Baghban and Malyar/Maliar Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province According to the 1901 Census of India

In this fourth post on the distribution of communities, I will look at two related communities, the Baghban and Malyar, sometimes spelt Maliar. Both were found largely in the Pothohar plateau, and neighbouring areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, such as the Peshawar valley and the Hazara region. In terms of geographic distribution, they have much in common with the Awans, whose distribution I have looked at in a previous post. The term Baghban or sometimes pronounced Baghwan, is simply the Farsi equivalent of the Hindi word Mali meaning a ‘gardener,’ and commonly used as equivalent to Arain in the Western Punjab. According to Rose, the colonial British ethnologist:

Baghbans do not form a caste and the term is merely equivalent to Mali, Maliar, etc.

There is some confusion as to whether the Baghban and Maliar are distinct communities. In Peshawar, the Maliar and Baghban do seem to be distinct communities. But in other parts, the two terms are used interchangebly. It is also likely that Baghban of Patiala State were really members of the Arian caste. Time permitting, I will write a post on the Maliar caste. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Maliar.

Baghban Population of Punjab

District Muslim Hindu Total
Rawalpindi  502  141  643
Patiala State
 397  397
189    189
 Other Districts  257  50  307
Total Population  1,552 191 1,743


Baghban Population of North West Frontier Province


District Population
Peshawar  9,427
Bannu  2,155
Other Districts  289
Total Population  11,871



Malyar in Population Punjab


District Population
Rawalpindi  50,125
Jhelum  28,371
Shahpur  2,651
Total Population  81,093 

Malyar in NWFP


District Population
Peshawar  18,319
Hazara  7,770
Kohat  1,078
Total Population  27,167