Baghban and Malyar/Maliar Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province According to the 1901 Census of India

In this fourth post on the distribution of communities, I will look at two related communities, the Baghban and Malyar, sometimes spelt Maliar. Both were found largely in the Pothohar plateau, and neighbouring areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, such as the Peshawar valley and the Hazara region. In terms of geographic distribution, they have much in common with the Awans, whose distribution I have looked at in a previous post. The term Baghban or sometimes pronounced Baghwan, is simply the Farsi equivalent of the Hindi word Mali meaning a ‘gardener,’ and commonly used as equivalent to Arain in the Western Punjab. According to Rose, the colonial British ethnologist:

Baghbans do not form a caste and the term is merely equivalent to Mali, Maliar, etc.

There is some confusion as to whether the Baghban and Maliar are distinct communities. In Peshawar, the Maliar and Baghban do seem to be distinct communities. But in other parts, the two terms are used interchangebly. It is also likely that Baghban of Patiala State were really members of the Arian caste. Time permitting, I will write a post on the Maliar caste.

Baghban Population of Punjab

District Muslim Hindu Total
Rawalpindi  502  141  643
Patiala State
 397  397
Gujrat
207

207
Mianwali
189    189
 Other Districts  257  50  307
Total Population  1,552 191 1,743

 

Baghban Population of North West Frontier Province

 

District Population
Peshawar  9,427
Bannu  2,155
Other Districts  289
Total Population  11,871

 

 

Malyar in Population Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi  50,125
Jhelum  28,371
Shahpur  2,651
Total Population  81,093 

Malyar in NWFP

 

District Population
Peshawar  18,319
Hazara  7,770
Kohat  1,078
Total Population  27,167

 

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Awan Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province according to the 1901 Census

This is my third post, looking at the population distribution according to the 1901 Census of Punjab. In this post, I look at the Awan caste, who unlike the castes looked in previous posts such as the Dogar and Kamboh, is entirely Muslim. I will ask to the reader to look at my posts on the Kamboh, to give some background as geographical spread of Colonial Punjab. In addition, for completeness’s sake, I would ask you to look at my posts on the 1931 Census of Hazara, as well my the post on the Budhal, who are sub-group of the Awans, to get some background information on the caste. This post will also look at their distributions according to the 1901 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Awan Groups

In terms of distribution, about two-thirds of the Awans lived in the Pothohar plateau, and the Salt Range mountains, which were located just below the plateau. The Awan population of the North West Frontier Province were culturally close to the Awan of the Pothohar. Both spoke related languages, the Hindko and Pothohari languages. The Awan of Mianwali spoke an intermediate dialect between Hindko and Seraiki. While the Awans of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, and the southern Punjab districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan and the Bahawalpur State spoke Seraiki.

A third cluster of Awans was found in what is now Indian Punjab. The Awan of Sialkot, Gujranwala and Lahore were culturally similar to the East Punjab Awans. There were Awankari, or Awan inhabited territories in Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala state, all teritories now located in Indian Punjab.

Awan Population of Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi 140,835
Jhelum 99,542
Shahpur 55,387
Sialkot 24,459
Mianwali 23,449
Gujrat 14,864
Hoshiarpur 13,652
Jalandhar 12,350
Multan 6,600
Bahawalpur 4,815
Ludhiana 4,580
Lahore 3,887
Dera Ghazi Khan 3,442
Muzaffargarh 3,232
Chenab Colony 3,001
Jhang  2,900
Montgomery  1,737
Amritsar  1,683
 Gujranwala  1,018
Gurdaspur 1,008
Firuzpur 490
Kapurthala 483
Ambala 193
Total Population 421,112

Awans in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)

In the NWFP, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Awans were concentrated in the Peshawar valleyHazara Region and the southern Seraik areas of Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan.

District Population
Peshawer 111,339
Hazara 91,474
Kohat 22,358
Bannu 8,667
Dera Ismail Khan 6,396
Malakand, Dir, Swat, and Chitral Territories 512
 Other Districts
Total Population 241,006

 

Dogar Population of Punjab according to 1901 Census

In this second post looking at 1901 Census, I will look at the distribution of the Dogar population. Like the Kamboh in my first post, the Dogar were gazetted as an agriculture tribe. However, the Dogar were almost entirely Muslim, out of a total population of 75,080, only 95 were Hindu, 9 were Sikh and 4 were Jain. The Dogar were found largely in the valley of the Sutlej, in Firuzpur, Faridkot State and the territory of Montgomery (present day Sahiwal and Okara) and the grasslands located between the Ghaghar and the Sutlej rivers, in what then the princely states of Nabha and Patiala and the Hissar territory, presently western Haryana. A second cluster of Dogars were found along the Himalyas, stretching from Hoshiarpur to Sialkot. A final group was found in Karnal and Rohtak, and this group extended into the United Provinces, present day Uttar Pradesh. They differed from other Dogars in that they spoke Haryanwi, and not Punjabi. Almost 70% of their territory went to India in 1947, leading to the migration of the Dogars to Pakistan. I wish to add that the Dogars have nothing to do with the Dogras, who are found largely in the Jammu region.

District Population
Firuzpur 16,402
Patiala 11,243
Hissar 7,623
Lahore 7,503
Hoshiarpur 5,388
Jalandhar 4,409
Amritsar 4,128
Gurdaspur 2,615
Ludhiana 2,411
Sialkot 2,302
Karnal 2,064
 Montgomery 1,675
Gujranwala 1,048
Faridkot 946
Ambala 386
Jind 230
Rohtak 210
Other Districts 34
Total Population 75,080

Kamboh Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census

This is the first of a number of blogs that will look at the results of 1901 Census of the Punjab, with reference to a particular caste. Its worth mentioning that in 1901, the Punjab included in Pakistan, the Punjab province and Islamabad, and in the India the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Delhi. I will start off by looking at the Kamboh community, which in total terms of the Punjab population in 1901, which was 24,754,737, numbered 174,061, which was not a large in population numbers. But as a gazetted agricultural tribe, under the  Punjab Land Alienation Act, 1900 in every district they lived in, were an important landowning group. I will ask the reader to read my post on the Muslim Kamboh of UP, which looks at their origin myths. Like many Punjabi castes, the Kamboh were found in all three religions, namely Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, although Muslim Kambohs formed the largest sub-group. One interesting fact is that the Kamboh religious affaliation did not follow that of a majority of the population they lived. In what is now Sahiwal and Okara (old Montgomery District), the majority of the Kamboh were Hindu, in a region that was predominantly Muslim. While in Patiala and Nabha, the modern areas of the Punjab and Haryana borderlands, the Kamboh were Muslim, in a largely Sikh region. They Kamboh were also linguistically and culturaly divided. In what now Haryana, the Kamboh spoke dialects of Haryanwi, and were connected with large Kamboh population of Saharanpur in UP. While through the central region of Punjab, stretching from Montgomery to Nabha, the Kamboh population was Punjabi speaking. A third group of Kambohs were those of Multan and Bahawalpur, entirely Muslim, and largely urban.

District

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

 

Lahore

 14,339

 6,227

 2,280  22,846

 

Patiala

 11,910

 5,819

 5,073

 22,802

 

Montgomery

 2,326

 19,507

 201  22,034

 

Amritsar

 11,494

 1,330

 4,907

 17,731

 

Kapurthala

 2,604

 1,289

 12,384

 16,277

 

Chenab Colony

 3,005

 1,880

 10,343  15,228

 

Karnal

 1,754

 11,945

 161

 13,860

 

Ambala

 1,673

 5,530

 2,123

 9,326

 

Firuzpur

 5,204

 821

 327

 6,352

Jalandhar  191  1,040  5,086  6,317
Malerkotla  5,519  5,519
Nabha  4,559  48  20  4,627
Multan  1,947  1,947
Sialkot  1,746  1,746
Ludhiana  1,302  133  15  1,450
Jind  1,277  16  1,293
Gujranwala  744  19  471  1,234
Shahpur  957  957
Gurdaspur  713  94  18  825
Hoshiarpur   303  102  167   572
Kalsia  247  266  513
Bahawalpur  208  208
Hissar  166  166

Other Districts

 103

 84

 44

  231

Total

 73,878

 56,297

 43,886

 174,061

Languages, Religion, Tribes and Castes of the Hazara Region

In this post, I will examine the 1931 Census of what was then the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is now the Hazara Division. Ethnologically this region is interesting, in that forms a transition zone between the Pashtun dominated areas in the west, the very diverse regions of Kohistan and Gilgit to the north, and the Lahnda speaking areas of Pakistani Kashmir and Punjab to the south and east. I would also ask the reader to look at my post on the 1931 Census of Mirpur District, a region that shares many culture similarities with Hazara.

 

Hazara is bounded on the north and east by the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. To the south are the Islamabad Capital Territory and the province of Punjab, whilst to the west lies the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The river Indus runs through the division in a north-south line, forming much of the western border of the division. The total area of Hazara is 18,013 km². The region is a classic in-between place, which is influenced by both the tribal Pashtun society as well the more settled village based structure of the Punjab and mountainous culture of the Chibhal. Indeed, Hazara has probably the closest linkages with Chibhal, the Hindko language almost merges into Chibhali. Certain castes such as the Dhund and Gakhar are found in equal numbers in both regions. In this post, I analyse the results of the 1931 Census of India. At that time the region had not seen substantial migration of Pashtuns from other regions of the KPK. Most of the population spoke Hindko, which in 1931 was included in the Lahnda category. I have split the post into three categories, the first bit will give an overview of the languages spoken, the second on religion and finally on caste identity.

 

Languages

 

Language Population Percentage
Lahnda 625,268 93%
Pashto 29,375  4%
Punjabi 5,436  0.8
Nepali 4,993
Hindi/Hindustani/Urdu 4,113
Gojri 287
Kashmiri 96
Kohistani 79
Others 464
Total 670,117 100%

As these results show, the majority of the population spoke a language called Lahnda in 1931 Census. Its worth mentioning Lahnda itself is an exonyms and even in 1931 was not used by the speakers themselves.The emerging languages of this dialect area are Saraiki, Hindko and Pothohari. Lahnda means “western” in Punjabi, and was a term coined by William St. Clair Tisdall (in the form Lahindā) probably around 1890 and later adopted by a number of linguists — notably George Abraham Grierson — for a dialect group that had no general local name. Locally, the term to describe the language, at least from the late 19th Century is Hindko, and its speakers are known as Hindkowan, literally in Farsi those who speak the Hindko language. Hindko almost merges seamlessly into Chibhali, the two languages acquiring their own unique identity, largely because each was spoken in distinct political units. In the case of Chibhali, it was spoken in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and came under the influence of Punjabi and Kashmiri. Dhundi-Kairali, spoken by the Dhund and Karlal tribes of eastern Hazara and western Poonch is an intermediate dialect between Chibhali and Hindko. This dialect is now spoken largely in Abbottabad District, and the adjoining Murree Hills and Galyat areas.

The other two languages that are indigenous to the region are Pashto and Gojri. Briefly about Pashto, it was largely spoken in the  Kala Dhaka region,  home to five major tribes, Bassi khel, Mada khel, Akazai, Hassanzai, and Nasrat khel, all of whom were clans of the Yousafzai. Some Swati clans also continued to speak Pashto. It is worth pointing out most of the Pathans belonging to the larger tribes such as the Jadoon, Tareen and Dilazak were Hindko speaking. In Hazara tribal and linguistic identity often did not match. The other indigenous language was Gojri, which had 287 speakers. As the language of the Gujjar caste, who numbered 98,599, the figure of 987 is extremely small. It is very likely, that the number of Gojri speakers have been undercounted, as many were Gujars at that time were nomadic, this was especially the case in the Kaghan Valley.

Religion

 

Religion Population Percentage
Muslim 636,794  95%
Hindu 24,543 4%
Sikh 7,630
Christian 432
Others 718
Total 670,117 100%

In terms of religion, the Hazara region was largely Islamized by the 1931 census. The region was home to a Hindu minority, many of whom belonged Khatri, Arora and Brahman castes. The region was uniquely home to the Muhial community, traditionally landowning Brahmans.

Tribes and Castes

 

Religion Caste or Tribe Sub-Caste Population
Muslims
Awan 106,931
Gujjar 98,599
Pathan 54,544
 Jadoon 19,070
   Tareen 935
   Dilazak 906
   Utman Khel 585
   Yousafzai 321
   Bangash 199
   Khattak 140
 Durrani 81
   Afridi 57
   Mohmand 31
   Other Tribes 32,216
Swati 44,511
Dhund 38,983
Sayyad 27,629
Karral (Sardar) 27,117
Julaha (Bafinda)  

13,564

Kashmir 13,218
Mughal 11,843
Tarkhan 10,201
Sarrara 9,984
Lohar 9,593
Mochi 9,082
Nai 7,173
Qureshi 6,415
Gakhar 6,017
Mishwani 5,361
Malyar 5,204
Kumhar 5,041
Rajput 5,016
Turk 4,486
Teli 2,811
Shaikh 2,455
Dhobi 2,387
Mirasi 1,799
Mussali  1,142
Khoja (Punjabi Sheikh) 934
Darzi 846
Jhinwar (Jheer) 758
Sonar 383
Qassab 284
Mallaah 250
Paracha 185
Baluch 166
Arain 132
Chamar 120
Jat 58
Penja 49
Rangrez 30
Baghban 25
Bhatiara 18
Other Muslims 18,038
 Hindus
Khatri 8,890
Gurkha 4,173
Brahman 3,306
Arora 2,036
Rajput 689
Bhatia  193
Sonar 44
Chuhra 40
Dhobi 31
Gakhar 28
Jat 13
Kumhar 13
Jhinwar 10
Lohar 7
Mochi 4
Nai 3
Tarkhan 2
Other Hindus 5,779
Sikh
Brahman 1,693
Khatri 486
Arora 336
Jat 282
Rajput 177
Bhatia 69
Sonar 31
Kumhar 6
Other Sikhs 4,542
 
Others  1,150
Total Population 670,117

With regards to caste grouping, the British Administration had divided the population by the Land Alienation Act into those who could own land, and those who were ineligible.The tribes of the District, that were notified as agricultural under the Punjab Alienation Act, were the Awans, Bambas, Bibs, Dhunds, Dilazaks, Gakhars, Gujars, Karrals, Malliars, Mishwanis, Mughals, Pathans, Qureshis, Rajputs, Sararas, Swathis, Sayeds, Tareens, Tanaolis, and Turks. The large non-agriculturalist groups included Julaha (Bafinda), Tarkhan, Lohar, Mochi and Nai groups, who were often referred to by the derogatory term kami. The number of kami castes had fallen over the period, as many of families were absorbed into agricultural castes.

Major Muslim Groups

The Awans

The Awans made up one-sixth of the total population in Hazara, and were found almost everywhere other then the Kala-Dhaka. I will not go into too much detail as to there origin, other then to say they claim descent from Qutab Shah, an Arab, and a descendent of Ali, who arrived in the region with Mahmud of Ghazni. The Awans were are entirely Hindko speaking group, and connected with the Awans of the Pothohar region of neighbouring Punjab. Closely connected to the Awans are the Bib who are small  tribe found Abbotabad District, occupying two villages between the Rash plains and Thandiani range. They claim a common origin with the Awans, and in 1931 were not counted separately but included within the Awans.

The Gujjars

The Gujars are among the oldest inhabitants of the region, and make up the second largest ethnic group in Hazara. They were in occupation of the  Hazara plain before the Dilazaks, Utmanzais, and Tareens  migrated there. In Mansehra, the Kathana Gujars of Kot Najibullah and in Haripur the Jagal Gujars are most prominent families. The Kaghan Valley right up to the Babusar pass is entirely inhabited by the Gujjars. The Kaghan Gujjars are largely Gojri speaking, while those in the southern part of Hazara are now largely Hindko speaking.

The Pathans and Mashwani

In Hazara, as in most cis-Indus regions, the Pashtun tribes describe themselves as Pathan, with the exception of those from the Kala Dhaka, speaking the Yousafzai dialect, call themselves Pakhtoon. In 1931, the total Pathan population, including the Kala Dhaka tribes was 54,544, about 8% of the total population. After Independence in 1947, the Pathan population has increased considerable, as migrants from other parts of KPK have settled there.

 

Lilla and Phaphra

In this post, I will look at two tribes, namely the Phaphra and Lilla, who live in close proximity to each other in the Pind Dadan Khan region of Jhelum. Both of them have been called Jat, and here I wish to make a point. Both these tribes claim to an extra sub-continental descent, the Phaphra claim to be Mughal, while the Lilla Qureshi. Yet, the definition of Jat is elastic enough in this region for both these tribes to be included in the Jat category. What makes someone a Jat here is whether other tribes of Jat status will intermarry with them. I would also ask the reader to look at my article on the Jalap, which gives some background on the Jats of the Jhelum region.

Phaphra

Phaphra is small tribe of Mughal status, also found in Pind Dadan Khan plains located north of the river Jhelum.

The tribe claims to be Barlas Mughals, and get its name from an ancestor named Phaphra, who settled in the district in the 15th Century. So who exactly are the Barlas, and I shall briefly look at this group of medieval Mongols. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, written during the reign of Ögedei Khan [r. 1229-1241], the Barlas shared ancestry with the Borjigin, the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors, and other Mongol clans. The leading clan of the Barlas traced its origin to Qarchar Barlas, head of one of Chagatai’s regiments. Qarchar Barlas was a descendant of the legendary Mongol warlord Bodonchir (Bodon Achir; Bodon’ar Mungqaq), who was also considered a direct ancestor of Genghis Khan. Due to extensive contacts with the native population of Central Asia, the tribe had adopted the religion of Islam, and the Chagatai language, a Turkic language of the Qarluq branch, which was heavily influenced by Arabic and Persian. Timur, the ancestor of the Mughal dynasty belonged to the Barlas clan, and therefore that would connect the Paphra with the Mughals.

As their little historic evidence to connect the Phaphra with the Mughals, there is some scepticism as to their claim of Mughal ancestry. British settlement documents from the late 19th and early 20th Century refer refer to them as a “semi-Jat tribe”. As I have already mentioned, the word Jat in the Jhelum region often means a cultivator. The fact that the Phaphra often intermarry with neighbouring tribes such as the Lilla and Gondal, who are considered as Jat often reinforces the perception that the Phaphra are Jat.

According to Phaphra traditions, they came to this district from the direction of Faridkot, in what is now in East Punjab India. They settled in India around 15th Century, slightly earlier then the Mughal takeover of the Punjab. The Phaphra settled here as agriculturists, getting their name from their leader at that time Phaphra. However some other traditions claim he was called Nittharan. According to a family tree kept by Chaudharies of Gharibwal, the largest landowners among the tribe, gives their genealogy as follows:
Harbans or Shah Ibrahim (a descendent of Timur), Tilochar, Shah, Mal, Phaphra, Pheru, Vatra, Jatri, Harsh or Arif, Tulla, Nado, Hardev, Mahpal, and finally Nittharan.

Nittharan is said to have five sons namely; Gharib, (descendants in Gharibwal), Samman (Sammanwal), Ichhcin (son’s name Sau, descendants in Sauwal), Rao (Rawal), and Dhudhi (Dhudhi, and Qadarpur). Some of the earlier names are clearly Hindu, although this does not itself preclude their claim to Barlas ancestry. But there position in Jhelum society was more akin that of the Jats then the Mughals. Their headmen use the title Chaudhary, and their customs are very similar to the Gondals, the largest Jat tribe in their vicinity. The Phaphra are now divided into two rival clans, the Dhudhial, from the village of Dhudhi Paphra and Sadowalia from those who belong to the village of Sadowal.

The Paphra occupy a compact area of about 25 square miles at the foot of the Salt Range, east of Pind Dadan Khan in Jhelum District .The main Mughals Phaphra villages are Chak Danial, Chak Shadi, Chakri Karam Khan, Dewanpur, Dhudi Paphra, Ghareebwal, Jutana, Karimpur, Kaslian, Kot Phaphra, Kot Shumali, Rawal, Sidhandi, Sammanwal, Sadowal, Saowall, Shah Kamir, Qadirpur, Thil, Warnali, and Warra Phaphra, all in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District. In Chakwal District they are found in Dhok Virk and Jotana. Mohra Phaphra is a lone Phaphra village in Rawalpindi District. Across the Jhelum, in Mandi Bahauddin District the Paphra are also found in villages of Phaphra, Chak No 29 and Nurpur Piran.

Lila

The next tribe I will look are the Lila, who are also found above the Jhelum in Pind Dadan Khan District.

According to their tribal traditions, they originally located in Arabia, being relations of the Prophet on his mother’s side. This would make the Lila’s Qureshi by origin. They then left Arabia under the leadership of an individual named Haris, who migrated to India, with a band of 160 men and settled at a place called Masnad in Hindustan, which they say still exists as a small town or village, though its exact situation is not known. This happened in the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. However, the Lilla did not stay long in Masnad, and moved to Multan. There they became disciples of the pir Ghaus Shah. The Pir warned them that they would prosper as long as they remained united, but that any disagreements within the tribe would lead to their ruin.

Accompanied by Ghaus Shah, the tribe settled in Shahidiwalian, near present day Gujranwala. After they had been settled there for some time the locals of the place began to get tired of the trouble they caused, and made complaint to the Emperor at: Delhi, who ordered that they should be moved on.

The local governor was ordered to expel them and succeeded in dividing the tribe into two factions, which fought a pitched battle. The defeated party dispersed and its descendants are now found near the Chenab, mainly in what’s now Mandi Bahaudin District, while the others, weakened by the struggle, migrated to the Pind Dadan Khan plain, led by Lilla Buzurg, whose is considered the ancestor by all the present Lillas. When Lilla arrived at their present location, the tract was then occupied a tribe of Hal Jats. As I have already mentioned in the section on the Hal, the Lillas proceeded exterminated this tribe, barring one pregnant woman, who had managed to escape. According to the tribal traditions of the Awan, who villages border those of the Lilla, they were first settle the area by the Jhelum, which was a swamp.Despite the claim to Qureshi ancestry, the Lilla are considered as Jats by their neighbours and intermarry with other tribes of Jat status such as the Gondal, Jethal, Phaphra and Wariaches.

The four ancestral villages of the tribe are Lilla Bhera (also known as Mainowana), Lilla Bharwana, Lilla Hindwana, and Lilla Guj, which are said to be named after their founders, Maino, Bharo, Hindo, and Guj. Each of these villages are named after their founders, Maino, Bharo, Hindo, and Guj. The tribe holds about 40 square miles of territory between Pind Dadan Khan town and the Salt Range in the Jhelum District, and form the majority in the villages of Chak Hameed, Jalalpur Sharif, Lilla Handwana, Lilla Goj, Lilla Bhera (also known as Mainowana) and Rawal in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. There also a second cluster of Lilla villages on the banks of the Jhelum River in Khushab District, such as Kotla Jagir, Mohibpur and Waheer. While in Mandi Bahauddin District, they are found in Bohat, and further south in Sargodha District, they are found in Bhikhi Khurd, descendants of the second group of Lillas who dispersed to the Chenab.

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India: The Khokhar

In this post I return to the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), and look at one of the lesser known communities, that of the Khokhar. There are in fact two distinct communities of Khokhars in UP, those of Sambhal and Kot. While the Khokhar of Punjab are well known, very little has been written about the Khokhars of UP, and this post will try to provide some information. These two settlements are quite distant from each other, the distance between Sambhal and Kot being almost 500 kilometres. Each group of Khokhars have their own origin stories and I will treat them separate. The Sambhal Khokhar are really a sub-group within Ranghar community of western Uttar Pradesh. Just a brief note about the Khokhars, they are a well known tribe from the Punjab, whose homeland is the the Salt Range

As in common among Punjabi tribal groupings, the Khokhar have a number of origin stories. According to one of tradition, the Khokhars are connected with the Awans, making Khokhar one of Qutub Shah’s sons, the semi-mythical ancestor of the Awn tribe. Many Khokhar groups in the Salt Range now call themselves Khokhar Qutb Shahis, literally descendants of Qutub Shah. Another Khokhar tradition makes them descended from Zahhak , a mythical figure from ancient Iran, who’s descendent Rustam Raja arrived in Punjab sometime in the beginning of the Common Era and was nicknamed Khokhar. What is clear is by the arrival of Mohammad Ghori, the Khokhars were in possession of the Salt Range, and when Ghori tried to conquer the region he was murdered by them. The Khokhars remained rebellious throughout the Delhi Sultanate period, and it is very likely both the colonies of Khokhar now present in UP are result of deportations from the Punjab. I will first look at the Khokhar of Sambhal, who accept a Punjabi origin.

Denzil Ibbetson, the 19th Century colonial scholar of Punjab, commenting on the returns of 1881 Census of Punjab, noted the following in connection with the Khokhars:

Under the head Khokhar only represent a fraction of the Khokhars in the Panjab. The Khokhars are ordinarily considered a Rajput tribe, and most of the Khokhars of the districts have so returned themselves. Many of the Khokhars of western districts again, and all those of the frontier, have been re turned as Jats; while only in the Rawalpindi and Multan divisions are separate figures shown for the Khokhar caste. How far this inclusion is due to Khokhars having actually returned themselves as Rajput or Jat by caste and Khokhar by tribe, and how far to the action of the divisional offices, I cannot say exactly till the detailed clan tables are ready.

Its clear that the Khokhar of Punjab are a quasi-Rajput tribe, their historic homeland is located between the valleys of the Chenab and Jhelum, home such tribes as the Bandial, Ghanjera and Rehan, all of whom are clans of the Khokhar, and I have looked at elsewhere. The most important Khokhar family is that of the Rajahs of Ahmedabad, located in Jhelum District. It is this family that produced the famous Muslim League leader Rajah Ghazanfar Ali Khan.

The use of the tem Pathan in the Fatehpur region where Kot is located often also covers Rajput and quasi-Rajput groups. So the use of the term by the Khokhars of Kot must seen in that way.

Khokhar of Sambhal

The city of Sambhal, now a district headquarters is long associated with the Khokhar tribe, who were substantial landowners throughout the late Mughal and Rohila rule of the region. According to tribal traditions, the Khokhars of Sambhal are said to who have come from the Bulandshahr District and to have settled near Sambhal in the days of the Mughal emperor Babar. The Khokhars first arrived in Bulandshahr, at the invitation of Sikander Lodhi, who was the Sultan of Delhi between 1489 and 1517 It said that these Khokhars came from Koh-Jud, a name used for the Salt Range in medieval Muslim writing in India. Interestingly, Sambhal was one of the capitals of Sikander Lodhi. With overthrow of the Lodhi, there ancestor was given the jagir of Sambhal by the Mughal Emperor Babur. This came with the title of Chadhary, which was hereditary in the family till end of British rule in India in 1947. The Khokhars of Sambhal have always had close relations with the Lalkhani Rajputs of Bulandshar and Aligarh. They are said to have been guest of the Lalkhanis in Bulandshar during their stay there before moving to Sambhal.

Khokhar of Kot

The Khokhars of Kot, a town in Fatehpur District have a very different origin myth. First of all the Khokhars of Kot have been in UP for much longer, according to their traditions, the tribe settled in Kot during the rule of Allaudin Khilji ( r . 1296–1316). They are said to be descended from four brothers, of whom the eldest was Malik Bhil or Babar, who were granted the estate of Kot, which at that time was held by a Bhar Raja. In this eastern region, the Bhar, a local ethnic group were the local rulers. The Khokhars were sent by Ala.-ud-din to supress the Bhars, which they did. The dispute is to the origin of these Khokhars. Unlike the Sambhal branch, the Khokhars of Kot have no tradition of a Punjabi origin. At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Khokhars made strong claims of a Pashtun origin. However, more recently, a small number of Khokhar are claiming an Uzbek origin. What’s interesting is the author of the Gazetteer of Fatehpur makes reference to an inscription making reference to the Khokhar conquest to 590 Hijra (1203/1204 CE). This would be mean that the Khokhars arrived in the region around the reign of Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghori. If we accept either of the traditions, the Khokhars of Kot have long been settled in the Fatehpur region. They were effectively the local rulers, but by the arrival of the British, they landholdings were extremely small. The Khokhars of Kot call themselves Pathans, which in eastern Uttar Pradesh does not donate a ethnicity, rather a status. What is interesting is that over the almost millennia in India, they have maintained the name Khokhar, which is clearly associated with the Salt Range region of Punjab. It is very likely, they are Punjabi Muslim tribe, who served in either in the army of Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghori or Allaudin Khilji. Once settled in eastern UP, as they became large landowners, they acquired the status of being Pathans.
Outside Kot, they are found in the villages of Arhaiya, Urha, Shahnagar, Rahmatpur, Sheopuri, Kali, Ghazipur and Parwezpur.

Tribes of the Thal Desert: The Tiwana

In this post I will look at Tiwana, or sometimes spelt Tawana. I would ask the reader to look at my other articles on the tribes of the Thal, which gives some background information on the Thal and its inhabitants. Perhaps more then any other tribe, the Tiwana represent the culture and tradition of the Thal desert. They have much in common with the Aheers, with whom they intermarry. What perhaps makes the Tiwana unique however is their insistence that they are Rajputs, a claim not made by other Thal tribes. So who are these Tiwana, and the answer is never simple. According to their own traditions, they are Panwar Rajputs. What is interesting about this region of Punjab is the persistence of claims towards Panwar or Parmar ancestry, despite the fact this region never formed part of the medieval Parmar state. The Tiwanas of the Thal are still found mainly in Khushab district. Another branch of the Tiwana tribe, which was partly Sikh and partly Muslim were found in Samana, which was part of the Sikh ruled state of Patiala. The Muslim Tiwanas left Samana after partition, and are now found dispersed throughout central Punjab. This article will focus of the Khushab Tiwanas, with some reference to the Samana clan.

According to Tiwana tribal traditions, they descend from Rai Shankar, who is also said to be the ancestor of the Sial tribe. So this is there story. Rai Shanker, a Panwar Rajput, lived in Daranagar, which was said to be located midway between Allahabad and Fatehpur, in what is now Uttar Pradesh. Other traditions refer to a a group of Panwars migrating to Jaunpur from Dara Nagar where Shanker was born. Three sons were born to Shanker, who were named Ghaiyyo, Taiyyo and Saiyyo and from whom descend the Sial tribe of Jhang, Tiwanas of Khushab and Ghebas of Pindigheb. According to another tradition, Sial was the only son of Rai Shanker and the ancestors of the Tiwanas and Ghebas were merely related to Shanker by paternal descent. Shanker’s clansmen lived in unity until his death, but afterwards they developed severe disputes and clashes which led to his son Sial migrating to Punjab during the period 1241-46 A.D. during the reign of Alauddin Ghauri, son of Sultan Ruknuddin or Masud Shah Alauddin.

It important to note, that almost all the Panwar clans like the Mekan and Dhudi have traditions that they migrated to Punjab during the early 13th Century. The other Panwar groupings also have traditions of accepting Islam at the hands of a Sufi saint. For the Tiwanas, this occurred when Teu, their ancestor arrived at Ajodhan, now named Pak Pattan, and embraced Islam at the hands of Hazart Baba Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shaker. However, the Tiwanas of the Thal also have traditions that they migrated from Samana, so it is likely the Samana was the original area of settlement. What is also a point to note is that the Samana Tiwana were the only Jat clan in the region which a slight majority of Muslims.

Tiwana of Patiala

Teo’s descendants founded the village of Mataur, near Narwana, in present day Jind District. The village remains’ the centre of Tiwanas who have remained Hindus. A group of Tiwanas left Mataur and settled near Samana, and founded the village of Chinhartal, which situated 15 miles from Patiala. A second group migrated and settled in the Thal desert, from which descend the Khushab branch.

The village of Chinhartal was divided into three different sections (known as patties in Punjabi). These three sections were Nanda Patti, Tiloka Patti, and Gaddo Patti, named after an ancestor. Tiloka patti was the largest patti in the village. Gaddo and his descendants had embraced Islam in A.D. 1533. During the Mughal period, Muslim Tiwana Chaudharis, descendants of Gaddo, Majlis Khan and Wazir Khan, were the prominent chiefs in the Malwa region. With the rise of the Sikhs in Patiala, the Muslim branch of the Tiwanas declined, and were reduced to village headmen. Abar Muhammad popularly known as Abri was the village numberdar right up to partition in 1947. The Muslim Tiwanas of Patiala all emigrated to Pakistan in 1947.

Tiwana of Khushab

The Tiwana rose as major landowners in the Thal in the 18the Century, a position that was confirmed by the British colonial authorities. Mughal authority rapidly collapsed in the Punjab in early 1700s, wth both the Sikhs and Afghans vying for power. In the Thal region, the Tiwana under Malik Sher Khan made themselves masters of Nurpur and the surrounding country, and after the death of the Awan chieftain Gul Jahannia of Warchha, succeeded in establishing a partial authority over the Awans settlements along the base of the Salt range. They also seized Shekhowal and several other villages on the right bank of the Jhelum from the Baloch rulers of Sahiwal. However, the Malik’s attempt was unable to capture Khushab, for although Lal Khan, the Baloch ruler was killed in the defence of the town, the Tiwanas were driven off, and Jafar Khan, the deceased chieftain’s son and successor, remained in possession, until Ranjit Singh absorbed the minor principality.

Tiwana power was now reduced the lands near their most important village, Mitha Tiwana, and here too, faced the rising power of the Sikhs. Ranjit Singh sent a well equipped force against them under Misr Diwan Chand in 1816. The Tiwana Malik was forced to leave Mitha for Nurpur, in the heart of the Thal, hoping that the scarcity of water and supplies might prevent the Sikh army from succeeding. But the Sikh commander, sank wells as he advanced, so that after a time the Tiwana, finding resistance hopeless, abandoned Nurpur, and took refuge with their old enemy, the Nawab of Dera Ismail Khan. The Nawab decided that this was the time to finish his Tiwana rivals, plundered them and turned them out. After this, for nearly two years, Malik Khan Muhammad and his sons wandered from place to place, subsisting on the charity of their neighbours but finding this kind of life insupportable, they determined efforts to recover their former possessions.

The Tiwanas were able to raise a force from the Thal tribes, and after surprise attack, seized Mitha. The Sikh garrison, completely taken by surprise, abandoned the place and fled, and the Maliks were once more masters of the land of their ancestors. This success was however short-lived, as in 1818, the ousted Sikh Governor returned with a strong force, and the Maliks were once again forced into exile. The possessions of tho Tiwana Chiefs were then given in jagir to the famous Sikh general Hari Singh, Nalwa, and were held by him till his death at Peshawar in 1837. Khan Muhammad, the Tiwana chieftain then travelled to Lahore to convince Ranjit Singh that it would be bad policy to drive the Tiwanas to desperation. Tiwanas as loyal subjects of the Sikh could act as intermediaries between them and the Jats of the Thal. They were therefore granted an estate on the west bank of the Jhelum, covering much of the norther corner of the Thal.
Kadir Bakhsh, the new Tiwana chieftain, became close friends with the Dogra warlord Raja Gulab Singh, and became an important courtier of Ranjit Singh. At the death of Hari Singh Nalwa, the Tiwana recovered almost all their lands. The next Tiwana chieftain, Fateh Khan, Kadir Bakhs cousin, took a prominent part in the politics of the Sikh Durbar. However, when the British conquered the Malik Fateh Sher Khan, the son of Fateh Khan, and Malik Sher Muhammad Khan, the son of the KAdir Bakhsh, switched to the British side. The descendants of Malik Sher Mohammad became the Maliks of Mitha Tiwana, the most important of the Tiwana estates. Other important estates of the Tiwana include Hadali, Hamooka,

They are now found mainly in Khushab, where important Tiwana villages include Thatta Tiwana, Mitha Tiwana, Noorpur Tiwana, Girot, Hadali, Hamoka, Kalurkot, Kundian, Jhabrian, Waracha, Sakesar, Megha, and Thai Dandan

Distribution of Muslim Tiwana in Punjab by District According to 1901 Census of India

 

District Population
Patiala State 3,039
Shahpur (Sargodha & Khushab districts) 2,971
Other districts 316
Total Population 6,326

 

Tribes of Attock : The Alpial and Jodhra tribes

This is my second postings on the tribes of Attock Region. Readers are asked to look at my article on the Gheba and Khattar tribes, which give some background to the history of the Attock region. In this post I will look at the Jodhra and Alpial, tribes of Rajput status, who have had a profound affect on the districts history.

Below are a list of tribes classified as Rajput by 1911 Census of India:

Tribe

Attock Tehsil

Pindigheb Tehsil

Fateh Jang Tehsil

Talagang Tehsil

Total

Alpial

8,986

Bhatti

9,956

Chauhan

636

Janjua

1,028

Jodhra

8,085

Other Rajput clans of the district include the Hon, Dhamial, Bhakral, Kahut, Khingar, Chib, Minhas, Mangeal, Johad, Adhial, Kurar, Jhottial, Mair-Minhas, Tuh, Hattar, Chanial, Bhatti-Mehra, Bhatti-Kanjal, Bhatti-Jangle, Bhatti-Badhuer and Bhatti-Shaikh

Jodhra

We now look at the Jodhra, the traditional rulers of the Fattehjang area of Attock, close to the Islamabad boundary. They inhabit the south-east of Pindigheb Tehsil, the valley of the Soan extending on the south to the Tallagang border in Chakwal District, and on the north reaching to the watershed which runs across the Tehsil, and along the Fattehjang boundary running up as far as the railway

According to tribal traditions, the get their name from Jodhra, who was converted to Islam by Mahmud of Ghazni and settled in Jammu. The Muslim descendants of Jodhra were forced to leave Jammu, and settled in Sil valley and founded the town of Pindigheb (then called Dirahti) on the north bank. Due to the river changing its course, they then moved their settlement to the south bank, where the current city of Pindigheb stands. Like other Rajput tribes of the region, the Jodhra have multiple origin myths. According to another tradition, their original home was on the banks of the river Ganges, from where they had to leave on their conversation to Islam. All there myths have one thing in common, as Rajput converts to Islam, they had to leave their homeland.

According to the authors of the Attock District Gazetteer, they first settled in the district about the end of the 15th century as a small band of military adventurers. They conquered the lands located between the Soan and Sil rivers and much of Tallagang, ruling these tracts from Pindigheb. The land at that point was in the possession of the Awans, who were not evicted, but remained on as tenants under the conquering Jodhras. The Jodhras, as Rajputs did not cultivate the land themselves, as this would a breach of their caste rulers. The former owners simply sank to the status of tenants. Ownership of the soil vested in the newcomers who were regarded as independent chieftains paying no revenue to the Sultans of Delhi, other than an occasional present of a horse, mule or hawk by way of tribute, and keeping up large bodies of armed retainers. The Jodhra were close to the Grand Trunk road, and the authorities in Delhi were largely interested in making that the Jodhras did not upset the flow of trade and manpower from Central Asia.The Jodhra were said to have actively developed the resources of the surrounding country, and founded the great majority of the villages in which they possessed rights of various kinds lasting right up to the British period.

With the collapse of the Delhi Sultans, whose nominal rule of the region was ended by the Mughal conqueror Babur in the 16th Century, an attempt was made to exercise control over the Attock tribe. But the Mughals also recognised the Jodhra’s position as semi-independent warlords, and Malik Aulia Khan, was granted an estate by Aurangzeb and held a revenue assignment of Pindigheb, and parts of Chakwal and Fattehjang. This was an attempt by the Aurangzeb to regulate the Attock tribes, but they this did not stop the constant feuding. The Malik ignored central Mughal authority and conquered Tallagang.

With the collapse of Mughal authority after the death of Aurangzeb, the Jodhra under Aulia Khan’s son Malik Amanat Khan reached their zenith.It during his rule that Attock became focus of Sikhs raids. After brief attempt by Ahmed Shah Abdali, the Afghan rule to establish his authority, Attock slipped back into the control of local tribes. By the end of the 18th Century, Sikh superiority was established on the small but warlike tribes of the district, but systematic government was never attempted. The arrival of the Sikh also saw the decline of the Jodhras. At once they lost Tallagang and Chakwal over which they had never really established their authority. Gradually the great power of the Pindigheb family was frittered away. It had always been the centre of the tribe, all the minor families Jodhras claimed descent from a particular malik, and recognized the authority of the Pindigheb Maliks as their feudal overlords. First the Langrial family was allowed to secede. Then the Khunda, Kamlial and Dandi families broke away. Finally with the rise of the Ghebas, the lost control over the Soan river valley.

There are five principal families of the Jodhras. By far the most important is that of Pindigheb. Two branches of the family are recognised as chiefs of the tribe, and at present there are three members of the senior branch and two of the junior. The elder branch are descendants of Aulia Khan, while the second branch descends from Fatteh Khan. The Pindigheb Maliks are closely related by marriage with the Gheba family of Kot. Other then the Pindigheb Maliks, the ther four families are the Maliks of Khunda, Dandi, Kamlial and Langrial.

The Jodhras inhabit the south-eastern portion of the Pindi Gheb Tehsil and the valley of the Swaan River extending, on the south, to the border of Talagang of Chakwal District. Almost all the Jodhra villages are found in Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District and Pindi Gheb Tehsil of Attock District, with a few settlements in the Haripur District of Hazara. Their main villages in Pindi Gheb are Khunda, Domial Ahmadal, Ikhlas, Noushehra, Parri, Dandi, Gharibwal, Ganda Kas, Kamrial, Sidrihaal, Kharauba, Kamalpur Sher Jang, Kanat, Mirwal and Saura. In Fatehjang, they are found in Ahmadal, Chauntra, and Langrial, while there also found in the villages of Baldher, Bandi Sherkhan and Akhoon Bandi in Haripur district. The current chief of the tribe is Malik Atta Mohammad Khan of Pindigheb.

Alpial

The Alpial are a Rajput tribe, found mainly in Attock and Rawalpindi districts. According to tribal traditions, the Alpials claim descent from the Manj Rajputs, and their claim to Rajput origin is generally admitted by neighbouring tribes. There ancestor was said to be a Rajah Alp Khan Manj, and the Alpial are the aals or descendents of this Alp Khan of the Manj tribe. I shall now say a little word on the Manj Rajputs. According to the traditions of the Manj, they are in fact Bhatti Rajputs, descended from Raja Salvahan (Salivahana), father of Raja Rasalu, a mythical figure that was said to ruled over much of Punjab, and founded Sialkot. There origin myths also make reference to a Tulsi Das (sometimes called Tulsi Ram), who was converted (to Islam) by the famous Sufi saint, Hazrat Makhdum Shah Jahaniya of Uchh, who died in 1383 A.D. After his conversion to Islam, Tulsi Ram assumed the name Shaikh Chachu, and the Manj had some influence in the valley of the Sutlej, in what is now Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts. Some six hundred years ago (13th Century) Shaikh Chachu and Shaikh Kilchi, are said to haved settled at Hatur in the southwest of Ludhiana, whence their descendants spread into the neighbouring country; and the Jallandhar traditions refer their conquest of the tract to the time of Ala-ud-din Khilji. After the dissolution of the Mughal Empire, the Manj Rais of Talwandi and Raikot ruled over an extensive territory south of the Sutlej, till dispossessed of it by the Ahluwalia Sikhs and later by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Coming back to the Alpials, they appear to have settled in their present locality about the same time as the Jodhras and Ghebas that is about the 15th Century, having first wandered through the country now contained in the Khushab and Chakwal districts before settling down in the southern corner of Fateh Jang. Thereafter, it seems little contact existed between the parent tribe in the Sutlej and the Alpials. According to 1931 census of India, their approximate population was 4,500. The author of the 1929 Attock District Gazetteer had this to say about them:

“ Hard-working and excellent cultivators, generally tilling their own land and working laboriously on their wells, they have taken only a small part in the more lurid history of the district. Socially they rank high, intermarrying freely with the Mughals. They are a bold, lawless set of men, of fine physique, much given to violent crime, sturdy, independent and wonderfully quarrelsome. ”

The Alpial have produced the land owning Chaudry of Chakri family, who rose to semi-independence with the collapse of Mughal authority. They managed to keep this status by alternately supporting one of the two faction of the Gheba in the Swaan valley, the Malal Ghebas and the Kot family, and lost several members of their family in the strife. However, with the arrival of the Sikhs, the Alpial lost their independence, and were reduced to the status of landlords. During the period of British colonial rule, the Chakri family provided several a Viceregal darbaris such as Chaudri Ahmad Khan.

The Alpials occupy a compact block of villages on both banks of the Swaan River, in the Thana Chountra circle of Rawalpindi Tehsil, Rawalpindi District and the in the Sil Sohan circle of the Fateh Jang Tehsil,Attock District. They own 32 villages in all, the main Alpial villages being Sihal, Chakri, Ghila Kalan, Pind Malhu, Jhandhu Syedan, Dhalwali Mohra, Adhwal, Chak Beli Khan, Chountra, Chak-Dinal, Dhullial, Sangral, Khilri, Malkaal, Parial, Raika Maira, Hakeemal, Koliam Goru, Dhoke Gujri, Lamyran, Ramdev, Tatraal, Jaswal, Dheri Mohra, Kharri Murat, Gangainwala, Kolian Hameed, Chak Majhid, Gangal, Jada, Dhok Chach, Habtal, Bhutral, Dhok Cher, and Jodh.

Rawal of Pakistani Punjab

In this post, I will look at a little known Punjabi Muslim community called the Rawals. Like the Khatiks referred to in my earlier post, the Rawals as a community form an important part of the Punjabi Muslim diaspora, with many migrating to Malaysia and Hong King in the early 20th Century.

Like most other Punjabi groups, the Rawal have a complex origin. According to tribal traditions, they are of Arab origin. The ancestor of their tribe was an individual named Ryal, after who they are said to get their name, was in the service of the Prophet. Once when alms were being given by the Prophet, no one came forward to receive them, whereupon Ryal accepted them. Over time, Ryal was corrupted to Rawal, after their settlement in India. By the beginning of the 20th, the Rawal were found mainly in what now Indian Punjab were engaged in petty trade. They had much in common with groups such the Bhatra and Ramaiya, who were also engaged in petty trade.

Rose, the early 20th Century British ethnologist argued the Rawal were really a group of Jogi who had converted to Islam. He argued that the term Rawal was generally used as a synonym for the Jogi, though, strictly speaking, it only denoted Muslim Jogi, who was generally also known as a Jogi-Rawal. The question then is who or what is a Jogi. Jogi, or more correctly Yogi is someone, in tantra traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, is someone who is a practitioner of the tantra (a tantrika). In Classical Sanskrit, the word yogi is derived from yogin, which refers to a practitioner of yoga. Yogi is technically male, and yoginī is the term used for female practitioners. The two terms are still used with those meanings today, but the word yogi is also used generically to refer to both male and female practitioners of yoga and related meditative practices belonging to any religion or spiritual method. The yogi, or by the middle ages the Jogi had become a religious order, living a wondering life as mendicants. In Punjab, the Jogi like in many other parts of India had evolved into a sectarian caste, as distinct from a holy order. Conversion to Islam, which, if we accept Rose, did not stop the Muslim groups to continue to practice as Jogi.

Etymologically, Rawal is a title, the Sanskritised version being Rajakula, meaning lord and used by many feudal families in North India. It could be that Rawal is not a distortion of Ryal, but a title adopted by a group of Jogis, to distinguish themselves from other Jogi groups. Whether they were of Arab origin as their traditions claim, or Jogi converts to Islam, what is clear is that they had close relationship with Hindu Jogi groups in Punjab. According to some traditions, the city of Rawalpindi is named after them.

In the early 20th Century, the Rawals had continued the practice of acquiring knowledge from the Hindu Jogis, and many continued to live a nomadic existence. They were a classic community who practised syncretism, combining aspects of Hinduism and Islam. Many left their villages and spent part of their as wondering holy men. By the early 20th Century, many Rawals had taken up the profession of hakims (physicians), practitioners of the unani medicine. The Rawals were also employed in rural Punjab to carry out surgery and eye operations, leaving there villages at the beginning of winter to visit a well-established client network.

The Rawal like the Barwala and Khatik referred to in earlier posts were not granted agricultural status under the Punjab Land Alienation Act. The impact of this decision was that they were unable to own or purchase land. Many Rawal therefore began to migrate to British ruled Malaysia and Singapore.  Pandit Harikishan Kaul, the Census Commissioner of Punjab for 1911 Census wrote:

From a representation made to me by the Rawals of Hoshiarpur, it appears that they are not homeless people but are enterprizing traders and adventurers who have earned plenty of money by travel in Europe, America, Java and Australia. They have traders large or small amongst them and also pedlers, but they are said to own fairly large commercial concerns in Malaya, Singapore, Sumatra, Celebes, Borneo, Australia and Burma, and some cf them are engaged in pearl fishery in the Malay Islands.

 

They now form important communities within the Punjabi Muslim diaspora communities in those two countries. A second wave of Rawal migration has now taken them to the United States and United Kingdom.

The Partition of Punjab in 1947 affected the Rawal even more badly then the Khatik, with the majority found in territory that is now Indian Punjab. The effect of partition has been that almost all the syncretic traditions have been abandoned. Many of the refugee Rawal are now settled in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot. Like the Khatik, they are now considered to be a sub-group of Shaikhs.

Distribution of Rawal in Punjab by District According to 1911 Census of India

 

District Population
Gurdaspur 4,079
Sialkot 3,687
Hoshiarpur 3,265
Amritsar 3,119
Jalandhar 2,554
Gujranwala 1,746
Kangra 1,164
Gujrat 997
Lahore 933
Jhelum 693
Kapurthala State 668
Ludhiana 400
Other districts 1,637
Total Population 24,942