Julaha Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census

Julahas were one of the larger castes of artisans in the Punjab, traditionally associated with weaving. However, many Julahas were cultivators and land owners.The word Julaha, is said to come from the Persian julah, meaning a ball of thread. Most Julahas were Muslims (about 90%) in 1901, although there was a Sikh and Hindu minority. The Julaha homeland in Punjab was the central region, stretching from Rawalpindi in the west to Hoshiarpur in the east. Most villages in this region had a Julaha presence. Many of the Sikh Julaha belonged to the Ravidasi sect. I would ask the reader to look at the book Sikhs in Europe: Migration, Identities and Representations , which has excellent section on the Sikh Julaha. In Pakistan, Muslim Julaha now self-designate themselves as Ansaris.


District / States





Gurdaspur 46,492 782 47,274
Amritsar 46,164 154 46,318
Lahore 43,299 679 24 44,002
Rawalpindi 37,508 21   37,529
Kangra 9,555 21,628 185 31,368
Gujranwala 31,046 24 31,070
Sialkot 27,694 27,694
Multan 27,187 44 27,231
Jhelum 25,821 17 25,838
Shahpur 25,256 33 25,289
Jhang 23,736 23,736
Hoshiarpur 14,814 5,837 2,959 23,610
Firuzpur 23,421 29 23,450
Gujrat 22,514 22,514
Montgomery 22,015 37 22,052
Ambala 18,892 1,626 386 20,904
Chenab Colony 19,532 261 144 19,937
Patiala State 16,301 1,125 1,096 18,522
Ludhiana 16,514 13 209 16,736
Jalandhar 15,550 98 817 16,465
Karnal 10,465 2,334 697 13,496
Mianwali 13,040 13,040
Muzaffargarh 11,690 11,690
Delhi 1,025 8,737 9,762
Bahawalpur State 9,045 225 9,270
Kapurthala State 8,388 8,388
Mandi State 136 4,591 4,727
Kalsia State 3,287 3,287
Hissar 2,773 21 2,794
Gurgaon 1,360 783 2,143
Rohtak 925 283 1,208

Other Districts








6,511 656,887

Teli Population of Punjab according to 1901 Census of India

In this post, I return to the population breakdown of important Punjabi castes. Here, I will look at the Teli caste. The Teli were largely Muslim (almost 99%), and were 11th largest Muslim group according to the 1901 Census of Punjab. They were divided into three large linguistic groupings, the Punjabi speaking Teli (about two thirds or 208,555), a Haryanvi speaking group (20%) and finally the Teli of Pothohar making up the remainder. The south western region of Punjab (Seraiki region) was not home to any Telis. The Telis of Shahpur, Montgomery, Multan and the Chenab colony (Lyalpur) were settlers who had arrived to colonize the Bar. The Hindu Telis were found mainly in Delhi and Gurgaon, and were connected with Telis of neighboring United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) By 1901, most Teli were largely agriculturists, but the oppressive Punjab Land Alienation Act prevented them from owning land.  There were however several Teli owned villages stretching from Rawalpindi to Rohtak.

Punjab 1909.jpg

Map of Colonial Punjab: Source Wikipedia

Time permitting, I hope to write a post on the Teli communities about the Punjab. Just a point to note, the word Teli has fallen into disuse, replaced with the self-designation Malik. In would ask the reader to look at the Youtube channel of Muhammad Alamgir, which has interviews with members of the Teli caste who have immigrated from the Haryana after partition.

District / State Muslim Hindu Total Population
Lahore 34,063 30 34,093
Amritsar 26,455 10 26,465
Patiala State 25,228 25,228
Gurdaspur 19,354 19,354
Karnal 16,221 74 16,295
Firuzpur 15,938 42 15,980
Rawalpindi 13,958 84 14,042
Sialkot 13,623 13,623
Ludhiana 13,607 13,607
Jalandhar 13,508 13,508
Hissar 12,557 12,557
Gujranwala 12,555 12,555
Hoshiarpur 12,476 12,476
Ambala 12,061 172 12,233
Gujrat 8,772 28 8,800
Chenab Colony 8,218 10 8,228
Jhelum 8,174 8,174
Rohtak 7,218 20 7,238
Delhi 5,242 1,674 6,916
Gurgaon 5,439 905 6,344
Kangra 5,690 325 6,015
Kapurthala State 4,863 4,863
Nabha State 4,208 4,208
Jind State 3,445 3,445
Faridkot State 2,370 2,370
Montgomery 2,249 2,249
Shahpur 2,197 2,197
Malerkotla State 1,435 1,435
Kalsia State 1,383 1,383
Multan 1,126 1,126
Jhang 848 848
Nahan State 636 636
Nalagarh State 618 618
Dera Ghazi Khan 274 274
Other Districts
Total Population 318,598 3,907 322,505

Chauhan Rajput of Mandawar

In this post I will look at interesting community of Chauhan Rajputs, those of the principality of Mandawar in Rajasthan.Throughout the middle ages, the region that now forms northern Rajasthan was made up of a number of principalities. One such principality was that of the Raos of Mandawar. These Chauhans were commonly referred to as Ranghars, and this term really began with them, and is now widely used for Muslim Rajputs that lived in Haryana and northern Rajasthan. The Roas belong to the Sankat sub-clan of the Kharak branch of the Chauhans. They are a distinct from the Qayamkhani Chauhans, who were also found in northern Rajasthan.


Map of Rajputana: Source Wikipedia


The word chauhan is the vernacular form of the Sanskrit term chahamana. Several Chauhan inscriptions name a legendary hero called Chahamana as their ancestor, but none of them state the period in which he lived. The earliest extant inscription that describes the origin of the Chauhans is the 1119 CE Sevadi inscription of Ratnapala, a ruler of the Naddula Chahamana dynasty. According to this inscription, the ancestor of the Chahamanas was born from the eye of Indra. Despite these earlier myths, it was the Agnivanshi (or Agnikula) myth that became most popular among the Chauhans and other Rajput clans. According to this myth, some of the Rajput clans originated from Agni, in a sacrificial fire pit. The inclusion of Chauhans in the Agnivanshi myth can be traced back to the later recensions of Prithviraj Raso. In this version of the legend, once Vashistha and other great sages begin a major sacrificial ceremony on Mount Abu. The ritual was interrupted by miscreant daityas (demons). To get rid of these demons, Vashistha created progenitors of three Rajput dynasties from the sacrificial fire pit. These were Parihar (Pratiharas), Chaluk (Chaulukya or Solanki), and Parmar (Paramara). These heroes were unable to defeat the demons. So, the sages prayed again, and this time a fourth warrior appeared: Chahuvana (Chauhan). This fourth hero slayed the demons. Descendants of these Chauhan Rajput ruled princely states in Western and Northern India until the pre-independence era. The progenitor of Chauhan dynasty was individual by the name Manik Rai (AD 685), who was a lord of Ajmer and Sambhar in what is now Rajasthan.

The Chauhan dynasty flourished from the 8th to 12th centuries AD. It was one of the four main Rajput dynasties of that era, the others being the Pratiharas, Paramaras and Chalukyas. Chauhan dynasties established themselves in several places in North India and in the state of Gujarat in Western India. They were also prominent at Sirohi in the southwest of Rajasthan, and at Bundi and Kota in the east. Inscriptions also associate them with Sambhar, the salt lake area in the Amber (later Jaipur) district (the Sakhambari branch remained near lake Sambhar and married into the ruling Gurjara-Pratihara, who then ruled an empire in Northern India). Chauhans adopted a political policy that focussed on campaigns against the Chalukyas and the invading Muslims. In the 11th century they founded the city of Ajayameru (Ajmer) in the southern part of their kingdom, and in the 12th century captured Dhilika (the ancient name of Delhi) from the Tomaras and annexed some of their territory along the Yamuna River. Prithviraj III has become famous in folk tales and historical literature as the Chauhan king of Delhi who resisted the Muslim attack in the First Battle of Tarain (1191). Armies from other Rajput kingdoms, including Mewar assisted him. However, Prithviraj was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain the following year. This failure ushered in Muslim rule in North India in the form of the Slave Dynasty, the first of the Delhi Sultanates.

Raos of Mandawar

After the defeat of Prithviraj III, branches of the Chauhans remained independent or semi-independent. One such state was that of Mandawar, which remained independent till the territory was handed over to the Rajah Bakhtawar Singh of Alwar in 1803. The state was said to have been founded by Kanhadeva , an uncle of Prithviraj III. He had 18 sons, from whom descend a number Chauhans. He was known also known as Kaka Kanha, and constructed the Saraneshwara Shiva temple. Kaka Kanha’s son Bhimadeva was given the principality of Isagarh and Mathin. Bhimadeva had four sons, out of them eldest was Lakhan Singh, who was made ruler  at Mathin. Mathin was later known as Mandawar. Lakhan’s son Haladeva faced Timur’s attack on Mandawar in which Haladeva was killed. His son, Chander became Muslim and was gifted with Mandawar in Jagir and given the Rao title by Timur.


According another account, the city of Mandawar was founded in 1170, by Rao Madan Chauhan. Halaji, fifth in descent from Madan had three sons Hansa, whose grandson Chand became a Muslim and received the title of Rao. When Chand of Mandawar, the head of the family, became a Muslim, Mandawar ceased to be regarded as the principal seat, but was superseded by Nimrana.In the later half of the 18th century, during the chaos following the death of Aurangzeb (1707), Pratap Singh, a Rajput adventurer, created the State of Alwar in 1775.  The Chauhan Roas of Mandawar therefore sank to the status of zamindars.

Rath Territory

The territory of the Chauhan Raos is known as the Rath. It was one four divisions of the Alwar State and lies on the north-west border. With the conversion of Chander to Islam, the position of head of the Chauhans of the Rath passed Rao Rajdeo, the Rao of Nimrana, who was 6th in descent from Rao Madan Pal, founder of Mandawar about 1170. The Chauhans of Rewari, Mahindargh and Hisar all traced their ancestry to the states of Mandawar and Nimrana in the Rath territory.  Captain Powlett author of the Alwar gazetteer, writing in the late 19th Century, said the following:

It is the country of Chauhan Rajputs, the head of whom claims to be the living representative of the famous Pirthvi Raj, king of Dehli, who fell in battle with the invading Musalmans. The Chauhans have continued to maintain their independence throughout the period of Alwar rule.

There are some contradictory traditions as to the lineage of the Rath Chauhans. The Chauhans of southern Haryana all have traditions that are immigrants from the Rath, and may be divided into two branches, the Nimrana and Sidhmukh or, as they call themselves, Bārā Thāl. The Nimranas who are descendants of Raja Sangāt, a great-grandson of Chahir Deo, brother of Pirthvi Raj III, are sub-divided into two clans, Rāth and Bāgauta, both of which came from Gurgaon, the former tracing their origin to Jātsāna. A historic name or Rewari is Bighota, which likely the Bagauta region. The Nimrana Chauhan Ranghar were found in villages throughout southern Haryana.

According to Chauhan traditions, Rajah Sangat Singh had 19 sons, from his older wife, among them were Harsh Dev Chauhan and Sahesh Mal Chauhan arrived in what is now Rewari District in Haryana. While his son Lah Chauhan, was made the ruler of Rath, was a son of raja Sangat Singh Chauhan by the younger Rani whose two sons became inheritors of Raja Sangat Singh’s territory of Rath with its headquarter at Mandhan when other 19 sons from the other wives were required to quit the kingdom as per the promise of Raja Sangat.

About Mandawar, the Alwar gazetteer has the following to say:

It has already been mentioned that Mandawar is the seat of the Musalman Rao of a great Chauhan family. The traders are of the Mahur clan, which supplanted the Khandelwal, formerly established at Mandawar. The ruin of the Khandelwal and the rise of the Mahur is attributed to the curse of a fakir, whom the former, notwith- standing their wealth, sent to be entertained by the latter. Khanzadas formerly occupied a hamlet of Mandawar, but abandoned it on discovering the intention of the Rao to destroy them. Besides the Rao’s residence, the buildings of note are mosques and tombs. One of the mosques has an inscription showing that it was constructed in Akbar’s time. Close to the town in the hills is a large and ancient tank known as the Sagar Sah. ( 140 ) When, many years ago, it was broken down the neighbourhood suffered much from the subsidence of water in wells. It was, however, restored in 1859, but requires cleaning out. There is a Thana, as well as a tehsil, at Mandawar.


The legends of around Ali Baksh a Rao of Mandawar are subject to a khayal, a type of folk play common in medieval Rajasthan.

In Alwar, the Chauhan Ranghars were found in the twenty villages of  which the most important were Basni, Mulpur, Karwa, Baspur, Basni, Mainpur Mandawar, and Silgam. The Chauhan Ranghar of Rewari were a branch of the Mandawar Chauhans.



After partition in 1947, the Muslim Chauhans of the Rath region, and neighbouring Haryana all migrated to Pakistan. They are now found through out southern and western districts of Pakistani Punjab.




Hans and Khagga tribes of Pakistani Punjab

In this post, I will look at the history and origin of the Hans and Khagga tribes. The homeland of both tribes is located in the Neeli Bar, and I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Arar tribe, which describes the region in greater detail. The Hans are found further east then the Khagga in the Sutlej valley. Both these tribes claim an Arab origin.


The Hans claim to be of Quraishi origin and were one of the many tribes that occupied the upland of the Neeli Bar before the start of colonization of the Punjab by the British Imperial authorities in the 19th century. The Quraishi, or Quraish are the Arab tribe to wich the Prophet belonged too. According to Hans traditions, their ancestors left Arabia and settled in the Bar during the period of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi from 1325 to 1351. Their ancestors had initially settled in Afghanistan, and from their moved to Punjab, where they settled in Pukka Sidhar in what is now Pakpattan District. For the next 5 centuries, the Hans were simple land-holders, living a little to the north-west of the city of Pakpattan. However, small numbers of Hans were found as east as Fazilka. They were a classic tribe of Bar nomads, raising cattle, and moving along the Sutlej. During the rule of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (5 January 1592  – 22 January 1666), the town of Malka Hans was founded by Malik Mohammad Hans, and became the most important centre of the tribe, replacing Pakka Sidhar.


The fortune of the Hans changed the during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. A Hans by the name of Shaikh Qutub Hans, a learned men and apparently a teacher of some of the nobility at the court of the Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi, obtained a grant of several villages from the Emperor in what became known the taluka Qutbabad.  Shaikh Qutub became powerful, owing to his ability and influence at court, and wealthy, as the Para, Sohag and Dhadder streams flowed through his lands. Aurangzeb, as the gratitude to the Shaikh created a tappa or tract of the Hans which formed the parganas of Kabula and Alamgirpur, the modern Okara District.


Mughal authority began to decline shortly after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, and in the Bar, the local chieftains became independent. Like other Bar nomads, Shaikh Qutub’s descendant made themselves independent and about 1764 Muhammed Azam was chief of the clan. He seized as much of the country round Malika Hans as he could, but in 1766 the Sikhs overran it and took him prisoner by treachery. His brother is said to have called in the Bahrwal Sikhs to assist him, promising them half his territory, but instead of helping him against his rival, the Chishti diwan of Pakpattan, they put down cow-killing and the call to prayer, and so he called in the help Dogars, one of the larger tribes along the Sutlej, who lands lay directly north of the Hans. The combined Dogar and Hans force drove out the Sikhs. But about this time the streams which watered his lands had dried up and he was unable to resist the Sikhs when they returned, and he had to seek refuge with the diwan of Pakpattan. The Hans land fell under  Sikh rule, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire seized Pakpattan in 1810, removing the political autonomy of the Chishti Diwan. With the arrival of the British in 1848, the Bar was opened for canal colonization. Most of the Hans land became part of the Montgomery District.

Waris Shah and Heer Ranjha

During the rule of the Muhammad Azam, Waris Shah arrived and lived in Malika Hans. He is said to have written Heer Ranjha in the town. The poem in some way is a tribute to the culture of the Bar nomads, such as the Hans.

Distribution and Villages


They are now found as propritors a few villages in Okara District. There are also isolated settlements of the Hans in Muzaffargarh and Layyah districts.


In Dipalpur Tehsil of Okara District, the villages of Hans Uttar Wali and Hans Hitharwali are important settlements of the tribe.


In Pakpattan District, Pakka Sidhar, Malka Hans, Bakka Hans, Hamma Rath and Chak 35 SP are important centres of the tribe.


In Layyah District, the villages of Chak No. 280/TDA, Chak No. 387/TDA, Chak No. 356/TDA, Chak No 151 TDA LAYYAH, and Ghulam Haider Kalluwala

In Multan District, the village of Azam Hans near the town of Qadirpur Ran, is an important settlement of the tribe.

In Lodhran District, the village of Mallan Hans.

In Kot Addu Tehsil of Muzaffargarh District, the village of Hans is an important centre of the tribe.


Moving now on the Khagga, who also claim a Hashmi Qureshi background. According to their traditions, they are descended from Khawaja Shah Jalal Din Muhammad Awais Jaafri Quraishi Hashm also known as Khawaja Awais Khagga. He was a disciple of Shaikh Muhammad Iraqi, a saint of Awaisi chain of Sufis. He is believed to have arrived in Multan during the times of Hazrat Sadruddin (son of famous Sufi Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakariya) and died in the year 700AH/1300AD.

Khagga is said to mean a particular kind of fish; and the name was given to Shah Jalal-ud-Din by his spiritual teacher on the occasion of his rescuing a boat overtaken by a storm. There is also a traditions, that during the period of Sikh rule (late 18th and early 19th Century), if anyone was distressed they could take refuge in the home of any Khagga. One has to understand that this was a time of great number of tribal feuds, and it was almost necessary to have someone who could be brought in as an arbitrator.

The Khagga are mostly found in south-west Punjab, with concentrations in FaisalabadBahawalpurVehariMultanMuzaffargarhKhanewalSahiwal and Pakpattan districts. In Sahiwal and Pakpattan districts are said to have come from Multan in the 19th century after the invasion of Ranjit Singh.

Important Khagga villages include Moza Ahmad Shah Khagga, Moza Akbar Shah and Moza Noor Shah Khagga in Sahiwal, Chak Shahana, Bherowal, Pakka Majeed (near Mian Channu) and Vehniwal in Khanewal. Other Khaga villages include Moza Allam Shah Khagga in Faisalabad District, Chak 418 TDA in Layyah District, Chak Shah Khagga in Pakpatan District and Basti Patal, Bastti Kot Saleemwala and Basti Shahwala, all near the town of Kot Addu in Muzaffargarh District.



Lakheke Bhatti and Naipal tribes

In this post, I will look two tribes, namely the Lakheke Bhatti and the Naipal that were found in the valley of the Sutlej, that now form’s the boundary between India and Pakistan. This region known as Behak-Wattuan now forms parts of Fazilka and Firuzpur districts of Indian Punjab, and was almost 50% Muslim prior to partition. Behak, or Behak khas is now a village, but at one point was an important town and centre of the Bodla tribe, while Wattuan was the territory located directly north of Behak, named after the Wattu tribe of Rajputs. Most of these Muslims belonged to the Bhatti Rajputs, and their numerous divisions. They were pastoralists, raising cattle, and migrating between the Ghaghar and Ravi rivers, with the Sutlej forming the centre of this region. The Lakheke Bhatti were found south of the Naipal.

With regards to the social set up of the Muslim tribes of this region, James Wilson author of the Tribal Code of Sirsa wrote the following about the tribal organization in this region:

The important division is that into tribes (jat or qaum), each tribe consisting of agnates, descended from a common ancestor; thus the jat resembles the got of other tribes though not these Musalmans by that name. The al is the smaller branch of the tribe, consisting of the agnatic descendants of some not very remote ancestor, by whose they are known.

The aals names often ended the by word ke, so the town of Fazilka is really Fazilke, which was a division of the Wattu Rajputs, who were also connected with the Bhatti. The Lakheke were simply an aal of the Bhattis, but Naipal and Bhatti Rajputs have common ancestor, so really are seperate branches of the Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer.


Lakheke Bhatti

The Lakheke are a clan of Bhatti Rajputs, who were found in Fazika District. The region now occupied by Fazilka, Sirsa, and southern Firozpur was the homeland of the Bhatti Rajputs. The Bhattis did not form a single state, but a tribal confederacy, headquartered in the town of Bhatner, now called Hanumangarh. The Bhatti Rajputs were rulers of the region between Ghaghar and Sutlej, covering at its heights lands extending to cover Ganganagar District of Rajasthan to Bhatinda and Fattehabad in the east. The Imperial Gazetteer describes the region as follows:

A tract of country in the Punjab, lying between 29 15′ and 30� 15′ N. and 74� o’ and 75� 45′ E., and comprising the valley of the Ghaggar from Fatehabad in Hissar District to Bhatnair in the State of Bikaner, together with an undefined portion of the dry country stretching north-west of the Ghaggar towards the old bank of the Sutlej. Roughly speaking, the tract is bounded on the east by Hariana, on the south
and west by the Bikaner desert, while on the north its boundary includes Bhatinda in Patiala, and may be taken as roughly corresponding to the line of the Southern Punjab Railway. Bhattiana derives its name from the Bhattis, a collection of Muhammadan tribes claiming Rajput origin, who also gave their name to Bhatnair

In 1818, Zabita Khan, the last Bhatti nawab of Rania was disposed by the British, ending almost 800 years of Bhatti independence. The southern portions of Bhattiana were incorporated into the Hindu Rajput state of Bikaner, the rest formed the old Sirsa District. This was then divided between Firozpur and Hisar in 1884, with Sirsa bcoming part of Hisar, and Fazilka becoming part of Firozpur.

Early in the fourteenth century the wild country held by the Bhattis and Mains (Mayen) was attached to Abohar, a dependency of Dipalpur ; and the daughter of Rana Mal, the Bhatti chief, was married to Sipah Salar Rajab, and in 1309 became the mother of Firoz Shah III. The Bhatti chiefs seem to have maintained a position of semi-independence for a considerable time. Rai Hansu Bhatti, son of Khul Chain, was employed under Mubdrak Shah II against Pull in 1430 and 1431. Later, the Bhatti chief, Ahmad Khan, who had risen to great power and had 2o,ooo horse under him, defied prince Bayazid in the reign of Bahlol Lodi, and, though at first victorious, was eventually defeated and killed. Mirza Kamran was employed against the Bhattis in 1527 ; and they seem to have been reduced to complete subjection by the Mughals, for nothing is heard of them until the decay of the Delhi empire. For twenty-four years after 175o Bhattiana was harassed by the Sikhs and Bhattis in turn, until in 1774 Amar Singh, the Raja of Patiala, conquered it. But Patiala was unable to hold the tract, and lost the whole of it (Rania in 1780-3, Fatehabad in 1784), the Bhatti reconquest being facilitated by the great famine of 1783 which desolated the country. Sirsa fell to George Thomas in 1795-9; and on his
fall in 18o1 the Marathas acquired Bhattiana, only to lose it in 1803 to the British, who took no steps to establish a strong government. At that time Bhattiana was divided between the chiefs Bahadur Khan and Zabita Khan, of whom the former held the country in the neighbourhood of Fatehabad, while the latter owned Rania and Sirsa.


Horace Arthur Rose, the early 20th Century wrote the following about this region:

On the south-east border of the Punjab the subject population of Bikaner is largely composed of Bhattis, and tradition almost always  carries us back to the ancient city of Bhatner, which lies on the banks of the long since dry Ghaggar, in the territory of that State bordering on Sirsa. But in that tract, which corresponds to the old Bhattiana, the Bhatti is no longer a dominant tribe and the term is loosely applied to any Muhammadan Jat or Rajput from the direction of the Sutlej, as a generic term almost synonymous with Rath or Pachhada.

I would say Rose is only partly correct here, as although the Bhatti proper were no longer a majority, the Chhina, Joiya, Naipal, Sangla, and Wattu tribes all connected themselves to the Bhattis, and together formed the majority in this region. The Bhatti of Bhattiana, were themselves divided into numerous aals, one such being the Lakheke get their name from Lakha, who was a Sufi who came from Abohar and settled in Fazilka. Lakha was a descendant of Junhar, brother of Rajah Jaisal, who had founded the state of Jaisalmer. Junhar was similarly said to have founded Abohar, where Lakha was to have been born some 800 years later. Lakha became a Sufi ascetic and  said to have distanced himself from his family, who were petty ranas in Abohar. He settled among the Bodlas and married a Bodla girl. The Lakheke are therefore more closely connected with Bodlas, almost being a branch of that tribe. Lakha’s mazaar was located in the village of Behak Khas. This village and another three, Lakheke being the most important, were all located near the Sutlej, which became centres of this tribe. They had a close association with the Bodlas, who are a clan of Siddiqi Shaikhs. Until partition, the Lakheke formed a distinct sub-caste of Bhattis, however the clan is much more dispersed now.


The Naipal, who were found entirely Ferozepur District are a much larger tribe then the Lakheke. The Naipal clan get their name from Naipal, son of Bhuni, who belonged to the Bhatti tribe, were historically found on the Sutlej just north of the city Ferozepur. They came from Sirsa in the reign of Muhammad Shah (ruler 1719-1748), and once held the river valley as far down as that town, but were driven higher up by the Dogars, and in the Naipal in turn expelled the Gujars. Sometime during the middle of the 18th Century, the Naipals occupied the Makhu ilaqa, then probably a complete waste. It is said to have been named Makkah by a faqir, one Muhammad, who had been there, but its name was corrupted into Makhu. Like their neighbours, the Dogar, Gujjar and Wattu, they were largely pastoral.

By middle of the 18th Century, Mughal authority had collapsed in the Sutlej valley and the Naipals became independent until Jassa Singh, the Ahluwalia (1718-1783), chief of Kapurthala took possession of their territory around 1770, and established a thana at Makhu and created the ilaqa of that name. By the early 19th Century, Ahluwalia rule was replaced by the British. Groups of the Naipal began to immigrate to the Ahluwalia ruled Kapurthala State, establishing their settlement in 1857. The Naipal were almost independent under the Ahluwalia rulers, and to have paid a small rent in kind only when the kardar was strong enough to compel them to it, which has not often the case.

By the mid 19th Century, the Naipal were settled as farmers, and began to intermarry neighbouring Muslim Jat tribes such as the Sidhu. They have lost more of their Hindu origin than either the Dogars or Gujars, and in their marriage connections they follow the Muslim law, near blood relations being permitted to enter into the marriage. Most Naipals were owner cultivators, almost every member of the tribe holding land in ownership, and not cultivating it under a few tribal chiefs as tenants, like their neighbours the Dogars. There main villages included Malha Jhang, Tibbi Hussaini and Lalluwala.
At the time of partition in 1947, the Naipal territory was allocated to India, leading to the migration of the entire tribe to Pakistan Punjab.

Ghorewaha Rajput

In this post, I will look at one of the largest Rajput tribe of Punjab in numbers, the Ghorewaha. Historically, the Ghorewaha were found in Jalandhar district, of which they occupied the eastern corner, and and neighboring Garhshankar tehsil of Hoshiarpur. A smaller number were found in smaller numbers in all the adjoining districts, especially in Ludhiana and Ambala. To the west of them were the Manj, and to the north of them the Naru. All three tribes provided the bulk of the Rajput population of the Doaba and Malwa regions, and almost all Muslim.

Origin Story

The Ghorewaha are a branch Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur,and belong to the Koshal gotra. They are descendants of Kush, the second son of Rama. They say that Raja Man, sixth in descent from Kush, had two sons, Kachwaha and Hawaha, and that they are of the lineage of Hawaha. Rose, the colonial British ethnologist gave the following description of their origin myth:

The two brothers met Shahab-ud-din Ghori with an offering of a horse, and received in return as large a territory as they could ride round in a day ; hence their name. The division of their country took place while they were yet Hindus, so that their settlement in their present tract was probably an early one. The Ghorewaha of Rahon, who are still Hindus, would seem to have immigrated more lately than the rest of the tribe, as they trace their origin from Jaipur, and their genealogists still live in Kota and Bundi in Rajasthan. Mr. Barkley was disposed to put the Ghorewaha conquest of their present territory at some five centuries ago. In the time of Akbar their possessions would seem to have been more extensive than they are now

Different groups of Ghorewaha have different versions of the account that Rose gave. For example those that lived in Nawashahr and Phillaur , both in Jalandhar, gave the following account, as recorded in the Jalandhar Gazetteer of 1904:

In Sambat 1130 or 1131, two brothers, Ahwaha or Hawaha and Kachwaha, sons of Raja Man, came from Kot Kurman or Kurwan on a pilgrimage to Jawala Mukhi. Near Arak or Rakh, a place in Ludhiana, close to Rupar, they met Shahabuddin Ghori, who was then the ruling monarch. They had a fine horse which they presented to the king, who, in return, gave each as much country as he could ride round in a day. Hawaha took this side of the Sutlej, and Kachwaha the other side ; and at night-fall, the former threw down his spear (sria), where is now the village of Selkiana, to show the limit of his domain ; while the latter marked the spot he had arrived at by his bracelet (jhangnu), on the site of the present village of Kanganwal. After this Kachwaha returned to Udaipur, but Hawaha stayed here and held both territories.

The Ghorewaha are Suryanvanshi, and it is likely they replaced the Katoch as rulers of the ancient territory of Trigarta. They are also one of the earliest converts to Islam in the Sutlej valley. Over the time, with the rise of the Sikhs in the 18th Century, the Ghorewaha were reduced to the status of petty of Ranas.

D.G Barkley, the British administrator of the Jalandhar was given the following information by Sulaiman Khan, Rana of Rahon, around 1880s, about the genealogy of that branch of the Ghorewaha.

The successors of Raja Hawaha, for 13 generations all entitled Raja, were Sirinaur, Sirikand, Markand, Baddeo, Rajeswar, Tekhmangal, Lohar, Utho, Jaspal, Prithvi, Padam, Mall and Bin. Raja Bin was the father of Rana Rajpal, and of Bhinsi. From these the following gots are descended :

Rajpal the descendants of Rana Rajpal, the son of Raja Bhin. Of this got are the Ghorewahas of Rahon and Shekhomazara, and those of Saroha Simli, Mukandpur and Gag in the Garhshankar Tehsil and of Bairsian, Kunail, &c.
Bhinsi descended from 4 brothers Rana Rup Chand, Anup

Chand, Farup Chand and Partab Chand, who were descended from

Bhin. Of this got are those of Garhshankar, Hion, Gunachaur,

and Bhin.

Sard those of Katgarh, Balachaur, Banah, Taunsah and
Rail the Raho Rajputs do not know the origin of this name.


While the author of the Hoshiarpur Gazetteer wrote the following about them:

The Ghorewahas trace their origin to Hawiha, a son of Raja Man of Kot Kurman (now Udaipur), to whom in Sambat 1130 or 1131 Shahab-ud-di’n Ghori gave as much land as Hawaha and Kachwaha, his brother, could ride round in a day. For a discussion of their ancestry see the Jullundur Gazetteer. His descendants founded 9 and 12 makan (said to be derived from men of inferior position to those who founded chhat), and are also divided into 12 muhins named after 12 of the 13 sons of Uttam. The Ghorewahas also have tika villages, e.g. Bhaddi is a tikka of 12 Ghorewaha villages around it.  Another account says the Ghorewdha presented a river horse {daryai ghora) to the ruler of the country and obtained the country in jagir. Hence their present name.


Generally, marriage did not occur within the gots.

Chhat and Makans

The chhat was an important tribal centre and the makan an inferior one. In the darbar, at a marriage the mirasis, the traditional caste of genealogists, used to get a certain gratuity for each chhat of which the tribe could boast and half as much for each makan. In my account of the Barya (Brah) and Taoni, I give some background information as to the institutions of the chhat and makan, common among the Rajputs of this region. The author gave the following information on the chhats and makans of the Ghorewaha in Jallandhar:

Raja Hawaha’s descendants founded 9 chhat (a term the meaning of which is not clear), and 12 makan, and sub-divided into 12 muhi, called, according to Nawashahr tradition, after the sons of Uttam, the fourteenth in descent from Hawaha. There was a thirteenth brother who became a Kalandar, a Muhammadan ascetic. The Phillaur Ghorewahas say Jaimal, their ancestor, had 18 sons after whom the muhis are called. They are the following :

Rajpal found in Nawashahr.

Sedsur found in Nawashahr and Amballa.

Bhimsi found in Nawashahr,

Phillaur and Garhshankar.

Sari found in Garhshankar.

Sahupal found in Nawashahr.

Jai Chand found in Nawashahr

and Phillaur

Dip found in Nawashahr and Ludhiana.

Main found in Ludhiaua.

Rajpur found in Hoshiarpur.

Salkho found in Ludhiana.

Aju found in Hoshidrpur.

Bhup found in Ambala.

Ladha found in Ambala.


The nine chhat of the Ghorewahas above mentioned are Garhshankar, Punam, Sarowa, Simli, Gunachaur, Kariam, Eatenda, Rahon and Hiun, of which the first four are in the Garhshankar Tehsil of Hoshiarpur, and the others in this District. The twelve makan are Matewara in Ludhiana, Samundra and Birampur in Garhshankar, Judana in Phillaur, Bahrain, Awar, Bliin, Kahma, Kariha, Baklilaur, Jadla and Bliaura in Nawashahr.


With regards to their chhats in Hoshiarpur, the author of the gazetteer wrote the following:

The Ghorewdhas hold a bawani or group of 52 villages around Balachaur in Tehsil Garhshankar; near Balachaur they have adhered to Hinduism ; further north, in the direction of Garhshankar, they are Musalmans, but they keep Hindu Brahmins and bards, to whom they give presents at deaths and marriages, and retain various other Hindu customs.

The chhat in this District are four, vis,—Garhshankar, Punam, Saroa, and Simli, all in Tahsil Garhshankar, the remaining 5 being in the Jullundur District. There are two makans, Samundra and Birampur, also in this Tahsil. Their chaudhris at Garhshankar, Balachaur, Saroa, Bana and Taunsa are well known.

These and the other chhats take brides from but do not give daughters to makan villages.

Population According to the 1901 Census


District / State Muslim Hindu Total


12,222 983 13,205


10,839 680 11,519


4,487 81 4,568


2,949 1,009 3,958
Patiala State


1,516 126 1,642


288 12 300
Nabha State










176 11 187
Malerkotla State
153 153
Kalsia State


110   110
Other District




33,295 2,960 36,255


The Ghorewahas were found in the greatest number in the south and east of the Nawashahr tehsil of Jalandhar, as well as in the adjoining Garhshankar tehsil of Hoshiarpur, but they also held estates in the east of the Phillaur tehsil, and the Grand Trunk Road between Phagwara and Phillaur, which formed the approximate the boundary between them and the Manj Rajputs. In Ludhiana district, they were found east in the Samrala Tehsil, owning a large number of villages along the Sutlej both in that district and in Jalandhar. They were proprietors or part proprietors of Rahon, Nawashahr, Gunachaur, Jadala, Awn, Baglaur, Hion, Kamam, Nauhra, Apra, Massani, and Indina in the Bist Doab. A smaler number were also found in Patiala and Ambala.


The Ghorewaha almost to a person had to leave their homeland in 1947, most are now found distributed throughout central regions of Pakistan Punjab.

Patial / Pattial Rajputs

In this post, I will look at a Rajput tribe, the Patial, Pattial, sometimes spelt Pathial or even Pattyal. Like other Punjab Rajputs, the Pattials of the Punjab plains, the territory which now forms the state of Punjab in India converted to Islam, while those of the Punjab hills, now the state of Himachal Pradesh remained Hindu.

Patial are a clan of Suryavanshi Rajput, that claim direct descent from Rama Chandra of the Raghuvanshi dynasty. Their traditional areas of residence were in the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, which as an ancient kingdom in located in Punjab with its capital at Prasthala (modern Jalandhar) and secondary capital at Kangra. They claim to be Raghuvanshi Rajputs, i.e. those who belong to the family of Raghu. Emperor Raghu was a king of the Ikshvaku dynasty that ruled during the period of the Mahabharat. The name in Sanskrit translates to the fast one, deriving from Raghu’s chariot driving abilities. So celebrated were the exploits of Raghu, that his dynasty itself came to be known as the Raghuvamsha or the Raghukula after him. The history of his dynasty is elaborated upon by Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsha. In the Raghuvamsa, they are described as a lineage of warrior kings tracing their ancestry to Surya.

According to another tradition, the Patial are Sissodiya of Mewar, who left that state when the ruler Amar Singh (16 March 1559 – 26 January 1620) accepted the Mughal over lordship of Jehangir and settled in what is now Himachal Pradesh. The clan gets its name from the town of Pathankot, formerly Paithan. The word Patanial, meaning those from Pattan was shortened to Pattial. The Hindu Pattials are found mainly in Himachal in Unna and Kangra districts.

Hindu Pattials

According to tribal traditions, after leaving Mewar, the Patials settled in Punjab, and founded the town of Patiala and from where they got the title or surname Patial. With rise of the Phulkian Sikhs, around the 1700 A.D., the Patials were pushed out of Patiala. They then moved and settled in Kot Patial in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. Patials now became rulers of the principality of Kot Patial. Kot means fort hence Kot Patial means fort of Patials. From here, groups of Pattial moved to Hamirpur, in Himachal Pradesh. The history of Hamirpur is closely associated with the Patials and the Katoch dynasty which ruled the area between the Ravi and Sutlej rivers, the northern half of the ancient kingdom of Trigarta. This the area was under the control of Patials and other ‘Ranas’ (feudal hill chiefs), such as the Jasial and Dadial. Some of the prominent Ranas were those of Mewa, Mehalta and Dhatwal. Once Katoch dynasty established firm control over Hamirpur, many Patial moved to and settled in the villages of Bhodda, Bhoura, Draman, Langa and “Tappa.

The Patial were the petty Ranas of Paplah. Paplah village is situated between two rivers called Moull and Mandh in Kangra District. It located at a distance of 35 km from the towns of Palampur and Jaisinghpur. The town was the centre of a chieftaincy of the Patials, which lasted till 1947.

Muslim Pattials


The Muslim branch pf the Pattial claim descent from two Rajput chiefs, Rajah Haspal and Jagpal, who were converted to Islam by Shaikh Shah Katal Chisti, a descendant of Baba Farid, in the 15th Century. His dargah is now found in Talwara village. The Muslim Pattials became rulers of small principality along the banks of Sutlej, in what is now Ludhiana District. It centred on the village of Bhundri and included Khanpur and Wazirke Gaur villages. The rise of the Ahluwalia Sikhs in the 18th Century led to the end of this principality. These territories eventually came under British control in the beginning of the 19th Century, and the Pattial were reduced to the status of petty Ranas. A small number of Muslim Pattial families were also found in Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur district. Like other Muslim Rajputs, the Pattials moved to Pakistani Punjab at Partition in 1947.

Muslim Pathial are also found in Sialkot and were found in Gurdaspur. These have a slighly different tradition, as they claim to be a branch of the Gondal tribe of western Punjab, and as such of Chauhan ancestry.

Distribution of Pattial Rajput Population According to the 1901 Census of India

District / State Hindu Muslim Total
Kangra 5,330 5,330
Hoshiarpur 506 32 538
Sialkot 155 155
Other Districts 132 124
Total 5,968 311 6,279

Padha Caste of Pakistani Punjab

An interesting community of Muslims of Punjab is that of the Padha. They are a group of Saraswat Brahmans, that converted to Islam during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Conversion to Islam among Brahman groups was rare, the Padha being interesting exception. I would also ask the reader to look at my post on the Rawals, who have very similar background. The Padha, like some other Brahmins, and Khatris after their convertion to Islam in the Punjab region had adopted the title Shaikh. The Muslim Padha are therefore a sub-group within the larger Shaikh community of Punjab.

To get some background on the Padhas, we need to explore who the Saraswats are. They are a sub-group of Brahmins, who trace their ancestry to the banks of the Rigvedic Sarasvati River. The Saraswat Brahmins are mentioned as one of the five Pancha Gauda, the five major divisions of the Brahmin communities. Rose, the early twentieth Century British ethnologists describes the Sarawats as essentially the Brahmans of Punjab.

The  Muslim Padha claim descent from a sub-group of the Sarawat called the Nagarkotia, or the Saraswat of the Kangra region, now in Himachal Pradesh, but closely connected with the Punjab. These Saraswats were the Brahmins of the Katoch dynasty that ruled Kangra. According to the traditions of this caste, they were divided into 13 functional groups by Dharam Chand, the Rajah of Kangra. One of these of 13 groups were Upadhya or readers of the holy books. Captain A. H Bingley, the colonial soldier and ethnologist writes:

The Dogra Brahmin may thus be roughly divided into two ‘praying’ Brahmins and ‘ploughing’ Brahmins. The former, called Padha, are generally sacredotal in their functions; they caste horoscopes, officiate at marriages


The name Padha is really a shortened version of Upadhya which means teacher or guru in Sanskrit. There traditional occupation was teaching students in gurukula, a tradition that most Padha’s continued to practice until partition.  The etymology of the term Upadhaya is that word is a combination of two different words upa and adhyaya which means an undertaker of higher study. Groups of these hill Brahmans migrated to the foothills of Punjab, which now forms the border between Himachal and Punjab. During the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, several families are said to have converted to Islam. However, most Padha’s remained Hindu, in the Duns or foothills that forms the border between Himachal and Punjab.

Coming back to the Padhas, Pandit Harikishan Kaul, the author of the 1911 Census report wrote the following about them:

Padhas are all Muhammadans who were converted sometimes back from Brahmans; and have been returned chiefly from the Ambala, Hoshiarpur Districts and Patiala State. They are well versed in the Hindi system of teaching arithmetic and are still seen in the cities coaching boys of both Hindus and Muhammadans

While Rose the author of the 1901 Census of Punjab wrote the following about them:

The Padha are described in Ambala as a caste, originally Jogis, but purely secular and now endogamous

While Sardar Arjun Singh, Patiala State census commissioner for 1931, wrote the following about the Padha:


Padha literally is more a profession than a caste. ‘It means the teacher of elementary Arithmetic and Landa script. Now they have become a distinct endogamous caste. It is believed that they were originally Brahmans, who, after their conversion to Islam, adhered to their hereditary profession of teaching. They number 48 persons in all, and are Mohammadans by religion.


Like Rawals, a community of similar origin, partition led to the migration of most Padha to Pakistan. Partition also led to changes in cultural practices among the Padhas.

 Padha Population According to the 1911 Census of India

District/ State Population
Patiala State 72
Hoshiarpur 37
Ambala 20
Other 7
Total 136

The likely number of the Padha was greater, as many had registered themselves as Shaikhs.