Baghial, Manyal and Rupyal tribes

In this post I return the Chibhal country, and look at three tribes, namely the Baghial, Rupyaal and Manyal, who are found in this region. While Manyal are found entirely in the old Poonch Jagir, the other two are also found in Mirpur and the Pothohar regions. Like other tribes in the region, some sections of these tribes call themselves Jats, while other are Rajputs. The Manyal are also known as Malik Manyal, and have a lot in common with the Safial tribe discussed elsewhere. While Safial are concentrated in the Darhal region, the Manyal are found mainly in the Budhaal region. Both groups are collectively known as Malkana.

Baghial

I shall start of by looking at the Baghial. Like other clans looked in my posts, the Baghial have a number of traditions as to their ancestry. They are found in Pothohar, Mirpur and the old Poonch Jagir. Those of Rawalpindi claim to of Panwar (Agnivanshi) lineage, while those of Mendhar considers themselves to of Thakyal (Suryavanshi) lineage. It could be that indeed these two Baghial are distinct clans. However, the Mendhar Baghial to have legends that a branch of their tribes settled in the Pothohar region. Just one more point, the Baghial are entirely distinct from the Bughial, who are branch of the Ghakkar tribe.

The Panwar Baghials

According to the Baghial of Pothohar, they are closely related to the Bangial, a tribe of Jat/Rajput status found throughout northern Punjab. In Pothohar, the Baghial are found entirely in Rawalpindi District, where they occupy five villages in Gujar Khan Tehsil. They are often confused with the Bughial, who are clan of the Gakhar tribe, but with whom they have no relations. The common ancestor of both tribes is Bangash Khan, the Baghial being descended from his eldest son Bugha Khan, which would therefore make them also of Panwar ancestry. Another difference relates to the fact that while Bangial are found throughout northern Punjab, the Baghial are concentrated in Rawalpindi, and only claim to be of Rajput status. Important Baghial villages include Dhamali, Loona, Dhok Sumbhal, Kanoha in Kallar Syedan Tehsil, Pind Dara, Supiyali Baghial and Maira Mohra, all in Rawalpindi Tehsil.

The Thakyal Baghials

In the Poonch Jagir, mainly in present day Mendhar, the Baghial claim to be a branch of the Thakyal Rajputs. The Thakyal Rajputs are of Suryavanshi lineage. The Thakyals are named after Raja Jothar Singh Thakyal who established the Bhimber state in northern Punjab at the foothills of the Himalayas. There was a Thakyal Rajput by the name of Rusmi Dev who lived in a place called Thakar Dhooli, near the village Dhuruti, located near Ziarat Saen Kamla Badshah, now located some two kilometres on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control dividing Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Rusmi Dev in his descendants established a presence in the Rajouri and Mendher areas, and threw a challenge to the rule and authority of Jayrah clan. The relationship between the Thakyals and the Jayrahs deteriorated resulting in a war between the two clans. Led by Rusmi Dev, Thakyals defeated the Jayrahs (Jarals) and he took over as a ruler of this tiny state. It was a time when Islam was fast spreading all over Hindustan. With influence of Islam growing in the land Rusmi Dev, he also embraced Islam and changed his name to Rustam Khan. He ruled his territory till his death and was laid to rest in Dhuruti where his tomb still exists. Rustam Khan had four sons. His eldest son was named as Bagh Khan. Bagh Khan migrated Mendhar area and founded a village known as Sangal, presently called Narol. The other three were Sangi Khan, Kangi Khan and Kaloo Khan. Sangi Khan’s descendants live in Muzafarabad and Bagh in Azad Kashmir, Abbottabad in the Hazara region, and Gujarkhan and Rawalpindi in Punjab. It could that the Panwar Baghial of Pothohar are really Sangi Khan’s branch of the tribe.

The Baghial first settled in Sangal area now called Narol but later speard over to a number of villages like Kalaban, Salwah, Harni and Gursai. There are few Baghial families living in Sarhutti, Ari and Galhutta.

The Jat Baghials

A second group of Baghial are found in Haveli Baghal, a village in Dadyal Tehsil of Mirpur. Unlike the Mendhar Baghial, this lineage considers itself to be Jat, and intermarries with other clans of Jats such as the Rachyal and Roopyal. In Mendhar itself, the Baghial of the villages of Thera, Banola and Kasblari, consider themselves as Jats, and intermarry with other Jat clans.

Manyal

The Manyal trace descent to the town of Rajouri, and the ruler of the town called Manipaal, who lived around the late 12th Century. Manipal belonged the Pal lineage of Rajputs, who around this time were rulers of several principalities in the Pir Paanjal region. In some sources, Mani pal is referred to as Amna pal. It is traditionally believed that ‘Pal’ originated from Sanskrit ‘Pala’ meaning protector or keeper. The Pal Rajahs of the Pir Panjaal claimed a mythical origin from the Pala dynasty of Bengal. Manipal’s ancestral is said to have to come from the Pal kingdom and settled in Rajouri, where are said to have overthrown the Khasiya. Several rulers in what is now Himachal Pradesh also claim to be Pal Rajputs, such as the rulers of Bhajji. Manipal’s own rule was overthrown by Rai Noorudin Khan, founder of the Jarral Rajput line of rulers in Rajouri. Noorudin Khan arrived as a refugee from Kangra, and was greeted by Manipal, who offered his hospitality. The Rai took advantage of this, and seized the throne of Rajauri. In this way Raja Noor-Ud-Din laid the foundation of Muslim Jarral rule in Rajouri in 1194 A.D, which lasted till 21st October 1846 A.D. The Rai took advantage of this, and seized the throne of Rajauri. Manipal and his supporters fled to the region of Budhaal. A branch of his family settled in Majwhaal in Kotli District.

 

In exile in Budhaal, a prince seventh in decent from Manipal is said to have met a Sufi saint by the name of Doodh Haqani, and converted to Islam. He was then known as Din Mohammad. His Fathi Mohammad settled in ‘Moharra’, and was nicknamed Manyaala, on account of his descent from Raja Amna Pal, his clan is still known as Manyaal. Din Mohammad’s son Fateh Mohammad is said to have seized Thakyala from the Thakyal Rajputs. Fateh Mohammad established his base at Mohra village, and all the current Manyals trace their descent from him. They are also known as Malik or Malik Manyaal. The Manyal have produced Sain Bahadur, a famous Naqsbandi Sufi of the Chibhal region. Other than Mohra, the Manyal are also found in Gonthal. The bulk of the tribe remains in Budhaal tehsil.

 

Rupyal

The Rupyal, or The Rupyal or sometimes pronounced as Ruplaal claim descent from the legendary Raja Salvahan, the founder of the city of the Sialkot. He is said to have had 15 sons, the sixth one being called Roop or Roopa. Roopa was said to have left the Sialkot and settled in Pind Dadan Khan, sometime around the conquest of that region by Mahmood of Ghazni. Fourteenth in descent from Rajah Roopa Dev was an individual named Mal. Mal is said to have converted to Islam and adopted the name Rai Jalaluddin. After his conversion, the Rai is said to have left Pind Dadan Khan and settled in Poonch. This settlement occurred in the 15th Century, but happened before the invasion of Kashmir by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, according to Mohamad Din Fauq. The Rai settled in Sarhroon in Poonch. In Sarhoon, there was long settled a clan of local notables called the Chaudhary. When the Mughal Emperor Jahangir visited Kashmir, the Chaudharys provided him with excellent hospitality. As a result, the Emperor granted Sarhoon to the Chaudharys. This caused conflict with Rai Sher Khan, who was then chief of the Rupyaals, who over powered the Chaudhry’s and established Rupyaal rule over the Sarhoon and the villages nearby. The Rai remained rulers of this petty state until the hills of the Chibhal were conquered by the Dogras in the early 19th Century. The Poonch branch, and Pothohar branch of Rupyals consider themselves to be Rajputs, while those in Mirpur call themselves Jats, and intermarry with other tribes of Jat staus.

 

The Rupyal are a tribe found mainly in the Mirpur District, Haveli District and the Pothohar region of the Punjab, Pakistan. In Mirpur they are found in Pandkhor and villages in Dadyal tehsil. In the old Poonch Jageer, their villages include Miani Basti (Haveli), Choi, Degwar Maldyaal, and Chathra. A second cluster of Rupyaal villages are found in Mang Dhagron in Sudhnoti District.

In Punjab they are found mainly in Rawalpindi District, with Doberan in Kahuta and their villages in Kallar Syedan tehsil include Nothia Shareef, Mohra Ropial, Chapri Akkoo, Chanam Shareef and Chauntra. In Jhelum, they are found in Makhiala.

 

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.