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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Aheer of Khushab

 

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

 

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

 

 

Villages in Thal

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

Outside the Thal,

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Khichi Chauhans of Punjab

In this post, I will look at the clan of the Khichi Chauhans, a tribe that was centred and still found in the Neeli Bar region. The Neeli Bar is a geographical region in Punjab, Pakistan. It consists of the uplands between the rivers Ravi and Satluj. “Bar” is the name given to areas in Punjab which were thick forests before the arrival of the modern canal irrigation system. Its soil is very fertile, as this plain is formed by the mud that has been collected by rivers flowing from the Himalayas. This region consists of the districts Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpattan . In my post on the Kathia, I give a bit more on the conditions and history of the tribal communities found in this region of Punjab. The Khichi family of Mailsi, are often referred to as the classic feudals of Punjab, having dominated local politics of Mailsi for the last seventy years since independence from the British. The current Member of the Punjab Assembly is for Mailsi is Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan Khichi. However, most present day Khichi are largely farmers.

Khichi, sometimes spelt Khichee, are a branch of the Chauhan clan of Agnivanshi Rajputs (please look at posting on Tribes of Potohar for a definition of Rajput). I shall start off by giving some brief information on the Chauhans. The Chauhan kingdom became the leading Rajput state in Northern India under Prithviraj III (1165–1192), also known as Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora . The Chauhan state collapsed after Prithviraj was defeated by Mohammed of Ghor in 1192 at the Second Battle of Tarain, but the Chauhans remained in Ajmer as feudatories of Mohammed of Ghor and the Sultans of Delhi until 1365, when Ajmer was captured by the rulers of Mewar, finally ending Chauhan rule. This also led to the dispersal of the Chauhans, with some migrating towards Punjab. The Chauhan kingdom collapsed after Prithviraj was defeated by Mohammed of Ghor in 1192 at the Second Battle of Tarain, but the Chauhans remained in Ajmer as feudatories of Mohammed of Ghor and the Sultans of Delhi until 1365, when Ajmer was captured by the rulers of Mewar. According to Khichi tribal traditions, the descend from Manak Rai, a semi-mythical Chauhan ruler of Ajmer. Manik Rai was said to be the brother of Dula Rai, the Chauhan king of Ajmer. In 684 CE, he fled from Ajmer after Dula Rai was killed by their enemies, and regained control managed of the area around Sambhar Lake with the blessings of the goddess Shakambh. The Khichi claim descent from Ajai Rao, the second son of Manik Rai, the legendry seventh century ruler of Sambhar in Rajasthan.

While the main Chauhan state was extinguished by 1365, cadet branches such as the Khichi, split up, some groups nmoving to the central Indian region of Malwa such as Asalgarh in Nimar. After being driven from Asalgarh, the Malwa Khichi founded the principality of Khilchipur, which lasted till the end of British rule in India and formed part of the Bhopal Agency under the administration of the Central India Agency. Another branch moved to Gagraun, in central Rajasthan, where they became tributaries of the Jhala Rajputs. The Khichi of Chota Udaipur state claim descent from this branch of the Khichis.

The Khichi of Punjab have slightly different origin story. According to their traditions, they claim descent from a Khichi ruler of Ajmer. Driven out of Delhi by one of the Sultan of Delhi, his descendants Sisan and Vidar migrated to Multan. The Khichis then fought with the Joiyas, then paramount in the region, expelling them from the Sutlej valley near the where the town of Mailsi is located. At sometime following their settlement in the Neeli Bar, the tribe converted to Islam. According to tribal traditions, they founded the villages of Shitab Garh, Sargana, Sheer Garh, Haleem Khichi, Aliwah, Tarki, Omar Khichi, Dhoda, and Fadda. One of their tradition refers to their conversion at the hands of the Sufi Bahaudin Zakaria of Multan. They then established a state based in the town of Mailsi, which finally conquered by the Sikhs in the 18th Century. Another branch established a state near the town of Gugera. Mailsi however remains the centre of the tribe. In addition to Punjab, branches of the Khichi tribe are still found in Rajasthan, especially in Jaisalmer, in India, who have remained Hindu, and have very similar origin stories as the Khichi of Punjab.

Groups of Khichi began migrating northwards, and the largest concentration of the Khichi are found in the Bhera Bar, a portion of the Kirana Bar located near the town of Bhera in Sargodha District. Khichi villages include Khichi Jagir, and Daulutpur Khichi in the Sahiwal Tehsil of Sargodha District, Khichi in the Talagang Tehsil and Khichi in Chakwal Tehsil of Chakwal District, and Khichi in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum District. According to the 1901 Census of India, the Khichi were distributed in the following districts.

Khichi Rajput Population According to the 1901 Census of India

District Population
Chenab Colony 1,870
Multan 1,563
Montgomery 1,342
Bahawalpur 921
Shahpur 838
Jhang 733
Firuzpur 717
Mianwali 514
Other Districts 1,632
Total Population 10,130

Most of the Khichi population is still concentrated in the regions where they were found in 1901. The Khichi of Multan District were found near the town of Mailsi, which is now in Vehari, while the bulk of the Mianwali Khichi were found in the Bhakkar Tehsil, which is now a separate district.
Major Khichi Villages By District

Bhakkar District

1) Basti Cheena,

2) Chah Khichi

3) Khichi Kalan,

4) Khichi Khurd

5) Jhok Khichi

6) Wadhay Wali

Layyah District

1) Chak 459 TDA

2) Chak 465 TDA

Chiniot District

Chani Khichi

Faisalabad District

Chak106JB Khichian,

Shakeel Ahmed Khichi,

Chak 275 Mudooana

Hafizabad District.

Dera Mian Ali Khichi

Khanewal District

Khichiwala

Mandi Bahauddin District

1) Chakori

2) Sanda

Sargodha District

Chak No. 132 NB (Silanwali Tehsil),

Chak No. 139 SB (Silanwali Tehsil)

Okara District

Dholi Khichi,

Jawaya Khich

Nota Khichi

Sialkot District

Rahimpur Khichian

Khichi of Mailsi Region

But the greatest number of Khichi villages are still found in Mailsi region of Vehari District and include Sargana, Aliwah, Fadah, Halim Khichi, Umar Khichi, Shergarh, Shatabgarh, Tarki, Kilanj, Dhamakki, Dhodan and Jiwan Khichi. The Khichi have dominated the local politics in Vehari District, providing many of the members of the National Assembly.

The Population of Kharal and Kathia tribes according to the 1901 Census of Punjab

In this post, I look at the distribution of the Kathia and Kharal tribes according to the 1901 Census. Like the Khokhars, these two tribes were separately enumerated from the general Rajput category. Both claim Panwar Rajput ancestry. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Kathia. Time permitting, I wish to write a post on the Kharals.

 

Kharal Population

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Montgomery

20,866     20,866
Chenab Colony 7,244   7,244
Bahawalpur State 5,738     5,738
Multan 4,748     4,748
Gujranwala 3,035     3,035
Jhang 1,785     1,785
Patiala State   1,177 532 1,709
Mianwali 1,207 1,207
Firuzpur 903    903
Muzaffargarh 723 723
Lahore 193 193

Other Districts

 

 

 

 

Total

47,331

 

 

49,040

Kathia Population of the Punjab

 

District Population
Montgomery 2,419
Total Population 2,419

 

Baloch Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census

In this post, I will look at the distribution of the Baloch community in Punjab. as should expected, the majority occupied territory that bordered Baluchistan, such as Dera Ghazi Khan and Baloch Trans-Frontier.

There were infact two distinct groups of Baloch in Punjab, a larger Seraiki speaking group, with the Trans-Frontier Baloch actually speaking Balochi, found throughout South West Punjab, with Mianwali (present day Mianwali and Bhakkar districts) and Shahpur (present day Khushab and Sargodha) forming the northern boundary, Jhang, Lyalpur and Montgomery forming the eastern boundary of the region. This was home to 90% of the Baloch group. A second cluster, about 10% lived in and around Delhi, the present day Haryana state. These Baloch were Haryanvi speaking, and the Baloch colonies here dated from the 15th Century. The city of Lahore, as capital of Punjab, was home to large urban community, which formed the third sub-group among the Baloch of Punjab.

 

District / State Population
Dera Ghazi Khan 168,322
Muzaffargarh 76,586
Bahawalpur State 64,832
Mianwali
27,295
Multan 24,488
Baloch Trans-Frontier 22,369
Chenab Colony 17,433
Shahpur 12,995
 Jhang
12,971
Montgomery 12,024
Lahore 5,288
Firuzpur 3,388
Gujranwala 3,274
Jhelum 2,338
Rohtak 2,314
Gurgaon 2,241
Patiala State 1,382
Delhi 1,240
Hissar 1,151
Karnal 1,094
Rawalpindi 915
Gujrat 906
Faridkot 517
Other Districts 2,480
Total Population 467,843

Ahir / Aheer (Yadav) Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census

This is another of my series of posts looking at the distributions of castes gazetted as agricultural by the Land Alienation of Punjab. This time I am looking at Ahir, who increasingly self-identify as Yadav. The Ahir were found largely in what is now the state of Haryana, and were almost entirely Hindu. Muslim Ahirs were only found in the western most districts of Punjab, in Jhelum valley from Khushab to the city of Multan. I would ask the reader to at my post on the Muslim Aheer to get some background on the community.

 

District / State

Hindu

Muslim

Sikh

Total

 Gurgaon

78,329

 

  78,329

 Patiala

39,187

 

80

39,448

 Nabha

20,142

 

20,142

 Rohtak

17,064  

 

17,064

 Delhi

13,969

 

 

13,969

 Hissar

9,857

 

9,857

 Jind

7,246

 

 

7,246

 

 Dujana

4,712

 

 

 

4,712

 

 

 

Pataudi 3,839     3,839
Karnal 1,697
 14  64 1,775
Ambala 1,323
 13 1,336
Firuzpur 1,236
14 1,250
Shahpur 71
1,017 1,088
Lahore 820
46 846
Mianwali   843 843
Rawalpindi 577
 15   592
Multan 261
234 495
Chenab Colony 40
345
13 398
Amritsar 342
  25
367
Sialkot 259 32   291
Loharu 248 248
Gujrat 198
Faridkot 181
181
Jalandhar  170  170
Ludhiana  168  168
Jhang    167  167

Other Districts

 

 

 

 

Total

 202,385

 2,816

 227

 205,428

Labana Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census

In this 9th Post, I will be looking at the Labana, one of the tribes gazetted as agriculture under 1901 Land Alienation Act. The majority of the Labanas were found in line of districts along the Himalayas, from Gujrat in the west to Ambala in the east. A second group were found in centre of the province, with Gujranwala to the west and Patiala State in the east. Like other agriculturist castes, the Labana were found in all three religions. The Muslim Labana often refer to themselves as Rahmani. The Muslim Labana were found mainly along the Sutlej river, in what was then Bahawalpur State and British District of Firuzpur. In 1901 a slight majority of Labana were Hindu, but by the middle of the 20th Century, the Labana had become largely Sikh.

District

Hindu

Sikh

Muslim

Total

Lahore

4,544 6,331 114 10,989
Gujrat 2,618 5,403 8,021
Sialkot 3,913 3,763 39 7,715
Gurdaspur 4,546 1,510 6,056
Hoshiarpur 2,944 481 41 3,466
Kapurthala State 1,237 876 2,113
Firuzpur 2,069 2,069
Gujranwala 1,464  508 1,972
Kangra 1,712 1,712
Ambala 1,311  223 1,534
Bahawalpur State 161 276 795 1,232
Muzaffargarh 10 1,166  13 1,189
Ambala 1,311 223 1,534
Bahawalpur State 161 276 795 1,232
Ludhiana 437 567 1,004
Jalandhar 946 54 1,000
Patiala State 979 13 992
Mandi State 945 945
Mianwali 106 552  268 926
Amritsar 196 260 456
Nahan State 440 440
Chenab Colony 263 113 376
Nalagarh State 329 329
Bilaspur State 284 284
Rawalpindi  31  227 258
 Jhang  252 252
Multan  179  42 221
Dera Ghazi Khan 77 106 183

 

 

 

 

Total

 29,514

22,884

 3,531

55,924

Saini population of Punjab According to 1901 Census of India

This is my sixth post looking at the population of tribes gazetted as agriculture by the Punjab Land Alienation Act. This one will focus on the Saini community. Like the Mali looked in the previous post, the Saini were traditionally associated with marker gardening. In fact the boundary between the two castes is often blurred. The Saini in 1901 were found largely found in the sub-Himalyan regions such as Hoshiarpur and Ambala.

District Hindu Sikh Total
Hoshiarpur


38,700


6,585 45,285


Ambala
23,435


2,213 25,648


Jalandhar
10,473
5,256
15,729
Gurdaspur
 12,745  2,799 15,544


 Patiala State  6,321  2,734  9,055
 Chenab Colony 2,017 489 2,506
Kapurthala State 2,180  70 2,250
  Delhi   2,213     2,213
 Nalagarh State  2,044    2,044
 Kalsia State  1,378  45  1,423
 Ludhiana  1,299  131  1,430
Kangra  1,030  1,030
 Sialkot  867  867
 Nahan State 758
   758
 Firuzpur 115
91
206
 Amritsar 147 26
173
 Lahore 138
  138
Other Districts
    372
Total Population  106,006 20,665 126,671

 

Tribes of the Thal Desert: The Tiwana

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

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

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

Tiwana of Patiala

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

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

Tiwana of Khushab

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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 Jat Clans of British Punjab According to the 1891 Census of India

In 1891 the total Jat population was 4,625,523, of which Muslim Jats numbered 1,771,034. I would also ask the reader to look at my posts on the Population of Muslim Jat Clans of British Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India and Population of Muslim Jat Clans of British Punjab According to the 1911 Census of India. Both these posts give a breakdown of the larger Jat clans. The process of counting up clans began with the 1891 Census. However only the 68 largest clans were enumerated separately, the rest simply declared miscellaneous. Deciding whether a clan was Jat or Rajput ended up being an arbitrary process. For example in the 1891 Census, the Gondals declared themselves all as Rajputs. while in 1901 a total of 2,508 declared themselves as Jats, while the majority of 36,088 declared themselves to be Rajput. By the 1911 Census, almost all Gondals, about 62,320 declared themselves as Jats, while a mere 31 declared themselves as Rajputs.

Wariach 54,499 Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sialkot, Lahore and Amritsar
Sidhu 48,668 Hissar, Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Chenab Colony
Sandhu 28,011 Hissar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Montgomery, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Amritsar, Shahpur (Sargodha), Chenab Colony, Jhang and Multan
Tarar 25,619 Lahore, Gujrat, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Jhelum and Chenab Colony
Bajwa 25,255 Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Jallandhar and Patiala State
Gill 19,573 Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Firuzpur, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Bhutta 16,376 Shahpur, Jhelum, Mianwali, Multan and Chenab Colony
Virk 16,052 Gujranwala, Chenab Colony, Gujrat, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sialkot, Lahore and Amritsar
Ghumman 15,044 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Goraya 13,039 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Sipra 11,908 Patiala, Montgomery, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur (Sargodha), Chenab Colony, Jhang, Multan and Bahawalpur
Dhillon 11,864 Ambala, Hissar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot Mianwali, and Chenab Colony
Kahlon 10,854 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Chenab Colony
Chatha 10,574 Patiala, Lahore, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat and Chenab Colony
Thaheem 10,382 Multan, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan
Chhina 10,058 Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Mianwali, Chenab Colony and Dera Ghazi Khan
Langah 9,905 Shahpur, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali, Multan and Bahawalpur
Bains 8,963 Ambala, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Shahpur, Chenab Colony, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan
Cheema 8,676 Patiala, Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat and Chenab Colony
Sahi 8,619 Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Gujrat, Jhelum and Sialkot
Randhawa 7,994 Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot
Harral 7,869 Gujranwala, Shahpur, Mianwali, Gujrat, Jhang, and Chenab Colony
Langrial 7,811 Sialkot, Gujrat and Multan
Soomra / Samra 7,065 Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur
Aulakh 5,916 Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Amritsar, and Jallandhar
Dhariwal 5,685 Ambala, Hissar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot and Chenab Colony
Maan 5,210 Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Chenab Colony
Sarai 4,496 Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Ambala and Jallandhar
Chahal 4,805 Ambala, Ludhiana, Firuzpur, Amritsar, Lahore, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Chenab Colony
Bhullar 4,419 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar and Lahore
Mangat 3,919 Patiala, Ludhiana, Gujrat, Gujranwala and Sialkot
Hanjra 3,852 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Montgomery, Shahpur, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Chandhar/ Chadhar 3,822 Montgomery, Amritsar, Firuzpur, Lahore, Jhang, Muzaffargarh, Mianwali, Multan, Jhelum, Shahpur and Chenab Colony
Heer 3,662 Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Montgomery, Shahpur, Mianwali, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Kang 3,571 Patiala, Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Multan, Muzaffargarh and Chenab Colony
Naul 3,440 Jhang
Lodike 3,233 Gujranwala
Dhotar 2,596 Gujranwala and Gujrat
Deo / Dev 2,336 Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Mianwali and Chenab Colony
Pannun 2,161 Amritsar, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Chenab Colony
Atwal 2,040 Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chenab Colony and Jallandhar
Bhangu 1,662 Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Chenab Colony
Sohal 1,648 Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Sialkot
Dalal 1,618 Hissar, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Delhi
Marral or Marhal 1,547 Karnal, Patiala and Jhang
Waseer 1,513 Chenab Colony
Bal 1,312 Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Lahore, Jalandhar and Ludhiana
Mahil 1,081 Ambala, Hoshiarpur and Amritsar
Bahiniwal / Wahiniwal 1,058 Montgomery, Hissar, Rohtak and Firuzpur
Jakhar 1,051 Hissar, Firuzpur, Bahawalpur, Mianwali, Montgomery, and Multan
Sarah 1,027 Firuzpur,
Pawania 982 Karnal, Hissar and Firuzpur
Buttar 916 Dera Ghazi Khan, Ludhiana, Firuzpur, Lahore, Gurdaspur, Gujranwala and Sialkot
Dhindsa 888 Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, and Chenab Colony
Nain 726 Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Ahlawat 634 Rohtak
Dahya 432 Ambala, Bahawalpur, Hissar, Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Butta 420 Chenab Colony
Rathi 374 Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Dhankar 203 Delhi and Rohtak
Godara 170 Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Dagar 156 Rohtak and Delhi
Ghatwala or Malik 134 Hissar, Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Phogat 114 Karnal and Rohtak
Gulia 112 Mianwali
Gandhi 97 Mianwali
Deshwal / Deswal 87 Hissar, Gurgaon, Karnal, Rohtak and Delhi
Sahrawat 27 Karnal, Rohtak and Gurgaon
Miscellaneous clans 1,290,075