In this post I will look at four tribes, namely the Bohar, Chachar, Chhajra and Parhar, whose territory stretches from Sargodha in the north to Bahawalpur. In terms of distribution, all four of these tribes have a substantial presence in Sindh as well, but in this blog I will only look at their position in Punjab. Three of these tribes, namely the Bohar, Chhajra and Parhar have traditions of migrating from Rajasthan, and settling in Bahawalpur. The Bohar still have a substantial presence in the Cholistan region, where they are still nomadic.
The Bohar are a tribe of Jat status, with quite a few still found as nimads in the Cholistan desert. According to their tribal traditions, the Bohar claim descent from Bohar a Panwar Rajput, who is said to have converted to Islam by the famous Sufi saint Syed Jalal of Uch Sharif. The Bohar were involved in conflict with the Naich, another Jat tribe, and the Sayyid tried to stop the conflict, by asking the two tribes to intermarry. While the Bohar agreed, the Naich refused, and killed their Bohar son-in-laws. As such, the Bohar dispersed into the Cholistan and Jaisalmer deserts, where many are still nomadic. However, the Bohar of Sargodha, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan are settled farmers, no different from the other Jat tribes of the region.
In Hasilpur, they are found in Bohar Wali Gali.
In Lodhran District found in the village of Basti Gareban near the town of Kehror Paka
In Dera Ghazi Khan District, Bohar villages include Basti Shah Ali Bohar, Wah Bohar and Bohar.
In Rajanpur District, their main village is Basti Bohar.
In Okara District, Boharwala is their main village.
In Pakpattan District, Bohar is their main village.
In Multan District their main villages are Bohar Lodhran and Bohar.
In Vehari District, their main village is Bohar.
In Rajanpur,their main village is Basti Bohar
Chachar are Jat clan found in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan. Like most tribes of the Indus plain, they are a number of traditions as to their origin, which are often contradictory. Among the Bahawalpur Chachar, a strong claim is made to Barlas Mughal ancestry. In this tradition, Chachar is a prince, who is a descendent of Timur or Tamerlane. However, the Chachar of Ghotki have traditions that they are Abbasi Arabs, descendents of the Prophet’s uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Mutalib. It interesting to note, that in the Ghotki Sukkur region of Sindh, several tribes such as the Kalhoras and Daudpotas have tradition of Abbasi descent. Despite these claims to Arab or Mughal ancestry, the Chachar are considered by their neighbours and themselves as Jats, and intermarry with tribes of Jat status. In Bahawalpur, the Chachars have several septs : — Raj-de, the highest in status ; Rahmani, whose ancestors were khalifas of Ghaus Baha-ud-Din Zakariya : hence they are also called Shaikh-Rahmani, and some sanctity still attaches to the sept ; Narang, Jugana, Jhunjha, Chhutta, Gureja, Rukana, Kalra, Mudda, Duwani, Dohija, Gabrani, Muria, Kharyani and Zakriani or followers of Ghaus Baha-ud-Din Zakariya.
In Punjab they are found in Sargodha, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Okara and Lodhran districts, with Basirpur in Okara District being an important village of this tribe. In Sindh, the Chachars are foundi n Pano Aqil, Ghotki, Sukkur and Kashmore districts. Gamero, Haji Khan Chachar, Essa chachar, Dari and Yusuf Chachar are some Chachar villages in Ghotki District.
The Chhajra are a Saraiki speaking Jat clan, and distinct from the Shajra clan, who I have looked at in another post. They claim descent from the Bhatti tribe of Jaisalmer. They came to Multan under Rao Kehar, a chieftain of Jaisalmer, and settled there. There are several individuals by the name of Kehar, who played an important role in Bhatti history. One such Kehar was a contemporary of the Caliph Walid, who is said to have extended the Bhati kingdom of Jaisalmer. Another, who is said to have ruled Jaisalmer in the 16th Century, and conquered all the country up the Indus. It is not clear, which Kehar is being referred to by the Chhajras, but their Bhati descent is accepted by the neighbouring tribes. However, the Chhajras seem unsure as to why Rao Kehar left Jaisalmer, other then the fact he somehow lost power.
In terms of distribution, the Chhajra are largely found in they are found mainly along the Indus, in Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Layyah and Multan districts. Important villages in that district include Bindah Ishaq Kallarwali, Manikwali, Sharif Chhajra, Bet Chhajra, Nuran Chhajra, Muslim Chhajra, qabul Chhajra Shumali, Qabul Chhajra Junubi, Bibipur Chhajra and Qadirpur Chhajra
In Layyah District, their main village is Chhajra.
In Multan District, their main village is Jhok Chhajra.
The Parhar are a tribe of Jat status, with a very interesting background. They claim descent from the Parihar Rajputs. So exactly were these Parihar or Pratiharas Rajputs. They were a medieval Indian dynasty, descended from the Gurajara- Pratihara tribe, which said to have invaded India, in the 5th Century.The Parhar Jats, are all that remains of the Pratihara presence in the Punjab. They were forced to migrate from south-central Asia in 3-4th century AD due to the White Hun invasions. The Parhar Jat traditions are unclear as to whether the Parhar are survivors of the White Hun invaders, and latter migrants. In Bahawalpur, the Parhar have traditions of migration from Ajmer, and it does seem likely the present Parhar are latter migrants from Rajasthan. It is interesting to note that the nomadic Rath found in Bikaner have a sub-division called the Parhar. The Parhar seem to have migrated up the valleys of the Chenab and Jhelum, a large number are now found in Sargodha, Layyah and Bhakkar districts.
The Parhar are now found in Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, Rajanpur and Sargodha districts of Punjab. Their main village in Dera Ghazi Khan District is Passo Parhar. In Muzaffargarh District, their main villages are Mohammed Parhar, Ghulam Parhar, Parhar Gharbi, and Parhar Sharqi. In Rajanpur Parhar villages include Mullawala, Nooraywala, and Chah Ladywala.
In Okara District, their main village is Parhar. In Sargodha District, their main villages are Adrehman, Chak No.17 NB,Chak No 1NB Gakhra, Ganula Sharif and Ratto Kala..