In this post, I shall look at the tribes that are found mainly in the Neeli Bar, that is the area between the Ravi and Sultlej. The region now covers what is Pakpattan, Vehari and Lodhran districts. Among the three, the Langrial have spread fair widely, and are found as far north as Rawalpindi. While the Manais and Lodhra are fairly localized, and interestingly both are of Minhas Rajput ancestry.
The next tribe I will look at are the Langrial, a tribe of both Jat and Rajput status. What can be said with some certainty that origin of the Langrial can be said to create confusion. More then any of the tribes looked at the Langrial have several and often conflicting theories about their origin. Unlike the Bar tribes like the Naul and Nonari, the Langrial are fairly widespread, stretching from Vehari is south Punjab to Attock. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Langrial have a number of different traditions as to their origin, depending on the region it inhabits.
Let’s start off with the Multan Langrial, who claim descent from a Brahmin of Bikaner, by name of Charan, who was converted by to Islam by a Sultan Soomra, and adopted the name Abdullah. His descendent Ghias-ud-Din settled in the Pothohar region, from where, one of the Langrials, named Shah Jam Meer son of Sultan Ghias-ud-Din became king of Kashmir, and his descendents still reside there. However, there is no record in history of Langrial rule over Kashmir, there are however settlement of Langrial in Bhimber district situated on the foothills of the Pir Panjal Mountains, so it perfectly possible the tribe began in this region. Groups of Langrial are then said to have moved to Jhang and took some country from the Sial, who eventually expelled the Langrial, forcing them to settle in Multan.
According to another tradition, also prevalent in Multan, they are Quraishi Arab, who held sway over Thatta in Sindh under one Ghiasudin, who from the lavishness of his public kitchen (langar in Sindhi and Seraiki) acquired the nickname Langrial. Ghiasudin was said to be a contemporary of Mohammed of Ghor, the 12th Century Muslim conqueror of North India. Ghiasudin accompanied the Sultan to Delhi with him. The Langrial are then said to have travelled to Kashmir, then to Shahpur in Punjab, and eventually Goryala, near Jhang . From there they went to Kamalia, but were forced to migrate to Kamannd, and ousted the Hans tribe ( I hope to look at this tribe in a latter post) who held this country. Interestingly, before traditions refer to a Ghiasudin, and also reference to the originally settlement being Rawalpindi.
While in Sialkot, the Langrial claim descent through Rai Daram, a Dogra from the Chibhal country. Jasu, 15th in descent from the Rai Daram converted to Islam , and left the Chibhal region and settled in Sialkot in the time of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. His descendants than contracted marriages with neighbouring Jat tribes, and as such became Jats. A final tradition gives the Langrial Mughal ancestry, who acquired the name Langrial from their ancestor the Barlas warlord Tamerlane, who is known in Farsi as Taimur-e- Lang. When a descendant of Tamerlane, Babar conquered India, a good many Barlas (see my note of the Phaphras) settled in India. After the collapse of Mughal authority in Punjab, and the rise of the Sikhs in the 18th, some Barlas families tried to conceal their identity by calling themselves themselves as Lang-Ayal (meaning “the family of Ameer Taimur Lang”) , the word Lang-Ayal later evolved into Langrial with the passage of time. However, this last traditions seems to be least convincing, as we find little evidence of the prosecution of the Mughals in the 18th Century. A final tradition, restricted to the Langrial of Attock District makes them a clan of the Jodhra tribe.
To conclude, as I have already mentioned in earlier posts, the word aal is common patronymic in the Pothohar region, therefore it is like that Langrial are of Chibhali origin, having left their home in Rawalpindi sometime in the 15th Century, eventually settling along the Sutlej in what is now Vehari, Khanewal and Multan districts. Interestingly, there are still a good many Langrial villages in North-West Punjab. For example, in Rawalpindi District, the Langrial consider themselves Rajputs. They occupy several villages near the town in Kallar Syedan Tehsil) including Daryal, Phalina, Choa Saidan, Mohra Bani Wala and Mohra Hiran, and near the town of Mandrah (Gujarkhan Tehsil), such as Makh, Bagh Faqiran, and Darkali Kalan. In Attock District, the village of Langrial, and hamlets nearby are held by the Langrial. Further east in Gujrat and Sialkot districts, the Langrial are a Jat clan, and many are found in village Langrial, and other villages nearby such as Kakrali. That village was site of an important zail during the period of British rule. In total there are 13 Langrial villages in Gujrat District. While in Khushab District they are found in Kaluwala.
In neighbouring Bhimber district of Azad Kashmir, they are found mainly in the village of Pindi Jhunjah and consider themselves to be Jat.
In south Punjab, they are found in Vehari, Khanewal, Multan and Muzaffargarh districts. In Muzaffargarh, they are find in two villages Mauza Langrial and Mauza Langarwah and its vicinity there are also Langrials. In Mianwali District, they are found in Pacca Sandanwala.
Langrial Population According to the 1901 Census of India
The next two tribes I will look at both have traditions of Minhas Rajput descent. Starting with the Lodhra, the tribe claims descent from Lodhra, a son of Sukhram Dev, a Manhas, Rajpoot whose home was the Jammu region. Lodhra is said to have come to what is now Lodhran District in the 17th Century, and founded the town of Lodhran. The tribe converted to Islam in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. They were effective rulers of what is now Lodhran District until the rise of the Sikhs in the early 19th Century. They are a very localized tribe, almost all of whom are found in Lodhra District in villages such as Jageer Hoora.
The Manais, sometimes written as Manes, are a tribe of Jat status, found mainly now in Vehari District. Most Manais are Muslims, although a few are Sikhs. Like most Punjabi tribes, there are several traditions as to the origin of the tribe. According to one such tradition, their ancestor Manais was a descendant of Raja Salavahan of Sialkot, who appears in the ancestry of several Punjabi tribes. Salvahan was said to be a Bhatti, which make the Manais a branch of the Bhatti. However, other traditions make Manais out to be a Minhas Rajput, who left Sialkot, and arrived in the Neeli Bar. Here Manais was converted to Islam by Baba Farid of Pakpattan. Interestingly, unlike other Neeli Bar tribes, sections of Manais remained Hindu, and eventually becoming Sikh. The Minhas tradition is much stronger, and the Lodhra already referred to in this post, also have traditions that connect them with the Manais. The Manais tribe is further divided into four branches or pattis of Manes: Maujo, Malko, Kalso and Kirto, who take their name from sons of Manais
Manais territory extends from the Deg River in the vicinity of the city of Sheikhupura, to along the banks of the Sultlej in Vehari District. Their most important settlement is Tibba Sultanpur in Vehari District. Other villages include Dehmunwala, Chaind, Bucheki,Baddhe, Alpae, and Jodhke.