The Janjua Jat (also spelt Janjuha, Janjuah) (Urdu: جنجوعہ, Punjabi ਜਨ੍ਜੁਅ, Hindi:जंजुआ) is a highly dominant and renowned royal warrior clan of Northern India and Pakistan. They are known as the most Valiant Kshatriyas (Warriors) of Punjab.  Their warlike nature and dominant rule of their kingdoms against other tribes earned them a powerful reputation in Western Punjab and the Valley of Kashmir. The Janjua clan that played an important historical role in history. The Janjua Jatt tribe are a branch of the ancient Pandava dynasty through the Valiant warrior hero Prince Arjun Pandav, who is the ancestor of the Janjua.
Prince Arjun, known as the Achilles of India, was famous for his valour, superior military skill and inspiring heroism. He was known as the perfect Kshatriya (Warrior), and was known as the Supreme Archer. He was a renowned conqueror of many powerful kingdoms and was the most fearsome warrior on the battle field of Kurukshetra. Arjun was well built, extremely handsome and a diligent beloved student of his Martial Art master Drona. Arjun was not only a martial arts hero, but also a romantic hero of the Mahabharata epic which records his romantic adventures as well as his martial campaigns.
According to legend, Prince Arjun was believed to be the semi-divine son of Indra (King of the Vedic Aryan deities), borne to mortal queen Kunti and heir to the Pandava dynasty. The Pandavas were a Chandravanshi Kuru branch of the ancient Vedic Aryans of India descending from the legendary vedic emperor Pururava (also known as Puru) and lived in about the 14th century BC. General Alexander Cunningham of India concluded the Janjua to be of Aryan origin.
Fought for 18 days, the Battle of Kurukshetra was one of the great battles fought in ancient India. Shown here is Arjun, the father of the Janjua dynasty and his charioteer Krishna between the two warring armies Prince Arjun was himself first cousin to the famed Hindu prince Krishna and married Krishna's sister, Subhadra, to extend his dynasty. In fact, it was Prince Arjun who carried out Krishna's funeral rites.
Prince Arjun's great grandson, Maharaja Janamejaya, is the apical ancestor of the Janjuas. Janamejaya was later the ruling Emperor of the Kingdom of Hastinapur, the capital of which was Indraprasta (modern day Delhi). His descendants were known historically as the Pandava Dynasty, and the Pauravas confederacy. Pauravas, Panduvanshi being patriarchal names of the same dynasty.
Regarding the Janjuas descent from the Pandavas dynasty, the Bali and Bhimwal generals of Raja Dhrupet Dev of Mathura, recorded that the Janjua Raja Dhrupet Dev was the descendant of Emperor Janamejaya. This reference was recorded in 1195AD.
Sir Lepel H Griffin K.C.S.I. had also recorded in the early 1900s that the Janjua were Pandavas in origin.
India's other name Bharat or Bharat-Varsh is actually named after a forefather of the Pandava dynasty, Bharat. Bharat-Varsh means "Kingdom of Bharat" The Mahabharata epic is a narration which records a war between Bharat's later descendants the Pandavas and their cousins the Kauravas for the throne of Hastinapur. This epic is also believed to be the world's longest poem and Janamejaya was responsible for the retelling of it. The Pandavas were also known as Pauravas after another prominent ancestor Puru.
Alexander and the wounded King of the Pauravas
The Pandavas later ruled the region of Punjab and specifically Jhelum during the era of Alexander the Great and it was Rai Por or more popularly known in the west as King Porus who fought Alexander the Great in 326 BC (in what is now Jhelum, Pakistan) in the famed Battle of the Hydaspes. It is said:
- According to Arian, Alexander is said to have asked King Porus "How would you like me to treat you?" to which Porus famously replied "As a Raja (king)".
The answer touched Alexander, who in return allowed the Raja of the Pauravas to retain his Kingdom and more. The page List of Indian monarchs gives an account of the period of rule of the Bharata-Puru-Pandava-Pauravas-Janjua Shahi phase which began from approx 1600BC to 1026AD
Distribution in Punjab
Janjuas are spread throughout Punjab both in India and Pakistan. There are Sikh, Muslim and Hindu Janjuas, the majority of Muslim Janjuas are in Pakistan and serve in the Military of Pakistan in large numbers.
The Hindu Janjua Jatt reside in the Indian Punjab region also, with some movements also to Delhi.
Distribution in Pakistan
According to 1911 census the Janjua were the principal Muslim Jat clan in:
- History of Mediaeval Hindu India by Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya, Cosmo Publ. 1979, p129
- Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 p.246
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