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

 

Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1911 Census of India

 

Tribe

Population Distribution
Bhatti 208,664 throughout Punjab, but special concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot), Gujranwala and Rawalpindi
Chauhan 109,533 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
Khokhar 93,012 Jhang, Jhelum, Hoshiarpur, Sialkot, Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar and Gurdaspur
Sial 91,211 Jhang, Multan and other parts of South Punjab
Joiya 49,486 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Panwar 44,924 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
Wattu 34,696 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Naru 29,665 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana – by early 20th Century, several Naru were settled in Faisalabad and Sahiwal in the canal colonies
Ghorewaha 26,203 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Janjua 25,621 a western group in Rawalpindi and Jhelum and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Sulehri / Sulehria 25,512 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Mandahar 24,703 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and Hissar. They are a Ranghar tribe
Manj 20,633 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Bariah also pronounced as Varya 17,893 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Tomar 16,686 Modern Haryana (especially Rohtak and Panipat), Ambala, and in the Bahawalpur Stater
Mair-Minhas 15,075 Chakwal
Kharal 14,521 Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Jatu 13,825 Modern Haryana (especially Hissar and Gurgaon), Ambala, and Rohtak. They are a Ranghar tribe
Manhas / Minhas 10,382 From Rawalpindi to Hoshiarpur – a Muslim Dogra grouping
Awan 9.555 Two groups of Awan registered themselves as Rajput, those of Sonepat and near Delhi – who were a Ranghar tribe, and smaller group in Gurdaspur and Sialkot. All Awan declared themselves as Awan
Taoni 9,273 Ambala – a Ranghar grouping
Alpial 8,986 Attock – a branch of the Manj Rajput tribe
Chib 8,360 Gujrat, a Muslim Dogra clan
Jodhra 8,085 Attock District
Dhanyal 7,909 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Dhudhi 6,730 Sargodha, Jhang, Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Baghial 6,715 Rawalpindi
Dhamial 5,973 Rawalpindi
Bhakral 5,744 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Bhakral 5,744 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Khichi 4,774 Sargodha, Jhang and Sahiwal
Langrial 3,886 Multan, Sahiwal and Okara – northern branch in Rawalpindi/Jhelum and Gujrat – most northern Langrial declared themselves as Jat
Chadhar 3,825 Jhang District – outside Jhang most Chadhars registered themselves as Jat
Dahya 3,620 Ambala District – a Ranghar clan
Khanzada 3,662 Gurgaon – a branch of the Jadaun clan
Kalial 3,662 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Dahya 3,620 Ambala District – a Ranghar clan
Kathia 2,900 Sahiwal and Okara
Kanial 2,317 Rawalpindi
Mangral 2,309 Rawalpindi
Nagrial 2,220 Rawalpindi
Kalyar 2,177 Sargodha – most Kalyar declared themselves to Jat
Raghubansi 2,135 Ambala – a Ranghar clan
Katil 2,104 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Gaharwal 2,069 Rawalpindi
Nagyal 2,038 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Qaimkhani 2,020 Hissar – essentially a Rajasthani tribe, a branch of the Chauhan
Rawat 1,971 Malerkotla State
Thathaal 1,618 Rawalpindi
Mekan 1,584 Sargodha – most Mekan declared themselves as Jat
Jhap 1,559 Jhang
Jamra 1,455 Dera Ghazi Khan
Tiwana 1,347 a western group in Kushab and eastern group in Patiala
Matyal 1,347 Rawalpindi
Jatal 1,310 Rawalpindi
Rathore 1,148 Hissar, Firuzpur and Bahawalpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Khuhi 1,148 Multan
Warha 1,288 In Hissar a Ranghar group, also found along the Sutlej in Firuzpur and Bahawalpur State
Dogar 1,300 Sahiwal and Okara – most Dogar registered themselves as Dogars and numbered 68,473
Jalap 1,172 Jhelum – a branch of the Khokhar tribe
Nagrawal 1,143 Rawalpindi
Ramial 1,120 Rawalpindi
Ghangar 1,002 Rawalpindi
Daha 991 Multan, Sahiwal and Okara – a branch of the Panwar
Badpyar 988 Delhi with villages near the Yamuna river – a Ranghar clan
Pundir 985 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar group with villages near the Yamuna river
Atiras 965 Patiala State
Kural 961 Rawalpindi
Phularwan 935 Sahiwal and Okara – a second group in Sialkot
Baghela 923 Sahiwal / Okara
Mukhmdal 852 Gujrat – a Chib sub-clan
Jora 834 Fazilka, Hissar and Sirsa
Attar 821 Sargodha
Mial 817 Rawalpindi
Hon 811 Rawalpindi – a branch of the Panwar tribe
Bargujar 805 Gurgaon – a Ranghar tribe found in Rewari
Mayen 802 Patiala State
Mahaar 792 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa – most Mahaar declared themselves as Jat
Adrah 792 Rawalpindi
Kala 747 Jhang
Sakhri 743 Hissar – a Ranghar clans, sub-division of the Jatu
Taraqar 710 Multan
Bhao 706 From Kharian to Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Rath 706 Sahiwal / Pakpattan
Sarral 698 Rawalpindi
Luddu 680 Hoshiarpur
Gaurwa 644 Gurgaon – Ranghar group
Kethwal 642 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Doli 639 Sahiwal / Okara
Barial 633 Ludhiana District
Chandel 618 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana
Sohlan 606 Jhelum
Noon 599 Sargodha and Multan – a branch of the Bhatti tribe
Agan 569 Gurdaspur – Muslim Dogra clan/td>
Dhanwal 569 Sahiwal and Okara/td>
Jandran 551 Sahiwal / Okara
Bains 548 Rawalpindi – the majority of the Bains registered themselves as Jats
Ranjha 579 Jhelum / Chakwal
Ratial 549 Rawalpindi
Mughal 544 Rawalpindi
Satraola 544 Hissar – a Ranghar tribe
Bhan 519 Sargodha
Chatha 420 Rawalpindi
Jawal 288 Delhi – a Ranghar clan
Jadaun 165 Gurgaon and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Jaswal 160 Hoshiarpur
Meun 76 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Pathania 71 Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Jaral 58 Kangra
Gondal 31 Rawalpindi – almost all the Gondals declared themselves as Jat, except a few in Rawalpindi

 

List and Population of Muslim Rajput clans of the Rawalpindi Division According to 1901 Census of India

Below is a list of Muslim Rajput clans and their population in the Rawalpindi Division of Punjab, drawn up for 1901 Census of India. Please also read my introduction for the 1911 Census to give you some background. Almost all the population that professed to be Rajput were Muslim, with exception of Kharian Tehsil of Gujrat District, which was home several Bhao and Chib Rajput villages, who had remained Hindu. In 1901 Rawalpindi Division comprised the following districts; Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujrat, Shahpur, and Mianwali.. In 1902, Attock was seperated from Rawalpindi and seperate figures were produced. However, the 1901 data on Rawalpindi includes the Attock figures/

In terms of choice of calling oneself Rajput or Jat, this as much depended on the status of a tribe within the village they inhabitted. For example, the Kanial in Jhelum District declared themselves to be Jat, while in Rawalpindi as Rajput. However, in Gujrat the boundary between Rajput and Jat was somewhat more rigid, with those calling themselves Rajput were Dogra clans that had accepted Islam such as the Bhao, Chib, Minhas and Narma.

Rawalpindi District

The total Rajput population in 1901 was 122,317, of which 121,420 (99%) were Muslims.

Tribe Total
Adrah 909
Alpial 9,395
Badhan 272
Baghial 5,769
Bains 152
Baria 106
Bhakial 404
Bhakral 10.819
Bhao Ragial 153
Bhatti 36,268
Budhal 152
Chatha 500
Chauhan 3,029
Chib 309
Dalal 133
Dhamial 2.967
Dhanial 3,935
Dhudhi 196
Gakhar 690
Gaharwal 194
Gangal 178
Gondal 168
Hafial 197
Hon 1,496
Janjua 3,815
Jasgam 129
Jatal 1,451
Jodha 368
Jodhra 1,802
Johar 407
Kahut 178
Kalial 773
Kangra 222
Kanial 2,435
Kanial Chauhan 470
Kassar 122
Kawar 487
Ketwal 2,251
Khakha 106
Khatril 722
Khel 234
Mair 235
Mangral 331
Marrial 167
Minhas 3,974
Mial 699
Nagial 3,036
Nagral 918
Nagrawal 580
Narma 158
Naru 241
Panwar 125
Ranial 1,345
Sainiwal 408
Salhal 271
Saswal 174
Sasral 1,292
Satral 146
Satti 326
Sial 388
Sudhan 227
Thathaal 4,134
Taranda 162
Tonda 162

Please note most Gakhars declared themselves to be Gakhar and in 1901 numbered 13,665. Similarly most Janjua, Satti and Sudhan declared themselves as such and numbered 8,361,17,094 and 2,291.

Jhelum District

The total Rajput population in 1901 was 57,567, of which 57,316 (99%) were Muslims.

Tribe Total
Bhakral 702
Bhatti 10,664
Chauhan 5,140
Chib 254
Gakhar 475
Gondal 2,592
Jalap 949
Janjua 8,881
Kanial 107
Mair-Minhas 15,692
Mandahar 210
Minhas 723
Mekan 729
Panwar 649
Ranjha 869
Sial 477

Please note that some Gondal and Ranjha declared themselves to be Jat, and interestingly in the 1911 Census all the Gondal declared themselves as Jat. While the Mekan tribe declared themselves to be Rajput in 1901 Census and Jat in 1911. What is surprising is the omission of the Sohlan, who are an important tribe found along the Jhelum and Mirpur borders. The Gakhar population in 1901 was 10,572, almost all whom barring the 475 declared themselves simply as Gakhar, and not Rajput.

Attock District

The total Rajput population in 1901 was 25,611, of which 25,590 (99%) were Muslims.Below is a list of the larger clans recordeed for the 1901 Census.

Tribe Total
Alpial 9,180
Bhatti 3,553
Chatha 5,395
Chauhan 502
Janjua 1,153
Jodhra 1,700

Gujrat District

The total Rajput population in the District was 23,711, of which those who were Muslim were 22,328 (94%). Below is a list of the larger clans recordeed for the 1901 Census.

Tribe Total
Bhatti 1,784
Chauhan 79
Chib 9,349
Janjua 1,063
Minhas 723
Narma 748
Panwar 111

The omission of the Bhao, who an important Kharian tribe is a mystery.

Shahpur District (Sargodha District)

The total Rajput population in 1901 was 73,177, of which72,096 (99%) were Muslims.Below is a list of the larger clans recordeed for the 1901 Census.

Tribe Total
Bargujar 176
Bhatti 7,205
Chauhan 1,463
Chib 311
Dhudhi 1,506
Gondal 25,535
Janjua 4,293
Jhammat 2,266
Joiya 3,004
Khichi 833
Mekan 6,577
Minhas 406
Noon 1,213
Panwar 48
Ranjha 8,907
Sial 2,679
Tiwana 2,971
Wattu 266

Mianwali District

The total Rajput population in 1901 was 6,136, of which 6,003 (98%) were Muslims.Below is a list of the larger clans recordeed for the 1901 Census.

Tribe Total
Bhatti 590
Chauhan 197
Chib 204
Dharwal 175
Gaurwa 384
Gondal 173
Janjua 598
Joiya 1,174
Kanial 327
Khichi 514
Mekan 134
Naru 407
Panwar 426
Sial 193
Wattu 215

Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this post, I make reference to the 1901 Census of India, which gave a breakdown of the larger Muslim Rajput clans of British Punjab. The whole Province of Punjab had a 24.4 million population in 1901, of which the Muslim Rajputs numbered 1,505,586. In 1901, the Punjab comprised five administrative divisions — Delhi, Jullunder, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi — and a number of princely states. During the course of the Census, those districts that lay across the Indus which formed the Peshawar Division were formed into a new province named the North West Frontier Province. Geographically, the province was a triangular tract of country of which the Indus River and its tributary the Sutlej formed the two sides up to their confluence, the base of the triangle in the north being the Lower Himalayan Range between those two rivers. Moreover, the province as constituted under British rule also included a large tract outside these boundaries. Along the northern border, Himalayan ranges divided it from Kashmir and Tibet. On the west it was separated from the North-West Frontier Province by the Indus, until it reached the border of Dera Ghazi Khan District, which was divided from Baluchistan by the Sulaiman Range. To the south lay Sindh and Rajputana, while on the east the rivers Jumna and Tons separated it from the United Provinces.

In present-day India, it included the regions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh (but excluding the former princely states which were later combined into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union). While in present-day Pakistan, it included the regions of Punjab, Islamabad Capital Territory and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (until 1901).

My post on the Rajputs of Punjab gives more details as to the origin and distribution of the various Rajputs tribes.

 

Tribe

Population Distribution
Bhatti 249,302 throughout Punjab, but special concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot), Gujranwala and Rawalpindi
Chauhan 114,529 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and central Punjab – the Karnal, Rohtak and Rewari Chauhan are a Ranghar tribe
Khokhar 108,239 Jhang, Jhelum, Hoshiarpur, Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Sial 104,658 Jhang, Multan and other parts of South Punjab
Joiya 61,438 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Panwar 55,068 Rohtak, Karnal, Jind and Hissar (the eastern group); Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzaffargarh (the western group) – the eastern group are a Ranghar tribe
Gondal 36,088 The Gondal Bar (Mandi Bahaudin, Gujrat and Sargodha), also in Rawalpindi
Naru 34,152 mainly in what is now India Punjab – Jallandhar and Ludhiana
Ghorewaha 33,295 mainly in what is now India Punjab – Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar and Ludhiana
Sulehria / Sulehri 28,577 Sialkot and Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Wattu 25,544 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Janjua 23,619 A western group found in Rawalpindi and Jhelum, and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Baria, also pronounced Varya 21,991 Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Patiala State
Mandahar 21,764 Mainly Karnal and Panipat – a Ranghar group
Manj 20,736 Amritsar, Firuzpur and Jalandhar
Jatu 18,861 Hissar, Sirsa and Rohtak – a Ranghar
Taoni 18,384 Ambala and Patiala State – a Ranghar tribe
Tomar/ Tonwar 18,365 Hissar, Karnal and Rohtak – a Ranghar tribe
Mair-Minhas 15,697 Chakwal
Minhas/Manhas 13,471 from Rawalpindi in the west to Hoshiarpur in the east – a Muslim Dogra group
Dhudhi 11,764 In Sahiwal, mainly in the new districts of Vehari and Okara
Ranjha 11,764 Gujrat, Jhelum and Mandi Bahaudin
Bhakral 11,577 Rawalpindi and Jhelum/Chakwal
Chib 10.697 Jhelum and Gujrat – Muslim Dogra sub-group
Khichi 9,769 Between Ravi and Sutlej – now Vehari, Pakpattan and Sahiwal
Alpial 9,395 Attock and Rawalpindi
Mekan 8,915 Sargodha and Jhelum
Tiwana 6,326 A western group in Khushab and eastern group in Patiala
Khoja 6,326 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Baghial 5,769 Rawalpindi
Noon 4,866 Sargodha, Multan and southern Punjab
Thathaal 4,134 Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat
Dhanial 4,037 Murree Tehsil of Rawalpindi
Raghubansi 4,032 Hissar and Sirsa – a Ranghar group
Dahya 3,637 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Kanyal 3,271 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Nagial 3,036 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Dhamial 2,967 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Jhammat 2,550 Sargodha, Multan and South Punjab
Gaurwa 2,521 Gurgaon, Delhi and Rohtak – a Ranghar tribe
Kethwal 2,355 Rawalpindi – Murre Tehsil (now Kotli Sattian)
Katil 2,170 Sialkot and Gurdaspur – A Muslim Dogra sub-group
Jodhra 1,802 Attock and Rawalpindi District
Bargujar 1,502 Gurgaon and Delhi – Ranghar tribe
Hon 1,496 Rawalpindi
Lar 1,494 Multan and South Punjab
Jatal 1,451 Rawalpindi
Pundir 1,427 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Atiras 1,416 Patiala State
Ranial 1,345 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Sasral 1,292 Rawalpindi
Nissowana 996 Jhang and Sargodha
Jalap 949 Jhelum
Nagral 919 Rawalpindi
Adrah 909 Rawalpindi
Bhon 853 Sargodha
Kalial 773 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Chandel 752 Lahore, Jalandhar and Ludhiana
Narma 748 Rawalpindi and Gujrat
Satti 744 Rawalpindi – Murree
Khatril 722 Rawalpindi
Mial 699 Rawalpindi
Gakhar 690 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Targar 653 Multan and South Punjab
Rathore 587 Firuzpur and Hissar
Nagralwal 580 Rawalpindi
Jamra 548 Dera Ghazi Khan
Satraola 546 Hissar – a Ranghar group
Chatha 500 Rawalpindi
Kowar 493 Rawalpindi
Luddu/td>

491 Hoshiarpur
Kanial Chauhan 470 Rawalpindi
Sainiwal 439 Rawalpindi
Rath 410 Sahiwal and Okara
Johar 407 Rawalpindi
Bakhial 404 Rawalpindi
Jodha 368 Rawalpindi
Joota 367 Jhang
Bosan 340 Multan
Chadhar 334 Jhang
Mangral 331 Rawalpindi
Fattiana 318 Sahiwal
Pathial 311 Hoshiarpur
Maral 307 Jhang
Tanwari 273 Multan
Badhan 272 Rawalpindi
Salhal 262 Rawalpindi
Khel 234 Rawalpindi
Sudhan 227 Rawalpindi
Kangra 222 Rawalpindi
Dharwal 202 Mianwali
Hafial 197 Rawalpindi
Gaharwal 194 Rawalpindi
Kahut 178 Jhelum / Chakwal
Gangal 178 Rawalpindi
Saswal 174 Rawalpindi
Marial 167 Rawalpindi
Kathia 166 Sahiwal
Taranda 162 Multan
Tonda 156 Rawalpindi
Bhao Ragial 153 Rawalpindi
Bains 152 Rawalpindi
Budhal 152 Rawalpindi
Dalal 133 Rawalpindi
Satral 146 Rawalpindi
Jasgam 129 Rawalpindi
Matra 121 Multan
Kassar 113 Jhelum / Chakwal
Katoch 112 Kangra
Khakha 106 Rawalpindi
Jaswal 89 Hoshiarpur
Bagri 82 Firuzpur
Pathania 69 Gurdaspur
Ladhar 47 Rawalpindi
Jaral 47 Kangra
Kilchi 46 Rawalpindi
Thakkar 36 Gurdaspur
Guleria 11 Gurdaspur

 

Description of Major Muslim Communities in India : Bhatti

In this fifth post of mine on Muslim communities in India, I shall stick with the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). The state is home to 38,519,225, who make up 19.3% of the total population. This population is not only large, but very diverse, home to perhaps as much as two hundred odd groups, castes and sects, speaking various dialects, as well as standard Urdu. In this post, I shall look the Bhatti community, which has traditions of migration from the Punjab, in particular from the Sirsa Rania region that is now divided between Haryana and Indian Punjab. Several Bhatti groups claim that there migration to UP was the result of the Chalisa Famine of 1783-84, the affected the territories south of Sultjej river, which were prior to the famine rich grassland. As the Bhatti were pastoral groups relying heavily on cattle rearing, and the Chalisa effectively wiped out these grasslands. However, as I shall discuss in this post, various groups of Bhattis have different and complex origin myths.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Bhatti are an extremely diverse set of communities, many with quite different origin myths. I shall initially give a brief background to the origin myths of the Bhatti, the migration history of the some of these groups and finally look briefly the Bhatti Taluqdars of Bara Banki, who were perhaps the most prominent family among Bhattis of UP. Just a point of clarification, the name is pronounced as Bhatti in UP, Haryana and Punjab, and Bhati in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Sindh. In terms of distribution, the Bhatti are fairly widespread, but there main concentrations are in Bulandshahr, Budaun, Kasganj, Farrukhabad, Barreilly, Pratapgarh and Barabanki districts.

Origin

According to tribal legends, the Bhatis were initially Yadavas, claiming descent from Krishna as an avatar of Vishnu, and thus identify themselves as a Chandravanshi Kshatriya. The Yadava homeland was the territory of Braj, roughly what is now Agra, Mathura and the adjoining areas of Rajasthan such as Bharatpur, from they were driven out by Paras Ram and fled to the Thar desert area of Jangladesh. Jangladesh was infertile and there was a constant scarcity of water throughout this region. The people had to wander from one place to another in search of water and food. These people were known as the Bhati. The word “Bhati” is therefore derived from the Hindi word, ‘Bhatakna’ (“to wander”). What is interesting about this legend is that it makes oblique reference to the most desert dwellers of the Jangaldesh acquired the name Bhati, which probably suggest a mixed origin. It is also interesting most Bhati of this region, now divided between Rajasthan and Sindh, remain herdsmen.

James Todd the colonial historian makes reference to another origin myth, involving a Mamnenez, the king of Khorasan, who drove out King Shal Bahan from Ghazni. He then established his capital at Sialkot. One of his sons was Rao Bhati and his descendants came to be called Bhatis. In Punjab, Rajah Risalu, the founder of Sialkot is often said to a Bhatti, and in that province, at least a third of those who called themselves were of the Bhatti clan. In Punjab, the Bhatti story also talks about a period of exile to Ghazni, followed by their return.

I now return to the Jangaldesh, the present regions of Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Mallani (split now between Umerkot in Pakistan and Barmer) and an individual named Jaisal. Jaisal is said to have founded the city of Jaisalmer in 1156 AD. The new fort that he built was on a hill called Trikuta. The state of Jaisalmer was positioned right on the route from Afghanistan to Delhi. Taking advantage of this strategic position, the Bhatis levied taxes on the passing caravans. At the height of Bhati power, it covered a large part of what is now the Bahawalpur Division of Pakistan, Bikaner extending into southern Haryana. With the arrival of the Rathore in Bikaner in 1504, the traditional homeland of the Bhatti split, with the northern region becoming known as Bhatiana.

Bhatiana

Almost all the tribal traditions connect the Bhati Rajputs to Bhatnair or Bhatner (present-day Hanumangarh in northern Rajasthan. Bhatner was historically important as it was situated on the route of invaders from Central Asia to India. Whether the Bhati Rajputs initially spread from Bhatner and Bhattiana or these were their final abodes is unclear. It might be the case that the drying up of the Ghaggar forced them to migrate to the plains of Punjab. However, its worth pointing out that most Bhattiana Bhattis trace their history to the desert principality of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, in the border villages of Bikaner and some tehsils of Jodhpur (Osian and Shergarh). Sirsa in the heart of Bhattiana became home to a Muslim Bhatti principality, which survived until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century. Most of the local Rajput tribes, such as the Bhatti and Joiya had become Muslim with the arrival of the Mughals (early 16th Century) and led a pastoral life. However, with the Chalisa famine of 1783-84, almost the entire ecosystem was destroyed, forcing significant Bhatti migration into the Doaba region of Uttar Pradesh. The Awadh Bhattis have slightly different story to their migration, and I will look at that latter in the article.

Migration to UP – Traditions of the Bhatti of the Doab and Rohilkhand

Various groups of Bhatti in the Doab have different traditions as to their origin and migration. In terms of distribution, the Bhatti in the Doab are found mainly in Bullandshar, in Etah District mainly in Azamnagar tehsil, with Bhargain being their most important settlement, and in Kakrala in Badaun and Thriya Nizamat Khan in Bareilly. Most Bhatti settlements like along the banks of the Kali Nadi between Bullandshahr and Etah. Many of these Kali Nadi Bhattis have origin myths suggest that they predate the Chalisa migration. It is of course quite possible a number of waves of Bhatti arrived in UP over different times. They say they came to Bulandshahr under Kansal, or as others say, Deo and Kare, in the time of Prithivi Raj Chauhan (1149–1192 CE), and drove out or more likely subdued the Meos. The clan then divided into two branches, the Bhatti and Jaiswar. Interestingly, looking at colonial censuses of UP shows that most Jaiswars are Hindu, and Bhatti Muslim. It should also be noted that Hindu Jaiswar and Bhatti do not intermarry, under the rules of clan exogamy, considering themselves to be the same clan. Conversion to Islam is said to have taken place during the times of Qutubudin Aibak (1150–1210) and Alaudin Khilji (ruled 1296 to 1316). This would make them some of the earliest converts to Islam. In Bulandshahr, most Hindu Bhattis consider themselves as Gujjars, while the Muslims groups are now known as Ranghar, a term used to describe any Muslim Muslim Rajput. They are said to be over a 150 Bhatti villages in the Noida, Bulandshahr and Meerut region, most of whom are Muslim. Important villages include Til Begumpur, Hirnoti, Vellana, Vair ,Rabupura and Bakaswa.

The Bhatti of Til Begumpur

The most important Bhatti settlement in the Bullandshar / Greater Noida region is village of Til Begumpur. It was a site of an independent Bhatti Muslim principality until 1857. According to tribal traditions, the ancestors of the Bhattis are said to have come to Til Begumpur from Bbattiana, in the t.ime of Prithvi Raja of Dehli, and to settled here after expelling the Meos. The Bhatti are said to have founded two villages Ghodi Bachchera and Til Begumpur, now located on the outskirts of Greater Noida. The founders of these two villages were said to be two brothers. During 16th Century, Gujjars began immigrate from across the Yamuna, thereby reducing the Bhatti principality to a few villages. According to tribal tradition, Til was established by Rao Kasan Singh, who after defeat at the hands of a Allauddin Khilji was converted to Islamic . Kasan Singh was renamed himself Rao Qasim Ali Khan after conversion. While the village Ghodi was established by Kasan Singh’s younger brother Ranbir Singh who lived and died a Bhati Rajput. One of the brothers was also supposed to have fathered Bhati Gujjars after marriage with a Gujjar girl. The Bhattis in Til and other villages – Dhaula, Andhel, Mandpa, Kaumra and Jalalpur – all claim descent from Rao Qasim.

The Til Begumpur Bhatti’s played an important role in the 1857 War of Independence, and after the reestablishment of British rule, the estate was confiscated for their rebellion. The lands were handed over to the Skinner Estate, which was created by Colonel James Skinner CB (1778 – 4 December 1841) was an Anglo-Indian military adventurer in India, who became known as Sikandar Sahib later in life. The town of Sikanderabad near Tilla is named after Skinner. The Skinner family remain proprietors of Tilla until the independence of India in 1947.

The Bhatti of Bhargain

However, the Bhargain Bhattis have strong traditions of migration during the Chalisa, and as I have already said, this probably shows a steady flow of Bhatti migrants from the arid region of Bhattiana. According to the Bhargain tradition, two brothers named Khawaj Khan and Mehmood Khan came and settled in the region fertile region between the Bhurhi Ganga and Kali Nadi river. They are said to be fleeing the Chalisa famine and found the area occupied by Ahir groups, whom they displaced. The brothers are said to have founded the village of Bhargain during the later part of 18th century. From their various sons descend most of sub-clans of the Bhagain Bhattis. The region where the Bhattis settled was in a vacuum, and they became effectively independent, sometimes fighting with their neighbours the Pathans of Kasganj, and sometimes allied with them. Two descendants of Khawaj Khan, Dillu Khan and Sharabu Khan moved to Badaun and founded Kakrala. Most Kasganj, Badaun and Farrukhabad Bhattis claim some connection with the brothers Khawaj and Mahmood. Other then Bhargain, there are several villages in Azamnagar tehsil.

The Bhatti of Kakrala

The Kakrala Bhattis however have a slightly different story to their origin. According to one of their traditions in 1610 AD, the Bhattis were settled in Agra, when they seized Noorjahaan, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, as she was travelling from Bengal to Delhi. When Jehangir came to know of this, he sent a force against them, forcing them to flee to the country of the Meos, lying east of their homeland in Agra. Their the Bhattis converted to Islam, and remained until the death of Jahangir. Their circumstances changed, when Noorjahaan wanted her son-in-law to be enthroned. She needed allies and the Bhatti came in support. They were then granted lands that became settlement of Kakrala. If this legend is to be believed then, Kakrala was founded a century before Bhargain, and the connection between the two Bhatti communities becomes weaker. The Kakrala Bhatti state was absorbed into the Rohilla state in early 18th Century, and the Bhattis also played a part in 1857. Closely connected to the Kakrala Bhattis are those of the town of Thirya Nizamat Khan in Bareilly, which said to have been founded by migrants from Kakra. In additions, there are also several Bhatti villages near Baheri in Bareilly District.

The Bhatti Khanzada

I now move to Awadh, and look at the very interesting community of the Bhatti of Barabanki. The Bhatti Khanzada of Awadh are a sub-group within the larger Khanzada community of Awadh. However, unlike other Khanzadas, the Bhattis are now closely associated with the Qidwai Shaikhs, with whom they intermarry.
There is also a distinct community of Bhattis found in the village of Yahiapur in Pratapgarh district. The Awadh region covers most of the eastern areas of Uttar Pradesh, and is home to a distinct culture with the extensive use of the Awadhi language.

The Awadh Bhatti also claim to orignate from Bhatner in Haryana, and the Bhattis were some of the earliest converts of Islam. According to tribal traditons, there ancestors Zabar Khan and his brother, Mustafa Khan, accompanied the governor Tatar Khan to Awadh at the time of the first Muslim conquest. In return for his services Zabar Khan received the parganas
of Mawai and Basorhi. He and his brother were the disciple of the saint, Saiyid Shah Jalal, whose tomb is at Basorhi, and in consequence of an insult offered to the holy man they exterminated the Brahmans of Mawai. Zabar Khan’s descendants
held the land for several generations, and then Kale Khan and Munna Jan divided their estates, taking Basorhi and Mawai respectively.
From the former springs the Neora house, which takes its name from a village in the south of Basorhi.

The two Bhatti taluqdars of Barauli and Neora in Barabanki district, and are closely related to the Qidwai Shaikhs, a neighbouring Muslim community through intermarriage. Other then the taluqdar families, the majority of the Barabanki Bhatti are small to medium sized farmers. With the abolishment of zamindari system of feudal ownership, has had a strong impact on the large landowning families, as much of their land has been redistributed. Bhattis are found mainly in and around the town of Mawai, with important villages include Makhdumpur, Neora and Basorhi.


Bhatti of Yahyapur in District Pratapgarh

The village of Yahyapur in Pratapgarh District has quite a unique history. The village is located on the north bank of the river Sai, near its junction with the Paraya stream, about seven miles from Partapgarh city. Located within the village is the famous temple of Bilkhar Nath, which stands among the ruins of Kot Bilkhar, the ancient fort of Ghaibar Sah, a Dikhit Rajput of Bisauli in Banda District. This man was sent by the Emperor of Dehli to exterminate the Bhars, and settling here founded the family of Bilkharia Thakurs, who ruled the pargana till the days of Raja Ramdev Singh. Ramdev Singh was defeated and slain some 650 years ago by Bariar Singh, the ancestor of the Bachgoti clan. On the division of the Baohgoti property the fort fell to the lot of Dingur Singh, the ancestor of the present taluqdar of Dalippur. It was destroyed by the forces of the Nawab of Awadh in 1773 after the defeat of Rai Maharban Singh. The ruins stand on the river bank on a plateau surrounded on three sides by ravines and covered with scrub jungle. The Awadh rulers then settled a colony of Bhattis, who now make up the majority of the population. However the shrine of Bilkbar Nath in the village has remained an important site of Hindu pilgramage.

Distribution of Bhattis by District According to 1891 Census of India
 

District
Hindu Muslim
Barreilly 3,763
Bulandshahr 3,482 2,455
Etah 80 2,671
Pratabgarh 1,652
Barabanki 1,353
Farrukhabad 10 1,177
Ghazipur 854
Aligarh 5 576
Moradabad 514
Saharanpur 37 443
Muzaffarnagar 80 343
Bahraich 267
Hardoi 198
Lakhimpur Kheri 195
Sultanpur 127
Unao 112
Gorakhpur 125 66
Mathura 49
Badaun 587
Meerut 180
Total Population in UP 4,619 17,170