Description of Major Muslim Communities in India: The Khokhar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khokhar of Sambhal

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

Khokhar of Kot

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

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Tribes of the Thal Desert: The Tiwana

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

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

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

Tiwana of Patiala

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

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

Tiwana of Khushab

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Tribes of Attock : The Alpial and Jodhra tribes

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

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

Tribe

Attock Tehsil

Pindigheb Tehsil

Fateh Jang Tehsil

Talagang Tehsil

Total

Alpial

8,986

Bhatti

9,956

Chauhan

636

Janjua

1,028

Jodhra

8,085

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

Jodhra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alpial

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

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

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

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

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

Tribes and Castes of Mirpur District, Azad Kashmir

In this post, I will give the breakdown of the population of the old Mirpur District of the princely state Jammu and Kashmir, roughly covering the current districts of Mirpur, Bhimber, Kotli, as well as a portion of Bhimber Tehsil which now forms part of the Nowshera Tehsil of Rajouri in Indian administered Kashmir. The results are from the Census of 1931. Ethnologically, Mirpur region has much in common with neighbouring Pothohar, in particular the Gujar Khan Region, with Jat cultivators, a smaller Rajput aristocracy and a group of castes connected with particular occupation often derogatorily refereed to as Kammi. Traditionally, landownership was associated with particular groups, such as the Jat, while the kammi were largely landless. Almost all the population, including the large ethnic Kashmiri population spoke Mirpur Punjabi, aalso referred to as Pahari or Pothwari. This language is extremely close to the Pothwari spoken in Gujarkhan.

The old district formed the heart of the Chibhal region, with the Manawar Tawi, an important source of the Chenab, forming the eastern portion and Jhelum the west, Punjab in the south and Poonch and the Pir Panjaal in the north. This region formed the easiest route into the Kashmir valley along the Bhimber, Rajouri and Shopian route, also known as the Mughal Road. Over 80% of the population was Muslim, and most of the population spoke Pahari. After the first Indo-Pak War of 1948, the district was divided by the armistice line that later became known as Line of Control. There was also an exchange of population, with Nawshera now about 90% Hindu and Sikh, while the Mirpur Division is now entirely Muslim. About one third of the district was Jat, who belonged to all three religions. Most of the larger clans such as the Kalial, Nagyal and Thathaal had sections which belonged to all three religion.

Brief Description of the Muslim Groups

Jats

As I have said more then 80% of the population in the district was Muslim, of whom the Jat formed almost 40% of the districts Muslim population. In Mirpur, Jats still reside in their traditional heartlands of Chakswari, Dadyal, the city of Mirpur and the countryside surrounding Mirpur, which is overwhelmingly Jat. The main Jat villages near Mirpur are Ban Khurma, Chitterpury, Balah-Gala, Kas Kalyal, Khambal, Khroota, Purkhan, Sangot and Dheri Thothal as well as many villages around the Khari Sharif area.The Jat population was in term divided into numerous clans, all claiming descent from a common ancestor. Among the larger clans were Aasar, Bangial, Badhan, Dhamial, Kalyal, Kanjial, Kanyal, Karyal, Khabal, Manjaal, Matyal, Nagyal, Nathyal, Rachyal, Ranyal, Rupyal, Thathaal, Pakhreel and Punyal.

Rajputs

The second largest group were the Rajputs, almost 13% of the total Muslim population. The Chibs were the dominant clan in Bhimber, while the Gakhars (including Sakhaal sub-clan)  in Mirpur and the Mangral in Kotli. Other important clans were the Jaral in Bhimber, Narma and Thakyal in Kotli and the Sahu in Mirpur. Along the Punjab border, next to Jhelum and Gujrat, there were several communities of Bhao, Panwar and Sohlan. The Minhas and Sahoo were largely concentrated in Mirpur tehsil. Included within the Rajputs were the Bains, who were heavily concentrated in the Mirpur tehsil, most of which now forms part the Mirpur District. The Bhatti, who were closer to the Jat in customs, as they tended to be owner-cultivators were seperately enumerated, and in 1931 numbered 1,664. Another quasi-Rajput group were the Badhan, who numbered 532. In the case of the Badhan, it is very likely among them many would have declared themselves as Jats. In neigbhouring Gujrat and Jhelum Districts, the Badhan are simply a Jat tribe.

Major Clans

The 1931 Census of India was the last one that collected information on the various clans of the Rajput community. Below is a list of clans belonging to the Muslim Rajputs:

Tribe Population
Chib 7,376
Mangral 6,827
Ghakkar 5,085
Jaral 3,470
Narma 2,048
Manhas 1,161
Khokhar 1,009
Sao / Sahoo 834
Bains 678
Bhao 569
Chauhan 279
Janjua 218
Salehria/Sulehri 45
Bomba 7
Other Clans 836

 

Gujars

The Gujjars came third, making up almost 10% of the population. Most of these Gujjars were connected with those of northern Punjab, speaking Pothwari and not Gojri, the language spoken by the Gujjars of the rest of the state, including the Kashmir valley. Among the larger Gujjar clans we find the Banya, Bagri, Bajar, Bhumbla, Bjarh, Chandpuri, Chauhan, Chechi, Gorsi, Hans, Kallas, Kasana, Khatana, Khepar, Poswal and Meelu. Important Gujjar villages include Pramekot, Rahimkot, Riat, Dadyal, Bhalot Chowk (Mirpur), Mandi Village (Dadyal),Sahalia (Dadyal) Saliah (Dadyal), Kund (Dadyal), Khoi Ratta, Anderla Kothera, Shaheen Abad, Dakkhana, Phalini, Khor, Ghayeen, Kerjai, Barali Gala, and Nidi Sohana, all in Kotli District.

Bafinda

The Bafinda, whose traditional activity was weaving, differ from the previous three, in that they were not traditionally landowners. The name Bafinda, or Bafand, is derived from the Persian word baften, meaning cotton dresser. When cotton cultivation stopped in Kashmir with the advent of foreign-made fabrics, they largely shifted to carpet weaving but now are engaged in many vocations. In 1931, they were still village artisans, practising there traditional occupation of weaving. There was not a single village in the Mirpur region that did not contain a few houses.

Other Agriculturists

The other large groups associated with agriculture were the Awan, Arain, Maliks and Sudhans, the last two groups were found only in Kotli. The Arain population of Jammu and Kashmir were equally divided between Jammu and Mirpur regions, and they were usually found in most Rajput villages, often working as tenants. The Awan villages such as Mohra Malkan and Ghaseetpur Awan were found mainly near the Jhelum, while a similar number were found in Kotli. While Maliks were found in eastern most part of Kotli, and were said to have been settled in the region on the orders of Emperor Akbar. Finaly, the Sudhan were found along the border with Poonch District, many of whom were claiming a Pathan origin. It is possible that some Sudhan would have declared themselves as Pathan in 1931 Census, thereby inflating the figure for that caste.

Kashmiri Muslims

By the early 20th Century, the district was home to a substantial community of Kashmiri Muslims. By 1931 they numbered 8,554, and in the Mirpur region now formed a distinct caste, in status slightly above the artisan groups, but below the landowning community. Most of them had switched to speaking Pahari, as this was the language of the dominant Rajputs. Its interesting to note that in 1931, only 759 people in the district spoke the Kashmiri language.

Major Clans of the Kashmiri Muslims

The 1931 Census of India also collected information on Kashmir Muslim castes. In Mirpur District, by 1931 these divisions were getting blurred, as there was a high degree of intermarriage between various groups of Kashmiri.

Tribe Population
Mir 2,463
Bhat 1,616
Dar 994
Lone 677
Shaikh 338
Rather 205
Wyene 138
Ganai 111
Paray 76
Magre 41
Tantre 40
Hajjam / Khalifa 14
Khwaja 13
Pandit 8
Other Clans / Kashmiri Miscellaneous 1,820

 

Artisan Castes

About 20% of the district population was made up of castes that were associated with certain occupations such as Tarkhan (carpenters), Jogi (labourers), Lohar (smiths), Nai (barbers), Jheer (water carriers), Darzi (taylors), Khatik (butchers), and Machi (bakers). Slightly seperate from these kammi groups were the Mussali (2,068) and Mirasi (1,235), who like the Chamars and Meghs among the Hindus, were communities of outcastes.

The Bazigar, were an interesting tribe of peripatetic nomads provided entertainment to settled village communities. They were probably undercounted on account of there nomadic lifestyles.

Other Groups

In addition to the groups described, the district was home to castes such as the Sayads and Mughals, traditionally associated with land holding and the Khojas or Punjabi Shaikhs, who were converts from the Hindu Khatri caste. Like the Kashmiri, the Khoja were largely traders and merchants. One final Muslim group that deserves a brief note are the Domaal, a Rajput caste traditionally associated with Poonch. Finally, the Pathans in the district were largely migrants, about 117 in 1931 still spoke Pashto, although the figure was probably higher. Unlike the Kashmiri, the Pathan groups had only recently established themselves in the district. Some of those who resgistered themselves Pathans maybe members of the Sudhan tribe.In 1932, the numbered 1,239.

Major Hindu Communities

Among the Hindus of Mirpur, the Jat, formed a significant elements, with the larger clans being the Aasar, Aassle, Bhatti, Bhangre, Chahal, Gill, Dhoor, Jhal, Kjaal, Nagyals, Nathyal, Ranyal, Pajhaal, Smotra, Thathaal, and Tohre. The Rajputs, mainly Bhao, Charak, Chib and Minhas formed an important element in Bhimber. Three interesting communities that were only found in the region were the Basith, Mahajan and Muhial. The Basith claimed a Rajput status, were generally cultivators and outside Mirpur were only found in Poonch. After the 1948 War, the Basith community was made refugees. The Mahajan or Pahari Mahajan were found in the all the towns such as Koti, Mirpur and Nawshera, and were largely traders. The Mahajan of Mirpur town were a particularly wealthy community. The Muhial Brahmans were the landowners and soldiers of the Pothohar region, and a substantial section found in the Mirpur region. In addition, the district was home to two large Dalit communities, the Megh (weavers) and Chamars.

Major Clans of the Hindu Rajputs

Bellow is the population of the Hindu Rajput clans in the district. The majority belonged to Chib tribe, as was the case among Muslim Rajputs.

Tribe Population
Chib 6,118
Manhas 387
Narma 49
Charak 33
Bhao 17
Chauhan 10
Salehria/Sulehri 10
Jaral 6
Other Clans 836

 

Major Sikh Communities

Mirpur was the western most region that was inhabited by Jatt Sikhs. The Jatt Sikhs and Jat Hindus shared the same clans, and intermarried with each other. The Sikh population of Mirpur differed considerably from those of Poonch and the Kashmir valley, who are largely Brahman. In Mirpur, the Sikhs were divided almost evenly between the Jatts and the Khatri/Arora castes, who were traditionally associated with trade.

 

Religion-wise

 

Religion Population Percentage
Muslim 277,631 80.5%
Hindu 57,594 16.7%
Sikh 9,432 3%
Christian 82
Jain 8
Total 344,747 100%

 

Caste-wise

 

 

Religion Caste or tribe Population
Muslims
Jat 103,096
Rajput 35,534
Gujjar 26,414
Bafinda 9,958
Kashmiri 8,554
Malik 7,512
Awan 6,507
Mughal 6,467
Tarkhan 6,340
Arain 5,776
Sayyid 5,074
Lohar 4,675
Machhi 4,551
Kumhar (Ghumiar) 4,493
Teli 3,988
Hajjam (Nai) 3,783
Sudhan 2,521
Shaikh 2,106
Mussali (Muslim Shaikh) 2,068
Darzi 1,889
Bhatti 1,664
Jhinwar (Jheer) 1,635
Jogi 1,328
Pathan 1,239
Mirasi 1,235
Dhobi 589
Badhan 532
Rangrez 514
Bazigar 345
Sonar 127
Domaal 97
Khatik 94
Khoja 81
Bharai 61
Dervesh 45
Mochi 45
Qalandar 33
Bakarwal 29
Safiada 9
Turk 7
Banjara 3
Other Muslims 6,928
Hindus
Jat 14,460
Brahman 11,685
Rajput 7,475
Chamar 6,014
Khatri 3,641
Mahajan 3,365
Basith (Vashith Rajput) 2,817
Megh 1,573
Brahman Muhial 1,565
Barwala 695
Sonar (Soni) 629
Jhinwar (Jheer) 483
Tarkhan 446
Lohar 291
Kumhar (Ghumiar) 239
Gorkha 234
Sadhu 157
Dom 151
Jogi 143
Arora 129
Labana 127
Nai 106
Chhimba 91
Gardi 51
Chuhra 40
Others 931
Sikh
Jat 4,951
Arora 1,168
Khatri 1,045
Sonar (Soni) 145
Rajput 93
Brahman 68
Kumhar (Ghumiar) 41
Tarkhan 23
Mahajan 16
Jhinwar (Jheer) 11
Megh 10
Christians 82
Jains 8
Total 344,747

 

Sources

Census of Jammu and Kashmir State 1931

Narma and Sohlan Rajput

In this post, I look at two related tribes, the Narma and Sohlan. Both are branches of the famous Parmar Rajputs, who ruled much of central India, from their capital at Ujjain. Once the Parmar state was destroyed, groups of Parmar migrated to different parts of India, including the foothills of the Pir Panjaal.

Narma

Starting off with the Narma, they are a clan of Paharia Rajputs, whose territory extends from Mirpur and Kotli in Azad Kashmir to Gujrat and Rawalpindi in Punjab. According to tribal traditions, they are Agnikula Rajputs descendant of Raja Karan. This Raja Karan was said to be from Ujjain or Kathiawar, although the Thathaal tradition is he was the ruler of Thanesar in Haryana. My post on the Nonari also explores this mysterious figure found among the traditions of many Punjab tribes. The Narma, therefore are Panwar Rajputs, who ruled Malwa and Ujjain, their famous kings names were Raja Bikramjeet and Raja Bahoj. During the invasions of Mahmood of Ghaznai the Narma were said to be living in the Haryana. Naru Khan 8th descent of Raja Karan accepted Islam and the tribe were named after him; Naru or Narma Rajputs. They were land owner of several villages within Haryana; the chief men of this tribe were known by the title Rai, and this title is still used by their descendants presently. Most Narma Rajputs have accepted Islam, although some remain Hindu. The Panwars are said to have thirty four branches, named after places, titles, language and person’s names like Omtawaar were known as the descendants of Omta, similarly the descendants of Naru became Naruma and then Narma.

 

Naru and Narma

There might be a common ancestory between Naru and Narma, they both claim their ancestor name was Naru, who accepted Islam and given new name Naru Khan during the invasion of Mahmood of Ghazna, and he lived in Haryana area. However, the Narma claim that they are of Panwar Rajput ancestry, while Naru origin stories make reference to Chandravanshi origin (Please see my article on the Pothohar tribes on Rajput sub-divisions). Coming back to the Narma, their origin myth refers to a Rai Pahre Khan, seven generations from Naru Khan who came from Kaithal in Haryana to what is now Jhelum district and founded two villages Fatehpur and Puran. A descendent of Pahre Khan, Rai Jalal Khan relocated to Senyah. As a tribe, the Narma are distributed over a large territory with Gujrat in the east, Rawalpindi in the west, and Mirpur and Poonch in the north, with Panjan in Azad Kashmir being a centre of the tribe.

Clans

The Narmas in Gujrat say that they have nine clans which are as follows:

1. Sadrya

2. Adryal

3. Sambrhyal

4. Haudali

5. Jalali

6. Alimyana

7. Joyal

8. Umrali

9. Hassanabdalia.

Narma Rajputs in Indian administered Kashmir

In India administered Kashmir, they are found mainly in villages near Naushehra in Rajauri District. There main villages include Jamola and Gurdal Paine.

Narma Rajput in Azad Kashmir

Important Narma villages in Azad Kashmir include Khoi Ratta, Narma, Panjan, Dhargutti, Palal Rajgan, Panjpir, Prayi, Charohi, Rasani, Sabazkot, Sanghal, Senyah, and Tain all in Kotli District.

In Bagh District, their villages include Sirawera, Dhoomkot. Kaffulgarh, Ghaniabad, Bees Bagla, Sarmundle, Mandri, Bhutti, Nikkikair, Awera, Dhundar, Cheran, Makhdomkot, Chattar, Adyala Paddar, Lober, and Patrata.

While in Bhimber District, they are found in the villages of Haripur (Samani Tehsil), Jhangar (Bhimber Tehsil), Makri Bohani (Bhimber Tehsil), Broh (Bhimber Tehsil), Khamba (Bhimber Tehsil), Thandar (Bhimber Tehsil), Siyala (Bhimber Tehsil), Garhone (Bhimber Tehsil), and Chadhroon (Bhimber Tehsil).

Narma Rajput in Punjab

In Punjab, they are found in the districts of Gujrat, Jhelum and Rawalpindi. The villages of Puran and Fatehpur in Jhelum District are said to be their earliest settlements. In Rawalpindi, they are found in Jocha Mamdot ,Sood Badhana and Narmatokh Kangar villages.

Sohlan

Sohlan is said to have emigrated from Malwa in the middle ages, settling in the foothills of the Pir Panjal mountains, and converting to Islam. The Sohlan established a principality based on the town of the Khari Sharif and during the time of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals the reigning authorities never levied taxes in the Solhan ruled areas, in lieu of peaceful passage to Kabul. There are however other traditions which connect the Sohlan clan with the royal family from Kishtawar; with Raja Sohlan Singh quarrelling with his relations and settling in Khari, and expelling the Gujjar population. Legend also has it that Mangla Devi an ancestor of the tribe and after whom Mangla is named after was the first person from the tribe to convert to Islam. This site has now been inundated by the construction of the Mangla Dam in Mirpur District. After the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the Sohlan areas came under the rule of the Sikhs. This rule lasted until 1846 when Sohlan inhabited areas north of the Jhelum river were handed over to the Gulab Singh Dogra in an agreement with the British as part of the Treaty of Amritsar. As result of this treaty, Sohlan territory was effectively partitioned, with Sohlan south of the Jhelum coming under direct British areas, in what became the district of Jhelum and sub-district of Gujar Khan. Despite this separation, both the Chibhal territory of Jammu State and British Pothohar continued to share common cultural traditions, with minor dialectial differences between Pothwari and Pahari languages.

 

Presently, the Sohlan are found chiefly in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, with small numbers found in Jhelum, Gujar Khan, and Rawalpindi.

Starting with Mirpur District, their villages include Bani (Mirpur), Dalyala, Ghaseetpur Sohalian, Koonjarai Nawab, Mehmunpur, and Sahang. Sohlan villages in Mirpur are located mainly around the town of Khari Sharif which has historically been ruled by this clan. Since the development of the Mangla Dam, old Jabot Village, which was also an important Sohlan village was submerged underwater causing many families to move to Khari Sharif, and establishing the village of New Jabot. The Sohlan village in Jhelum District are located north of the city of Jhelum near the border with Mirpur, the principal settlement being Sohan. Other villages include Gatyali or Patan Gatalyan, Chak Khasa, Pakhwal Rajgan, Chitti Rajgan, Pind Ratwal Tahlianwala, Dhok Sohlnan, Piraghaib and Langerpur. They are closely connected to with both the Bhao and Chibs, who are their neighbours, and with whom they share good many customs and traditions. Outside this core area, Sohlan villages include Sahang and Dhok Sohlan in Tehsil Gujar Khan district, Morah Sohlan, Pehount in the Islamabad Capital Territory and Naar Mandho in Kotli District.

Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1891 Census of India

In 1891 the total Rajput population was 1,983,299 of which Muslims were 1,559,977. I would also ask the reader to look at my other posts such as Muslim Rajput clans of British Punjab according to the 1901 Census of India.

 

Tribe

Population Distribution
Bhatti 297,343 throughout Punjab, but special concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot), Gujranwala and Rawalpindi
Khokhar 137,883 Jhang, Jhelum, Hoshiarpur, Sialkot, Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar and Gurdaspur
Chauhan 132,116 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and central Punjab – the Karnal, Rohtak and Rewari Chauhan are a Ranghar tribe, in central found mainly in Lahore, Amritsar and Jallandhar
Sial 106,146 Jhang, Multan and other parts of South Punjab
Gondal 62,071 Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Shahpur
Panwar 54,892 Rohtak, Karnal, Jind and Hissar (the eastern group); Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzaffargarh (the western group) – the eastern group are a Ranghar tribe; a smaller grouo also found in Jhelum
Kharal 51,586 Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Joiya 47,773 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Janjua 36,970 a western group in Rawalpindi and Jhelum and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Ghorewaha 34,192 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Manj 26,983 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Wattu 24,150 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Sulehri / Sulehria 24,345 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Naru 22,680 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana – by early 20th Century, several Naru were settled in Faisalabad and Sahiwal in the canal colonies
Tomar / Tonwar 21,691 Modern Haryana (especially Rohtak and Panipat), Ambala, and in the Bahawalpur Stater
Bariah also pronounced as Varya 19,463 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Ranjha 18,490 Jhelum / Chakwal
Taoni 17,730 Ambala – a Ranghar grouping
Manhas / Minhas 16,026 From Rawalpindi to Hoshiarpur – a Muslim Dogra grouping
Dhudhi 11,286 Sargodha, Jhang, Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Bhakral 11,207 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Jatu 10,837 Modern Haryana (especially Hissar and Gurgaon), Ambala, and Rohtak. They are a Ranghar tribe
Satti 10,799 Rawalpindi
Dhanyal 8,524 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Khichi 7,845 Sargodha, Jhang and Sahiwal
Mekan 7,733 Sargodha (Shahpur District), Jhang and Rawalpindi
Chib 6,673 Gujrat, a Muslim Dogra clan
Mandahar 4,022 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and Hissar. They are a Ranghar tribe
Khanzada 3,471 Gurgaon – a branch of the Jadaun clan
Tiwana 3,120 a western group in Kushab and eastern group in Patiala
Raghubansi / Raghuvanshi 3,060 Ambala – a Ranghar clan
Kanial 2,725 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Katil 2,461 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Pundir 2,117 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar group with villages near the Yamuna river
Bargujar 2,046 Gurgaon – a Ranghar tribe found in Rewari
Kethwal 1,849 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Jadaun 1,353 Gurgaon and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Bagri 1,186 Hissar and Firuzpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Rathore 1,067 Hissar, Firuzpur and Bahawalpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Chandel 912 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana
Khoja 841 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Jaswal 558 Hoshiarpur
Gaurwa 546 Gurgaon – Ranghar group
Atiras 477 Patiala State
Pathial 470 Kangra and Hoshiarpur
Luddu 258 Hoshiarpur
Guleria 248 Hoshiarpur
Dhanwal 214 Sahiwal and Okara
Dadwal 147 Hoshiarpur
Pathania 138 Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Katoch 101 Hoshiarpur
Miscellaneous clans 299,166 throughout Punjab

 

Population of Muslim Rajput clans of Jammu and Kashmir State according to the 1911, 1921 and 1931 Census of India

In this post I set out the results of the 1911, 1921 and 1931 Census of the Jammu and Kashmir Princely State for the various Rajput clans. Around 60% of the population was Muslim, divided into as much as a hundred clans. In terms of Administration, the state was divided into four regions, Kashmir (including Muzaffarabad), Jammu (including Mirpur), Poonch and the Frontier regions. The administration set up was as follows:

Jammu Province: Districts of Jammu, Jasrota (Kathua), Udhampur, Reasi and Mirpur.

Kashmir Province: Districts of Kashmir South (Anantnag), Kashmir North (Baramulla) and Muzaffarabad.

Frontier districts: Wazarats of Ladakh and Gilgit.

Internal jagirs: Poonch, Bhaderwah and Chenani.

In the 1941 census, further details of the frontier districts were given:[28]

Ladakh wazarat: Tehsils of Leh, Skardu and Kargil.
Gilgit wazarat: Tehsils of Gilgit and Astore
Frontier illaqas: Punial, Ishkoman, Yasin, Kuh-Ghizer, Hunza, Nagar, Chilas.

The Muslim Rajput population was found mainly in Jammu, Poonch and Muzaffarabad region of Kashmir. They spoke Punjabi and related dialects.

The 1911 Census recorded 22 clans, whie the 1931 recorded 23 clans. Jammu District, which included most of the southern part of the State, had prior to 1947 a large Muslim population, most of whom moved to Pakistan as the result of partition. Like neighbouring Sialkot in Punjab, most Jammu Rajputs belonged to the Agan, Awan, Bhao, Bhatti, Khokhar, Minhas and Sulehria tribes. These tribes spoke Punjabi, and had much in common with clans found in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. West of Jammu tribes, we find those of Mirpur, roughly covering the southern third of modern day Azad Kashmir. The Chibs were the largest tribe in this region, concentrated in and near Bhimber, and other areas east of the Chenab. Around Mirpur town, we find the Awan, Bains, Gakhar, Sahu and Minhas, and while a large number of Jaral were found in near Bhimber. In the mid Himalayas, roughly comprising the modern districts of Rajouri and Reasi we find the Domaal, Jaral, Kamlak and Thakkar tribes. Most of these tribes spoke dialects of Pahari. Finally, in the Poonch Jagir now divided in half by the line of control, we find the Badhan, Dhund, Douli, Janjua Janhal, Maldial, Mangral and Minhas tribes. The edges of the Kashmir valley were home to the Bomba and Khakha tribes.


1911 Census

The total Muslim population was 196,817  (58%) out of a total population of 341,665. The rest were entirely Hindu.

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Jasrota Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District Poonch Jagir Muzaffarabad District Kashmir North Total
Awan 1,978 127 108 324 6,280 6,171 11,642 580 27,558
Badhan 79 1,393  4,007  505 6,586
Bains  167 5,802 59 97 6,193
Bhao 66 2 51 437 16 592
Bhatti 502 1,900 347 543  1,111 4,451
Bomba  4 1,190 1,462
Chauhan  147  24  4 6  46 32  2,219  368  3,646
Chib  198  2  13  336  8,659  270  100  8  9,665
Dhund 9,611 6,225 15,858
Domaal  9 2,599 1,035 2,992  308 6,953
Douli  248 2,820  23  3,099
Gakhar  121 5 170  357  4,095  8,186  759  13,825
Janhal  236  944  1,180
Janjua  186  2  11  1,404  427  4,460  1,343 8,062
Jaral  214  29  52  3,893  3,434  569  172  8,566
Khakha  1  4  1,206  179  1,391
Khokhar  486  72  23  1,115  949  2,537  2,305  7,736
Maldial  8  11,492  123  11,643
Mangral 17  2 429 5,937 539 76 7,027
Manhas/ Minhas 1,000 42 110 403 490 3,630 1,024 6,797
Narma 2 127 1,970 4,495  14 6,617
Sau / Sahoo  26 2,934 2,961
Thakkar 5 9 66 4,038 16 728 359 6,103 10,451
Others 8,150 372 949 2,833 3,081 4,106 596 24,497

1921 Census

In 1921 Census, seperate clans other then the Basdhan, Bhatti, Dhund and Domaal were not seperately enumerated.

 

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Kathua District Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District Poonch Jagir Muzaffarabad District Kashmir North Total
Badhan 17  8 371 260  2,865  469 3,992
Bhatti 1,203  65 2,144 464 1,236  957 6,246
Bomba 48 11 2,327 366 3,609
Dhund 15 9,896 5,180 15,430
Domaal 2,682 310 4,657 7,670
Others 2,263 228 6,751 4,298 14,776 16,683 863 46,290

1931 Census

The total Rajput population was 391,888 of which Muslim Rajputs numbered 233,441 (60%)

 

Tribe Jammu District (including city) Kathua District Udhampur District Reasi District Mirpur District  Poonch Jagir  Muzaffarabad District Baramula District Total
Awan  2,140  33  17  562  5,817  9,674  12,481  701  33,600
Badhan 7 142 532 5,211
Bains  678  3,832  442  678
Bhao  53  4  83  569  21  30  761
Bhatti 1,355 16 2,312 1,664 2,893 8,240
Bomba  48  11  2,327  366  3,609
Chauhan  241  32  207  69  279  193  127  1,275  3,947
Chib  971  14  63  452 7,378  392  253  8,073
Dhund 5 43 1 12,105  5,360 17,523
Domaal 32 2,769 97 3,458 6,856
Douli  11  27
 Gakhar  98  17  102  776  5,076  6,608  3,723  16,726
 Janhal  14  62  78
 Janjua  198  20 10  1,364 220  2,112  1,709  186  6,022
 Jaral  1,068  8  152  6,094  3,480  566  144  11,627
 Khakha  11  11  9  1,010  6,627  10  7,739
 Khokhar  1,156  47  48  1,162 943  921  1,698  6,700
 Maldial  112  13,985  1,390  15,630
 Mangral  7  10  545  6,827  1,101  956  37  9,509
 Manhas/ Minhas  1,425  15  109  1,043  1,162  3,760  1,159 8,682
 Narma  12  75  2,078  4,684  6,857
Sulehria/ Sulehri  7,733  45  37  203  45  98  8,162
Sau / Sahoo 834 894
Others 2,263 228 6,751 4,298 14,776 16,683 863 46,290

Mahra, Naich and Waiha tribes of South Punjab

In this post I shall look at three tribes, namely the Mahra, Naich and Waiha or Vehas, that are found mainly in South Punjab. They all have traditions of migration from Rajasthan, leaving the desert of the Thar and settling in the valley of the Indus or Sutlej. The Jats and Rajputs of this region are said to have came from Rajputana and Jaisalmer and converted to Islam in the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlak (ruler 1351 to 1388). According to tribal traditions, as the Bhati rulers of Jaiselmer extended their control, they extinguished the independence of the various Jat of the what was then known as the Jangal Desh. As the tribes moved west towards the valley of the Sutlej, they encountered a Sufi saint who converted them to Islam. One of the Sufi often referred to in the conversion story was Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari (1199–1291), which conflicts with the migration story under Tughlak. In Punjab, a claim of conversion at the hands of Sufi often adds prestige, therefore it is possible the migration occured latter under Tughlak, but the Sufi story was added later. One more point I wish to make that in Southern Punjab, the word Jat refers to any tribe that does not claim to be Saiyads, Baloch, Pathan and Qureshis and is somehow connected with agriculture. Therefore, according this definition, all these tribes are Jat.

Mahra

I start off by looking at the Mahra. According to tribal traditions, the Mahra were descended from a group of Chaghtai Mughals who were orignally settled in Delhi. However misfortune struck these group of Chaghtais, and in a feud, the entire tribe was slain, save a young boy. As he was found lying among the corpses, he was named Mars or Mehra, literally the dead one in Sindhi. He and his descendants migrated to the banks of the Indus. Here they contracted marriages with locally settled Jat tribes, and became Jat. However, despite this claim of Mughal origin, its worth mentioning that there are still several communities of Hindu Mahra Jats in Nagaur district such as Silanwad suggesting that the Mahra like the Naich and Waiha are also immigrants from the Jangal Desh.

They are still found along the banks of the Indus in Rajanpur District on the west bank and also in larger numbers in Alipur tehsil of Muzaffargarh District.Their main villages include Kot Mahra in Multan District, Bahadur Mahra, Mahra Faraz and Mahra Sharqi in Muzaffargarh District, Hazrat Wala in Rajanpur District, and Shaidani Sharif in Rahim Yar Khan District. A small number of Mahra are also found in northern Sindh.

Naich

The next tribe I will look at are the Naich, eastern neighbours of the Mahra. They are found largely in the valley of the Sultlej. The Naich claim to be Suryavanshi Rajputs, descended from Rajah Karan of the Mahabharata. Ninth in descent from Karan was a prince called Wadhol, Raja of Nainwal, who is said to have five sons – Langah, Naich, Shajra, Dahir and Bhutta. Naich is said to have a married a Jat, and his descendents became Jat. It is interesting to note the the other four names are all well known Jat tribes of South Punjab. According to their tribal traditions, they were converted to Islam by Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari, the famous saint of Uch Sharif at the same time as their hereditary foes the Bohar. However, despite both groups converting to Islam, their feud continued. The region around Uch Sharif became extremely dangerous as a result of this feud. The Sayyid had enough and arranged that they should intermarry. The Bohars obeyed, but when it came to their turn to give a daughter to the Bohar they not only refused to do so but killed their Bohar son-in-law. As a result of the feud, the Bohar moved to the Cholistan, and the Naich became effective rulers of the territory which is now known as Rahim Yar Khan, until the arrival of the Daudpotras in the 18th Century.

Their clans are :

Dandra.
Nawal.
Tarapa.
Ladhrini
Malhni.
Murani
Budhani
Hajani

Villages

Bahawalpur District

Ahmad Naich

Amin Naich

Basti Fazal Ilahi Naich

Basti Muhammad Naich

Channi Goth

Hamad Naich

Jhok Naich

Kotla Naichan

Mauza Laalo Naich

Mauza Mahand Naich

Naichan Wala

Tahir Wali

Qadra Naich

Rahim Yar Khan District

Allahabad

Ali Haider Naich

Azizpur

Basti Atta Muhammad Naich

Basti Gul Muhammad Naich

Basti Huzoor Bakhsh Naich

Basti Imam Bakhsh Naich

Basti Laala Naich

Basti Malik Ahmad Bakhsh Naich

Basti Malik Bakht Ali Naich

Basti Malik Ghulam Rasool Naich

Basti Muhammad Panah Naich

Basti Muhammad Hussain Naich

Basti Noor Ahmad Naich

Basti Wasaya Naich

Chak No. 15/A

Changni Chowk

Dandli Naich

Dub Naich

Hazary Wala

Janpur Naichan

Kachi Muhammad Khan

Kanjaki Wala

Khan Bela

Naich Wala

Naich

Noorpur

Pakka Laran

Pakka Naich

Patti Naich

Unra Shareef

Wahi Wala

Muzaffargarh_District

Basti Islamabad

Basti Naich

Bhambhoo Sandeela

Jalasar Wala

Khakwani Wala

Khathar Wala

Sabu Wala

Khanewal District

Arry Wala

Basti Allah Yar Naich

Bohar Wala

Chak No. 8/9R Qasba

Dhory Wala

Dilawar Wala

Dinga Naich

Goh Wala

Jallah Naich

Vehari District

Bair Wala

Chah Baqar Khan Naich

Chah Kor Wala

Chak No. 65/KB

Chak No. 200 EB/33

Dingi Pul

Gehli Chak No. 37/WB

Ghara Mor

Karampur Qasba

Kassi Wala

Mauza Khahi Peer

Mauza Mustafa Abad

Bhakkar District

Basti Naich

Bhamban Wala

Dera Naich

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kallar Kot

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kohawar Kalan

Mohallah Naichan Wala Kotla Jam

Layyah District

Jhok Naich

Naich Nagar

Naich Wala

Toba Tek_Singh_District

Baggi Saidpur

Basti Faram

Chak No. 690/32 GB

Rajanpur District

Basti Malik Amanullah Naich

Naich Wala

Lodhran District

Chah Naichan Wala

Dhanot

Jangal Naich

Dera Ghazi Khan District

Chah Qutab Wala

Naich Wala

Multan District

Basti Naich

Naich

Wahi Naich

Other Villages

Chak No. 19 NB (Punjab, Sargodha), Chak No. 99/12L (Chichawatni, Sahiwal), Goth Fateh Muhammad Naich (Pind Dadan Khan, Jehlum), Kassowal (Chichawatni, Sahiwal), Katana (Punjab, Noor Pur Thal, Khushab), Chak No. 52 AMB (Sargodha), Manda Khel (Isa Khel, Mianwali), Naich Naich (Pind Dadan Khan, Jehlum) and Nizamabad Naich (Thathi Muzamil, Shahpur, Sargodha).

Waiha / Veha

The last tribe I will look at this in this post are the Waiha or sometimes written as Veha.

They trace their origin to Jaisalmer and according to tribal traditions that in the 4th century of the Hijra (913 CE – 1009 CE) the Raja of that State gave Rurar, the modern Tajgarh, in dower to his daughter Huran, and that the place was named after her. This region is now part of the arid region of Cholistan, a region that was part of the Bhati state of Jaisalmer until the arrival of the Daudpotras from Sindh in the 18th Century. At the close of the 10th CE, the Sufi saint Sayyid Ahmad Billauri settled in the this part of Cholistan in a place now called Amingarh close to Rurar which is now found in the modern Rahim Yar Khan District. The Sayyid began to preach Islam among the tribes of this desert region. This region was then ruled by Raja Bhunak Bhati who became a convert to Islam. Therefore, by ancestry the Waiha are Bhati Rajputs.

There are a number of traditions as to why these the Raja and his family acquired the name Waiha. One of the tradition point to a change in their name on conversion, for one derives Veha from vih, the Seraiki word for twenty, as it was that leading members of the tribe having been converted with Raja Bhunak. Another derives the name from wahi cultivation, because the Raja of Jaisalmer, Bhunak’s overlord as well as kinsman, confiscated their lands on their conversion, and the Sayyid told them to take to cultivation. A third fanciful etymology derives Veha from wah, because their conversion was applauded by the Sayyid’s followers. The Waiha were largely pastoralist, but most of their homeland now has a network of canals, and they are now settled farmers.

Most Waiha villages are located near the town of Allahabad, in Liaqatpur Tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan District. Two other clusters are found in Tulamba near Multan and in Dera Ismail Khan District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Naipal and Wattu tribes

In this post, I will look at two communities of Punjabi Muslims, namely the Naipal and Wattu, that were found along the banks of the Sutlej, in what is now Okara, Kasur and Bahawalnagar districts in Pakistan, and Ferozepur in India. After the partition of Punjab in 1947, the Wattu and Naipal of Ferozepur immigrated to Pakistan. Both these tribes connect themselves to the Bhatti, and like them were largely pastoral until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century.

Naipal

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

By middle of the 18th Century, Mugha1 authority had collapsed in the Sutlej valley and the Naipals became independent until Jassa Singh, the Ahluwalia (1718-1783), chief of Kapurthala took possession of their territory around 1770, and established a thana at Makhu and created the ilaqa of that name. By the early 19th Century, Ahluwalia rule was replaced by the British. Groups of the Naipal began to immigrate to the Ahluwalia ruled Kapurthala State, establishing their settlement in 1857. The Naipal were almost independent under the Ahluwalia rulers, and to have paid a small rent in kind only when the kardar was strong enough to compel them to it, which has not often the case.

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


Wattoo

The Wattoo, sometines writen as Wattu, are one of the main Rajput tribes of the Sutlej valley, who are closely connected to the Bhatti. Their historic homeland lay adjacent to Bhattiana, the region that now forms parts of Hissar, Sirsa and Ferozpur. Like other Punjabi tribes, the Watto have several origin myths.

In the old Sirsa territory, modern day western Haryana, the Wattoo traditions refer to a Raja Junher, a descendant of the Bhatti Raja Salvahan of Sialkot, was settled in Bhatner, wher he had two sons Achal and Batera, who were.was settled in Bhatner. The descendants of Batera include the Sidhu and Barar Jats. The former again had two sons Jaipal and Raipal, of whom Jaipal was the ancestor of the Bhatti proper, and Raipal of the Wattoo. The Wattoo are said to have been converted to Islam by Baba Farid, during the rule of their chief Khiwa, who ruled at Haveli in Okara, and was succeeded by the famous Wattu chief, Lakhe Khan. Wattoo territory at the beginning of the 19th Century included lands on both banks of the Sutlej in the Sirsa district, and the adjoining parts of Montgomery and Bahawalpur state, from Baggehi 16 miles above Fazilka, to Phulahi 70 miles below it. Above them was the territory of the Dogars, below them the Joiya. In the late 18th Century, after the Chalissa famine, the Wattoo left what is now Okara and settled in the lands of Sirsa and Rania, which was ruled by Bhatti Nawabs. This migration occurred under the leadership Fazil Dalel Rana. Another branch moved into what is Bahawalnagar District. In the Sutlej valley, the Wattoo were the most important group of Hitharis. Other groups also began to move into the Ravi river valley clashing with both the Kharals and Bhattis of the Bhatiore.

Another Wattoo traditions makes them descendants of Rajah Salvahan son Pital, who quarrelled with hie brothers and went th Bhatner (now known as Hanumangarh) in Rajasthan. Twelve generatione later Adham, owing to a feud with tho Panwar Rajputs, immigrated into the
Punjab and earned his title of Wattoo by subduing the pride of that race.The word watt or vat has various meanings, and Wattoo very likely meens a borderer. The Wattoos have a number of clans (muhins), e.g. Ladhoka, Bazidke,
Salim-Shahi, etc, all named after a particular ancestor.The principal clans of the Wattoos in Bahawalpur are:

i) Salim-ke (I) Qaim-ke, (2) Amruke, (3) Bare-ke.
ii. Sahru, with a sub-sept Darweshke.
iii. Gaddhoke, (1) Ratte-ke, (2) Bithe-ke, (3) Dhaddi-ke, (4) Daddd-ke.
iv. Rahmanke
v. Malike
vi. Miana
viii Jasoke
ix. Ahloke

The Wattoo were pastoralist par excellence, and this shown by a quote by the colonial ethnographer W.E. Purser:

priding themselves upon their politeness and hospitality. They are of only moderate industry, profuse in expenditure on special occasions, indifferent to education and exceedingly fond of cattle

In Bahhwalpur they have a different origin, with the Wattoos originally coming from Jaisalmeer and settled in the Punjab, advancing as far as Batala, which according to this tradition they founded. They then dispersed along both banks of the Sutlej. Their conversion to Islam occurred during the rule of Firoz Shah Tughlak (1351 to 1388) after which period they were incorporated into the Sultanate of Delhi. With the collapse of Muslim rule, the Wattoo suffered greatly at the hands of Sidhu-Bar Sikhs to whom they remained tributary until Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan II (4 June 1772 – 13 August 1809) expelled the Sidhu-Barars from the Wattu territory and annexed it to Bahawalpur.

Prior to the partition of India, there were sizeable colonies in Fazilka in what is now Punjab, India and Sirsa in what is now Haryana. All of these communities migrated to Pakistan in 1947.

The Wattoo tribe is now found in the following districts; Okara District, Pakpattan District, Bahawalnagar District, Shekhupura District, Multan District, and Nankana Sahib District.

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India: Bhale Sultan

In this post, I stick with the state of Uttar Pradesh, and look at the Bhale Sultans, a community of Khanzadas found in Uttar Pradesh. There name is a combinationation of the Sanskrit, Bhala, a kind of arrow or spear and the Arabic word Sultan meaning lord. The Bhala in medieval India was a type of spear given only to army commanders, and possession signified leadership. So technically, any army commander was a Bhale Sultan, but the title is now restricted to a specific community of Hindu Thakurs and Muslim Khanzadas found in the Awadh region and Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. In fact, when we talk of the Bhale Sultan, we are really talking about two distinct communities, those of Bulandshahr and those of Awadh, each with their own origin myths. In the introduction to my article on the Ahbans, I discuss the exact meaning of the word Khanzada, and I ask the reader to look at that post.

Bhale Sultan of Bulandshahr

In Bulandshahr, the Bhale Sultans are found mainly in villages around the ancient town of Khurja. According to tribal traditions, there ancestor was Sidhrao Jai Sinh, a Solanki Rajput of Anhilwada Pattan in what is now Gujarat. A descendent of Sidhrao, Sarang Deo, a nephew of the then Solanki Raja of Gujarat, settled in the ancient city of Baran (now known as Bulandshahr), which was then part of a principality ruled by the Dor clan of Rajputs. These Solanki were then granted an estate of eight villages by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, as a reward for services rendered during the Mahoba war. Most of the country was inhabited by the Meo community, who Sarang Deo and his followers conquered. His grandson, Hamir Singh, obtained from Shah ab-ud-din Ghori the title of Bhala Sultan or lord of the lance.” From then on the clan became known as Bhale Sultan. Kirat Singh was seventh in descent from Hamir Singh, and his descendant, Khan Chand, seven generations later, converted to Islam during the rule of Khizr Khan and took the name of Malha Khan. His son, Lad Khan and his nephew, Narpat Singh, who divided the property between them, moved from their homes at Arniyan and Kakaur to Khurja during the reign of Akbar and received the office of Chaudhri. Over time, the Bhale Sultan, both the Muslim branch descended from Lad Khan and Hindu branch descended from Narpat Singh became effective rulers of Khurja. At their height, the Muslim branch owned forty-four villages and the Hindus of the same clan thirty-two villages and-a-half. However, with rise of Kheshgi Pathans of Khurja, the Bhale Sultan power declined, with further losses when the British conquered the Doab in the early 19th Century.

Bhale Sultan of Awadh

In Awadh, there are several communities of Bhale Sultans, each with their own origin myths. The most important are those communities found in Faizabad and Sultanpur.

Among the Bhala Sultan of Sultanpur, there is a tradition that four hundred years ago Rai Barar, son of Amba Rai, brother of the then Raja of Morarmau, commanded a troop of cavalry recruited entirely from the Bais clan in the service of the Mughals, and was deputed to exterminate the trouble sum Bhars (an indigenous community) in the Isauli Pargana in present day Sultanpur District. Having accomplished his task, he returned to Delhi and presented himself at the head of his troop before the Emperor, who, struck with their manly bearing, exclaimed, “Aao, Bhale Sultan” meaning “come, spear of the Sultan”. Palhan Deo, great grandson of Rai Barar, is said to have been converted to Islam during the rule of Sher Shah Suri. From this branch of the Bhale Sultan descended the taluqdar families of Deogaon, Mahona and Unchgaon. In addition, the more minor Muslim Bhale Sultan formed the main landowning group in the north-west corner of Sultanpur district, then forming the parganas of Isauli, Musafirkhana and Jagdispur

In Faizabad, the Bhale Sultan claim descent from Rao Mardan Sinh, who is said to be a Bais Rajput, of Dundiya Khera, who was a horse-dealer by profession. During a visit Gajanpur, in Isauli Pargana, of the Sultanpur District, where there was a fort of the Rajbhars, which the Thakur is said to have captured. His son, Rao Barar, entered the service of the Sultan of Delhi, and as he was a good horseman and clever spearman, he obtained the title of Bhale Sultan. One of his descendants, Baram Deo, obtained the title Khanzada from a Sultan of Delhi, and from that period his descendants have been called Khanzada.

While a little known tradition, in Rae Bareli claims that they were Ahirs who were raised to the rank of Rajputs by Tilok Chand, a legendary figure in Awadh history.

Distribution of Bhale Sultans by District According to 1891 Census of India

District Hindu Muslim
 Saharanpur  17  27
 Meerut  20
 Bulandshahr  6,370  4,790
 Agra  59  3
 Farrukhabad  9  6
 Mainpuri  36
 Badaun  11
 Shahjahanpur  9
 Pilibhit  19  4
 Kanpur  11  75
 Fatehpur  3
 Banda  1
 Allahabad  824 18
 Lalitpur  2  2
 Benaras  15  86
 Jaunpur  25  3
 Ghazipur  7
 Gorakhpur  35  64
 Basti  155  53
 Azamgarh  122  29
 Lucknow  17  283
 Unnao  5  38
 Rae Bareli  377  372
Sitapur 20 23
 Lakhimpur Kheri  3  108
 Faizabad  757  687
 Gonda  406  352
 Bahraich  108  271
 Sultanpur  8,016  4,607
 Partapgarh  49  17
 Barabanki  329  735
Total Population in UP  17,320  12,670