Nagyal tribe

In this post I will look at the Nagyal, or Nagial sometimes pronounced Nangyal, with n sound hardly stressed, are a tribe of Jat and Rajput status. The Nagyal are very widespread in the Pothohar and neighbouring Chibhal region. In customs and traditions, they have more in common with the tribes referred to in my earlier posts such as Bangyal and Dhamial. They are distinct from Nagrial and Nagrawal, who are clans of the Bhatti Rajputs, with whom the Nagyal are often confused with. They are a Rajput-Jat tribe found mainly in Rawalpindi , in particular in Gujar Khan Tehsil, Jhelum and Gujrat districts of Punjab, Mirpur District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. There are also Hindu Nagyal Jatt found in Jammu and Samba districts in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.

https://www.pndajk.gov.pk/uploadfiles/downloads/Dist_Mirpur.jpg

Map of Mirpr District

Gujar Khan Weather Forecast

Map of the Gujar Khan Region

 

Just a brief background to the Jat population of the Potohar plateau. The Jats are clearly sub-divided into tribes, who refer to themselves as quoms or rarely zats, having a common name and generally supposed to be descended from a traditional common ancestor by agnatic descent, i.e. through males only. Another interesting thing about the various tribes in the region is that there name often ends in al, which is patronymic, for example, the sons of Kals, are the Kalyal and so on, very similar to the Arabic Bin or Slavic ovich or ov. The aals started off as clans of a larger tribe, such as Kanyal being an aal of the Chauhan tribe, which overtime grew in numbers, leading separation from the parent stock. For example, very few tribes in the region are simply known as Bhatti, Chauhan or Panwar, but often as Bhatti Gungal, Chauhan Kanyal or Panwar Bangial. Some Nagyal claim to be an aal, or clan of the Minhas Rajputs.

Origin Story

So who are the Nagyals, and short answer is that they are a clan of the Minhas tribe of Jammu. They claim descent from a Nag Singh, a Jamwal Minhas, who is said to left his homeland migrated to Akhnur. But it quite possible the Nagyal have some connection with a ancient people called the Nagas. The Nagas were mentioned as an snake-worshipping tribe of ancient India, and Puranic legends have constructed the genealogy of the Nagavanshis as a sub-clan of the Suryavansha. Interestingly, the snake was used as a tribal totem among the peoples of Himalayas. Like Matyals mentioned in my earlier post, who are said to be worshipers of Mata, we may conjecture that the Nagyals were somehow connected with the snake cult.

 

According to their own tribal traditions, the tribe came to be called Nagyal due to an event that took place. The mother of the ancestor of the tribe left her son in a cradle asleep. She had gone out to visit someone, and shortly she came back and saw that her son was awake and happily playing with a cobra. She was shocked to see that the wild venomous snake had not bitten the child but, in fact, was trying to protect. From there onwards she and her family vowed not to kill snakes, and hence the child and its descendants were referred to as Nagyals. This legend itself indicates that at one point in their history, the Nagyal were followers of the cult of the Nag.

However, according to another tradition, common among the Hindu Nagyals of Jammu, the word Nagyal is said to be derived from Nag-wale meaning those who are connected to Nag. Nag here is pronounced as Nug (rhyming with jug or mug). The Nagyal according to this history are migrants from Afghanistan, in particular from the region of Nagarhar (pronounced Nugur-arh). It must be said that traditions of immigration from Afghanistan are not restricted to the Nagyals, and are also common other tribes of Punjab such as the Bhatti and Sandhu.I now return to the Nagyal, who are said to have started migrating eastwards, towards the Punjab, where they began to be called as Nag-wale, which later changed into Nagyal.  The Nagyal are concentrated in the Jhelum-Jammu belt, in the foothills of the Himalyas. The Hindu Nagyals have two clans based on their origin – Saamkariyé Nagyals, and Rubaiyé Nagyals. The Saamkariyé Nagyals claim to have originated from Samarkand, while the latter from somewhere further west within Afghanistan. This region was historically home to Dardic speaking tribes, the last group were the Tirahi, who only disappeared at the beginning of the 20th Century, so it just possible the ancestors of the Nagyal belonged to one such Dard tribe.

 

Like other Chibhalis groups referred to such as the Kanyal, once the Nagyal lefts the hills of the Chibhal and arrived in the Pothohar plateau, a process of conversion to Islam occurs. Different Nagyal groups have different tradition is to their history of settlement. The Ghik, a clan of the Nagyal, now settled in Gujar Khan Tehsil, have a tradition that they descend from four brothers that came to settle in this region during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. One of the brothers settled at Ghik Badhal, from whom descend the Ghik Rajputs, second brother settled in Dhok Nagyal, from whom descend the Nagyals of that village, third brother settled in Bagwal and fourth brother settled at Qutbal. So, it seems small groups of Nagyal left the hills and settled land that must have been lightly settled.

Hindu Nagyals

The Hindu Nagyal were concentrated in the Deva-Batala, a region that is now part of Bhimber District. At the division of Jammu and Kashmir, they had leave this region, and are now found in Jammu, Punjab and Haryana. Like other Jammu Jats, they have traditions of Kul-Devta and Kul-Guru. At present, there are three kul-devta temples in India where Nagyals collect on a half yearly basis – Naushera (North of Akhnoor), Sai (South of Bishnah in Jammu) and Rajpura (near Kathua). In fact, until early 20th Centrury, Nagyals were either Hindu or Muslim; conversion to Sikhism was linked to the British Army’s policy of enrolling Jat Sikhs in Punjab. Since the Jhelum Valley – Chhamb belt was located on the Northern edge of Punjab but fell under the jurisdiction of Jammu and Kashmir State, the British had no formal record of Jats in the region. As a result, a significant section of the community converted to Sikhism and enrolled in the British Army. It became a common practice for one son to convert to Sikhism later. Military service is a tradition which continues today– both for Indian and Pakistani Armies..

 

Distribution

 

Presently, the Nagyal are found in Jhelum, Mirpur and Rawalpindi districts, with those of Rawalpindi generally being acknowledged to be of Rajput status, while those of Jhelum and Mirpur considering themselves as Jats. Starting off with the Islamabad Capital Territory, the Nagyal are found in Mohra Nagyal village. In neighbouring Rawalpindi District, they all found in all the tehsils bar Murree.

Rawalpindi District

In Kahuta Tehsil the villages of Hardogher and Nagyal, and in Rawalpindi Tehsil, their villages are Banda Nagyal, Mohra Nagyal and Maira Nagyal, while in Kallar Syedan they are found in Basanta, Bhalla, Dhamali (Chak Mirza), Doberan Kalan (in Dhok Allah Rakha), Jocha Mamdot and Nala Musalmanan. There is a whole clusters of villages in Gujar Khan Tehsil that entirely inhabited by the Nagyal, or they form an important element, and these include Bagwal, Bhatta, Begwal, Bhai Khan, Chak Bagwal, Cheena, Dhok Baba Kali Shaheed, Dhok Badhal, Nagial Umer, Dera Syedan, Dhok Nagyal (near Gharmala), Gagian, Gharmala, Ghick Badhal, Hoshang, Katyam (near Ratala), Karyali, Kaniat Khalil, Nata Mohra, Mohra Nagyal, Qutbal, Sasral, Nagial Sohal, Saib, Mohra Jundi, Dhok Nagyal in Bewal and Nagial Pahlwan. Mohra Nagyal is a single Nagyal village in the Islamabad Capital Territory.

Other Nagyal Villages

In Jhelum District, Chautala, Dhok Kanyal, Dhok Masyal, Dhok Nagyal, Gora Nagyal, Nagyal, Sohan and Wagh (near Pind Dadan Khan) are important villages, while in the neighbouring Chakwal District, their villages include Ghazial, Mohri, and Potha. There is one Nagyal village near Sarai Alamgir in Gujrat District, called Mandi Majuwa. In Azad Kashmir, they are found mainly in Mirpur District, an important Nagyal settlement is the village of Nagial.

Hindu Nagyals of Samba District

There are several villages of Hindu Nagyal Jats in the Ramgarh Tehsil of Samba District, such as Nanga, Rakh Flora and Tupsari.

Distribution of Nagyal According to the 1911 Census of India

 

District

 

Rajput Jat Total
Rawalpindi

 

2,038 2,038
Jhelum

 

1,830 1,830
Other Districts

 

127 103 230
Total 2,165 1,933 4,098

 

 

The Nagyal of Punjab were all Muslim in 1911, found almost entirely in Jhelum and Rawalpindi, with a single Nagyal village in Gujrat. Most of the Jhelum (including Chakwal in 1911) Nagyals consider themselves as Jats, although a few did register themselves as Rajputs. The opposite was the case in Rawalpindi, where most Nagyal had registered themselves as Rajputs, showing the dual identity of the tribe. To give some idea, in 1911, the total population of British Punjab was 24,187,750, and presently the just the population of Pakistani Punjab is 110,012,442.

 

 

 

 

 

Bahirwal and Nagra Jats

In this post, I will look at two tribes of Jats called the Bahirwal and Nagra. Both these tribes claim descent from the Chauhan Rajputs, and are found in northern Punjab, the Bahirwal in Gujrat and the Nagra in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. Briefly, the Chauhan are a clan of Agnivanshi Rajputs, whose kingdom was based in Ajmer in Rajasthan and over time they extended control over north west India, and conquered Delhi and its neighborhood in the 12th century. They suffered a set-back in 1192 when their leader, Prithviraj Chauhan, was defeated at the Second Battle of Tarain, but this did not signify their demise. The kingdom broke into the Satyapura and Devda branches after the invasion of Qutbu l-Din Aibak in 1197. In Punjab, several petty Chauhans ranas survived, many eventually marrying in Jat and Gujar families.

 

Chauhans, along with the Solankis, the Paramaras, and the Pariharas, call themselves agnikulas or fire-born tribes. According to the Agnikula legend, after the original Kshatriyas had been exterminated by Parashurama , the Brahmans found themselves in need of protection from the demons that were harassing them, and so they prayed and made a special sacrifice to the god Shiva for assistance. Then, through divine intercession, there emerged from the sacrificial fire the ancestors of the four Rajput clans known as the Fire Tribes, and they vanquished the demons.

 

I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Basra Jats, which gives some more background about the history of the Jats of the Gujrat, Sialkot . Jats are found all over this region and form the backbone of the agricultural community. They are divided into numerous clans and historically belonged to different religions. It was not uncommon to find in a village a few Jat families practicing Sikhism while others Islam. Along the border with the Jammu and Kashmir state, many Jats had remained Hindu, and many Hindu Nagra Jats are still found in the  Jammu Region

File:Sialkot District.svg

Map of Gujrat and Sialkot: Source Wikipedia

Bahirwal

The Bhararwal are found mainly in Gujrat District, and are a clan of Chauhan Rajputs. There ancestor was an individual by the name of Merath, a Chauhan nobleman of Delhi, who had four sons, called called Nano, Barwala, Kharowala and Kano, who of whom were all non-Muslim. When Kano converted to Islam, he was outcasted by the rest of the tribe. The Punjabi word bahar wal, means an outsider, on the account of Kano being thrown out of the tribe. This conversion is said to have taken place during the rule of Mohammad Ghori, in 12th Century. Kano, with his family members left Delhi, and settled in Gujrat. Here he founded the town of Baharwal, which has remained the centre of the tribe. The Baharwal contracted marriages with the neighbouring Jats tribes, and as such became Jats.

Nagra

According to tribal traditions, the clan claim descent from Nagra, who is said to be a Chauhan Rajput, and the tribe also claim a common origin with the Cheema. The ancestor of both tribes was Cheema, a Chauhan nobleman, who fled Delhi, after the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan by Mohammad Ghori. Cheema is said to have sought refuge in Kangra, present day Himachal Pradesh. Chima’s son Chotu Mal settled in Amritsar, and founded a village along the Beas. His great-grandson, Dhol during the rule of Alauddin Khilji (rule 1296 to 1316) moved to Sialkot. He had four sons, Duggal, Mohtil, Nagra and Cheema, from whom descend these four Jat tribes. However, in another account, Nagra himself is said to have left Delhi during the rule of Alauddin Khilji (rule 1296 to 1316), and settled initially in Jalandhar, and them moved to Pasrur, near Sialkot. The Sikh Nagra consider the Sikh Cheema to be their collaterals, and as such these two clans do not intermarry.

 

There are a number of traditions as where the tribe got its name. According to one such tradition, their ancestor got the name nagra, because as a child he had no fear of snakes and even the most dangerous snakes were docile around him. The word nag means snake in Sanskrit, and the cult of snake worship was common among the tribes of the Jammu hills. The Nagyals of this region have similar traditions. The connection with snake worship suggests that the Nagra were clan of Dogras, who immigrated to the Punjab plains. There are still several villages of Hindu Nagra in the Jammu region, further confirming the liklyhood of a Dogra connection. However, according to another tradition, the Nagras get their name name from the town of Nagaur in Rajasthan. Overtime, nagaure, or people from Nagaur, was corrupted to Nagra. Some Nagra claim to have accepted Islam at the hands of Daud Bandagi Kirmani (1513-1575), a Muslim saint from Multan Province, who said to have converted a number Jat clans of the Bar region. He also appears in the origin stories of the Goraya and Tarar clans. Others claim to have converted during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

The Sikh Nagra consider the Sikh Cheema to be their collaterals, and as such these two clans do not intermarry. After the partition of India in 1947, the Sikh Nagra of Sialkot District moved to India, while the Muslim Nagra undertook a similar migration from Gurdaspur District.

Distribution of the Nagras

They now have 17 villages in Pasrur and Daska tehsils of Sialkot District. Until partition, these Nagra villages had both Sikh and Muslim members.  As already mentioned, there are several Hindu Nagras villages in Jammu such as Sai Kalan and Sai Lag. In neighbouring Gurdaspur district of Punjab, the Sikh Nagra are found in Metla and Warah, while Sikh Nagra of Jalandhar district, all claim to have come from Pasrur. There villages include Kohala, Jabowal and Nagra.

In Sialkot, the most important village is Kalekay Nagra, said to be founded by Kali Singh, who was supposed to have lived in the 18th Century. Other Nagra villages in Sialkot include Adamkay Nagra, Firuzke Nagra, Mattokey Nagra, Ralioke Nagra and Seheko Nagra. Many Nagras, like other Jat clans were settled in the Canal Colonies of Lyalpur and Montgomery in the 19th and early 20th Century. One such Nagra village in the canal colonies is Chak 351 GB Nagra in Toba Tek Singh District, another one is 24 JB , Lahorian Chak in Faisalabad District.

Goraya Jats

In this post, I will look at the Goraya, a large Jat caste that is found mainly in the Rechna Doaba, in particular a region called the Gujranwala Bar. The Goraya were a largely pastoralist tribe, common with many Jats in the region. I will ask the reader to look at my post on the Gondal and Tarar, which gives some more information on the cultural practices of the Bar Jats

Map showing the Doabs of Punjab: Source Wikipedia

Writing about the Jats of the Bar, Captain Nisbett, author of the First Gujranwala Settlement report said the following:

The agricultural tribes are very numerous and a large portion claim a Rajput origin, and are sub-divisions of tribes located in the surrounding districts of Lahore, Sialkot and Amritsar, where the elder branch of the original family having set up home, the younger sons soon wondered a few miles further north and founded new colonies in to this district.

The Goraya too claim a Rajput origin, with an ancestor said to have come from a neighbouring region. Like all Punjabi tribes and clans, the Goraya also have a number of origin stories. The northern half off the Rechna Doaba, the present day districts of Narowal, Sialkot and Gujranwala, has always been dominated by Jats. Jat clans such as the Bajwa, Chatha, Tarar, and Waraich, being the majority of the rural population. In custom and tradition, the Goraya share much with these tribes.

Map of Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan

Map of Gujranwala District: Source Wikipedia

Origin Myths

As Captain Nisbett noted, like other Jat tribes, the Goraya also claim a Rajput ancestry, in this case from a tribe called Saroya or Saraoha. Little is known of them, but they appear in the origin stories of several Jats tribes, such as the Hanjra for example. Almost all Goraya myths make reference to an individual by the name of Goraya, as their ancestor. However, after this agreement, the consensus breaks down. Interestingly, the word goraya is also used for the nilgai, a type of a large antelope. Therefore, it is possible that Goraya could have been a nickname for their ancestor. In some stories, he said to have leftSirsa, in what is now Haryana, in search greener pastures, here I use the word in the literal sense. He was looking for a place where there to find pasturage for his cattle.

In Gurdaspur, the Goraya claimed that they are descendants of a person named Lu, who was a Suryavanshi ancestry. Lu lived at a place called Kharmor in the Malwa, and held an official position at the court of a Sultan. He is said to have fallen out with the Sultan, and fled with his family to the banks of the Ravi. Among the Sikh Goraya, there is a tradition that they ate really a branch of the Dhillon Jat, who they do not intermarry, as marriage within a Jat clan is forbidden in Sikhism.

However, a tradition that is prevalent among the Gujranwala Goraya, is that the tribe is descended from a Chandravanshi Rajput called Goraya whose grandson Mai came from the Lakki Thal, in what is now Bhakkar District. The tribe settled in the Jammu region, just north of Sialkot.  Here they were until under Rana their then chief, they came down from the Jammu hills, after a fallout with a Dogra chieftain. This is said to have occurred during the period of Mughal rule over Punjab (circa 15 -17 AD).

 

The next name that occurs in tribal genealogies is that of Budh or Budha, who is said have had twenty sons, one of whom all the Goraya claim descent from. The word budha means an old man, but here it is being used to in the sense of father or founder of the tribe. For example, the Gondals also have a Budha as their ancestor. The word budha here really means the founder or first settler of the tribe. Another name that occurs among the Goraya is that of a Baba Midh, who said to resolved disputes within the tribe, and allocated lands to each chaudhary. This Baba Midh may refer to the Sufi Pir Madha Shah Sultan, whose shrine is in the village of Budha Goraya. Some Goraya claim to have accepted Islam at the hands of Daud Bandagi Kirmani(1513-1575), a Muslim saint from Multan Province, who said to have converted a number Jat clans of the Bar region. He also appears in the origin stories of the Tarar and Chatha clans.

 

The current village of Budha Goraya, located south west of Gujranwala city, is said to be the site of the camp of Budha. The site was initially known as Buddha Gorayan Da , in Punjabi meaning the founders village. The village was said to be destroyed by the earthquake, the original village being about 3 km (1.9 mi) south of Buddha Goraya. After the destruction of the village, the survivors settled in the surroundings areas while some fled further afield. There are now several settlements of the Goraya in Gujranwala, that are named after an individual that left Budha Goraya and founded the settlement. These include Bupra Kalan Goraya, Bupra Khurd Goraya, Chitti Goraya, Harchoki Goraya, Lonkay, Jajoki Goraya, Dhair Virkan, Pipli Goraya, Saddu Goraya, Ratta Goraya, and Mahiya Goraya.

.

A village with the name Budha Goraya is also occurs in Sialkot district near Daska, which was also settled by a descendent of the Budha, after the earthquake destroyed the original village. The Goraya now found in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal and Gurdaspur all connect themselves with the village of Budha Goraya. They own 31 villages in Gujranwala. In Sialkot, there villages are located ibn the north-east of the Pasrur Tehsil.

Distribution of the Goraya in Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

 

District/ State Muslim Sikh Hindu

 

Total
 

Sialkot

4,647 681 1,574 6,902
Gujranwala

 

3,534 965 752 5,251
Gurdaspur

 

1,300 2,062 1,008 4,370
Chenab Colony

 

2,132 787 182 3,101
Patiala State

 

283 834 1,117
Amritsar

 

412 501 46 959
Lahore

 

568 53 22 643
Mianwali

 

365 365
Hoshiarpur

 

135 16 146 297
Montgomery 180 180

 

Gujrat

 

146 146
Other Districts/ State 936
Total

 

14,076 5,443 4,748 24,267

 

 

As the Census showed, over 90% of the tribe was found in the Rechna Doab, Gurdaspur at that time included Shakargarh tehsil, which was also located within the Doab. Another point, is that the Hindu Goraya were all Sultani Hindus, followers of the saint Sakhi Sarwar. Almost all of these converted to Sikhism by mid 20th Century. The Goraya now either Muslim or Sikh.

 

 

Chhimba Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census of Punjab

This is my final post looking at the size and distribution of castes that were involved with a certain occupation. I would ask the reader to look at my posts on the Tarkhans and Lohar to get some more information on the history and position of occupational castes in Punjab. In this post, I will look at Chhimba, sometimes pronounced as Chhimpa or Chhipi, who were traditionally engaged in the arts of dyeing, printing and tailoring clothes. Rose wrote thee following about the Chhimba:

is by occupation a stamper or dyer, but he also turns his hand to tailoring or washing. Hence the caste includes the Darzis or tailors, the Lilāris or dyers, and the Dhobis : also the Chhapgar. By religion the Chhimbās are mainly Hindus and Muhammadans.

Also Lilaris, who were entirely Muslim, by the beggining of the 20th Century formed a distinct caste from Chhimba. Like the Tarkhan, the Chhimba had become to convert to Sikhism, and at the beginning of the 20th Century, about 20% were Sikh. By the time of independence in 1947, almost half the Chhimba population was Sikh.

District/State Hindu Sikh Muslim Total

 

Firozpur

 

2,021 4,421 9,059 15,501
Patiala State

 

8,388 4,330 2,420 15,138
Amritsar

 

1,721 5,190 7,754 14,665
Lahore 391 2,998 10,752

 

14,141
Jalandhar

 

7,033 2,187 727 9,947
Ludhiana

 

4,814 3,700 310 8,824
Hisar

 

5,118 372 2,352 7,842
Gurdaspur

 

2,547 582 3,566 6,695
Hoshiarpur 5,985 397 82 6,464

 

Karnal

 

1,226 65 5,162 6,453
Gujranwala

 

441 221 5,180 5,842
Rohtak 5,002 5,002

 

Ambala

 

4,020 278 245 4,543
Kapurthala State

 

1,541 950 1,086 3,577
Nabha State

 

1,671 1,207 389 3,267
Sialkot

 

1,238 144 1,920 3,302
Montgomery 18 3,094 3,112

 

Mianwali

 

3,031 3,031
Delhi

 

2,267 542 2,809
Kangra

 

2,393 63 2,456
Jind State

 

1,301 645 414 2,361
Faridkot State 91 881 1,231 2,203

 

Gurgaon

 

1,194 1,194
Malerkotla State 522 166 688
Chenab Colony 110 448 558
Kalsia State 289 62 22 373

 

Jhelum 161 39 39 239

 

Gujrat

 

61 51 112
Other District

 

Total 62,611 28,855 60,051 151,517

 

 

 

 

 

Tarkhan Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this post, I return to the distribution of different castes foound in the Punjab, at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Tarkhans were the carpenters of Punjab, although in what is now Haryana, the term used was Khati. Unlike the three castes I have looked in the previous posts, the Teli, Julaha and Lohar, the Tarkhan didnot have a Muslim majority. Indeed, the Tarkhan played an important role in the rise of Sikhism in the Punjab, with Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, a Tarkhan, founding the Ramgarhia misal. Sikh Tarkhans at the beginning of the 20th Century made up about 43% of the total population. By the time of partition in 1947, a slight majority of the Tatkhan were Sikh. I would ask the reader to look at the book Textures of the Sikh Past: New Historical Perspectives, which has detailed accounts of the evolution of the Ramgarhia community.

Rose, the early 20th Century British ethnologists oberved the following about the Tarkhans:

Like the Lohar he is a true village menial, mending all agricultural implements and household furniture, and making them all, except the cart, the Persian wheel, and the sugarprees, without payment beyond his customary dues.

Like the Lohar, the Tarkhan were in seipi relationship with the other villagers, providing service in kind, in return for payment in wheat and other agricultural produce. Seipi refers to the barter system among Punjabi villagers, where for example a carpenter would exchange their well sought after service for agricultural produce from farmers. This system was particularly strong in villages in central Punjab. Most Tarkhan were found in the central Punjabi speaking districts, stretching from Gujrat to the Phulkian States. Although included with the Tarkhans, the Khati of Karnal, Hisar and Rohtak formed a distinct caste, largely Hindu, although some Khati were Muslim. Muslim Tarkhans, like the Muslim Lohar increasingly now call themselves Mughals.

 

District / State

 

Hindu Muslim Sikh Total
Patiala State

 

28,782 1,596 16,322 46,700
Sialkot

 

6,509 34,542 2,916 43,967
Amritsar

 

1,604 11,837 27,579 41,020
Lahore

 

1,245 23,293 15,687 40,225
Gurdaspur

 

14,763 6,374 14,139 35,276
Hoshiarpur

 

24,947 2,184 6,190 33,321
Gujranwala

 

3,505 23,450 6,343 33,298
Jalandhar

 

14,882 11,247 6,031 32,160
Firozpur

 

4,855 16,750 9,519 31,124
Rawalpindi

 

388 23,830 833 25,051
Gujrat

 

626 23,428 101 24,155
Ludhiana

 

12,624 764 7,606 20,994
Hisar

 

16,749 2,123 1,340 20,212
Karnal

 

13,096 6,368 566 20,030
Ambala

 

15,567 2,944 1,331 19,842
Multan

 

81 17,176 104 17,358
Kangra

 

15,932 78 141 16,151
Chenab Colony

 

2,065 11,266 2,793 16,124
Jhelum

 

27 15,065 39 15,131
Shahpur

 

36 13,989 68 14,093
Gurgaon

 

13,116 369 13,485
Rohtak

 

12,565 123 12,688
 

Montgomery

122 10,192 480 10,794
Nabha State

 

5,358 228 4,905 10,491
Jhang

 

13 10,432 10,445
Muzaffargarh

 

33 9,670 45 9,748
Kapurthala State

 

3,045 3,749 2,949 9,743
Mianwali

 

9,575 9,575
Delhi

 

8,123 1,077 52 9,252
Bahawalpur State

 

236 7,714 207 8,157
Jind State

 

4,992 316 1,205 6,513
Faridkot State

 

111 469 4,904 5,484
Dera Ghazi Khan

 

11 4,454 4,465
Nahan State

 

1,916 113 27 2,056
Kalsia State

 

1,470 127 292 1,889
Chamba State

 

1,313 14 16 1,343
Shimla

 

771 280 1,051
Suket State

 

941 941
Dujana State

 

644 644
Keonthal State

 

581 581
Jubbal State

 

533 533
Pataudi State

 

462 462
Mandi State

 

286 14 300
Other Districts / States

 

Total

 

238,946 147,475 294,096 680,517

 

 

 

Lohar Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census of India

This is my third post looking at the distribution of castes in Punjab, in this case the Lohar, at the time of carrying out the 1901 Census. The traditional occupation of the Lohar was that of  a blacksmith, but among the occupational groups in Punjab, the Lohar were the most likely to be agriculturists. Unlike the Teli, who were entirely Muslim, and Julaha who were largely Muslim, the Lohar only had a small Muslim majority (around 60%). In fact in south east Punjab, the modern Haryana state, the Lohar were largely Hindu. The Hindu Lohars of what is now Haryana called themselves as Dhiman. Rose, the British colonial ethnologists wrote the following about the Lohar:

The Lohar of the Punjab is, as his name implies, is blacksmith pure and simple. He is one of the true village meniele, receiving customary dues in the shape of a share of the produce, in return for which he makes and mends all the iron implement of agrculture, the material being found by the husbandman. He is most numerous in proportion to the total population in the hills and the Districts that lie immediately below them, where like all other artisan castes he is largely employed in field labour. He is present in singularly small numbers in the Multan division, the Derajat and Bahawalpur; probably because men of other castes engage in blacksmith’s work in those parts, or perhaps becausa the carpenter and the blacksmith are the same.

 

Like the Tarkhans, the Lohar were in seipi relationship with the other villagers, providing service in kind, in return for payment in wheat and other agricultural produce. Seipi refers to the barter system among Punjabi villagers, where for example a blacksmith would exchange their well sought after service for agricultural produce from farmers. This system was particularly strong in villages in central Punjaby the beginning of the 20th Century. Sikh Lohars were merging with the Sikh Tarkhans to form a single Ramgarhia caste. While Muslim Lohar groups began to call themselves Mughals at around the same time. I would ask the reader to look at Khalid Nadvi’s book The Post-Colonial State and Social Transformation in India and Pakistan, about of the Lohar in Sialkot, and their role in creating the surgical instrutments industry. Sialkot had the third highest number of Lohars, and in the city made up a third of the population. However, in 1901, these trends has just begun, with most Lohar groups still registering themselves as Lohar.

 

 

District/State

 

Muslim Hindu Sikh Total
Patiala State

 

8,635 8,493 5,306 22,434
Amritsar

 

16,257 323 5,550 22,130
Sialkot

 

19,253 1,866 147 21,266
Gurdaspur

 

6,860 6,595 3,295 16,750
Lahore

 

14,394 413 1,741 16,548
Rawalpindi

 

16,115 62 185 16,362
Hoshiarpur

 

2,507 11,476 1,928 15,911
Kangra

 

166 15,695 40 15,901
Gujranwala

 

15,440 103 286 15,829
Jalandhar

 

5,012 6,283 4,182 15,477
Gujrat

 

13,504 71 13,575
Karnal

 

8,168 5,233 88 13,489
Ambala

 

4,547 8,438 325 13,310
Jhelum

 

10,536 10,536
Firuzpur 7,775 680 1,384 9,839

 

Hisar

 

7,067 2,709 47 9,823
Ludhiana

 

1,600 4,624 2,503 8,727
Rohtak

 

2,503 6,158 8,661
Chenab Colony 7,255 602 541 8,398
Gurgaon

 

2,040 4,873 6,913
Shahpur

 

6,523 6,523
Delhi

 

2,173 4,174 6,347
Mianwali

 

4,762 4,762
Jind State

 

2,163 2,216 264 4,643
Kapurthala State 2,452 1,427 430 4,309
Montgomery

 

3,813 11 109 3,933
Multan

 

3,678 39 57 3,774
Mandi State

 

3,641 3,641
Malerkotla State

 

390 2,267 882 3,539
Jhang

 

3,535 3,535
Nabha State

 

973 1,581 622 3,176
Nahan State

 

85 1,896 181 2,162
Muzaffargarh

 

1,697 1,697
Chamba State

 

1,684 1,684
Faridkot State

 

1,171 157 163 1,491
Bahawalpur State

 

1,368 1,368
Dera Ghazi Khan

 

1,187 1,187
Kalsia State

 

519 547 38 1,104
Nalargarh State

 

44 721 765
Shimla

 

31 639 670
Other Districts/ States

 

Total

 

206,371 113,100 30,935 350,622