Bhikh, Jhujh and Kadial Jats

In this post I will look at three Jats tribes, namely the Bhikh, Jhujh and Kadial, who are found north and south of the Jhelum river, in the Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District, Mandi Bahaudin District and Bhera Tehsil of Sargodha District.

Jats of the Upper Jhelum Valley

The valley of Jhelum River, which forms the boundary between the three districts of Jhelum, Sargodha and Mandi Bahaudin is home numerous Jat tribes. In my post on the Ghugh, Khoti and Khatarmal, I discussed some background to the history of the Jats in this region. From historic accounts, it does seem that the Jats have been in this region for atleast over five centuries, very likely earlier. Below is an account taken from Rose, who quoted the Mughal Emperor Babar (r. 1526–1530) , who passed through the region on his conquest of India:

In the country between Nilab and Bhera, ” wrote Babar, “but distinct from the tribes of Jud and Janjuhah, and adjacent to the Kashmir hills are the Jats, Gujars, and many others of similar tribes, who build villages, and settle on every hillock and in every valley. Their hakim was of the Gakkhar race, and their government resembled that of the Jud and Janjuhah

It is therefore clear the Jats wel established in the region some five hundred years ago. Babar makes further reference to the Jats of the region:

 

Every time,” adds Babar, “that I have entered Hindustan, the Jats and Gujars have regularly poured down in prodigious numbers from their hills and wilds, in order to carry off oxen and buffaloes.

https://i0.wp.com/www.lawsofpakistan.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/na-64-sargodha.jpg

Map of Bhera Tehsil: Source Election Commision of Pakistan

https://www.ecp.gov.pk/Documents/delimitation2018/With%20Watermark/National%20Assembly/Punjab/Jhelum.jpg

Map of District Jhelum: Source Election Commision of Pakistan

 

W. S Talbott, the author of the Jhelum Gazatteer wrote to the following of the Jats of this region:

The Jats bulk largely in the census returns; but in this district there is no Jat tribe of common decent and with common traditions: the word is applied to any cultivator who does not claim foreign or Rajput origin, and does not belong to any of the other
great agricultural tribes of the tract. Probably the bulk of the people, so classed are the descendants of Hindu forefathers, and were amongst the earliest settlers here, though nothing definite is known about them; bul no doubt they include also many families from other tribes in the district; who in the course of generations have lost touch with their original connections, and have become merged in tne great body of the cultivators: indeed, according to one view very commonly accepted, this might be· said of the Jat tribe in general

 

It then further goes on to say:

The first time we hear anything  definite about the Jats,  about 400 years  ago, they are cultivating their lands under subjection to the Janjuas or the Gakkhars; and this remained their condition: they therefore never took any prominent part in the stormy politics of the district

However, by the arrival of the British in the region in 1849, most Jats were independent landowners, they were titled , chaudhary, which means village headman. The region has exceedlingly large number of clans, and the British only recorded the histories of the large clans such as the Gondal, Lilla, and Phaphra. The focus of this post will some of the lesser know Jat clans of the region, where history is less well recorded.

Bhikh

I start of this post by looking the Bhikh, a tribe found mainly in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. The tribe claims descent from the Khokhar Rajputs . Their ancestor was Goria, the Khokhar Raja of Sharab, a state that said to have existed over a thousand years ago. Goria was succeeded by his two sons Badal and Bharth, from his Rajput wife, and 11 others who were sons of slavegirls.

When Rajah Goria died, his land was divided between two sons of from his Rajput wife. Badal was granted the lands that included the upland tracts of Chiniot and Kokrana (near  modern Sargodha), while Bharth took those land located east of the Chenab. Bharth’s territory eventually extended as far as Gujrat, and he left eight sons of whom four had children. These were Sanda, Hassan, Hussain and Mahmud. Sanda built a city called Sandar, said to be located between the Ravi and the Dek streams, the ruins of which are still called Sandar-ke-tibba, the hill of Sandar in the Pindi Bhattian tehsil.

Rajah Sandar was said to have ruled justly his dominion, which is still called the Sandar or Sandal Bar. He left four sons, Mandar, Ratanpal, Bala, and Jal. From Ratan Pal sprang the Rehan, who are now found mainly in Jhang and Sargodha, with Kalowal the tribal headquarters. Rehan had two sons, one called Nisso from which decend the Nissowana tribe, the other being Bhikh. Bhikh is said to have settled in the Gondal Bar, the region between Chenab and Jhelum before the arrival of the Gondals. The arrival of the Gondals, said to have happened in the 11th Century, saw the Bhikh cross the Jhelum and settle in Pindi Bhikh in Pind Dadan Khan. Some Bhikh are now claiming descent from Qutub Shah, the ancestor of the Awan tribe, and therefore an Arab ancestry.

 

They now occupy several villages near the Pindi Bhikh, which is the most important centre of the tribe. The village Chaudharies have always been Bhikh.

 

Jhujh

The next tribe I will look at are the Jhujh. They are found south of the Jhelum river, but unlike the Bhikh, are much more widespread. Like many Punjabi tribes, there have a number of originstories.

Some Jhujh claim descent from the Chauhan Rajputs, while other claim Varya Rajput ancestry. In all these accounts, their ancestor was an individual by the name of Jhujh. He is said to have left Hindustan, not the country, but the region in North India, and accepted Islam at the hands of Baba Farid.

Like many tribes of this region, a claim to Arab ancestry is now being made. According to this tradition, the word  jhujh ((جؔھجؔھ) chief. I could not find any record of this word in the online Arabic dictionary. The Arab origin theory makes a claim that the tribe descends from Aqeel ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of the Prophet Mohammad. Like many such accounts of a Arab claim, we find their ancestor in service of Sultan Masud of Ghazna. During the campaign of the Sultan in Punjab, twelve members of the Jhujh tribe were martyred and their graves are said to exist in Bhaiky Lal Chand (old name shaeedan wala), located in Depalpur tehsil of Okara  District.

The  original pronounciation of there name was Jajy, which in the Southern Punjab (Seraiki belt) was changed to Jhunjh , in Sindh Jaja and in North India to Jhojha. The tribe therefore were originally from the Banu Hashim tribe. This claim to Arab origin is recent, and with many Jat tribes in the Jhelum / Mandi Bahaudin / Sargodha region making such claims. This has replaced earlier claims to Rajput ancestry. All I can say there is very little documentary proof of Arab presence in the region. The Mughal Emperor Babar was keen observer of the regions he travelled through, and although he makes clear reference to the Jats, makes no mention of tribes of Arab descent.

The Jhujh are found in Mandi Bahauddin, Okara, Sahiwal and Sargodha districts. Important villages include Mong (Mandi Bahaudin), Pipli Bakka Jhujh (Sargodha), Jhujh Khurd and Jhujh Kalan (Okara).

 

Kadial

The last clan I will look at in this post are the Kadial, also pronounced as Qadiyal. They are found mainly in the village of Tobah, in Jhelum District. Kadial is derived from Qadar Khan, there ancestor, who came in village Tobah during 1840s from the Malwa region of central India. According to some traditions, he was a Rajput.

The Punjab was experiencing conflict between the Sikhs and the East India Company, both fighting for supremacy. Tobah was a rural area centered between Salt Range and river Jhelum, thereby providing security and shelter to Qadar Khan. Qadar Khan and his kinsmen settled in the region, marrying into local Jat clans.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Tarar and Ranjha Jats

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

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

Tribe Population
Waraich 41,557
Gondal

23,355

Tarar

14,365

Totle 4,192

Langrial

3,736
Sahi

3,736

Sandhu

3,442

Hanjra

2,751

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

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

Map Showing the Doabs of Punjab. Source Wikepedia

Tarar

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

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

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

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

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

Distribution of Tarar by District According to 1911 Census of India

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

 

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

Ranjha

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

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

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

Villages Kirana Bar Mandi Bahaudin District

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

Villages Kirana Bar Sargodha District

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

Villages Jhelum/ Chakwal

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

Other Ranjha Villages

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

Distribution of Ranjha by District According to 1911 Census of India

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

Gujar / Gujjar Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of Punjab

In this post, I will look at the distribution of the Gujjar population in Punjab. The Gujjar were by the begining of the 20th Century becoming a caste associated with cultivation. However as the Pundit Harkishan Kaul, author of the 1911 Census writes:

Allied to Cultivators are the castes and tribes who, although pastoral by origin, have, for
generations, also cultivated land. These are Dogar, Gujar, Pachadha and Ahir, and cattle
rearing forms an important part of their means of livelihood, even now.

Therefore cattle rearing was still an important activity for the caste.

Gujar groups

The region of Gujrat, literally meaning the place of the Gujjars was and remains the centre of the tribe. The majority of the Gujjars were found in the foothills of the Himalyas, stretching from Attock to Ambala. A second group, largely nomadic was found in the Punjab Hill States, mainly in Chamba, Nalagarh, Bilaspur and Mandi, who were largely nomadic. These two groups were largely Muslim, although in Ambala there was a large Hindu minority. A third group found Lahore onwards to Ludhiana, largely cultivators and also Muslim. A fourth group were found in present day Haryana, largly still rearing cattle, with a slight Hindu majority. This last grroup spoke Haryanvi.

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Gujrat 110,478  36 110,514
Hoshiarpur 52,378  20,072  390 77,840
Gurdaspur 50,517  28 50,545
Ambala 23,829 21,670  164 45,663
Rawalpindi 37,978 167 38,145
Patiala State 19,391 16,347 619  36,357
Ludhiana 32,313 682 113 33,108
Karnal  7,673 22,291 29,964
Delhi 2,559 25,671 28,230
Gurgaon 135 24,813 24,948
Jhelum 19,891 11 19,902
Jalandhar 19,415 442 19,857
Firuzpur 12,836 278 33 13,147
Hissar 3,641 7,305 10,946
Sialkot 10,030 57 10,087
Nalagarh State  3,623 5,400 440 9,463
Kangra  7,584 1,054 8,638
Lahore  8,246 112 8,358
Kapurthala State 7,286 400 27 7,713
Nabha State 3,700 3,236 23 6,959
Chenab Colony 6,402 154 24 6,580
Kalsia State 2,835 2,425 5,260
Amritsar 4,716 203 4,919
Bilaspur State 89 3,379 3,468
Rohtak 582 2,834 3,416
Nahan State 1,377 1,266 2,643
Malerkotla State 2,532 2,532
Gujranwala 2,482 41 2,523
Mandi State 805 1,232 2,037
Jind State 477 1,462 1,939
Chamba State 1,296 1,296
Faridkot State 834 41 875
Multan
725 37 762
Bahawalpur State 749 24 773
Montgomery 510 23 533
Jhang 518 518
Shahpur 476 476
Dera Ghazi Khan 380 380
Muzaffargarh 370 370
Mianwali  226 226

Other Districts

Total

 460,450

169,244

1,870

631,524

 

Khokhar Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this post I will give the distribution of the Khokhar population according to the 1901 Census. As the table shows, most of the Khokhar were found in the river valleys of the Jhelum, Chenab and Sutlej. I will ask the reader to look at my posts on the Bandial and Bhachar as well as the Khokhar of UP, which gives some background to this community.

District / States Population
Shahpur 24,351
Bahawalpur State 16,540
Jhang 16,398
Multan 11,606
Chenab Colony 8,511
Montgomery 8,093
Mianwali
4,573
Dera Ghazi Khan 4,199
Muzaffargarh
4,020
Jhelum
3,865
Gujrat
1,638
Lahore  1,503
Firuzpur  1,169
Sialkot  784
Other Districts  4,713
Total Population 107,943

 

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

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

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Rohtak

 13,931

 2,785

   16,716

Bahawalpur State

 9,845

 348

 223

 10,416

Hissar

 6,165

 1,240

 7,405

Firuzpur

 5,453  157  69  5,679

Multan

 5,445

 221

 

 5,666

Jind State

769

 

 2,839

 

 3,608

Karnal

2,009

 288

 11  2,308

Patiala State

1,353

 180

 157

1,690

 

Montgomery

 1,451  24 1,475

 

Ludhiana

1,392

 

63

1,455

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

Other Districts

 

 

 

Total

55,067

9,309

1,614

65,990

Pathan population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census

This is my eleventh post looking at the distribution of communities designated as agriculture. Of all the communities looked at, the Pathans were the most diverse in terms of language, culture and traditions. Other then the Makhad Pathans, who spoke Pashto, the Pathan groups difered little from the population of the region they were settled in. These colonies of Pathans were accounted for by Sir Densil Ibbetson in the following manner:

During the Lodi and Suri dynasties many Pathans migrated to India especially during the reign of Bahlol Lodhi and Sher Shah Suri. These naturally belonged to the Ghilzai section from which those kings sprung.[3]
— Sir Densil Ibbetson

Large numbers of Pathans accompanied the armies of Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor and Babur, and many of them obtained grants of land in the Punjab plains and founded Pathan colonies which still exist. Many Pathans have also been driven out of Afghanistan due to devastated invading forces such as Genghis Khan and his Mongol armies, including internal feuds or famine, and have taken refuge in the plains east of the Indus River where the Mongols marked the line of their aggression. The tribes most commonly to be found in the Punjab region are the Yusufzai, Mandanr, Lodhi, Kakar, Sherwani, Orakzai, Tanoli, Karlanri and the Zamand Pathans. Of these the most widely distributed are the Yusufzai, of whom a body of 12,000 accompanied the Mughal Emperor Babur in the final invasion of India, and settled in the plains of India and the Punjab. But as a rule the Pathans who have settled away from the frontier have lost all memory of their tribal divisions, and indeed almost all their national characteristics.

In terms of distribution, most of the Pathan population was found in four distinct areas, about 20% in Mianwali, similar percentage in the Chhach, 20% in the region around Delhi, about 20% in East Punjab especially in Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ambala, and Gurdaspur, 5% were the Multani Pathans, found in southern Punjab, the remainder distributed in Lahore and other parts of Punjab.

The Mianwali Pathans

The District with largest Pathan population was Mianwali, where they numbered 46,818, almost 20% of the total. There are four different tribes of Pathans in the district, the Niazais, Khattaks, the Biluchch Pathans, and the Multanis, and spoke a dialect of Punjabi close to Seraiki. The Khattaks of Isa Khel Tehsil, known as  Bhangish or Bhangi Khels from the region they occup in the Isa Khel Tahsil, and one village opposite their own
country across the Indus in the Mianwali Tehsil. The other section of Khattaks, called the Guddi Khels, hold the villages on the  skirts of the Maidani range. Both these Khattaks are unique in that they still Pashto.

The Makhad and Chach Pathans

Most of the 44,244 Pathans living in Rawalpindi District came from the Chhachh region. In 1902, this region became part of the seperate Attock District. These Attock Pathans are found in two parts of the tehsil, those of Sarwala, and those of Chhachh.The Chhachh Pathans have very little in common with the Sagri, as they are separated by the Kala Chita mountains. The Chhachh are a Hindko and speaking community, and have much in common with the Pashtun tribes settled in the neighbouring Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The largest clan are the Alizai, who include the Tahirkheli, one of three mains septs of the Alizai. The Tahirkheli inhabit villages along the Haro river. The other tribe along the Haro are the Saddozai, and both they and the Alizai, are branches of the Utmanzai tribe. Together with the Manduri and Barahzai, who are also found in numbers in the district, they are all sections of the great Yousafzai tribe. By far the greater proportion of the Attock Pathans are Yousafzai, allied to the Yousafzai of Swabi and Mardan districts. In addition to these, there are also a small number of Kakar, Wardag, Khattaks, Akakhel, Bangash, and Jadoon. They are largely Hindko speaking.

The Delhi and Haryana Pathans

Almost 43,420 Pathans, about 20% of the total population lived in territory that forms the modern states of Delhi and Haryana.  The Delhi Pathans lived largely in the city, and spoke Urdu, while the colonies in Gurgaon, Rohtak, Hisar, Karnal and Dujana were largely farmers and Haryanwi speaking. The princely states of Dujana, and Pataudi were ruled by Pathan rulers, and in Dujana town, the Pathans formed the largest single community. Almost the entire community were forced to leave at the time of Partition.

Multani Pathans

The descendants of Zamand very early migrated in large numbers to Multan, to which province they furnished rulers, till the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, when a number of the Abdali tribe under the leadership of Shah Husain were driven from Kandahar by tribal feuds, took refuge in Multan, and being early supplemented by other of their kinsmen who were expelled by Mir Wais, the great Ghilzai chief, conquered Multan and founded the tribe well known in the Punjab as Multani Pathans.

Zahid Khan Abdali was appointed Governor of Multan with the title of Nawab, at the time of Nadir Shah’s invasion. Multan was Governed by different members of this family, until in 1818 the city was captured by the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh, after a heroic defence in which the Nawab and five of his sons were slain.

Their main clans were the Alizai, Badozai, Bamzai and Saddozai, all clans of the Durrani tribe. Other tribal communities include the Babar, Khakwani, Tareen and Yousafzai.[8] In Muzaffargarh District, the Pathans of the district are related to the Multani Pathans. They settled in Muzaffargarh in the 18th century, as small groups of Multani Pathan expended their control from the city of Multan. There distribution is as follows; the Alizai Durrani are found at Lalpur, and the Popalzai are found in Docharkha, while the Babars are based in Khangarh and Tareen in Kuhawar are other important tribes.

District / State Population
Mianwali  46,818
Rawalpindi  44,244
Delhi 17,763
Dera Ghazi Khan
13,135
Gurdaspur 11,214
Bahawalpur State
10,988
 Lahore 8,920
 Multan 8,251
 Patiala State
7,917
 Karnal 7,460
 Ambala 6,804
 Hoshiarpur 6,802
 Rohtak 5,712
 Gurgaon 5,497
Jalandhar 5,364
Hisar 4,870
Amritsar 4,676
Chenab Colony 4,531
Firuzpur 4,455
Muzaffargarh 4,019
Sialkot 3,983
Shahpur 3,562
Ludhiana 3,401
Gujrat 3,283
Jhelum 3,194
Montgomery 2,460
Nabha State 2,254
Shimla 1,312
Jhang 1,306
Malerkotla 1,282
Gujranwala 1,175
Kapurthala 1,155
Dujana 1,131
Jind 1,128
Kangra 987
Mandi 614
Kalsia 614
Keonthal 591
Chamba 550
Other Districts 1,089
Total Population 263,897

 

Lilla and Phaphra

In this post, I will look at two tribes, namely the Phaphra and Lilla, who live in close proximity to each other in the Pind Dadan Khan region of Jhelum. Both of them have been called Jat, and here I wish to make a point. Both these tribes claim to an extra sub-continental descent, the Phaphra claim to be Mughal, while the Lilla Qureshi. Yet, the definition of Jat is elastic enough in this region for both these tribes to be included in the Jat category. What makes someone a Jat here is whether other tribes of Jat status will intermarry with them. I would also ask the reader to look at my article on the Jalap, which gives some background on the Jats of the Jhelum region.

Pind Dadan Khan Weather Forecast

Map of the Pind Dadan Khan Region

Phaphra

Phaphra is small tribe of Mughal status, also found in Pind Dadan Khan plains located north of the river Jhelum.

The tribe claims to be Barlas Mughals, and get its name from an ancestor named Phaphra, who settled in the district in the 15th Century. So who exactly are the Barlas, and I shall briefly look at this group of medieval Mongols. According to the Secret History of the Mongols, written during the reign of Ögedei Khan [r. 1229-1241], the Barlas shared ancestry with the Borjigin, the imperial clan of Genghis Khan and his successors, and other Mongol clans. The leading clan of the Barlas traced its origin to Qarchar Barlas, head of one of Chagatai’s regiments. Qarchar Barlas was a descendant of the legendary Mongol warlord Bodonchir (Bodon Achir; Bodon’ar Mungqaq), who was also considered a direct ancestor of Genghis Khan. Due to extensive contacts with the native population of Central Asia, the tribe had adopted the religion of Islam, and the Chagatai language, a Turkic language of the Qarluq branch, which was heavily influenced by Arabic and Persian. Timur, the ancestor of the Mughal dynasty belonged to the Barlas clan, and therefore that would connect the Paphra with the Mughals.

As their little historic evidence to connect the Phaphra with the Mughals, there is some scepticism as to their claim of Mughal ancestry. British settlement documents from the late 19th and early 20th Century refer refer to them as a “semi-Jat tribe”. As I have already mentioned, the word Jat in the Jhelum region often means a cultivator. The fact that the Phaphra often intermarry with neighbouring tribes such as the Lilla and Gondal, who are considered as Jat often reinforces the perception that the Phaphra are Jat.

According to Phaphra traditions, they came to this district from the direction of Faridkot, in what is now in East Punjab India. They settled in India around 15th Century, slightly earlier then the Mughal takeover of the Punjab. The Phaphra settled here as agriculturists, getting their name from their leader at that time Phaphra. However some other traditions claim he was called Nittharan. According to a family tree kept by Chaudharies of Gharibwal, the largest landowners among the tribe, gives their genealogy as follows:

Harbans or Shah Ibrahim (a descendent of Timur), Tilochar, Shah, Mal, Phaphra, Pheru, Vatra, Jatri, Harsh or Arif, Tulla, Nado, Hardev, Mahpal, and finally Nittharan.

Nittharan is said to have five sons namely; Gharib, (descendants in Gharibwal), Samman (Sammanwal), Ichhin (son’s name Sau, descendants in Sauwal), Rao (Rawal), and Dhudhi (Dhudhi, and Qadarpur). Some of the earlier names are clearly Hindu, although this does not itself preclude their claim to Barlas ancestry. But there position in Jhelum society was more akin that of the Jats then the Mughals. Their headmen use the title Chaudhary, and their customs are very similar to the Gondals, the largest Jat tribe in their vicinity. The Phaphra are now divided into two rival clans, the Dhudhial, from the village of Dhudhi Paphra and Sadowalia from those who belong to the village of Sadowal.

The Paphra occupy a compact area of about 25 square miles at the foot of the Salt Range, east of Pind Dadan Khan in Jhelum District .The main Mughals Phaphra villages are Chak Danial, Chak Shadi, Chakri Karam Khan, Dewanpur, Dhudi Paphra, Ghareebwal, Jutana, Karimpur, Kaslian, Kot Phaphra, Kot Shumali, Rawal, Sidhandi, Sammanwal, Sadowal, Saowall, Shah Kamir, Qadirpur, Thil, Warnali, and Warra Phaphra, all in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District. In Chakwal District they are found in Dhok Virk and Jotana. Mohra Phaphra is a lone Phaphra village in Rawalpindi District. Across the Jhelum, in Mandi Bahauddin District the Paphra are also found in villages of Phaphra, Chak No 29 and Nurpur Piran.

Lila

The next tribe I will look are the Lila, who are also found above the Jhelum in Pind Dadan Khan District.

According to their tribal traditions, they originally located in Arabia, being relations of the Prophet on his mother’s side. This would make the Lila’s Qureshi by origin. They then left Arabia under the leadership of an individual named Haris, who migrated to India, with a band of 160 men and settled at a place called Masnad in Hindustan, which they say still exists as a small town or village, though its exact situation is not known. This happened in the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. However, the Lilla did not stay long in Masnad, and moved to Multan. There they became disciples of the pir Ghaus Shah. The Pir warned them that they would prosper as long as they remained united, but that any disagreements within the tribe would lead to their ruin.

Accompanied by Ghaus Shah, the tribe settled in Shahidiwalian, near present day Gujranwala. After they had been settled there for some time the locals of the place began to get tired of the trouble they caused, and made complaint to the Emperor at: Delhi, who ordered that they should be moved on. The local governor was ordered to expel them and succeeded in dividing the tribe into two factions, which fought a pitched battle. The defeated party dispersed and its descendants are now found near the Chenab, mainly in what’s now Mandi Bahaudin District, while the others, weakened by the struggle, migrated to the Pind Dadan Khan plain, led by Lilla Buzurg, whose is considered the ancestor by all the present Lillas. When Lilla arrived at their present location, the tract was then occupied a tribe of Hal Jats.

According to another tribal tradition, their ancestor Haras, arrived in Sindh with Muhammad bin Qasim in 710 CE . When Muhammad Bin Qasim returned to Arabia, Haras and his clansmen settled in Multan. They settled near the town of Mandi Yazman, tending their cattle. A famine then drove them moved towards the river Chenab. Conflict with other tribes forced the tribe towards Mohibpur, on the west bank of the Jhelum near the town of Khushab. A further migration under the leadership of Lilla Buzurg took the tribe further north along the Jhelum. In a tract was then occupied a tribe of Hal Jats, the tribe now known as Lila finally settled. The Lillas then exterminated the Hal, barring one pregnant woman, who had managed to escape. From her some are descended families of Hal Jats that reside with the Lillas.

According to the tribal traditions of the Awan, who villages border those of the Lilla, they were first settle the area by the Jhelum, which was a swamp, with the Lilla coming later from Hindustan, meaning North India. It seems that Lila came either from the east or south, leading a pastoral life until finally settling in their present location. The Lilla have several clans, the main ones being the Dulyal, Guliyal, Gujj, Karmal, Khushial, Marhal, Maswal, Nuthlial, and Nushial. Despite the claim to Qureshi ancestry, the Lilla are considered as Jats by their neighbours and intermarry with other tribes of Jat status such as the Gondal, Jethal, Phaphra and Wariaches.

The four ancestral villages of the tribe are Lilla Bhera (also known as Mainowana), Lilla Bharwana, Lilla Hindwana, and Lilla Guj, which are said to be named after their founders, Maino, Bharo, Hindo, and Guj. Each of these villages are named after their founders, Maino, Bharo, Hindo, and Guj. The tribe holds about 40 square miles of territory between Pind Dadan Khan town and the Salt Range in the Jhelum District, and form the majority in the villages of Chak Hameed, Jalalpur Sharif, Lilla Handwana, Lilla Goj, Lilla Bhera (also known as Mainowana) and Rawal in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. There also a second cluster of Lilla villages on the banks of the Jhelum River in Khushab District, such as Kotla Jagir, Mohibpur and Waheer. While in Mandi Bahauddin District, they are found in Bohat, and further south in Sargodha District, they are found in Bhikhi Khurd, descendants of the second group of Lillas who dispersed to the Chenab.

Adrah, Gungal/ Gangal, Miyal/Mial and Ratial tribes

In this post, I will focus on four little known tribes found in the Pothohar region, namely the Adrah, Gangal, Miyal and Ratial. I will ask the region to look at my post on the Budhal and Kanyal tribes, which give some background to the tribal history of this region. An interesting thing about the various tribes in this 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. Both tribes have very similar customs, being historically farmers and speaking the Pothwari language.

 

Adrah

The first tribe I will look at are Adrah, who are found mainly in Gujarkhan and neighbouring Mirpur District. Like other Pothahar clans, the Adrah are split between Jat and Rajput sections, this especially the case among the Mirpur Adrah, who consider themselves as Jats

According to tribal myths, the Adrah are a branch of the Chauhan Rajputs, and Adrah is simply the Pothohari way to pronounce Hara, which is a major branch of the Chauhans. The Chauhan is perhaps the most famous of the Rajput clans, for Prithvi Raj, the last Hindu ruler of North India, belonged to this clan. According to their bardic traditions, the Chauhan are one of the four Agnivanshi or ‘fire sprung’ tribes who were created by the gods in the Agni kund or ‘fountain of fire’ on Mount Abu to fight against the Asuras or demons. Chauhan is also one of the thirty-six ruling races of the Rajputs.

In the early eleventh century, the Chauhans later asserted their independence from the Pratiharas, with the Sakhambari king Ajaya-Raja founded the city of Ajayameru (Ajmer) in the southern part of their kingdom, and in the mid twelfth century, his successor Vigraharaja enlarged the state, captured Dhilika (the ancient name of Delhi) from the Tomaras and annexed some of their territory along the Yamuna River, including Haryana and Delhi. In 12th century the Chauhans dominated Delhi, Ajmer and Ranthambhor. They were also prominent atGodwar in the southwest of Rajputana, and at Hadoti (Bundi and Kota) in the east. Chauhans adopted a political policy that saw them indulge largely in campaigns against the Chalukyas and the invading Muslim hordes.

 

 

The Chauhan kingdom became the leading state and a powerful kingdom in Northern India under King Prithviraj III (1165-1192), also known as Prithvi Raj Chauhan or Rai Pithora. Prithviraj III has become famous in folk tales and historical literature as the Chauhan king of Delhiwho resisted and repelled the invasion by Mohammed of Ghor at the first Battle of Tarain in 1191. Armies from other Rajput kingdoms, including Mewar, assisted him. The Chauhan kingdom collapsed after Prithviraj faced defeat in the war.[1][2] the battle ground against Mohammed of Ghor in 1192 at the Second Battle of Tarain. Prithviraj’s defeat and capture at Tarain ushered in Muslim rule in North India by the Delhi Sultanate. The Chauhans of Ajmer remained in exile due to Muhammad of Ghor and his successors, the Sultans of Delhi, and thus swelled the ranks of the armed forces of the Maharana of Mewar, until 1365, when Ajmer was captured by the Sisodias rulers of Mewar, and Ajmer was then returned to the Chauhans.

 

 

A branch of the Chauhans, led by Govinda, the grandson of Pritviraj III, established themselves as rulers of Ranthambore from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, until Ranthambore was captured by Rana Kumbha of Mewar. The Haras dynasty of the Chauhans, moved into the Hadoti region in the twelfth century, capturing Bundi in 1241 and ruled there until the twentieth century. One sept of these Hada Rajputs won Kota.

I now come specifically to the Adrah. According to their traditions, their ancestor Hadi Rai arrived from Hadoti in Rajasthan, and settled in Gujarkhan, where he became a Muslim. According to some traditions, the town of Gujar Khan is named after an Adrah Rajput. The town is still home to a large community of Adrah Chauhans. They are found mainly in Rawalpindi and Gujarkhan tehsils. A smaller number are also found in Mirpur region of Azad Kashmir. The village of Usman Zada Adra is named after an decendent of Hadi Rai, and is the centre of the tribe.

In Rawalpindi District, the main Chauhan settlements are at Usman Zada Adra where the village is owned by the Hadi Rai Chohans in Gujar Khan Tehsil. Starting with Rawalpindi Tehsil, there is a settlement in Sadar Rawalpindi at Adra, while others are smaller settlements at Panjgran, Sihala and Sahib Dhamial, the last of which they share with the Dhamial Rajputs. While in Tehsil Gujar Khan, the villages of Jhanda, Dhoke Chauhan, Mankiala, Mandra and Adra Usmanzadah have large concentrations of Chauhans while in Tehsil Rawalpindi they are present in significant numbers in Darkali, Kotlah, and Jhatta Hathial.

Gangal

The Gungal, sometimes spelt Gangal, found throughout this region. As mentioned in my introduction, the tribes in the region have names ending in al, meaning son of or descendent of a named individual. In the case of the Gungal, that would be mean that they are descendent of Gang, or possible Ganga, a common first name among Hindus of all castes. Like most Punjab tribes, there are a number of different traditions as to the origin of this tribe. The Gangal of Gujar Khan, Chakwal and Jhelum claim that they are a section of the Bhatti Rajputs, therefore Gang or Ganga belonged to the Bhatti tribe, a well-known tribe of Rajputs found throughout Punjab. In this region, being Rajput is a matter of status, which can be both gained or lost. If an ancestor took up cultivation, then his descendants would be classified as Jat, or vice versa, if they rose in prominence, they would acquire the status of Rajput. In the latter case, they would restrict marriage with other tribes of Rajput status. Often, a branch of the tribe would call itself Rajput in one village, and in a neighbouring villages, they would be simple cultivators, and be known as Jat. With regards to the Gungal, most of those found in Rawalpindi District call themselves Rajputs, while in Jhelum are Jat, and intermarry with tribes of Jat status.

However, the Gangal of Rawalpindi Tehsil, have a completely different origin myth. Gang according to them was not a Bhatti, but an Awan, therefore according to the Rawalpindi Gangals, they are clan of the Awan tribe. The Rawalpindi Gangal trace their descent from Qutab Shah’s son Muzamal Ali, nicknamed Kalgan. Briefly, according to Awan tribal traditions, their ancestor was a Qutb Shah, who is said to have accompanied and assisted Mahmud of Ghazna in his early eleventh century conquests of what today forms parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. It is claimed that in recognition of their services and valour, Mahmud bestowed upon Qutb Shah and his sons (who, according to tribal traditions, settled primarily in the Salt Range) the title of Awan, meaning “helper”. Coming back to the Gangal, a descendent of Muzamal Ali named Gohar Shah was their ancestor. This Gohar Shah was nicknamed Ganga, and the Ganga are the aal or descendants of this Ganga. It is interesting to note the Gangal villages in Rawalpindi tehsil are surrounded by the Awan villages, therefore it is possible that they have affiliated themselves with the dominant group, while in Gujarkhan, they maintain links with the Rajput clans, which in turn dominate that region.

With regards to their distribution, in Rawalpindi District, their villages include Gungal, Mujahid Gungal in Rawalpindi Tehsil, Sood Gungal located within the Islamabad Capital Territory. In Gujar Khan tehsil, they are found in number of villages such as Faryal, Gungal, Narali Jabbar and Sui Cheemian. Other Gungal villages in Rawalpindi District include Chakyal near Hardogher, Dhamnoha and Samote in Kallar Syedan Tehsil, and Bimma Gungal in Kahuta Tehsil. In neighbouring Jhelum District, their main village is Gungal, while in Chakwal District their villages include Dhok Vazira, Mak and Mohra Gungal near Kallar Syden. In Attock District, they are found in the village of Gangal in Fateh Jang Tehsil.

Gangal Population According to 1911 Census

 

District

 

Awan Jat Total
Jhelum

 

  1,049 1,049
Rawalpindi

 

1,900 569 2,469
Attock

 

540   540
Other Districts

 

513   513
Total

 

2,953 1,618 4,571

The 1911 Census showed clearly how the Gangal identity was divided, with a third declaring themselves to be Jats, and remaining two-thirds as Awans.

Miyal

Miyal, or sometimes written as Mial, are tribe found mainly in Rawalpindi and Chakwal districts. They are descendants of a Mian, which in there case may not refer to a single common ancestor, but is a term which is often used to describe any holyman or Sufi saint. These is also shown by the fact that different Mial groups have different origin myths. According to 1911 Census of India, about 807 Mial declared themselves as Rajput, while 25 declared themselves as Jats. Some Mial groups also say that they are Qureshi Arabs, while others claim to be Mughals.There main villages include Malluwala in Pindigheb Teshsil and Mial in the Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District, the village of Mial in Rawalpindi District, and the villages of Budhial, Mureed, Mial and Warwal in Chakwal District. In addition, Mial settlements are also found in the Gujar Khan Tehsil, such as Sapiali Khinger.

Ratial

The Ratial are Rajput tribe, found mainly in Rawalpindi District. There customs are similar to neighbouring tribes such as the Bangial and Kanyal. Like other tribes in the region, they have several traditions as to their origin. According to one such tradition, the tribe are descended from Khattar Khan, the ancestor of the Khattar tribe. Khattar Khan had six sons, Jand Khan,Isa Khan, Sarwar Khan, Firoz Khan, Sehra Khan and Pehru Khan. About three generations after his death, the tribe lost Nilab but they took possession of the open country between Rawalpindi and the Indus which became known by the name of Khattar. The descendants of Jand Khan took possession of the district called after them Jandal between Khushhalghar and Nara. From Feroz Khan the Drek family has descended. His great- grandson was Ratnah from whom have descended the clan known as Ratial. The Khattar tribe, like the Awans claim descent from Qutub Shah, which would make the Ratial Alvi Arabs.

However, another tradition makes Ratnah out to be a Manhas Rajput, who left Kangra in the 15th Century and settled in Potohar region, and converted to Islam. His descendants are known the Ratial. A few generations from Ratnah were two brothers Jairo Khan and Bhairo Khan. Jairo is said to have founded the village Jairo Ratial, and his brother Bhairo founded the neighbouring village Bhair Ratial. Almost all the other Ratial’s trace there descent from these two villages. Claims to Minhas ancestry are more widely accepted, certainly by the Ratial’s of Gujarkhan.

The Ratial Minhas rose to some significance as rulers of the large part of the present Rawalpindi District known as Ratala, centred around the village of Ratala in Gujar Khan Tehsil. They were displaced from Ratala by a Janjua chief named Raja Abdullah Khan in the 18th Century, who had himself been displaced by the upheaval of the Sikh conquest of Garjaak and Darapur in Jhelum, and as a result took his remaining army and conquered the region of Ratyal from a Ratial chief who was loyal to the Sikh empire. He defeated the Ratial Chief and although the region remained known Ratala. With this, the Ratial ceased to play any important political role in the region. The Ratial thereafter sunk to the status of farmers, and according to 1911 Census of Punjab, they numbered 549.
Their principle villages are Ratial (near Dina) and Darapur in Jhelum District, and Ratial, Bher Ratial, Jairo Ratial and Puraney Ratial, in the Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District. They also found in Banoti Niar and Chak Beli Khan villages south of Rawalpindi. There are also number of Ratial villages in Attock District.

Rawal of Pakistani Punjab

In this post, I will look at a little known Punjabi Muslim community called the Rawals. Like the Khatiks referred to in my earlier post, the Rawals as a community form an important part of the Punjabi Muslim diaspora, with many migrating to Malaysia and Hong King in the early 20th Century.

Like most other Punjabi groups, the Rawal have a complex origin. According to tribal traditions, they are of Arab origin. The ancestor of their tribe was an individual named Ryal, after who they are said to get their name, was in the service of the Prophet. Once when alms were being given by the Prophet, no one came forward to receive them, whereupon Ryal accepted them. Over time, Ryal was corrupted to Rawal, after their settlement in India. By the beginning of the 20th, the Rawal were found mainly in what now Indian Punjab were engaged in petty trade. They had much in common with groups such the Bhatra and Ramaiya, who were also engaged in petty trade.

Rose, the early 20th Century British ethnologist argued the Rawal were really a group of Jogi who had converted to Islam. He argued that the term Rawal was generally used as a synonym for the Jogi, though, strictly speaking, it only denoted Muslim Jogi, who was generally also known as a Jogi-Rawal. The question then is who or what is a Jogi. Jogi, or more correctly Yogi is someone, in tantra traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, is someone who is a practitioner of the tantra (a tantrika). In Classical Sanskrit, the word yogi is derived from yogin, which refers to a practitioner of yoga. Yogi is technically male, and yoginī is the term used for female practitioners. The two terms are still used with those meanings today, but the word yogi is also used generically to refer to both male and female practitioners of yoga and related meditative practices belonging to any religion or spiritual method. The yogi, or by the middle ages the Jogi had become a religious order, living a wondering life as mendicants. In Punjab, the Jogi like in many other parts of India had evolved into a sectarian caste, as distinct from a holy order. Conversion to Islam, which, if we accept Rose, did not stop the Muslim groups to continue to practice as Jogi.

Etymologically, Rawal is a title, the Sanskritised version being Rajakula, meaning lord and used by many feudal families in North India. It could be that Rawal is not a distortion of Ryal, but a title adopted by a group of Jogis, to distinguish themselves from other Jogi groups. Whether they were of Arab origin as their traditions claim, or Jogi converts to Islam, what is clear is that they had close relationship with Hindu Jogi groups in Punjab. According to some traditions, the city of Rawalpindi is named after them.

In the early 20th Century, the Rawals had continued the practice of acquiring knowledge from the Hindu Jogis, and many continued to live a nomadic existence. They were a classic community who practised syncretism, combining aspects of Hinduism and Islam. Many left their villages and spent part of their as wondering holy men. By the early 20th Century, many Rawals had taken up the profession of hakims (physicians), practitioners of the unani medicine. The Rawals were also employed in rural Punjab to carry out surgery and eye operations, leaving there villages at the beginning of winter to visit a well-established client network.

The Rawal like the Barwala and Khatik referred to in earlier posts were not granted agricultural status under the Punjab Land Alienation Act. The impact of this decision was that they were unable to own or purchase land. Many Rawal therefore began to migrate to British ruled Malaysia and Singapore.  Pandit Harikishan Kaul, the Census Commissioner of Punjab for 1911 Census wrote:

From a representation made to me by the Rawals of Hoshiarpur, it appears that they are not homeless people but are enterprizing traders and adventurers who have earned plenty of money by travel in Europe, America, Java and Australia. They have traders large or small amongst them and also pedlers, but they are said to own fairly large commercial concerns in Malaya, Singapore, Sumatra, Celebes, Borneo, Australia and Burma, and some cf them are engaged in pearl fishery in the Malay Islands.

 

They now form important communities within the Punjabi Muslim diaspora communities in those two countries. A second wave of Rawal migration has now taken them to the United States and United Kingdom.

The Partition of Punjab in 1947 affected the Rawal even more badly then the Khatik, with the majority found in territory that is now Indian Punjab. The effect of partition has been that almost all the syncretic traditions have been abandoned. Many of the refugee Rawal are now settled in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot. Like the Khatik, they are now considered to be a sub-group of Shaikhs. I would ask to read The Migration Process: Capital, Gifts and Offerings Among British Pakistanis which explores the changing situation of the Rawal settled in the UK.

Distribution of Rawal in Punjab by District According to 1911 Census of India

 

District Population
Gurdaspur 4,079
Sialkot 3,687
Hoshiarpur 3,265
Amritsar 3,119
Jalandhar 2,554
Gujranwala 1,746
Kangra 1,164
Gujrat 997
Lahore 933
Jhelum 693
Kapurthala State 668
Ludhiana 400
Other districts 1,637
Total Population 24,942