Goraya Jats

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

Map showing the Doabs of Punjab: Source Wikipedia

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

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

Like all Punjabi tribes and clans, the Goraya have a number of origin stories. The northern half off the Rechna Doaba, the present day districts of Narowal, Sialkot and Gujranwala, has always been dominated by Jats. Jat clans such as the Bajwa, Chatha’s, Tarar, and Waraich, being the majority of the rural population. In custom and tradition, the Goraya share much with these tribes.

Origin Myths

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

.

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

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

 

District/ State Muslim Sikh Hindu

 

Total
 

Sialkot

4,647 681 1,574 6,902
Gujranwala

 

3,534 965 752 5,251
Gurdaspur

 

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

 

2,132 787 182 3,101
Patiala State

 

283 834 1,117
Amritsar

 

412 501 46 959
Lahore

 

568 53 22 643
Mianwali

 

365 365
Hoshiarpur

 

135 16 146 297
Montgomery 180 180

 

Gujrat

 

146 146
Other Districts/ State 936
Total

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Tarar and Ranjha Jats

In this post, I will look at the two tribes of Jat status, that are found between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, with the Tarar also found further east, across the Chenab in Hafizabad district. My post on the Gondal Jats gives a bit information on the Jats of this region.

Below is a breakdown by population of the larger Jat tribes of Gujrat District, which included Mandi Bahaudin for the 1911 Census of India.

Tribe Population
Waraich 41,557
Gondal

23,355

Tarar

14,365

Totle 4,192

Langrial

3,736
Sahi

3,736

Sandhu

3,442

Hanjra

2,751

Cheema 2,572
Thathaal 1,930
Bangial 1,679
Sial 1,511
Heer 1,451
Dhotar 1,355
Sipra 1,084
Mangat 1,075
Kang 1,032
Virk 1,030
Chadhar 976
Ghumman 846
Chauhan 726
Dhillon 692
Badhan 662
Sarai 631
Bains 596
Bagril 586

The absence of the Ranjha from 1911 Census was clearly an omition, as the Ranjha are a major tribe of what was then the Phalia tehsil of the old Gujrat District. I would ask the reader to look at my post on Warriach as well, which gives further information on this region. After the Warriach and Gondal, the Tarar were the third and Ranjha were the fourth largest tribe in the Jech Doab. The central and southern regions of the Jech are entirely inhabitted by the Jats, but as we move north, the region is largely Gujjar, indeed Gujrat means land of the Gujjars, until we reach the hilly region, most of which was in Jammu and Kashmir State, that we found the Chib and other Rajputs. Indeed most of the Jat clans have stories of finding the region inhabitted by the Gujjars, who they expelled. According to the traditions of many of the Jat tribes of the Chenab valley, they accepted Islam at the hands of the Sufi saint Daud Bandagi Kirmani (1513-1575),  who came from the Multan Province. Such traditions are common in particular among the Bajwa, Basra,  Chatha, Cheema, Dhothar,  Goraya, Ghumman, Hanjra, Maan, Tarar, Sandhu, Sahi, Virk, Waraich and Waseer. Whatever the circumstances, most of the Jat of this region were Muslim by the time of the arrival of the British in the mid-19th Century.

Map Showing the Doabs of Punjab. Source Wikepedia

Tarar

I start off this post by looking at the Tarar tribe of Jats. The Tarar consider themselves and are considered Jat by others. So who exactly are these Tarars? According to their tribal traditions, their ancestor was Tarar, was a Rajput originally from Bikaner in Rajasthan, who took service with Mahmud of Ghazna, and converted to Islam. His elder son Lohi is said to have stayed behind in Bhatner (now Hanumangarh in Rajasthan), inheriting the family lands, while Tarar settled in what is now Gujrat district.

The Mandi Bahaudin Tarar claim descent from Bhatti, third in descent from Lohi, who, with his ten sons, settled at Jokalian. Three sons are said to have disappeared, going south; the remaining seven founded many villages south of Jokalian, in the Phalia tehsil of Mandi Bahaudin and in the Hafizabad district. The seven subdivisions of the Tarar claim descent from the seven sons. There are said to be a total of 83 Tarar villages in this region.

The Hafizabad Tarars have slightly different origin story. Here there ancestor was Banni, third in descent from Tarar. Banni settled in Jokalian, it is possible that Bani and Bhatti are one and the same person. One of his sons, Amrah left Phalia and settled in what is now Hafizabad district, founding the village of Amrah. In Hafizabad, they are now found in sixty two villages, all whom claim descent from Amrah. This origin myth does seem to suggest that the Tarars are certainly one of the oldest of the settled Jat tribes. Most of their villages are found near the banks of the Chenab river, which does suggest a pastoral background.

The Tarar had remained Hindu until the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (October 1542– 27 October 1605). According to a local tradition common among the Gujranwala Tarar, Akbar  sent a military expedition against them as a condequence of thir constant challenges to the Mughal ruler., The Tarar were defeated and Kaulo Tarar, the head of the Tarar Jat tribe was killed. His wife was pregnant, at that time fled to the jungles of his area, where she took refuge. Here she met a Fakir, who said that she was destined to bear a son and would be well, but advised her to bring him up in the true faith, he was named Mohammed Mirza. With the passage of time the Tarar Jat clans, descendants of Kaulo Tarar grew in numbers, and their possessions increased. The district flourished during Mughal rule, from the days of Akbar. The authorities built wells which were scattered over the whole country, and villages lay thickly dotted about the southern plateau, now a barren waste of grass land and scrub jungle. Their remains may still be found in the wildest and most solitary reaches of the Bar. With the breakdown of Mughal Empire, Sultan Muhammad a Tarar chieftain created a mini state that was destroyed by Ranjit Singh in the late 18th Century.

In Hafizabad District, Tarar villages include Beri Wala, Vanike Tarar, Kolo Tarar, Sindhowan Tarar, Rasoolpur Tarar, and Muzaffar Tarar While in Mandi Bahauddin district, most Tarar villages are found in Mandi Bahauddin and Phali tehsils. In Phalia Tehsil there villages include Adda Pahrianwali, Agroya, Bahri, Bhagat, Bhekho, Bherowal, Bhoa Hassan, Bumbi, Burj Ghanian, Chak Abdulla, Chak Kamal, Chak Mitha, Charound, Chayto, Dhaboola, Dhal, Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd, Dhunni Kalan, Dhunni Khurd, Ghanian, Ghoghanwali, Gujjan, Haigerwala, Jago Kalan, Jokalian, Haigerwala, Kala Shadian, Kot Hamid Shah, Kot Sattar Sharqi, Kuthiala Sheikhan, Ladher, Lakhia, Mailu Kohna, Mangat, Mano Chak, Melu, Mureed, Pejo Kot, Pindi Kaloo, Raike, Randiyali, Saida Sharif, Sainthal, Sarang, Sohawa Dilowana, Sulaiman, Tariqabad, Thatha Alia, Thathi Mureed, and Thatti Shah Muhammad. In Mandi Bauddin Tehsil and include Balhar, Chak Basawa, Chak Shabaz, Chak Mano, Barri Tarar, Kala Shadian, Kot Pundiwala, Lak, Ghanian, Rattowal, , Shaheedanwali, Takhat Mal Tarar and Wasu.   Outside the core Tarar area, there are also several Tarar villages in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District such as Dhudhi Thal, Kot Umer and Sherpur. In Chakwal District they are found in Dhok Virk.

Distribution of Tarar by District According to 1911 Census of India

District Population
Gujrat 14,365
Gujranwala 4,841
Shahpur (Sargodha) 1,716
Jhelum 745
Lyalpur (Faisalabad) 514
Lahore 170
Total Population 22,351

 

The Tarar of Lyalpur were largely settlers from Phalia, brought in by the British to settle the Bars of Punjab in the late 19th Century, while those of Lahore claimed descent from an ancestor who left Amrah in last days of Mughal rule (around 1700s).

Ranjha

The other tribe I am looking at in this post is perhaps the most famous of the Jat tribes, that of the Ranjha. They are famous on account of the fact that Deedo Ranjha, the hero of the famous Punjabi legend of Heer Ranjha belonged to this tribe. Despite being refered to as Ranjha, the actual name of this folk hero was Deedo, with Ranjha being the name of the tribe. So who exactly are these Ranjhas. The answer is far from simple, with several traditions. Early British writers on Punjab ethnography suchSir Denzil Ibbetson classified them as Bhatti Rajputs. Howver, others such Horace Arthur Rose did note claims to Arab or even Qureshi ancestry. According to this tradition, the Ranjha are descended from Abu Jahl, uncle of the Prophet Mohammed, as such are of Qureshi ancestry. Ikrama’s son by name of Jagis is said to have settled in Ghazna, in Afghanistan. A descendent of Jagis by the name of Duranah accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna to the Kirana Bar. Ranjah, the son of Durranah founded the town of Nasirpur, near present day Sargodha. Ranjah and his three sons Khamb (said to be the ancestor of the Khamb tribe), Chuha and Jhal, divided the Bar among themselves. When the Gondal are said to have arrived, a hundred years later, both the tribes co-operated in pushing the Gujars out of the Kirana Bar.

There he settled, and by marrying other Jat clans, the Ranjha became Jat. By the early 20th Century, traditions of descent from Abu Jahl were dropped in favour of emphasising his son Ikrama bin Abi Jahl. Ranjha writters began to refer to a Sultan Mohammad, who was said to be a commander in the army Muhammad Bin Qasim, the Arab conqueror of Sindh. While Mohammad Bin Qasim was recalled back to Damascus, Sultan Mohammad stayed on in Sindh, marrying a local girl. The only problem with this legend is that Ranjha are seen by others as Jats, and indeed intermarry with other Jat tribes such as the Gondal and Tarrars, their neighbours. While groups claiming Qureshi descent very rarely marry Jats.

In addition to the Ranjha proper, the Gudgor and Khamb are branches of the Ranjhas, that have now evolved into distinct clans. However, as I say on the post on the Khamb, they also have separate origin myths. The Ranjha are found in the eastern uplands of Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin and Gujrat districts, with a smaller number are also found in Jhelum and Gujranwala districts

Villages Kirana Bar Mandi Bahaudin District

In Mandi Bahauddin District, the Ranjha are found in the villages of Bhindar Kalan, Bohat, Bosaal, Chak Fateh Shah, Dhok Jori Madhre, Ratowal, Khamb Khurd, Mianwal, Pandowal, Kotali Mastani, Nain Ranjha, Ghang, Sajan, Sahbowal, Bhojuwal, Khairewal, Burg Agar, Bhukh, Ghanni Ghanna, Chak Mian,Kot Sher Muhammad, Musa Kalan, Kot Hast Khan, Musa Kurd, Hamber, Walayt wala, Ghut Kurd, Chut Kalan, Noorpur Kehna, Khamb Alam, Ghar Lakhan, Chak chut, Burg Hassan, Burg Ghanian, Raan, Bherowal, Takhar Miana, Fatehwala, Wariyaam and Wasu. Thatha Hust, and Thatha Ameer. In Malakwal Tehsil, Ranjha are found in Ajjowal, Khai, Kot Pindiwala and Makkewal. While in Phalia Tehsil, they are found in Agroya, Anhay Sharif, Bhinder Kalan, Chayto, Dhal. Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd,  Dhoul Bala, Dhoul Zairen, Furkhpur Kohna, Ghoghanwali, Kadher Gharbi, Khamb Kalan, Khamb Khurd, Kot Rehm Shah, Lakha, Madhary, Mianwal Ranjha, Thakkar Kalan, Thatti Bawa, Thatti Shah Muhammad and Noorpur Katvi

Villages Kirana Bar Sargodha District

While in Sargodha, District, their villages include Badar (in Bhera Tehsil), Ran, Rahimpur, Garhi Kala, Mela, Kot Sher Mohammad, Wah Miana, Midh Ranjha, Buccha Kalan, Mela, Dhingran-aali, Chak 88SB, Kot Fazal Ahmed and Jholpur.

Villages Jhelum/ Chakwal

Outside the Kirana Bar, opposite the bank of the Jhelum River, are several Ranjha villages in Jhelum and Chakwal districts. Almost all the Ranjha villages in Jhelum are found in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, which situated across the river Jhelum from Sargodha. There main villages are Baghanwala, Daulatpur, Chak Mujahid Shumali, Dhudi Thal, Ghowra, Maira Ranjha, Pinanwal, Sial, Sammanwal  and Thil. Outside Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, Ranjha are also found in the village of Ranjha near Dina. In Chakwal District, the Ranjha are found in the villages of Munday, Ranjha and Sutwal.

Other Ranjha Villages

Kot Ranjha in Gujrat District, Ado Rai and in Kamoke in Gujranwala District. In Dera Ghazi Khan District, the Ranjha are found in Basti Ranjha and Rakh Ranjha.

Distribution of Ranjha by District According to 1911 Census of India

District Jat Rajput
Shapur (Sargodha) 7,536
Jhelum 579
Total Population 7,536 579

Warraich/ Waraich Jat

In this post, I will look at the Warriach, the largest Muslim Jat clan according to the 1901 Census, and the second largest according to the 1911 Census, the last that tabulated the Jat clans. The Warraich  clan is concentrated in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin districts, in an area intermediate between the high  central plateau and the lowlands of the Chenab, both in the  Gujrat and the Phalia tehsils. Depending on the region, Warraich can also be pronounced as Baraich, Braich, Araich, and Varaich, depending on which Punjabi dialect is being used. They are also known as Chungh. In this post, I shall focus on the large Wariach community found in Gujrat and Mandi Bahaudin, where there customs were very similar to the other tribes such as the Gondal, in that they are a Muslim and followed a pastoral lifestyle. In East Punjab, the Wariach were and are largely Sikh, with a about 20% following Islam. The Muslim Wariach of Indian Punjab are now found scattered throughout Central Punjab in Pakistan.

Like most tribes, there are various theories as to the origin of the Warriach. According to Captain Hector McKenzie, the first British officer to administer Gujrat, the Warriach Jats were divided into two main tarafs, or sections, Abu and Jeo. His account of this division is as follows:

A Jat being killed in battle near Thanesar, his wife became a outcaste, took refuge in a tree, gave birth to a son and died. Raja Jaipal, when outhunting discovered the child, gave it protection. The tree under which it was found was a bargat: the most appropriate name for the child was therefore baraicha; the name of Waraitch was accordingly given to the boy. When he grew up to manhood, the Raja gave him his daughter in marriage,  and having no son was succeeded by him, and his descendants for three generations in his raj. Waraitch was a mighty man, worthy of his good  fortune. His descendants, therefore, continued to distinguish their family  by his name, Adversity came, then they fled to the Punjab, and settled  down as tillers of soil. Sixteen generations later, two men, named Abu and Jeo,  attained a pre-eminent position among the clans, and became Muslim, and  since their time there have been two tarafs or sub-divisions in the clan — one  composed of the descendants of Abu, and the other of Jeo

In another version, this time written by Captain Nisbet, author of the first Gazetteer of Gujranwala, which describes that Warraich was the son of one Mutta, who came  from Ghazni and settled in the Gujrat district, from where the tribe  spread to Gujranwala. While Captain Waterfield author of the second revised settlement report of Gujrat District gave a very different account. He wrote that the clan traces  its connection with Raja Karan of the Mahabharat. Twenty-seven generations, or 500 years previously, Warraich, the founder of the clan, came from the city of Kistah to Delhi,  and became an important courtier of the Sultan Jalal-ud-din Firoz Shah, and settled in the village of Taika, in the district of Hissar. He had five sons; among them, these three, Wadrah, Shahajrat and Tejrah, received permission of the Sultan to settle in Gujranwala. They called their village  Tarka Ladda. Gradually they expanded to control over 80 villages, and, crossing  the Chenab settled in Gujrat. Around the 1300s, in the time of Sultan Mahmud Tughlak (reign: 1394 – February 1413 CE), Jaits, a descendant of the eldest Wadrah, became famous. During one of the invasions of Amir Timur (9 April 1336 – 17–19 February 1405), he met Jaits in Multan, where he joined him with his family and dependents, and, coming to terms with Nawab Sayad Khan, one of the confidential followers of Taimur, attached himself to his army. They reached Kunjah, and there met and fought a local Raja called Jaspal, and defeated him, and took possession of the country. For his services it was made over to this Jaits, in order that he might colonise it and collect the revenue. On  the death of the Khokhar chieftain Malik Jasrat of Manawar by poison at the hand of his wife, the daughter of Mandeo, a Dogra chieftain, who the latter  descended from Jammu to take possession of the country. He was opposed by Jaits, but they came to terms, and agreed that the Tawi and Chenab should divide their territories; Jaits retaining the southern and western sides, Mandeo, the northern and eastern. Jaits remained in possession until his death, when his jagir was confiscated, and his son succeeded him ; about that time one- fourth of the area was cultivated, the rest was jungle. New villages were then founded by different members of the clan. Hariya and Gunia, two sons of Jaits, became the most powerful; Kardal and Hambo never acquired any position. From Hariya, descend the Jis Waraich, and from Gunia the Abu Waraitch. The Emperor Akbar is said to have formed the Waraitch into two tappas,  called after Abbo and Jis, who were given the position of chaudhry.

However, according to another British colonial historian Sir Lepel Griffin, the tribe migrated to Punjab during the reign of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna and settled in Gujrat, in present day Pakistan. In his“ Punjab Chiefs” (pages 410 — 11), Griffin gives two versions, — one substantially the same as that given by Mackenzie, the other an amplification of the  Ghazni story. In this version, however, it was not Warraich, but a  remote ancestor, named Shah, who was the first of the family to settle  in India. He is said to have accompanied Sultan Mahmud in his invasion of India in A. D. 1001, and to have been present at  the battle fought with Jaipal, the last Hindushahi ruler. Impressed with the fertility of the country around Gujrat, Shah settled near the  Gujar village of Kulachar, where for 350 years his family lived  in obscurity, until in the person of Waraitch, son of Mattu, it  rose to the surface, and expelling the Gujars expanded by  degrees to its present importance. This rise is said to have occurred during the rule of the Emperor Akbar.

According to the Epigraphica Indica, Volume I, page 29, a rock inscription at Chamak Harsati Balaghat mentions that “Bharhaich” Jats performed ten asvamedha yagnyas (Sanskrit “Horse sacrifice”) and, constructed ten ghats in Varanasi. Whether the reference to the current tribe is difficult to confirm. In terms of distribution, the complete absence of Wariach in Uttar Pradesh probably suggest that connecting the Wariach with the inscription would be incorrect.

According to a tribal tradition – Waraich, a Jat, had five sons who settled in the Chenab valley raising cattle. Three of brothers moved to Gujrat and the other two moved to Gujranwala. In or about the tenth century A.D. they moved down to the Jhelum River in large numbers and settled down there. Until the thirteenth century AD they continued to fight with Gujjar tribes. Today these Waraich occupy a very compact area comprising 360 villages in a region called Jatat. During the period of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a certain Haria leader of these Waraich converted to Islam founding a village later called after him Hariawala. With the conversion to Islam, the Wariach of the Jhelum and Chenab valley converted to Islam. However, in the Gujranwala Bar, there remained several villages of Sikh Wariach until partition of Punjab in 1947.

In another tradition, Waraichs are the progeny of three brothers, Haria, Gunia and Kurtal, who were rulers of Bahraich principality (in what is now eastern Uttar Pradesh state of India). During Sher Shah Suri’s conquest of Bengal, they captured his treasure en-route to the province. It was believed that the Shah would not succeed in his campaign however to their surprise, Sher Shah conquered Bengal and established his rule over a large part of Northern India. Following their defeat these Waraichs left Bahraich and travelled westwards. They settled upon finding suitable grazing grounds on the banks of the Chenab river. This new home was on the lands previously used by Gujjars for grazing cattle. This settlement led to rivalry between the Waraich Jats and the established Gujjars. The Wariach eventually defeated the Gujars, and made themselves masters of Gujrat, in Punjabi a word meaning land of the Gujjars.

Both these traditions make reference to two facts, one that the centre of the tribe is Gujrat, and secondly, they original rulers of this region were the Gujjars.

They now occupy 141 villages in Gujrat (including Mandi Bahaudin district) and 84 villages in Gujranwala. By the 18th Century groups of Wariach had crossed the Jhelum and settled in the Pind Dadan Khan plain, while other groups moved settling in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. A significant number of this second group became Sikh.

Wariach Population According to the 1901

With regards to the Hindu Warraich, most were followers of the Sultani sect, and by the mid-twentieth century had converted to Sikhism. Today most Wariach are either Sikh or Muslim.

District / States

Muslim

Sikh

Hindu

Total

Gujrat 37,813  138  212 38,163
Gujranwala 8,106 1,537 1,425 11,068
Sialkot 4,368  468  678 5,514
Chenab Colony 3,703  616  215 4,534
Amritsar  492  1,893  32 2,417
Patiala State 11   631  1,653 2,300
Lahore 1,162 524  28 1,714
Gurdaspur 809  307  325 1,436
Malerkotla State 388 842 1,230
Ludhiana  98  109  616  823
Ambala  12  447  180  639
Jalandhar  33  165  272  470
Shahpur  443      443
Jhelum

 

 388      388
Rawalpindi  347      347
Firuzpur 180   105  18  303
Bahawalpur State  287      287
Nabha State    53  114  220
Multan  216      216
Montgomery  149   149
Karnal 26 57 21 104

Other Districts

 

 

Total

58,936 7,483 6,652 73,071

Chadhar

This post will look at the Chadhar, a tribe found among both Rajputs and Jats. Interestingly, in different parts of Punjab, the way to pronounce the word Chadhar differs. For example it is commonly pronounced Chadhar but in some areas of the Punjab, like the cities of Jhang and other adjoining districts, it is pronounced as Chadhrar, while in the Majha, Doaba and Malwa areas it is pronounced as Chandhar.
Chadhars claim descent from Chandarh, the son of Raja Ravilan of the lineage of king Pandu of the Mahabharata. They belong to the Chandra Vanshi branch of the Rajputs, and it is widely believed that they are a branch of the Tomar Rajputs, with the branch of the tribe of in Jhang saying that they are the descendants of Raja Toor and that they migrated into the Punjab fromRajputana.

Origin

Found along the whole length of the Chenab and Ravi valleys, but far most numerous in Jhang, where they for the most part regard themselves as Rajputs, the Chadhars claim to be descended from Rajah Tur, Tunwar.  According to their traditions, in 1193 AD, when Mohammad Shahabuddin Ghauri invaded India, the clan moved from Rajasthan to the Punjab. Some went to Bahawalpur, where they were converted to Islam by Pir Shershah (Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari) of Uchch Sharif. If this tradition iss correct, they have been Muslims now for over 8 centuries. However, its worth mentioning, there are still Chadhars in the Doaba who are Sikh by faith.

From Bahawalpur, they migrated north, along the course of the rivers Ravi River and River Chenab. They clashed with those tribes already settled in the region such as the Kharal, Harals and Sial tribes over the possession of essential water resources. They are generally recognized by their neighbours as a branch of the Tomar Rajputs. The northern most Chadhar are found in villages in Pind Dadan Khan tehsil of Jhelum, as such the tribe is very widely spread.

Interestingly, the Chandarhs were the villains in the famous Punjabi romance story of Mirza Sahiban. It is said that Mirza Kharal, the hero of the story, was slain by Chadhars as Sahiban, the heroine was betrothed to Zahir Khan, the son of Jham Khan, a Chandarh Jatts. Because of this murder, it is said that there were many battles between Chandarh and Kharals.
Chadhar sub clans.

 According Chadhar genealogists, they are divided into several sub-clans, most of which are found in Jhang. These include:
1. Aasi
2. Wejhwe
3. Wijhalke
4. Warbhu
5. Kulle
6. Kaloke
7. Jappa
8. Lune or Loone
9. Sajanke
10. Nalere (sometimes pronounced Lalere)
11. Kangar
12. Rajoke
13. Kamoke
14. Harya
15. Paroke
16. Jatoke
17. Deoke
18. Moona
19. Majoka
20. Paajike
21. Chookhia
22. Wallara
23. Thabal,
24. Sajankey,

Many Chadar villages are named after these sub-tribes like Wijhalke and Kaloke and Chak Sajanke and Chak Loone and Mauza Wllara on the right and left banks of the Chenab in the Chiniot District. Well known villages of Chandarhs in other areas of Punjab include Chandarh, Rajeana, Dhaaban, Awan and Rampur.

About their clans, the British colonial ethnographer E. D. Maclagan wrote the following:

The Chaddrars are Tunwars. Their chief tribes in the Sandal Bar are the Rajokes, Kamokes, Jappas, Luns, Pajikes, Deokes, Ballankes, Saiokes, etc. The Chadhars of the Bar are said to have expanded from Dhaban, a small rahna or encampment south-west of Khurianwala. The Luns of Awanwala in the Bar say they have been there for seven generations. At Bajla rahna there is a separate class of Luns or Lunas called Bala Luns, who celebrate marriages, wash the dead and so forth, and act more or less as mullas

Rajputs or Jats?


Jhang Chadhars claim that they are Rajputs, while Chadhras of some areas of Punjab claim to be Jats, in particular those found in the Manjha and Sialkot-Gujrat sub-mountain region. According to the Census of 1881, 26404 Chandars recorded themselves as Jats and 177,746 recorded themselves as Rajputs. Furthermore, the gazetteer of Jhang District (1881 – 1884), Chandarhs are considered to be good farmers and rarely indulged in cattle rustling or theft unlike their neighbours, the Sials, Kharals and others. The distinction in the valley of the Jhelum is not quite that clear, however, with regards to the Chadhars, their neighbours generally if sometimes grudgingly accept their status as Rajput

Distribution

Chadhars occupy a large area of land on the left bank of the Chenab, in the Jhang District, starting from Khiwa (along the boundaries of the Sials) to the adjoining areas of Sayyids of Rajoea Sadaat. Their main village is Tahli Mangeeni which is said to be their throne or Takht. Other villages include Chak 20 Gagh and Thatha Jhamb.

The Chadhars are found in districts of Jhang, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Lahore, Khanewal, Multan, Bhakkar, Bahawalpur, Okara and also in some parts of Sindh. There is also a village named Chadhrar near Tank, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Some of the Chadhars settled in the Firozpur District in Indian Punjab and founded the village of Chandarh near Mudki. Others settled in Nakodar near Jalandhar. As Muslim Jats, most of the Chadhar Jats shifted from Ferozepur to Amritsar, and Gurdaspur after partition. Most of these Chadhars are now found in Faisalabad.

Chadhars of Chakwal, Jhelum, Khushab and Mianwali:

In Chakwal District, where the northern most Chadhar settlements are found, important villages include Dhok Chadhar, Dhok Miyal, Punjain and Chak Baqar Shah. In Jhelum District, they are found in the village of Abdullahpur and in Lilla town. While accross the Jhelum river in Mandi Bahauddin, they are found in the villages of Beerpindi Jharana, Bosaal, Bukkan, Gohri and Mangat, Mian da Lok. In Mianwali District, they are found in Sultanwala.

Distribution of Chadhar Jats According to the 1901 Census of India

District Population
Chenab Colony 8,691
Jhang 6,345
Multan 3,734
Shahpur 3,303
Montgomery 2,495
Amritsar 1,733
Mianwali 1,226
Montgomery 525
Other Districts 1,128
Total Population 29,180

 

 

Tribes of the Thal: The Muslim Aheer/Ahir of Punjab

In this post, I return the tribes that inhabit the Thal desert region, located in western Punjab, and look at the Aheer or sometimes written as Ahir. The Thal is a vast arid region which is located between the Jhelum and Sindh rivers near the Pothohar Plateau, with a total length from north to south 190 miles, and a maximum breadth of 70 miles (110 km) and minimum breadth 20 miles. The desert covers the districts of Bhakkar, Khushab, Mianwali, Layyah, Muzaffargarh as well as Jhang, from the left bank of the river Jhelum. It is the last remaining desert region in the Doabs of the Punjab, the others now have been arable through a vast networks of canals. As an arid region, the tribes that inhabit it are largely pastoral. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Bhachars, which gives some background on the ethnology of the Thal region.

 

 

The Aheer, are found throughout the western districts of the Punjab, In the Thal region, they are found mainly in Khushab District, concentrated in the headquarters in Khushab. The Khushab Aheer, are often in the news in Pakistan, due mainly to their active participatiojn in politics, having produced Malik Nasim Aheer, a former interior Minister under General Zia. This article will not concentrate on that family, but will be a general description of the tribe. Urdu sources, which often dismissed by those who either have no knowledge of the language, or pretend they don’t, will be the main basis of this summary. My main source shall be Aqvam-i Panjab by SultÌan Shahbaz Anjum.

 

So who are the Aheer, and the answer is not that simple, in fact with regards to tribal origins, it never is. The name Ahir, which is actually pronounced as Aheer, is used for a large caste cluster found throughout North India, many of whom prefer to call themselves Yadavs. An obvious conclusion would be therefore to conclude the Aheer of the Thal, and others parts of western Punjab, are one and the same as the Ahir. According to the author of the Tehreek Aqwam e Punjab, the Aheers claim descent from Qutab Shah, the ancestor of the Awan and Khokhar tribes, and deny any connection with the Ahir of North India. Denzil Ibbetson, the colonial ethnographer, in his account of the 1881 Census of Punjab, argued that Aheer and Heer was one in the same tribe. There is a single exception, the famous Malik family of Khushab connects itself with the Roas of Rewari. Those who spoke dialects of Lahanda, such as Seraiki or Thalochi tended to refer to themselves as Aheer, while those found in central Punjab refered to themselves as Heer. The Heer, a large Jat clan found throughout central Punjab, stretching from Gujrat to Patiala, together with the Bhullar and Maan clans, claim to be the nucleus of the Jat ethnic group, all other tribes were said to be latter incorporated into the Jat. There is a further division as the Heer can be either Muslim or Sikh, while the Aheer are always Muslim. The 1917 District Gazetteer of Shahpur District, which then occupied most of the Thal, simply refers to the Aheer as ordinary Musalman tribe like their neighbours.

 

I will briefly here go over the origin myths of the Ahir in Punjab. At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Ahir population in British Punjab were found chiefly in the south-east namely in the districts of Dehli, Gurgaon, and Rohtak and the PEPSU States bordering upon these districts. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the distribution of the Ahirs in Punjab at the turn of the 20th Century. These Ahirs were entirely Hindu, and included among them were the family of the Roas of Rewari, which I will come to latter in this article. However, separated from these were communities of Aheer found in the Sindh Sagar Doad, the land between the Indus and the Jhelum-Chenab, who were entirely Muslim. Both groups of Ahir were pastoral caste, with their name said to be derived from the Abhira, an ancient community mentioned in the Mahabharat. In Punjab, most of the Hindu Ahir belong to the Yadubans sub-divisions, which claims to be descended from Krishna.

 

The Aheer of Khushab

 

The landowning Ahirs of Khushab and Sahiwal in present day Sargodha district claim descent from the Raos of Rewari, a Ahir principality in present day Haryana. Until the arrival of the British in the mid 19th Century, the Aheer were practical rulers of the region around the town of Khushab. However, as the power of the Tiwanas rose, the Aheer were reduced to simple zamindars. Thisfamily connects themselves with the Rewari state, based in present day Haryana. The state of Rewari was established by an Ahir  chieftain, Rao Nandram, during the reign of Farrukhsiyar, the Mughal emperor of Delhi. The emperor pleased with military support he received from Nandram, gave him a jagir of 360 villages around Rewari and legitimized Nandram‟s supremacy over the region by conferring upon him the title of chaudhari. He belonged to the Yaduvamsi sub-caste of the Ahirs and to the Abhiriya clan. According to Khushab traditions, they decend from a nephew of Nandram. The jagir was expandedby Rao Gujarmal who got mansab of  5,000 zat and sanad from the emperor Muhammad Shah. Rao Gujarmal built many forts and issued his own coin, but later the kingdom came under the control of Marathas for a brief spell  The last Rao, Tula Ram played an important role in the 1857 mutiny against the British. He proclaimed independence and assumed the title of Raja, and supported the rebels at Delhi and on 16 November 1857 he fought a losing battle against the British at Narvane. After his defeat, he went to Iran and Afghanistan to raise an Army, but died in Kabul on 2 September 1863. The British confiscated the estate of Rao Tula Ram and this marked the end of Ahir Kingdom.

 

So I started off this article by asking the question, who are the Aheer, and the only fact that be confirmed is that they were once a large pastoral tribe, occupying the northern portion of the Thal, whose chiefs or Maliks in the 19th Century confirmed ownership of their lands, which helped to transform them into large landowners in what became Khushab.

 

 

Villages in Thal

In Khushab District, there villages include Aheerpur, Rakh Baghoor, Aheer Jagir, Rahdari and Girote near Khushab city. Staying within the Thal, but outside Khushab, important Aheer villages include Aheeranwala, Aba Khel, Ahheranwala, Jandanwala and Wandhi Aheeranwali near Pai-Khel, all in Mianwali District, while across the Jhelum, in Sargodha District, there are several Aheer villages near the town of Sahiwal, such as Ahir Fateh Shah and Ahir Surkhru, and Lakseem near Kot Momin.  In Mandi Bahauddin District, Chak Nizam near the town of Malakwal is an important village. Finally in Bhakkar District, they are found in Aheeranwala and Wadhaywala.

Outside the Thal,

 

The Aheer are found in Rawalpindi, Lodhran, Khanewal, Sahiwal and Faisalabad districts In the canal colonies of central Punjab, Aheers from the Thal, like many others have settled in chaks, or settlements, with important ones being Chak 142J.B (Khai Aheeran), Chak 235JB (Haiboana), Langrana and Mouza Lodhran in Chiniot District, Chak 452 JB (Aheeranwala) in Jhang District, Chak 7 (Aheeranwala) in Mandi Bahauddin District, Chak 77/12-L in Sahiwal District. In southern Punjab, the Aheer are found in scattered settlements in Khanewal District in villages near the towns of Kabirwala and Qadirpur Raan, and in Lodhran District, their most important villages being Basti Aheer and Jhok Aheer.

Isolated from other Aheer settlements are the villages of Ahir and Bher Ahir in the Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi. These Aheer claim Rajput status, and have customs similar to other groups Rajput groups.

 

Distribution of Muslim Ahir in Punjab by District According to 1911 Census of India

 

District Population
Shahpur (Sargodha & Khushab districts) 1,017
Mianwali 843
Chenab Colony (Faisalabad) 345
Multan 234
Jhang 167
Other districts 195
Total Population 2,801

 

Jat Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this, my final post on the distribution of castes in Punjab, according to the 1901 Census of India, I will look at the distribution of the Jats. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Major Muslim Jat clans, which gives some more background on the caste in Punjab. The Jats were the largest single caste, and more then any other caste grouping, the Jat are associated with the Punjab.

 

Punjab 1909.jpg

Colonial Map of Punjab Source Wikepedia

In 1911, the Jats population was close to 5 million. They were found in almost every district, with the exception of Jubbal (Simla Hill States) being the only district/ state where no Jats were returned. Pandit Harikishan Kaul, author of the 1911 report wrote the following:

 

Throughout the rest of the Province, the ubiquitous Jat is found in larger or smaller numbers. They are somewhat scarce in the Attock District and the Himalayan Natural Division, the proportion being lowest in Attock, Nahan, Mandi, Suket and Chamba, while the strength is small in Kangra and Simla. The principal Jat tracts are Rohtak (34 per cent.), Ludhiana  (35 per cent.), Mianwali (34 per cent.), Muzaffargarh (36 per cent.), Multan (31 per cent.), Loharu (43 per cent.), Maler Kotla (32 per cent.), Faridkot (36 per cent.), Jind (34 per cent.), Nabha (30 per cent.), and Patiala (29 per cent.). In other words, the Jats are found in abundance on the banks of the Indus and in the east  central tract consisting of the Phulkian States and Ludhiana, the zone spreading out towards Firuzepur and Hissar, on the one hand, and Jalandhar and Amritsar on the other. The central Punjab has a fairly large Jat element, ranging from 27 to 24 per cent, in the Lyallpur, Gujrat, Shahpur, Gujranwala and Sialkot Districts.

 

In 1901 many Jats from centre and east of the province were settling in canal colonies established by the British. In the Chenab Colony, which according Pandit Harkishan Kaul was:

the premier canal colony of the Province is that irrigated by the Lower Chenab Canal. It comprises the whole of the Lyallpur and Jhang districts and the Hafizabad and Khangah Dogran Tehsils of the Gujranwala District.

The Chenab Colony was the largest colonisation project in the Punjab, beginning in 1892 and ending in 1905. Jat were the single largest community of migrants, as the 1911 census report points out:

 

The Jats who represent over 23 percent of the total number of immigrants are the most useful body of peasants. They consist of 57 percent Muhammadans, 40 percent Sikhs and 3 percent Hindus. Most of the Muhammadan Jats (21,377) have come from Sialkot, and the Montgomery, Multan, Shahpur, Gujrat, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Lahore districts have also furnished large numbers of them. Sikh Jats are chiefly immigrants from Amritsar (15,830); the other units which have sent large numbers being Ambala, Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Sialkot and Patiala.Sialkot has also sent in the largest number of Hindu Jats(1,250) and Ambala, Hoshiarpur and Jullundur have contributed about 500 persons each.

In 1901 Census, we can already see that the Chenab Colony was now the 5th highest in terms of number of Jats in the province. The Jhelum Colony, which was settled between 1902 and 1906, was was situated in the Shahpur district, and had its headquarters in the newly founded town of Sargodha. The 1901 census therefore does show this second focus of Jat migration. The 1911 Census report picked up on the Jat migration to the Jhelum canal:

The largest caste among the immigrants is that of Jats who have come chiefly from Sialkot (10,696), Gujrat (10,657), Jhang (6,205), Gujranwala (4,461) and Jhelum(2,898).They are mostly Muhammadans, work as cultivators and cattle-breeders.

 

In 1901, there number was still around 5 million. In terms of religious make up, a big change that has happened since the 1901 census is the decline of Hinduism in the next decades of the 20th Century in the Majha, Doaba and Malwa regions. Most of these Hindu Jats were followers of Sakhi Sultan Sarwar, a Sufi saint whose shrine is in Dera Ghazi Khan. Almost all these Punjabi speaking Hindu Jats are Sikh now. I would ask the reader to look at the book Spatializing Popular Sufi Shrines in Punjab: Dreams, Memories, Territoriality. which has some good information on the Sultanis. David Gilmartin’s book Blood and Water: The Indus River Basin in Modern History, is an excellent recent history of the settlement of the Bar, in which the Jat played an important role.

 

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Patiala State 19,794

 

206,658 258,718 485,170

 

Sialkot 162,403
61,243

 

32,497 256,143

 

Firuzpur 29,393

 

 39,357 179,021 247,771

 

Ludhiana  25,890  76,886  131,963 234,739

 

Chenab Colony 150,602

 

19,139 60,518  230,259
Amritsar 38,545 10,101 179,675  228,321

 

Rohtak 1,913 215,126 59  217,098

 

Gujranwala 155,416 22,481 27,970 205,867

 

Hissar 4,540 166,448 24,171  195,159

 

Gujrat 192,000 2,545 530  195,075

 

Bahawalpur State 176,630 13,252 3,258 193,140

 

Lahore 84,568 5,321 101,629 191,518

 

Jalandhar 20,077 84,343 80,824 185,244

 

Hoshiarpur 25,828 92,129 34,655 152,612

 

Gurdaspur 45,528 36,268 60,956 142,752

 

Multan 137,717 325 2,272 140,314

 

Mianwali 137,665  137,665

 

Ambala 11,754 76,049 37,322 125,125

 

Karnal 2,869 109,098 7,558 119,525

 

Dera Ghazi Khan

 

118,701 142 118,843
Muzaffargarh 117,362 117,362

 

Delhi 2,885 110,571 102 113,558

 

Jind State

 

703 71,118 23,394 95,215
Gurgaon

 

921 75,782 50 76,753
Jhelum

 

72,863 146 355 73,364
Nabha State

 

3,592 30,060 34,419 68,071
Shahpur

 

63,650 141 86 63,877
Jhang

 

50,596 20 152 50,768
Kapurthala State

 

13,895 15,142 19,727 48,764
Rawalpindi

 

43,853 320 1,888 46,061
Faridkot State

 

3,581 794 42,085 46,460
Montgomery

 

41,158 674 3,904 45,736
Malerkotla State

 

137 17,078 8,453 25,668
Kangra

 

183 10,964 211 11,358
Kalsia

 

247 6,110 4,280 10,637
Loharu

 

6,619 6,619
Nahan

 

19 161 3,194
Dujana

 

174 2,458 2,632
Bilaspur

 

25 1,325 254 1,604
Pataudi

 

1,594 1,594
Nalargarh

 

19 804 45 868
Suket

 

245 245

Other Districts

Total

1,957,252

 1,594,876 (including 16 Jains)

1,389,530 4,941,658

 

List and Population of Muslim Jat Clans in the Ambala Division according to the 1911 Census of India

Below is a list of Muslim Jat clans and their population in the Ambala Division of Punjab, drawn up for 1911 Census of India. This region now forms part of the modern state of Haryana. These clans referred to themselves as Muley Jats. In 1911, the Ambala Division consisted of five districts, Ambala, Hissar, Delhi and Rohtak and Gurgaon. In 1911, Delhi was seperated from the Division and became a new province. I have included Jind State in this post, as the Jats of that state spoke Haryanvi, although the state was not part of the Ambala Division. Almost all the Muslim Jat population Haryana immigrated to Pakistan at partition in 1947. I would also strongly recomend that readers watch Mohammad Alamgir’s Youtube channel, which has interviews with many members of the Mulley Jat community that now live in Pakistan.

Map of East Punjab and Haryana in 1901 Source Revenue Haryana

 

Ambala District

The total Jat population of the district, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 10,956 (10%) out of atotal population of 106,402. The Jats of Kharar and Ropar Tehsil were Punjabi speaking, and not Muley Jats. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Jat clans:

 

Tribe Ambala Kharar Tehsil Rupar Tehsil Naraingarh Tehsil Jagadhri Tehsil Total
Baidwan 2 45 1 48
Bains 7 64 3 4 78
Bal 2 2 93 97
Chahal 50 4 96 2 152
Dhariwal 7 151 44 202
Dhillon 5 79 13 97
Dhindsa 10 7 17
Gill 32 17 93 2 21 165
Heer 7 17 1 2 27
Kang 14 14
Maan 9 25 173 207
Mahil 10 10
Mangat 4 8 241 2 255
Pawania 6 43 49
Sarai 1 13 3 17
Sandhu 26 182 2 12 240
Sidhu 7 92 99
Waraich 7 3 1 1 12

 

Hissar District

The total Muslim Jat population of the district, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 5,311 (3%) out of a totalpopulation of 224,889. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Mulley Jat clans:

Tribe Hissar Tehsil Hansi Tehsil Bhiwani Tehsil Fatehabad Tehsil Sirsa Tehsil Total
Bahniwal 237 17 286 540
Bola 33 2 35
Chahal 8 45 24 77
Chauhan 2 24 26
Dandiwal 20 14 34
Dhillon 11 11
Dohan 81 2 83
Gill 13 16 29
Godara 62 202 264
Lahar 10 10
Mahla 13 9 22
Maan 101 101
Nain 57 39 96
Panghal 7 9 59 4 79
Punia 35 88 9 132
Sarai 8 24 33 65
Sawaich 40 40
Sheoran 42 1 43
Sehwag 5 19 24

 

Karnal District

 

The total Muslim Jat population of the district, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 3,597 (3%) out of a totalpopulation of 111,239. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

 

 

Tribe Karnal Tehsil Panipat Tehsil Kaithal Tehsil Thanesar Tehsil Total
Ahlawat 15 15
Badhan 4 146 1 151
Bhainiwal 2 27 1 30
Dabdal 41 10 51
Deshwal 257 3 260
Dhariwal 11 11
Dhillon 1 68 69
Dhindsa 34 34
Gailan 20 20
Ghatwala or Malik 8 9 3 20
Gill 15 2 17
Jaglan 11 11
Khandi 9 9
Khokhar 50 12 62
Maan 10 10
Narwal 171 3 17 191
Pawania 11 2 13
Saran 4 3 7
Sidhu 4 3 7
Sandhu 2 24 26

 

Rohtak District

 

The total Muslim Jat population of the district, according to the 1931 Census of India, was 4,015 (2%) out of a totalpopulation of 266,729. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

 

 

 

Tribe Rohtak Tehsil Jhajjar Tehsil Gohana Tehsil Total
Ahlawat 21 21
Dalal 10 10
Deshwal 19 19
Dhaukar 19 26 45
Ghatwala or Malik 5 36 8 49
Khatri 19 19
Panghal 150 150
Phogat 20 20
Rathi 144 144
Sunar 4 120 124

Jind State

According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

Tribe Total
Bhulaar 12
Chahal 100
Ghatwala or Malik 15
Gill 31
Phogat 57
Sahrawat 13
Sarao 13
Sidhu 15

Delhi District

When the 1911 Census was taking, Delhi was still part of Punjab, and included Sonepat and Ballabgarh, which were added to Rohtak when the new province of Delhi was created. In 1931, the total Muslim Jat population was 1,245, out of a total Jat population of 53,371. Many Muslim Jats were found in the villages of Dinpur, Roshanpura, both of the Shokeen clan, and Nangloi Jattand Shahpur Jat. Like in neighbouring Haryana, most Jats emigrated to Pakistan at partition. According to the 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans:

 

Tribe Sonepat Tehsil Delhi Tehsil Ballabgarh Tehsil Total
Ahlawat 13 13
Dagar 2 2
Dahiya 27 27
Deshwal 9 9
Ghatwala or Malik 711 13 724
Gulia 69 2 71
Khatri 21 21
Nain 28 28

 

Panwar / Parmar Rajput population According to the 1901 Census of Punjab

The Panwar, sometimes pronounced as Parmar or even Puar were the third largest Rajput tribe in the Punjab. The eastern Panwar, who numbered around 33,553, or 50% of the total population were like the Chauhans, a tribe of Ranghar pastoralists, concentrated in Haryana. A second group, who numbered 19,689, about 30% of the population were concentrated in south west Punjab, especially in Bahawalpur State, and the neighbouring areas of Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Firuzpur in present East Punjab. These Panwar, many of whom considered themselves to be Jats, were Seraiki speaking farmers. In between these groups were the Sikh Panwars of the Rechna Doaba, Muslims Panwars of Lahore, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, the Mahton Panwars of the same region, and the Panwar Rajputs of the Pabbi Hills in the Jhelum/Gujrat region. It is worth pointing that several West Punjabi tribes such as the Bangial, Hon, Sohlan, Narma, Dhudhi, Mekan and Tiwana claim to be descended from the Panwar Rajputs. They are now fairly distinct from the parent tribe, and were recorded seperately.

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Rohtak

 13,931

 2,785

   16,716

Bahawalpur State

 9,845

 348

 223

 10,416

Hissar

 6,165

 1,240

 7,405

Firuzpur

 5,453  157  69  5,679

Multan

 5,445

 221

 

 5,666

Jind State

769

 

 2,839

 

 3,608

Karnal

2,009

 288

 11  2,308

Patiala State

1,353

 180

 157

1,690

 

Montgomery

 1,451  24 1,475

 

Ludhiana

1,392

 

63

1,455

Lahore 1,212 23 220 1,455
Gurgaon 920 355 1,275
Muzaffargarh 695
62 100 857
Dera Ghazi Khan 849   849
Jhelum 649 649
Chenab Colony 295 29 205 529
Jalandhar 425 18 443
Mianwali 426 426
Dehli 135 272 407
Gujranwala 16  380 396
Sialkot 278 74 352
Ambala 242 57 299
Rawalpindi 157 157
Dujana State 104 40 144
Shahpur 48  83 131
Gurdaspur 127 127
Gujrat 111 111
Hoshiarpur 108 108

Other Districts

 

 

 

Total

55,067

9,309

1,614

65,990

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.

Origin Myth

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. Rai Shankar left Ujjain and settled in Rajasthan. From there the Tiwana moved to what is now Jind District of Haryana and founded the village of Mataur. A group of Tiwanas then left Mataur and settled in the village of Chinarthal near Patiala.

The Muslim branch of the Tiwana claim descent from a Raja Melo. According to the tradition, the Raja wandered together with his followers to outskirts of Pakpattan, where he accepted Islam at the hands of Shaikh Fardid. Rai Melo settled in a place called Darya Khan located in the Thal desert, which soon took on the name Thatha Tiwana. 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. Some of Rai Melo clansmen returned to Samana, from whom descend the Muslim Tiwana. 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.

According to Tiwana legends, a Gujjar seer had advsed Baba Chand Tiwana, the  Tiwana leader to select a settlement near a camp of jogis. The settlement grew into the large village of Chinarthal. 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

Rai Melo, with some of his clansmen, settled in a place called Darya Khan located in the Thal desert, which soon took on the name Thatha Tiwana. It was the collapse of Mughal authority that gave the opportunity to Mir Ali Khan to begin the foundation of the Tiwana state at beginning of the 16th Century established. This state stretched from Kundian on the Indus to banks of the Jhelum, almost all the present day Khushab district. His son Mir Ahmed Khan founded the settlement of Mitha Tiwana, which became the centre of the tribe. The Tiwana thus 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

 

Badhan / Wadhan, Hayal, Kanjial and Rachyal tribes

In this post, I will look at four tribes, namely the Badhan, Hayal, Kunjial and Rachyal, who are found mainly in the southern region of Azad Kashmir, and neighbouring districts of Punjab namely Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujrat and Sialkot. All these are some sub-clans within the larger Jat community. In Indian administered Kashmir, the Jat are found in Rajouri and the Mendhar Tehsil of Poonch. I will use this post to give a brief description of the Jat population within the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Most of the Jat population was found either in the Duggar Region, about 15% or in the Chibhal Region the remaining 85%. Although the Chibhal region, took its name from the Chib clan of the Rajputs who were the traditional rulers of this area, the Jat population was almost twice that of the Rajputs. The Chibs converted to Islam in mid-17th Century, and other Rajput sub-castes followed suit. It is very likely that most of the Jat also converted at that time. However it is worth pointing out that the Jat and Rajput tribes tended to have a common origin, with CLAIMS TO Rajputhood based mostly on whether a clan had achieved political power or not. Outside Mirpur and Bhimber tehsils, there were several Jat communities in Rajouri (then part of Reasi) and Poonch. Separate from these, were the Jats of the Jammu and Kathua (Duggar) region, who were Punjabi speaking, belonging mainly to the Badhan, Bajwa, Kahlown, Nagra and Randhawa clans, and were really an overspill of the Jats of Sialkot and Gurdaspur. Most of the Muslim Jat villages were located in Ranbir Singh Pura and Bishnah tehsils of Jammu and Samba districts. Below is a breakdown of the total Jat population according to the 1931 Census:

District

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Jammu

9,258

7,014

506 16,778

Kathua

175

1,549

47

 1,771

Udhampur

100

152

   252

Reeasi

2,443

27

12

 2,482

Mirpur

103,095

14,460

4,951

122,506

Poonch Jagir

4,808

65

   4,873

Other Districts

204

131

103

438

Total

120,083

23,371

5,619

149,073

As the 1931 census shows, most of the Jat population numbering about 122,506, of whatever religion were found in the old Mirpur District, where the Jats formed more than a third of the total population of 344,747. Most of these areas now forms part of Azad Kashmir, except the area around Nawshera, traditionally part of Bhimber Tehsil, which is now under Indian administration. Most of the Hindu and Sikh Jat population was found in the Deva-Batala area, now part of the modern day district of Bhimber. The division of the Chibhal region in 1948 led to the migration of the Hindu and Sikh population, while the Muslim Jats left the area around Nowshera that came under Indian control. Similarly, the Muslim Jats of Jammu and Kathua also immigrated to Pakistan. There is still a small Muslim Jat population in Rajouri and Mendhar in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.

The Jat of Jammu and Kashmir are further sub-divided into numerous clans called gots or gotras. Technically members of a Jat got are supposed to be descended from a traditional common ancestor by agnatic descent, i.e. through male line only. Another interesting thing about the various Jat tribes in Chibhal is that there name often ends in al, which is patronymic, for example, the sons of Kals, are the Kalyal and so on, very similar to the Arabic Bin or Slavic ovich or ov. The aals started off as clans of a larger tribe, so the Kanjial are a branch of the Janjua, who have now evolved into a separate tribe. Unlike the Jats of the Punjab plains, where one large clan often has several villages, in the Chibhal we have numerous clans often occupying the same village. In my other posts, I have looked at and posted about Jat tribes that have a presence in the Chibhal, such as the Bangyal, Gujjral,, Kanyal, Kalyal, Bhakral (or Pakhreel), Matyal, Nagyal and Thathaal.

Badhan

I start off this post by looking at the Badhan, sometimes pronounced as Wadhan, also known as Pakhai, who are generally considered as a Jat tribe, but have also claimed to be Rajput. Like many Punjabi tribes, there are several traditions as to the origin of the tribe. There are in fact two origin stories, one connected with eastern Badhan, those found in Gujrat, Sialkot/Narowal, and historically in Jammu and Gurdaspur, and the western group found in Sudhnoti, Kotli, Jhelum and Rawalpindi (mainly Kahuta). Under the various censuses carried by the British in the early 20th Century, the Badhan of central Punjab generally registered them themselves as Jats, and this included those of Jammu, while in Pothohar and Mirpur/Poonch, most Badhan registered themselves as Rajputs.
I shall off by looking at the traditions of the eastern Badhan first. Among many Sialkot Badhans, Jats, that they were a branch of the mythical Saroa Rajputs and descended from Kala, a resident of Jammu. However, a more common traditions was that the Badhan, there ancestor was descended from of Gillpal (Gilpal), son of a Rajput King, Pirthipal, Raja of Garh Mithila and a Waria (Baryah) Rajput by a Bhular Jat wife. This would make the Badhan a branch of the Gill tribe, and indeed the Sikh Badhan Jatts of Gurdaspur and Jammu do not marry the Gills, as they consider themselves to be a branch of the Gills. Judge or Juj was the second son of Gillpal, was the ancestor of Badhan Gills. The tribe gets its name from Badhan, the great grandson of Juj.
The western Badhan have an entirely different tradition. According to them, there ancestor Badhan was a Janjua Rajput of Kahuta, who settled among the Sudhans. In fact, in the Sudhnoti region of Poonch, the Badhan are often confused with the Sudhans, and a few Badhans actually claim themselves to be a branch of the Sudhans. In Sudhnoti, the occupy several villages near the Jhelum river. A smaller section also claims to be Qutabshahi Awans. What is clear is that in this western region, the Badhan occupy a quasi-Jat status, while among the eastern group, a claim to be Jat is generally accepted.

 

In Rawalpindi, there are several Badhan villages such as Parhali (in Tehsil Kahuta) and Rawat. In Sudhnuti, important Badhan villages include Basari, Rakar, Neeryan, Sahr Kakota, Noursa, Hamrata, and Kohala.

Distribution of Badhan in Jammu and Kashmir by District According to 1911 Census of India

The bulk of the Badhan population was found in the Poonch Jagir. However, the figures for Mirpur are slightly misleading, as many of Badhan in Mirpur registered themselves as Jats.

District Population
Reeasi 79
Mirpur 1,393
Poonch Jagir 4,607
Muzafarabad 505
Total Population 6,596

 

Distribution of Badhan who declared themselves as Jat in Punjab by District According to 1901 Census of India

 

District Population
Rawalpindi 246
Jhelum 248
Total Population 494

 

Hayal

The Hayal are little known tribe, found entirely in Kallar Syedan Tehsil, who claim Chaughtai Mughal ancestry. They are found in the villages of Burra Haya, Hayal Pindoral and Mohra Hayal. In Mirpur District, Hayyal, who classify themselves as Jats, are found in the villages of Kangra and Chappar.

Kanjial

The Kanjial are found mainly in Gujrat, Bhimber, Mirpur and Jhelum districts. According to tribal traditions, there ancestor was a Ghalla, a Janjua Rajput, who had three sons, Bhakari, their ancestor, Natha (ancestor of the Nathial) and Kunjah (ancestor of the Kunjial). However, some traditions make Rai Kunjah to be a Bhatti.
In Mirpur, Kanjial villages include Andrah Kalan, Khandora and other villages in the Islamgarh Tehsil of Mirpur.

Rachyal

Finally, I will look at the Rachyal, sometimes spelt Richyal, who are a Jat tribe, found mainly in the Kotli and Mirpur districts of Azad Kashmir. Like the Kahlotra already mentioned, the Rachyal are a clan of Dogras, whose roots like in the Chamba region of what is now Himachal Pradesh. There ancestor was a Ranchan Dev, a Hindu Rajput of the Kashyap gotra, who said to have converted to Islam in the 16th Century. Generally, among the Rajputs of the Himachal region, each clan was connected with a Hindu rishi, who was traditional spiritual ancestor. Looking at Kashyapa, he is one of Saptarishi, the seven famed rishis and considered to be author of many hymns and verses of the Rigveda (1500-1200 BCE). It is likely that the Rachyal are branch of the Katoch Rajputs, as they belonged to the Kashyap gotra.

According to tribal folklore, once the Rachyals converted to Islam they were forced out of Chamba and its surroundings and we see them migrating to Sialkot, Sheikhupura, and Jhang areas of Punjab in Pakistan. The tribe then re-entered the Jammu state via Dhuki village through Sarai-Alamgir (near Kharian, Punjab, Pakistan) which lies in district of Mirpur around three hundred years ago. They then moved to Mangla and eventually to a place called Ladna near now Chakswari. From here the Rachyals spread farther west and the estate of Panyam came into existence. Most of the Rachyal are still found either in Chakswari or Panyam, where several of their villages are found such as Pothi,and Chamba. Some Rachyals villages are found further north near Naar, Rajdhani, Poonch and Rajouri.