Hanjra, Lodike, Natt and Wahla tribes

In this post, I will look at four tribes, namely the Hanjra, Lodhike, Natt and Wahla, that are found mainly in the Gujranwala Bar. The Bar is the region between the Ravi and Chenab, forming the modern districts of Gujranwala, Hafizabad and Sheikhupura districts. Among the tribes, the Hanjra have spread as far south as Muzaffargarh, but the others are fairly localized. I would ask you to look at my post on the Tarar and Gondal, who customs and traditions are very similar to the tribes I am looking at in this post.  With regards to the Natt, they are essentially found along the banks of the Ravi, and these tribes are often referred to as hitharis.

 

Hanjra

The Hanjra, sometimes Hanjrah and occasional Hinjra are large tribe of Jat status. Like the Jakhars, the Hanjra are most widespread then the other tribes referred to in this post. According to tribal traditions, the Hanjra are of Tomar Rajput descent.

There ancestor was a Raja Jagnath, who was the younger son of Raja Giyal, the conqueror of Makhiala. Raja Giyal was the son of Raja Mal, the ruler of Malot in Chakwal, who was descended from Raja Dalip of Delhi. The Hanjra were originally settled in Muzaffargarh, where a great many are still found. However, the bulk are settled in Gujranwala, near the town of Ghakkar Mandi. They were pastoralist till the early 19th Century, and when the Sikh rulers began to settle the tribes of the Gujranwala Bar. In Gujrsanwala, the Hanjra have a tradition that their ancestor Hinjraon came from the neighbourhood of Hissar, in what is now Haryana, to Hafizabad and founded a city called Uskhab, the ruins of which still exist. Their immediate ancestors were Mal and Dhol. Interestingly, the Hinjroan were a clan of a Muslim ethnic community called the Pacchada, who were found mainly in the semi-arid country that now forms parts of Sirsa, Hissar and Ganganagar districts of Haryana and Rajasthan. The Pacchada, a corruption of the Punjabi word paschim da, or literally someone from the west, are a collection of Muslim Rajput tribes, the other clans being the Bhagsanke and Sukhera, who at one point were the effective rulers of the Sirsa country. This would suggest that the original home of the Hanjra was the Sirsa country, from where groups moved west and north settling in the Gujranwala Bar. Another point to note the Hinjroan are entirely Muslim, while some Hanjra groups are Sikh, while others are Muslim.

The Hanjra now own 37 villages in Gujranwala Division (mainly in Hafizabad District) which is their home, but have spread both east and west, with a significant collection of Hanjra villages in Bhakkar, Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts. In Bhakkar District, Wadhaywala near Maibail Sharif is an important village.

Lodike

Lodike, sometimes pronounced as Lodhike are a Jat clan, who are found mainly in Gujranwala District. They are a branch of the large Kharal tribe, who have separated from the parent stock. The Kharal are of Panwar Rajput stock, and were the archetypal maharavi tribe. Coming back to the Lodike, according to their traditions they are said to have come from the Ravi, and initially led a pastoral life and nomadic life in the Sangla Hill country. Reverses at the hands of the Virk Jats forced them to settle down in the 18th century. The tribe settled initially in villages belonging to the Hanjra and Jag Jats. The tribe gets its name from the Lodi, or sometimes spelt Lodhi, its ancestor. Among Kharal clans, the suffix ke has the same function as aal among the Pothohar tribes, and aana among the Thal.

The Lodike are now found in thirty six villages in the Gujranwala Bar.

Natt

The Natt are a tribe of Jat status, found mainly along the bet (banks) of the Ravi, which now forms the international boundary between India and Pakistan. Before I delve deeper into the origins of the Natt, I wish to make clear that they have no connection with the Nat, a gypsy tribe found through out North India. Coming back to the Natt, the Natt claim descent from Natt, son of Jogah, Suryavanshi Rajput, who came from Ayudhia. According to other traditions, they came from Ghazni in Afghanistan. Claims to an origin from Afghanistan is fairly widespread among several Jat tribes, but unfortunately theu have never been investigated properly. Therefore, as things stands, this simply remains that, a claim. In other tribal traditions, the Natt claim common descent with the Wahla and Kang tribes of Jatt, Kang and Wahla being brothers of Natt.

The Natt are found mainly in Narowal and Gujranwala districts. They form the dominant tribe in the Wahando region of Gujranwala, which borders India, specifically, in the villages of Chak Alisher, Nat Kalan, Natt Batala and Kartarpur

A second cluster of Natt villages are found in and around Trikha, in Gujrat District. Families of Trikha Natts are now found in Kot Mojdin Chak No 46 and Chak 4 Nobahar in Mandi Bahauhdin District.

The tribe has gained infamy in Pakistani folklore, as the result of the film Maula Jatt. In the film, which is a sort of Pakistani western, the villain is a character by the name of Nouri Natt. He is loosely based on an actual individual, who was involved in cross border smuggling. As many Natt villages are situated in valley of the Ravi river, along the border with India, many have become involved in smuggling.

Wahla

The Wahla are a Jat clan found mainly in Sialkot and Narowal districts. A smaller number are also found in the canal colonies of Faisalabad and Sahiwal. Like the Kang and Natt clans of the Jats, the Wahla claim descent from Jograh, a Suryavanshi Rajput, who came from Ayudhia. According to other traditions, they came from Ghazni in Afghanistan.

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18 thoughts on “Hanjra, Lodike, Natt and Wahla tribes

  1. Sir i am from Rawalpindi my caste is Hanjra we considered them Rajputs and here in Rawalpindi we have 40 50 houses of our caste i have a question that many hanjras considered themselves jatts,also on this website hanjras are in jatts/rajput section mean to say if somebody search rajputs of pakistan or jatts of pakistan hanjra is there so what is with jatt /rajput dynamic, we use Raja in start of our names like other many rajput tribes

    1. The Hanjra are generally seen as Jat. I have never come accross any group that call itself Rajput. The Hanjra in Rawalpindi, are they settlers from other parts of Punjab. From my knowledge, they are homeland is Gujranwala, Lahore, and Indian Punjab. The Indian Punjab Hanjra are now found in Faisalabad.

    2. All the Hanjras I know are Jatts from Sialkot District. Although Jatt and Rajput definitions are very fluid in Punjab a clan may call themselves Jatts in one district and Rajputs in the other.
      Eitherway pretty much every Jatt clan claims Rajput descent.

      1. I think most Hanjra consider themselves to be Jat. Most are found in Gujranwala and Hafizabad, and customs very similar to the other Jats such as Bajwa and Cheema.

        If you have names of Hanjra villages in Sialkot, can you please tell me.

  2. Thank you sir can you refer me any book in urdu/English about caste of punjab or pakistan. I have read in book Panjab castes by Ibbetson, Denzil, Sir, 1847-1908 page 229 that hanjra are from saroha rajputs may b thats why some of them still use Rajput. I agree with you most of them considered themselves Jatts

  3. Also in this book Panjab castes by Ibbetson, Denzil, Sir, 1847-1908 hanjra are in the section of jatt and rajput allied castes.

  4. Jatts are not descendants from rajputs, no jatt claim rajput decent in real life. This theory of British should be put to rest since now we know jatts and rajputs are genetically not same. Rajputs have various origins and can be central Indian rajasthani, bihari, haryanvi or bengali. While muslim jatts are Punjabis or Azad Kashmiris and similar to other tribes in punjab like gujjars, awans, arains etc

    But it’s not surprising to see some confusion between rajput/jatt tribes in punjab since we are dealing with century old British sources here. Another point to be noted is in around south punjab region jatt was just someone who is cultivator, so their jatt origin cannot be verified since many people come under this category.

    1. Not sure if Punjabi Jat of Pakistan are that different from Haryana and Rajasthan Jat. Many of the Jats are migrants from Rajasthan and Haryana after 1947. This especially the case in Sahiwal/ Faisalabad and Jhang region.

      With regards to genetics, I am really that sure

    2. Are you sure?:
      Cheema and Chattha- claim Chouhan descent
      Sidhu- Claim Bhatti descent
      Bajwa- counterparts of Bajju Rajputs in Jammu
      Kahlon- Claim descent from Raja Vikramjit
      Virk- Claim Minhas descent
      Malhi (my clan)- claim to be settled rajputs after embracing Islam. Claim kinship with Saroha, Dhillon, Dhindsa, Dusanjh, and Sangha who make the same claim.
      These tales are told by Mirasis not the British.
      From the pattern I see is that most indigenous Rural tribes in the Punjab have a dual identity of Jat and Rajput. So unlike other regions in South Asia were caste affiliations are much more defined and finite like Sindh and Haryana. Almost always, the distinction through Jatt and Rajput is made through geography and fertility of the land a tribe occupies. If a tribe lives in a hilly area ie. The Potohar they will tend to almost always identify as Rajput while a tribe living in a fertile area such as Sialkot would prefer to be called Jatts.

      1. @SAAD spot on sir this is what i am saying and this is my argument also in potohar region most of them preffered to be rajput and this is not a british theory on this site in hanjra topic they are from tomar rajputs and from pachadas rajput muslim tribe in haryana and rajasthan.

  5. Thanks all of u for information and replys,i am also talking about that jatt/Rajputs confusion.In Rawalpindi most clan considered themselves rajputs Bhattis,Khokars,Minhas,Janjuas etc. But in other part of punjab they are jatts.

  6. @NewPakistan If you check British census then one will know very few Jaats from Rajasthan and Haryana who are ethnically different then Punjabi jatts converted to Islam. Vast majority of punjabi jatts were from west punjab, especially central punjab. And significant minorty of punjabi muslim jatts from east punjab. Remember in British sources east punjab was current day Haryana and not current day Indian punjab. Most of Haryana muslims were rajputs or other tribes known as ranghers. They speak Haryanvi which is dialect of hindi. Jatt muslim migrants to Faisalabad are pretty much all punjabis similar to sikh jatts.

    1. I hear what you are saying. But the picture is more complicated. For example you a large tribe like the Cheema, who are also found in Haryana. Many of the central Punjab clans are also found in Rajasthan and Haryana, not to mention East Punjab. And in Chistian and Okara, there are many villages of Rajasthani Jaats who migrated in 1965. Also British East Punjab also included the present state of Indian Punjab, not just Haryana.

    1. In Pothohar a tribe is never simply a Bhatti, Minhas, or Janjua, For example if you ask someone, he will say he is Jatal or Gaharwal. Ask further and he will say he is Janjua.

  7. this is not true in accordance to rawalpindi ,i personally know many people in my area they are janjuas direct attached to their names also my grand fathers sister is married in bhattis and they are in significant amount.

    1. But in Gujar Khan you have Dhamial, many of whom claim to be Janjua. In Rawalpindi Tehsil, most Janjua are Ranial. In Kahuta they are either Dulal or Gaharwal. Most Janjua Rajputs know what sub-division they belong to. Same for the Minhas, where we have Nagyal, Rachyal, Kanyal and Dolchyal all claiming to be Minhas clans.

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