Bhakar, Ghugh, Hal, Khamb, Khatarmal, and Khandoya tribes

In this post I will specifically be looking at tribes that are found in the neighbourhood of the Jhelum river, just south of the city of Jhelum, and north of Sargodha. I include tribes that have a presence in Chakwal District, as the district’s eastern portion is a continuation of the Bar. My earlier posts of the Chadhar and Langrial look into some detail on the identity of the Bar tribes. In this post I shall look at the Bhakar, Ghugh, Hal, Khamb, Khatarmal,  and Khandoya. All the tribes I am going to look at designate themselves as Jats, except the Khandoya.


I shall start of by looking at the Bhakar, sometimes also spelt Bhukar, who are a clan of Jats found mainly in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. However, in Indian Punjab and Rajasthan, there are several settlements of Bhakar Jats. The P.D. Khan Bhakar have traditions of migration from India, and are likely to be same clan. According to their traditions, their ancestor, Bhakar was a Nagvanshi Rajput, who left India, and migrated to the Pind Dadan Khan plains, where he converted Islam, and married into the local Jat community. They are now considered as Jats, and intermarry with tribes of Jat status such as Khothi and Gondal. There main settlements are Baghanwala, Dharyala Jalip and Khotian Jalap, where they are found intermixed with Gondal Jalap and Lilla Jats, and Sherpur. In neighbouring Sargodha District, the town of Bakhar Bar near Shahpur was an centre of an independent chieftainship, until it was conquered by the Sikhs. While neighbouring Khushab District, they are found in the villages of Thathi Ghanjera and Jalalpur Syedan.



The Ghugh are a small Jat clan, with a number of origin myths. According to one such tradition, ancestor Ghugh, belonged to the Gondal tribe, who left the Gondal Bar (now Bhalwal and Malakwal tehsils), crossed the Jhelum and settled in the Pind Dadan plains. There earliest settlement was Bagga, on the banks of the Jhelum River. However, among the Ghugh of Ghugh village in Chakwal, there are tradition that Ghugh was not a Gondal, but Bhatti. The question then is who are the Ghugh. The answer is never simple, but Pind Dadan Khan region which has a larger Ghugh population, and the Gondals also have traditions that the Ghugh are Gondal, it is likely that they are a Gondal clan. I must also add the Ghugh of Sahiwal claim to be of Chadhar descent.

They are now found in Jutana and Lilla as well as Bugga villages in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. In neighbouring Chakwal District, the Ghugh villages include Dhok Dabri and Ghugh. Other Ghugh villages are also found in Sargodha, Chariot, Khanewal, and Mandi Bahauddian districts.


The Hal, a small Jat clan confined to two separate villages, that of Lilla Bhera, in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil and Mohal in Dina Tehsil. According to the traditions of the Lilla Bhera Hals, the Hal were once the dominant Jat clan in Jhelum river valley, effectively ruling what is now Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. In the 16th Century, the Lilla, a clan of Qureshi Arabs, invaded their lands, and exterminated the tribe, save a single pregnant woman. She then gave birth to a son, from whom all the present tribe claims descent. However, there is a completely different origin myth held by the Hal of Mohal, these Hal claim that they are a clan of the Awan tribe, descended from Qutub Shah, the general that is said to have accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni. The Hal were thus Awans, initially settling in Fatehjang, a town in what is now Attock District, and about four hundreds years ago they left Fatehjang, and settled initially at Burla village near Pandori, and finally in Mohal, a village entirely inhabited by the tribe. Although both sets of Hal acknowledge each other’s existence, the exact connection between the two remains unclear, with no cases of intermarriage. Interesting


The Khandoya, sometimes spelt Khandoa and occasionally pronounced Khandowa, are extremely localized tribe, their name comes from the Punjabi word khand, meaning something sweet. According to their traditions, they are a clan of Chauhan Rajputs, who after wondering in from what is now Haryana settled in area near Chakwal in an area that had sweet water, which they called Khandoya or sweet water place. Other then Khandoya village, Khandoya are also found in the villages of Bhalla, Dhok Virk, Mari, and Trimni. From Khandoya, the Khandoya spread to the Pind Dadan Khan plains, where the majority are still found. In Pind Dadan Khan tehsil of Jhelum, their villages include Addowal, Dharyala Jalap, Jhuggian Syedan, Karyala Jalap, Kot Umar, Nawanloke and Pinnanwal. Further south in Khushab District, there are several Khandoya families in Katimar village. The Khandoya perceive  themselves to be Rajputs, and do not intermarry with neighbouring Jat tribes such as the Gondal, Jethal and Lilla.


The Khamb are extremely interesting tribe, having said to have migrated from from Kathiawar, in what is now the modern state of Gujerat in India. According to their traditions, the Khamb are a tribe of mixed Turkish and Mongol extraction, who were settled in their present abode, by a Hashmat Khan, a chief of the Thathal tribe, who are also natives of the Pothohar region. This Hashmat Khan was appointed as a garrison commander of Khambhat in Kathiawar, by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When Hashmat returned to the Pothohar region, he was accompanied by members of the garrison at Khambat which included members of the Kamboh tribe, troopers of Mongol origin of the Barlas tribe and Afghans from Badakshan. He ordered that a village be built and named it Khanpur, and the Khamb tribe was granted lands in and around the new town. Therefore, the Khamb, are at least partly Turkic extraction and are now considered a clan of the Barlas Mughals. According to other traditions, the Khamb are a clan of the Ranjha tribe who are a sub-caste of the great Bhatti tribe and as such are Jats.


The Khamb are now found mainly in compact territory covering Sargodha, Jhelum and Gujrat districts, roughly following the course of the Jhelum River from Bhalwal to Jhelum city. There are also a few isolated villages in Khushab, Rawalpindi, Chakwal districts and near the town of Shahpur in Sargodha district. In Jhelum District, Khamb villages include Khambi and Chak Jalilpur, Khamb in Rawalpindi District, Khamb Kalan in the Phalia Tehsil of Mandi Bahauddin District. Khamb Nau and Khamb Kohna in the Bhalwal Tehsil of Sargodha District. Interestingly, the town of Khanpur Khamb, their original settlement in northern Punjab no longer has any Khambs as they were later evicted by Marrian Jats migrating from Kharian Tehsil of Gujrat District.


The Khatarmal, or sometimes spelt Khotarmal, are tribe of Jat status, found almost entirely in Chakwal District, although there are scattered settlements in Pind Dadan Khan. According to their tribal traditions, there ancestor Khatarmal was a Gakhar nobleman, who after arriving in Chakwal, contracted marriage with a Jat, and his descendants became Jats. Interestingly, unlike the Sakhial mentioned in my earlier posts , the Khatarmal do not find a place in any of the Gakhar genealogies. This does not mean that they are not Gakhars, it is simply shows that they now have no connection with Gakhar tribe.



11 thoughts on “Bhakar, Ghugh, Hal, Khamb, Khatarmal, and Khandoya tribes

  1. Wonderful effort by you to compile the history, but I have some reservations about Ghugh tribe. You stated that it’s entirely present in chakwal district, but I am living in Nankana Sahib and also Ghugh, apart from our village there are 5 big villages of Ghugh tribe in Sharaqpur, district Sheikhpura, having the population of about more 20000 in that area. They are living there since long time ago , maybe having centuries old roots over there. My grandfather and other elders from other areas narrate that we emigrated from these villages. For proof they say that there is one village kot Mahmood, there was a brick constructed in the well of that particular village of Mahmood Ghugh, but, now Arain bradri is living over there. Bye the way this village is close to other 5 villages. And I think that Kang are also Ghugh, because in Urdu there is only difference of (noon), and they are relatives with each other. What do you say about this ?

    1. About the Ghugh, I had a single source, a book called the General Code of Tribal Custom in the Jhelum District, Punjab. by P. N Thapar. Your information is very useful, as it shows a wider Ghugh presence. I suspect they are probably also found in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin. Can you confirm that. According to Thapar the Ghugh are a branch of the Gondal. But they could a branch of the Kang. Any information would be useful.

      1. Thanks for your prompt reply. Yes, they have scattered presence across Sargodha, Chariot, even in khanewal,i know them personally as they are family friends of ours. there is one village Ghugh near Sialkot city. Also, In Mandi bahauddian, they have their presence.I have found a strong link from history to trace their roots, and that is the village Ghughanwali, it is located in tehsil phalia, Mandi Bahauddian. This was the village of first Punjabi writer Hazrat Nosha Gunj Baksh, he is of the great importance in Punjabi literature.
        I think maybe we would be able to trace the roots of this clan from history through books written about above mentioned Sufi saint , as they have no much collective presence in big numbers, other than Sharaqpur Sharif.
        There are Ghugh also near Sahiwal. I have read a book of English writer and told about them that ” they live in Sahiwal district, and Muslim Jutts”

  2. Aoa sir. gHugh are also in sahiwal and there is a strong tradition there that they are clan of chaddar. Chaddars are a branch of tomars mean toor.

      1. Village is chak 10/14L, iqbal nagar, sahiwal. In addition, people of jhanwarian sargodha claim ghugh solely as subclan of jatts. So there is still alot of research to be required on it. Who actually are ghughs. Shajra navees dere in Sahiwal says that ghugh are subclan of chadders. There is also a chowk dere in sahiwal named as ghugh chowk.

      2. Village is chak 10/14L, iqbal nagar, sahiwal. In addition, people of jhanwarian sargodha claim ghugh solely as subclan of jatts. So there is still alot of research to be required on it. Who actually are ghughs. Shajra navees dere in Sahiwal says that ghugh are subclan of chaddars. There is also a chowk there in sahiwal named as ghugh chowk.

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