Punjabi Rajputs

Rajputs were a dominant caste in Northwestern India, including the Punjab region, during the medieval period.

According to the 1911 census in British India, the total Rajput population in the Punjab was 1,635,578, of which 1,222,024 (74.5%) were Muslim, 388,744 (24%) were Hindu and (24,810) (1.5%) were Sikh. The region straddles the border between India and Pakistan and contains the “Five Rivers” – the BeasRaviSutlej,Chenab and the Jhelum River – all of which are tributaries of the Indus river. The people of the area are known asPunjabis and their language is also called Punjabi. The main religions of the Punjab region are Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.

Punjabi Rajputs are spread throughout Punjab region, with Muslim Rajputs being principally inPakistani Punjab while both Hindu and Sikh Rajputs are mainly found in Indian Punjab. The division of population along religious lines can be traced to the 1947 partition of India.



  • 1 History and subdivisions2 Hindu Rajputs of Punjab
    • 1.1 South Western Punjab
    • 1.2 Pothohar Plateau
    • 1.3 Central Punjab
  • 3 Jammu Region and Gurdaspur District
  • 4 Himachal Pradesh
  • 5 Martial traditions
  • 6 Notable people
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

History and subdivisions

The term Raja putra means the son of a Raja or king in Sanskrit.[2][clarification needed] In Punjab, the Rajputs can be loosely divided into five territorial groupings. The first grouping inhabited the territory that extended from the Yamuna valley to the Ghaghar, roughly what is the modern state of Haryana. Almost three quarters of them had converted to Islam, and these were referred to as Ranghar. They belonged mainly to the Chauhan and Tomar sub-divisions, which gave Delhi its most famous Rajput dynasties.

Next came the Rajputs of the south-west of Punjab, roughly the Seraiki speaking region comprising the modern BahwalpurDera Ghazi Khan and Multan divisions. These tribes were hardly distinguished from the Jat clans in their neighbourhood, and for the most part belonged to the Bhatti of Jaisalmerand Bikaner, and their Panwar predecessors. The Rajput clans of the south-west had converted to Islam in their entirety.

The third group comprised the Rajput clans of the Salt Range, and the Pothohar Plateau, who were split into numerous clans, either descended from the Yaduvanshi dynasty of Kashmir, the famous Raja Salvahan of Sialkot, or the numerous Panwar tribes occupying the hills along the Jhelum River. Like the Rajputs of the south-west, these tribes had almost entirely converted to Islam. The only exception were some members of the Chib and Bhao tribes, found in Kharian, who had remained Hindu.[3]

The fourth group comprised the Rajputs of the Punjab Hills, the modern territory of Himachal Pradesh,Gurdaspur District and Hoshiarpur District. Some of these tribes are perhaps the most ancient of the Rajput tribes, the Katoch and the Pathania being the most famous, and were almost entirely Hindu, barring some clans of the lower hills, such as the Sulehria and Katil of the Katoch Clan, who had converted to Islam. The principalities of the Punjab Himalayas, were some of the oldest states in India.

The final grouping were the Rajputs of central Punjab, roughly the area of the Sandal Bar, Manjha,Malwa and Doaba. The Bhattis, Kharals and Sials predominated in the Sandal Bar, the Bhatti predominated in the Bhattiana region, the modern districts of Firozpur and Sirsa, and the Ghorewaha,Manj and Naru were found in the Sikh tract, who had held their own against the dominant Jat Sikh of the region.. In Amritsar and Lahore, the Rajputs were mainly Bhatti and Khokhar, with a sprinkling of Panwar and Chauhan. The Rajput clans were predominantly Muslim in this region, except along the borders with Rajasthan, where there were communities of Hindu Rajputs, such as the Shaikhawat andRathore.

South Western Punjab

The term Rajput is very rarely used on its own by the tribes that are indigenous to south west Punjab. In the Bahawalpur Division, the distinction between tribes of Jat status and Rajput status is blurred. Tribes such as the SoomraSammaDaherKharalSaharanMarral and Ghallu are sometimes referred to as Jat, and sometimes as Rajput. The only exception are the Saharan, Johiya and Wattu, who in popular estimation are always considered Rajput. Along the left bank of the Indus, from Rahim Yar Khan District to Mianwali District, the term is rarely used by the tribes, with the notable exception of the Tiwana and Noon of the Thal Desert, and the Bhachar of Wan Bachran, in Mianwali. It is only when one reaches the Salt Range, that term Rajput comes into common usage. In the lands across the Indus, in the North West Frontier Province, the Rajput disappears completely, and their place is taken by the Baluch and Pashtun. In the Dera Ghazi Khan District, the only indigenous tribe that calls itself Rajput, are the Jamra, who use the title Jam, indicating Sindhi ancestry. Across the Indus, inMuzafargarh, the Khera Sial, Dhanotar and Panwar are the only tribes that claim Rajput tribes. InBahawalpur District, the Samma and Soomra are the principal Rajput tribes.[4][clarification needed] The Rajput makes a reappearance in the valleys of the Jhelum and Chenab, where the ChadharSial andJappa are tribes claiming Agnivanshi descent. In the Sandal Bar, the WaseerKharalWahiniwal, Wattu and Saharan, are all major Rajput tribes, the first two claiming to be Agnivanshi, while the next two claim to be Chandravanshi, claiming a common origin with the Bhatti. But Saharan claim from Lord Rama and become Suryavanshi Rajput and use title Shah, Rana, Singhi, Chaudhary, Malik, Mahar. The upper part of the Sandal Bar, and the Bhattiore area of Chiniot District was a stronghold of the Bhatti tribe. Further along the Jhelum river valley, the Khokhar and Bhatti founds in great numbers.

Along the valley of the Sutlej river, the Wattu, JohiyaBaghelaLodhra and Kathia are the predominant tribes. In and around the city of Multan, the Khokhar and Bhatti clans such as the Mitru, Kanju, Bosan and Noon predominate.

Pothohar Plateau

The Pothohar Plateau and Salt Range is home to a large number of Rajput clans. The Rajputs are the largest ethnic group in the region, and are often referred to as the Rajah. The principal tribes are theSatti, Bhatti, Panwar, Minhas and Janjua. Many of these larger clans have splintered into numerous septs.[5][6]

Central Punjab

The Rajput of central Punjab historically occupied a region extending from Faisalabad in the west toPatiala in the east. According to the traditions of the various tribes, they are connected with the Rajputs of Rajasthan. Their no historical records giving the account of the migration of the various Rajput tribes into the region. But tradition points the Ghorewaha to be the earliest inhabitants of the region. The Ghorewaha are said to be Kachwaha Rajputs, who emigrated from Rajasthan, during the period of Mohammed Ghori. Their original territory was the Beas Sutlej Doab. Other important tribes of this region are the Manj, NaruTaoni, and Varya. In the districts of Amritsar and Lahore, the predominant tribes were the Ghumman, while in Sialkot District, the Rajputs of central Punjab met those of the hills. The Ghummans predominated in the plains, while the Sulehria, Minhas and Bhaowere found in the hilly part of the district. In the south, the Bhattiana region, covering the modernFirozpur and Sirsa districts, was home to the Bhatti, and related tribes such as the DogarJohiya,MahaarNaipal, and Wattu.[7][clarification needed]

Hindu Rajputs of Punjab

Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir (1792–1857) was the founder and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir,

The Rajput clans of the what is now Himachal Pradesh, as well as the districts of Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur remained Hindu. The Punjab Hill states were centres of some of the oldest Rajput states in India. The Hindu Rajputs of Gurdaspur and the Jammu region are referred to as the Dogras. Prior to the partition of India, Dogra settlements also extended to Gujrat and Sialkot, where there were settlements of Bajju,BhaoChibManhas, and Sulehria Rajputs.[8][page needed]

Jammu Region and Gurdaspur District

The Rajputs of the Jammu border are confined to the hilly areas of Indian Punjab. They are classified on loose and ever shifting system of hypergamous grades. Thus in Jammu region, the Rajput are divided into four grades, with the Rajput of the first grade not giving wives to those clans who are considered not to be of the first grade, and so on. In addition to this division, they are also divided by the traditional division of Suryavanshi, Chandravanshi and Agnivanshi. Rajput clans of the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi sub-divisions intermarry; and Chandravanshi clans intermarry with each other. Each grade takes wives from a grade lower than itself. The only exception are the ChattariJamwal, who do not take wives from the Manhas, as both clans descend from a common ancestor. While the Rakwal only give their daughters to the Jamwal and Manhas.[9][clarification needed]

The Ambarai, Manhas, Chib, Bhao and Jarral intermarry with each other, and gives wives to the Rajput clans of the First Grade. While the Rakwal, Sulehria, Charak, Baghal, Langeh, Bojwal, Andotraintermarry, and give daughters to the Rajput clans of the first And Second classes, and receive daughters from the Rajput clans of the fourth class.

In Gurdaspur District, the Hindu Rajputss are found mainly in the hilly regions, along the border withJammu and Kashmir. Culturally, they are very close to the Dogras, and like them have a system of hypergamous marriages. The following are the main clans, shown under the two sub-divisions, Chandravanshi and Suryavanshi.

In Gurdaspur, the clans are divided into the kahri, or those who take wives and give wives to a particular clan, and the dohri or those who take wives and exchange wives with each other. The general rule in the community is that a higher clan should not give its daughter in marriage to a lower clan, but are allowed to take wives from the lower clans. Thus, the Tangral can take wives from the Katil, Lalotra and Kohal, and give wives to the Jarral, Sulehria and Indauria, the Kohal take wives from the Katil and Thakkar, and the Sulehria give wives to the Manhas, but take them from the Gahotra, Katil and Lalotra. This system of hypergamous marriage was discarded when the clans of the Jammu hills converted to Islam.[2]

Himachal Pradesh

The Hindu Rajput of Hoshiarpur District and Himachal Pradesh are also divided into numerous tribes, which are sub-divided into numerous sects.

The Guleria, Sabaia, Dadwal and Jaswal are branches of the Katoch tribe, but now intermarry with each other.[10]

Raja Brijmohan Pal Bahadur of Kutlehar, son of Raja Ram Pal Bahadur, CSI

Martial traditions

The Nishan-e-Haider is the highest military award given by Pakistan. It is also known as or Hilal-e-Kashmir. It was established in 1957 after Pakistan became a Republic, however, it was instituted retrospectively back to 1947. It is awarded to military personnel, regardless of rank, for extraordinary bravery in combat.[11] The award is considered to be the equivalent of the Victoria Cross, the Medal of Honor and the Param Vir Chakra. Its exclusivity may be gauged by the fact that since it was established only 10 awards have been made, along with one equivalent award. To date all awards have been madeposthumously. Of the 10 recipients, 9 have been from the Pakistan Army, one has been from the Pakistan Air Force. Five Rajputs was awarded Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-E-Haider.

Notable people


  1. ^ Census of India 1911, Punjab Part II by Pandit Harkishan Kaul at page 281
  2. a b c A Glossary of the Tribes & Caste of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 272 to 277
  3. ^ Punjab Castes by Sir Denzil Ibbetson
  4. a b A Glossary of the Tribes & Caste of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 296 to 297
  5. ^ A Gazetteer of Rawalpindi District Part A 1907
  6. ^ A Gazetteer of Jhelum District Part A 1904
  7. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes & Caste of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 293 to 294
  8. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of Punjab by H. A. Rose
  9. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes & Caste of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 274
  10. ^ A Glossary of the Tribes & Caste of Punjab by H. A Rose pages 284
  11. ^ “Honours and Awards”. Pakistan Army. Retrieved 2009-06-06

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