Atwal

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Atwal (अटवाल)[1] or Atval (अटवाल)[2] or Attwal (अट्टवाल) or Athwal (अठवाल or Ant is a clan name or Gotra of Jats from Punjab, India and Pakistan. Members of the clan were originally based in villages in northwest India. They are found in Gujarat where they call themselves as Ant. Due to mobility of population in the form of migration and emigration during the 20th century, members of the clan can be found all over the world, including in the the United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and Canada. Originating villages are Shankar and Hakim Pur, in the Doaba region of Punjab. They are Punjabi Sikh Jats.

History

B S Dahiya[3] writes: Mahabharata mentions Atavika/Ataval . The phrase Prithvi Sarva Smlecchatvika, shows that they were associated with the Mlecchas from the west.

Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 30 mentions this tribe in derogatory sense and advises to avoid this country:

"The Karasakaras, the Mahishakas, the Kalingas, the Kikatas, the Atavis, the Karkotakas, the Virakas, and other peoples of no religion, one should always avoid."
कारः करान महिषकान कलिङ्गान कीकटाटवीन
कर्कॊटकान वीरकांश च दुर्धर्मांश च विवर्जयेत Mahabharata (8.30.45)

The Mahabharata Tribe - Atavisavara - Refers to the tribes of mid- Vindhya region, and may be identical with the Atavikah mentioned in the Puranas and the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta. Mentioned in geography of Mahabharata (VI.10.46).

अपरन्ध्राश च शूद्राश च पह्लवाश चर्म खण्डिकाः
अटवी शबराश चैव मरु भौमाश च मारिष (VI.10.46)


The Mahabharata Tribe - Atavisavara may be identified with Jat Gotra - Atval (अटवाल) of Jats from Punjab.

Atwals are one of the oldest Jat tribes, settling in the Punjab region during the Mahabharat era. They are mentioned Sabha Parva of Mahabharata, Vayu Purana and Markandeya Purana. [4] [5] [6] They are also mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudragupta under the name Ātvika. Mahabharata mentions them [7] The phrase Prithvi Sarva Smelecchatavika shows that they were associated with the Mlecchas from the west. [8] [9]


There is unanimity among historians that Atwals used to husband camels, so they were originally known as the Oonth Wala, which changed over time to Atwal. They inhabited the Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala districts of the Punjab, some settling as far west as Sialkot, Multan, Jhang, Montgomery, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur in West Punjab, what is now Pakistan. After settling in West Punjab, many Atwal Jats converted to Islam although most Atwals in India are Sikhs. Atwals are also found in large numbers in Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

H.A. Rose considers Atwals to be descendants of the Panwar and that they came to East Punjab from Multan. Jats, Khatris, Rajputs and Dalits have a common background and Atwal is a well-known and ancient sub-caste of Jats.

According to B S Dahiya[10] Atval are mentioned in Sabha Parva MBT, Vayu Purana and Mark. Purana.[11] They are also mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar inscriptions of Samudragupta under the name Atvikas. By replacing the suffix 'ka' with 'al', we get the proper name, Atval. They are found in Punjab only and are followers of Guru Nanak.

Distribution in Punjab

Villages in Patiala district

Athwal population is 1,542 in Patiala district.[12]

Villages in Amritsar district

Athwal population is 2,067 in Amritsar district.[13]

Villages in Jalandhar district

According to B S Dhillon the population of Athwal clan in Jalandhar district is 6,300.[14]

Villages in Hoshiarpur district

Pandori Atwalan,

In Hoshiarpur district the Athwal population is 708. [15]

Villages in Gurdaspur district

Athwal (Dera Baba Nanak tahsil),

In Gurdaspur district the Athwal population is 1,791. [16]

Distribution in Pakistan

The Muslim Atwal were found mainly in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Kapurthala districts of East Punjab. Like other Jat clans, they migrated to Pakistan on the partition of India. They are now found mainly in Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Toba Tek Singh Districts.

References

  1. Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Parishisht-I, s.n. अ-38
  2. B S Dahiya:Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India, p.236, s.n.7
  3. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India,p. 278
  4. Sabha Parva, 31/15
  5. Vayua Purana, 1/45/126
  6. Markandeya Purana, 54/57
  7. ibid, 9 / 32/4
  8. ibid , Ram Kumar Rai, Part I (Hindi
  9. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers, p. 245
  10. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India,p. 244-45
  11. Sabha Parva, 31/15; Vayu Purana, 1/45/126; Markandeya Purana, 54/57.
  12. History and study of the Jats, B.S Dhillon, p.126
  13. History and study of the Jats, B.S Dhillon, p.124
  14. History and study of the Jats, B.S Dhillon,p. 127
  15. History and study of the Jats, B.S Dhillon, p.127
  16. History and study of the Jats, B.S Dhillon, p. 127

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