They are said to be descendants of legendary Raja Karan of the Mahabharata. Thathaals also claim Suryavanshi Jats ancestry. Thathaals claim their kinship with a Suraj Bansi Jat Raja Karan Singh through his son Raja Thathoo. In the Potohar region, it is not uncommon for tribes to claim both Rajput and Jat origins.
Some of the persons from Thathaal tribe converted to Islam during period of Mehmood of Ghazna. During first battle of Trawarri, one of the Thathaal sardar Sahib Khan was martyred, his son Qasim was bestowed with Jagir of area from Ravi to Jhelum, including the present districts of Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Gujrat, Sargodha and Khushab. Qasim Khan was an able leader of men, his son Shujah defeated Nasiruddin Qabacha and forced him to run towards Sindh. Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak honoured him with area up to Uch as Jagir. Sardar Shahbaz was assistance to the Governor of Punjab Prince Mohammad, responsible to fight against Mongol raiders. Qasim son of Sardar Shahbaz Khan Thathaal was a brave commander, showed his mettle during battles with Mongols. He was honored with the title of “Khan Zaman” as he attacked Mongols in Iran and Tauran. During governorship of Ghias Tughliq he was killed in a battle against Mongols near Pindi Gheb. Thathaals remain the owner of their areas with honor. Feroz Shah Tughliq honored them by issuing of some areas as jagir in Jammu. However this honor was shortened as Thathaal sardar Muzzafar fought against Pir Mohammad (grandson of Amir Taimur) army. Thathaal forces were crushed and their areas burnt to ashes. Thathaals were forced to take shelter inside Kharian Pubbi and later on migrated to Salt Range and joined the Ghakhar Sultan as their subjects.
During the Middle Ages
The Amir Taimur destroyed India and Thathaals were scattered, their helping Jat tribes like Gondal, Sandhu, Cheema, Chatha, Tarar and Bajwas started their life as cultivator/ Zamindar. The central power of Thathaals vanished as rulers, their individual valour remained but now they were fighting under Gakhars of Salt Range.
In 1525 Zaheeruddin Babur started attacking different parts of India. Thathaals Sardar Safdar Murad under the influence of Ghakhars sided Babur. Doulat Khan Lodhi was defeated but Thathaals were still without independent areas as Ghakhars did not desire to create a rival nearby. Thus a faction of Thathaals remained with Ghakhars but Murad Qaleech Khan took away a group of daredevils with him, selected a place along Kharian Pubbi and inaugurated a village Qaleechpur, still thriving with majority of Thathaals. Source of the tribe converted to cultivators of land but never became good Zamindars, still fond of fighting.
When Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun, ill fate of Thathaals commenced. Ghakhars were defeated, Suri pathans captured the Salt Range and uprooted the Ghakhars and Thathaals. The Janjua’s and Gondal’s of adjoining areas also suffered. Rohtas Fort was established and bad luck of Thathaals was still very much there. Qaleechpur was destroyed, people of area were butchered, some escaped and sheltered into Pubbi Kharian for safety. Mansur Murad the headman of Thathaals was killed, and might of Thathaals was almost vanished for the time being. Return of Humayun in 1546 restored some of the honour and pride in Thathaal tribe. Mughals captured some area of Kashmir, Syed Yousaf Mashadi the governor called for Sardar Muhammad Azam Thathaal. Azam was a dare devil, he attacked and captured Yadgar Mirza in Akbar’s regime. Mirza was killed and mutiny was over, Azam was bestowed the title of “BAHADUR”.
In 1606 when prince Khusro revolted against Emperor Jahangir, he tried to reach Rohtas Fort to get the help of Hasan Beg. The Thathaal sardar Saifullah was ordered to stop the prince, the forces of prince were defeated near River Chenab. Khusro was captured from a river island near Jalalpur Jattan and handed over to Royal forces. Saif was honored with the title of “MURTAZA KHAN”, and emperor Jahangir granted him with lot of money and areas as jagir.
The relationship between Saifullah Murtaza Khan and Moghal commander in chief Mohabat Khan were very cordial. Mohabat Khan revolted against Moghal empire, made the emperor hostage. Then captured Moghal General Asif Khan and his son as hostage, sought help of Saif Murtaza Khan for shelter. Shelter was provided in a safe area of Pubbi Kharian, Mohabat was lodged along with his hostages. But Royal forces pounded the area, Thathaals were crippled, thus their towns were burnt to ashes. The survivors had to run for safety into Salt Range area. Mohabat Khan was shifted to a safe place, Asif Khan and his son were released. However Thathaals were now down to earth, just like any other Rajput or Jat tribe.
Mohabat Khan however was pardoned by the Emperor but Asif Khan as governor of Lahore never gave any chance to Thathaals, his only aim was to destroy the Thathaal to oblivion. During the period of Shahjahan, Thathaals tried to recapture some pride but remained in low key. However they joined the Aurangzeb forces in Badakhshan battle. Some of Thathaals fighters captured the eye of prince during battle at Gulbahar and Panjsheer with their daredevil attitude.On return prince appointed Thathaal sardar Hashmat Khan as Kiladar of Khambhat in Kathiawar. Hashmat was a charming personality with quality of leadership. He was followed by the Khamb riders, some forces of Chib area of Jammu and some tribes of Mongols/ Afghan origin from Badakshan, when prince Aurangzeb was appointed away from Ahmedabad, Hashmat resigned and came back to his own area along with his new followers. He ordered to built a village named Kahnpur and Khamb tribe was granted some areaound. Another town Khambi was established near Kaleechpur, the Mongol/ Afghan tribe was ordered to situated there along with some of the Khambs. This tribe is still in Khambi known as “KAKKAY BILLEY” due to their blue eyes and blond hairs.
After the demise of Mughal empire, Sikhs started invading the Thathaals area. For the purpose Thathaal sardar Hafiz Murad established a village as military camp across the Kharian Pubbi to stop the invation of Sikhs. Essa Khan was appointed headman there. The mother of Essa Khan was from Mohmund the Pathan tribe, he was called Essa Khan Mohmund. This village is still known as Mohmund Chak, situated some miles below the Kharian town. Hafiz Murad tried to restore the pride of his ancestors, by hosting the Sahi’s from Sialkot, the of Chibb area, the Awans from Pindi Gheb etc. During age of King Farrukh Seir, Sikhs were routed and their leader Banda Bairagi was Killed. Although Thathaals sided with Moghals but soon after demise of Sikhs, Governor Lahore started thrashing Thathaals, Ghakhars and other upright tribes.
Essa Khan Mohmand revolted and took battle to the Moghals. He raided every carvan of Moghals between Chenab and Jhelum. Thus stopped all the routes to Kabul and Kashmir. Thathaals were scattered without any single leader, some hundred Thathaals raiders kept on tormenting the Moghals, till the Governor of Lahore concentrated to attack on Thathaal areas. Essa Khan fought hard, but was consequently defeated and killed. All the tribe was scattered in Pubbi Kharian and Salt Range, Thathaals were down to earth again, areas demolished, youth killed, women and children starved to death with very meager resources to re-arrange the tribe. They sought help of Ghakhars of Salt Range, but Ghakhars were on slide themselves, when Sikhs took over as ruler of Punjab, hell was let loose for Thathaals of Kharian Pubbi, they never submitted to Sikhs but lost all the areas, left in situation that whole tribe had only one option to raise the cattle and cultivate the land to survive. A daredevil tribe with lot of honor and dignity was a lost chapter of history now. At present remaining tribe residing near Kaleechpur/ Khambi, Mohmud Chak and some villages of Salt Range are remnant of that tribe with lot of valour and a bright history of ruling the area. However, now, at present there is no difference between other Rajput Jaat tribes and the great Thathaals.
Villages Distribution Of Thathaals
There are some villages in India and Pakistan with Thathaals concentration Like Mehmund Chuck, Kaleechpur, Hushairpur (India). Include some villages of Azad Kashmir and Potohar region include Chakwal, Dheri Thathaal, Rawat, Jatli, and Tarlai Kalan.
Tarlai Kalan (quite a big town now a days, comes under the rural areas of Islamabad (the Capital Territory of Pakistan)) is considered to be an origin of all those Thathaals who had moved to Azad Kashmir and other villages around the Potohar Plateau. The ancestor of Thathaals who belonged from Tarlai Kalan was "Rai Dalia Singh". All Thathaals have been recorded in a family tree since the time of "Rai Dalia Singh", but the exact date is unknown. This family tree is still maintained and is up to date, where more than 15 generations can be found.
Villages named on Thathaals
Thathaals from Mirpur District : Thathaals are prominent Jats in Azad Kashmir, especially around the city of Mirpur. Other Jat clans of this area are the Nagyal, Ranyals, Bangial, Kalyals, Kanyals, Dhamial Jats and Rachyals
Thathaal Rajputs and Jats
Thathaals are Suraj Bansi (According to A Glossary of the Tribe and casts of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces by E.D. Maclagan and H.A. Rose) Thathaals claim their kinship with a Suraj Bansi Jat "Raja Karan Singh", one of his son named "Raja Thathoo". Thathaals were the rulers of the valley from River Jhelum to River Chinab. By the time when they lost their power, they started cultivating lands. Now a days many Thathaals are called themselves Rajputs as well as Jats in Pakistan. Most of the Thathaals use "Choudhry" but a few still use "Raja" as their name title.
Features of Thathaals
The best feature of Thathaals is their eyes, Thathaals have dark brown colour eyes and normally the look of their eyes is aggressive. Moreover, they have smooth and long nose.
Distribution in Pakistan
Thathal - Thathal/Thathar is a Jatt clan. The Thathals of Rawalpindi claim Suryavanshi Jat ancestry from a Raja Karan. According to tradition they are descended from a Raja Karan, whose other son founded the Narwa/Narma tribe. They are found in Jhelum, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Narowal districts.
According to 1911 census the Thathaal were the principal Muslim Jat clan in:
- Gurdaspur District - Thathaal (473)
- Rawalpindi District - Thathaal (53)
- Jhelum District - Thathaal (1,230)
- Gujrat District - Thathaal (1,930)
- Sardar Hari Singh of Wahali, Thathal - Jat, From Jhelum district was in the List of Punjab Chiefs of Pakistan.
1. A Glossary of the Tribe and casts of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces by E.D. Maclagan and H.A. Rose
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