Bhawpal, Domaal, and Mangral tribes of Azad Kashmir

In this post I shall look at three tribes of Chibhali or Pahari Rajputs, found mainly in the Mirpur-Kotli-Rajouri-Poonch region, now bisected by the Line of Control. This region is located in the Pir Panjaal Mountain range. These mountains form part of the Inner Himalayan region, run from east-southeast to west-northwest across the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and the disputed territories comprising Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Azad Kashmir, where the average elevation varies from 1,400 m (4,600 ft) to 4,100 m (13,500 ft). The mountains are traversed by the rivers Chenab and Ravi, with the Chenab also forming a culturally boundary, with tribes located in the east of the Chenab remaining Hindu, while those found in the west have generally converted to Islam. These three tribes are the Bhawpal, Domaal, and Mangral . Two of these clans, the Doomal and Mangral are now entirely Muslim, but Bhawpal still have a Hindu branch. With regards to the Mangral, they also have a large presence in Rawalpindi District. All three tribes speak Pahari, but the Mangral dialect is also close Pothohari, reflecting their more western location.

Bhawpal

I shall start off with a little known tribe, the Bhawpal or sometime pronounced Bhopal, who are a Rajput clan that are included within a group of tribes that form part of the Chibhali community. Chibhali history starts with the conversion of Dharam Chand Chib, the Hindu Raja of the area in the 15th Century to Islam. As a result of his conversion, many other Rajput clans also converted to Islam. What ever the actual facts of this conversion, it is an important foundation myth for most the tribes in the Pir Panjal region. The Bhawpal, like other Chibhalis, are a clan of Katoch Rajputs of Kangra, in what is now Himachal Pradesh, India, claiming descent from a Bhawpal or Bhopal.

In Pakistani Kashmir, they are found mainly in Kotli District and Bagh District, in villages near the line of control, while in Indian administered Jammu & Kashmir, they are found in Rajauri, Nawshera and Jammu tehsils

Domaal

The Domaal are well known tribe with a substantial presence in the historic Poonch area. The Domaal are of Rajput status, a claim generally accepted by their neighbours. They are found principally in the divided district of Poonch in Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Rajouri District in Indian-administered Kashmir and Bagh District in Azad Kashmir.

Like most tribes in the region, the Domaal have a number of traditions as to their origin. In one such tradition, there was once a Mala Rajput who went to Kargil. There, he contracted a marriage with a Buddhist woman, and the Domaal are the progeny of this marriage. However, with regards to origin myths, the more common traditions make the Domaal a branch of the Chib Rajputs. They are said to be descended from two brothers Dharam Chand and Purab Chand (incidentally also ancestors of the Muslim Chib). Dharam Chand, the ruler of Bhimber, and on a visit to Delhi converted to Islam. For this action, he was excommunicated by members of his tribe. Purab Chand was the younger brother, hence known as Rajah Doem or the second rajah. Upon the conversion of Dharam Chand to Islam, the nobles of Bhimber then chose his younger brother Puran Chand as the new ruler. Dharam Chand’s conversion to said to have taken place during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (rule 31 July 1658 – 3 March 1707). According to tribal legends, Purab Chand attempted to marry the wife of Dharam Chand, who was still in Delhi. The wife managed to get a letter out to Delhi, and Dharam Chand, now known as Shadab Khan returned. However, he was murdered on his way to Bhimber, which left Purab Chand on the throne. However, Dharam Chand’s widow supported the claims of her sons to the throne of Bhimber. The population of Bhimber rose against Purab Chand, who took refuge in the neighbouring kingdom of Rajouri.

Upon Purab Chand’s arrival in Rajouri, the kingdom was facing raids from two tribes called the Darida and Jayrah. After his arrival in Rajouri, Purab Chand converted to Islam, and took the name Doem Khan. On the request of the Raja of Rajouri, Doem Khan and his followers defeated and destroyed the Darida and Jayrah. He then built a fort in the village that came to be known as Rajdhani, literally capital, in the Thanamandi tehsil of Rajouri. In this region, the Domaal were effectively independent utill the arrival of the Sikhs in the 1790s. Doem Khan, who acquired the nickname Dom had three sonsSardar Gaman Khan, Pirwali Khan and Mouladad Khan. The Domaal are therefore the descendants of Dom Khan, the suffix aal clans signifying descent. The descendants of the first two sons are settled in Rajouri, the most important villages being Rajdhani, Pajgra, Kakora and Galhoti. Dom Khan is buried in the village of Narrouni, still a place of pilgrimage for many Domaals in Rajouri.

According to some sources, they account for 35% of the population in Rajauri Tehsil. The community occupies the southwestern slopes of the Pir Panjal range. Their villages are found along the slopes of hills overlooking a number of tributaries falling into the Poonch River and Chenab River. Perhaps the greatest concentration of the Domaal is in the Manjakot block of Tehsil Rajouri. Important villages include Rak Galali, Hayatpura, Nabi Kot, Sarola and Mangalnara.

Mouladad Khan’s descendants left Rajouri, and initially settled in Mendhar in the Poonch Kingdom. Here they are found in the mainly in the villages of Galhota, Naka Manjhari, Gohlar, Uri and Bahera. A number of Mendhar Domaal moved to Kotli, and settled in the villages of Kodti, Khad Gujran, Barmoch, Chawki, Banarli, and Jagaalyar.

Mangral

The next tribe we shall look is are the Mangral, sometimes pronounced as Mahngral, Mangarpal. They are closely associated with the history of the town of the Kotli, which was said to be founded by their ancestor Raja Mangar Pal. The Mangrals ruled Kotli State until 1815 when it was incorporated into the State of Jammu by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. Raja Sensphal Khan who founded the city of Sehnsa and was the first Mangral to adopt Islam. Since then the Mangral are entirely Muslim, and found mainly in Kotli, with smaller communities found in both Indian and Pakistani administered Poonch. They are in essence a Chibhali tribe, and have much in common with both the Domaal and Kamlak clans. With regards to their origin, nothing is definite. According to Hutchinson and Vogel, authors of the Punjab Hill States, “Kotli was founded about the fifteenth century by a branch of the royal family of Kashmir. Kotli and Punch remained independent until subdued by Ranjit Singh in 1815 and 1819 respectively.” However, other traditions make the Mangral Chandravanshi Rajputs, descendent from the ancient race of the Yadavas, the clan of Krishna. According to the Chandravanshi tradition, Raja Mangar Pal son of Hani Dev who migrated to present day Sialkot from the Jangladesh region of northern Rajastan in the Twelfth century A.D. Hani Dev’s brother Nirmal Dev continued to live in Jangladesh. Prior to the mid 15th Century Jangladesh was a wild barren area. It was subsequently conquered by Rao Bika a Rathore Rajput and since then has been known as Bikaner. If we accept this tradition, the Mangral and Bhatti have a common origin, but Mangral are always considered Sahu, while only some Bhatti are.

Mangral rule over Kotli lasted for approximately four centuries until they were defeated by the army of the Sikh leader Ranjit Singh. The Mangrals led by Raja Shah Sawar Khan initially defeated the Sikh forces in two battles (1812 and 1814), though at very high cost in loss of life. However, the Sikh army returned in 1815 with 30,000 soldiers and a final battle ensued. Having lost many fighters, the Mangrals agreed to a compromise, giving up control of their city (then based in Baraali near modern Kotli) to Ranjit Singh. The rural areas remained under the control of various Mangral families as jagirs from the Jammu Raj, and they continued to be the landowners and collectors of tax revenues. This arrangement lasted until Pakistan’s 1962 Land Reform Act, whereby the ownership of the land was transferred to the tenant farmers without compensation to the landowners.

The last official count of Indian castes was conducted by the British in their census of India of 1931. At the time they recorded 4,500 adult male Mangrals. According 1911 Census, there were 2,309 Mangral in Rawalpindi District. Mangral’s in Rawalpindi are found mainly in Jawra and other nearby villages in Gujarkhan Tehsil.There are also three Mangral villages in Kahuta Tehsil of Rawalpindi District, namely Galli, Marigala Mangral and Nandna Mangral

 

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Bhao, Kahlotra, Kamlak, and Sau /Sao Tribes

Many of the tribes that I have so far looked at, such as the Kanyal, for example, have traditions that they migrated from the Chibhal of Jammu and Kashmir, and I shall now look at some of the tribes that still have a presence in that region, in addition to having branches settled in Pothohar. I shall start off by giving a brief descriptions of the Bhao, Kahlotra, Kamlak, and Sau tribes. All these tribes are by origin Dogra, and question then arises, who exactly then are the Dogras? They are largely Hindu ethnic community concentrated in the region between Tawi and Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir, and the word Dogra is said to have arisen from the fact that the cradle of the Dogra people lies between the two lakes of Sruinsar and Mansar. Its derivations is therefore from the word Dwigart Desh (meaning country of two hollows), which was converted into Duggar and Dugra, which then became Dogra. The term Dogra does not refer to a single caste, but is more a linguistic category. For example, included within the Dogra category are groups that identify themselves as Rajputs or Brahman. Most of the Dogra Rajputs follow the Hindu faith, however the region lying to the west of the Chenab River saw the conversion to Islam of most of the Rajput clans. This happened largely as the Rajput population in Jammu was thickest around the Mughal road leading from the plains of western Punjab into Kashmir, through the Bhimber-Rajauri-Shupian route across the Pir Panjal. This was the route historically used by various Muslim armies on their march to Kashmir. The first Rajput chiefs said to have embraced were those of the Khokhar tribe. One of the first to convert was the Khokhar chief Rai, according to the Tabaqat i_Nasiri had embraced Islam in the time of Mohammed Ghori. Manhas and Sulehria Rajputs became Muslims in large numbers on the borders of Jammu in the region called Salahar-Tappa and Manhas-Tappa. Communities such as the Jarral, Sulehria, Mangral, Bhao and Manhas converted in large numbers in the 16th Century. The territory between Tawi and Jhelum, became known as the Chibhal, after the largest tribe in the region, the Chib. With their conversion to Islam, many other clans such as the Bhawpal, Sau and Kamlak also converted to Islam. In the pre-independence period the Muslim Rajput population was more than double that of the Hindu Rajputs.

The 1911 Census of India was the last one that collected information on the various clans of the Pahari Rajput. According to the 1911 Census of India, the main clans were:

Tribe Population
Badhan 6,856
Bains 6,193
Bhatti 4,451
Bhao 592
Bomba 1,462
Chauhan 3,646
Chib 9,665
Domaal 6,953
Douli 3,009
Gakhar 13,825
Janjua 8,062
Jarral 8,506
Khakha 1,391
Khokhar 7,736
Mangral 7,027
Manhas 6,707
Narma 6,617
Sau 2,961
Thakhar 10,451
Other Clans 64,003

 

As this table shows, the largest clan in Chibhal Region were the Gakhars, in particular in what is now Mirpur and Kotli Districts. In latter posts I intend to look at the Mangral and Douli tribes, and hopefully time permitting the Bomba and Khakha.
 

Bhao

Let start with the Bhao or sometime pronounced Bhau or even Bahu , who are a Rajput clan, found in Punjab, Pakistan as well as both Indian administered Jammu & Kashmir as well as Azad Kashmir. According to the tribe’s tradition, they are Raghbansi Rajputs, originally from Ayodhya in North India. This migration is said to have occurred a thousand years ago, with the Bhoas first migrating to Jammu, where they settled near Akhnur on the banks of the Chenab river. In the 14th Century, small groups began to move into what is now Gujrat District. At the time of their settlement in Gujrat, they also started to convert to Islam.

The name Bhao is said to mean those who inspire fear in the local Dogri language, which is spoken in Jammu. They have said to have acquired this name when the tribe was settling in Jammu, it inspired fear among its enemies, and hence got the name but others say the Bhao were free booters or looters and hence earned the title. However, according to another tradition, the Bhao are branch of the Jamwals, thereby related to the Minhas Rajputs. The ancestors of the both the Bhao and Jamwal were the Dev dynasty that ruled Jammu. The Devs largely remained loyal to the Mughal kings, but a feud within Dev dynasty was deepened with the Mughal agencies exploiting it, and during the late sixteenth century, the Devs virtually split into two factions (Jammu faction of Jammu city-fort, and Bahu faction across the Tawi river), while the actual Mughal supremacy over the region was established. The intra-dynasty feud and the Mughal supremacy were both terminated in Jammu during the reigns of Dhruv Dev (1707–33) and Ranjit Dev (1733–82). The Bahu is a hill located on the outskirts of Jammu. After their defeat, the Bahu Jamwals moved to Akhnur, Bhimber and the Kharian region of the Punjab.

The Muslim branch of the Bhao are found in the Kharian Tehsil of Gujrat District, as well as a few villages in the Bhimber District of Azad Kashmir. The Hindu branch is still found in Akhnur in Jammu District. Historically, Muslim Bhao were also found in Gurdaspur District, but all these Bhao Rajput emigrated to Pakistan at the time of the partition of India. Their customs and traditions are similar to the Chib and Sohlan Rajputs, tribes of Dogra extraction who are there neighbours.

Distribution of Muslim Bhao Rajputs by District in Jammu and Kashmir State According 1911 Census of India

District Population
Jammu 66
Reeasi 53
Mirpur 457
Poonch Jagir 16
Total Population 592

 

As the census figures, the bulk of the Muslim Bhao population was found in what is now Bhimber.

Distribution of Hindu Bhao Rajputs by District in Jammu and Kashmir State According 1911 Census of India

District Population
Jammu 2,184
Udhampur 100
Reeasi 139
Mirpur 69
Poonch Jagir 9
Total Population 2,501

 

The Hindu Bhao were found largely in Akhnur, the region of Jammu bordering Bhimber. The difference of religion was largely due to the fact that the western branch of the Chibs, the largest of the Rajput clans in this region on the slopes of the Pir Panjal, had converted to Islam, and other smaller clans followed their example. Around Akhnur, most of the Dogras remained Hindus, and as did the Bhao.

Kahlotra

Looking now at the Kahlotra, sometimes pronounced as Kalotri or even Kalotra, a tribe historically found Naushera and Rajauri tehsils of what was then Riasi District till 1947, with a smaller number found in the south eastern portions of Kotli District. The Kahlotra are sub-group of the Dogra community. Among those clans of the Dogras that converted to Islam, the foremost are the Kahlotra. However, there are still a good many Kahlotra who have remained Hindu. According to some traditions, the Kahlotra are a clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs, while others make them a clan of the Manhas Rajput tribe. The Muslim Kahlotra also played an important role in Adam malia (Non payment of land tax) and Quit Kashmir movement.

 

In 1947, at the partition of India, entire Muslim branch of the Kahlotra tribe migrated from  the Jammu region to Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. A significant number are now settled in villages such as Thoa Khalsa in Rawalpindi District, but are still distinguished from their neighbours by the continuied use of the Dogri language.

Kamlak

The Kamlak are a Dogra clan, and have much in common with the Bhao and Sohlan referred to in my earlier blogs. According to their traditions, the ancestor of the tribe was one Kamlak. Kamlak is said to have belonged to the Minhas Rajput tribe. After a feud with family members, Kamlak is said have left Jammu and settled in Budhal tehsil. The Muslim branch of the Kamlak claims descent from Raja Azamat Khan Kamlak, who migrated from Budhal to the village of Azamatabad, situated in north Thanamandi Tehsil. They are a Rajputs tribe found mainly in the Rajauri District of Jammu and Kashmir. In Budhal Tehsil, there are still several villages of Kamlak, both Hindu and Muslim, such as Kandi, Dandwal, Rajnagar and Shahpur. Other then Azmatabad, Manyal in Thanamandi Tehsil of Rajouri District is an important Kamlak village. The Hindu Kamlak are a Dogra clan, and they intermarry with neighbouring clans such as the Charak, Chandial and Manhas. Both groups of Kamlak claim a common origin and have some common customs and rituals. A number of Kamlak are became refugees and are now settled in Punjab.

Sau /Sao

I will now look at the Sau, or sometimes pronounced as Shau. They are a branch of the Minhas Rajputs, but of all the Rajputs clans found in Mirpur, they have the least written about them. The word Sau is a corruption of Sahu, or well born, and they claim a higher status from other Minhas descended clans. It is in fact a corruption of word saha which the Sanskrit version of old Persian word Shaha or emperor. In the Pothohar and Chibhali regions, tribes such as the Gakhar and Janjua use the term to describe themselves in distinction from those tribe such as the Kanyal or Nagyal, who are called zamindar. Found now mainly in Mirpur District, in villages such as Chatroh, Dheri Phali, Jabot, Khirri, Lakhora, Kot Qandu Khan and Unna (near Dadyal), often surrounded by Bains and Jat villages.

Distribution of Muslim Sao / Sahu Rajputs by District in Jammu and Kashmir State According 1911 Census of India

As this table shows, more then even the Bhao, the Sahu are a tribe of the Mirpur region.

District Population
Jammu 26
Mirpur 2,934
Total Population 2,961

 

Bangial, Bhakral, and Hon tribes

This is my second posting on the lesser known tribes of the Potohar region of Pakistan. I shall look at the Bangial, Bhakral, and Hon. All of these tribes claim ancestry from the Panwar tribe, however with regards to the Bhakral, or sometimes pronounced Pakhral there various other theories as to their origin. Let me start off with a brief note of the Panwar, or sometimes pronounced as Parmar or Puar . The Panwar were dynasty that in early medieval India ruled over the Malwa region in central India. Like the Chauhans, the Panwar are from the fire born or Agnivansh branch of the Rajputs. Quite a number of tribes in Pothohar and neighbouring Chibhal region claim descent from the Panwars, all having some tradition of migration from central India, followed by conversion to Islam at the hands of a particular Sufi saint. Many of these tribes also have traditions of initially settling in the region known as Chibhal. The key figure that appears in the origin story of Chibhali Panwar is Raja Jagdev Panwar, who has an almost semi-mythical. According to tribal myths of, he became the ruler of Malwa after death of his Udayaditya, but he handed over the throne to his brother owing to family-dispute and settled at Jarg, somewhere in present day Okara District. He is said to have slain a demon who used to eat a human-being daily in a fort near Dipalpur, also in Okara. The local king Raja Kankhar bestowed upon him half his kingdom and gave his daughter in marriage. He is said to have struck off his own head on the demand of a witch-wife of the court-bard of Raja Jai Chand of Lambargaon but this was miraculously restored. Jagdev then migrated to the Chibhal territory, where he founded Akhnoor State, ruled by Panwar Dynasty of his descendants for over six centuries. Many of the local Dogra clans claim descent from the Raja such as the Ambarai.

Akhnoor lies in the heart of Chibhal located on the banks of the Chenab River. The territory of Chibhal lies between Tawi River and Jhelum rivers, with the Pir Panjal Mountains forming its northern boundary and gets its name from the Chib tribe (to whom I intend to return in latter blogs). Presently, Chibhal is divided by the line of control, with Mirpur and Bhimber districts within Pakistani Kashmir, and districts of Rajauri, Reasi, and parts of Jammu (including Akhnur) west of the Tawi in Indian Kashmir. The three tribes in this blog all have traditions of leaving the region and settling in plains territory of northern Punjab in Gujarkhan, Jhelum, Chakwal and Kharian. However, the Bhakral (sometimes pronounced as Pakhral) still have a presence in the Chibhal, with villages in Mirpur, Kotli and Rajouri, in the foothills of the Pir Panjaal.

Bangial

 

So who are the Bangial, sometimes written as Bangyal, and we have go back to my first post on the Pothohar tribes. The word al means son of in number of dialects that fall within Lahnda. According to the Bangials themselves, they are descended from a Rajah Bangash Khan, a Panwar Rajput, who arrived in the Pothohar region from central India, hence the name Bangash al, shortened to Bangyal. This Bangash Khan is also seen as ancestor by the closely related Baghial tribe. Like many of their neighbours such as the Kalyal, some groups of Bangial consider themselves as Jats, while other see themselves as Rajputs. In Gujranwala, Gujrat and Jhelum districts of Punjab, and Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir, the Bangial strongly identify themselves as Jat, and intermarry with tribes of Jat status, such as the Warriach and Tarar. But as we move towards Dina and neighbouring Gujar Khan tehsils, almost all the Bangial claim Rajput ancestry, so briefly we can summarize, that the Jhelum River divides these two groups. Looking at major Bangial villages in Rawalpindi District by tehsil:

Gujarkhan Tehsil

1) Changa Bangial (now actually a fair sized town)

2) Chehari Bangial

3) Dhok Bangial

4) Dhok Chaudrian

5) Khalabat 

6) Pharwal Bangial

7) Sandal Bangial

8) Sangni

9) Wasla Bangial

 

Rawalpindi Tehsil:

1) Bajnial

2) Bura Bangial

3) Darihala Bangial

4) Kala Bangial

5) Marri Bangial

6) Pind Dara

Kahuta Tehsil

1) Maira Khurd

2) Suhot Bangial

Kallar Syedan Tehsil

1) Choa Khalsa

2) Dhok Bangial

3) Nala Musalmanan,

4) Pehr Hali,

5) Sahib Dhamial

6) Sahote Bangyal

Outside Rawalpindi

In the neighbouring Islamabad Capital territory, they have two villages, namely Jhanga Bangial and Bora Bangial. Outside this core area, Bangial are found in Mirpur District in Azad Kashmir, several villages near the town of Sohawa in Jhelum District, the village of Nambal near Kallar Kahar, Gora Bangial in Attock District, and Bangial in Gujrat District. A small cluster of Bangial villages, such Bangialabad are found near the town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar District.

Bhakral

The next tribe I am going to look at are the Bhakral, sometimes pronounced as Pakhral and even Pakhreel. Geographically, they are found in Gujarkhan, Chakwal, Jhelum and Gujrat districts of Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir, they were found in historic Mirpur District of the state, particularly near the town of Naushera, which is the only area of historic Mirpur that is in Indian administered Kashmir. Like many other Chibhali and Pothohari tribes, they can be both of Rajput and Jat status. According to the 1931 Census of India, the last that counted caste, there total population 6,600, which made the largest of the tribes classified as Jat or Rajput. Like the other tribes already referred too, many Bhakral claim to be Panwar Rajputs. However, there are also a number of other traditions as to their origin.

I will explore each of the origin myths of the tribe. They all involve an ancestor by the name of Bhakari, and the Bhakrals are the aal or family of Bhakari. Dispute is to the origin of this Bhakari. Among the Gujarkhan and Chakwal Bhakrals, almost all of whom consider themselves as Rajputs, Bhakari there ancestor was a descendent of Jagdev Panwar of Akhnoor. He is said to have converted to Islam, and left Akhnoor for Nowshera, now located in Rajouri Distrit. Here they founded two villages, Bunnah and Compla Mohra. Groups of Bhakral, accompanied by the Budhal left the Chibhal region and crossed the Jhelum river and settled in what is now Chakwal District. There original settlement was Sabah Mohra, from where they spread to Gujarkhan, Jhelum and Gujrat. Sabah Mohra family were traditionally considered chiefs of the tribe, but with the arrival of the Sikhs in the late 18th Century, the family lost its influence. The Bakhral are clearly of Chibhali origin, having left that hilly region between the Tawi and Jhelum, sometime in the 15th Century, accompanied by the Budhal (looked at in latter post).

However, some groups of Bhakral have a tradition that they are a sub clan of the Minhas, which also suggests Jammu / Chibhali background. Like Jagdev Panwar, Jambu Lochan ancestor of the Jamwal/Minhas also appears in the origin story of many of the tribes. . This tradition refers to a Bhakral migration from Jammu, after the treaty of Amritsar in 1846, which handed over the Chibhal territory to the Dogra ruler Gulab Singh Jamwal. It is said that they were in fact four brothers who moved from the Chibhal to the Pothohar and Hazara territory, and from whom descends the entire tribe. However, there is no recorded evidence of recent migration from Chibhal region to Pothohar, thereby it is more likely that any migration took place sometime ago. In Gujrat, the Bhakral who are of Jat status have a completely different origin myth. According to the Gujrat story, there ancestor was a Ghalla, who had three sons, Bhakari, their ancestor, Natha (ancestor of the Nathial) and Kunjah (ancestor of the Kunjial). Ghalla belonged to the Janjua tribe. In light of these multiple origin myth, the best that can be said is that Bhakral began as a group in foothills of the Pir Panjaal. Groups migrated at different periods, settling in various regions of north western Punjab.

Bhakral in Punjab

In terms of distribution, the Bhakral are found mainly in Jhelum, Chakwal, Gujar Khan and Mirpur regions. In Rawalpindi District, Bhakral villages are found in every tehsil, barring the mountainous tehsils of Murree and Kotli Sattian. In Rawalpindi Tehsil include Aujariala, Chak Bhakral, Dhala, Karkan Sohawa, Kartal Bhakral, Ghari Kalan, Larri Malana, Loona, Mohri Rajgan, Sihala, Thatha, Sohawa, Sagri Khurd, Kirpa and Meda Halim, in Kahuta Tehsil, their villages include Chak Begwal, Jocha Mamdot, and Nathot and in Kallar Syedan Tehsil they are found in Bhakral and Tirkhi. Coming to Gujar Khan, important Bhakral villages include Bhatta (in the hamlet of Dhok Bhakral), Dera Muslim, Dhoke Rajgan, Dhoong, Hoshang, Jairo Ratial, Kahali Bhakral, Kamtrilla, Mohra Bhakral near Darkali Mamori, Mandhar, Mastala, Partali Kalan and Partali Khurd While in Chakwal, the village of Sabah Mohra is said to be the first settlement of the Bhakrals in Pothohar, and remains an important centre of the tribe. Other villages include Chomar, Chontrian, Dhok Mehdi, Dheri Rajgan, Dhoda, Ghazial, Khokhar Rajgan, Jandala Pakhral, Mauza Pagh, Nachindi, Ratta Mohra, Panjdhera and Potha. Many of the Bhakral in Chakwal classify themselves as Jats. In addition, their are also number of Bhakral settlements including and around the village of Bhakral, such as Darkali Sher in Kallar Kahar Tehsil. In Jhelum District, they are found Langar Pakhral, Munde Bhakral and Pail Bannay Khan. In the Islamabad Capital Territory, they are found in the villages of Kartal Bhakral, Sihala, Panwal Bhakar, Dhoke Baba Hust, Kirpa Tamare and Banigala. In Gujrat District, the Bhakral are found in the village of Amra Kalan (tehsil Kharian).

Outside Punjab

Outside Punjab, there are smattering of Bhakral found in Hazara and Azad Kashmir. As the area around Naushera, once part of Mirpur District was the site of the worst fighting in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1948, most of the Musllm population moved to Azad Kashmir. The villages of Bunnah and Compla Mohra were abandoned. In Mirpur District, the Bhakral are still found in the villages of Chandral, Mohar and Sorakhi. In neighbouring Kotli District, they are in the village of Suiyan Sharif near the town of Sehnsa in Kotli

In Hazara, the villages of Chumb Rajput, Chattar and Channam found in District of Abbottabad.

Hon

I shall finally look at the Hon or Hun or sometimes also pronounced as Hoon. Like the first three tribes looked at, the Hon claim to be Panwar Rajputs, claiming descent from a Raja Judgeo. There migration is said to have occurred in the latter Middle Ages, and they intermarry with other tribes that claim Panwar ancestry. However, the name Hoon sounds unmistakable like the way Hun is pronounced in Indian languages, and it possible the Hon may be descended from the Huns, who invaded and settled in the Pothohar region in the 5th Century.

The Hon are closely connected through marriage with other Panwar tribes of the Rawalpindi District, such as the Baghial and Bhakral. They are found in Rawalpindi, Attock and Jhelum districts of the Punjab. In addition, a few are also found in the old Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Important Hoon villages are Hoon Dhamial, in Rawat Union Council, Islamabad Capital Territory, Katheel Hoon and Shahpur in Kahuta Tehsil, of Rawalpindi District, and Hoon Bhattian in Kotli Sattian Tehsil of Rawalpindi District. In Jhelum District, Hon Kalyal and Hon are important villages. The village of Hon in Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District is also an important centre of the tribe, in that district.

Aura, Kalyal, Kanyal and Khingar tribes

I thought I would keep with the theme of tribal groupings found in the Punjab province of Pakistan, and my sthird post will look at some tribes found in the Potohar Region . The Potohar plateau, or sometimes pronounced Pothohar Plateau, is a large region of plateau situated in northern Punjab, Pakistan, separated from the Thal desert region which is located south of the plateau, and looked at in my first post by the magnificent Salt Range mountains. It is bounded on the east by the Jhelum River, on the west by the Indus River, and on the north by the Kala Chitta Range and the Margalla Hills. Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan is located in this region. Most of the population speak the Pothohari dialect of Punjabi, which shows strong influences of Lahnda.

The population is 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. As the region borders the Indus, the traditional dividing line between South Asia and Central Asia, it has seen a good deal of migration from the west, and two of the major tribes of the region, the Awan and Gakhar both have traditions of arriving from the west of the Indus.

The tribes that I shall be looking at fall within the either the category of Jat or Rajput, often simply identifying themselves as zamindar, meaning landowner or cultivator. These tribes also tend to be endogamous, meaning strictly marrying within tribe, with a marked preference of marrying first cousins. Marriage is also a marker of status, for example those branches of a tribe that claim Rajput status will only marry others who are also of Rajput status, and vice versa. The use of the title Rajah, meaning ruler prefixed to the given name signifies that the individual is a Rajput, while the use of the title Chaudhary often signifies that the individual is Jat. All these tribes have practiced Islam since at least the later Middle Ages, and the circumstances of their conversion are shrouded in mystery. Below is a list of tribes, starting with the highest population, that were registered as Rajput, for 1911 Census of India, :

Tribe Population
Bhatti 19,488
Dhanyal 7,909
Baghial 6,715
Dhamial 5,973
Bhakral 5,279
Janjua 4,285
Chauhan 4,011
Minhas 3,270
Kalyal 3,198
Kanyal 2,317
Mangral 2,309
Nagral 2,220
Gaharwal 2,069
Nagyal 2,038
Thathaal 1,618
Matyal 1,347
Jatal 1,310
Nagrawal 1,143
Ramal 1,120
Ghangar 1,002
Kural 961
Mial 817
Hon 808
Adrah 792
Sarral 698
Kethwal 642
Ratial 549
Mughal 617
Bains 548
Chatha 420

Similarly, the following were registered as , Jat, by the same census:

Tribe Population
Khatril 2,004
Dhamial 1,502
Bangial 1,204
Gondal 816
Aura 610
Hindan 541
Dhamtal 520
Sial 420
Sudhan 175
Kanyal 149
Kalyal 129
Baghial 96
Magial 69
Boria 46
Mial 25
Chhina 13

My point about the fact that there is no strong distinction between Rajputs and Jat in this region in shown by the existence of tribes such as the Kanyal and Kalyal in both the Jat and Rajput category. Similarly, many tribes such as the Kethwal and Dhanyal, both Murree Hill tribes registered themselves on their own, while some members declared themselves as Rajput. The above list is long, and includes some tribes such the Kural, Nagral, Nagrawal and Ramal, where quite frankly there is very little information, while also ignoring the Cheemas of Sui Cheemian. and the Sandhus of Mohra Sandhu in Gujar Khan, who are important Jat tribes of this region. If someone has any information on the Kural for example, then please post in the comments section. The converse is true of the Bhatti, Chauhan, Janjua and Minhas, where quite a bit has been written. In this post, I shall restrict myself by looking at some of the lesser known tribes of the region, namely the Aura, Kalyal, Kanyal, and Khinger. In latter posts, I have looked at the Adrah, Bangial, Baghial, Bhakral, Budhal, Dhamial, Gangal, Hon, Jatal, Matyal, Nagyal, Ratial and Thathaal tribes.

Aura

The Aura, sometime written as Aurah are a Jat tribe, found mainly in Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District. Very little is known about them, although they have consistently registered themselves as Jats in all the Census carried out by the British in the early 20th Centuiry. in 1911, they numbered 610. Important Aura villages include Balakhar in Rawalpindi District and Abdullahpur in Jhelum District.

Outside the core area, a colony of Aura is found in Chak 21 S.B, which is the largest settlement of the Aura in Sargodha District. These Aura are immigrants from Gujar Khan Tehsil who were settled in the Sargodha region in the 19th century.

Kalyal

The Kalyal, or sometimes spelt Kalial, are one of the largest Jat clans of the Pothohar region. They claim descent from Kal, a Chandravanshi Rajput, who settled in the Potohar region in the 15th Century. Other tradition makes Kal to be a Bhatti Rajput, which would make the Kalyal a clan of the Bhatti tribe. Therefore, the Kal aal are the descendents of Kals. The Kalyal are essentially a tribe of the Chibhal, a region between the Tawi and Jhelum rivers, now divided by the line of control, forming the districts of Mirpur and Bhimber in Azad Kashmir, and Rajouri, Reasi and parts of Jammu district west of the river Tawi in Indian administered Kashmir. From Chibhal, groups of Kalyal began immigrating to the Punjab plains, initially settling in around Dina, and Sahowa and then spreading to Gujar Khan, which is home to the greatest concentrations of Kalyal. Other groups moved south east, settling in Gujrat District, where they are still an important Jat clan.

Villages

Gujarkhan Tehsil

Most Kalyal are still found in Gujarkhan, and following are there villages in the tehsil:

1) Alamabad,

2) Bewal

3) Bher Kalial,

4) Chak Bagwal

5) Dang Dav Syedan

6) Daryala Kalyal

7) Dhok Dheri near Paleena,

8) Dhok Kalial,

9) Guda Kalyal,

10) Kolian Hameed,

11) Harchiari Kalyal,

12) Manjotha

13) Mankiala Muslim

14) Teriala Kalyal

15) Sohawa

16) Notheh Kalial.

Rawalpindi Tehsil:

1) Kalial,

2) Mohra Kalyal

3) Top Kalyal

Kallar Syedan Tehsil:

1) Balimah

2) Choha Khalsa

3) Dhok Luss

4) Dhok Maira near Paleena

5) Khandot

6) Mohra Bakhtan

Kahuta Tehsil

Kalyal

Jhelum, Chakwal and Khushab

In Jhelum District, the Kalyal villages are still found near the towns of Dina and Sahowa, and important ones include Boharian,  Boura Pindi, Dalyal, Dandi, Dhok Rajju, Dhok Kalyal, Domeli, Hon Kalyal, Janjil, Johda, Kalyal, Mal, Mohra Kalyal (near Sohawa),  and Sidh Tajpur Alia. In neighbouring Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil, there main village is Kahana. While in Chakwal District they are found in Chak Kharak, Dhok Qutab Din, Dhoke Wadhan, Kalyal and Kotla Kalyal. The village of Katha Saghral (largely Janjua) in Khushab District is also home to several Kalyal families.

Azad Kashmir

In Azad Kashmir, important Kalyal villages include Kalyal, Kotla Sehnsa, Sehnsa and Chhatrahn Sehnsa in Kotli District, while in Mirpur District, Kalyal villages include Kas Kalyal also known as Kalyal Sherou and Plak, while in Poonch, there main settlememt is Sehra in Tehsil Hajira.

Kanyal

Kanyal or sometimes spelt Kanial, are tribe of both Jats and Rajputs status. According to their tradition, the Kanyal originate from the town of Jammu and trace their descent to Jambu Loachon, the founder of the city of Jammu. He had a son named Raja Puran Karan, from whom the tribe claims descent. They are thus descended from the Manhas Rajput tribe. Other traditions however make the Kanyal a clan of Chauhan Rajputs.

There are various stories about the emergence of the Kanyal or Kanial tribes, in the Rawalpindi District and they have always been considered as a high ranking clan of the Rajput tribe. Like the Kalyal, the Kanyal started off as a tribe settled in the Chibhal region, making there way to the Pothohar plateu sometime in the Middle Ages. Groups of Kanyal have immigrated as far south as Darya Khan in the heart of the Thal desert, which makes them far more geographically widespread then the other tribes discussed.

Generally in Rawalpindi, the tribe is considered Rajput, while in the other districts they are considered Jats, and have historically intermarried with neighbouring tribes such as the Thathaal and Bangial.They are found mainly in Gujrat, Jhelum and Rawalpindi Districts of Punjab, basically through out the eastern half of the Pothohar region.

Perhaps there densest settlement are in the Gujar Khan Tehsil, with important villages including Arazi Hasnal, Arif Kanial, Atit Kanial, Chak Bagwal, Dhera Kanial (especially Mohra Malkan), Dhok Kanyal, Dhaia Kanial, Dhok Manna, Ghik Budhal, Habib Kanial, Kanial, Mohra Kanial (near Bewal), Mohri Rajgan, Narali Mirzian, Ramial, Sahot Kanyal, Sui Chemian and Wasla Bangyal are all part of a cluster of Kanial villages. In neighbouring Rawalpindi Tehsil their villages include Dhera Kanial and Mohra Kanial, while in Kallar Syedan Tehsil they are found in the villages of Jocha Mamdot, Khambli Sadiq, Khoi Las, Par, Chakyal Hardo and Tirkhi. In Jhelum District, they are found in Dhok Kania, Mohra Kanial and Rohtas and in Chakwal in Nachindi. Finally, in Attock District they are found in Kanial village.

There are still large communities of Kanyal in neighbouring Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir. Their villages in that district include Mohra Kanyal, Mohra Nangyal, Mohra Malkan, Mohra Sher Shah. Mohar, Nakota, and Onah Rajgan.

Khingar

Looking now at the Khingar, sometime spelt Khinger, like many of the other tribes already discussed, in certain localities, the Khingar claim to be Rajput, while in others they are classified as Jats. The Khingar are found mainly in Jhelum District, and Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District, with the Jhelum branch tending generally calls itself Jat, while in Gujar Khan, some members claim to be Rajput, while other Jat. There are also several Khingar villages in the Thal portion of Mianwali District. The tribe claims descent from Khingar, who was said to be a Bhatti Rajput. Acccording to tribal traditions, Khingar was descended from the warlords, Rai Sandal Khan Bhatti and in particular his grandson, Rai Abdullah Khan Bhatti, also popularly known as Dulla Bhatti, considered a folk hero by many in the Punjab. Khingar is said to have migrated with his kinsmen from the town of Pindi Bhattian, near Lahore, and settled in Gujar Khan. Interestingly, Khingar is a common first name among Rajputs from Kathiawar, but the Khingar Bhattis themselves have no tradition of a Kathiawar ancestry.

In terms of distribution, the Khinger are found in Chakwal, Jhelum and Rawalpindi districts. There are now about seventeen villages of the Khingar Bhattis in Gujar Khan Tehsil, the most important being Cheer Bala, Dhoke Sawar, Sandal Khingar, Supiyal Khingar, Sihal Khinger, Kahali Khinger, Mamdal Khinger, Bhangali Khinger and Paimal. In Rawalpindi Tehsil, their villages include Maira Khinger, Maira Khurd, Khinger Khurd and Khinger, while in Kahuta Tehsil they are found in Maira Khurd. The village of Niral Khurd in Islamabad has now been acquired by the Islamabad administration, but once was as important settlement of the tribe. There are also several villages of Khingar in Chakwal District and Tehsil, such as Chabber, Dhoda, Dhorian, Dhoke Bangwalian, Ghanwal, Langah, Kaal near Panjdhera, Kalyal near Panjdhera, Khinger near Panjdhera, Shahpur Syedan, Tatral, and Trimni,  being the most important, all of whom consider themselves to be Jats.