajput from a Jat wife.

After partition in 1947, the Muslim Taonis moved to Pakistan. They are now found mainly in Sialkot and Okara districts, a few are also found in Mandi Bahauddin District. In Sialkot, they are found in Gondal (Radial) and also in Daburji Mallian villages. Some of the Taoni families are settled in Gujranwala (Buddha Goraya & Bhakhranwali) and Khanewal as well in Tehsil Samundri Chack no 47 GB.

Population of Taoni Rajputs according to the 1901 Census

District / States Muslim Hindu Total
Ambala 8,531 1,255 9,786
Patiala State 8,516 899 9,415
Karnal 752 76 828
Kalsia State 325 325
Ludhiana 209 10 219
Other Districts
 51 97 148
Total Population 18,384 2,337 20,711

 

Lilari / Neelgar (Leelgar) Caste of Pakistani Punjab

This post will look at the Lilari caste in Punjab, sometimes pronounced as Nilari, a sub-group with the Shaikh biradari of that province. They are also known as nilgar (neelgar) or leegar from lil or nil, an Urdu/Hindi term for indigo and gar, meaning the makers of indigo. Historically, the Lilari were found mainly in eastern Punjab and Haryana, and considered themselves as members of the Shaikh community, and refer to themselves as Multani Shaikh.

The Lilari are sub-group within the Rangrez caste. Both the Rangrez and Lilari were dyers and both were artisans and not menials, being chiefly found in the towns and are really branches of the Chhimba caste. The distinction with the Rangrez is that the Lilari would only dye, as the name implies, indigo; while the Rangrez dyed in all country colours except indigo. Indeed in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the Rangrez are said to have three subdivision, the Lalgar, Nilgar and Chhipi, and not seen as distinct caste. The basis of these social divisions is occupation. In this social hierarchy, the Chhipi are placed in the lowest position, because they dyed and printed clothes, whereas the Lalgarh and Nilgarh generally prepare colour from indigo. The Lilari in Punjab however had become quite distinct from the Rangrez, although both groups were Muslims.

The Lilari is an occupational term, used for those who were stampers or dyers, but by the beginning of the 20th Century, they had also turned their hand to tailoring or washing. They are a classic functional caste, based on their traditional occupation, which is dyeing. Although most members have now abandoned their traditional occupation, the caste name persists. The British ethnographer Rose made reference to the several territorial divisions among the Chimba groups, include the Lilari, e. g., in Patiala there were three:

the Sirhindis (endogamous), the Deswals and Multanis, who intermarry, as is also tho case in Jind. In Gurgaon the Desi Chhimbas are said to be converts from the Tank and Rohilla.

This showed who the Lilari are of very mixed background. However, the Lilaris themselves claim to be originally Arabs of Multan, who made their way along the Sutlej, settling in Narnaul and Mahendragarh tehsils of Patiala State and the neighbouring Jind state. From there spread to what is now Haryana, where about a third were found at the beginning of the 20th Century. Most of Lilari in Haryana referred to themselves as Sirhindi, from the ancient city of Sirhind that was the centre of Muslim power in eastern Punjab and Haryana during the middle ages. The Lilari were followers of Hakeem Luqman, who is said to thought there ancestor the art of dyeing.

In Punjab (including Haryana), the Lilari groups were organized in guilds and overtime these guilds formed themselves into castes. The Lilari were further divided by language, those in Haryana spoke Haryanvi, while those in central districts of old Punjab spoke Punjabi.

The partition of India had a profound impact of the Lilari, with many becoming refugees. Most Lilari are now found in southern Punjab, in Multan and Muzaffargarh, and Ghotki in Sindh. Furthermore, industrialization has seen the end of traditional dyeing practices. Increasingly, the term Lilari is falling out to use, replaced with the term Shaikh. I would ask the reader to look at the Youtube channel of Mohammad Alamgir, who has interviewed members of the Lilari community now settled in Pakistan.

Lilari Population According to the 1921 Census of India

 

District / State
Population
Hissar 3,415
Rohtak 2,271
Gujrat 2,152
Karnal 2,101
Patiala 1,899
Sialkot 1,895
Gujranwala 1,768
Lahore 1,560
Amritsar 1,508
Gurgaon 1,412
Rawalpindi 1,182
Jind State
1,077
Jhelum 1,008
Firuzpur 1,008
Hoshiarpur 828
Ambala 792
Gurdaspur 629
Sheikhupura 626
Jalandhar 470
Nabha 347
Ludhiana 330
Kangra 280
Other Districts 1,840
Total Population 30,051

Turk biradari of Uttar Pradesh

In this post I will look at the Turk biradari, community found mainly in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Udham Sing Nagar district of Uttarakhand. The term Turk here does not imply any connections with Turkey, as the Turks of Rohilkhand claim descent from individuals of the Turk ethnicity from Central Asia. The first known mention of the term Turk applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century, who were based in modern Mongolia. Overtime the term has devolved onto the Turks of modern day Turkey, but historically was also used to describe Central Asian Turkic groups. The Turk biradari claim their descent from the latter group.

Origins

Like most communities, the Turks of Rohilkhand and the Terai, they have a number of origin myths. One such tradition claims that the Turks came to India as soldiers who accompanied the 11th century warrior-saint Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud or Ghazi Miyan (circa 1014 – 1034 CE). However, it likely the Turk settlement took place at a latter date. Indeed some Turks groups, particularly those in Rampur, say that are originally emigrants from Central Asia, and came in the army of Shahubbin Ghori. These Turks had come from Turkistan region in what is now Central Asia, especially the modern Uzbekistan.

However, most Turk claim that their ancestors came to India during the period of the Slave Dynasty (1206 to 1290), with two periods of settlement. During the rule of second sultan Illtutmish (1211-1236), who conquered Badaun and Aonla (Katehr) in Rohilkhand, that their first settlement took place near Aonla. During the rule of Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86), who made Badaun an important centre of his empire, was when the second settlement of Turks occurred.  After ascending the throne, Balban broke up the Amir-i-Chahalgani group of up to the forty most important nobles in the court which was by Iltutmish. As a result, these nobles fled to different villages in Rohilkhand and settled down in the region. The Turks claim descent from these nobles.

Some of these claim to be descended from a certain well-known and pious Abdullah Turk who originally settled in the village of Ronda in the Moradabad district, where his tomb still exists. His descendants do not intermarry with other clans, and anyone who infringes this rule is cast out from the brotherhood. The author of the Rampur State gazetteer took the view the Turks are really a branch of the Muslim Banjaras.

Turks numbered 32,938 persons, a surprisingly large figure five times as great as the These Turks are apparently Banjaras, Turkia being the name of one of the chief Banjara sub-divisions. The Turkia Banjaras state that they came from Multan and that their first settlement in Rampur was at Tanda Badridan. It is a well-known fact that the northern portion of Eampur and the Tarai parganas of Naini Tal swarm with Banjaras and the supposition that these people prefer the name Turk is strengthened by the appearance of only 8,102 Banjaras in the state according to the 1901 census report. General tradition indicates that all Banjaras were originally Hindus.

However, the author conceded that Rampuri Turks had a contrary origin myth:

On enquiry from some of those who called themselves Turks it appeared that they were originally Sheikhs, who belonged to the Siddiqi and Faruqi elans and came from Bokhara. A party of Sheikhs is said to have first settled in Herat, whence they came to the Punjab and settled in the Jalandhar district and afterwards made their way into the districts of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. In these latter districts they are known under the name of Garha, while in Bijnor and Moradabad they are called Jhojhas, and in Bareilly, Rampur and Budaun as Turks.

The differing traditions as to their probably reflect that there were several migrations. Indeed the Turks are divided into three sub-tribes Jhoja Turk, Khoja Turk and Bobna Turk. The Rohilkhand region is also home to a large community of Muslim Turkia Banjaras, and it is possible the Turks are somehow connected with the Banjaras.

Present Circumstances

The Turk are an endogamous community, and prefer marrying close kin. They are essential small and medium sized farmers, and their villages tend to be uni-caste. The Turk cultivate wheat, paddy, maize, sorghum and sugar cane. Those in north Rohilkhand have benefited from the effects of the Green Revolution. Their customs are similar to other neighbouring Muslim communities such as the Rayeen and Rohilla. They have fairly active caste council, which deals with community welfare as well as an instrument of social control. The Turk are entirely Sunni Muslims, like other Muslim communities in western Rohilkhand, they have seen a growth in madrasas in their villages. Notable people from the Turk caste include the cricketer Mohammed Shami and Dr.Shafiqurrahman Barq – former Member of Parliament from Sambhal.

Distribution

In terms of their distribution, most Turks are found in Rampur District, which home to around 50 village. Their remaining settlements are in the districts of Amroha, Sambhal and Bareilly. In Bareilly, the Turks are concentrated in Baheri. They are spread across the towns of Sambhal, Moradabad, Rampur, Amroha and Nagina in India’s largest province of Uttar Pradesh (UP). There are large number of Turk villages in the Terai region of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand state. The city of Sambhal, popularly called ‘little Turkey’, is known for its artisans who make decorative pieces from animal horns and also the cultivation and export of mentha oil. The Turk population in the city accounts for 350,000 to 400,000.

Turk population according to the 1901 Census of India

District Population
Rampur State 32,938
Nainital 4,163
Moradabad 1,714
Bareilly 672
Other districts 20
Total Population 39,507

The 1901 Census confirms where the greatest concentrations of Turks was then the Rampur State. This remains the case now.

Chadhar

This post will look at the Chadhar, a tribe found among both Rajputs and Jats. Interestingly, in different parts of Punjab, the way to pronounce the word Chadhar differs. For example it is commonly pronounced Chadhar but in some areas of the Punjab, like the cities of Jhang and other adjoining districts, it is pronounced as Chadhrar, while in the Majha, Doaba and Malwa areas it is pronounced as Chandhar.
Chadhars claim descent from Chandarh, the son of Raja Ravilan of the lineage of king Pandu of the Mahabharata. They belong to the Chandra Vanshi branch of the Rajputs, and it is widely believed that they are a branch of the Tomar Rajputs, with the branch of the tribe of in Jhang saying that they are the descendants of Raja Toor and that they migrated into the Punjab fromRajputana.

Origin

Found along the whole length of the Chenab and Ravi valleys, but far most numerous in Jhang, where they for the most part regard themselves as Rajputs, the Chadhars claim to be descended from Rajah Tur, Tunwar.  According to their traditions, in 1193 AD, when Mohammad Shahabuddin Ghauri invaded India, the clan moved from Rajasthan to the Punjab. Some went to Bahawalpur, where they were converted to Islam by Pir Shershah (Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari) of Uchch Sharif. If this tradition iss correct, they have been Muslims now for over 8 centuries. However, its worth mentioning, there are still Chadhars in the Doaba who are Sikh by faith.

From Bahawalpur, they migrated north, along the course of the rivers Ravi River and River Chenab. They clashed with those tribes already settled in the region such as the Kharal, Harals and Sial tribes over the possession of essential water resources. They are generally recognized by their neighbours as a branch of the Tomar Rajputs. The northern most Chadhar are found in villages in Pind Dadan Khan tehsil of Jhelum, as such the tribe is very widely spread.

Interestingly, the Chandarhs were the villains in the famous Punjabi romance story of Mirza Sahiban. It is said that Mirza Kharal, the hero of the story, was slain by Chadhars as Sahiban, the heroine was betrothed to Zahir Khan, the son of Jham Khan, a Chandarh Jatts. Because of this murder, it is said that there were many battles between Chandarh and Kharals.
Chadhar sub clans.

 According Chadhar genealogists, they are divided into several sub-clans, most of which are found in Jhang. These include:
1. Aasi
2. Wejhwe
3. Wijhalke
4. Warbhu
5. Kulle
6. Kaloke
7. Jappa
8. Lune or Loone
9. Sajanke
10. Nalere (sometimes pronounced Lalere)
11. Kangar
12. Rajoke
13. Kamoke
14. Harya
15. Paroke
16. Jatoke
17. Deoke
18. Moona
19. Majoka
20. Paajike
21. Chookhia
22. Wallara
23. Thabal,
24. Sajankey,

Many Chadar villages are named after these sub-tribes like Wijhalke and Kaloke and Chak Sajanke and Chak Loone and Mauza Wllara on the right and left banks of the Chenab in the Chiniot District. Well known villages of Chandarhs in other areas of Punjab include Chandarh, Rajeana, Dhaaban, Awan and Rampur.

About their clans, the British colonial ethnographer E. D. Maclagan wrote the following:

The Chaddrars are Tunwars. Their chief tribes in the Sandal Bar are the Rajokes, Kamokes, Jappas, Luns, Pajikes, Deokes, Ballankes, Saiokes, etc. The Chadhars of the Bar are said to have expanded from Dhaban, a small rahna or encampment south-west of Khurianwala. The Luns of Awanwala in the Bar say they have been there for seven generations. At Bajla rahna there is a separate class of Luns or Lunas called Bala Luns, who celebrate marriages, wash the dead and so forth, and act more or less as mullas

Rajputs or Jats?


Jhang Chadhars claim that they are Rajputs, while Chadhras of some areas of Punjab claim to be Jats, in particular those found in the Manjha and Sialkot-Gujrat sub-mountain region. According to the Census of 1881, 26404 Chandars recorded themselves as Jats and 177,746 recorded themselves as Rajputs. Furthermore, the gazetteer of Jhang District (1881 – 1884), Chandarhs are considered to be good farmers and rarely indulged in cattle rustling or theft unlike their neighbours, the Sials, Kharals and others. The distinction in the valley of the Jhelum is not quite that clear, however, with regards to the Chadhars, their neighbours generally if sometimes grudgingly accept their status as Rajput

Distribution

Chadhars occupy a large area of land on the left bank of the Chenab, in the Jhang District, starting from Khiwa (along the boundaries of the Sials) to the adjoining areas of Sayyids of Rajoea Sadaat. Their main village is Tahli Mangeeni which is said to be their throne or Takht. Other villages include Chak 20 Gagh and Thatha Jhamb.

The Chadhars are found in districts of Jhang, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Lahore, Khanewal, Multan, Bhakkar, Bahawalpur, Okara and also in some parts of Sindh. There is also a village named Chadhrar near Tank, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Some of the Chadhars settled in the Firozpur District in Indian Punjab and founded the village of Chandarh near Mudki. Others settled in Nakodar near Jalandhar. As Muslim Jats, most of the Chadhar Jats shifted from Ferozepur to Amritsar, and Gurdaspur after partition. Most of these Chadhars are now found in Faisalabad.

Chadhars of Chakwal, Jhelum, Khushab and Mianwali:

In Chakwal District, where the northern most Chadhar settlements are found, important villages include Dhok Chadhar, Dhok Miyal, Punjain and Chak Baqar Shah. In Jhelum District, they are found in the village of Abdullahpur and in Lilla town. While accross the Jhelum river in Mandi Bahauddin, they are found in the villages of Beerpindi Jharana, Bosaal, Bukkan, Gohri and Mangat, Mian da Lok. In Mianwali District, they are found in Sultanwala.

Distribution of Chadhar Jats According to the 1901 Census of India

District Population
Chenab Colony 8,691
Jhang 6,345
Multan 3,734
Shahpur 3,303
Montgomery 2,495
Amritsar 1,733
Mianwali 1,226
Montgomery 525
Other Districts 1,128
Total Population 29,180