Gondal, Tarar, Ranjha and Wariach tribes

In this post I shall look mainly at the tribes that are found in the uplands located between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, all of whom consider themselves to be Jats. This region roughly covers the districts of Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Sargodha. In this post, I hope to look at the Gondal, Tarar, Ranjha and Wariach tribes. The Gondal also have a substantial presence in Jhelum and Chakwal, across the Jhelum river, while the Tarar are spread across the Chenab, and are found in several villages in Hafizabad.  Finally, the Wariach are found both in Chenab Ravi and Jhelum Chenab region, and are the largest Punjabi Jat tribes in numbers.

Gondal

I shall start by looking at the Gondal, who in numbers are the largest Jat clan in the region between the rivers Chenab and Jhelum which now forms Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Sargodha districts, a region known as the Gondal Bar. The tribe in the Gondal Bar identifies itself as Jat, while the scattered settlements in Rawalpindi consider themselves Rajputs.   Like almost all Punjabi tribes, there are a number of traditions as to their tribal origins. According to one theory, Gondal their ancestor, a Chauhan Rajput by caste, accepted Islam on the inducement of famous Sufi poet Baba Farid (lived 1173-1266 or 1188-1280) and he and his clansmen were instructed by the Sufi to stay in the area between the Chenab River and Jhelum Rivers. Hathiwind near Bhalwal, was their first settlement, which they occupied after expelling the Gujars, who were the original inhabitants.

Branches

There are other traditions which refer to the first convert being Ghanon, ninth in line from Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last Hindu Rajput of ruler of north India, and accepted Islam at the hands of Baba Fareed. Ghanon had four sons Raja, Dhir, Badher and Budha. The principal Gondal clans, the Boosal and Chimmu are descended from the sons of Badher. In addition to the Boosal and Chimmu, the Jaspal, Ghugh, Tulla and Sandrana are all branches of the Gondal tribe.

 

The Gondal proper, and branches like the Bosal now ranks with Jats, and intermarry freely with other Jat tribes of the region, such as Ranjhas, Harrals and Laks. Formerly before the building of the Jhelum Canal, they were pastoral people subsisting almost entirely on the produce of their large herds of cattle. Gondal territory has now extensively been settled, with large number of immigrant Jats such as the Cheema and Sandhu now found in villages.

Story of Saidoo and Dhiloo

The tribe is connected with the story of the brothers Saidoo and Dhilloo, which has become part of the folk myth of Punjab .It is said that when Nadir Shah (AD 1736), the Persian ruler, invaded India, and as he was moving through Punjab on his way to Delhi, he faced resistance from the various Punjabi tribes. At the Indus-Jhelum doab, the Khattars, Ghebas and Gakkhars fought against him but lost. After he crossed Jhelum, the Gondal Jatts took him on, under the leadership of the brothers Saidoo and Dhioo. The brothers are said to have fought bravely against the Shah, although they lost, the Shah forgave them as he was impressed by the bravery of the Gondals.

Distribution:

 

Villages in the Gondal Bar

 

In the Bar, now divided between Sargodha and Mandi Bahaudin, Gondal settlements are found near Bhalwal and Kot Momin in Sargodha and Miana Gondal in Mandi Bahaudin. In Mandi Bahaudin district, the historic Gondal Bar now forms part of Malakwal Tehsil, and is home to many Gondal villages. The larger Gondal villages in Malakwal include Ajjowal, Badshahpur, Balhar, Barmusa, Bosaal, Bukkan, Chak No 33 Khasa, Chak No. 32 (Nathu-Kot),Chak Raib, Chot Dheeran, Faqairan, Gohar Sharif, Haria, KattowalKhai, Khizar, Kolowal Kotehra, Majhi, Miana Gondal, Pind Makko, Rukkan , Sahana , Sanda, Shumhari and Wasuwal.  In Mandi Bahauddin Tehsil, they found in the villages of Aaki, Ahla, Aidal, Ajjowal, Beerpindi Jharana, Bhikhi Sharif, Bohat, Chak Fateh Shah, Chimmon (Bagga Pind), Charound, Dalowal, Hassan, Jhulana, Kakuwal, Khandhanwala, Kot Baloch, Lakhnewala, Majhi, Mohabatpur, Pind Alhani, Pindi Bahauddin, Rattowal Sahana, Shaheedanwali, Sohawa, Tibi Daryane, Warah Baliyan and Wasu. While in Phalia Tehsil, they are found in the villages of Adda Pahrianwali, Bhekhey Waal, Bhinder Kalan, Bhoa Hassan, Bumbi,Chakori, Charound, Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd, Dhoul Bala, Dhoul Zairen, Dhunni Khurd, Dugall, Ghanian, Ghoghanwali, Haigerwala, Kadher, Kailu, Kala Shadian, Kamonke, Kot Multanianwala, Kot Rehm Shah, Lalapindi, Madhary, Mattoo, Pipli, Rajoa, Ransekay, Ratoo, Rerka Bala, Thatti Bawa and Thatti Shah Muhammad

 

Further south in Sargodha District, their original settlement was Hathiwind near Bhalwal, and now the district is home to several Gondal villages. Starting off with Bhalwal Tehsil, important villages include Abdal, Chak 10 ML, Chak 13 S.B, Chak 10 N.B, Chak 1 NB, Chakian, Chowal, Dhori (known as Chak 2 Dhori), Gukyani, Kamalpura, Jiwanwal, Kot Momin, Khan Mohammad Wala, Phullarwan, Ratto Kala, Rukkun, Salam, Sher Mohammad Wala and Thathi Noor.

Gondal Villages in Chakwal, Jhelum and Rawalpindi

 

Across the Jhelum, there are several Gondal villages in the Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum such as Dhingwal, Ghowra, Jalalpur Sharif, Jattipur, Jatana, Kanianwala, Kot Hast, Rawal, Sagharpur, Saroba and Toba. While in Chakwal, they are found in the villages of Alawal (largely Jhammat Jats but several Gondal families present), Badshahan, Bhagwal, Bhalla, Chawali, Dheedwal, Dhok Dabri, Dhok Gondal, Dhok Qaddo, Dhok Pari, Dhudial, Fim Kassar, Gah, Harrar, Kot Chaurian, Kaal near Panjdhera, Mohra Allo, Mureed, Parhal, Patalian, Pirwal, Roopwal, Ranjha, Sarkal Mair, Shahpur and Saigolabad. They are the largest Jat tribe in the Jhelum/Chakwal region. Katha Saghral (mainly Janjua and Kalyal although several Gondals) and Mohibpur in Khushab District are also part of this cluster of Gondal villages.

 

The Gondal are found in Gujarkhan tehsil, these Gondals consider themselves to be Rajputs, and intermarry with the tribes of Rajput status such as the Bangyal and Dhamial. Important villages include Faryal, Karnali, Jandi and Sandal Bangyal.

Tarar

 

The next tribe I will look at are the Tarar. Like others in this post, 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, a Rajput originally from Bikaner in Rajasthan, took service with Mahmud of Ghazna, and converted to Islam. He then settled in what is now Gujrat district. A descendent of Tarar, Amrah left Gujrat 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, 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.

 

Ranjha

 

I next look at the 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 such Sir 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. A descendent of Abu Jahl settled in Ghazni, in Afghanistan, and accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna to 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 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 Ramjha proper, the Gudgor and Khamb are branches of the Ranjhas, that have now evolved into distinct clans. However, as I say earlier in this post, the Khamb 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.

 

Wariach

 

The last clan I will look at in this post are the Waraich, also pronounced as Baraich, Braich, Araich, and Varaich, depending on which Punjabi dialect is being used. They are also known as Chungh. I shall focus on the large Wariach community found in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin, where there customs were very similar to the other tribes referred to in this post, 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.

Like most tribes, there are various theories as to the origin of the Wariach.

According to the British colonial historian Sir Lepel Griffin, the tribe migrated to Punjab during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and settled in Gujrat, in present day Pakistan. 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.

 
According to another tribal origin myth, the 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.

 
They 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.

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