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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

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

 

 

 

 

Total

592,886

57,490

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.

1947AG.jpg

Map of Rajputana: Source Wikipedia

Origin

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.

 

Partition

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.

 

 

 

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
Hoshiarpur

 

12,222 983 13,205
Jalandhar

 

10,839 680 11,519
Ludhiana

 

4,487 81 4,568
Ambala

 

2,949 1,009 3,958
Patiala State

 

1,516 126 1,642
Firuzpur

 

288 12 300
Nabha State

 

279

 

 

 

279

 

Karnal

 

176 11 187
Malerkotla State
153 153
Kalsia State

 

110   110
Other District

 

    334
Total

 

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.

Partition

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

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

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.

 

 

Mandahar Rajput

This post will look at the clan of Rajputs called the Mandahar, which also pronounced as Mandhaar, Mughad or Madhad. The Mandahar are a clan of Ranghars, that at the beginning of the 20th Century occupied a compact block of villages in Kaithal, with a, chaudhriat at Siwan, and almost confined to the Nardak of Karnal, Ambala and the neighbouring portion of Patiala and Jind states. A few Mandahar are found east of the Jumna in Sahranpur. Like other Ranghar groups, the partition of India in 1947 led to the Mandahar emigrating to Pakistan. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Ranghar that give some general description of this Muslim community once found in Haryana.

The author of the Karnal Gazetteer wrote the following about the Mandahar:

they are said to have come from Ajudhia to Jind driving the Chandel and Barah Rajput who occupied the tract into the Siwaliks and across the Ghagger respectively. They then fixed their capital at Kalayat in Patiala, with minor centres at Safidon in Jind and Asandh in Karnal.

They lie more or less between the Tanwar and Chauhan of the tract. But they have in more recent times spread down below the Chauhan into the Yamuna riverine of KarnaI, with Gharaunda, as a local centre. They were settled in these parts before the advent of the Chauhan, and were chastised at Samana, now in Patiala, by Firoz Shah who carried of their Rana to Delhi, and made many of them Musalmans. The Safidon branch obtained the villages now held by them. In the Nardak in comparatively late times by intermarried with the Chauhans. And though they expelled the Chandel Rajputs from Kohand and Gharaunda when they first came into those parts of Karnal, yet the Chandels reconquered them, and the final occupation by the Mandhars coming direct from Kalyat, now in Patiala, is possibly of comparatively recent date

 

This account confirms the origin story told by the Mandahar themselves, that they came from Ayodhya and settled in Jind, driving out the Chandel and Varya Rajputs, and overpowering the Jats. The Mandahar claim to be Suryavanshi Rajputs, and claim descent from Lav, son of the Ram, and claim a common origin with the Bargujar and Gahlot Rajputs. They were intially settled mainly in the valley of Yamuna, mainly in and around Yamuna Nagar and Kaithal. According to Mandahar traditions, the Kandahar, Bargujar, Sankarwal, and Parihar Rajputs are also said to be descended from Lawa, the son of Ram Chandra, and therefore to be Solar Rajputs; and Hindu Mandahar in Karnal do not intermarry with these other clans. The Mandahar are by lineage Raghuvanshi, an ancient Indian dynasty. Raghuvanshi is believed to be a lineage of kings tracing their ancestry to Surya,  which included the god Ram, who provided the rulers of Ayodhya. More then any of other Haryana Rajputs, the Mandahar connect themselves with this dynasty.

This region of Jind became known  as Madadh Three Hundred and Sixty, as there were 360 villages of the clans. In Kaithal and Safidon, it seems that the Mandahar were longest settled, as other clans such as the Chauhan acknowledged there presence prior to there own settlement. The author of the Patiala State Gazetteer using hyperboly points to a presence dating backing to 21,000 years.

The Mandahars are found in tahsil Narwana, and are said to have migrated into the Bangar from Ajudhia 21,000 years ago, and to have taken the ancient town of Kalait from the Chandels. That place and Bata are now held by Hindus, Badsikri and Hittho being held by Muhammadan Mandahars. They call themselves Lachman. Socially they have 12 tapas (as they call their chhats) and 360 villages, the tapas in this State being Dhanauri, Kalait and Badsikrl.

The villages in tehsils Jind and Dadri of the Jind State, the Madadh region, were ancient settlements of Jats and Rajputs, Hindus and Muslims. These villages were grouped into tappas, some of which were named after the clan which bad founded or built the villages in the group.These tappas continued until the end of the Jind State in 1948. Each tappa had chaudhary, and it was customary for the brotherhood of a got within a tappa to assemble when disputes occured regarding marriages or deaths or customs of the brotherhood, and settle them among themselves. Among the Muslim Mandahar, their chaudhriat at Siwan in Kaithal.

Mandahar maintained a semi-independent status until they came to the attention of Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1309 – 20 September 1388), the Sultan of Delhi. The Sultan demanded a tribute, which was refused, and as such Sultan sent his army against them. The Mandahar chieftains, who used the title Rana were overwhelmed by Sultan’s forces. After their defeat, they were reduced to 60 villages largely in the Nardak, a hilly tract made up of the Nissing, Nilokheri and Assandh development blocks in Karnal district. In this hilly region, the Mandahar remained largely independent, plundering the plains near Delhi. In 1528-29, after series of Mandahar raids, the Mughal Emperor Babar sent an expeditionary fotce against Mohan, one of the rebellious ranas. However, despite attempts by the Delhi rulers to suppress the Mandahar, they remained in a state of semi-independence until the arrival of the British in the early 19th Century.

By the beginning of the 20th Centrury, most Mandahar followed Islam. As the passage below from the Jind gazetteer shows, the process of conversion took a very long time:

 

The Ranghars of Jind tehsil claim descent from Firoz, son of Bhura the first Hindu Rajput converted to Islam under Aurangzeb. They avoid one got in marriage, and the bridegroom wears a sehra on his forehead, not a maur or crown. They still have Brahman parohits, who give them Protective threads (rakshabandhan) to wear on the wrist

It seems, some Mandahar groups converted to Islam as early as the period of Firuz Shah Tughlaq, while some groups only converted during the period of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (3 November 1618 – 3 March 1707). This allow for the contradictory accounts of when they converted to Islam. However, as the author of the Jind Gazetteer shows, the Mandahars still practiced many Hindu customs in the beginning of the 20th Century.

Hindu Mandahar are still  found in Chandigarh, Mohali, Yamuna Nagar, Patiala, Karnal, Panipat, Jind, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Kaithal, Faridabad in Haryana and Punjab. Some famous villages of Madadh Rajputs in Haryana are Saraswati Nagar (previously Mustafabad), Sadaura, Baltana, Rajound, Salwan, Ghauranda(Arainpura), Batta, Kalayat, Rahara, Singhana (Sarpdaman) and Muana. Among Muslim Mandahar of the Nardak, there most important village was Dachor, Gharaunda, Jalbana, and Urlana Kalan. The Muslim Mandahar are now found in South Punjab, such as Okara, Multan, Lodhran and Khanewal districts.

Distribution of the Mandahar Rajput According to 1901 Census of India

District / State Muslim Hindu Total
Karnal

 

17,357 4,635 21,992
Patiala State

 

1,260 708 1,968
Jind State

 

1,178 239 1,417
Ambala

 

525 225 750
Hissar

 

514 66 580
Rohtak

 

429 51 480
Gurgaon

 

173 15 188
Other Districts

 

Total 21,734 6,030 27,764

 

 

 

Rathore Rajputs of Poonch

In this post I will look at a particularly interesting tribe, that of the Rathore of Poonch. The Rathore of the Poonch region have clear traditions of migrations from the Marwar region of Rajasthan. I shall start off my giving a general description of the history of the Rathore and then to look specifically at the Rathore of Poonch.

 

The Rathore were rulers of Jodhpur, historically called Marwar and latter extender their rule over Bikaner. Reference can be made to “khyats” (traditional accounts) written down in the seventeenth century, which refer to the fact that the Rathores were originally feudatories of the  Ujjain based Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, and may perhaps have been domiciled in the vicinity of Kannauj in the heyday of that dynasty. Pratihara-ruled Kannauj was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1019 CE, which ushered in a chaotic period for that area. A family known to us as the Gahadvala gained control of Kannauj and ruled for nearly a century; their best-known ruler was Raja Jaichand, their last king. The Gahadvalas were displaced from Kannauj by the invasion, in 1194 CE, of Muhammad of Ghor. It is said that Sheoji, a surviving grandson of Jaichand, made his way into the western desert with a group of faithful followers, finally settling in the town of Pali in Marwar, which was ruled by another branch of the Pratiharas. Sheoji is regarded as the patriarch of the entire Rathore clan and all Rathores trace their patrilineage back to him. The tradition finds supports from a number of inscriptions found in the vicinity of Kannauj that mention several generations of a Rashtrakuta dynasty ruling there for two centuries. A very similar account is also mentioned in the “Rashtrayudha Kavya” of Rudrakavi, finished in 1595, who was the court poet in the court of the Rathore king, Narayana of Mayurgiri.

 

Marwar to Poonch

 

The Rathores gradually spread across Marwar, forming a brotherhood of landowners and village chieftains, loosely bound to each other by ties of clan and caste. An epoch in the history both of Marwar and of the Rathores was marked by Rao Jodha, a warrior who founded a kingdom that grew to encompass all of Marwar. He also founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459, and moved his capital from Mandore. One of his sons, Rao Bika, with the help of his uncle Rawat Kandhal, established the town of Bikaner in 1488, in the Jangladesh region lying to the north of Marwar; that town was to become the seat of a second major Rathore kingdom.

 

The various cadet branches of the Rathore clan gradually spread to encompass all of Marwar and later spread to found states in Central India and Gujarat. The Rathore were actually recruited as soldiers in the Mughal Army. In 1596, one such soldier of fortune, Raja Siraj-Ud-Din Rathore, the descendant of Rao Jodha and Rao Suraj Singh, was made by the Mughal emperor Jahangir the new ruler of Poonch. The establishment of the Rathore state led to the migration of several Rathore in the Poonch region. Not all the Rathore however converted to Islam, and there are several villages of Hindu Rathore Rajputs found mainly in Bhaderwah and Kishtwar areas of Jammu Province.

 

Rajahs of Poonch

 

Siraj-Ud-Din and had two wives, from his first wife’s son Raja Fateh Mohammad Khan (ruled – 1646-1700), descend the Rathore rulers of Poonch. From a second wife, who was a Chauhan Rajput had two sons Noor Mohammad and Khan Mohammad. His successors included Rajah Abdul Razak Rathore (1700-1747), on his death the throne of Poonch was usurped by Latifullah Tarkhan. With the help of Islam Yar Khan Kishthwaria, the Tarkhan was defeated and killed and Baqa Mohammad Rathore was made ruler of Sarhon and Kahuta. Meanwhile the throne of Poonch passed to the Kishtwaria chieftain. On his death in 1760, the throne returned to the Rathores, with Raja Rustam Rathore becaming next Raja (ruled – 1760-1787).

 

Rajah Rustam Rathore was born as Ali Gohar, and his period was considered a golden age of the Poonch principality. The territory of the Rathore then covered all of Poonch, including the what is now Haveli district of Azad Kashmir. He was succeed by Raja Shahbaz Khan who ruled from 1787-92, Raja Bahadur Khan who ruled from 1792-1798, who was overthrown by his vizier Ruhullah. The Rathore chiefs of Sarhoon, under Rajah Sher Baz Rathore expelled Ruhullah and assumed the thrown of Poonch. Sher Baz ruled from 1804-1808, when his state was conquered by the Sikhs. This put an to the main line of the Rathore, but two branches continued as jagirdars until the end of the Jammu and Kashmir State in 1948.

 

The Chaudhary of Sarharon and Kahuta

 

The territory of Sarharon and Kahuta is located north of Poonch city, and now lies largely within Pakistani Kashmir in what is now Haveli District. The Ratjores of this chieftainship descend from the second son of Rajah Fateh Mohammad by the name of Mohammad Moazam Khan. This occurred in 1667, and the chieftainship lasted till 1787, when last chief Rajah Azamatullah Khan was defeated by the Sikhs. In 1846, the territory became part of the Dogra state of Jammu and Kashmir. Raja Sarandaz Rathore, the then ruler was granted a jagir within the Dogra state. His descendents maintained this position until the end of the Dogra state in 1948.

 

The Chaudharies of Shahpur and Mandhar District Poonch

This branch of the Rathore claims descent from Raja Noor Mohammad Khan, who was the son of Siraj-Ud-Din Khan. He was granted the jagir of Shahpur, that lies just south of the line of Control in Indian administered Kashmir. The Rathore of Shahpur descend from the eldest son of Raja Noor Mohammad Khan, while those of Mandhar, also located close to the line of control, descend from the younger brother. These two minor principalities were never independent, but were feudal states loyal to the rulers of Poonch. When the Poonch State was annexed by the Sikhs, they continued as jagirdars until the end of the Dogra State in 1948.

 

Distribution

The Rathore are now divided by the Line of Control, with Kahuta branch now found in Haveli District of Pakistani Kashmir, while those of Shahpur and Mandhar now found in Indian Kashmir.

 

In Haveli District and neighbouring Kotli, there are several Rathore villages such as Budh, Barengban, Chapa Najl, Jokan, Halan, Werha Khas, Padr, Palan Chaudriyan and Kalali.

 

Large number of Rathore are also found in Nakar Bandi (about 60 km East of Bagh) in Azad Kashmir.