Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1901 Census of India

In this post, I make reference to the 1901 Census of India, which gave a breakdown of the larger Muslim Rajput clans of British Punjab. The whole Province of Punjab had a 24.4 million population in 1901, of which the Muslim Rajputs numbered 1,505,586. In 1901, the Punjab comprised five administrative divisions — Delhi, Jullunder, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi — and a number of princely states. During the course of the Census, those districts that lay across the Indus which formed the Peshawar Division were formed into a new province named the North West Frontier Province. Geographically, the province was a triangular tract of country of which the Indus River and its tributary the Sutlej formed the two sides up to their confluence, the base of the triangle in the north being the Lower Himalayan Range between those two rivers. Moreover, the province as constituted under British rule also included a large tract outside these boundaries. Along the northern border, Himalayan ranges divided it from Kashmir and Tibet. On the west it was separated from the North-West Frontier Province by the Indus, until it reached the border of Dera Ghazi Khan District, which was divided from Baluchistan by the Sulaiman Range. To the south lay Sindh and Rajputana, while on the east the rivers Jumna and Tons separated it from the United Provinces.

In present-day India, it included the regions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh (but excluding the former princely states which were later combined into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union). While in present-day Pakistan, it included the regions of Punjab, Islamabad Capital Territory and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (until 1901).

My post on the Rajputs of Punjab gives more details as to the origin and distribution of the various Rajputs tribes.

 

Tribe

Population Distribution
Bhatti 249,302 throughout Punjab, but special concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot), Gujranwala and Rawalpindi
Chauhan 114,529 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and central Punjab – the Karnal, Rohtak and Rewari Chauhan are a Ranghar tribe
Khokhar 108,239 Jhang, Jhelum, Hoshiarpur, Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Sial 104,658 Jhang, Multan and other parts of South Punjab
Joiya 61,438 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Panwar 55,068 Rohtak, Karnal, Jind and Hissar (the eastern group); Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzaffargarh (the western group) – the eastern group are a Ranghar tribe
Gondal 36,088 The Gondal Bar (Mandi Bahaudin, Gujrat and Sargodha), also in Rawalpindi
Naru 34,152 mainly in what is now India Punjab – Jallandhar and Ludhiana
Ghorewaha 33,295 mainly in what is now India Punjab – Hoshiarpur, Jallandhar and Ludhiana
Sulehria / Sulehri 28,577 Sialkot and Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Wattu 25,544 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Multan to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Janjua 23,619 A western group found in Rawalpindi and Jhelum, and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Baria, also pronounced Varya 21,991 Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Patiala State
Mandahar 21,764 Mainly Karnal and Panipat – a Ranghar group
Manj 20,736 Amritsar, Firuzpur and Jalandhar
Jatu 18,861 Hissar, Sirsa and Rohtak – a Ranghar
Taoni 18,384 Ambala and Patiala State – a Ranghar tribe
Tomar/ Tonwar 18,365 Hissar, Karnal and Rohtak – a Ranghar tribe
Mair-Minhas 15,697 Chakwal
Minhas/Manhas 13,471 from Rawalpindi in the west to Hoshiarpur in the east – a Muslim Dogra group
Dhudhi 11,764 In Sahiwal, mainly in the new districts of Vehari and Okara
Ranjha 11,764 Gujrat, Jhelum and Mandi Bahaudin
Bhakral 11,577 Rawalpindi and Jhelum/Chakwal
Chib 10.697 Jhelum and Gujrat – Muslim Dogra sub-group
Khichi 9,769 Between Ravi and Sutlej – now Vehari, Pakpattan and Sahiwal
Alpial 9,395 Attock and Rawalpindi
Mekan 8,915 Sargodha and Jhelum
Tiwana 6,326 A western group in Khushab and eastern group in Patiala
Khoja 6,326 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Baghial 5,769 Rawalpindi
Noon 4,866 Sargodha, Multan and southern Punjab
Thathaal 4,134 Rawalpindi, Jhelum and Gujrat
Dhanial 4,037 Murree Tehsil of Rawalpindi
Raghubansi 4,032 Hissar and Sirsa – a Ranghar group
Dahya 3,637 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Kanyal 3,271 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Nagial 3,036 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Dhamial 2,967 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Jhammat 2,550 Sargodha, Multan and South Punjab
Gaurwa 2,521 Gurgaon, Delhi and Rohtak – a Ranghar tribe
Kethwal 2,355 Rawalpindi – Murre Tehsil (now Kotli Sattian)
Katil 2,170 Sialkot and Gurdaspur – A Muslim Dogra sub-group
Jodhra 1,802 Attock and Rawalpindi District
Bargujar 1,502 Gurgaon and Delhi – Ranghar tribe
Hon 1,496 Rawalpindi
Lar 1,494 Multan and South Punjab
Jatal 1,451 Rawalpindi
Pundir 1,427 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Atiras 1,416 Patiala State
Ranial 1,345 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Sasral 1,292 Rawalpindi
Nissowana 996 Jhang and Sargodha
Jalap 949 Jhelum
Nagral 919 Rawalpindi
Adrah 909 Rawalpindi
Bhon 853 Sargodha
Kalial 773 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Chandel 752 Lahore, Jalandhar and Ludhiana
Narma 748 Rawalpindi and Gujrat
Satti 744 Rawalpindi – Murree
Khatril 722 Rawalpindi
Mial 699 Rawalpindi
Gakhar 690 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Targar 653 Multan and South Punjab
Rathore 587 Firuzpur and Hissar
Nagralwal 580 Rawalpindi
Jamra 548 Dera Ghazi Khan
Satraola 546 Hissar – a Ranghar group
Chatha 500 Rawalpindi
Kowar 493 Rawalpindi
Luddu/td>

491 Hoshiarpur
Kanial Chauhan 470 Rawalpindi
Sainiwal 439 Rawalpindi
Rath 410 Sahiwal and Okara
Johar 407 Rawalpindi
Bakhial 404 Rawalpindi
Jodha 368 Rawalpindi
Joota 367 Jhang
Bosan 340 Multan
Chadhar 334 Jhang
Mangral 331 Rawalpindi
Fattiana 318 Sahiwal
Pathial 311 Hoshiarpur
Maral 307 Jhang
Tanwari 273 Multan
Badhan 272 Rawalpindi
Salhal 262 Rawalpindi
Khel 234 Rawalpindi
Sudhan 227 Rawalpindi
Kangra 222 Rawalpindi
Dharwal 202 Mianwali
Hafial 197 Rawalpindi
Gaharwal 194 Rawalpindi
Kahut 178 Jhelum / Chakwal
Gangal 178 Rawalpindi
Saswal 174 Rawalpindi
Marial 167 Rawalpindi
Kathia 166 Sahiwal
Taranda 162 Multan
Tonda 156 Rawalpindi
Bhao Ragial 153 Rawalpindi
Bains 152 Rawalpindi
Budhal 152 Rawalpindi
Dalal 133 Rawalpindi
Satral 146 Rawalpindi
Jasgam 129 Rawalpindi
Matra 121 Multan
Kassar 113 Jhelum / Chakwal
Katoch 112 Kangra
Khakha 106 Rawalpindi
Jaswal 89 Hoshiarpur
Bagri 82 Firuzpur
Pathania 69 Gurdaspur
Ladhar 47 Rawalpindi
Jaral 47 Kangra
Kilchi 46 Rawalpindi
Thakkar 36 Gurdaspur
Guleria 11 Gurdaspur

 

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Chib, Katil, Minhas /Manhas and Sulehria tribes

In this post, I shall look at four tribes, the Chib, Katil, Minhas and Sulehria, who are all of Dogra stock, with traditional homeland comprising the plains bellow the Pir Panjal hills. My posts on the Bhao and Sohlan looked into some detail as to the origin of the Dogra, and reasons for their conversions to Islam. These four tribes all still have branches that have remained Hindu. Historically, the Chib were found mainly in the Bhimber and Kharian region, and have given their name to the Chibhal, the region between the Jhelum and Chenab. The Katil and Sulehria are eastern neighbours of the Chib, which concentrations between the Chenab and Ravi, in Jammu, Sialkot and prior to partition in Gurdaspur District. While the Minhas stretch all the way from Rawalpindi in the west to Hoshiarpur in the east, at least prior to partition in 1947.

Chib

I shall start by looking at the Chib, sometimes also writen as Chibh, who are found mainly in Bhimber, the Kharian areas of Gujrat and the Pabbi hills portion of Jhelum. As I have stated in my earlier posts on the Bhao tribe, the Chib have given their name to the Chibhal region lying between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, and on the southern edges of the Pir Panjal range. This is because the Chib ruled of Bhimber effectively covered the territory that latter became known as the Chibhal. Furthermore, it was there conversion to Islam that also led to many other tribes such as the Bhawpal, Domaal and Kamlak following suite. They are in essence Dogras who have converted to Islam.

The Chibs trace their descent from Partab Chand, a Katoch Rajput prince of Kangra, who said to have ended Thakial rule in the Mirpur-Bhimber region, and established the Chib dynasty. According tribal tradition, this rule was established by the overthrow of the last Thakial ruler of the region named Siripat. When Partab Chand reached the hilltop near Bhimber, he observed that it was very difficult to capture the state. He then set up camp there and named this hilltop as Kangra and the village still exists by that same name. Partab Chand stayed for a long time with his troops on the hilltop waiting for a suitable opportunity to attack and capture the state, but this did not take place as he had run short of supplies for his men. Partab Chand sent his soldiers in disguise with his own jewellery to go down to the markets of Bhimber to get the much needed supplies. His men went to a jeweller who was astonished when he saw the royal jewels. Siripat Thakial also learned about the man with the royal jewels and found out about the deployment of the Kangra troops on hill. He sent his ambassador to Partab Chand which resulted a friendly meeting between the Partab Chand and the Maharaja of Bhimber.

Maharaja Siripat Thakial had no sons but had a daughter. He married the princess to the oldest son of Partab Chand, Chib Chand. On the death of Maharaja Siripat, Chib Chand became the new Maharaja of Bhimber. Raja Dharam Chand was the seventh Raja of the Chib Chand line, who converted to Islam. The following story is related in connection with the conversion:

The first of the tribe to become a Muslim was one Sur Sadi , which died a violent death in Aurangzeb s reign. He is still venerated as a martyr and the Muslim Chib offer the scalp locks of their male children at his tomb, till which ceremony the child is not considered a true Chibh , nor is his mother allowed to eat meat.

This is how their conversion tradition has been related by Sir Denzil Ibbetson, a late 19th Century British ethnographer. By the 17th Century, the Chib state split into two, with Bhimber home to the elder branch and Khari Khalyari in present day Mirpur District home to the younger branch. The Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh’s armies defeated the last rajah of Bhimber, ending Chib independence.

In Mirpur District, there villages include Lehri Rajgan There is a concentration of Chib villages in Bhimber District such as Kalri and in Kotli District there villages include Khoi Ratta, Segyum and Supplah. These Chib claim descent from Raja Shadab Khan, also known as Hazrat Sheikh Baba Shadi Shaheed. There are also several Chib villages in Gujrat District, the most important being Thatha Rai Bahadur and in the Pabbi Hill region of Jhelum District such as Dak Chibhan.

Katil

 

The next clan I intend to look at are the Katil, sometimes spelt Katal or even Kateel. They belong to the Survanshi branch of Rajput community. According to their traditions, their founder Raja Karet, driven from the plains of Punjab by the Turkish conqueror Mahmud of Ghazna, settled in Mangla Devi, a fort in Jammu. One of his descendents took to robbery in the forest near the town of Samba, and captured a Sambial (a Survayavanshi Dogra clan found in Samba, Jammu) girl, so in return of her release, the girls kinsmen gave him a large tract of land in Shakargarh tehsil of Narowal District. He is then said to have founded the town of Katli, and his descendents were called Katil. The tribe is said to have 360 founded villages, of which a 100 are found in Gurdaspur and Narowal districts, and the remainder in Jammu. There are other traditions, which reference to the fact that the Katil are in fact a branch of the Khokhar tribe, and until recently, there was no intermarriage between the Khokhars and Katils on account of this common descent.

With regards to their conversation to Islam, it is said that during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, three Katils Rao (chiefs), namely Balel, Mal and Nihala accepted Islam. However, a good many Katil have remained Hindu, and in Gurdaspur make up the largest Dogra clan.

Minhas 

The Minhas, sometimes pronounced Manhas or Minhas-Dogra are Suryavanshi Rajput clan. In this post, I shall only be looking at the Muslim branch of the tribe, and not the quite substantial community of Minhas that follow Hinduism or Sikhism. In terms of distribution, they are found in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir regions that lie divided between India and Pakistan. According to their tradition, they are an off-shoot of the Jamwal-Dogra Rajputs, the founders of the city and state of Jammu and its rulers from ancient times to 1948 C.E.

 

As I have said in my introduction, the Minhas Rajputs belong to the Suryavanshi branch of the Rajput caste, and claim descent from Rama a legendary king of Ayodhya. In Rajputana, their closest cousins are the Kachwaha and Bargujar Rajputs of Jaipur. They trace their ancestry to the Ikshvaku dynasty of Northern India (The same clan in which Lord Rama was born). He, therefore is the ‘kuldevta’ (family deity) of the Hindu Minhas Rajputs). Specifically, they claim descent from Kusha younger of the twin sons of Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to whom patrilineal descent from Surya is in turn ascribed. His later descendants, the Dogras ruled over the state for hundreds of years till 1948 C.E, when the state of Jammu and Kashmir officially acceded to India. Maharaja Hari Singh was the last in the long list of the Dogra rulers of Jammu.

 

All the descendants of Raja Jambu Lochan were called Jamwal Rajputs, until according to tradition, Raja Malan Hans Dev(while on a hunting trip)was tricked by his brother to help a poor old farmer working under hot sun with ploughing. According the traditions of the Kshatriya caste, the stigma of touching a plough was so great, that Raja Malan had to immediately give up the kingship and take up agriculture as a profession and his throne passed to his cunning younger brother, Raja Suraj Hans Dev. Rajputs in general and those in the Punjab hills in particular have had a strong prejudice against taking up agriculture as a profession and therefore Raja Malan Hans and his descendants were styled Minhas. Therefore, any  member of the Jamwal clan who took up agriculture or converted to Islam, was called Minhas, whereas the name Jamwal has been confined to the royal branch including the Maharajas of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Muslim Minhas are perhaps the most widespread of the Islmasized Dogras, stretching from Rawalpindi District in the west to historically Horshiarpur, all along the foothills of the Himalayas. In Chakwal, the Mair branch of the Minhas is extremely important, I shall look at them in a separate post. Similarly the Lodhra and Manes of southern Punjab, also important branches of the Minhas will be looked at separately. In Sialkot, Gujrat, and the Jammu region, the Muslim Minhas are generally a compact tribe, but as we move west, the term Minhas covers a multitude of clans. Perhaps the Nagyal are the most important, but we have the Dolchial, Kanyal, and Ratial, who are all important clans in their own respect. In Gujarkhan and Jhelum, and neighbouring Mirpur, the Minhas are after the tribes that call themselves Bhatti, the largest component of the population. In Jhelum, the Minhas clans such as the Kanyal and Nagyal call themselves Jats, and intermarry with other Jat clans. In Rawalpindi, and neighbouring Kotli, Rajouri and Poonch regions, the Minhas generally identify themselves as Rajputs.

Distribution of Muslim Minhas by District According to 1901 Census of Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi 3,972
Gurdaspur 3,665
Multan 1,255
Sialkot 825
Gujrat 723
Hoshiarpur 511
Jhelum 441
Chenab Colony 332
Lahore 304
Gujranwala 234
Jalandhar 192
Amritsar 170
Firuzpur 100
Other districts 757
Total Population 13,471

 

In terms of distribution, the Minhas territory stretched from Rawalpindi to Hoshiarpur, with the densest population in Sialkot and Gurdaspur. In Jhelum and Rawalpindi, the Minhas were divided into several clans, the most important being the Nagyal, and Ratial. In Multan, many members of the Lodhra clan, based around the town of Lodhran, which is named after the tribe declared themselves as Minhas, hence the large numbers in that district. One interesting point to note are the Muslim Minhas of Jalandhar district, they were converts from Mahton caste, a quasi-Rajput group that was largely Sikh.

Distribution of Muslim Minhas by District According to 1911 Census of Jammu and Kashmir

 

District Population
Poonch Jagir 3,620
Muzaffarabad 1,024
Jammu 1,000
Mirpur 490
Reeasi 403
Udhampur 110
Jasrota (Kathua) 42
Other districts 189
Total Population 6,797

 

In the old Jammu and Kashmir state, the Minhas of Jammu were identical with those of Sialkot and Gurdaspur. Like other Muslim Dogras of the Jammu region, most moved to Pakistan in 1948. A second cluster of Minhas was found in the Poonch Jageer, and the adjoining areas of Muzaffarabad and Mirpur. These Minhas had strong connections with those in Rawalpindi and Jhelum.

Sulehria

The last tribe I intend to look at are the Sulehria, sometimes pronounced as Suleri or occasionally Salaria. Like most tribes, there are several theories as to their origin.

According to Sir

Denzil Ibbetson, author of the Census report of the Punjab 1892, the Sulehris are:

… a tribe ofRajput who trace there descendents from Shal of fabulous antiquity. They say that their eponymous ancestor came from Deccan in the time of Sultan Mamdah as commander of a force sent to suppress the insurrection of Shuja* (*Shaikha is the usual form of his name) and settled in Sialkot; and that his in the time of Bahlol Lodi. They are for the most part Muhammadans, but still employ Brahmans. As a rule they do not marry within the tribe.

Sulehrias traditions also refer to the tribe settling around Sialkot during Bahlul Lodi’s rule According to Najmuttawarikh by Munshi Natiq, a Sulehri historian, the tribe were effective rulers of the Sialkot region until the rise of the Bajju Rajputs around the 16th Century. The Sulehri Raja Sahn Pal Sulehria is said to have converted to Islam due to the preachings of Hazrat Abdul Jalil Chorh Bandgi Qureshi in the reign of Bahlol Lodhi, while his other brother Raja Jeet Pal Sulehria and his descendants remain of the Hindu religion.

In Pakistan, the Sulehris inhabit a long chain of border villages in Sialkot, Shakargarh and Narowal districts along the working boundary between Pakistan and the province of Jammu (Indian Administered Jammu-Kashmir).

In Punjab

In Sialkot District, Sulehri villages include Darwal. Bini Sulehrian, Chak Maral, Charwah, Tigray, Nakhnal, , Tursipur, Nogran, Aal, Kharkara, Rangore, Jabbal, Malanay Rajputaan, Dharkalian, Khadral, Sangrayal and Chhowni Sulehrian. While in Narowal, Sulehri villages include Bhagiare, Fattowal Sulehrian, Lagwal Minhasan, Nadala Sulehrian, Masial, Kingra, Najuchak, Ropochak, Shahpur, Jarpal, and Pindi Bohri.

Refugees Salahria are found in Shaikhupura District, in particular in the villages of Ghang, Jhamkay, Nokhar, Chumbar, Kujar, Dera Khurshaid, and Dera Kala Singh

In Azad Kashmir 

In Azad Kashmir, the Salaria are found mainly in Kotli, Bagh and Poonch districts, while in Indian administered Kashmir, Salaria inhabited districts include Rajouri and Poonch.