In this post, I shall look at four tribes, whose home is the Chaj Doab, the land between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, who are all of Jat status. They are all Bar nomads, practising pastoralism, until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century. My post on the Chadhar looks into some detail on the customs and traditions of the Bar nomads. In terms of origin, the Jhammat , Mekan and Talokar are Panwar Rajputs, with traditions of migration from Malwa in central India. Finally, the Tulla are essentialy a clan of the Gondals, but are now practically independent of the parent tribe.
I shall start off with the Jhammat, who are found throughout on the edges of Thal, with large concentrations in Bhakkar, Sargodha and Khushab districts. They are in essence Jhammat a tribe of the Bar, living a nomadic existence. Scattered settlements of the Jhammat are now found in an area extending from Jhelum District in the north to Bahawalpur District. Like their neighbours the Mekan, the Jhammat are by origin Panwar Rajputs, with their ancestor Jhammat having left Malwa in what is now Madhya Pradesh in India sometimes in the early 12th Century, arriving in the Punjab, and like their neighbours the Mekan, having converted to Islam at hands of the famous Sufi Baba Farid.
There settlements are now found mainly along the valley of the Jhelum River, with the bulk of the Jhammats found in Chakwal, Jhelum, Sargodha, Khushab and Bhakker districts.
1) Chak Jalo
2) Chak Mujahid
4) Khai Kotli,
6) Sahow Chak,
1) Bunga Jhammat,
2) Bunga Jhammatawala
8) Mangowal Kalan
Other Jhammat villages include Jhammat in Attock District, Jhammat Teli in Rawalpindi District, Jhammatabad and Jhammat Nauabad in Gujrat District, Chak 232 JB in Jhang District and Jhatwan in Sheikhupura.
Our next tribe, the Meken, sometimes also spelt Maikan or even Meikan, are a tribe of Jat status. They claim descent from the Panwar (Parmar) Rajputs, and spring from the same ancestor as the Dhudhi tribe. The tribe claims to have settled in the Thal, after the end of Arab rule in Sindh, when the Hindu king of Kanauj, a Parmar Rajput took possession of the Thal region, and settled his kinsmen, the Mekan. They then established a state based in the town of Mankera, now in Bhakkar District, which covered much of the Thal, and lasted for five hundred years, until the state was destroyed by invading Baloch. According to one of their traditions, the Mankera state was founded by a Raja Singh, who belonged to the royal house of Kannauj, and said to have accepted Islam during the time of the Sultan of Delhi, Ghias-ud-din Balban, courtesy of Baba Farid Ganj Shakr. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the Baloch from Makran flocked into the country in and around Mankera, and subsequently ruled this state for the next three hundred years. The Mekans that settled in the Kirana Bar, and became pastoralist, like the other tribes of the Bar. They, occupied a copact territory in the Kirana Bar, lying to the west of Gondal territory, although a smaller number are also in Jhelum and Gujrat districts. There present territory now forms part of Sargodha, Khushab,and Mianwali districts, although as already mentioned, there are smaller broken settlements in Jhelum, Gujrat, and Mandi Bahauddin districts. In Pothohar, in Jhelum / Chakwal region, the Mekan form an important tribal community.
The Mekans form the majority of the population in Kot Bhai.Khan union council of Sargodha. Their villages in Sargodha District include Behak Maken, said to have been first village founded by the Mekans when they moved to the Bar , Abu Wala, Chakrala, Deowal, Gondal (Shahpur Tehsil), Mochiwal, Okhli Mohla, Sultanpur Meknawala, Jalpana, Dera Karam Ali Wala, Chak No 88 N.B,Chak No 142 N.B, Nihang Chak 71 NB Chak 74 NB, Chak 10 N.B, Chabba Purana, Faiz Sultan Colony in Shahpur Tehsil, Kot Bhai Khan, Kot Pehlwan, Aqal Shah, Kot Kamboh, Wadhi, Kot Shada, Gul Muhammad Wala and Verowal in Bhera Tehsil and Sher Muhamadwala in Bhalwal Tehsil. Accross the Jhelum, Mekan are also found in Mohibpur village in Khushab District.
Outside this core areas, in Jhelum District, there most important villages are Chautala (Jhelum Tehsil) , Chak Mujahid (Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil) and Tobah (Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil), while in Chakwal District, important Mekan villages include Mangwal, Vero, Lakhwal, Thanil Kamal, Dingi Zer, Dhoke Dhabri (almost evenly divided between Gondal and Mekan), Chak Bhoun, Dhoke Maykan near Thoa Bahdur and Ghugh (which largely a Ghugh Jat villages, but home to several Mekan families). The Mekan Jats in terms of population form the most important Jat clan in Chakwal.
While in Gujrat District, they are found in village Mekan in Kharian Tehsil, and in neighbouring Mandi Bahaudin District, there main villages are Lassouri Kalan, Lassouri Khurd, Mekan and Thatti Bawa.
The Talokar are another large an important Jat tribe of the Thal. Like the Jhammats, the Talokar claim to by descent Panwar Rajputs. According to their traditions, they are the related to Sial and Tiwana tribes. Supposedly all three tribes descend from three brothers, Tila, Sila and Taloka. Once again, like the Jhammat, the Talokar traditions state that they accepted Islam at the hands of the famous Sufi Baba Farid Shukar Gunj. The Talokars came from East Punjab in India, and first settled near Bhera in Sargodha District. Their first settlements were the villages were Kalara and Kurrar Talokar. From there, they spread to the east side of the Indus River, founding the villages of Bakharra (Kacha), Ding and Khola (Thal), in Mianwali District. Like the Niazi Pashtuns, who are their neighbours in Mianwali, the Talokar are subdivided in clans, referred to as khels. Important Talokar khels in Mianwali include the Lato Khel,Shahbaz Khel,Baqir Khel,Yaroo Khel, and Rangay Khel
Important Talokar villages include Talokar, Talokar Shumali, Talokar Jannubi and Chak Talokaranwala and a good many other villages near the town of Noor Pur Thal in Khushab District. A small number of Talokar are also found in Bandial village near the border with Mianwali District. In Mianwali itself, there villages include Ding Khola Talokar (New Ding Sharif, Saeed Abad (Sharqi and Gharbi), Lal Khelan wala, Zaman Kelan wala, Hashim Naggar, Tahir Abad, Shahbaz Khelanwala and Khanqah Sirrajia.
The last tribe I will look at in this post are the Tulla, who are much more localized then the tribes discussed. They are a classic Chaj Doaba Jat, raising cattle, and leading a nomadic lifestyles until the arrival of the British.
According to their traditions, they are, in fact, a sept of the Gondal Jat tribe. They say, their ancestor being childless vowed that if he had a son he would give his weight in gold and silver to the poor. His son was so weighed and was give the nickname Tula, from the Punjabi word tolna, which, means to weigh. However, the Tulla are now independent of the Gondals, being considered a distinct tribe.
Their villages are found mainly in the Shahpur Tehsil of Sargodha District, such as Jahanabad, Mahmud Tulla and Jalpana. Other important Tulla villages is Miana Kooh in Mandi Bahaudin district.