Kashmiri Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this post, I will look at the distribution of the Kashmiri population in Punjab, according to the 1901 Census. Almost all the Punjab Kashmiris were Muslims, Hindus in 1901 numbered just 366, all found in Lahore city. The Kashmiris of Punjab are ethnic Kashmiris, who have historically migrated from the Kashmir Valley and settled in the Punjab region. Groups from Chibhal (Mirpur / Poonch) and Duggar, such as the Barwala, Gujjar or Jat, tended to be absorbed into Barwala, Jat and Gujar already long settled in Punjab. Ethnic Kashmiris from Valley begun to migrate to the Punjab region during Dogra and Sikh rule of the region starting from the 18th Century. One of the causes of the migration was the 1833 famine, which resulted in many people leaving the Kashmir Valley and migrating to the Punjab, with the majority of weavers leaving Kashmir. Weavers had been settled for generations in the cities of Punjab such as Amritsar and Ludhiana. In 1901, the urban areas of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana were home to large communities of Kashmiri Muslims, many of whom were weavers. A second groups of Kashmiris were those of Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat, a mix of urban and rural settlers, many of whom were engaged in cultivation. The five districts with the largest Kashmiri population were Sialkot, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and Amritsar. In the first three districts, Kashmiris were a mix of cultivators and urban traders, but in the later two, the Kashmiris were largely weavers. In Punjab, the Kashmiri had formed a caste, slightly above the kammi, but below the zamindar. Like the Rawals and Kathiks looked at in other posts, they were not gazetted as an agricultural tribe, which meant they could not own land. Many Kashmiris therefore migrated to East Africa or Malaysia, in the beginning of the 20th Century. Almost all the Kashmiri by the beginning of the 20th Century were Punjabi speaking.

District Population
Sialkot 32,479
Gujrat 32,842
Rawalpindi 24,922
Gujranwala 23,837
Amritsar 21,844
Lahore 16,076
Jhelum 12,335
Gurdaspur 9,241
Ludhiana 4,766
Chenab Colony 4,631
Firuzpur 2,103 
Jalandhar 2,056 
Chamba State 1,854
Kangra 1,097 
Hoshiarpur 636
Patiala State 544
Kapurthala State 468
Nabha State 423 
Shahpur 310
Shimla 143
Multan 131
Other Districts 714
Total Population 193,452

 

 

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