Nagyal tribe

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

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

Map of Mirpr District

Gujar Khan Weather Forecast

Map of the Gujar Khan Region

 

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

Origin Story

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

 

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

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

 

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

Hindu Nagyals

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

 

Distribution

 

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

Rawalpindi District

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

Other Nagyal Villages

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

Hindu Nagyals of Samba District

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

Distribution of Nagyal According to the 1911 Census of India

 

District

 

Rajput Jat Total
Rawalpindi

 

2,038 2,038
Jhelum

 

1,830 1,830
Other Districts

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Chauhan Rajput of Mandawar

In this post I will look at interesting community of Chauhan Rajputs, those of the principality of Mandawar in Rajasthan.Throughout the middle ages, the region that now forms northern Rajasthan was made up of a number of principalities. One such principality was that of the Raos of Mandawar. These Chauhans were commonly referred to as Ranghars, and this term really began with them, and is now widely used for Muslim Rajputs that lived in Haryana and northern Rajasthan. The Roas belong to the Sankat sub-clan of the Kharak branch of the Chauhans. They are a distinct from the Qayamkhani Chauhans, who were also found in northern Rajasthan.

1947AG.jpg

Map of Rajputana: Source Wikipedia

Origin

The word chauhan is the vernacular form of the Sanskrit term chahamana. Several Chauhan inscriptions name a legendary hero called Chahamana as their ancestor, but none of them state the period in which he lived. The earliest extant inscription that describes the origin of the Chauhans is the 1119 CE Sevadi inscription of Ratnapala, a ruler of the Naddula Chahamana dynasty. According to this inscription, the ancestor of the Chahamanas was born from the eye of Indra. Despite these earlier myths, it was the Agnivanshi (or Agnikula) myth that became most popular among the Chauhans and other Rajput clans. According to this myth, some of the Rajput clans originated from Agni, in a sacrificial fire pit. The inclusion of Chauhans in the Agnivanshi myth can be traced back to the later recensions of Prithviraj Raso. In this version of the legend, once Vashistha and other great sages begin a major sacrificial ceremony on Mount Abu. The ritual was interrupted by miscreant daityas (demons). To get rid of these demons, Vashistha created progenitors of three Rajput dynasties from the sacrificial fire pit. These were Parihar (Pratiharas), Chaluk (Chaulukya or Solanki), and Parmar (Paramara). These heroes were unable to defeat the demons. So, the sages prayed again, and this time a fourth warrior appeared: Chahuvana (Chauhan). This fourth hero slayed the demons. Descendants of these Chauhan Rajput ruled princely states in Western and Northern India until the pre-independence era. The progenitor of Chauhan dynasty was individual by the name Manik Rai (AD 685), who was a lord of Ajmer and Sambhar in what is now Rajasthan.

The Chauhan dynasty flourished from the 8th to 12th centuries AD. It was one of the four main Rajput dynasties of that era, the others being the Pratiharas, Paramaras and Chalukyas. Chauhan dynasties established themselves in several places in North India and in the state of Gujarat in Western India. They were also prominent at Sirohi in the southwest of Rajasthan, and at Bundi and Kota in the east. Inscriptions also associate them with Sambhar, the salt lake area in the Amber (later Jaipur) district (the Sakhambari branch remained near lake Sambhar and married into the ruling Gurjara-Pratihara, who then ruled an empire in Northern India). Chauhans adopted a political policy that focussed on campaigns against the Chalukyas and the invading Muslims. In the 11th century they founded the city of Ajayameru (Ajmer) in the southern part of their kingdom, and in the 12th century captured Dhilika (the ancient name of Delhi) from the Tomaras and annexed some of their territory along the Yamuna River. Prithviraj III has become famous in folk tales and historical literature as the Chauhan king of Delhi who resisted the Muslim attack in the First Battle of Tarain (1191). Armies from other Rajput kingdoms, including Mewar assisted him. However, Prithviraj was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain the following year. This failure ushered in Muslim rule in North India in the form of the Slave Dynasty, the first of the Delhi Sultanates.

Raos of Mandawar

After the defeat of Prithviraj III, branches of the Chauhans remained independent or semi-independent. One such state was that of Mandawar, which remained independent till the territory was handed over to the Rajah Bakhtawar Singh of Alwar in 1803. The state was said to have been founded by Kanhadeva , an uncle of Prithviraj III. He had 18 sons, from whom descend a number Chauhans. He was known also known as Kaka Kanha, and constructed the Saraneshwara Shiva temple. Kaka Kanha’s son Bhimadeva was given the principality of Isagarh and Mathin. Bhimadeva had four sons, out of them eldest was Lakhan Singh, who was made ruler  at Mathin. Mathin was later known as Mandawar. Lakhan’s son Haladeva faced Timur’s attack on Mandawar in which Haladeva was killed. His son, Chander became Muslim and was gifted with Mandawar in Jagir and given the Rao title by Timur.

 

According another account, the city of Mandawar was founded in 1170, by Rao Madan Chauhan. Halaji, fifth in descent from Madan had three sons Hansa, whose grandson Chand became a Muslim and received the title of Rao. When Chand of Mandawar, the head of the family, became a Muslim, Mandawar ceased to be regarded as the principal seat, but was superseded by Nimrana.In the later half of the 18th century, during the chaos following the death of Aurangzeb (1707), Pratap Singh, a Rajput adventurer, created the State of Alwar in 1775.  The Chauhan Roas of Mandawar therefore sank to the status of zamindars.

Rath Territory

The territory of the Chauhan Raos is known as the Rath. It was one four divisions of the Alwar State and lies on the north-west border. With the conversion of Chander to Islam, the position of head of the Chauhans of the Rath passed Rao Rajdeo, the Rao of Nimrana, who was 6th in descent from Rao Madan Pal, founder of Mandawar about 1170. The Chauhans of Rewari, Mahindargh and Hisar all traced their ancestry to the states of Mandawar and Nimrana in the Rath territory.  Captain Powlett author of the Alwar gazetteer, writing in the late 19th Century, said the following:

It is the country of Chauhan Rajputs, the head of whom claims to be the living representative of the famous Pirthvi Raj, king of Dehli, who fell in battle with the invading Musalmans. The Chauhans have continued to maintain their independence throughout the period of Alwar rule.

There are some contradictory traditions as to the lineage of the Rath Chauhans. The Chauhans of southern Haryana all have traditions that are immigrants from the Rath, and may be divided into two branches, the Nimrana and Sidhmukh or, as they call themselves, Bārā Thāl. The Nimranas who are descendants of Raja Sangāt, a great-grandson of Chahir Deo, brother of Pirthvi Raj III, are sub-divided into two clans, Rāth and Bāgauta, both of which came from Gurgaon, the former tracing their origin to Jātsāna. A historic name or Rewari is Bighota, which likely the Bagauta region. The Nimrana Chauhan Ranghar were found in villages throughout southern Haryana.

According to Chauhan traditions, Rajah Sangat Singh had 19 sons, from his older wife, among them were Harsh Dev Chauhan and Sahesh Mal Chauhan arrived in what is now Rewari District in Haryana. While his son Lah Chauhan, was made the ruler of Rath, was a son of raja Sangat Singh Chauhan by the younger Rani whose two sons became inheritors of Raja Sangat Singh’s territory of Rath with its headquarter at Mandhan when other 19 sons from the other wives were required to quit the kingdom as per the promise of Raja Sangat.

About Mandawar, the Alwar gazetteer has the following to say:

It has already been mentioned that Mandawar is the seat of the Musalman Rao of a great Chauhan family. The traders are of the Mahur clan, which supplanted the Khandelwal, formerly established at Mandawar. The ruin of the Khandelwal and the rise of the Mahur is attributed to the curse of a fakir, whom the former, notwith- standing their wealth, sent to be entertained by the latter. Khanzadas formerly occupied a hamlet of Mandawar, but abandoned it on discovering the intention of the Rao to destroy them. Besides the Rao’s residence, the buildings of note are mosques and tombs. One of the mosques has an inscription showing that it was constructed in Akbar’s time. Close to the town in the hills is a large and ancient tank known as the Sagar Sah. ( 140 ) When, many years ago, it was broken down the neighbourhood suffered much from the subsidence of water in wells. It was, however, restored in 1859, but requires cleaning out. There is a Thana, as well as a tehsil, at Mandawar.

 

The legends of around Ali Baksh a Rao of Mandawar are subject to a khayal, a type of folk play common in medieval Rajasthan.

In Alwar, the Chauhan Ranghars were found in the twenty villages of  which the most important were Basni, Mulpur, Karwa, Baspur, Basni, Mainpur Mandawar, and Silgam. The Chauhan Ranghar of Rewari were a branch of the Mandawar Chauhans.

 

Partition

After partition in 1947, the Muslim Chauhans of the Rath region, and neighbouring Haryana all migrated to Pakistan. They are now found through out southern and western districts of Pakistani Punjab.

 

 

 

Lakheke Bhatti and Naipal tribes

In this post, I will look two tribes, namely the Lakheke Bhatti and the Naipal that were found in the valley of the Sutlej, that now form’s the boundary between India and Pakistan. This region known as Behak-Wattuan now forms parts of Fazilka and Firuzpur districts of Indian Punjab, and was almost 50% Muslim prior to partition. Behak, or Behak khas is now a village, but at one point was an important town and centre of the Bodla tribe, while Wattuan was the territory located directly north of Behak, named after the Wattu tribe of Rajputs. Most of these Muslims belonged to the Bhatti Rajputs, and their numerous divisions. They were pastoralists, raising cattle, and migrating between the Ghaghar and Ravi rivers, with the Sutlej forming the centre of this region. The Lakheke Bhatti were found south of the Naipal.

With regards to the social set up of the Muslim tribes of this region, James Wilson author of the Tribal Code of Sirsa wrote the following about the tribal organization in this region:

The important division is that into tribes (jat or qaum), each tribe consisting of agnates, descended from a common ancestor; thus the jat resembles the got of other tribes though not these Musalmans by that name. The al is the smaller branch of the tribe, consisting of the agnatic descendants of some not very remote ancestor, by whose they are known.

The aals names often ended the by word ke, so the town of Fazilka is really Fazilke, which was a division of the Wattu Rajputs, who were also connected with the Bhatti. The Lakheke were simply an aal of the Bhattis, but Naipal and Bhatti Rajputs have common ancestor, so really are seperate branches of the Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer.

 

Lakheke Bhatti

The Lakheke are a clan of Bhatti Rajputs, who were found in Fazika District. The region now occupied by Fazilka, Sirsa, and southern Firozpur was the homeland of the Bhatti Rajputs. The Bhattis did not form a single state, but a tribal confederacy, headquartered in the town of Bhatner, now called Hanumangarh. The Bhatti Rajputs were rulers of the region between Ghaghar and Sutlej, covering at its heights lands extending to cover Ganganagar District of Rajasthan to Bhatinda and Fattehabad in the east. The Imperial Gazetteer describes the region as follows:

A tract of country in the Punjab, lying between 29 15′ and 30� 15′ N. and 74� o’ and 75� 45′ E., and comprising the valley of the Ghaggar from Fatehabad in Hissar District to Bhatnair in the State of Bikaner, together with an undefined portion of the dry country stretching north-west of the Ghaggar towards the old bank of the Sutlej. Roughly speaking, the tract is bounded on the east by Hariana, on the south
and west by the Bikaner desert, while on the north its boundary includes Bhatinda in Patiala, and may be taken as roughly corresponding to the line of the Southern Punjab Railway. Bhattiana derives its name from the Bhattis, a collection of Muhammadan tribes claiming Rajput origin, who also gave their name to Bhatnair

In 1818, Zabita Khan, the last Bhatti nawab of Rania was disposed by the British, ending almost 800 years of Bhatti independence. The southern portions of Bhattiana were incorporated into the Hindu Rajput state of Bikaner, the rest formed the old Sirsa District. This was then divided between Firozpur and Hisar in 1884, with Sirsa bcoming part of Hisar, and Fazilka becoming part of Firozpur.

Early in the fourteenth century the wild country held by the Bhattis and Mains (Mayen) was attached to Abohar, a dependency of Dipalpur ; and the daughter of Rana Mal, the Bhatti chief, was married to Sipah Salar Rajab, and in 1309 became the mother of Firoz Shah III. The Bhatti chiefs seem to have maintained a position of semi-independence for a considerable time. Rai Hansu Bhatti, son of Khul Chain, was employed under Mubdrak Shah II against Pull in 1430 and 1431. Later, the Bhatti chief, Ahmad Khan, who had risen to great power and had 2o,ooo horse under him, defied prince Bayazid in the reign of Bahlol Lodi, and, though at first victorious, was eventually defeated and killed. Mirza Kamran was employed against the Bhattis in 1527 ; and they seem to have been reduced to complete subjection by the Mughals, for nothing is heard of them until the decay of the Delhi empire. For twenty-four years after 175o Bhattiana was harassed by the Sikhs and Bhattis in turn, until in 1774 Amar Singh, the Raja of Patiala, conquered it. But Patiala was unable to hold the tract, and lost the whole of it (Rania in 1780-3, Fatehabad in 1784), the Bhatti reconquest being facilitated by the great famine of 1783 which desolated the country. Sirsa fell to George Thomas in 1795-9; and on his
fall in 18o1 the Marathas acquired Bhattiana, only to lose it in 1803 to the British, who took no steps to establish a strong government. At that time Bhattiana was divided between the chiefs Bahadur Khan and Zabita Khan, of whom the former held the country in the neighbourhood of Fatehabad, while the latter owned Rania and Sirsa.

 

Horace Arthur Rose, the early 20th Century wrote the following about this region:

On the south-east border of the Punjab the subject population of Bikaner is largely composed of Bhattis, and tradition almost always  carries us back to the ancient city of Bhatner, which lies on the banks of the long since dry Ghaggar, in the territory of that State bordering on Sirsa. But in that tract, which corresponds to the old Bhattiana, the Bhatti is no longer a dominant tribe and the term is loosely applied to any Muhammadan Jat or Rajput from the direction of the Sutlej, as a generic term almost synonymous with Rath or Pachhada.

I would say Rose is only partly correct here, as although the Bhatti proper were no longer a majority, the Chhina, Joiya, Naipal, Sangla, and Wattu tribes all connected themselves to the Bhattis, and together formed the majority in this region. The Bhatti of Bhattiana, were themselves divided into numerous aals, one such being the Lakheke get their name from Lakha, who was a Sufi who came from Abohar and settled in Fazilka. Lakha was a descendant of Junhar, brother of Rajah Jaisal, who had founded the state of Jaisalmer. Junhar was similarly said to have founded Abohar, where Lakha was to have been born some 800 years later. Lakha became a Sufi ascetic and  said to have distanced himself from his family, who were petty ranas in Abohar. He settled among the Bodlas and married a Bodla girl. The Lakheke are therefore more closely connected with Bodlas, almost being a branch of that tribe. Lakha’s mazaar was located in the village of Behak Khas. This village and another three, Lakheke being the most important, were all located near the Sutlej, which became centres of this tribe. They had a close association with the Bodlas, who are a clan of Siddiqi Shaikhs. Until partition, the Lakheke formed a distinct sub-caste of Bhattis, however the clan is much more dispersed now.

Naipal

The Naipal, who were found entirely Ferozepur District are a much larger tribe then the Lakheke. 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, Mughal 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. There main villages included Malha Jhang, Tibbi Hussaini and Lalluwala.
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.

Ghorewaha Rajput

In this post, I will look at one of the largest Rajput tribe of Punjab in numbers, the Ghorewaha. Historically, the Ghorewaha were found in Jalandhar district, of which they occupied the eastern corner, and and neighboring Garhshankar tehsil of Hoshiarpur. A smaller number were found in smaller numbers in all the adjoining districts, especially in Ludhiana and Ambala. To the west of them were the Manj, and to the north of them the Naru. All three tribes provided the bulk of the Rajput population of the Doaba and Malwa regions, and almost all Muslim.

Origin Story

The Ghorewaha are a branch Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur,and belong to the Koshal gotra. They are descendants of Kush, the second son of Rama. They say that Raja Man, sixth in descent from Kush, had two sons, Kachwaha and Hawaha, and that they are of the lineage of Hawaha. Rose, the colonial British ethnologist gave the following description of their origin myth:

The two brothers met Shahab-ud-din Ghori with an offering of a horse, and received in return as large a territory as they could ride round in a day ; hence their name. The division of their country took place while they were yet Hindus, so that their settlement in their present tract was probably an early one. The Ghorewaha of Rahon, who are still Hindus, would seem to have immigrated more lately than the rest of the tribe, as they trace their origin from Jaipur, and their genealogists still live in Kota and Bundi in Rajasthan. Mr. Barkley was disposed to put the Ghorewaha conquest of their present territory at some five centuries ago. In the time of Akbar their possessions would seem to have been more extensive than they are now

Different groups of Ghorewaha have different versions of the account that Rose gave. For example those that lived in Nawashahr and Phillaur , both in Jalandhar, gave the following account, as recorded in the Jalandhar Gazetteer of 1904:

In Sambat 1130 or 1131, two brothers, Ahwaha or Hawaha and Kachwaha, sons of Raja Man, came from Kot Kurman or Kurwan on a pilgrimage to Jawala Mukhi. Near Arak or Rakh, a place in Ludhiana, close to Rupar, they met Shahabuddin Ghori, who was then the ruling monarch. They had a fine horse which they presented to the king, who, in return, gave each as much country as he could ride round in a day. Hawaha took this side of the Sutlej, and Kachwaha the other side ; and at night-fall, the former threw down his spear (sria), where is now the village of Selkiana, to show the limit of his domain ; while the latter marked the spot he had arrived at by his bracelet (jhangnu), on the site of the present village of Kanganwal. After this Kachwaha returned to Udaipur, but Hawaha stayed here and held both territories.

The Ghorewaha are Suryanvanshi, and it is likely they replaced the Katoch as rulers of the ancient territory of Trigarta. They are also one of the earliest converts to Islam in the Sutlej valley. Over the time, with the rise of the Sikhs in the 18th Century, the Ghorewaha were reduced to the status of petty of Ranas.

D.G Barkley, the British administrator of the Jalandhar was given the following information by Sulaiman Khan, Rana of Rahon, around 1880s, about the genealogy of that branch of the Ghorewaha.

The successors of Raja Hawaha, for 13 generations all entitled Raja, were Sirinaur, Sirikand, Markand, Baddeo, Rajeswar, Tekhmangal, Lohar, Utho, Jaspal, Prithvi, Padam, Mall and Bin. Raja Bin was the father of Rana Rajpal, and of Bhinsi. From these the following gots are descended :

Rajpal the descendants of Rana Rajpal, the son of Raja Bhin. Of this got are the Ghorewahas of Rahon and Shekhomazara, and those of Saroha Simli, Mukandpur and Gag in the Garhshankar Tehsil and of Bairsian, Kunail, &c.
Bhinsi descended from 4 brothers Rana Rup Chand, Anup

Chand, Farup Chand and Partab Chand, who were descended from

Bhin. Of this got are those of Garhshankar, Hion, Gunachaur,

and Bhin.

Sard those of Katgarh, Balachaur, Banah, Taunsah and
Rail the Raho Rajputs do not know the origin of this name.

 

While the author of the Hoshiarpur Gazetteer wrote the following about them:

The Ghorewahas trace their origin to Hawiha, a son of Raja Man of Kot Kurman (now Udaipur), to whom in Sambat 1130 or 1131 Shahab-ud-di’n Ghori gave as much land as Hawaha and Kachwaha, his brother, could ride round in a day. For a discussion of their ancestry see the Jullundur Gazetteer. His descendants founded 9 and 12 makan (said to be derived from men of inferior position to those who founded chhat), and are also divided into 12 muhins named after 12 of the 13 sons of Uttam. The Ghorewahas also have tika villages, e.g. Bhaddi is a tikka of 12 Ghorewaha villages around it.  Another account says the Ghorewdha presented a river horse {daryai ghora) to the ruler of the country and obtained the country in jagir. Hence their present name.

 

Generally, marriage did not occur within the gots.

Chhat and Makans

The chhat was an important tribal centre and the makan an inferior one. In the darbar, at a marriage the mirasis, the traditional caste of genealogists, used to get a certain gratuity for each chhat of which the tribe could boast and half as much for each makan. In my account of the Barya (Brah) and Taoni, I give some background information as to the institutions of the chhat and makan, common among the Rajputs of this region. The author gave the following information on the chhats and makans of the Ghorewaha in Jallandhar:

Raja Hawaha’s descendants founded 9 chhat (a term the meaning of which is not clear), and 12 makan, and sub-divided into 12 muhi, called, according to Nawashahr tradition, after the sons of Uttam, the fourteenth in descent from Hawaha. There was a thirteenth brother who became a Kalandar, a Muhammadan ascetic. The Phillaur Ghorewahas say Jaimal, their ancestor, had 18 sons after whom the muhis are called. They are the following :

Rajpal found in Nawashahr.

Sedsur found in Nawashahr and Amballa.

Bhimsi found in Nawashahr,

Phillaur and Garhshankar.

Sari found in Garhshankar.

Sahupal found in Nawashahr.

Jai Chand found in Nawashahr

and Phillaur

Dip found in Nawashahr and Ludhiana.

Main found in Ludhiaua.

Rajpur found in Hoshiarpur.

Salkho found in Ludhiana.

Aju found in Hoshidrpur.

Bhup found in Ambala.

Ladha found in Ambala.

 

The nine chhat of the Ghorewahas above mentioned are Garhshankar, Punam, Sarowa, Simli, Gunachaur, Kariam, Eatenda, Rahon and Hiun, of which the first four are in the Garhshankar Tehsil of Hoshiarpur, and the others in this District. The twelve makan are Matewara in Ludhiana, Samundra and Birampur in Garhshankar, Judana in Phillaur, Bahrain, Awar, Bliin, Kahma, Kariha, Baklilaur, Jadla and Bliaura in Nawashahr.

 

With regards to their chhats in Hoshiarpur, the author of the gazetteer wrote the following:

The Ghorewdhas hold a bawani or group of 52 villages around Balachaur in Tehsil Garhshankar; near Balachaur they have adhered to Hinduism ; further north, in the direction of Garhshankar, they are Musalmans, but they keep Hindu Brahmins and bards, to whom they give presents at deaths and marriages, and retain various other Hindu customs.

The chhat in this District are four, vis,—Garhshankar, Punam, Saroa, and Simli, all in Tahsil Garhshankar, the remaining 5 being in the Jullundur District. There are two makans, Samundra and Birampur, also in this Tahsil. Their chaudhris at Garhshankar, Balachaur, Saroa, Bana and Taunsa are well known.

These and the other chhats take brides from but do not give daughters to makan villages.

Population According to the 1901 Census

 

District / State Muslim Hindu Total
Hoshiarpur

 

12,222 983 13,205
Jalandhar

 

10,839 680 11,519
Ludhiana

 

4,487 81 4,568
Ambala

 

2,949 1,009 3,958
Patiala State

 

1,516 126 1,642
Firuzpur

 

288 12 300
Nabha State

 

279

 

 

 

279

 

Karnal

 

176 11 187
Malerkotla State
153 153
Kalsia State

 

110   110
Other District

 

    334
Total

 

33,295 2,960 36,255

 

The Ghorewahas were found in the greatest number in the south and east of the Nawashahr tehsil of Jalandhar, as well as in the adjoining Garhshankar tehsil of Hoshiarpur, but they also held estates in the east of the Phillaur tehsil, and the Grand Trunk Road between Phagwara and Phillaur, which formed the approximate the boundary between them and the Manj Rajputs. In Ludhiana district, they were found east in the Samrala Tehsil, owning a large number of villages along the Sutlej both in that district and in Jalandhar. They were proprietors or part proprietors of Rahon, Nawashahr, Gunachaur, Jadala, Awn, Baglaur, Hion, Kamam, Nauhra, Apra, Massani, and Indina in the Bist Doab. A smaler number were also found in Patiala and Ambala.

Partition

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

Patial / Pattial Rajputs

In this post, I will look at a Rajput tribe, the Patial, Pattial, sometimes spelt Pathial or even Pattyal. Like other Punjab Rajputs, the Pattials of the Punjab plains, the territory which now forms the state of Punjab in India converted to Islam, while those of the Punjab hills, now the state of Himachal Pradesh remained Hindu.

Patial are a clan of Suryavanshi Rajput, that claim direct descent from Rama Chandra of the Raghuvanshi dynasty. Their traditional areas of residence were in the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, which as an ancient kingdom in located in Punjab with its capital at Prasthala (modern Jalandhar) and secondary capital at Kangra. They claim to be Raghuvanshi Rajputs, i.e. those who belong to the family of Raghu. Emperor Raghu was a king of the Ikshvaku dynasty that ruled during the period of the Mahabharat. The name in Sanskrit translates to the fast one, deriving from Raghu’s chariot driving abilities. So celebrated were the exploits of Raghu, that his dynasty itself came to be known as the Raghuvamsha or the Raghukula after him. The history of his dynasty is elaborated upon by Kalidasa in his Raghuvamsha. In the Raghuvamsa, they are described as a lineage of warrior kings tracing their ancestry to Surya.

According to another tradition, the Patial are Sissodiya of Mewar, who left that state when the ruler Amar Singh (16 March 1559 – 26 January 1620) accepted the Mughal over lordship of Jehangir and settled in what is now Himachal Pradesh. The clan gets its name from the town of Pathankot, formerly Paithan. The word Patanial, meaning those from Pattan was shortened to Pattial. The Hindu Pattials are found mainly in Himachal in Unna and Kangra districts.

Hindu Pattials

According to tribal traditions, after leaving Mewar, the Patials settled in Punjab, and founded the town of Patiala and from where they got the title or surname Patial. With rise of the Phulkian Sikhs, around the 1700 A.D., the Patials were pushed out of Patiala. They then moved and settled in Kot Patial in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. Patials now became rulers of the principality of Kot Patial. Kot means fort hence Kot Patial means fort of Patials. From here, groups of Pattial moved to Hamirpur, in Himachal Pradesh. The history of Hamirpur is closely associated with the Patials and the Katoch dynasty which ruled the area between the Ravi and Sutlej rivers, the northern half of the ancient kingdom of Trigarta. This the area was under the control of Patials and other ‘Ranas’ (feudal hill chiefs), such as the Jasial and Dadial. Some of the prominent Ranas were those of Mewa, Mehalta and Dhatwal. Once Katoch dynasty established firm control over Hamirpur, many Patial moved to and settled in the villages of Bhodda, Bhoura, Draman, Langa and “Tappa.

The Patial were the petty Ranas of Paplah. Paplah village is situated between two rivers called Moull and Mandh in Kangra District. It located at a distance of 35 km from the towns of Palampur and Jaisinghpur. The town was the centre of a chieftaincy of the Patials, which lasted till 1947.

Muslim Pattials

 

The Muslim branch pf the Pattial claim descent from two Rajput chiefs, Rajah Haspal and Jagpal, who were converted to Islam by Shaikh Shah Katal Chisti, a descendant of Baba Farid, in the 15th Century. His dargah is now found in Talwara village. The Muslim Pattials became rulers of small principality along the banks of Sutlej, in what is now Ludhiana District. It centred on the village of Bhundri and included Khanpur and Wazirke Gaur villages. The rise of the Ahluwalia Sikhs in the 18th Century led to the end of this principality. These territories eventually came under British control in the beginning of the 19th Century, and the Pattial were reduced to the status of petty Ranas. A small number of Muslim Pattial families were also found in Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur district. Like other Muslim Rajputs, the Pattials moved to Pakistani Punjab at Partition in 1947.

Muslim Pathial are also found in Sialkot and were found in Gurdaspur. These have a slighly different tradition, as they claim to be a branch of the Gondal tribe of western Punjab, and as such of Chauhan ancestry.

Distribution of Pattial Rajput Population According to the 1901 Census of India

District / State Hindu Muslim Total
Kangra 5,330 5,330
Hoshiarpur 506 32 538
Sialkot 155 155
Other Districts 132 124
Total 5,968 311 6,279

Mandahar Rajput

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Distribution of the Mandahar Rajput According to 1901 Census of India

District / State Muslim Hindu Total
Karnal

 

17,357 4,635 21,992
Patiala State

 

1,260 708 1,968
Jind State

 

1,178 239 1,417
Ambala

 

525 225 750
Hissar

 

514 66 580
Rohtak

 

429 51 480
Gurgaon

 

173 15 188
Other Districts

 

Total 21,734 6,030 27,764

 

 

 

Rathore Rajputs of Poonch

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

 

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

 

Marwar to Poonch

 

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

 

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

 

Rajahs of Poonch

 

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

 

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

 

The Chaudhary of Sarharon and Kahuta

 

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

 

The Chaudharies of Shahpur and Mandhar District Poonch

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

 

Distribution

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

 

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

 

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

Daha Rajput

In this post, I wll look at the Daha Rajput tribe, now found mainly in Khanewal District of Punjab. The Daha were rulers of an independent principality in the Neeli Bar and are an extremely influential tribe in Khanewal District. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Kathiato give more information on the Bar nomad tribes.

The Daha are a branch of the Panwar Rajputs (also pronounced as Parmar), who ancestor was Mahrajah Shri Khand, ruler of the state of Dharanagri in Malwa region of Central India. The ancient Paramar kings of Dharanagri claimed to be members of the Agnikula or Agnivansha (“fire clan”). The Agnikula myth of origin, which appears in several of their inscriptions and literary works, goes like this: The sage Vishvamitra forcibly took a wish-granting cow from another sage Vashistha on the Arbuda mountain (Mount Abu). Vashistha then conjured a hero from a sacrificial fire pit (agni-kunda), who defeated Vashistha’s enemies and brought back the cow. Vashistha then gave the hero the title Paramara (“enemy killer”). The earliest known source to mention this story is the Nava-sahasanka-charita of Padmagupta Parimala, who was a court-poet of the Paramara king Sindhuraja (ca. 997-1010). The Parmar ruled an important state in Malwa until their decline in the 13th Century.

Coming back now to the the Daha, 20th in descent of Shrikhand was an individual by the name of Dohaj. Dohaj was a prince of Dharanagri, and it was his son Daha, from which the Daha Rajputs get their name. Twentieth in descent from Daha, was an individual who converted to Islam and took the name Taqi Khan. A descentdant of Taqi Khan by name of Singhaar Khan left Malwa and settled in the Neeli Bar, near where Khanewal is located. This migration is set to have occurred in the 13th Century. The Daha were pastoralist at this point, although they built a fort near present day Khanewal. Both the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire maintained a very light control over the Bar nomads.

According to another tribal tradition, Daha, who was said to be a Muslim holy man, was married the daughter of Parihar Rajput, who were said to be the rulers of Multan. They claim kinship with the Bohar and Parhar Jats, who are also of Parihar Rajput ancestry. While another tribal tradition claims the tribe originated in Dharwar in central India, from where they migrated to Pakpattan. The tribe then spread to Khanewal and Multan. There original name was dharawal, or in English people of the town of Dharwar, which was shortened to Daha. During the period which saw the break up of the Mughal Empire (circa 18th Century), the Daha became effective rulers of the portion of the Neeli Bar that forms the modern Khanewal District. The town of Khanewal is name after Khan Daha, the founder.

With the collapse of Mughal authority in the 18th Century, the Daha chief Hasan Khan carved out an independent principality. The principality included Tulamba, Luddan and Tibbi Sultanpur. However, like many of these petty Muslim Rajput principalities, the Daha also saw the arrival of the Sikhs. During the rule of Ziarat Khan, the Daha chiefs acknowledged Sikh overlordship (around 1790). The Daha chiefs were granted lands in Bahawalpur such as Khairpur Tamiwali, to which they paid tribute to the Daudputra rulers of that state. When the region came under British rule in 1849, the Daha chief was Khan Mohammad Khan, who was made a zamindar by the new authorities. Like other Bar chiefs, Khan Mohammad lost his indipendence. When Khanewal was founded by the British, and the area opened up to canal colonization, the Daha were granted extensive estates by the colonial authorities. The current member of national assembly from Khanewal is Muhammad Khan Daha .

In terms of distribution, they are found mainly in Vehari, Khanewal, D G Khan, D I Khan,Faisalabad, Multan and Rajanpur districts. Important Daha villages starting with Khanewal District include Dera Nishat Khan Daha, Rajanpur District Kotla Esan and Kotla Daha, and in Muzaffargarh District, their main villages are Head Bakaini, Mahiwal Daha, Sardar Mohammed Daha, Mohammed Daha, Chak Ali Daha and Ali Daha. 

Noon / Nun Rajput

In this post, I will look at the Noon, sometimes spelt Nun, tribe of Rajputs. Two of their branches, those of Shujabad near Multan and Hamooka near Khushab achieved political power, although Noons are  also found in Bhakkar, Jhang and Faisalabad.  The Noons of Khushab are closely connected with  the Tiwana, and I would ask the reader to look at my post on that tribe.

Origin Myth
The Noon are a tribe of Jat and Rajput status, found in mainly in Shujabad Tehsil of Multan District. According to one of their traditions, they are descended Noon, a Bhatti Rajput, who said to have left Delhi. According to other traditions, Kalyar was a son of Rana Raj Wadhan, who had four other sons, (1) Utterā, (2) Nun, (3) Kanjun, (4) Hatar. The tradition is that the ancestors of Raj Wadhan lived in ancient times near Ghajni (which is said to have existed near Rawalpindi), from where they migrated to Delhi, which after a time they left for Bhatner (now known as Hanumangarh). In the 7th century of the Hijra Raj Wadhan together with his tribe left Bhatner and settled near Chhanb Kulyar (now in the Lodhran District), which in those days lay on the southern bank of the Sutlej and formed part of the dominions of Rai Bhutta, the ruler of a city, the greater part of which was destroyed by the Sutlej flowing over it; but parts of its ruins are still to be seen on the right bank of the Ghāra (in Lodhran District). Rana, Raj Wadhan had a beautiful daughter whom Rai Bhutta, desired to marry. The request was refused by Kalyar, the eldest son of Raj Wadhan ; and the result was that a sanguinary battle took place in which Rai Bhutta, was slain. The tract of the country thus conquered by the Kalyars became known as Chhanb Kalyar, which name it still retains. At this time Sher Shah Sayyid Jalal was living in Uch, where Rana Raj Wadhan and his sons went to see him and embraced Islam. Raj Wadhan remained at Uch, Uttera, occupied the  Viah  (Bias), Nun, also known as Nano began to live on the banks of the Ravi, (and that tribe is now dominant in Shujabad tahsil), Kanjun at the Donari Mari, and Kalyar made Chhanb Kulyar his residence. Hatar was deprived of his share of the inheritance. Although, as my post on the Hattars show, they are now a substantial tribe in Sargodha District. Rajah Nanoo had sevens sons. One was said to have settled in Mitha Tiwana, another at Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District, one was settled in Shikarpur in Sindh and four were settled in Shujabad in Multan after accepting Islam on the hands of Makhdoom Jalaluddin Jahanian Jahangasht of Uch. All Noons except of those Sargodha write Rana as their title, except those of Mitha Tiwana, who use the title Malik.

Noon of Shujabad

There is however another tradition among the Noon of Shujabad, who claims descent from a Rajah Ganj, a Chandravanshi Rajput. The Rajah was prince of Thana Bhawan, which is a town in Uttar Pradesh, located  near the city of Delhi. A descendent of Rajah by the name of Nano converted to Islam at the hands of Makhdum Jahanian (b 1308- d 1384). The tribe, according to this tradition, gets its name Noon from Nano, and after their conversion to Islam they settled near Multan. They remained a pastoralist tribe living near the banks of the Chenab until the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556 to 1605). He granted the title of rana, which is a historical title meaning lord, and used by Rajput groups in South Asia, to their chiefs. The various Noon of Shujabad claim descent from six brothers, Ranjha, Janah, Ali Sher, Langa, Umar and Walan. These six brothers are said to have fled from near Multan, and founded the town of Bangala. From this original settlement, they founded further villages such as Basirpur, Mohanpur, Kachotha, Sat Burji and Jalalabad. A number of further settlements were established during the rule of the  governor of Multan, Nawab Muzaffar Khan. Two of the most important villages were those of Basti Mithu, Mari Noon and Dadu, while their other villages include Garwezpur, Basti Dad and Panoi. During the later Mughal period (18th Century), the Noon of Shujabad were independent, their most important chief being Rana Mithu. Rana Mithu’s son, Rana Gamah acknowledge Sikh sovereignity, and was an important courtier in Ranjit Singh’s court. When Sikh rule ended in 1848, his nephew, Rana Ahmed Yar Khan  was appointed zaildar. The Noon’s of Shujabad are still active in politics, with Rana Ijaz Ahmad Noon , serving as a Member of the Punjab Assembly.

In addition to the Shujabad Noons, another branch of the family is settled in Kahror Pacca in Lodhran District.

Noon of Kahror Pakka

Another branch of the Noon are found in the town of Kahror Pakka, in Lodhran District. According to some traditions, the Noon are a branch of the Kanju tribe. Rana Alhaj Rabnawaz Noon, a Kahror Pakka who authored the Tareekh Noon Rajput (Moeenabad, 1986), wrote the following about the Kehror Pakka branch:

 

The Noon clan resides mostly in Sargodha district and Multan district of Punjab.The Noon clan migrated from Dehli and settled in the Bhalwal and the Shujabad areas. Great legater of Noon cast was Rana Fateh Mohammad who with his family came from District Shahpur (Sargodha) and settled in Mouzas Sangu and Chori Noon Tehsil Shorkot District Jhang. After settlement of a half century here, they populated in Khanqah Shah Hussain near Shatabgarh in Tehsil Mailsi. During this settlement Rana Fateh Mohammad came with his family to Noqabilwah of Kahror Pacca which was known as chak Bangar Shirqi and permanently settled here

According to the Kehror Pakka. they arrived in the region from Sargodha and Jhang almost 250 years ago. Alhaj Rabnawaz writes further:

In Sikhs regime, a senior member of Joiya family constructed a rivulet from Qabilwah to Mari Bhagowah. That part of rivulet which was constructed in the area of Bhago Khan was known as Mari Bhagowah and remaining part of rivulet which was constructed in Bangar Shirqi was given the name of Noqabilwah. That is why the old name was converted into new name Noqabilwah and majority of Noon family of Kahror Pacca is resided in Noqabilwah.

The Noon’s were subject to the Pathan Nawabs of Multan, but were semi-independent, until Multan fell to the armies of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1817. The Noon then sack to the position of zamindars under Sikh and then from 1848, British rule/

Noon of Khushab / Sargodha

This branch of the Noon tribe also traces its descent from Rajah Ganj. Rajah Nano here did not settle in Shujabad, but arrived with his kinsmen in the Thal.  Here they established close relationship with their neighbours, the Tiwanas, with whom they have long inter-married. While the arrival of the Sikh reduced the power of the Shujabad Noons, the Sikh power strengthened the Khushab Noons. Their chiefs, Malik Bakhsh Khan and his son Malik Jahan Khan served in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and held some villages in jagir, which were then lost in the last period of Sikh rule. Malik Fateh Khan, the Noon chief at time of the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1848, helped the British put down a Sikh uprising in 1849. The Malik was giving an estate by the British as a reward. From this branch of the Noon family came the Pakistani prime minister Feroze Khan Noon.

The Noon established fifteen villages in Sargodha District in the late 19th Century, after a grant of the large jagir. The most important of which are Alipur Noon, Nurpur Noon, Sardarpur Noon and Sultanpur Noon.

Distribution of Noon Rajputs According to the 1901 Census of India

District / State
Population
Multan 3,653
Shahpur 1,213
Total Population 4,866

Population of Noon Jats According to the 1901 Census

District / State
Population
Chenab Colony 172
Other Districts 205
Total Population 377

Barya/ Varyah and Taoni Rajput tribes of Punjab

This post will look at two Rajput tribes, who were found in what is now the Punjab state in India, namely the Varya (also spelt Braah, Brah, Baria, Warya, Waria, Warah) and Taoni. The Varya were much more widespread than the Taoni, but both tribes were centred mainly in what were the Phulkian States (Patiala and Nabha). These two tribes had much in common, both were largely Muslim by the beginning of the 20th Century, used the title Rana, and had seen their political power weakened by the rise of the Sikhs. Unlike some of tribes of Rajput status that I have looked earlier, in particular in the Pothohar region, the distinction between Rajput and Jat was very clear in the region inhabited by these two tribes.

The historical homeland of the tribes was the Puadh, (sometimes anglicized as Poadh or Powadh) region. This is a historic region in north India that comprises parts of present-day Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the U.T. of Chandigarh, India. It has the Sutlej river in its north and covers the regions immediately south of the Ghaggar river. In Haryana, the region includes Pinjore, Panchkula, Naraingarh, Kalka, Ambala and Yamunanagar districts. Other areas include Jagadhri, Kalesar, Pehowa, Gulha tehsil of Kaithal district and Fatehabad district. The people of the area are known as Puadhi and speak the Puadhi dialectof Punjabi. Among the Rajput tribes, the Varya and Taoni were pre-eminent in the Puadh region.

The Puadh region consists of the eastern districts of Punjab, the north-western portions of Haryana and the southernmost strip of Himachal Pradesh.

Map of the Puadh Region Source Wikepedia

Chhat and Makan

The Rajputs of the Puadh had an interesting institution, that of the Chhat and Makan. The author of the Hoshiarpur Gazetteer describes it as such:

The word chhat is explained as an abbreviation of chhatar makan, equivalent to taj or “ crown.” It may possibly be translated canopy. The canopy used to be one of the insignia of sovereign power. A chhat makan is a village which enjoys a pre-eminence over, or is held in special veneration by, the other villages of the brotherhood (biradari). It is generally called simply chhat. A makan is a village of lower grade than a chhat. The title of makan is earned for a village by some person’s performing a meritorious deed at a wedding or a funeral, and it is then said of it that ‘village so and so ia a makan, koi lallu panju gaon nahin — “it is not an ordinary village, but a famous place.” Tika is the title of the heir-apparent to a reigning prince. Hence it is applied to villages which are the seats of a prince’s rule It would appear that a chhat makan was originally a tika, a tika being a village which is the seat of a house still actually ruling or exercising authority in some way.

Baria / Varya

The Varya or Baria had a number of origin myths . They generally placed themselves within theSuryanvanshi division of the Rajputs. It seems that there original settlement was in Patiala. The name Baria / Varya is very likely  derived from Sanskritic: Varaha which means boar, which was very likely their totem. Another form of the name appears to be Warah, which is used by those of Jalandhar.

There is general agreement that the ancestor of the tribe was Binepal of Bhatinda, and had emigrated at a very distant past from Udaipur. The Varya are descendants of Warah, whose grandson Rājā Banni Pāl, is said to have founded Bhatinda, after conquering Bhatner and marrying the daughter of its Rajā. Banni Pāl’s son Udasi was defeated by a king of Delhi but received a jagir. His son Sundar had seven sons, of whom the eldest founded Badhar in Nabha. (Cf. Barian). Rai Kalu of Kakra near Bhawanigarhwas said to be the first Varya chief to have embraced Islam in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (October 1542[a]– 27 October 1605). Different groups of Varya them began to convert, but there still many Varya who are Hindu such as those of Bakhtri in what is now Sangrur District. In the Patiala State, the Varya, both Hindu and Muslim owned nearly 30 villages in the tehsils of Sunam, Bhawanigarh and Amargarh. At the beginning of the 20th Century, they were organized along chhats or villages of the first rank and makans or villages of the second rank, other villages being inferior to these in social status. The author of the Patiala Gazetteer wrote the following:

Barahs have 12 chhats and 24 makans, the chhats in this State being Samana, Talwandi, Kakra, Bhumsi, Jhal, Jhondan, in Nabha Baena, Badbar, Baragraon, in Jind Bazidpur, and in British territory Budlida and Moranda

According to another tradition, the tribe is descended from a Warah, whose grandson Rajah Banni Pal, who is said to have founded Bhatinda, after conquering Bhatner and marrying the daughter of the Raja. Banni Pal’s son Udasi was defeated by a Sultan of Delhi but latter received a jagir. His son Sundal had seven sons, of whom the eldest found Badhar in Nabha. Malwa Ithaas states that Raja Vineypal Variah, who was a descendant of Vikramaditya, built the fort of Bhim Garh, that evolved into the town of Bathinda on the banks of the Sutlej in 655 CE and established his rule. This rule contained property from Bhatner,Lahore, Sarhind, Mandlik, Licchabadi, Thanesar, Bhadhaur, Dango, Peshawar, and most of Punjab. This kingdom had two capitals, one at Batthinda and one at Lahore. It also states that Variah was a son of Varga, 26th generations down from Bikarmaditya. Variah’s descendants were Taskmas, Ajaypal, Abhaiypal, Vineypal, Lakhanpal, Rattanpal, Naiyapal, Nainpal, Vijaypal, , Jashpal, Satpal, Gunpal, and finally Gillpal whose descendants are the various Gill Clans in Punjab. According to Malwa Ithass the last Raja of this clan was Jayapal whose grandson was killed by Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1008 CE .During the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, most of the tribe converted to Islam.

In Jallandhar, the Varya had a tradition their ancestor Mal, a descendent of Raja Karan of the Mahabharat, came from Jal Kahra in Patiala in around 1500. While those of Sialkot, where they are found in small numbers and rank as Jats, not Rajputs, say they are of Chandravanshi descent. However, most Varya Rajputs consider themselves to be Rajputs of the Suryanvashi lineage. The Varya may be connected with the Barhaiya Rajputs in the Azamgarh and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, who also connect themselves with Udaipur.

After the partition of Punjab in 1947, the Muslim Varya migrated to western Punjab, where they are found in districts such as Faisalabad and Sahiwal.

Population of Baria Rajputs According to the 1901 Census of India

District / States Muslim Hindu Total
Patiala State 11,168 306 11,474
Nabha State 4,498 33 4,531
Hissar 1,451 1,451
Ludhiana 1,433 1,433
Jalandhar 647 19 666
Malerkotla State 528 528
Ambala 389 49 438
Hoshiarpur 288 41 329
Firuzpur 286   286
Rohtak 265 265
Karnal 220 220
Lahore 141   141
Other Districts
366 19 285
Total Population 21,986  467 22,453

Taoni

The Taonis claim Chandravanshi descent from the legendary king of Punjab Uggar Sain, who is said to have migrated from Agroha in 6th Bikrami and settled  in Ambala. One of the descendent, Rai Amba, is said to have founded the city of Ambala. While the Patiala Taonis claim descent from Raja Gopal (7th in descent from Uggar Sain). Over time, two distinct Taonis principalities arose, one based in Ambala, the other in Banur.

There conversion to Islam is said to have occurred during the rule  Shahab-ud-din of Ghor (1149 – March 15, 1206). After the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan at Tarain, Dhirpal, embraced Islam and took the name  Nawab Abdul-Karim. His tomb is said to be at Banur; which became an import Taoni centre. Prior to partition the Muslim Taonis were numerous in that tehsil and in  Patiala, Rajpura and Ghanaur all located within the Patiala State. While the Hindu Taonis held Bular (in tehsil Patiala), Lilru, Nagla and Khelan in Bathinda. The Toani are divided into twelve clans, said to be named after the sons· of Raja Gopal; vis., Dhirpali, Ambpali, Bhitiian, Motian, Rai Ghazi, Jaisi, Sarohd, Ajemal, Jhagal and Lagal, the last six holding the title of rai.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, they occupied the low hills and sub-montane in the north of Ambala district including the Kalsia State, and some of the adjoining Patiala territory. Prior to partition the Muslim Taonis in Patiala territory were numerous in that tehsil and in  Patiala, Rajpura and Ghanaur. While the Hindu Taonis held Bular (in tehsil Patiala), Lilru, Nagla and Khelan in tehsil Bathinda, and Dhakansu, Tepla, Banwari, Pabra and Dhamoli in  Rajpura. About their Chhats and makans, the author of the Phulkian States gazetteer wrote the following:

Socially they have 14 chhats and 24 makans, the chhats in this State – being Banur, Shamdo, Kauli,, Ghanaur, Patton, Khera Gujju, Suhron, Ajrawar, Chamaru, Manakpur and Jausla, and in British territory Kharar, Khanpur and Morinda,

The Bacchal clan of Jats, which occupies the same region like Taoni, are descended from Taoni Rajput from a Jat wife.

After partition in 1947, the Muslim Taonis moved to Pakistan. They are now found mainly in Sialkot and Okara districts, a few are also found in Mandi Bahauddin District. In Sialkot, they are found in Gondal (Radial) and also in Daburji Mallian villages. Some of the Taoni families are settled in Gujranwala (Buddha Goraya & Bhakhranwali) and Khanewal as well in Tehsil Samundri Chack no 47 GB.

Population of Taoni Rajputs according to the 1901 Census

District / States Muslim Hindu Total
Ambala 8,531 1,255 9,786
Patiala State 8,516 899 9,415
Karnal 752 76 828
Kalsia State 325 325
Ludhiana 209 10 219
Other Districts
 51 97 148
Total Population 18,384 2,337 20,711