Balhara

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Balhara (बलहारा)[1]/(बलहरा) [2] [3] Balara (बलारा) Belhara (बेलहरा) is a gotra of Jats found in Rajasthan, Haryana ,Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

Contents

Origin

According to mythology, these people descended from Bhima (भीम) of Mahabharata fame, who possessed a lot of strength. [4] In Sanskrit, "Bal" means "strength" and "hara" means "the possessor". Thus, Balhara (बल्हारा) means "the possessor of strength".

Some Bulgarian historians have observed that the ethnonym Balhara is homonymous to the name of the ancient, presumably Bulgar-inhabited country situated north of Hindu Kush around the city of Balkh/Balh/Balkh.

History

According to Bhim Singh Dahiya[5] the Gondal clan represents the “Go-nanda” dynasty of Kashmir, the Lohar jats are the descendants of the Lohar kings of Kashmir, just as the Lalli, the Sahi, the Balhara, the Bring, the Takhar, the Dhonchak, the Samil, the Kular, and so on represent the people mentioned in the Rajatarangini of Kalhana.

About the origin of Balhara, the early Arab Geographers are unanimous in their spelling of the title "Balhará." The merchant Sulaimán says it is a title similar to the Chosroes of the Persians, and not a proper name. Ibn Khurdádba says that it signifies "King of Kings." According to Mas'údí it is a title borne by all the kings of the country, while Ibn Haukal states that it is a name derived from that of the country. Idrísí follows Ibn Khurdádba in giving to it the signification of "King of Kings," but, he adds, that the title was hereditary. Thus it seems clear that it was the general title of a dynasty, and that it must have borne some such signification as that assigned to it by Ibn Khurdádba.[6]


Balhara Jats were the rulers in Sindh from 8th to 10th century. In 710 AD Muhammad Qasim occupied Sindh. Brahman Raja Dahir was the ruler of Sindh at that time. Raja Dahirâ's father Chach killed the Jat ruler of Deol state Sahasi Rai II in year 650 by conspiracy and occupied the state. Other Jat states in Sindh were not powerful; they were also eliminated by the year 800 AD. This was the early period of Balhara Jat rulers in Sindh. Balharas ruled the area, which can be called as Bal Division. The area from Khambhat to Simari was under their rule and Manafir was their capital. [7] Manafir was probably Mandore or Mandwagarh.It is likely that after Nagas it was ruled by Balharas. The rule transferred from Balharas to Mauryas to Pawars to Chauhans to Parihars to Rathores.[8]

Sir Henry Eliot has mentioned that after defeat of Jat Raja Sahasi Rai II, Raja Matta of Shivistan attacked Alore (the capital of Chach) with brother of Raja of Kannauj and his army. The Jat Raja Ranmal was the ruler of Kannauj at that time. He was famous as Rana. After that the other Jat rulers were eliminated except the Balharas. The Balharas were strong rulers from Khambhat to Sambhar. There are seven tanks of Balharas, Banka tank in the name of Banka Balhara and Lalani tank in name of Lalaji. [9]

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that the Balhara clan finds mention in numerous references. A country of Balhara, adjoining Jurz (Gujar) country, is mentioned as situated on the western sea coast in connection with the location of "A Race of fair women". [10] The Muslim historian, Abuzaid (916 AD) and Al Masudi (943 AD) speak of two empires, named as Juzr and Balhara. Juzr is rightly identified as Gujar Kingdom, but the identification of Balhara with Rashtrakuta by some historians is not at all called for.[11] [12] [13] Rashtrakutas are a separate clan, where as the rulers of Vallabhipura were Bal Jats, who carved out an independent kingdom after the Dharan (Gupta) empire disintegrate. Col James Todd quotes Strunjaya Mahatmya in which the author, Dhanesvara Suri, Guru of Siladitya VII, wrote, "From Ballbhi, the Bals settled in other countries.[14] [15] We have the name Balhara itself, and they are known to have played significant political/military role in the history of Kashmir and other areas. Mahabharata mentions the Vallabhikān with the Bahlikas, indicating their homeland in the north.[16] [17]

In Kasmir we know Rājavadān Balhara, son of Tejas Balhara from Kalhan's Rajatarangini.[18] Stein says that Balhara is evidently a family name or clan name. It was the period of Jaya Simha (Jai Singh), 1128-1149 AD, and Kalhana was witnessing the contemporary scene as he wrote Rajatarangini in 1149/1150 AD. [19]

Rājavadān Balhara was Governor of Eveśaka and other districts. Plots, counterplots were taking place; moral and military characters were on the low ebb. But about Balhara himself, Kalhana says[20]

"Balhara possessed a certain natural perfection of resolve and character, which, nowadays, is rare indeed, even among men. He thus did not act treacherously against Dhanyu who had come to him inconsiderately; nor against Bhoja, as he might have done from greed." History of India... by Elliot and Dowson is full of the Balhara exploits, whose king called paramount ruler of India."[21] [22]

According to Ram Swarup Joon, a Jat author, the boundaries of this Kingdom extended from China to the Sea and his neighbors were the Takshak and Gujar kings. Their capital was Mankir.[23] The capital of the Balhará is stated by Mas'údí to be Mánkír (or Manákír) - "the great centre of India," and to be situated "eighty Sindí parasangs (640 miles) from the sea" . Istakhrí and Ibn Haukal say that Mánkír is the city in which the Balhará dwells. [24]

Shivpuri town in Madhya Pradesh is known for temples. There is one famous temple of Ballari Mata near the Shivpuri town in Madhav National Park. It was established about one thousand years back. It is believed to be connected with Karauli. Ballari Mata temple is located in the extension area of the Park. In 1999 Ballarpur village was relocated (under the ministry of environment and forests, Beneficiary Oriented Scheme for Tribal Development), and 90 families (around 70 per cent adivasi), the majority of whom were historically almost completely dependent upon the park for survival, were moved to 2 km outside its boundary. [25]

Villages founded by Balhara clan

  • Bilada (बिलाड़ा) - town and tahsil in Jodhpur district in Rajasthan.
  • Balotra (बालोतरा) - village in Pachpadra tahsil in District Barmer in Rajasthan.

Balhara Kingdom

Balhara according to Acad. Suren T. Eremian’s reconstruction of the original map of Central Asia from the Armenian geographical atlas ‘Ashharatsuyts’.

Kingdom of Balhara was a state situated in the upper course of Oxus River (present Amu Darya), and the foothills and valleys of Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains (ancient Mount Imeon). Established ca. seventh century BC.

The inhabitants of Balhara were called Bulh in the fifth-seventh century AD Armenian geographical atlas ‘Ashharatsuyts’. The atlas describes them as an old settled, artisan and trading nation rather than nomadic tribe, inhabiting the area centered around the ancient major city of Balh (Balkh) that comprised roughly present northern Afghanistan and most of Tajikistan. According to Bulgarian historian Georgi Bakalov, Bulhi was probably the Armenian name of the ancient Bulgars. Historiographers in late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages such as Agathias of Myrina, Theophylact Simocatta, and Michael the Syrian also identify Mount Imeon as an early homeland of the ancient Bulgars.

The Bulhi contributed to the ethnogenesis of the present Tajiks in both Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and possibly the homonymous ethnic group of Balhara in India. Some of them migrated to Europe already BC.

Bakalov cites Byzantine historian Zacharias Rhetor as saying that the Burgars (presumably also identical to the Bulgars), had towns in the valleys of Northern Caucasus. They had also the territory along the north coast of Black Sea east of Axiacus River (Southern Bug). He concludes that they migrated to that region from Balhara. In Bakalov's view, the Bulgars established their first state there in 165 AD, a date he arrives at by summing the yeras of life or reign of all rulers listed in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans. The Nominalia claims that the first two rulers lived for 300 and 150 years respectively, which has led earlier historians to ignore these figures. Bakalov, however, is of the opinion that their legendary names should be interpreted as referring to entire dynasties, but the dates themselves are accurate. The Kingdom of Old Great Bulgaria is known to have been established in that area in 632 AD. Among the successors of the latter are the medieval Bulgarian Empire and Volga Bulgaria, and present Bulgaria, Tatarstan, and Chuvashia.

Merchant Sulaimán on Balhara Kingdom

Merchant Sulaimán's[26] version of 851 A.D. on Balhara Kingdom is as under:

The kingdom of the Balhará: The Balharáis the most eminent of the princes of India, and the Indians acknowledge his superiority. Every prince in India is master in his own state, but all pay homage to the supremacy of the Balhará. The representatives sent by the Balhará to other princes are received with most profound respect in order to show him honour. He gives regular pay to his troops, as the practice is among the Arabs. He has many horses and elephants, and immense wealth. The coins which pass in his country are the Tátariya dirhams, each


[p.4]: of which weighs a dirham and a half of the coinage of the king. They are dated from the year in which the dynasty acquired the throne. They do not, like the Arabs, use the Hijra of the prophet, but date their eras from the beginning of their kings' reigns; and their kings live long, frequently reigning for fifty years. The inhabitants of the Balhará's country say that if their kings reign and live for a long time, it is solely in consequence of the favour shown to the Arabs. In fact, among all the kings there is no one to be found who is so partial to the Arabs as the Balhará; and his subjects follow his example.

Balhará is the title borne by all the kings of this dynasty. It is similar to the Cosroes (of the Persians), and is not a proper name. The kingdom of the Balhará commences on the sea side, at the country of Komkam (Konkan), on the tongue of land which stretches to China. The Balhará has around him several kings with whom he is at war, but whom he greatly excels. Among them is the king of Jurz. This king maintains numerous forces, and no other Indian prince has so fine a cavalry. He is unfriendly to the Arabs, still he acknowledges that the king of the Arabs is the greatest of kings. Among the princes of India there is no greater foe of the Muhammadan faith than he. His territories form a tongue of land. He has great riches, and his camels and horses are numerous. Exchanges are carried on in his states with silver (and gold) in dust, and there are said to be mines (of these metals) in the country. There is no country in India more safe from robbers.

By the side of this kingdom lies that of Táfak, which is but a


[p.5]: small state. The women are white, and the most beautiful in India. The king lives at peace with his neighbours, because his soldiers are so few. He esteems the Arabs as highly as the Balhará does.

These three states border on a kingdom called Ruhmi, which is at war with that of Jurz. The king is not held in very high estimation. He is at war with the Balhará as he is with the king of Jurz. His troops are more numerous than those of the Balhará, the king of Jurz, or the king of Táfak. It is said that when he goes out to battle he is followed by about 50,000 elephants. He takes the field only in winter, because elephants cannot endure thirst, and can only go out in the cold season. It is stated that there are from ten to fifteen thousand men in his army who are employed in fulling and washing cloths. There is a stuff made in his country which is not to be found elsewhere; so fine and delicate is this material that a dress made of it may be passed through a signet-ring. It is made of cotton, and we have seen a piece of it. Trade is carried on by means of kauris, which are the current money of the country. They have gold and silver in the country, aloes, and the stuff called samara, of which madabs are made. The striped bushán or karkaddan is found in this country. It is an animal which has a single horn in the middle of its forehead, and in this horn there is a figure like unto that of a man.

Sir H. M. Elliot on Balhara

Sir H. M. Elliot[27] writes about Balharas:

Balhará: The early Arab Geographers are unanimous in their spelling of the title "Balhará." The merchant Sulaimán says it is a title similar to the Chosroes of the Persians, and not a proper name. Ibn Khurdádba says that it signifies "King of Kings." According to Mas'údí it is a title borne by all the kings of the country, while Ibu Haukal states that it is a name derived from that of the country. Idrísí follows Ibn Khurdádba in giving to it the signification of "King of Kings," but, he adds, that the title was hereditary. Thus it seems clear that it was the general title of a dynasty, and that it must have borne some such signification as that assigned to it by Ibn Khurdádba.]

Taking the accounts of the Arab writers, and comparing them with the Indian annals, there can be no great hesitation in identifying the "Balhará" with the dynasty settled at Ballabhi-pura, the princes of which were the founders of the Ballabhi era, and were


[p.355]: probably known as the Ballabhi or Ballabh Ráís. This identification, originally proposed by Colonel Tod, has met with tacit acquiescence, except from M. Reinaud, who considered the term "Balhará" to represent Málwá Ráí or "King of Málwá."

Ballabhi-pura was, according to Tod, "destroyed in the fifth century, by an irruption of the Parthians, Getes, Huns or Catti, or a mixture of these tribes," In another place he gives the date of this event from Jain records as A.D. 524. And in a further passage he says, that after the destruction of Ballabhi-pura, its princes "fled eastward, eventually obtaining Chitor, when the Islands of Deo and Somnath-pattan, in the division termed Larika, became the seat of government. On its destruction, in the middle of the eighth century, Anhalwara became the metropolis, and this, as recorded, endured until the fourteenth century." Hwen Tsang visited Balabhi in the seventh century, and Thomas gives the date of its destruction as 802 Samvat (745 A.D.) The ruins of the city are well known, being situate about twenty miles west of Bhownuggur, in Kattiwar; and the name survives in that of the modern town of Wallay, which stands near them.

Hindu authorities thus record the removal of the seat of government to the country of Lárike or Láta, which country Mas'údí names as being subject to the Balhará, and which the other writers describe as forming part of his dominions.

The capital of the Balhará is stated by Mas'údí to be "Mánkír (or Manákír) the great centre of India," and to be situated "eighty Sindí parasangs (640 miles) from the sea," a palpable exaggeration. Istakhrí and Ibn Haukal say that "Mánkír is the city in which the Balhará dwells, but they do not name it in their lists of the cities of Hind. Bírúní and Idrísí make no mention of it. The unavoidable inference is that the place had fallen to decay, and was known only by tradition in the days of these Arab writers.

....


.... [p.357]: [Hwen Tsang, who travelled in India between 629 and 645 A.D., visited the kingdom of "Fa-la-pi" (Vallabhi), but his account does not help to settle the locality of the capital, for he only says that it was a journey of 1000 li (166 1/2 miles) north from Málwá. The kings were of Kshatriya race, and were connected with the sovereigns of Kanya-kubja, the reigning monarch, Dhruva Bhatta, being son-in-law either of King Siláditya or of that king's son.

The "Balhará" would thus seem to represent, as Tod affirmed, the Ballabh Ráís of Ballabhi-pura who were succeeded by the Bala Ráís of Anhalwára Pattan. Their territories included the ports in the country of Lata (Lárike) on the gulf of Cambay. These ports


[p.358]: were frequented by Arab trading vessels, and so the accounts given of the Balhará by their geographers, vague and meagre as they are, exceed all that is recorded by them of the other contemporary kingdoms.

The extent of the Balhará's territory can only be surmised, and no doubt it underwent continual change. Mas'údí, by implication, places Tanna within his dominions, but this is farther south than would seem to be warranted. The Táptí on the south, and the Arávallí mountains on the north may perhaps represent an approximation to the real extent of the kingdom. This may appear a limited dominion for a monarch of such renown as the Arabs represent the Balhará to have been; but it must be remembered that these writers were accustomed to a simple patriarchal form of government, free from the pomp and splendour of the further east.

There are copper records extant showing that in the first half of the fourth century grants of land in the neighbourhood of Jambúsír were made by the Gurjjara rájas and by the Chalukyas. The latter were of a Rajput tribe, and would then appear to have been making their way southwards to the scene of their subsequent power. In 812 A.D., just before the time of the merchant Sulaimán, a grant was made by the "Láteswara," that is, "King of Lata," but the names therein recorded have not been identified with those in any of the dynastic lists. Allowing for the omissions not unusual in such grants, there is a Dhruva who may correspond with the Dhruva Bhatta of Hwen Tsang.

बलहारा का इतिहास

बलहारा: मारवाड़ में बलहारा जाटों का भी एक समय बड़ा राज्य था. बाकी, बिलाड़ा, बालोतरा उन्हीं राज्यों के प्रसिद्ध नगर थे. डीडवाना परगने के मौलासर पर भी उन्हीं की सत्ता थी. बाद में बलहारों ने मौलासर के पास रिणवा जाटों के राज्य कोयलपाटन (कौलिया) पर कब्जा कर लिया. उस दौरान कोयलपाटन में रिनवा और बलहारों में लड़ाई हुई थी, जिनमें कई रिणवा मारे गए थे. यहाँ कई रिणवा सतियों की मूर्तियाँ मौजूद हैं. इस इलाके पर आज से चार सौ वर्ष पहले तक बलहारे जाट अपना प्रभुत्व रखते थे. जिन दिनों दौलतखां नागौर का सूबेदार था, उस समय बुलाजी बलहारा इस इलाके के 57 गाँवों का सरदार थ. झाडोद पट्टी उसके हाथ में थी और वह मौलासर में रहता था. उसने गौचर भूमि के लिए एक बड़ी बीड छोड़ी थी और तीन हजार बीघा भूमि उसने अपने चारण को दान में दी थी जो आज भी उस चारण के वंशजों के अधिकार में है. (डॉ पेमा राम, राजस्थान के जाटों का इतिहास. पृ.21-22)

Distribution in Haryana

Balhara Gotra is found in Rohtak district in Haryana. Bahu Akbarpur, Bahujamalpur and Garawar villages are their main strong holds. There are some villages in Bhiwani and Sonipat districts as well where Balharas are found.

Villages in Rohtak District

Villages in Sonipat District

Kilohd, Thana Khurd,

Villages in Karnal District

Fafrana

Villages in Bhiwani District

Ouan (ऊण)

Distribution in Delhi

Neb Sarai, Neemsraa

Distribution in Punjab

Balahra, Balahri Kalan, Balahri Khurd - all three in Fatehgarh Sahib tahsil

Distribution in Rajasthan

Villages in Sikar district

There is one village named Balara in Sikar district of Rajasthan. Other villages with Balara gotra population are Dinarpura, Hirna, Shekhiwas, Mardatu Chhoti,


Villages in Churu district

Binasar, Biramsar,

Villages in Nagaur district

Araksar, Chanda Roon, Jharod, Maulasar,

Villages in Barmer district

Barmer, Bhalaron Ka Bara (t.Siwana),

Villages in Pali district

Balara,

Distribution in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal,

Notable people from this gotra

  • Mahendra Chaudhary - ex prime minister of Fiji island is also a Balhara from Bahu Jamalpur.
  • Ajay Balhara - Fashion designer
  • Vijay Balhara- Fashion designer
  • Kunal Balhara - Golf Player
  • Bhal Singh Balhara - Haryanvi film actor
  • Manender Singh Balhara-Junior National Cycling Chempion
  • Narender Singh Balhara-Haryanvi Actor and Singer
  • Maj.Gen.Mahavir Singh Balhara
  • Dr.Joginder Singh Balhara-Famous US Doctor.
  • Lokesh Balhara - President’s Award Recipient
  • Mr. Subhash Belhara - Govt. Service DANICS/Asst. Commissioner (Food & Supply), Delhi Govt, 29-B, Pocket-B, Mayur Vihar, Phase-II, New Delhi, 011-22449431, NCR (PP-337)
  • Mr. Jaideep Singh Balhara - ECM Member, Govt. Service DGM(Engg.), Airport Authority of India, Civil Aviation DGM(Engg.), Rajeev Gandhi Bhawan, Safdarjang Airport, New Delhi, 1701, Sector-4, Gurgaon (Haryana). Ph: 0124-2323170, 9654771234, Email: jaideepsingh35@hotmail.com NCR, (PP-21)
  • Mr. Subhash Chandra Balhara - Govt. Service, Addl. Secy.Urban Development Deptt. Delhi Govt. 9th Floor, Delhi Secretriat, New Delhi, 703, Bolck-2, MS Flats, RJ Complex, Motia Khan, Pahar Ganj, Delhi. Ph:011-23992270, 9717466447, Email:subhash4@gmail.com, NCR (PP-346)

Balara village

Balara (बलारा) named village is there in Sikar district in Rajasthan.

See also

Foot notes for Balhara Kingdom

References

  1. B S Dahiya:Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India, p.236, s.n.16
  2. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. ब-96
  3. O.S.Tugania:Jat Samuday ke Pramukh Adhar Bindu,p.50,s.n. 1650
  4. Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas,
  5. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Introduction,p.xi
  6. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period, Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson London Trubner Company, 1867-1877
  7. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas, 1934
  8. Kishori Lal Faujdar: Rajasthan ke Madhyakalin Jatvans, Jat Samaj, Agra, June 2001
  9. Kishori Lal Faujdar: Rajasthan ke Madhyakalin Jat-vansh, Jat Samaj, Agra, June 2001.
  10. Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1904, p. 163
  11. ibid.
  12. R.Hoernle, p. 641
  13. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, Sterling Publishers, 1980, p.246
  14. op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 253
  15. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, p.246
  16. Mahabharata, II, 47/19
  17. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, p.246
  18. op. cit., VIII,2695/2696
  19. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, p.246
  20. ibid., p. 2993
  21. Elliot and Dowson: History of India as told by its Own Historians, Vol.I
  22. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, p.246
  23. Ram Swaroop Joon: History of Jats, India
  24. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period, Sir H. M. Elliot, Edited by John Dowson London Trubner Company,1867-1877
  25. http://www.epw.org.in/epw/uploads/articles/9899.pdf
  26. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/I. The Merchant Sulaimán and Abú Zaid,pp.3-6
  27. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/Note (A).- Geographical,pp.354-358

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