|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)|
Sindh is a province of Pakistan. It is named after Sindhu gotra Jats. Descendants of Maharaja Sindhu are Sindhu gotra Jats. Sindhu river is also after Sindhu gotra. Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar.  Sindh has been ruled by Balhara, Nehra, Panwar, Hala and Rai gotra of Jats.
- 1 Districts
- 2 History
- 3 Jats of Sindh
- 4 History of Jats in Sindh
- 5 Tombstones of the Jats
- 6 Sassi-Punnu : Love Story
- 7 References
- 8 External links
There are 23 districts in Sindh, Pakistan.
The Harsha Charita of Bana/Chapter II mentions The Visit of Bana to the King Harshavardhana....The doorkeeper, having come up and saluted him, addressed him respectfully in a gentle voice, "Approach and enter, his highness is willing to see you." Then Bana entered, as he directed, saying, "I am indeed happy that he thinks me worthy of this honour." He next beheld a stable filled with the king's favourite horses from Vanayu, Aratta, Kamboja, Bharadvaja, Sindh, and Persia....
Jats of Sindh
James Tod writes that in Sind Jakhar, Asiagh, Punia are all denominations of the Jat race, a few of whom preserve under these ancient subdivisions their old customs and religion ; but the greater part are among the converts to Islam, and retain the generic name, pronounced Zjat. Those enumerated are harmless and industrious, and are found both in the desert and valley. There are besides these a few scattered families of ancient tribes, as the Sultana3, and Khumra, of whose history we are ignorant, Johyas, Sindhals, and others, whose origin has already been noticed in the Annals of Marusthali.
Jats of the Indus Delta
The Indus Delta Jat are subdivided into a hundred clans, with the Malikani taking precedence over the other clans. There are two other sub-divisions, the Fakirani who are found mainly among the Jats of Kutch, with a few families in Badin District and finally the Lakhani. Other clans include Iburani, Ajani, Bhamburani, Bagrani and Babrani. The Fakirani are essential camel herders, while the other Delta Jat are Maldhari cattle breeders. These Jats are well known as Balochs.
Jat of Northern Sindh
While the Indus Delta Jat form a distinct endogamous community, Jats of northern Sindh are more dispersed community. Many claim Baloch ancestry, particularly the Mir-Jat clan, who are said to be the camel drivers of the Baloch aristocracy, and have provided the headmen of the northern clans.According to early Twentieth Century colonial British historians, the Jat of northern Sindh were one of the most ancient stock and descended from the Hindu population of the region.
Other clans among the northern Jat are:
Dalip Singh Ahlawat writes -
पाकिस्तान में गुजरात से अटक तक खोखर जाटों की काफी संख्या है जो कि इस्लाम धर्मी हैं। इसी तरह सिंध और बलोचिस्तान में खोखर जाट बड़ी संख्या में आबाद हैं। बलोचिस्तान में खोखरों की काकड़जई नामक बहुत बड़ी खाप है।
सिंध और बलोचिस्तान के जाट मुसलमान जिनमें खोखर जाट अधिक हैं, आज भी पाकिस्तान सरकार के विरुद्ध विद्रोह कर बैठते हैं। इन जाटों में स्वतन्त्र रहने की विशेषता आज भी विद्यमान है। - Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter XI - Page 1009.
History and origin
The Jat of Sindh might be related to the larger Jat community of North India and Punjab. According to their traditions, the Jat were originally settled in Alepo in Syria. The Jat, or Jath claim descent from Mohammad bin Haroon, the first Muslim conqueror of the Makran region. According to their traditions, they were initially settled in Alepo in Syria. A king of Iran wanted to marry a beautiful girl from the tribe, by the name of Jattu. They did not have the courage to refuse the proposal, but when the king arrived to take his bride, they fell upon his soldiers and massacred them. They then fled to the Indus delta region of Sindh, in Pakistan. The Jats of Sindh have two divisions, those of the Indus delta who acknowledge the Malkani family of the town of Rajmalik in Thatta District as their tribal chieftain, and those of Upper Sindh who have no recognized chief.
According to Ram Swarup Joon, Gedown and Niel write that the forefathers, of Laumiri Baluchis were Jats. According to Todd, in ancient times the boundaries of Jat kingdom of Sindhu, included parts of Baluchistan, Makran, Balorari and the Salt Ranges. People of Gill gotra came to known as Gilzai Pathans; Gill Jats at one time ruled the area of Hindukush Mountains. The last ruler of Ghazni was Subhag Sen. At the time of Alexander's invasion king Chitra Verma ruled Baluchistan.
Sialkot and Quetta of Baluchistan were capitals of Madrak Kings. Makran province of Baluchistan belonged to the Jats. When King Sapur the second of Sasanian dynasty became friendly with Samudra Gupta, Sindhu and Makran provinces were given to the Jats.
According to Todd, in 1023, Umer Bin Moosaiw wrested Hirat and Kaikan from the Jats and made 3000 Jat soldiers prisoners. The Tawarikh Tibri by Sulaiman Nadvi also mentions this event. It states that a Jat Commander of Umer Bin Moosa refused to join the attack. But in spite of this, Umer was victorious despite heavy losses.
History of Jats in Sindh
Jats and Meds have been the oldest occupants of Sind. The first Persian account of the 11th century Mujmat ut-Tawarikh (1026), originally an ancient work in Sanskrit, mentions Jats and Meds as the ancient tribe of Sind and calls them the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah.  The Ghaznavid poet, Farrukhi calls the Jats (Zatt in Arabic) as the Indian race.  These Arabic/Persian accounts find support from the early fifth century inscription which documented the the Indianized names of the Jat rulers,  such as Raja Jit-Jit Salindra-Devangi-Sumbooka-Degali-Vira Narindra- Vira Chandra and Sali Chandra. Furthermore, the Mujmat ut-Tawarikh also mentions the Indianized name of one of their chiefs of the Jats in remote ancient time as Judrat.  These textual references further strengthened the view of O'Brien, who opines that the names and traditions of certain Jat tribes seem to connect them more closely with Hindustan. 
However, Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar. Traditionally Jats of Sind consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modern Rawalpindi) as their original abode.  Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab.  The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River. By the fourth century region of Multan was under their control.Then they rose to the sovereign power and their ruler Jit Salindra, who promoted the renown of his race, started the Jat colonisation in Punjab and fortified the town Salpur/Sorpur, near Multan. 
In the seventh century the Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang witnessed their settlement along the flat marshy lowlands which stretches to some thousand li.  Ibn Hauqual mentions the area of their abode in between Mansura and Makran.  By the end of seventh century, Jats were thickly populated in Deybal region.  In the early eighth century, when the Arab commander Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sind, the Jats were living along both sides of the river Indus. Their main population was settled in the lower Sind, especially in the region of Brahmanabad (Mansura); Lohana (round the Brahmanabad) with their two territories Lakha, to the west of Lohana and Samma, to the south of Lohana; Nerun (modern Hyderabad); Dahlilah; Roar and Deybal. In the further east, their abode also extended in between Deybal, Kacheha (Qassa) and Kathiawar in Gujarat. In upper Sind they were settled in Siwistan (Schwan) and Alor/Aror region.
Before the invasion of Sultan Mahmud (1027), they had firmly established in the region of Multan and Bhatiya on the banks of Indus River.  Alberuni mentions the Mau as the abode of Jats in Punjab, situated in between the river Chenab and Beas. By the 7th century, the whole of Indus basin was populated by a large population of Jats. The Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang refers that 'there are several hundreds of thousands families settled in Sind. Obviously these unnamed people were the Jats.  The Chachnama stratified these large population of Jats, as 'the western Jats' (Jatan-i-gharbi) and 'the eastern Jats (Jatan-i-Sharqi), living on the eastern and western side of the Indus River. The chronicler s further classified them as 'The Jats living on the banks of the rivers (Lab-i-daryayi) and the Jats living in plain,desert (Jatan-i-dashti); and 'the rustic Jats' (rusta'i Jat) living in villages. Professionally, they were classified on the basis of their habitats, as boatmen and maker of boats, those who were living in the riverside.  However, Jats of countryside were involved in making of swords; as the region of Deybal was famous for the manufacture of swords, and the Jats were variously called as teghzan (holder of the swords). The rustic people were appointed by the Chach and the Arab commanders as spies (Jasus) and the caravan guide (rahbar). They used to guide the caravans on their way both during day time and at night. 
In political heirarchy, the early fifth century inscription refers to them as a ruler of Punjab, part of Rajasthan and Malwa. It further highlights their sovereign position with high sounded epithet as Sal, Vira, and Narpati (the Lord).  In the military hierarchy, the Chachnama placed them high on the covetous post of Rana. During the war they were brought against enemy as soldiers. In Dahir's army all the Jats living in the east of Indus River stood marshalled in the rear against the Arab commander Muhammad Bin Qasim.  They were also involved in palace management, thus Chach appointed them as his bodyguard (pasdar).
The legendry reference about the Jats and Meds in Majmal-ut-Tawarikh, the first Persian account of the 11th century (1026),  involving the mythological figures can not be regarded as a historical fact but would imply that the people designated as Jats were present in Sind at the time of war of Mahabharata. 
Jats and Meds have been the oldest occupants of Sind. The first Persian account of the 11th century Mujmat ut-Tawarikh (1026), originally an ancient work in Sanskrit, mentions Jats and Meds as the ancient tribe of Sind and calls them the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Ghaznavid poet, Farrukhi calls the Jats (Zatt in Arabic) as the Indian race. These Arabic/Persian accounts find support from the early fifth century inscription which documented the Indianized names of the Jat rulers,  such as Raja Jit-Jit Salindra-Devangi-Sumbooka-Degali-Vira Narindra- Vira Chandra and Sali Chandra. Furthermore, the Mujmat ut-Tawarikh also mentions the Indianized name of one of their chiefs of the Jats in remote ancient time as Judrat. These textual references further strengthened the view of O'Brien, who opines that the names and traditions of certain Jat tribes seem to connect them more closely with Hindustan. 
According to Dr. Raza, Jats appear to be the original race of Sind valley, stretching from the mouth of Indus to as far as the valley of Peshawar. Traditionally Jats of Sind consider their origin from the far northwest and claimed ancient Garh Gajni (modern Rawalpindi) as their original abode. Persian chronicler Firishta strengthened this view and informs us that Jats were originally living near the river of the Koh-i-Jud (Salt Range) in northwest Punjab. The Jats then occupied the Indus valley and settled themselves on both the banks of the Indus River. By the fourth century region of Multan was under their control.Then they rose to the sovereign power and their ruler Jit Salindra, who promoted the renown of his race, started the Jat colonisation in Punjab and fortified the town Salpur/Sorpur, near Multan.
Ibn Hauqual mentions the area of their abode in between Mansura and Makran. By the end of seventh century, Jats were thickly populated in Deybal region. In the early eighth century, when the Arab commander Muhammad bin Qasim came to Sind, the Jats were living along both sides of the river Indus. Their main population was settled in the lower Sind, especially in the region of Brahmanabad (Mansura); Lohana (round the Brahmanabad) with their two territories Lakha, to the west of Lohana and Samma, to the south of Lohana; Nerun (modern Hyderabad); Dahlilah; Roar and Deybal. In the further east, their abode also extended in between Deybal, Kacheha (Qassa) and Kathiawar in Gujarat. In upper Sind they were settled in Siwistan (Schwan) and Alor/Aror region.
Thakur Deshraj mentions about the Buddhist Mauryan Jats rulers’ Rai Dynasty. He says that Rai was their title and their capital was at Aror which used to lie on the banks of the Indus River. Rai Meharsan II had a war with Badshah Nimroz of Iran in which he was killed. After him Rai Sahasi II became the king. When Rai Sahasi II fell ill, he called his minister to see the letters. The minister sent his munshi Chach for this purpose. The wisdom of Chach influenced the king and he appointed Chach to look after the palace. This way he got free entry into the palace. Chach developed illegal relations with the queen Suhanadi. Chach conspired with the Rani Suhanadi and killed Raja Sahsi Rai II and married with the queen and became ruler of Sindh starting a line of Brahmin ruler ship. 
Chachnama gives us comparative detailed information about the Jats of lower Sind (especially of Brahmanabad) in relation to Rai Chach and Muhamad bin Qasim. It says that after the subjugation of the fort of Brahmanabad Rai Chach humiliated the Jats and the Lohanas and punished their chiefs. He imposed stern and disgraceful regulations on them. , 
Chachnama does not specify the causes of this unusual treatment but it is not difficult to surmise them. Resentful of loss of their state, external interference, and sensitive to autocracy the self-governing Jats have, from earliest times, mostly showed an instinctive attachment to democratic ways., ,  They were indifferent to the rigidity and exclusiveness in socio-religious structure and generally had a natural apathy to the monarchial form of the government, facts which gradually came to the forefront in the Hindu society under the hegemony of the Gupta Kings and thereafter. , ,  In such a state of affairs, Chach, a high caste Brahman might have harboured a feeling of abhorrence for the defiant unorthodox Jats. ], 
We have a positive knowledge about the prevalence of Buddhism at that period in the Indus Valley, [M.Habib, “The Arab Conquest of Sind”, Islamic Culture Jan,1929], in which the Jats formed the bulk of the population. Hence it is not unlikely, that the Jats had definite leanings towards Buddhism, which was more agreeable to their ways and practices, which are reflected in the book by by Dr. Dharma Kirti, a modern Buddhist.  , 
It is also likely that the years long  stubborn resistance by Jats and others to Chach during the latter’s siege of Brahmanabad provided him the immediate provocation for adopting the repressive measures. 
Chachnama refers to the Jats again at the time of Muhammad bin Qasim’s invasion of Sind. Following a query from the conqueror about the position of the Jats under Chach and Dahir, Sisakar, the minister of the fallen King, apprised him of the restrictions imposed upon them. The minister added that it was incumbent upon them to supply escorts and conduct parties and serve as guides. If any injury befell a person on the road they had to answer for it. The minister went on that these people have the disposition of savages and always rebelled against their sovereign....Having heard this, Qasim retained the same regulations against the Jats  of the eastern areas but not against those of western, who probably as mercenaries, had joined the invader against the oppressive Dahir. , 
Kamil-ut-Tawarikh notices the Jats seizing upon the roads of Hajar and plundering the corn of Kaskar. They had planted posts in all directions towards the desert. At the orders of the reigning Khalifa, Alif bin Isa marched against them (219 A.H. – 834 AD). He was busy suppressing their chief Muhammad bin Usman for seven months. After killing many of the Jats, Ajif is said to have carried twenty seven thousand of them (including women and children) to Baghdad. , 
Tabkai-i-Akbari writes that Mahmud of Ghazni undertook his seventeenth expedition in 417 A.H. against the Jats (of the region of the Jud hills) who had molested his army on its return from Somnath. Mahmud is said to have organized a fleet of 1400 boats, while Jats could gather 4000 boats (or 8000 according to some). A naval fight ensued between the two at Multan, in which the Jats were drowned. The rest were slain. 
Tarikh-us-Subuktigin describes that two or three thousand mounted Jats attacked the Ghazanvide commander Tilak (425 A.H. – 1034 AD) “chiefly for the purpose of seizing his property and money”, when he was perusing the rebel, Ahmad Nialtigin in the lower Punjab. They carried away his son and subsequently killed Ahmad also. The Jats returned his son and the head of the deceased only after getting a portion of the promised reward. , 
Taj-ul-Maasir refers to the rising of the Jats of Haryana (588 A.H. 1192 AD) under their leader Jatwan, following the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Jatwan besieged the Muslim garrison at Hansi. Hearing about it, Qutb-ud-Din hurriedly moved against the Jats. Jatwan raised the siege to confront Qutb-ud-Din, but was beaten after a sanguinary fight. We are told that in samvat 1252 (1195 AD) a meeting of Sarva Khap Panchayat (Federal clan council of the Jats and other kindred people of Upper Doab, Haryana and neighbourng areas) was held in a forest between the villages of Bhoju and Bhanera under the chairmanship of Rao Vijay Rao of the village, Sisauli. This meeting decided among others to raise a big militia “to defend the Sarva Khap area against a suspected attack by Muhammad Ghori and to protect the area from loot and plunder. , , 
Th Jats rose again when Timur invaded India. Malfuzat-i-Timuri testifies to his satisfaction over killing 2000 Jats of village Tohna near Sarsuti. He found them “demon like”, “robust”, “marauding” and “as numerous as ants, and locusts”. ,  We learn that in order to hold deliberations over the problem of his invasion, a Sarva Khap Panchayat meeting was held in samvat 1455 (1338 AD) in forest of Chugama under the president ship of Dev Pal Rana. It passed the resolutions that they should “vacate the villages, sending the children and women to the forests and that the able-bodied persons should take up arms and destroy the army of Timur. ,  The Panchayat militia harassed the forces of Timur, while they were advancing from Meerut towards Haridwar. In the process the former lost 6000 men. , 
Another invader Babar found the Jats inhabiting a tract between Mil-ab and Bhera mountains. He remarks:
- “If one goes into Hindustan the Jats and Gujars always pour down in countlesss hordes from hill and plain for loot in bullock and buffalo…When we reached Sialkot, they fell in tumult on poor and needy folks who were coming out of the town to our camp, and stripped them bare. I had the silly thieves sought for, and ordered two or three of them cut to pieces”. , 
Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi speaks of one redoubted Jat chief named Fateh Khan who ravaged the country of Lakhi Jungle and the road from Lahore to Panipat. Haibat Khan, the governor of the Punjab, crushed Fateh Khan and his associates. , 
The Jats late opposed, to their worth, Nadir shah (at Karnal) and Ahmad Shah Abdali (at Manupur). These examples suffice to show their tendency of opposing the foreign invaders. K.R.Kanungo rightly remarks:
- "They (the Jats) have shown in all times – whether against Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, or against Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali – the same propensity to fall upon the rear of a retreating army undeterred by the heaviest odds, or the terror-inspiring fame of great conquerors. When encountered they showed the same obstinate and steady courage unmindful of the carnage on the field or of the miseries that were in store for them after defeat". , 
The traditional accounts of the Jats record that on many occasions the Sarva Khap Panchayat of the Jats and others met to express its deep resentment against the administrative oppression, unjust restrictions and humiliating exactions on ground of religious discrimination. In some cases they reportedly resolved to oppose the Muslim administration in case the oppressive measures were not withdrawn. [Kanha Ram (Hindi Ms.), 6,8-9,12,14], 
Ram Swarup Joon writes that Pliny has written that during a conflict between KhanKesh, a province in Turkey, and Babylonia, they sent for the Sindhu Jats from Sindh. These soldiers wore cotton uniforms and were experts in naval warfare. On return from Turkey they settled down in Syria. They belonged to Hasti dynasty. Asiagh Jats ruled Alexandria in Egypt. Their title was Asii
Lohan rule in Sindh
Lohan (लोहान) or Lohana (लोहाना) or Luhana (लुहाना) is gotra of Jats found presently in Uttar Pradesh. Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that they are frequently mentioned in the History of Sindh. Mahabharata mentions them as northern people alongwith Kambojas and Rishikas (Arsika, Asikas). The Lohans who were apparently Jats .... knew no distinction of great and small. 
Balhara rule in Sindh
According to Thakur Deshraj, the Balhara Jats were the rulers in Sindh from 8th century to 10th century. In 710 AD Muhammad bin Qasim occupied Sindh. Sindhu River had made them good navigators. They had fight with Alexander the great by boats. Brahman Raja Dahir was the ruler of Sindh at that time. 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 remembered as Bal Division. The area from Khambhat to Simari was under their rule and Manafir was their capital. 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.
Sir Henry Elliot 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. 'Koyala Patan' which is now known as 'Kolia', was a single city from Kolia to 'Kalindi Katkeri' spread over about 36 km in length. There used to be bricks of one cubit long and half cubit thick. There are seven tanks of Balharas, Banka tank in the name of Banka Balhara and Lalani tank in name of Lalaji. There is one village named Balhara in Sikar district of Rajasthan. 
In 900 A D, a King of this gotra was a powerful ruler in the Western Punjab. He has been greatly praised by historian Sulaiman Nadwi, who came to India as a trader. According to him this ruler was one of the four big rulers of world at that time in 857 A D. He was a friend of the Arabs and his army had a large number of elephants and camels. His country was called Kokan (Kaikan) 'near river Herat. 
Nehra Jats in Sindh
Nehra clan Jats were rulers of Nehrun state in Sindh at the time of attack on Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim in 710. Present Hyderabad city was settled on the land of Nehrun. The Hyderabad city was then named Nehrun Kot and was called the heart of the Mehran. 
Other Jat rulers in Sind
Thakur Deshraj mentions about rule of other Jat named Chandra Ram of Hala clan. He was ruler of Susthan but he lost it to Muslims. He wandered for some time but later he attacked the fort and occupied it. When Muhammad bin Qasim learnt it he sent 1000 sawar and 2000 footsoldiers to suppress Chandra Ram. He fought bravely but killed. His state was known as Halakhandi.,
Jat rulers in Kaikan
Kaikan was a province in Sind. Kikania is the name of a mountain. When the Arab invaders first time came to Kaikan mountains, the Jats repelled them. K.R.Kanungo writes that when Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sind, Kaikan country was in independent possession of Jats. The country of Kaikan was supposed to be in south-eastern Afghanistan , which was conquered from Jats by the Arab general Amran Bin Musa in the reign of the Khalifa Al-Mutasim-bi-llah, (833-881 AD). During the same reign another expedition was sent against the Jats who had seized upon the roads of Hajar (?)...and spread terror over the roads and planted posts in all directions towards the desert. They were overcome after a bloody conflict of twenty five days. 27000 of them were led in captivity to grace the triumph of victor. It was a custom among these people to blow their horns when Marshalled for battle., ,
Thakur Deshraj mentions about the Buddhist Mauryan Jats rulers’ Rai Dynasty. He says that Rai was their title and their capital was at Aror which used to lie on the banks of the Indus River. Rai Meharsan II had a war with Badshah Nimroz of Iran in which he was killed. After him Rai Sahasi II became the king. When Rai Sahasi II fell ill, he called his minister to see the letters. The minister sent his munshi Chach for this purpose. The wisdom of Chach influenced the king and he appointed Chach to look after the palace. This way he got free entry into the palace. Chach developed illegal relations with the queen Suhanadi. Chach conspired with the Rani Suhanadi and killed Raja Sahsi Rai II and married with the queen and became ruler of Sindh starting a line of Brahmin ruler ship in samvat 689 (632 AD). 
Panwar rulers in Omarkot
Umerkot or Omarkot (Urdu: عمرکوٹ) is town in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. It is also referred to as Amar Kot as per old histories, "Amar Kot Itehas" by Tej Singh Solanki. Once, it has been Capital of Greater Sindh Province, including some parts of present Rajasthan state of India. According to Thakur Deshraj, Panwar clan Jats were rulers here prior to Mughal ruler Humayun. Jame Todd tells it to be a Rajput state confusing Panwar with Rajputs, but it was denied by Cunningham, who wrote it to be a Panwar Jat state referring to the author of 'Humayun Nama'. , 
Origin: Hala is a gotra or clan of the Jats is found in the states of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in India and in the province of Sindh in Pakistan. It is likely that Hala Tribe came to known to the people or history in about 1203 AD / 600 Hijri. According to the Bards of the Hala gotra, king Shalivahan, the son of Gaj founded his capital at Sorath in present-day Gujarat, where the descendants of Sri Krishna had ruled for several generations. The members of this gotra are Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The Muslim Jats of the Hala gotra are found in Sindh, while Hindu and Sikh Jats belonging to this gotra are found in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab (India). • In the tenth generation, there came a powerful king named Hala. For twenty-two generations thereafter, this country up to Nasik was ruled by this dynasty and was called Halar. The empire included Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Sindh and Kashmir. This kingdom lasted from 187 Vikram to 227 Vikram. • Hala, the second son of Gajan and grand son of Rata Rayadhan, subdued all the villages in the south and west of Kachh, and founded the HALA tribe. Still later Hala, son of Gajan, tried to get hold of Bhadresvar but failing, retired to Vinjan. His son, Harbham founded Pavadyala. • Later, the chief of Hala tribe, Jam Raval (Descend of Hala and son of Lakha), in the sixteen century, seized Bhadresvar fort in 1592, and also usurped the Government of the whole country including Sindh upto Hala Kandi , but was finally driven out by Rao Khangar. He went to Kathiawar, of which he conquered the western part from the Jaitwas, and gave it the name of Halar, where he also founded the town of Navangar and made it capital. The Jam of Navangar is descended from him. • The temples of the area were attacked in A.D.1693 by Muhammadan forces under Mohsun Beg, and many of the images broken, from which period the area has 15 been neglected. Some of the people including belonging to Hala tribe converted themselves to muslim religion, and therefore they might have been forced to migrate to other areas,such as Punjab, Sindh where they settled down at different places including Hala Kandi.
Migration from Sind
As for the migration of Jats from Sind, it may be assumed that natural calamity and increase in population compelled them to migrate from their original abode in search of livelihood.Hoernle has propounded the 'wedge theory' for the migration of most of the ancient tribes. This wedge theory tends us to believe that the Jats were among the first wave of the Aryans, and their first southeast migration took place from the Nort-West, and established their rule at Sorpur in Multan regions. Further they migrated towards east and stretched their abode from Brahmanabad (Mansura) to Kathiawar. As Jataki, the peculiar dialect of the Jats, also proves that the Jats must have come from the NW Punjab and from other districts (e.g. Multan) dependent upon the great country of the Five rivers. By the end of fifth and the beginning of the sixth century, their southward migration, second in line, took place and they reached Kota in Rajasthan, probably via Bikaner regions. From Kota they migrated further east and established their rule at Malwa under the rule of Salichandra, son of Vira Chandra. Salichandra erected a minster (mindra) on banks of the river Taveli in Malwa. Probably after their defeat by Sultan Mahmud in 1027 AD, and later hard pressed by the Ghaznavi Turkish Commander, the Jats of Sind again migrated to Rajasthan and settled themselves in Bundi regions.The second inscription found at Bundi probably dates from circa samvat 1191 (1135 AD) possibly refers to the Jats as opponents of the Parmara rulers of Rajasthan.
When Muhammad bin Qasim attacked Dahlilah, a fortified town in between Roar and Brahmanabad, most of the inhabitants (the Jats) had abandoned the place and migrated to Rajasthan via desert and took shelter in the country of Siru (modern Sirohi) which was then ruled by King Deva Raj, a cousin of Rai Dahir. However, the third migration took place in early eighth century and Jats of lower Sind migrated to Rajasthan, probably via Barmer regions. By the twelfth century, the Jats settled in western Punjab, as the native poet Abul Farj Runi mentions them along with the Afghans.Meanwhile, they also extended their abode in the eastern part of the Punjab (now Haryana), as in the end of the twelfth century they resisted Qutb-ud-din Aybak in the region of Hansi.
Tombstones of the Jats
The lower Sindh is dotted with many historical cemeteries boasting the tombs of the fallen heroes. The fabulous tombstones have been erected to commemorate the heroism and chivalry of the warriors. However, the graveyard of Jats located some 20 kilometres south of Tando Muhammad Khan near the famous Buddhist stupa of Sudheran is quite prominent. It can easily be approached from Saidpur village. The necropolis is perched atop the hill overlooking the railway line that connects Tando Muhammad Khan with Hyderabad. The necropolis contains the tombstones of the Jats who died in the battle against the Chang tribe locally known as Jatan ain Changan Jo Maro (Battle of Jats and Changs).
In the annals of Sindh, this battle is known as Jatan ain Changan Jo Maro (Battle of Jats and Changs) which took place in 1786 A.D during the rule of Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur (1783-1801), founder of Talpur dynasty. The battle started after a Jat woman killed a certain Chang by hitting him hard with cooking pot over an issue of molestation. In retaliation, some people of Chang tribe killed a brother of Jat woman. Jats also quickly struck back and killed three Changs followed by a series of clashes and encounters between two tribes. The frequent clashes between tribes eventually led to tribal war. All the Jats of Lower Sindh and Kutch came to prop up the Sardar Sher Khan Jat then chief of Jats.
Jats were very powerful tribe in lower Sindh. Even Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talpur was afraid of the rising power of Jats. In order to rein in the rising power of the Jats, Mir Fateh Ali Khan openly supported Chang tribe. He even forced some other tribes namely Jamalis and Khosas to fight by the side of Changs. However, almost in every encounter, the Changs and their supporters faced humiliation. Eventually, the Changs with support of Mir Fateh Ali Khan collected a large conscript to face the Jats in final battle. Jats also collected their tribesmen from lower Sindh and Kutch and prepared for final combat.
Subsequently, rookies of both Changs and Jats met in the battle ground in the purlieus of the Jati town and fought valiantly. However, Jats displayed more skills in wielding sword and heroism in the battle. The Jats won the battle, Changs and their supporters retreated from battle ground turning the swords into ploughshares.
The war ballads of battle are still confined to many bards living in the lower Sindh and Tharparkar who sing and amuse people with rhythmic narrations. They meticulously and appraisingly eulogize the gallantry and heroism of individuals. They also have scrupulous record of every lineage of the Jats who engaged in the battle. The notable lineages of Jats who took part in the battle were Othar (camelmen or camel breeder) Thatiar (buffalo raisers) Mithanis, Radho, Hamrani, and Halani etc. Folk story tellers also narrate the individuals' names of both tribes who fought bravely in the battle.
Those who died were buried in different graveyards of Badin, Thatta and Tando Muhammad Khan. The people of Chang tribe were buried in graveyards of Ram Baraho in Badin and at the battle ground which is known as Jatan and Chagan Ja Der in Jati (a necropolis that contains communal graves of both the Changs and the Jats). Some Jats were taken for burial to the necropolis of Jats near Sudheran-Jo-Thul in Tando Muhammad Khan. The tombstones of Jats are famous in the region for the awe-inspiring engravings. Apart from, the geometric and floral designs, figural representations also decorate the structures indicating the aesthetic of the builders who seem to have profoundly banked on local themes for their artistic expression.
The graveyard of Jats contains more than 20 chaukhndi tombs, of which some are ornately carved and carries excellent representations of mounted warriors, weapons and jewellery. Some of tombs also carry epigraphs. The decorated slabs of tombstones are strewn everywhere in the necropolis and some even beyond the limits of the graveyard. The decorated slabs of three tombs are scattered over the site. These tombs have been vandalized by rapacious people in the of finding out treasure. Mostly people believe that treasure is hiding underneath of such imposing tombs.
On one of the destroyed gravestones, camel depiction is elaborately carved thus indicating the identity of the buried dignitary that he belonged to Jat community and was camel breeder and tender. The Jats are ancient tribe of Sindh. Although tribe members in lower Sindh raise buffalo, most Jats are known as camel breeders. Local custom has it that anybody holding the bridal of a camel is Jat. Or to put it differently, anybody who tends and breeds camel is called Jat. In fact, some people consider Jats to be their own caste. Others believe that they owe their name to their profession.
On another slab one can find a depiction of mounted warrior which is very skillfully carved. There are some gravestones which show the depiction of weapons. There is a dismantled slab bearing the representation of sword with shield. On another gravestone, one finds the representations of dagger, sword with shield axe and punch. Local people hold that some of the slabs showing weapons and riders have been taken away by government officials.
There are more than six tombstones which depict the jewellery. Those graves which bear jewellery engravings belong to women. There is a variety of jewellery on dislodged slabs scattered in the necropolis. On one of the dislodged panels, there are various items of jewellery. The centre of the panel is occupied by necklace. At the top there is the Sanghar patti with pendants hanging down, in between Sanghar patti and necklace are depicted two nose-rings close to the pendants of sanghar patti. Two pairs of bracelets are depicted on each side of the sanghar patti. One each side of the necklace, there are three finger rings.
On another gravestone, there are two bracelets enclosed in floral- shaped pattern. Two finger-rings are symmetrically arranged in upper and lower edges of the gravestone. On the dislodged panel lying between two tombstones, there are two bracelets with strikingly designed pommels.
One can also find amid of scattered slabs of the Chaukhandi tombs, a slab that bears inscription which reads the name of Jat son of Bakha Jat. Another inscription reads the name of Bakha Jat son of Darya.
Sassi-Punnu : Love Story
- This Story of Sassi Punnu is supposed to be more than 200 years old and is sang in folktales in Sindh.
At the time when these cities were flourishing, traders used to go back and forth. They would come here from Baluchistan and places up north, hawking their wares, perfumes, silks and opium.
They went to a seer who predicted that they would have a daughter but that she would end up marrying a Muslim. They were thoroughly distraught when they heard this. Sure enough, after some time a baby girl was born to them. The wife said to her husband, „It is better that before she blackens our name [by marrying a Muslim], we set her free. So she put the baby into a small trunk and floated her out to sea. A Muslim washerman saw this trunk floating by and thought it must surely contain treasure. So he opened it up. Seeing the tiny baby, he took her home and he and his wife brought her up as their own. She was named Sassi and grew to be extremely beautiful. Everybody envied her looks, but her father would not agree to give her in marriage to anyone.
About the same time, in the area called Makran in Baluchistan there was a Jatt king named Ari. He had five sons, of whom the youngest was named Punu. One day their minister, a Hindu of the Lohana caste, was going to Bhambhor on business. Punu said, 'Now when you go to Sindh, you must find me a bride o had come out to buy perfumes and silks from the traders passing through. He saw Sassi there and liked her immediately.
He summoned Punu to Sindh, and Punu married Sassi forthwith.
However, when Punu relatives in Baluchistan heard what had happened, they were enraged, exclaiming, 'How can a Jatt son marry the daughter of a mere washerman?' So saying, they loaded up their camels and rode into Sindh to fetch Punu back. In the dead of night they gagged him and carried him back to Baluchistan, leaving poor Sassi behind.
Sassi woke to find her husband gone. In anguish she pined for him for years, and wandered all over Sindh looking for him in vain. Wandering thus, she finally met with her death somewhere in the hills of Sindh, near where Karachi is today. She asked the earth to open up and receive her, leaving merely the tip of her scarf above ground.
When Punu finally received word of this, he came to look for her. On coming upon this scene, he was so overcome with grief that he too died on the spot; and today their graves lie side by side in Sindh at the spot where they died, united finally in their grief.
Back to Jat Places in Pakistan
- The Jats of Sind on geocites
- Ancient Geographical Places and Tribes of Sindh
- Jats of Punjab and Sindh by Irfan Habib
- The peasants in Indian History by Irfan Habib
- Sauvira on Wikipedia
- Sindhi Axemen
- HALA & HALAS IN THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE BY MUNAWAR A. ARBAB- An Online book
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