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Ranial Rajputs

Ranial Rajputs

The Ranial Rajputs of the Pothohar Plateau are a branch of the famed Janjua Rajput clan. The Janjua Rajput (Punjabi ਜਨ੍ਜੁਅ, Urdu: جنجوعہ) (also spelt Janjuha, Janjuah) is a highly dominant 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, the Jhelum Valley of Kashmir.The Janjua is a dominant warlike clan of the Punjab and has played a key role throughout Punjabi history - from becoming one of the first Rajput clans to convert to Islam to being the first to begin salt mining in the Salt Range of Western Punjab plains. They aided the Mughal conqueror Babur conquest of India, as well as today providing many soldiers and highly decorated generals to the Pakistani Army.

Under the British Raj of India, they were designated as a Martial Race and provided strong numbers to the British Imperial Army and fought in both World Wars.

The Gazetteer of the Rawalpindi District records, "They (Janjua) are very proud of their ancestry, make good soldiers...they are usually addressed as "Rája", and stand very high in social rank." (Sang-e-Meel, 2001, Lahore, p105).

Panjab Castes also confirms, "Dominant tribe of proud position, such as the Janjúa, have retained their pride of lineage and their Rájpút title...and always addressed as Rája." (Denzil Ibbetson, Delhi, 2002, p.132, p.149, p.154).

Ranial Rajputs were easily recognised by their many features. Characteristics that include smooth skin, long eye shape and fair colour.

"High courage, patriotism, loyalty, honour, hospitality and simplicity are qualities which at once must be conceded to them." - Col. James Tod, classical British writer on Rajputs and their History.

History

The Punjab in the pre-Mughal era was one of much civil wars between many kingdoms and new dynasties began to spread their dominions over other crumbling dynastic houses.

In the early thirteenth century, the Janjua chieftain, Raja Mal Khan rose to prominence. He increased his dominion over Hazara (later renamed Amb through his son Raja Tanoli, Jhelum through his son Raja Jodh, parts of Kashmir through Raja Khakha, Rajghar (later renamed Malot) Chakwal through his eldest Raja Bhir and what is today known as the Kahuta district through Raja Kala Khan. Tarikh-e-Alfi of the Ghorids makes a mention of the rise to power of Raja Mal.

According to Lepel H. Griffin, in Chiefs and Families of note in the Punjab (Lahore, 1910, ii, p254),:

"On the death of their father, they determined to divide the country called, from Raja Mal, the Maloki Dhan between them. Jodh took the Salt Range near about the Makrach, and captured the town of Makshala from a colony of Brahmins (Mohyals)...He changed its name to Makhiala and built a fort there and two tanks for rain water..... Wir Khan (also spelt Bhir), took the possession of Khura (also spelt Khewra) near modern Pind Dadan Khan."

The descendants of Raja Jodh continued to rule this region through various interruptions until the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Raja Bhir meanwhile took over the Malot (Rajghar) state from his father.

It was in this tradition that Raja Bhir's later descendant, Raja Malu Khan, allying his cousin Raja Mubarak Khan who was the descendant of Raja Jodh Khan, gained control of the region of Dhamial and Ranial.

The Janjua conquest

According to the Tehreek-e-Janjua (Sahiwal Press, v1, p224), these two Rajas employed a sudden military onslaught to conquer the areas of Ranial and Dhamial. Through the repute of their military success, they were able to win the neighbouring gentry over to their own side and established good relations with them.

Raja Malu took the area of Hayal Ranial whilst Raja Mubarak took the Dhamial plain. Interestingly, Raja Malu's offspring were known as the Rajas of Ranial and Raja Mubarak's offspring likewise, were known as the Rajas of Dhamial. This later culminated in the recognition of these two branches as simply Ranial Rajas and Dhamial Rajas.

Being neighbours, they taxed their subjects separately, but followed common and shared policies on other matters such as the supply of soldiers to the Mughal emperors, cultivation and trade. A tradition which is maintained to this day in modern day Pakistan. However Dhamial in itself gained greater prominence but through the shared input of both branches. Today, there is an established military base in Dhamial.

The Ranial Rajput family tree

The Ranial Rajputs are linked ancestrally to the Janjuas through Raja Malu Khan, who was a descendant of Raja Bhir as illustrated below:


                    Raja Mal Khan, the Janjua king
                                   |
                    Raja Bhir, the elder son of Raja Mal Khan
                                   |
                    Raja Acharpal (later converted to Islam and was renamed Raja Ahmed Khan)
                                   |
                             Raja Sunpal
                                   |
                             Raja Islam-ud-din
                                   |
                             Raja Noor-ud-din
                                   |
                             Raja Daulat Khan
                                   |
                             Raja Hans Khan
                                   |
                             Raja Malu Khan (during Jehangir’s reign [1605-28])




Some of Raja Malu Khan's descendants have also spread to Nambal, Chand Tehsil and Malot, Chakwal (the ancestral kingdom of Raja Bhir who inherited it from his father, Raja Mal Khan.

Raja Malu Khan was one of five brothers. The other brothers were:

  1. Raja Sadu Khan: His descendants are settled in the area of Sehel Tehsil and Pindi Gheb.
  2. Raja Nadyam Khan: His descendants are in Harajpur Pind and Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil.
  3. Raja Babul (who was the Minister of Maral Garh): His descendants are settled in the Murali district in Chakwal
  4. Raja Jangu Khan: His descendants are settled in Dana, Khanpur and Dadan Chey.

Ranial Rajas today

During the age of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the rule of the Ranials came to an end. However, the Sikhs employed a more diplomatic approach and appointed the Ranial chiefs as Deputy Officers in charges of Village Matters, Land Areas and Taxations. This also continued during the British Raj era.

  • Raja Ghulam Mehdi Khan of Ranial was an officer in charge of land and a magistrate during the British period. Raja Ghulam Mehdi Khan did not have any male offspring. His nephew, Colonel Lehrasab Khan is a noteworthy local personality.
  • Raja Hassu Khan of Ranial was also a Deputy Officer in Charge of Land Areas; he was a brave man of fame and prominence in the region.
  • Subedar Raja Zaman Ali of Nambal was a well known local personality. His sons Raja Mushtaq Hussain and Raja Ali Asghar have settled in the UK whereas his other son Doctor Raja Liaquat Ali has settled in Canada. His youngest son Master Raja Akhtar Ali is still settled in Nambal.
  • Raja Mohammad Ibrahim of Nambal who is also related to this family is a famous poet.
  • Raja Mohammad Irshad of Islamabad who is also related to this family is the owner of Nambal Poultry farms in Sihala.
  • Raja Irshad Hussain the famous poet of the UK who has been on Television on numerous occasions is the son in law of Raja Ali Asghar.

The third generation of the UK-migrated Ranial Rajas have achieved high levels of education and become Barristers, Doctors, Pharmacists, Chemical Engineers, Lecturers and Technology Consultants.

The Ranial Rajas in the UK mainly reside in London, Coventry, Birmingham, Walsall and Burton-On-Trent.

Just for clarification the Ranial Rajas of Potowar are a different clan to the Ranyal Jats of Mirpur

All information in this article has been referenced from Books below.

References

  • Chiefs and Families of note in the Punjab by Lepel H. Griffin (Lahore Press, 1910,ii p254).
  • Baburnama Eng. trans., Annette S Beveridge (London, 1922), ii, p379,80.
  • Tehreek-e-Janjua by Raja Muhammad Anwar Khan Janjua (Sahiwal Press 1982, v1, p224)
  • History of India as told by its own Historians (v, p163-4.)
  • The Gazetteer of the Rawalpindi District (Sang-e-Meel, 2001, Lahore, p105).
  • Panjab Castes (Denzil Ibbetson, Delhi, 2002, p132, p149, p154).

See also

http://www.rajputjanjua.com/ http://www.janjuas.org/1.html Janjua Rajput History website]

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