Gondal Jats

In this post, I will look at the Gondal, who in numbers are the largest Jat clan in the region between the rivers Chenab and Jhelum which now forms Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Sargodha districts, a region known as the Gondal Bar. The tribe in the Gondal Bar identifies itself as Jat, while the scattered settlements in Rawalpindi consider themselves Rajputs.

 

 

The Doabs of Punjab: Source Wikipedia

The Gondal have times identified themselves as Jats, at other times as Rajput. The author of the Gujrat District gazetteer noted the following about the tribes of the Chaj Doaba

 

This district lies between the Sikh tract, where everybody calls himself a Jat, and the salt range-tract, where everyone who is not an Arab or Mughal, calls himself a Rajput

This can be seen by the fact that most Gondals (36,088) in the 1901 Census declared themselves as  Rajputs, while in 1911 Census almost all ( 62,320)  declared themselves to be Jats. However, in the core area of the Gondals, a region referred to as the Gondal bar, which is made up most of Mandi Bahaudin district, and parts of Sargodha, centred around Phalia and along the Jhelum, they refer themselves as Jats. In this region, they own 50 villages, with a further 12 along the Chenab in Hafizabad District.

Origin Myths

Like almost all Punjabi tribes, there are a number of traditions as to their tribal origins. According to one theory, Gondal their ancestor, a Chauhan Rajput by caste, accepted Islam on the inducement of famous Sufi poet Baba Farid (lived 1173-1266 or 1188-1280) and he and his clansmen were instructed by the Sufi to stay in the area between the Chenab River and Jhelum Rivers. Hathiwind near Bhalwal, was their first settlement, which they occupied after expelling the Gujars, who were the original inhabitants.

According to another tribal tradition, it was not Gondal, but Kammu, tenth in descent from Gondal, who came up from a place called Naushehra, very likely the town in Rajouri District in Jammu,  to Pakpattan to a shrine of a Baba Farid Shakarganj. Kammu arrived after the death of the Sufi saint, but experienced a miracle and embraced the Islam. Kammu and his clansmen then moved in what is now the Gondal Bar. He settled at an old village site, called Hati Wind, in the Sargodha district, and he and his four sons spread over the bar into the Shahpur and Gujrat districts, but have never separated from each other. Almost all the major Gondal clans trace their descent from three of the sons, Badar, Raju, and Dhir, the fourth Buddha is the ancestor of the Hafizabad Gondals.

There are other traditions which refer to the first convert being called Ghanon, ninth in line from Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last Hindu Rajput of ruler of north India, and accepted Islam at the hands of Baba Fareed.  Ghanon, was ninth in decent from Gondal, the Chauhan Rajput who gave the clan its name. The family tree is as follows:

1. Gondal 2. Sukha, son of Gondal, 3. Badhrad son of Sukha, 4. Hans son of Badhrad, 5. Tullah son of Hanse, 6. Jaisrat son of Tullah, 7. Kouli son of Jaisrat 8. Kalas son of Kouli, 9. Ghanon son of Kalas

After his conversion to Islam, Ghanon and hi clansmen began to lead a nomadic lifestyle. After wandering for some time, they arived at a place called Chak Alam, near Phalia. Here the tribe settled, but soon began to clash with the Gujjars of Hathiwind. The Gondals allied themselves with the Ranjah, another Jat tribe of the region, and defeated the Gujjars. The remaining Gujjars moved towards Gujrat, leaving the Bar to the Gondals and Ranjahs. Ghanon had four sons Raja, Dhir, Badher and Budha. The principal Gondal clans, the Boosal and Chimmu are descended from the sons of Badher. While Budha left the Gondal Bar and settled in Hafizabad, and founded the village of Gondalwala. The Gondal proper, and branches like the Bosal now ranks with Jats, and intermarry freely with other Jat tribes of the region, such as Ranjhas, Harrals and Laks.

 

The Gondal were a pastoral people subsisting almost entirely on the produce of their large herds of cattle. However, the British colonists established the Canal Colony of Jhelum, which was settled between 1902 and 1906. Gondal territory has now extensively been settled, with large number of immigrant Jats such as the Cheema and Sandhu now found in villages.

 

Story of Saidoo and Dhiloo

The tribe is connected with the story of the brothers Saidoo and Dhilloo, which has become part of the folk myth of Punjab .It is said that when Nadir Shah (AD 1736), the Persian ruler, invaded India, and as he was moving through Punjab on his way to Delhi, he faced resistance from the various Punjabi tribes. At the Indus-Jhelum doab, the Khattars, Ghebas and Gakkhars fought against him but lost. After he crossed Jhelum, the Gondal Jatts took him on, under the leadership of the brothers Saidoo and Dhioo. The brothers are said to have fought bravely against the Shah, although they lost, the Shah forgave them as he was impressed by the bravery of the Gondals. The Gondals were left as semi-independent, in the Bar territory, until thearrival of the British in 1849.

Distribution:

 

Villages in the Gondal Bar

 

In the Bar, now divided between Sargodha and Mandi Bahaudin, Gondal settlements are found near Bhalwal and Kot Momin in Sargodha and Miana Gondal in Mandi Bahaudin. In Mandi Bahaudin district, the historic Gondal Bar now forms part of Malakwal Tehsil, and is home to many Gondal villages. The larger Gondal villages in Malakwal include Ajjowal, Badshahpur, Balhar, Barmusa, Bosaal, Bukkan, Chak No 33 Khasa, Chak No. 32 (Nathu-Kot),Chak Raib, Chot Dheeran, Faqairan, Gohar Sharif, Haria, KattowalKhai, Khizar, Kolowal Kotehra, Majhi, Miana Gondal, Pind Makko, Rukkan , Sahana , Sanda, Shumhari and Wasuwal.  In Mandi Bahauddin Tehsil, they found in the villages of Aaki, Ahla, Aidal, Ajjowal, Beerpindi Jharana, Bhikhi Sharif, Bohat, Chak Fateh Shah, Chimmon (Bagga Pind), Charound, Dalowal, Hassan, Jhulana, Kakuwal, Khandhanwala, Kot Baloch, Lakhnewala, Majhi, Mohabatpur, Pind Alhani, Pindi Bahauddin, Rattowal Sahana, Shaheedanwali, Sohawa, Tibi Daryane, Warah Baliyan and Wasu. While in Phalia Tehsil, they are found in the villages of Adda Pahrianwali, Bhekhey Waal, Bhinder Kalan, Bhoa Hassan, Bumbi,Chakori, Charound, Dharekan Kalan, Dhola Khurd, Dhoul Bala, Dhoul Zairen, Dhunni Khurd, Dugall, Ghanian, Ghoghanwali, Haigerwala, Kadher, Kailu, Kala Shadian, Kamonke, Kot Multanianwala, Kot Rehm Shah, Lalapindi, Madhary, Mattoo, Pipli, Rajoa, Ransekay, Ratoo, Rerka Bala, Thatti Bawa and Thatti Shah Muhammad

Further south in Sargodha District, their original settlement was Hathiwind near Bhalwal, and now the district is home to several Gondal villages. Starting off with Bhalwal Tehsil, important villages include Abdal, Chak 10 ML, Chak 13 S.B, Chak 10 N.B, Chak 1 NB, Chakian, Chowal, Dhori (known as Chak 2 Dhori), Gukyani, Kamalpura, Jiwanwal, Kot Momin, Khan Mohammad Wala, Phullarwan, Ratto Kala, Rukkun, Salam, Sher Mohammad Wala and Thathi Noor.

Gondal Villages in Chakwal, Jhelum and Rawalpindi

 

Across the Jhelum, there are several Gondal villages in the Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil of Jhelum such as Dhingwal, Ghowra, Jalalpur Sharif, Jattipur, Jatana, Kanianwala, Kot Hast, Rawal, Sagharpur, Saroba and Toba. While in Chakwal, they are found in the villages of Alawal (largely Jhammat Jats but several Gondal families present), Badshahan, Bhagwal, Bhalla, Chawali, Dheedwal, Dhok Dabri, Dhok Gondal, Dhok Qaddo, Dhok Pari, Dhudial, Fim Kassar, Gah, Harrar, Kot Chaurian, Kaal near Panjdhera, Mohra Allo, Mureed, Parhal, Patalian, Pirwal, Roopwal, Ranjha, Sarkal Mair, Shahpur and Saigolabad. They are the largest Jat tribe in the Jhelum/Chakwal region. Katha Saghral (mainly Janjua and Kalyal although several Gondals) and Mohibpur in Khushab District are also part of this cluster of Gondal villages.

 

The Gondal are also found in Gujarkhan tehsil, these Gondals consider themselves to be Rajputs, and intermarry with the tribes of Rajput status such as the Bangyal and Dhamial. Important villages include Faryal, Karnali, Jandi and Sandal Bangyal.

Distribution of Gondal by District According to 1911 Census of India

 

District Jat Rajput
Shapur (Sargodha) 28,623
Gujrat 23,355
Jhelum 6,549  7
Lahore 1,080
Lyalpur (Faisalabad 997
Jhang 900
Rawalpindi 816
Total Population 62,320  7