In this post, I shall look at four tribes, whose home is the Chaj Doab, the land between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, who are all of Jat status. They are all Bar nomads, practising pastoralism, until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century. My post on the Chadhar looks into some detail on the customs and traditions of the Bar nomads. In terms of origin, the Jhammat , and Mekan are Panwar Rajputs, with traditions of migration from Malwa in central India, while the Kalyar have traditions of roots in Rajasthan. Finally, the Tulla are essentialy a clan of the Gondals, but are now practically independent of the parent tribe.
I shall start off with the Jhammat, who are found throughout on the edges of Thal, with large concentrations in Bhakkar, Sargodha and Khushab districts. They are in essence Jhammat a tribe of the Bar, living a nomadic existence. Scattered settlements of the Jhammat are now found in an area extending from Jhelum District in the north to Bahawalpur District. Like their neighbours the Mekan, the Jhammat are by origin Panwar Rajputs, with their ancestor Jhammat having left Malwa in what is now Madhya Pradesh in India sometimes in the early 12th Century, arriving in the Punjab, and like their neighbours the Mekan, having converted to Islam at hands of the famous Sufi Baba Farid.
There settlements are now found mainly along the valley of the Jhelum River, with the bulk of the Jhammats found in Chakwal, Jhelum, Sargodha, Khushab and Bhakker districts.
1) Chak Jalo
2) Chak Mujahid
4) Khai Kotli,
6) Sahow Chak,
1) Bunga Jhammat,
2) Bunga Jhammatawala
8) Mangowal Kalan
Other Jhammat villages include Jhammat in Attock District, Jhammat Teli in Rawalpindi District, Jhammatabad and Jhammat Nauabad in Gujrat District, Chak 232 JB in Jhang District and Jhatwan in Sheikhupura.
We now come to the Kalyar, a tribe generally seen as of Jat status. Just as a point of clarification, my understanding is that Kalyar have no connection whatsoever with the Kalyals, who have been referred in my earlier post. According to their traditions, the tribe claims descent from a Bhatti Rajput nobleman, a Rana Rajwadhan. The Rana lived in Ghazni, and then moved to Delhi in India. After sometime, he moved to Bhatner. In the 13th Century, the Rana moved to Chanb Kalyar, in what is now the Lodhran District, in Sindh, Pakistan. The ruler of the area was a Raja Bhutta. The Raja wanted to marry the daughter of Rajwadhan, who refused. As a result a battle took place, and the Raja was slain. The tract was then divided by Rajwadhan, and his five sons, Kalyar, Uttera, Kanju, Noon and Hattar.
Kalyar initially settled in Chamb Kalyar in Lodhran District. His descendants then migrated to the Kirana Bar, and became graziers. The Bar was opened up for settlement in the 19th Century, and many Kalyar now reside in colony Chaks (villages built by the British Imperial authorities) in what is now Sargodha District. For example the villages of Chak 104 A, 123 , 128, 147/148 (Lakhoana)151 , 174 NB all in Sillanwali Tehsil of Sargodha District are examples of such settlements.
As mentioned, the Kalyar are still found mainly in the Kirana Bar region of Sargodha District. Important villages in the Kirana Bar include Chokera (also known as Chak 79), Tangowali, Saidooaana, Samooranwali (in Tehsil Sargodha) and Mouza Kalyar. In Shahpur Tehsil, their villages include Feroze Makki, Salehabad, Kot Gul, and Mir Ahmed Sher Garh. Other important Kalyar settlements include Kalyar, Chak 205, Chak. 206, Chak 207 in Jhang District, Mouzza Dera near the town of Rodu Sultan, Jhok Kalyar in Faisalabad District and Bhatikay near the town of Wazirabad. The town Chamb Kalyar remains the centre of the tribe. Almost Kalyar migrated northwards towards the Kirana Bar, there also a few villages in Bahawalpur District such as Channi Got.
Our next tribe, the Meken, sometimes also spelt Maikan or even Meikan, are a tribe of Jat status. They claim descent from the Panwar (Parmar) Rajputs, and spring from the same ancestor as the Dhudhi tribe. The tribe claims to have settled in the Thal, after the end of Arab rule in Sindh, when the Hindu king of Kanauj, a Parmar Rajput took possession of the Thal region, and settled his kinsmen, the Mekan. They then established a state based in the town of Mankera, now in Bhakkar District, which covered much of the Thal, and lasted for five hundred years, until the state was destroyed by invading Baloch. According to one of their traditions, the Mankera state was founded by a Raja Singh, who belonged to the royal house of Kannauj, and said to have accepted Islam during the time of the Sultan of Delhi, Ghias-ud-din Balban, courtesy of Baba Farid Ganj Shakr. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the Baloch from Makran flocked into the country in and around Mankera, and subsequently ruled this state for the next three hundred years. The Mekans that settled in the Kirana Bar, and became pastoralist, like the other tribes of the Bar. They, occupied a copact territory in the Kirana Bar, lying to the west of Gondal territory, although a smaller number are also in Jhelum and Gujrat districts. There present territory now forms part of Sargodha, Khushab,and Mianwali districts, although as already mentioned, there are smaller broken settlements in Jhelum, Gujrat, and Mandi Bahauddin districts. In Pothohar, in Jhelum / Chakwal region, the Mekan form an important tribal community.
The Mekans form the majority of the population in Kot Bhai.Khan union council of Sargodha. Their villages in Sargodha District include Behak Maken, said to have been first village founded by the Mekans when they moved to the Bar , Abu Wala, Chakrala, Deowal, Gondal (Shahpur Tehsil), Mochiwal, Okhli Mohla, Sultanpur Meknawala, Jalpana, Dera Karam Ali Wala, Chak No 88 N.B,Chak No 142 N.B, Nihang Chak 71 NB Chak 74 NB, Chak 10 N.B, Chabba Purana, Faiz Sultan Colony in Shahpur Tehsil, Kot Bhai Khan, Kot Pehlwan, Aqal Shah, Kot Kamboh, Wadhi, Kot Shada, Gul Muhammad Wala and Verowal in Bhera Tehsil and Sher Muhamadwala in Bhalwal Tehsil. Accross the Jhelum, Mekan are also found in Mohibpur village in Khushab District.
Outside this core areas, in Jhelum District, there most important villages are Chautala (Jhelum Tehsil) , Chak Mujahid (Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil) and Tobah (Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil), while in Chakwal District, important Mekan villages include Mangwal, Vero, Lakhwal, Thanil Kamal, Dingi Zer, Dhoke Dhabri (almost evenly divided between Gondal and Mekan), Chak Bhoun, Dhoke Maykan near Thoa Bahdur and Ghugh (which largely a Ghugh Jat villages, but home to several Mekan families). The Mekan Jats in terms of population form the most important Jat clan in Chakwal.
While in Gujrat District, they are found in village Mekan in Kharian Tehsil, and in neighbouring Mandi Bahaudin District, there main villages are Lassouri Kalan, Lassouri Khurd, Mekan and Thatti Bawa.
The last tribe I will look at in this post are the Tulla, who are much more localized then the tribes discussed. They are a classic Chaj Doaba Jat, raising cattle, and leading a nomadic lifestyles until the arrival of the British.
According to their traditions, they are, in fact, a sept of the Gondal Jat tribe. They say, their ancestor being childless vowed that if he had a son he would give his weight in gold and silver to the poor. His son was so weighed and was give the nickname Tula, from the Punjabi word tolna, which, means to weigh. However, the Tulla are now independent of the Gondals, being considered a distinct tribe.
Their villages are found mainly in the Shahpur Tehsil of Sargodha District, such as Jahanabad, Mahmud Tulla and Jalpana. Other important Tulla villages is Miana Kooh in Mandi Bahaudin district.