Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

The Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 online

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them to defeat Awans^ Gujars, Ehatars and Janjoahs, tribes
always divided among themselves, and never able to combine,
even against a common enemy. The Gakhars trace their
descent from Eaigohar, a native of Isphahan in Persia, whose
son, Saltan Kaid, was a great and successful General, the
conqueror of Badakhshan and a part of Thibet, which he held
during his life and bequeathed to his son Sultan Tab. For
seven generations the family ruled in Thibet, till Sultan Kab,
the eighth in descent from Raid, conquered Kashmir from
Manawar Khan, whose daughter he married to his son
Farukh, For thirteen generations the Gakhars held Kash*
mir, Farukh Amir, Mir Dad, Khairudin, Qoharganj, Nur-
udin, Murad, Bakhtyar, Alam, Samand, Mahrab and Bustam
ruling in succession. In this last reign the Kashmiris revolted
and put Rustam to death, while his son Kabil fled to the
Court of Nasirudin Sabaktagin, who was then reigning in
Kabul, 987 A. D. It is very diflScult to ascertain how far
this account of the Gakhar occupation of Thibet and Kashmir
is true. It is certain that they overran Kashmir in very
early days, and traces of them are still found to the north and
west of that country, but there is no proof whatever that
they founded a dynasty there. Indeed the names of their
Chiefs are fabulous. Several are Mahomedan names, e. ^.,
Khairudin, Nurudin, and at this time the Gakhars were
certainly not converted to Islamism. Those Mahomedan
histories, like Haidar Doghlat, the Hajnama, and Farishta, in
which mention is made of the Gakhars, state that it was only
in the thirteenth century that they embraced the true faith.
Farishta indeed speaks of them in 1205 A. D. as savage
barbarians, among whom prevailed female infanticide and
polyandry, while they were bitter persecutors of Mahomedans,
and were only converted at the close of the reign of Mahomed
.Ghori. Had there been a dynasty of Mahomedan rulers ia

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Kaslunir for thirteen generations previous to 987 A.D.,
when Kabil fled to the Court of Sabaktagin, it is probable
that Kashmir would not require to be re-converted to Islam-
ism in 1327, as it certainly was during the reign of
Shah Mir, otherwise known as Shamsudin. It may
indeed be doubted whether the Gakhars are of Persian origin
at all. The chief point in its favour is that, as a rule, the
Gakhars are of the Shia sect, while all the other Mahomedan
tribes of their part of the country are Sunis. It has again
been thought that the Gakhars are a branch of the Gujar
tribe ; but this theory, which is supported by rather obscure
philological argument, is not suflSciently interesting to be
more than noticed here. As early as 682, according to
Farishta, the Gakhars were resident in the Panjab, and
about that year made an alliance, ofEensive and defensive,
with the Afghans, who aided them against the Eaja of Lahore.
That the Gakhars were then resident on the Indus seems
probable, though their own history contradicts it ; but it is not
likely that the Afghans, then new converts to Mahomedanism,
fierce and enthusiastic, would have formed an alliance with an
idolatrous tribe.*

Kabil Kiian obtained employ under Sabaktagin, and his
second son, Gakhar Sbah, from whom the tribe derived its
name, accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni to India at the begin-
ning of the eleventh century, and obtained leave to settle
with his tribe, then very numerous, at Ghana Punir, now
Bam Kot, on the Jhilam. He soon became possessed of a

* The early hiBtory of the Gkikhara, as related by themselves, is necessarily given
here. But it seems purely faboloos. The probability is they were emigp^^ots from
Khorasan or Afghanistan, and settled in the Panjab not later than 800 A.D. Baja
Hodi, a Ckikhar Chief, is indeed said to have married the daughter of Rlsaln,
the Kajpat Chief of Sialkot, and one of Salvahan's sixteen sons, who reigned
aboat 120 A.D. This may be false, but it shows that the traditions of the conntry
point to the Gakhars as having been long resident in the Panjab. Again, where
Gakhar history makes the founder of the tribe to be an officer in Mahmud Shah's
army, Farishta records that this very Mahmud was in 1008 attacked in the neigh-
bourhood of Peshawar by a force of 80,000 Gakhars, who penetrated the Mahomedan
oamp, and were only repulsed with the greatest diffioolty, Mahmud losing 5,000 men.

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wide extent of country, known as Pothiar, between the Jliilam
and the Indus, and inhabited by the Ehak, Kalu and Khair
tribes. His son Baj Khan was a minor when his father died«
and the widow ruled for some years with credit. Seogi,
grandson of Gakhar Shah, was the ancestor of the Sugial
clan of Tahsil Gujar Khan. His nephew Bajar Khan founded
tiie village of Dangali, which became the head-quarters of the
tribe. Dan was a demon ovjin^ who harassed the neighbouring
country, and Bajar Khan determined to get rid of him. He
called to his assistance a holy fakir, who stopped up every
outlet of the haunted cave and then prepared to bum the
demon. But he was not inclined to wait to be burnt, and
making a hole, still visible, through the solid rock, he
escaped. The name of the village, which was built on the
spot, was given in remembrance of the demon and of his
passage through the rock. Kajar Khan died in 1160,
and was succeeded by his son Sipher Khan, of whom there is
nothing to record. Nang Khan, the next Chief, conspired with
Fidai Khan Khokhar to assassinate the Emperor Mahomed
Ghori, whose General, Kutabudin Aibak, had been sent against
the Gakhars who were ravaging the country up to the walls
of Lahore itself. They were defeated by Kutabudin with
great slaughter, and Nang Khan, thinking that the Emperor
had determined on the annihilation of the tribe, planned his
death. On the 14th of March 1206, Mahomed Gheri, march-
ing towards Ghazni, encamped on the banks of the Indus.
The night being warm, the * kanats * or screens which usually
surrounded the royal tent had been raised, allowing the band
of assassins to reach the tent door without detection. Here
a sentry gave the alarm ; but he was instantly stabbed to the
heart, and the Gakhars entered the tent, where the Emperor
was lying asleep, fanned by two slaves. They fell upon him
and killed him, inflicting no fewer than twenty-two wounds.
The guard hurried up, hearing the cries of the slaves ; but it

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was too late to save their master, though most of the murderers
were caught and put to death with various tortures. Lohar
Ehan succeeded his father, and from the second sod, Sahori
Khan, have descended the Satwal and Lori Gakhars ; while
the Sanal clan is from San Khan, the third son. Lohar Khan
had no easy rule. In 1247 the Pothiar country was invaded
by Nasirudin Mahmud, and, as a punishment for the
assistance which the tribe had rendered to the Moghals in their
invasion of 1241, he carried away as slaves several thousand
Gakhars, men, women and children. Boja Khan, the nephew
of Lohar Khan, rebelled against him, and set up an independent
Chiefship at Rhotas, where he founded the Bogial clan, which
still inhabits Rhotas and Dumeli. The invasion of Timur or
Tamerlane took place during the Chiefship of Gul Mahomed,
who died in 1403 A.D. His two immediate successors
were not men of any note ; but Jastar Khan,* brother of
Pir Khan, is often mentioned in Mahomedan history as a
brave and successful General. He overran Kashmir, and
took prisoner Ala Shah, king of that country. Then, uniting
with Malik Toghan, aTurki General, he seized Jalandhar
and marched towards Dehli. At Ludhiana he was attacked by
the King's troops and defeated on the 8th October 1442,
and retired to Rawalpindi, from whence he made attacks
alternately on Lahore and Jamu, the Raja of which latter
place, Rai Bhim, he defeated and killed, till 1453, when he died.
Tatar Khan's rule was of short duration, for his nephew Hati
Khan rebelled against him, captured and put him to death.
His two sonswere minors, and the Jan joah Chief, Darwesh Khan,
took the opportunity of recovering much of the country which
the Gakhars had taken from his tribe. Hati Khan oppos-
ed him, but was defeated and compelled to fly to Basal, while

^Jaarat Khan or Jasrat ia mentioned aa being a brother of Shaikba, who defended
Talainba against Timur Shah. But the Gakhara nerer appear to have gone so far south
as Talamba, whicb was probably defended by the Kbatias, an ancient Bajpat tribe
iahabitiDg the loirer pMrt of the $ari Duab.

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his cousins Sarang Khan and Adam Khan escaped to Dangali,
where the Janjoah army followed them. Hati Khan now
collected his tribe and, attacking the Janjoahs on their march,
routed them with great slaughter. Babar Shah invaded
India during the Chief ship of Hati Khan, and in the Em-
peror's interesting autobiography is a notice of his contest with
the Ghbkhar Chief. He marched against Pharwala, the capital
of the Gkkhars, strongly situated in the hills, and captured it
after a gallant resistance, Hati Khan making his escape from
one gate of the town as the troops of Babar entered by another.
Sultan Sarang was now of age, and finding that he could not
oust his cousin by force of arms he procured his death by
poison, and assumed the Chief ship in 1525. He and his
brother made their submission to Babar, and Adam Khan,
with a Gakhar force, attended him to Dehli, and for this
service the Pothiar country was confirmed to them by the
Emperor. In 1541 Sher Shah, having driven the Emperor
Humayun from India, built the famous fort of Rhotas, where
he placed a garrison of twelve thousand men under his General
Khawas Khan to hinder the exile's return. Sarang Khan,
remembering the generous way in which he had been treated
by Babar Shah, espoused the quarrel of his son, and kept the
Rhotas garrison in a perpetual state of disquiet, driving off
convoys, and wasting the country around the fort. On the
death of Sher Shah in 1545 his son Salim Shah determined
to punish the Gakhars, and moved against them in force.
Sarang Khan sued for peace, but all terms were refused, and
his son Kamal Khan, sent to the imperial camp as an envoy,
was thrown into chains. For two years, in the course of which
Sultan Sarang and sixteen of his family fell in action, the
Gakhars fought with varying success. In 1550 Prince
Kamran, brother of Humayun, with whom he was at feud, and
by whom he had just been expelled from Kabul, took refuge
among them. The fort of Pharwala was often won and lost

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during these years of incessant war ; but however many troops
were sent against them, the Gakhars, brave and united, held
their own, and Salim Shah found it impossible to subdue
them. In 1553 Prince Samram, who had again taken up
arms against his brother, and who had been defeated near the
Khaibar, fled to India and took refuge at the Court of Dehli.
Salim Shah did not receive him with any favoiir, and the
Prince then returned northward to his former host, Adam
Khan, who had succeeded his brother Sarang Khan. This Chief
stained the Gakhar reputation for hospitality, and gave up
his guest to Humayun, who put out his eyes, and two years
later re-entered Dehli in triumph, attended by the Gakhar
Chief, who was richly rewarded for his treachery.

Sultan Sarang had left three sons, Kamal Khan, Said
Khan and Alawal Khan ; and with the wife of the latter Lashkar
Khan, son of Adam Khan, fell in love, and in order to obtain
her put her husband to death. Kamal Khan was at Dehli when
he heard the news of his brother's murder, and he complained
to the Emperor Akbar, who had succeeded Humayun in 1556,
and obtained a grant of half the territory of Adam Khan.
This Chief would not yield, and Kamal Khan attacked him, took
him prisoner and hung him to satisfy his revenge. Kamal
Khan did not long enjoy his triumph, and died in 1559. The
Gakhar country now fell into a state of anarchy, and remain-
ed so for some years tiU the Emperor divided it between the
rival Chiefs.* To Jalal Khan, grandson of Adam Khan, he
gave Daugali, with four hundred and fifty-four villages ; to
Mubg,rak Khan, son of Kamal Khan, Pharwala, with three hun-
dred and thirty-three villages; Akbarabad, with two hundred
and forty-two villages, he assigned to Shekh GaD ja, one of
Adam Khan^s younger sons ; and Rawalpindi to Said Khan, the
third son of Sarang Khan. Mubarak Khan died the year after

* About tbis time Fateh Khan, a graDdson of Sarang Khan, emigrated to Hazara,
where he founded the village of Khanpar. He was the anoestor oi Bajas Firos Khan and
Jahandad Khan.

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this arrangement, and his son did not long surviye him. Shad-
man Khan was an imbecile, and Pharwala was granted by the
Emperor to Jalal Khan. This Chief was a great warrior, and
fonght as an imperial Qeneral in Kohat, Bannn and Tusnf zai,
where he died at a great age in 1611. His son and grandson
successively held rule, the latter dying in 1670. Aladad
Khan was, like Shadman, of weak intellect ; but he had a cleyw
wife, who carried on affairs with spirit and success, till her
son Dulu Murad Khan grew up and assumed the Chiefship.
He was renowned for his liberality, and on this account was
named ' Lakhi ' Dulu Khan. He died in 1726. Then suc-
ceeded Muazam Khan, who ruled thirteen years, and Sultan
Mukarab Khan, the last independent Gakbar Chief. In his
days the Gakhar power was greater than it had perhaps
ever been before. He defeated the Tusufzai Afghans and
Jang Kuli Khan of Khatak, and captured Gujrat, overrun-
ning the Chib country as far north as Bhimbar. He joined
Ahmad Shah on his several Indian expeditions,' and was
treated by him with the greatest consideration, being confirm-
ed in the possession of his large territories, which extended
from the Chanab to the Indus. At length, in 1 765, Sardar
Gujar Singh Bhangi, the powerful Sikh Chief, marched from
Lahore, with a large force, against him. Mukarab Khan
fought a battle outside the walls of Gujrat, but was defeated
and compelled to retire across the Jhilam, giving up his
possessions in the Jach Doab. His power being thus broken,
the rival Chiefs of his own tribe declared against him ; and
Himat Khan of Dumeli took him prisoner by treachery and
put him to death, himself assuming the headship of the tribe.
The two elder sons of Mukarab Khan took Pharwala, the two
younger Dangali ; but they quarrelled among themselves, and
Sardar Gujar Singh seized every thing, with the exception of
Pharwala, which was divided among the brothers. Sadula
Khan and Nazar Ali Khan died without male issue, and Mansur

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Khan and Shadman Khan succeeded to their shares, which they
held till 1818, when Anand Singh Thepuria, grandson of the
famous Milkha Singh of Rawalpindi, seized their whole estates
and reduced them to absolute poverty, though the family was
in 1826 allowed some proprietary rights in Pharwala. Dur-
ing Sikh days there is no history of the Gakhars to record.
They were groimd down by the exactions of men like Budh
Singh Sindhanwalia and Raja Gulab Singh of Jamu, the
latter of whom threw Shadman Khan and Madat Khan, second
son of Mansur Khan, into prison, where they miserably
perished. Raja Hayatula Khan, the eldest son of Shadman
Khan, was also for twelve years a prisoner in the hands of the
Sikhs, and was only released in 1847 through the action of
Captain Abbott. He did excellent service in Hazara and at
Multan in 1 848-49, and also in 1857, when Murree was attacked
by the Dhunds. A pension of Rs. 1,200 per annum was
granted to him in 1849 in consideration of his having been
dispossessed of his patrimony by the Sikh Government, and
he sat in -the Viceregal Darbar held at Lahore in 1864 as head
of the Rawalpindi Gakhars. He died in 1865.

Raja Karamdad Khan was eight years old when his
father died, and at the age of eighteen he entered the 10th
Infantry as Jamadar. He became a Subadar, but resigned
the service in 1881, and has since lived at home.

In consideration of the ancient descent of the family,
chaharami inams, amounting to Rs. 1,500 per annum, were
sanctioned in specified shares in favour of the surviving de-
scendants of Mansur Khan and Shadman Khan in 1879, and the
value of these has been increased by recent settlement opera-
tions to Rs. 2,155. The principal holders of these inams are
Raja Karamdad Khan and his uncle Kamal Khan, who
hold Rs. 640 in equal shares ; Fateh Khan, son of Madat Khan,
whose share amounts to Rs. 287 ; and Bahadar Ali Khan, son
of Fateh Ali Khan, who holds an inam of Rs. 181. Raja

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Karamdad Elhan also enjoys a pension of Rs. 800, Fateh
Khan one of Rs. 600, and nine other members of the family
have allowances aggregating Rs. 700. In 1873 a grant of
seven hundred and twenty acres of rakh land was made to
the family.

Other members of the tribe in the Rawalpindi district,
though not of the Pharwala clan, deserving mention are : —

Ali Bahadar Khan, of Manianda, a Deputy Inspector of
Police, who in 1880 succeeded his father Fazaldad Khan, also
a Deputy Inspector of Police. This family, like that of Phar*
wala, are Admals or descendants of Sultan Adam.

All AJcbar, of Saidpur, son of Shahwali Khan, who was the
Chief of the Sarangal Gakhars in the Rawalpindi district.
This branch of the tribe claims descent from Sultan Sarang.
Shahwali Khan was loyal to the British in troubled times,
and was a very well known man. He died in 1883, and was
succeeded by Ali Akbar, who enjoys a perpetual jagir and
also a zamindari inam.

Biland Khan, of Sang, son of Mirza Khan, who was the
head of the branch descending from Malik Firoz, who succeed-
ed Malik Gul Mahomed as Chief in the fifteenth century.
The members of this family have good estates, and many
of them are in Government service in various capacities,
chiefly in the army. Mirza Khan died in 1878, and was
succee^jBd by Biland Khan, who enjoys a zamindari inam
of Rs. 140.

However great may have been the reverses of the
Gakbars, they have lost neither pride nor courage. They
have been crushed by the Sikhs, a people of yesterday ; but
there may still be seen in the chivalrous bearing of a G-akhar
gentleman some remembrance of the days when Pharwala
was an asylum for all who were oppressed, and of the wars
in which his ancestors fought on equal terms with the Em«
perors of Dehli.

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Sarf&raa Khan.








I Kban.

Nor khan
B. 1838.

, L_




B. 1868.






B. 1866.

B. 1874.

Jahan Khan


D. 1871.

B. 1878.




B. 1858.



B. 1872. B. 1886.

Sher Malbar

Khan Trh%n

B. 1868. B. 1860.

B. 1887.



Kawab Anrangseb Lai Khan
Khan Khan B. 1884.

B. 1874. D. 1880.

D. 1888.






Fateh Khan
B. 1878.

Alayar Khan
B. 1880.

There is little to relate of this family, which calls itself
Bhandial, from Rai Bhandi Beg^ an imaginary Moghal an-
cestor, but is, in reality, of Eajput descent, like the Ghebas,
to which tribe it belongs. As was the case with most of the
Mahomedan families of the Rawalpindi district, it was
flourishing under the Empire, and, after fighting for some
time with more or less success against the Sikhs, was at last
reduced to obedience. The Malal Maliks were allowed, like
the Rais of Kot and the Maliks of Pindi Gheb, a fourth share
of the revenue of their villages, and when Prince Nao Nahal
Singh held the Ilakas in 1836, Budha Khan received in jagir
the village of Khadwal, worth Rs. 900. This Malik was one
of the men who assassinated Rai Mahomed Ehan of Eot in
the fort of Pagh by order of Sardar Atar Singh Kalianwala.
The son of the murdered man well avenged his father, and
killed all Budha Khan's family, with the exception of one or
two who contrived to escape. There had been always a feud
between the families, and these murders did not tend to end
it; and in 1848«49 it was partly by the representations of Fateh

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Elhanof Kot that Budlia Khan was found lukewarm in the
service of the State, and half his jagir resumed.

However, in 1857, he proved his loyalty, and obtained
a perpetual jagir of Bs. 500 at Ebadwal, with a khilat of
Bs. 500. He was a man of considerable influence, and when
the country was disarmed was allowed to retain forty swords
without licenses. He died in 1866 leaving several sons by
three wives. The succession to the jagir and estate was
claimed by both Alayar Khan, the eldest surviving son, and
Fat eh Khan, the favourite son of the deceased. As the
claimants could come to no mutual agreement, the jagir was
divided equally between the brothers, and the name of the
eldest, Alayar Khan, was entered in the Darbar List. He
died in 1869, and after an interval Fateh Ehan was allowed
a seat in Darbar as the representative of the family. This
was in 1878.

The chaharam allowance once enjoyed by Budha Khan
was discontinued at settlement and a zamindari inam sub-
stituted for it. At present Fateh Khan has an inam of Bs. 150
per annum, and Jahan Khan, son of Alayar Khan, another
of Bs. 100.

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The Dhirnds inhabit a portion of the hills to the north
of the Rawalpindi district between Hazara and the sani-
tarium of Murree. It is uncertain whether the tribe is of
Hindu origin, or whether, like their neighbours the Taring,
the Dilazaks and the Gakhars, they emigrated to Hazara &om
the north-west. But they haye no doubt themselyes upon
the point, and trace their genealogy to Abas, the paternal
uncle of the prophet Mahomed. From this ancestor the
Daudputras of Bahawalpur also claim descent, and the preten-
sions of both tribes are equally ridiculous. One of the traditions
of the Dhunds seems to point to a Central Asian origin. It
is stated that Takht Ehan, one of the tribe, married the sister
of Timur or Tamerlane, and accompanied him to Dehli.
There Takht Khan remained, and his descendants after him,
till the reign of Shah Jahan, when Zorab Khan, who had no
children bom to him in Dehli, thought that he might be more
fortunate in his native country, and set put to return there.
He reached the little village of Darankot, some three miles
from Kahuta in Rawalpindi, where he met a holy fakir,
whose prayers he earnestly entreated. The fakir promised a
son, but on the condition that the child should be given to
him. Zorab Khan promised; and when the child was born
the fakir claimed him. Vainly the mother wept and protested,
and begged that the boy might be left with her for a year, a
month, a day. But the fakir said that if the child tasted milk
he would be useless to him, and carried him away, and placed
him in a comer of his own hut, where he built him up with
stones and then set off for Mecca. The Haji was wor-
shipping in the holy city, when he suddenly remembered the
boy. Swiftly he hastened back, crossing seas and rivers
dry-shod by his miraculous power, and at last reached the
house of Zorab Khan. He told the parents of what he feared
was the fate of their childi and together they hurried to the

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tut, where they found the boy alive and laughing. The fakir
cried aloud in joy " Jai hojase I Jai hqjase ! ** (he will become
many) ; and this word of good omen was given to the boy as his
name, Jai Khan, who fulfilled the prophecy and had twenty-two
sons, from four of whom have descended the Jadwal, Dhund,
Surara and Tanauli tribes.

Khalura or Kulu Bai was the ancestor of the Dhunds.
He was directed by the Emperor to go to Kashmir and bring
to reason the Governor, who was in open rebellion. He set
off with Dhurma, the son of Manakari, both armed with
bows and arrows. It happened that at this time Kashmir
was ravaged by a tiger, whose thirst for blood was only
appeased by the daily offering of a man. As the travellers

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 25 of 29)