Mallana, Samtia / Samitiah, Sandhila and Sehar tribes

In this post, I shall look at four tribes that are found largely in the uplands of the Chenab and Indus rivers, now forming part of Bhakkar, Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts. This region goes by the name of the Sindh Sagar Doab (the land between the Indus and Chenab rivers), and is frontier region in terms of both politics and culture. The Jats were probably the earliest settlers, but many Jat tribes have vague traditions of migration from Jaisalmeer or Bikaner in Rajasthan.


I shall start off by looking at the Mallana, who are a tribe of Jat status. According to their traditions, the Mallana claim descent from Mallana, said to be a Barlas Mughal trooper in the army of the Emperor Akbar. Mallana is said to have settled in Gujrat. His descendants contracted marriage with the Jats tribes, settled in the region. The name Mallana follows the pattern where the suffix aana signifies a descendent, for exam the descendents of teu are the Tiwana and so forth.


Although the Mallana claim to be Mughals, they are seen by others and themselves as Jats. Over the centuries, they have spread as far west as Dera Ismail Khan District, in Khyber Pakhtukhwa. Prior to the partition of India, they were also found in Jalandhar District, their main villages being Burj Sherpur, Jodhuwal, Mithewal and Malikwal, all of whom migrated to Pakistan at the time of partition. Those settled in southern Punjab speak the Seraiki language, while those in the north speak Punjabi.

Distribution and Villages

They are found mainly in Layyah, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Gujrat districts of Punjab.

Their main village in Dera Ghazi Khan District are Bet Mallana, Hadir Mallana and Basti Mallana and Malana.

In Gujrat District, the village of Mallana, and neighbouring hamlets are held by the Mallana.

In Muzaffargarh District, the villages of Lang Mallana and Paunta Mallana, Bet Malana and Chhina Mallana.

In Multan District, the village of Binda Mallana.

In Khanewal District, the village of Kot Mallana.

In Bhakkar District, Chah Dhirkanwala near Cheena and Mallana Daggar are important villages.

In Layyah District, Chak 436 TDA

In Khushab District in Rahdari and Pillow Waince

In Dera Ismail Khan District, Haji Mora and Mallana (Kacha,Pakka) are important villages.


The Samtia, sometimes pronounced Samtiah or even Samitah, claim Rajput extraction and tell the following story of their origin; Ram Chandar and Gonda, two brothers adopted Islam under Sultan Allaudin Khilji of Delhi. They then assumed the names of Muharam and Variam respectively.T he former was appointed Kardar or governor of Sindh and with his brother came to that country, where he married the daughter of the old governor. But the population rose against the new governor, and the two brothers fled with their kinsmen. The settled in the Sindh Sagar Doab, near the city of Layyah. They overcame the Gashkori Baloch and Bahalim Shaikhs, who occupied the country. They were in turn dispossed by Seharr Jats, who drove them from the western parts of Layyah and Bhakkar districts. The Samtia and Seharr are still biter rivals. Other traditions connect them to the Bakhar caste of Jats, and according to some traditions Ram Chander and Gonda were Bhakkar by caste.

In terms of distribution, the Samtia are found mainly in Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan districts.

In Layyah District, there villages include Ada Qaziabad, Bangla Nasir Khan, Basti Shahdu Khan, Basti Rajanpur, Basti Eliani Bhaggal, Bhatti Nagar, Chak 138 TDA, Chak No.119/T.D.A, Chak 220 TDA ,Chak 270 TDA, Chak 143 TDA, Chak 152 TDA, Dhhal, Dorrata, Heera, Hafizabad, Ghulam Hyder Kalluwala, Jamanshah, Kasaiwala, Kazmi Chouk, Kaneywali Puli, Latifabad, Kotla Haji Shah, Kharral Azeem, Kot Sultan, Noshera, Shahpur, Rajanpur Darbar, Paharpur and Warraich, and the city of Chouk Azam.


The Sandhila, like the other clans discussed, are a Seraiki speaking tribe of Jat status. According to tribal traditions, they claim descent from a Rai Sandhila, a

Hindu Jat who came from the neighbourhood of Delhi, during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and settled in Multan. Here he is said to have converted to Islam, and along with his kinsmen, established control in the Chenab valley, west of the city of Multan. With rise of the Multan Nawabs, and their Pathan allies of Khangarh in Muzzafargarh, the Sandhila lost their independence.

The Sandhila in are found all along the Indus, from Mianwali in the north to Rajanpur in the south, and between Layyah and Panchnad in the Chenab valley.In Sindh, they are found mainly in Sukkur and Ghotki districts.


In Muzaffargarh District, the villages of Sandhila, Basti Sandhila, Bhammu Sandhila, Bullu Sandhila, Kuhal Sandhila, Massa Sandhila and Pakka Sandhila are centre of the tribe.

In Dera Ghazi Khan District, the villages of Sultan Sandhila, Gadi Sandhila and Gaman Sandhila are important centres of the tribe.

In Rajanpur District, the villages of Chak Sandhila and Babulwali.

In Multan District, the villages of Binda Sandhila and Tajpur Sandhila.

In Shujabad Tehsil of Multan, the villages of Sandhila, Warcha Sandhila and Mohana Sandhila.

In Sheikhupura District, the village of Mahmunwali is centre of the tribe.

In Bhakkar District, the village of Dhengana is center of the tribe. Near Dhingana, important Sandhila villages include Cheenawala and Goharwala.

In Layyah District, the tribe is scarted in Tehsil Chaubara and Karor Lal Esan


The next tribe that I will look at are the Seher, or sometimes pronounced as Seer, who are of Jat status. They are found mainly in southern Punjab, and in particular in Layyah District, and said to have founded the town of Kahror Lal Essan. The Sehar are said to have originating in Las Bela, and were invited to settle near Kahror Lal Isa by the Sufi Makhdum Lal Isa, who also appears in the origin myth of the Lohanch tribe, discussed in another post.


An interesting legend is associated with the Sehar. According to this, the Sehar were settled on the banks of the Indus near where Dera Ghazi Khan now stands. A group of Sehar women were making pilgrimage to the shrine of Lal Isa. On their way home, the Samtia chief Miru forced them to unveil themselves. This led to a fierce feud between these two tribes, which in effect saw the movement of the Seher into the Thal Desert. Eventually, a faqir of the Qureshi caste divided the village of Muranwala, and settled there himself. The area is still held by the Qureshi families. What this legend suggest is a gradual migration of Jat tribes from Sindh into southern Punjab that occurred in the later middle ages.

In terms of distribution the Sehar are found mainly in Layyah District.


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