Dhamial, Gaharwal, Jatal and Ranial tribes

 

 

In this posting, I return to the theme of the lesser known tribes of the Pothohar region of Pakistan, and I shall look at the Dhamial, Gaharwal, Jatal, and Ranial tribes. All of these tribes are in fact branches of the well known Janjua tribe. Let me start off with a brief note of the Janjua Rajputs. According to their traditions, the Janjua claim descent from the Pandava dynasty through Arjun, the cousin of Krishna. Although there is no definitive source to confirm the ancestry of the ancient King Porus of Punjab, the Janjua Rajputs claim that their ancestor, Rai Por is the Porus who fought Alexander in Punjab in 326BC, although this might be conjecture. The Janjua tribal history begins with Raja Ajmal Dev Janjua, who embraced Islam in the 12th century due to his love for Sufi art, poetry and teachings. Rai/Raja Mal followed the Islamic tradition of change of name after conversion and was then known as Raja Mal Khan. Mal Khan is said to have four sons, Bhir, Jodh, Kala and Khakha. From the last descend the Khakha of Kashmir, whose branch the Tezyal I have already looked at in an earlier post. From Jodh descends the Dhamial, from Bhir the Ranial, from Kala, the Gaharwal, and their branch the Jatal. In Chakwal and Jhelum, many Jatal and Dhamial now consider themselves to be Jats.

 

Dhamial

Dhamial (also written as Dhamyal) Like the other tribes looked, some sections of the Dhamial claim Jat status, while other stress the fact that they are Rajput. The Dhamial are chiefly found in the Rawalpindi District but also in Gujrat District, Jhelum District and Attock District of the Punjab and Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir. In Azad Kashmir, the Dhamial are the second largest Rajput-Jat tribe in the state. With regards to their origins, the Dhamial have a number of traditions as to there origin. Most however agree that they are descended from a Raja Dhami Khan, hence the name Dhami al, or sons of Dhami. They also point to the town of Dhamiak in Jhelum District as to where the tribe originated from. According to one of the traditions, Raja Dhami Khan came from Ghazni in Afghanistan, built a fort in Dhamiak, the ruins of which are still in existence, and defeted the Gakhar rulers of the region to establish control. The fort is still known in the local vernacular as dhami kot (fort of dhami in Punjabi), and the town of Dhamiak is simply said to be a corruption of the word dhami kot. Most traditions however claim that Dhami Khan was a Janjua Rajput, and they are infact a clan of the Janjua tribe. In the early thirteenth century, the Janjua chieftain, Raja Mal Khan rose to prominence. He increased his dominion over Hazara (later renamed Amb) through his son Raja Tanoli, Jhelum through his son Raja Jodh, parts of Kashmir through Raja Khakha, Rajghar (later renamed Malot) in Chakwal through his eldest Raja Bhir and what is today forms the area of Kahuta tehsil through Raja Kala Khan. Tarikh-e-Alfi of the Ghorids makes a mention of the rise to power of Raja Mal. According to Lepel H. Griffin, in Chiefs and Families of note in the Punjab (Lahore, 1910, ii, p254)

””On the death of their father, they determined to divide the country called, from Raja Mal, the Maloki Dhan between them. Jodh took the Salt Range near about the Makrach, and captured the town of Makshala from a colony of Brahmins (Mohyals)…He changed its name to Makhiala and built a fort there and two tanks for rain water….. Wir Khan (also spelt Bhir), took the possession of Khura (also spelt Khewra) near modern Pind Dadan Khan.””

The descendants of Raja Jodh continued to rule this region through various interruptions until the time of the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. Raja Bhir meanwhile took over the Malot (Rajghar) state from his father. It was in this tradition that Raja Bhir’s later descendant, Raja Malu Khan, allying his cousin Raja Mubarak Khan who was the descendant of Raja Jodh Khan, gained control of the region of Dhamial and Ranial.  Latter in the post I shall look at the Ranial branch.

 

Villages in Jhelum and Chakwal

Presently, the Dhamial, both Jat and Rajput are found in Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum and Mirpur districts. Dhamial villages in Jhelum District include Kotla Faqir, Mamuri Dhamial, Mohra Lal, Hathia Dhamial, Dheri Dhamial and Rakha Dhamial. The town of Dhamiak remains the centre of the tribe in the district. In neighbouring Chakwal District, important Dhamial villages include Dohrian, Dhoke Bangwalian, Dhok Qutab Din, Dhok Alfo near Mangwal, Ghanwal, Chak Jharray, Chak Kharak,  Sohawa, and Kot Raja 

 

Villages in Rawalpindi District

Looking at each individual tehsil of Rawalpindi District starting with Gujar Khan Tehsil:

1) Aheer

2) Chak Dolat

3) Chak Rajgan

4) Chechi Bahadur

5) Dhamial

6) Dhok Baba Waris

7) Dhok Kund

8) Dolmi Dhamial

9) Gasroor

10) Jajja

11) Jhamath

12) Miani Borgi

13) Mohra Hafyal

14) Mohra Salyal,

15) Mohra Dhamial

16) Mohra Jundi

17) Natta Mohra

17) Ratala,

Rawalpindi Tehsil:

1) Bajnial

2) Dhamial

3) Khail Dhamyal

4) Safair

5) Sher Dhamial,

Kallar Syedan Tehsil,

1) Bhai Mehr Ali

2) Dhamali,

3) Dhok Attari, near Bhalakhar

4) Dhok Pakka Khoo,

5) Dhok Baba Mehru near Khanpur,

6) Mawa Dhamyal

7) Mohra Phadyal

8) Pari Nakkah near Bhalakhar,

9) Phagwari Gala

10) Sahib Dhamial

and in Kahuta Tehsil: Aliot.

Moving to Azad Kashmir, they are found in the villages of Kandoor, Samlota, Chakswari, Daggar, Dehri Dhamial and Nakkah Dhamial.

Gaharwal

We now look at the Gaharwal or sometimes pronounced Kaharwal, who are a Rajput clan. According to the 1931 Census of India, they numbered approximately 1,600.

The Gaharwal claim descent from Pir Kala, a son of Raja Mal Dev Janjua, who married Kaho Rani when he came to the Kahuta hills, and named the ilaqua Kahru after her. Hence the descendants are called Kahrwal. The Dulal is a sub-division of the tribe. This branch should not be confused with the Dolal Qureshis of Gujar Khan Tehsil. To sum up, the Gaharwal, like the Dhamyal and Jatal, referred in my earlier post, are a branch of the Janjua Rajputs.

The Kahrwal Janjua’s are found in the Kahuta and Kallar Saidan Tehsils of the Rawalpindi District. Important Gaharwal villages include Matore, Bagla, Darkali, Mamyaam, Guff Sanghal ,Mehra Sanghal , Pind-Bansoo and Blong. In Kallar Syedan they are found in Sehi Rajgan.

 

Jatal


The Jatal are a tribe of both Jat and Rajput status, who claim descent from Jatto Khan, a Janjua Rajput, who belonged the Gaharwal branch. So they are in fact sub-group of the Gaharwal. They are extremely localized, found in only in the districts of Rawalpindi and Jhelum. Like other Rajputs tribes of the region, they have a long and distinguished history of military service. Important Jatal villages include Aheer, Lakho, Mohraian,  Jatal Sukhroo and Repa in Gujar Khan Tehsil, Jatal and Jatal Durab in Rawalpindi Tehsil and Nandna Jatal and Tirkhi in Kallar Syedan Tehsil . While in Jhelum District, they are found mainly in Jhelum and Dina tehsils. In the Islamabad Capital Territory, Jatal are foind in Gagri village.

Ranial

I shall finally look at the Ranial branch of the Janjuas. Like the other branches, the Ranial trace their descent from Raja Mal Khan, the traditional ancestor of the Janjua tribe. As I have already discussed in my account of the Dhamial, the Ranial branch of the Janjua descend from Raja Bhir, who was the erstwhile ruler of Malot (Rajghar) state in Chakwal, and from him descended, Raja Malu Khan, who was the direct ancestor of the Ranials. Raja Malu Khan was allied with Mubarak Khan, the Dhamial. According to the Tehreek-e-Janjua (Sahiwal Press, v1, p224), these two Rajas employed a sudden military onslaught to conquer the areas of Ranial and Dhamial. Through the repute of their military success, they were able to win the neighbouring gentry over to their own side and established good relations with them. Raja Malu took the area of Hayal Ranial whilst Raja Mubarak took the Dhamial plain. Interestingly, Raja Malu’s offspring were known as the Rajas of Ranial and Raja Mubarak’s offspring likewise, were known as the Rajas of Dhamial. This later culminated in the recognition of these two branches as simply Ranial Rajas and Dhamial Rajas. Being neighbours, they taxed their subjects separately, but followed common policies on other matters such as the supply of soldiers to the Mughal emperors, cultivation and trade.

Family tree

The Ranial Rajputs are linked ancestrally to the Janjuas through Raja Malu Khan, who was a descendant of Raja Bhir as illustrated below:

                   Raja Mal Khan, the Janjua king
                                  |
                   Raja Bhir, the elder son of Raja Mal Khan
                                  |
                   Raja Acharpal (later converted to Islam and was renamed Raja Ahmed Khan)
                                  |
                            Raja Sunpal
                                  |
                            Raja Islam-ud-din
                                  |
                            Raja Noor-ud-din
                                  |
                            Raja Daulat Khan
                                  |
                            Raja Hans Khan
                                  |
                            Raja Malu Khan (during Jehangir’s reign [1605-28])

Some of Raja Malu Khan’s descendants settled in Nambal in Kallar Syedan Tehsil of Rawalpindi, immigrating from Malot, in Chakwal District(the ancestral kingdom of Raja Bhir who inherited it from his father, Raja Mal Khan). Raja Malu Khan was one of five brothers. The other brothers were: Raja Sadu Khan: whose descendants are settled in the area of Sehel Tehsil and Pindi Gheb,  Raja Nadyam Khan: whose descendants are in Harajpur Pind and Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, Raja Babul (who was the Minister of Maral Garh): whose descendants are settled in the Murali district in Chakwal and Raja Jangu Khan: whose descendants are settled in Dana, Khanpur and Dadan Chey.

List and Population of Jat clans of Faisalabad, Multan and South Punjab According 1911 Census of India

Bellow is a list of Jat tribes that were enumerated by the 1911 Census of India for the Multan Division. In 1911, the Multan division comprised what are now the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Rajanpur, Lodhran, Khanewal, Toba Tek Singh, Muzaffargarh and Multan districts. The area that formed Faisalabad (then known as Lyalpur), then was part of a large settlement scheme, that brought several hundreds of thousands of settlers from east Punjab. Therefore, several clans orignatting from what is now in Indian Punjab appear in the list such as the Dhillon, Gill, Sandhu and Sindhu, as well local tribes such as the Lurka, Wahiniwal and Wattu.

Faisalabad District

Tribe

Lyalpur Tehsil

Samundri Tehsil

Toba Tek Singh Tehsil

Total

Aheer

115

22

443

580

Atwal

1,479

347

22

1,849

Awan

955

935

195

2,085

Aulakh

546

305

25

876

Bajwa

2,412

263

1,103

3,868

Bandechha

278

447

725

Bar

1,052

32

1,084

Bhatti

1,850

3,690

3,650

9,190

Chadhar

1,358

1,917

153

3,428

Chahal

195

9

35

510

Changar

43

1

799

843

Chatha

967

967

Chauhan

359

185

85

629

Cheema

359 185 85 629

Chhaj

466

9

35

510

Chhina

29

92

81

202

Deo

106

13

491

610

Dhariwal

233

396

147

1,147

Dhillon

604

396

147

1,147

Gill

2,754

769

342

3,865

Gondal

681

134

182

997

Ghuman

682

133

207

1,022

Goraya

805

377

976

2,158

Hanjra

548

218

39

85

Harral

1,274

38

1,312

Hundal

277

64

154

495

Janjua

105

160

244

509

Jauson

1

38

492

531

Johal

46

10

56

Johiya

459

844

68

1,371

Kahlon

982

486

1,569

3,037

Kalair

132

180

312

Kalsan

16

511

54

581

Kamoka

668

275

943

Khaira

326

326

Kharal

1,862

3,018

105

4,985

Khichi

883

1,341

15

2,219

Khinge

3

503

506

Khokhar

1,336

1,331

704

3,371

Lak

434

221

24

679

Lona

999

51

1

1,051

Lurka

761

699

828

2,288

Maan

238

167

32

437

Nonari

1

65

787

858

Pansota

1,041

1,041

Rajoke

715

266

981

Randhawa

1,564

551

220

2,335

Sahi

497

108

200

805

Sahu

41

470

147

685

Sandhu

1,696

1,222

741

3,659

Sial

1,207

3,508

749

5,464

Sidhu

224

224

Sipra

90

558

395

1,043

Tarar

344

101

69

514

Uppal

14

14

Virk

686

202

117

1,005

Wahiniwal

3

765

14

782

Wahla

774

125

316

1,215

Waince

1,589

804

152

2,635

1,414

1,100

929

3,443

Waseer

1,346

312

3

1,661

Wasli

291

330

57

678

Wattu

557

1,124

1,695

 

Jhang District

The entire Jat population of the district was Muslim, according to the 1931 Census of India, numbering 137,914. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe

 Jhang Tehsil  Chiniot Tehsil  Shorkot Tehsil

Total

Awrah

164

51

599

814

Chadhar

1,942

1,112

360

3,414

Dhudhi

74

65

461

600

 Gilotar

14

1,475

1,497

Ganda

421

216

637

 Gill

529

29

558

 Gondal

229

565

106

900

 Gujjar

694

386

185

1,265

 Harral

2,285

2,590

133

4,988

Hidan

116

749

49

914

 Hanjra

908

139

129

1,176

 Heer

580

2

2

584

 Joiya

404

998

319

1,721

 Juta

365

151

28

544

Kalasan

183

188

162

533

 Kaloke

23

520

95

638

Kanwan

34

644

678

 Kharal

871

716

205

1,792

 Khichi

178

176

227

581

 Khokhar

3,185

1,605

3,876

8,666

Kudhan

724

122

199

1,045

 Lak

760

378

181

1,310

 Lali

87

1,501

1,640

Lana

650

361

1,011

Mahra

381

216

597

Mahun

877

588

6

1,471

Marral

313

464

49

826

Maru

954

2

956

Naul

338

269

1,529

2,136

Nonari

566

289

128

983

Noon

434

383

216

1,089

Rajoke

1,072

73

117

1,262

Sahmal

746

156

92

994

Sattar

781

2

18

801

Sial

437

55

103

595

Sipra

1,333

969

790

3,092

Thabal

15

969

35

1019

Muzaffargarh District

According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe

Muzafargarh Tehsil  Alipur Tehsil

Sanawan Tehsil

Total

Autrah

420

203

238

843

Babbar

929

1,215

219

2,363

Bhutta

1,780

744

279

2,803

Chatha

164

156

224

544

Chadhar

173

151

201

525

Daha

681

405

368

1,454

Ghallu

36

1,178

113

1,327

Hans

121

908

1,029

Janjua

171

78

529

778

Kalasra

147

324

810

1,281

Kalru

1,017

471

1,488

Khakhi

1,458

239

125

1,822

 Khaira

925

348

812

2,085

Kang

372

257

629

Lakaul

517

821

180

1,518

Langah

144

362

194

700

Lar

74

475

229

778

Mallana

653

430

714

1,797

Nonari

918

597

28

1,453

Parhar

1,258

686

666

2,610

Sahotra

15

615

630

Sahu

267

262

341

870

Sandhila

1,599

557

361

2,477

Soomra

265

131

215

611

Thaheem

1,284

307

157

1,748

Multan District

The total Muslim Jat population of the district, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 340,584 (95%) out of a total population of 358,064. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe

Multan Tehsil  Shujabad Tehsil  Lodhran Tehsil  Mailsi Tehsil  Kabirwala Tehsil

Total

Arain

368

1,765

59

2,192

Bagar

501

101

602

Bagwar

1,169

8

2

1,179

Bhutta

6,668

779

953

424

878

9,697

Bhasa

8

516

1,305

1,829

Bilar

60

1,865

1,165

57

3,147

Bir

490

8

10

16

524

Basar

493

106

113

52

43

807

Bulla

2,773

216

1,804

1,898

6,691

Chachakar

271

10

59

634

974

 Chachar

554

Chanal

919

Chandram

608

Chaughata

2,937

Charal

578

Chatha

1,612

Chavan

775

Chadhar

884

Cheema

1,018

Dara

1,040

Dawana

1,210

Ghagar

1,177

Ghahi

301

Gill

503

Jajularu

2,379

Jakhar

175

Jhagar

1,177

Kachela

669

Khak

596

Khaki

596

Khichi

672

Lang

2,715

Langah

1,132

Langra

766

Langrial

753

Larsan

1,609

Lapra

579

Mahi

498

Maalta

121

Maho

934

Mahran

673

Mahra

1,018

Nonari

6

459

107

260

102

934

Naul

531

24

56

611

Nourangi

334

86

827

1,247

Noon

245

3,254

260

3,766

Parhar

461

28

37

27

4

557

Parkar

436

303

14

753

Parohe

26

6

1,026

195

1,253

Pattiwala

457

273

86

816

Pukhowara

8

553

581

Raad

5

22

174

201

Rawn

2,130

176

154

156

2,616

Rongia

144

545

689

Ruk

598

2

6

10

618

Sadal

101

355

218

674

Sadhari

8

12

412

542

974

Sadraj

36

930

90

1,091

Shajra

90

38

16

144

Sailigar

382

375

757

Samachi

28

176

223

172

599

Samri

472

26

51

549

Sandal

810

136

8

6

960

Sandhila

49

8

966

Shekha

674

674

Siana

655

270

8

933

Sipra

9

9

Soomra

291

291

Thaheem

1,300

729

611

128

1,164

3,932

Uanis

430

320

83

15

848

Vasli

23

248

331

47

649

Virk

243

37

27

19

328

Waseer

21

425

159

605

Wehi

1,648

56

805

2,509

Bahawalpur State

The total Muslim Jat population of the state, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 361,891 (90%) out a of total population of 402,785. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe

Bahawalpur Tehsil Ahmedpur East Tehsil

Allahabad Tehsil

Khanpur Tehsil

Naushehra (Rahim Yar Khan) Tehsil

Ahmadpur West

Minchinabad Tehsil

Total

Atera

575

Athar

581

Atral

733

Bhatia

733

Bhatti

1,951

Bipar

508

Bohar

3,863

Chachar

9,331

Chadhar

597

Chani

632

Chapal

2,120

Chaughata

791

Chauhan

567

Chawali

506

Chimar

947

Chozan

958

Daher

1,307

Daia

1,364

Dakhu

823

Dangar

689

Daha

3,571

Dhandu

844

Dhar

1,074

Dhudhi

686

Duran

977

Gauja

1,047

Ghallu

2,508

Kalia

525

Hans

580

Jam

788

Jammun

1,657

Jhammat

2,097

Jhullan

1,285

Khak

1,453

Kakrial

894

Kalia

525

Kalhora

1,031

Kalwar

1,271

Kamboh

679

Kande

557

Kathal

538

Katwal

912

Khar

840

Kharal

1,770

Khokhar

2,771

Khombra

637

Khaira

540

Koral

794

Langah

3,118

Lodhra

985

Mahaar

3,022

Mahra

2,493

Mahla

1,160

Maij

3,786

Makwal

473

Malak

4,042

Manela

628

Marral

880

Masson

537

Naich

4,093

Nanwa

1,833

Noon

930

Nonari

1,560

Uttera

1,817

Pannun

914

Panwat

1,676

Panwar

7,702

Sahu

1,131

Samma

1,072

Samitah

943

Sangi

1,159

Sial

847

Soomra

3,721

Thaheem

1,653

Tonwar

1,691

Waince

837

Dera Ghazi Khan District

 

According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe

Sanghar Tehsil

Total

Aishiani

1,058

Babbar

4,294

Barra

1,927

Batwani

895

Bhatti

9,128

Bhutta

2,876

Buttar

1,292

Bab

5,257

Barar

501

Bohar

1,445

 Chachar

1,898

Chhajra

913

Chhina

706

Changar

861

Chani

572

Chauhan

1,026

Dhandla

949

Daha

1,016

Dakhna

1,303

Darakhe

785

Dhol

638

Domra

822

Ghani

628

Hanbi

769

Heer

387

Hujjan

733

Joiya

1,617

Jajalani

1,571

Kajla

558

Kanera

208

Kang

10

Khatti

612

Kachela

1,848

Kabru

554

Khak

556

Khaloti

720

Khaira

567

Khokhar

3,465

Lakaul

1,157

Lak

658

Langah

1,558

Mahra

702

Mahesar

648

Maitla

776

Mohana

663

Malana

1,358

Malhan

529

Mangil

656

Manjotha

4,348

Meo

524

Makwal

1,091

Naich

286

Otrai

718

Parhar

1,144

Panwar

866

Phor

867

Sahotra

994

Sandhila

1,082

Soomra

2,508

Sambar

2,030

Shahkhani

961

Sial

3,915

Samdana

895

Thaheem

1,499

Virk

548

Chib, Katil, Minhas /Manhas and Sulehria tribes

In this post, I shall look at four tribes, the Chib, Katil, Minhas and Sulehria, who are all of Dogra stock, with traditional homeland comprising the plains bellow the Pir Panjal hills. My posts on the Bhao and Sohlan looked into some detail as to the origin of the Dogra, and reasons for their conversions to Islam. These four tribes all still have branches that have remained Hindu. Historically, the Chib were found mainly in the Bhimber and Kharian region, and have given their name to the Chibhal, the region between the Jhelum and Chenab. The Katil and Sulehria are eastern neighbours of the Chib, which concentrations between the Chenab and Ravi, in Jammu, Sialkot and prior to partition in Gurdaspur District. While the Minhas stretch all the way from Rawalpindi in the west to Hoshiarpur in the east, at least prior to partition in 1947.

Chib

I shall start by looking at the Chib, sometimes also writen as Chibh, who are found mainly in Bhimber, the Kharian areas of Gujrat and the Pabbi hills portion of Jhelum. As I have stated in my earlier posts on the Bhao tribe, the Chib have given their name to the Chibhal region lying between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, and on the southern edges of the Pir Panjal range. This is because the Chib ruled of Bhimber effectively covered the territory that latter became known as the Chibhal. Furthermore, it was there conversion to Islam that also led to many other tribes such as the Bhawpal, Domaal and Kamlak following suite. They are in essence Dogras who have converted to Islam.

The Chibs trace their descent from Partab Chand, a Katoch Rajput prince of Kangra, who said to have ended Thakial rule in the Mirpur-Bhimber region, and established the Chib dynasty. According tribal tradition, this rule was established by the overthrow of the last Thakial ruler of the region named Siripat. When Partab Chand reached the hilltop near Bhimber, he observed that it was very difficult to capture the state. He then set up camp there and named this hilltop as Kangra and the village still exists by that same name. Partab Chand stayed for a long time with his troops on the hilltop waiting for a suitable opportunity to attack and capture the state, but this did not take place as he had run short of supplies for his men. Partab Chand sent his soldiers in disguise with his own jewellery to go down to the markets of Bhimber to get the much needed supplies. His men went to a jeweller who was astonished when he saw the royal jewels. Siripat Thakial also learned about the man with the royal jewels and found out about the deployment of the Kangra troops on hill. He sent his ambassador to Partab Chand which resulted a friendly meeting between the Partab Chand and the Maharaja of Bhimber.

Maharaja Siripat Thakial had no sons but had a daughter. He married the princess to the oldest son of Partab Chand, Chib Chand. On the death of Maharaja Siripat, Chib Chand became the new Maharaja of Bhimber. Raja Dharam Chand was the seventh Raja of the Chib Chand line, who converted to Islam. The following story is related in connection with the conversion:

The first of the tribe to become a Muslim was one Sur Sadi , which died a violent death in Aurangzeb s reign. He is still venerated as a martyr and the Muslim Chib offer the scalp locks of their male children at his tomb, till which ceremony the child is not considered a true Chibh , nor is his mother allowed to eat meat.

This is how their conversion tradition has been related by Sir Denzil Ibbetson, a late 19th Century British ethnographer. By the 17th Century, the Chib state split into two, with Bhimber home to the elder branch and Khari Khalyari in present day Mirpur District home to the younger branch. The Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh’s armies defeated the last rajah of Bhimber, ending Chib independence.

In Mirpur District, there villages include Lehri Rajgan There is a concentration of Chib villages in Bhimber District such as Kalri and in Kotli District there villages include Khoi Ratta, Segyum and Supplah. These Chib claim descent from Raja Shadab Khan, also known as Hazrat Sheikh Baba Shadi Shaheed. There are also several Chib villages in Gujrat District, the most important being Thatha Rai Bahadur and in the Pabbi Hill region of Jhelum District such as Dak Chibhan.

Katil

 

The next clan I intend to look at are the Katil, sometimes spelt Katal or even Kateel. They belong to the Survanshi branch of Rajput community. According to their traditions, their founder Raja Karet, driven from the plains of Punjab by the Turkish conqueror Mahmud of Ghazna, settled in Mangla Devi, a fort in Jammu. One of his descendents took to robbery in the forest near the town of Samba, and captured a Sambial (a Survayavanshi Dogra clan found in Samba, Jammu) girl, so in return of her release, the girls kinsmen gave him a large tract of land in Shakargarh tehsil of Narowal District. He is then said to have founded the town of Katli, and his descendents were called Katil. The tribe is said to have 360 founded villages, of which a 100 are found in Gurdaspur and Narowal districts, and the remainder in Jammu. There are other traditions, which reference to the fact that the Katil are in fact a branch of the Khokhar tribe, and until recently, there was no intermarriage between the Khokhars and Katils on account of this common descent.

With regards to their conversation to Islam, it is said that during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, three Katils Rao (chiefs), namely Balel, Mal and Nihala accepted Islam. However, a good many Katil have remained Hindu, and in Gurdaspur make up the largest Dogra clan.

Minhas 

The Minhas, sometimes pronounced Manhas or Minhas-Dogra are Suryavanshi Rajput clan. In this post, I shall only be looking at the Muslim branch of the tribe, and not the quite substantial community of Minhas that follow Hinduism or Sikhism. In terms of distribution, they are found in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir regions that lie divided between India and Pakistan. According to their tradition, they are an off-shoot of the Jamwal-Dogra Rajputs, the founders of the city and state of Jammu and its rulers from ancient times to 1948 C.E.

 

As I have said in my introduction, the Minhas Rajputs belong to the Suryavanshi branch of the Rajput caste, and claim descent from Rama a legendary king of Ayodhya. In Rajputana, their closest cousins are the Kachwaha and Bargujar Rajputs of Jaipur. They trace their ancestry to the Ikshvaku dynasty of Northern India (The same clan in which Lord Rama was born). He, therefore is the ‘kuldevta’ (family deity) of the Hindu Minhas Rajputs). Specifically, they claim descent from Kusha younger of the twin sons of Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to whom patrilineal descent from Surya is in turn ascribed. His later descendants, the Dogras ruled over the state for hundreds of years till 1948 C.E, when the state of Jammu and Kashmir officially acceded to India. Maharaja Hari Singh was the last in the long list of the Dogra rulers of Jammu.

 

All the descendants of Raja Jambu Lochan were called Jamwal Rajputs, until according to tradition, Raja Malan Hans Dev(while on a hunting trip)was tricked by his brother to help a poor old farmer working under hot sun with ploughing. According the traditions of the Kshatriya caste, the stigma of touching a plough was so great, that Raja Malan had to immediately give up the kingship and take up agriculture as a profession and his throne passed to his cunning younger brother, Raja Suraj Hans Dev. Rajputs in general and those in the Punjab hills in particular have had a strong prejudice against taking up agriculture as a profession and therefore Raja Malan Hans and his descendants were styled Minhas. Therefore, any  member of the Jamwal clan who took up agriculture or converted to Islam, was called Minhas, whereas the name Jamwal has been confined to the royal branch including the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Muslim Minhas are perhaps the most widespread of the Islmasized Dogras, stretching from Rawalpindi District in the west to historically Horshiarpur, all along the foothills of the Himalayas. In Chakwal, the Mair branch of the Minhas is extremely important, I shall look at them in a separate post. Similarly the Lodhra and Manes of southern Punjab, also important branches of the Minhas will be looked at separately. In Sialkot, Gujrat, and the Jammu region, the Muslim Minhas are generally a compact tribe, but as we move west, the term Minhas covers a multitude of clans. Perhaps the Nagyal are the most important, but we have the Dolchial, Kanyal, and Ratial, who are all important clans in their own respect. In Gujarkhan and Jhelum, and neighbouring Mirpur, the Minhas are after the tribes that call themselves Bhatti, the largest component of the population. In Jhelum, the Minhas clans such as the Kanyal and Nagyal call themselves Jats, and intermarry with other Jat clans. In Rawalpindi, and neighbouring Kotli, Rajouri and Poonch regions, the Minhas generally identify themselves as Rajputs.

Sulehria

The last tribe I intend to look at are the Sulehria, sometimes pronounced as Suleri or occasionally Salaria. Like most tribes, there are several theories as to their origin.

According to Sir

Denzil Ibbetson, author of the Census report of the Punjab 1892, the Sulehris are:

… a tribe ofRajput who trace there descendents from Shal of fabulous antiquity. They say that their eponymous ancestor came from Deccan in the time of Sultan Mamdah as commander of a force sent to suppress the insurrection of Shuja* (*Shaikha is the usual form of his name) and settled in Sialkot; and that his in the time of Bahlol Lodi. They are for the most part Muhammadans, but still employ Brahmans. As a rule they do not marry within the tribe.

Sulehrias traditions also refer to the tribe settling around Sialkot during Bahlul Lodi’s rule According to Najmuttawarikh by Munshi Natiq, a Sulehri historian, the tribe were effective rulers of the Sialkot region until the rise of the Bajju Rajputs around the 16th Century. The Sulehri Raja Sahn Pal Sulehria is said to have converted to Islam due to the preachings of Hazrat Abdul Jalil Chorh Bandgi Qureshi in the reign of Bahlol Lodhi, while his other brother Raja Jeet Pal Sulehria and his descendants remain of the Hindu religion.

In Pakistan, the Sulehris inhabit a long chain of border villages in Sialkot, Shakargarh and Narowal districts along the working boundary between Pakistan and the province of Jammu (Indian Administered Jammu-Kashmir).

In Punjab

In Sialkot District, Sulehri villages include Darwal. Bini Sulehrian, Chak Maral, Charwah, Tigray, Nakhnal, , Tursipur, Nogran, Aal, Kharkara, Rangore, Jabbal, Malanay Rajputaan, Dharkalian, Khadral, Sangrayal and Chhowni Sulehrian. While in Narowal, Sulehri villages include Bhagiare, Fattowal Sulehrian, Lagwal Minhasan, Nadala Sulehrian, Masial, Kingra, Najuchak, Ropochak, Shahpur, Jarpal, and Pindi Bohri.

Refugees Salahria are found in Shaikhupura District, in particular in the villages of Ghang, Jhamkay, Nokhar, Chumbar, Kujar, Dera Khurshaid, and Dera Kala Singh

In Azad Kashmir 

In Azad Kashmir, the Salaria are found mainly in Kotli, Bagh and Poonch districts, while in Indian administered Kashmir, Salaria inhabited districts include Rajouri and Poonch.

Bandial, Ghanjera, Noon, Traggar and Uttra tribes

 

The valley of Jhelum River, which is divided between Sargodha and Khushab districts, is home to a number of comparatively small clans, some of which classify themselves as Bhatti, while other Khokhar. In this post I shall look at five such clans, two of which the Bandial and Ghanjera consider themselves to be Khokhars, while the other three the Noon, Traggar and Uttra are Bhattis. In terms of distribution, the Bandial are located just south of the Salt Range, mainly in and near the town of Bandial, while Ghanjera are found in the territory between Pakka Ghanjera and Bandial, west of the Bandial. The three Bhatti clans are found deeper in the Thal desert, with Traggar round the village of Khatwan, and the Uttra in Uttra near Noorpur Thal, while the Noon are found mainly in Sargodha. Just a note about the Traggar and Noon, they have much larger distribution, with large numbers found in Multan District. The tribes all speak the Thalochi dialect of Punjabi, which reflecting a pastoral past, has a rich vocabulary associated with animal husbandery.

 

Bandial

The Bandial are Khokhars, and their name ending with the suffix ial suggest a possible origin in the Pothohar region. So who exactly are the Bandial. According to their traditions, their ancestor was a Allah Banda Khan, who arrived from Jaura (near the banks of the Jhelum), about four centuries ago, expelled the Awans, and established his rule over the region where the Salt Range meets the Thal desert. His descendants are the Bandial, literally the sons of Banda, and established the town of Bandial. Like most minor chieftanship, their independence was ended by the Ranjeet Singh, the Sikh ruler in the early 19th Century.

Ghanjera

Moving on to the Ghanjera, who are said to be the earliest settlers in the region located between Wan Bachran and Bandial. Like the Bhachars and Bandial, the Ghanjera are Khokhars. Also like the Bhachar and Bandial, they are said to have arrived from the Chaj (Chenab Jhelum) Doab, in their case from the town of Shahpur in Sargodha District. Incidently, there is a large Ghanjera village near Shahpur called Tankiwala. They originally settled in Wan Bhachran, but when the town was occupied by the Bhachars, and the Ghanjera re-located to the village of Pakka Ghanjera. They are now found in nine villages, such Shikhali, Muzzafarpur, Pakka Ghanjera and Watto, which surround the town of Wan Bhachran. In neighbouring Khushab District, there most important village is Thathi Ghanjera.  The tribe has also produced the famous Sufi saint Khawaj Noor Muhammad Ghanjera.

 

Perhaps Ghanjera are really known for the legend of Aali Ghanjera, which is perhaps to the Thal what the legend of Heer Ranjha is to Bar. Aali was a cowherd from the village of Vijhara, along the banks of the Jhelum. Salman Rashid’s blog(http://odysseuslahori.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/StoryTelling.html) gives a really good account of the legend. It also harks back to the time when the population was entirely pastoral in Thal Desert.

Noon

The Noon are a tribe of Jat and Rajput status, found in mainly in Shujabad Tehsil of Multan District. According to 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 began to live on 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.

However, the Noon of Sargodha District generally connect themselves with Tiwana tribe of Khushab, and claims Panwar ancestry.

 

Traggar

The Traggar, sometimes spelt Targar are a tribe of Jat status, found mainly in South Punjab, with a sizeable presence in the Thal. According to their tribal traditions, the Traggar are by origin Bhatti Rajputs, who get their name from the town of Traggar in Bikaner District of Rajasthan. They left Bikaner some five centuries ago, and settled in Jhang. On their settlement in Punjab, the tribe converted to Islam. The Traggars were forced to leave Jhang when the fell out with the Sial, who were the local rulers. A branch moved west and settled in Bhakkar District. Another group moved south, and settled along the banks of the Chenab River, in what is now Muzaffargarh and Multan districts. A further migration took place in the 18th Century, when some members of the tribe moved into Sindh, where quite a few are found. The Traggars speak Seraiki, in both Sindh and Punjab. There customs are similar to neighbouring tribes such as the Bosan and Thaheem, and they are mainly landowners and cultivators.

In terms of villages, a large number are found in Dera Atta Muhamadwala in Mianwali District and Khatwan in Bhakkar District.

Uttra

Uttra, sometimes spelt Utra, are a Jat clan, found mainly in villages near the towns of Quidabad and Noorpur Thal. They are sometimes confused with the Uttera, but the two tribes are distinct. Little is known about the origin of the tribe, other then the fact they are said to be the earliest inhabitants of the portion of the Thal near the town of Kallur Kot, and the word uttra means a northerner. However, some traditions do make them out to be a clan of the Bhatti tribe. There are also few Uttra villages in Bhakkar, Khushab and Mianwali districts. Important Uttra villages in Mianwali include Rustamwala, Uttra kalan and Uttra khurd. While in Bhakkar, Basti Dhudianwala and Chak 43/ML (near Kallurkot) are important villages. In Dera Ghazi Khan District they are found in the villages of Haji Kamand and Jhok Uttra. And finally in Khushab District, they are found in Utra and Mitha Kooh. Like other Thal tribes, they were formerly pastoral, but are now entirely settled

Arbi, Bodla, Jhandir, Khagga and Nekokara tribes

In this post, I shall look at five tribes, namely the Arbi, Bodla, Jhandir, Khagga and Nekokara, all of which have traditions of Arab origin. These claims are not uncontested, for example, 19th Century British writers such Sir Denzil Ibbetson claimed that the Bodla were in fact a clan of Wattu Rajputs. In this post, I will try to simply look at the tribal legends, and not discuss the veracity. All these tribes are found in southern Punjab, and were in fact Hitharis, i.e. those tribes who lived on or near the river banks, until the arrival of the British. In this they differed from the Bar nomads such as the Chadhar or Kathia, who lived in the uplands. The homeland of these tribes is now the region stretching from Jhang to Bahawalpur. They also have legends the connect them to the Quresh, the tribe of the Prophet, with the Jhandir, Khagga and Nekokara also claiming to be Hashmi, or Hashemi, which is the clan of the Quresh to which the Prophet belonged to.

Arbi

I shall start of by looking at Arbi, or sometimes spelt Aarbi, who are found mainly along the banks of the Sultlej, in Lodhran, Vehari, and Bahawalpur districts. The word Arbi is simply the Seraiki version of Arab, hence the Arbi are simply Arab. According to their tribal traditions, they descend from a group of Arab families which were in Mughal times, given several villages round Multan, and for a short time were independent. However with the rise of the Nawabs of Multan and Bahawalpur, their state was extinguished, and many ended up becoming tenants. They are perceived to be Jat, which in Multan/ Bahawalpur means any tribe that is engaged in agriculture.

In terms of distribution, they are found in villages near Dunyapur in Lodhran, such as Tahir Bhutta. In Bahawalpur District, they are found in the Ahmadpur East tahsil.

Bodla

Unlike the Arbis, who have no definite origin myth connecting them to any of the companions of the Prophet, the other tribes in this post all connect themselves with either the Hashmi clan, or at least the Quresh tribe of the Prophet. I start off with the Bodla, who claim to be Siddique Shaikhs, which means that they claim descent from Abu Bakar, the first Caliph of Islam.

The Bodla are found in the lower and middle Sutlej valley in Punjab. They were at one time an entirely pastoral tribe, and are said to have come from Multan through Bahawalpur to Sahiwal, and claim to have originally settled in Multan, at the time of Bahuaudin Zakariya, the famous Sufi saint. From Sahiwal, the Bodla spread to Sirsa, where they occupied the Bahak parganna, as a jagir. Historically, they were also found in Firozpur in addition to Sirsa, districts in modern day Indian Punjab and Haryana. In what became Pakistani territory, they were found in Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Vehari districts. The Bodlas of the Punjab in India and Haryana moved to Pakistan, at the time of the partition of India.

Among the tribes of the Sultej, there is a tradition that the Bodla had the power of curing disease by exorcism, especially snake bites and hydrophobia. Their power of curing snake bites is associated with a historic fact. When the Prophet and his companion Abu Bakar left Makkah, for Madinah, they concealed themselves in a cave. Abu Bakar is said to have tore his turban into rags and closed the holes with the pieces. One hole he stopped with his toe, and it was bitten by a snake. When the Prophet learned what had occurred, he cured it by sucking the wound. There is a tradition among the tribes of the Sutlej valley that the Shaikh Siddiqui have the power to cure snakebite.According some traditions present among the Bodla, the word bodla is derived from the Persian word bou-e-dil which literally means “fragrance of the heart”, a title given to their ancestor Shahabulmulik Quraishi Siddiqui. The Shaikh was to be descended from to Abdul Rehman, the son of Abu Bakar Siddiqe, the first Caliph of Islam. However, British colonial ethnographers were critical of this claim to Siddiqui ancestry, and considered that the Bodla were originally a branch of the Wattu Rajputs. This may have some credence, as the Bodla have historically intermarried with the Wattu Rajputs, with him they share many of their villages and customs. In Sirsa, the Bodla were entirely pastoral, until the arrival of the British in mid 19th Century.

Important Bodla villages include Arifabad, Bodla, Chak 61 4/R Bodla Wala, Chak 41/SP Tibah Bodla, Ghulla, Kot Bodla, Jamo Bodla, Kartarpur, Nathain Bodla, Nausher Bodla, Naghpal and Salim Shah Bodla, in Pakpattan District, Kakku Bodla and Chak Shah Bodla in Okara District. Other villages include Ghumandpur in Bahawalnagar District.

Jhandir

I shall next look at the Jhandir, which like all the other tribes claims to be Qureshi Arabs. A more recent claim is now being made to Hashemi ancestry, through Al-‘Abbās ibn ‘Ali, the half-brother of Imam Hussain, and the son of the Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam. Abbas was the flag bearer at the Battle of Karbala. The word jhanda in various South Asian languages means a flag and jhanda gir means a flag bearer. This according to tribal traditions was shortened to jhandir, on the account of their descent from Abbas the flag bearer. Late 19th Century British colonial ethnologists such Sir Denzil Ibbetson accepted that the Jhandir had sacred status among the Hitharis and Bar nomads of the Shorkot region. But unlike their neighbours, the Qureshis of Shorkot, the Jhandir did not produce any faqirs or holymen. They were Hithari pastoralists, living near the Chenab, until the process of canal colonization begun by the British in the 19th Century, led to their enforced settlement.

The Jhandir are found mainly in Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District, with a few villages in Bahawlpur, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Lodhran, Multan and Vehari. Starting with Shorkot Tehsil, their main villages are Sadiq Mohammed Jhandir, Jhandir Niaziwala, Kotli Jhandiran, Basti Jhandir, and Tibbah Jhandir.

Jhandir Villages

In Khanewal District, Jhandir, Mohri Jhandir and Jhangal Mardyala 157/10R

In Lodhran District, Jhandir

In Multan District Basti Sahu

In Vehari District Sardarpur Jhandir

Khagga

Moving now on the Khagga, who also claim a Hashmi Qureshi background. According to their traditions, they are descended from Khawaja Shah Jalal Din Muhammad Awais Jaafri Quraishi Hashm also known as Khawaja Awais Khagga. He was a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad Iraqi, a saint of Awaisi chain of Sufis. He is believed to have arrived in Multan during the times of Hazrat Sadruddin (son of famous Sufi Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakariya) and died in the year 700AH/1300AD.

Khagga is said to mean a particular kind of fish; and the name was given to Shah Jalal-ud-Din by his spiritual teacher on the occasion of his rescuing a boat overtaken by a storm. There is also a traditions, that during the period of Sikh rule (late 18th and early 19th Century), if anyone was distressed they could take refuge in the home of any Khagga. One has to understand that this was a time of great number of tribal feuds, and it was almost necessary to have someone who could be brought in as an arbitrator.

The Khagga are mostly found in south-west Punjab, with concentrations in Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts. In Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts are said to have come from Multan in the 19th century after the invasion of Ranjit Singh.

Important Khagga villages include Moza Ahmad Shah Khagga, Moza Akbar Shah and Moza Noor Shah Khagga in Sahiwal, Chak Shahana, Bherowal, Pakka Majeed (near Mian Channu) and Vehniwal in Khanewal. Other Khaga villages include Moza Allam Shah Khagga in Faisalabad District, Chak 418 TDA in Layyah District, Chak Shah Khagga in Pakpatan District and Basti Patal, Bastti Kot Saleemwala and Basti Shahwala, all near the town of Kot Addu in Muzaffargarh District.

 

Nekokara

The Nekokara are tribe that claims descent from the Banu Hashim clan (the clan of the Prophet) of the Quraish. According some traditions, the word nekokara in the local Jhangochi dialect of Punjabi means the “doer of good”, and was given to ancestor of the tribe on account of some good deed. However, most Nekokara now claim that they are descended from Uqeel Bin Abu Talib, the cousin of the Prophet, who was giving the name Nekokara by the Prophet. My understanding is that no such word exists in the Arabic language, which does not mean that I am denying their claim to be Hashmi Arabs. Significantly, unlike other groups of claimed Arab descent, the Nekokara are not associated with any saints. It seems more likely that they may have Arab ancestry, but for most the last two centuries, they have been settled along the banks of the Chenab in Chiniot and Sargodha districts, raising livestock, until the arrival of the Sikhs. In culture and language, they have much in common with the Chadhars and Sipras, their neighbours, and as such are a quasi-Jat tribe.

The Nekokara are concenterated in the Chiniot and Sargodha districts with a few holding lands in Hafizabad and Jhang districts. In Chiniot, their main villages are is Hersa Sheikh, Chauntrewala,Thatta Karam Shah, Taliyal and Zakhera. Other Nekokara villages include Chak 262 and Nekokara in Jhang District, Sheikh Wahan in Bahawalpur District, Sagharpur in Jhelum District and Nekokara is in the Vehari District.