Janjua Rajput (Punjabi ਜਨ੍ਜੁਅ, , ) (also spelt
Janjooa, Janjuha, Janjuah) is a Rajput royal warrior clan of Northern India and Pakistan.
have been referred to as the most Valiant Warriors of
.History of Mediaeval Hindu India
Vinayak Vaidya, Cosmo Publ. 1979, p129 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.Culture and Political History of Kashmir
Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai, MD Publ. Ltd., 1994, p637, p669, p670
The Mughal Emperor Jalaludin Mohammed Akbar's
record keeper Abu Fazl celebrated the Janjua Rajput as among the
most renowned Rajputs of India. The Janjua Rajput were later
referred to by researcher Christopher Birdwood as among "the
hardest breed in the Continent."
They have a recorded history that spans centuries through famous
the Vedic age
to the modern era. They were
among the earliest Rājput converts to Islam
against the Delhi Sultanate in the
early 13th and 16th century, the Janjua princes aided the Mughal
conqueror Babur in his conquest of India.
served as generals in the Imperial Mughal
and have played a major part in Punjabi history
through the battles,
rebellions and alliance. Under the British
Raj of India
, they were designated as a "Martial Race
" and provided strong numbers to
the British Indian Army
fought in both World Wars
The Janjua Rajput clan claim descendancy from the Pandava dynasty
through the Pandav Prince Arjun
Prince Arjun, known as the Achilles
, was famous for his valour. He was
eulogised in the Mahabharata
epic as the
warrior. He conquered many
powerful kingdoms in the Mahabharata epic and was the main lead in
the battle field of Kurukshetra.
were representing the Chandravanshi Kuru
Arjun was himself first cousin maternally to the famed Krishna
and also married Krishna's sister, Subhadra
, to extend his dynasty. In fact, it was
Arjun who carried out Krishna
Arjun's great grandson, Maharaja
, is an 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).
Regarding the Janjuas descent from the Pandavas
dynasty, the Bali
generals of Raja Dhrupet Dev of Mathura
recorded that the Janjua Raja Dhrupet Dev
descendant of Emperor Janamejaya
Pandava dynasty of Prince Arjun.
Sir Lepel H Griffin K.C.S.I. had also recorded in the early 1900s
that the Janjua were Pandavas
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 emperor Janamejaya
was responsible for the retelling of
Although there is no definitive source to confirm the ancestry of
the ancient King Porus
of Punjab, the
Janjua Rajputs claim that their ancestor, Rai Por
who fought Alexander in Punjab in
Considering the Janjua Rajputs Pandava descent interestingly it has
been recorded that Pandava tribe ruled the region of Punjab and
specifically Jhelum during the era of Alexander the Great
recorded the presence of the
(greek transliteration of Pandava) clan in the
geographic location noted by Greek writers of King Porus's kingdom
in Punjab where he fought Alexander the Great.
or Pandus were devout worshippers of
. This is consistent with sources
which confirmed that Porus's army carried the idol of their deity
Krishna into the battle for luck. Famous writer Atul Chandra
Chakravarti was also of the opinion that Porus's tribe was of
Pandoouoi/Pandava origin as is Dr D.C.Sircar researcher Ian Austin
It is said:
According to Arrian
, Alexander is said to
have asked King Porus "How would you like me to treat
to which Porus famously replied "As a Raja (king)"
. The answer touched Alexander, who in
return allowed the Raja
to retain his Kingdom
The Pandava/Pandoouoi tribe has been connected to the emerging
(sons of Arjuna) of the 4th century BC a
ruling warrior elite regarded as the descendants of Arjun Pandava,
from whom they claimed direct descendancy.
They have been mentioned in various sanskrit scriptures such as the
Ganapatha, Brihatsamhitā, Cāndravyākarama, Kāsika
which all indicate the presence of
the tribe in Northern india circa 200BC to the 5th century
rule of their state lay in the Delhi, Agra and Jaipur
triangle, comprising roughly the modern Bharatpur and Alwars states
near Mathura where the presence of the Pandava tribe has been
recorded and Arjunayana coinage has been discovered.
rule must have continued for many centuries into the age of the
Ghorid conquer of Northern India, when the last Pandava Janjua
ruler of Mathura Raja Dhrupet Dev was exiled from his kingdom of
Pānini refers to the Arjunayānas as the Rājanyādi
with coinage of the tribe being discovered as
early as the 4th century BC even before the Kushan rule of northern
Punjab. They flourished between the 2nd century BC till the 5th
century CE, issuing coinage bearing the legend, Arjunāyanānāam
meaning victory belongs to the Arjunāyanas
commemoration of their triumphs over their enemies. The Kushans
entry and subjugation of their kingdom, led to the Arjunayanas
joining a confederacy between another Pandava warrior tribe, the
Yaudheyas (who claim descendancy from Arjun Pandava's elder brother
Dharma) and also the Kunindas. This allied rebellion proved
successful, overthrowing the Kushan regency in Punjab, resulting in
the Arjunayanas establishing an large independent state which
flourished for centuries.
The page List of Indian
gives an account of the period of rule of the
phase which began from
approx 1600BC to 1026AD.
Janjua emperors of the Hindu Shahi Dynasty
From about 964CE, the Janjua chief Parambhattaraka Maharajadhiraja
Paramesvara Sri Jayapaladeva
known from the Bari Kot inscriptions) succeeded the Brahmin Hindu
Emperor Bhimdev. The Janjua Shahiya
emperors now ruled from Ghandar (Kandahar of Afghanistan) to the whole of Punjab in what was known as the second phase
of the Hindu Shahiya, the Janjua Shahi
and Dowson and Sachau led research into the origins of the Pala
Hindu Shahiya, the second dynasty that succeeded the initial
Brahmin Dev Shahiyas. They concluded that the origins of Emperor
was in the Janjua Rajput. In
1973's Al-Biruni International Congress in Pakistan, Hussain Khan
presented a paper, An Interpretation of Al-Biruni's Account of
the Hindu Shahiyas of Kabul
, which confirmed these findings.
The Janjua's genealogy records the names of the Janjua Shahi
Jayapala as well as the continued descendants of his House.
Jayapala was challenged by the armies of Sabuktigin and his son
towards the end of
his reign as emperor. Upon being captured after a fierce battle
with Sultan Mahmud, Jayapala was ransomed and upon his release,
"he ordered the construction of a funeral pyre.
Mounting and setting it alight, he nobly perished in the
. Misra wrote:"Jaypala was perhaps the last Indian
ruler to show such spirit of aggression, so sadly lacking in later
His son prince Anandapala who ascended the throne (in about
March/April 1002CE) already proved an able warrior in leading
battles prior to his ascension. According to Adáb al-Harb in about 990,
"the arrogant but ambitious Raja of
Lahore Bharat, having put his father in confinement,
marched on the country of Jayapála with the intention of conquering
the districts of Nandana, Jailum and
Jayapala instructed prince Anandapala to
repel the opportunist Raja Bharat
. Anandapala defeated
Bharat and took him prisoner in the battle of Takeshar
marched on Lahore and captured the city and extended his father's
battle of Chach between
Sultan Mahmud and Anandapala, it is
stated that "a body of 30,000 Gakhars
fought alongside as soldiers for the Shahi Emperor and incurred
huge losses for the Ghaznavids."
It is also mentioned
in the same text that "the Gakhars (or Khokhars) formed a very significant force in the
armies of the Sáhis"
. Despite the heavy losses of the enemy,
he eventually lost the battle and suffered much financial and
territorial loss. This was Anandapala's last stand against Sultan
Mahmud. Anandpala eventually signed a treaty
with the Ghaznavid empire in 1010CE and shortly a year later died a
peaceful death. R.C. Majumdar compared him ironically to his
dynasty's ancient famous ancestor "Porus, who bravely opposed Alexander but later submitted and helped in
subduing other Indian rulers."
Tahqíq Má li'l-Hind called
Anandapala noble and courageous
Tirlochanpála, the son of Anandapala, ascended the throne in about
1011CE. Inheriting a reduced kingdom, he set about expanding his
kingdom into the Siwalik Hills
region of the Rai of Sharwa. His kingdom now extended from the River
Indus to the upper Ganges valley.
, Tirlochanpála "was well inclined
towards the Muslims" and was honourable
in his loyalty to his father's peace
to the Ghaznavids. He later rebelled against Sultan
Mahmud and was eventually assassinated by some of his own mutinous
troops in 1021-22CE, an assassination which was believed to have
been instigated by the Rai of Sharwa.. He was romanticised in
as the last Punjabi
ruler of Punjab.
Bhímapála, son of Tirlochanpala, succeeded his father in 1021-22CE.
He was referred to by Utbí as "Bhīm, the Fearless; due to his
courage and valour"
. He led the battle of Nandana and
seriously wounded the commander of the Ghaznavid army Muhammad bin
Ibrahim at-Tāī. He ruled only five years after his father before
meeting his death in 1026CE.
remaining descendants, Rudrapal and his brothers Diddápála and
Anangapāla had settled in Kashmir and played a major role in the court of Kashmirian
king Ananta (1028-63CE).
According to the Rājtarahginī,
"Rudrapal proved himself extravagant in personal valour by crushing the rebels of the king, as
commander in chief of the
Kashmiri royal army."
despite living under Sultan
grace, praised the house of Jayapala:
writes of the Shahis:
The Janjua Rule of Mathura
Dhrupet Dev Janjua ruled Mathura state in the late 12th century.
also the ruler of the Mandu fort of the Shiwalik hills. He was well
known for being a Pandava descendant of Janamejaya
Raja Dhrupet's rule of Mathura ended when Qutb-ud-din Aybak
, the general of the
Ghorid army, attacked Mathura and exiled the ruling royal family.
According to Mohyal historians (Gulshan-e-Mohyali) Raja Dhrupet's
younger brother Raja Shripat Dev, accompanied the exile to the Salt
Range of Punjab. Shripat Dev later, "established his dominion at
Katasraj (old name Namaksar) in Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan, Distt.
Mohyal commanders-in-chief of the Janjua army at this point were
Rai Tirlok Nath Bali and Bam Dev Bhimwal.
Raja Mal Khan
Rai Dhrupet Dev was the father of a famous rebellious king Rai
Ajmal Dev Janjua who embraced Islam in the 12th century due to his
love for Sufi art, poetry and teachings. Rai/Raja Mal followed the
Islamic tradition of change of name after conversion and was then
known as Raja Mal Khan
. He was among the first Muslim
Rajputs. This conversion was done before the armies of Shahabudin
Ghauri entered into the Indian Plateau to conquer whilst he was
very young in his teens and inclined towards Islamic philosophy of
the Sufis, whose missionary efforts were gaining popularity in
Conquering for himself a kingdom in the
Koh-i-Jud he settled his capital at Rajgarh which he later renamed
He re-conquered the Salt Ranges of Punjab
to re-establish the dominion which his tribe lost almost two
centuries earlier to the Ghaznavids. (Malot was originally called
Shahghar or Rajghar - meaning home of the Shahis/Kings but was
later changed to Malot in recognition of its founder.)
The Tarikh-e-Alfi of the Ghorids mentions the rebellious behaviour
of Rai Mal towards the Delhi Sultanate. It records that he excited
a rebellion against them and intercepted communications between
Lahore and Ghazni. He then led the revolt to Multan with his
Gakhar allies, defeating the Ghorid Governor of Multan before
progressing to plunder Lahore and blockading the strategic road
between Punjab and Ghazni.
There are today remnants of an ancient fort in Malot, Chakwal which
was initially built by the Shahis and later rebuilt and fortified
by Raja Mal Khan. It is also inscribed that the last Hindu Shahi
prince Raja Mal embraced Islam at this place.
Raja Mal Khan was also the first ruler to begin the mining of salt
in the Salt Ranges of Kallar Kahar and in the Khewra Salt Mines of
Punjab which is currently the world's second largest salt
Delhi Sultanate and the Janjua Rajputs
The princes of the House of Rai Mal Khan continued their rebellion
against the Emperors of Delhi against whom they held their own for
many centuries remaining always turbulent, defiant and
The most prominent Hindu and Muslim Janjua Rajputs of today are
chiefly represented by the sons of Raja Mal Khan.
The princes were Raja Bhir Khan, Raja Jodh Khan, Raja Kala Khan and
Khan. Jodh and Bhir were born of
a Gakhar Rani
Kala, and Khakha
were born of another Rajput
Raja Khakha Khan was succeeded by three sons, Faggal Khan, Aliya
Khan, Mangi Khan who took over from him on his death. The Raja's of
the Khakha Janjua of Kashmir and Pakhli
became a renowned tribe of the Kashmiri region. Raja
Khaka Khan's descendants inhabit Muzaffarabad, Kot Khakha amongst
other villages near the Jammu frontier of Kashmir.
The Khakha Rajputs are renowned for being a powerful and warlike
Muslim Rajput tribe
, with a
reputation as a "defiantly fierce warlike tribe".. During the period of
the Afghan overlordship
over the region of Kashmir they, "...paid little to their
overlord and were practically independent."
the Sikh empire tightened their hold over the Jhelum Valley of
Kashmir, the Khakha Rajputs retained a privileged position. Their
power and dominance aided Yakub Shah in his defence of Kashmir, in
what was the first defeat of Mughal Emperor
in 1582 on his first incursion into the Kashmir valley.
But Akbar eventually returned more powerful and finally conquered
the region in 1586.
Raja Jodh and Raja Veer/Bhir
According to Lepel H. Griffin:
The descendants of Raja Jodh had continued to rule this region
through various interruptions until the age of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
. Raja Bhir (also
spelt Veer, meaning "brave") meanwhile took over Malot (Rajghar)
state in Chakwal from his father. Raja Bhir's son, Raja Acharpal
became a famous chief
father's death. The above mentioned Ahmed Khan was Acharpal, who
later changed his name after converting to Islam.
It was particularly these two branches who waged the greatest wars
against the Gakhars
Malik Darwesh Khan
Malik Darwesh was a warrior king of the Janjua tribe and a general
of Mughal Emperor Jalaludin Muhammad
Malik Darwesh Janjua declared war against the Gakhars. This final
battle against the Gakhars caused their defeated princes to flee
the battlefield, each prince into separate towns. Malik Darwesh
Khan now recovered the territory that was taken from his tribe by
the Gakhars. The recovered territories were distributed amongst his
tribe, of which one part formed his own Kingdom of
, spreading over twenty two large towns and villages
Even to day the area is called in Vernacular Bai (22) Deis (land,
villages, etc) firstly at Malikpur and then shifted to Darapur
(today Malikpur is a small village where no Janjua resides; but
almost entire landed property is held by the Janjua Rajas of
Darapur. In this area besides Darapur the main villages of Janjua
abode are Chakri Dhuman Khan. It has become known as Chakri Rajgaan
since the fame of General Asif Nawaz
as Chief of Army Staff. Bajwala Dattan is now known as
Darapur Janjua Rajputs
- Malik Darwesh Khan's
later descendant Raja Zaman Mahdi Khan of Darapur, was also
distinguished by Lepel H. Griffin as a true noble:
Zaman Mehdi Khan distributed his inheritance equally in four parts
between himself and his three brothers, Raja Shakir Mehdi Khan,
Raja Abdullah Khan, and Raja Paindah Khan. Later Raja Shakir
died issueless (he had two sons had migrated and
now their descendants are said to be at Qasur) and his share was
reassigned back to Raja Zaman Mehdi Khan, whereupon Raja Zaman
Mehdi Khan was admitted as chief of the family and was conferred
the title Malik
Nawab Talib Mehdi Khan Janjua
Zaman Mehdi Khan's only son, Malik Talib Mehdi Khan, served as
Deputy Commissioner, Ambassador to Kabul
and Prime Minister of the Bhawalpur State.. Talib Mehdi was
appointed as Nawab
with the rank of Major
without attachments of any kind. He assumed
rulership of the tribe after his father's death. At this point,
almost the entire warrior tribe served in the Imperial Army.
Nawab Malik Talib Mehdi Khan had only one son, the late Nawabzada
Malik Afzaal Mehdi Khan. He was chief of the family after the death
of his father. The only son of Afzaal Mehdi is Malik Iqbal Mehdi
Khan, ex-Provincial Minister, and Member of National Assembly
(1988-1999). He succeeded the rule of the Darapur Estate after his
father's death and is the current Regal Chief of the Darapur Janjua
Raja Najeeb Ullah Khan Janjua (the paternal nephew of Malik Zaman
Mehdi Khan Janjua who in his turn was the father of Talib Mehdi)
was among first Imperial soldiers from Imperial Indian Army to get
the King’s Commission, and was the first Muslim to do so. He was in
the British Battalion.
Raja Ghulam Mehdi Khan Janjua, the paternal nephew of Nawab Talib
Mehdi Khan and father-in-law of Nawab Malik Iqbal Mehdi Khan Janjua
(current chief of the Darapur Janjua tribe), was a provincial civil
servant at the time of independence and later on retired as Deputy
The Janjua Sultans
The Janjua Sultan
of Watli, Sultan Fateh
Muhammad Khan (descendant of Raja Jodh through Raja Sun Pal)
opposed the Sikhs, holding them off for over 6 months in Kusuk
Fort, Watli, for which Ranjit Singh gave the salt mines of Khewra
and 40 villages to the Sultan as compensation. His descendant,
Sultan Raja Azmat Hayat served as a Member of the Provincial
Assembly of Pakistan. Upon his death on 15 February 2003 his son
Sultan Raja Azam Hayat succeeded the estate of Kusak Fort.
The Janjua Sultan of Makhiala, Sultan Firoz Ali Khan was a warrior
king from Raja Jodh's line through Raja Rai Pal. He strongly
opposed Maharaja Ranjit Singh
during his conquest of Punjab. After his death his son Ali Haider
Khan was crowned Sultan, ruling for a very short period before his
death. His son Ashgar Ali Khan was crowned the next Sultan of
The Janjuas from Gurah Rajgan and Maira Rajgan are also well
organised and settled near Makhiala Rajgan. During the 20th
century, Watli Sultan Dynasty and the Darapur Dynasty were united
Raja Sarang Khan - Ruler of Kot Sarang
Raja Sarang Khan was a Rajput King (of the Raja Jodh Janjua line).
He conquered a vast region in Jhelum and built a strong fort called
Kot Sarang Qilla. His life was spent in adventure and battle. He
died near Makhad fighting the Afghans. His descendants still reside
at Kot Sarang, from a line including Raja Muhammad Khan.
& Bihal Rajputs of Badla, the Dasuya region of district
Hoshiarpur, are the Janjua descendants of the conqueror of
Makhiala, Raja Jodh.
They are the main representative branch
of the Hindu Janjua Rajputs. Raja Sahj Pal (8th in descent from
Raja Jodh) left Makhiala during the era when the Janjua were
rebelling against the Delhi Sultanate. Although the Muslim Janjuas
remained and fought, Raja Sahj Pal sought escape from the rebellion
and migrated to and founded Badla and is thought to have given it
that name. Raja Sahj Pal's son and successor, Raja Pahar Singh,
held 132 villages around the seat of Badla in his heyday.
The Bihals are the Ranas or superior rulers of the Dogras. The
Bihal Rajputs were known for courage, fending off several armies
over the course of history in the region.
The Rajput Tika ceremony is applied to the selected Rana or chief
of the family. A red tilak is applied under a banian tree at Barnar
or Bah Ata, with other assembled chiefs and Rana's of other clans.
These assembled Ranas offer the new Bihal chief a shawl, a fine
horse and also some money in Nazar (tribute). The new Raja would
then select his new diwans/aides to help his leadership. The tribal
election of the Sultan of Makhiala up until the mid 20th century is
very similar to this tradition.
The Badlial Rajputs are an off shoot of the Bihal Rajas. They are a
much smaller tribe than the Bihals.
Ranial Rajputs and Dhamial Rajputs
Ranial Rajputs and Dhamial Rajputs are a branch of the Janjua
through Raja Bhir and Raja Jodh respectively. According to
Tehreek-e-Janjua these two Rajas employed a sudden military
onslaught to conquer the areas of Ranial and Dhamial. Raja Malu
took the area Ranial whilst Raja Mubarak took the Dhamial
Raja Kala Khan - Sultan Ahmed Sani
Khan became the ruler of Kahuta district in present day Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
He became Muslim early on his
rule and following tradition, changed his name to Sultan
Ahmed Sani. His two sons, Juss Rai and Patt
Rai were united in their control of Kahuta. It comprises over
sixty villages of various clans including Gakhars, Minhas and Awans.
Kala Khan's descendants are in abundance in Kahuta Rawalpindi. Most
of his descendants work in the Pakistan Army and are sportsmen
including Amir Khan
and Sajid Mahmood
. A Mazhar (large tomb) was erected
on his death and his descendants congregate every year at this
Mazhar to commemorate his life.
During Ahmed Shah Abdali
's conquest of Northern
India, he was allied by Sardar Ameer Khan of Kahuta, the chief of
the Kahuta Janjua Rajas.
Bahadur Noor Khan son of Sardar Baqar Khan was from Matore, and was
conferred the title of Sardar Bahadur by the British Raj.
was elected as the MLC and Vice Chairman of the District Board of
Kharwal or Gaharwal Rajputs of Kahuta
Kharwal or Gaharwal Rajputs of Kahuta (not to be
confused with Garewal which are a distinctly different
tribe and settled in India) are a branch of Janjua through Raja
They reside only in the hills of the eastern half
of the Kahuta region called the Kahuru ilaka.
been recorded by Denzil Ibbetson as: “ ...a fine strong race,
decidedly superior to the ordinary (non Janjua) Rájpúts, and
socially much the same position as other Janjúas". Kharwal Rajput
chiefs were Sardar Baqar Khan, Sardar Nawab Khan, Raja Ali Mardán
Khan and Khanbhadur Zaildar Sardar Raja Burhán Ali Khan, who were
counted in the census as Janjua Rajputs.
The Janjuas and the Mughals
There is a handwritten Parwana
(letter of gratitude) by
the minister of Amir Timur
to the Janjua
Sultan family of Watli, Pakistan for their service to his entourage
, which is still held by them
to this day. The Janjuas were honoured by Amir Timur
for supporting his conquest of India, throughout
his campaign. This formed the foundation for the later alliance
between Amir Timur's celebrated descendants, the Mughal
Emperor Babur and the Janjuas.
The Mughal conqueror Babur
made overtures to
the Janjuas, and detailed them in his famous Baburnama
An important ally of Babur's campaign of Punjab, the Pakhtun
warrior prince Langar Khan Niazi
was also stated by Babur to be a maternal nephew
of the Janjua. The Niazi tribe being amongst the most powerful and
tribes since ancient
The Janjua chief Malik Hast (Asad) was recorded by Babur as, "the
lone ruler of the tribes and clans in the Sohan River area." He was
invited by Babur to unite with him through Malik Hast's nephew
Langar Khan Niazi. The Timurid letter was brought to Babur by Raja
Sanghar Khan and Malik Hast (Asad). Babur honoured this record. The
Janjua Rajas were now allies to the House of Babur. Babur allowed
the Janjua to continue their rule in their respective kingdoms as
The Janjua Rajputs also took part in the battles against Rana
Sangha in 1527AD in which the Mughals defeated the Sesodia Rajputs
who had allied with the Afghans against him. Raja Sanghar Khan
Janjua is stated to have been involved in charging the army of
Sangha when they came out of the fortress and after overwhelming
them, the Mughal allies put them to flight.
Humayun's exile from India, the Janjua
Rajputs assisted Sher Shah Suri in
constructing the Rohtas
Fort to keep Humayun out of India as well as crush the
Gakhars who in loyalty to the exiled Humayun began a rebellion
against Sher Shah Suri.
It was given possession to the
Janjua chief Rai Piraneh Khan who fought off the Gakhars attacks,
in attempting to halt its construction. But upon Sher Shah's death,
the Gakhars seized the opportunity to aid the return of the exiled
Mughal Humayun. Upon Humayun's return to position as Emperor of
Hind, his Gakhar allies sought to now use the Mughals against the
Rai Piraneh fought the combined Gakhar and Mughal forces, but was
defeated. His kingdom was finally ransomed to the fallen chief.
From the Memoirs of Humayun
we learn that the ransom
gained from the Janjua king was such, that his entire army gained
considerable wealth. It was at this juncture, that the Gakhar chief
Sultan Adam Khan requested his Mughal overlord for a major portion
of the kingdom of Rai Piraneh, which Emperor Humayun duly
Emperor Jalaludin Muhammad Akbar
Upon the ascension of Mughal Akbar
, the Mughal
policy towards the Janjua underwent a reconciliatory phase. Akbar
made overtures to the Janjua princes, winning them over and
incorporating them into his empire. Malik Darwesh Khan Janjua
(grandson of Raja Sangar Khan and younger brother of Rai Piraneh)
was a distinguished and noted General of the Imperial Mughal Army
under Emperor Akbar's reign, notably in a campaign to capture
Prince Mirza Hakim
in June 1581 His relationship with
Emperor Akbar became a close one. When the Emperor visited Malik
Darwesh Khan's kingdom at the city of Ghirjak, Malik Darwesh
ordained that the city would henceforth be renamed to
in honour of the Emperor and the Janjua's
relationship. Jalalpur (now Jalalpur Sharif) at this point was a flourishing centre of trade
for the region.
The Khakha Janjuas however allied with the Kashmiri ruler Yakub
Shah's stubborn resistance to Akbar, causing his first defeat in
the battle of Bulaysa.. After relations broke down between the
Sultan of Kashmir and the Khakha princes, they refused aid to his
second defence campaign against Akbar's forces, leading to the
defeat of the Sultan and victory of the Mughal Emperor. The Khakhas
nominally accepting Akbar's reign thereon.
Janjuas and the Sikhs
Malik Darwesh Khan Janjua's great-grandson, Raja Shabat Khan, the
Raja of Darapur had allied with Sardar Mahan
(father of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
) in many
campaigns in the late 18th century.
But upon Raja Shabat Khan's death, the Sikh
chief Sardar Atar Singh Dhari assassinated his son and successor,
Raja Ghulam Muhi-ud-din Khan. Having now realised the Sikh
Maharaja's motive to replace the old aristocracies the Janjua
rebelled. The lucrative salt mines in possession of the Janjua
Sultans of Makrach and Khewra made the territory too important for
the Sikh Maharaja to ignore.
The Sikh empires expansion now brought them against the rebellion
of the powerful Janjua Sultan of Watli. "The brave Janjua garrison
under their gallant leader, Sultan Fateh Muhammad Khan"Journal
of Indian History
by University of Allahabad Department of
Modern Indian History, University of Kerala, University of Kerala
Dept. of History, 1935, p362 were fought by Ranjit Singh
for 6 months at the almost
impregnable Kusuk Fort in Watli. The Sikh forces "having failed to
take the fort by assault and bombardment" for such a long period of
time, the Maharaja offered terms to the Sultan who due to want of
water for his subjects and garrison, finally agreed.
The Kala Khan
branch of Rawalpindi Janjuas fortunes were
also eclipsed by the irresistible rise of the Sikh Empire. The
fiercely independent Khakha branch of the Janjua Rajput fought
against the Sikh expansion into their Kingdom in Kashmir.
The Khakha Sardar
Raja Ghulam Ali Khan and
his brother Raja Sarfaraz Khan openly revolted against the Sikh
Governor of Kashmir Dewan Moti Ram resulting in attracting the
attention of Hari Singh Nalwa
was deputised to subdue the rebels. Raja Ghulam Ali Khan openly
defied the repeated orders to pay revenues, leading to a fierce
battle with Hari Singh Nalwa known as the Battle of Khakha at Uri.
Both brothers were captured and taken prisoner by the Sikh general
Hari Singh Nalwa who viewed the united Khakha Bombas uprising as
detrimental to their peace and stability in Kashmir. Both Khakha
Rajput chiefs were taken to Lahore under heavy escort, where they
were later butchered alive by Nalwa in prison for refusing to
instruct their tribe to give up the rebellion.
The Khakha lords eventually began to intensify their raids in
consequence to the weakening Sikh power after Ranjit Singh's death.
Eventually, when Maharaja Gulab Singh
assumed rulership of Kashmir, he managed to drive back the Khakhas
with great difficulty. But knowing the reputation of the rebellious
Khakhas, he immediately installed strong garrisons
in the forts guarding the passes.
Despite facing the most powerful Sikh chiefs attempts to subdue
them, they still enjoyed a fairly privileged position , paying
little if any taxes, openly wearing arms (despite orders banning
them) and defying their orders where possible. Their predatorial
raids during the Sikh age earned them a localised legend, that
mothers would tell their children "..the Khakhas are
to frighten them.
By the time the British Raj took an interest in conquering the
Sikhs in 1848-49, warlike tribes such as the Janjua, Gakhars
and Awans who had lost political control
over centuries old ancestral kingdoms, "When offered the
opportunity, they were more than prepared to rally to the banner of
the British and exact their revenge on the Sikhs...
Besides being impressed with their track record, the British
saw in them, with their traditional and historical enmity against
the Sikhs, an effective counterpoise against the latter,"
providing strong numbers and eventually succeeded in removing the
Sikh's supremacy over the Punjab. Maharaja Gulab Singh was sold the
valley of Kashmir, whilst the scions of the House of Ranjit Singh
were exiled to England.
The rebellion of the Janjua's against the Sikh
empire was not a war against the Sikh faith, but a political
rebellion, as the Janjua Rajputs were initially keen allies to the
Sukerachakia Misl with some Janjuas actually converting to the
Forts and castles
forts within Punjab are still remnants of their
royal past, such as the Kusak fort, Sohava fort, Khushab fort,
Garjaak castle in Makhiala Jhelum, Malot fort
District, Nagi fort, Dalowal fort, Dhandot fort, Kath
Saghral and Masral fort, Dhak Janjua fort, Akrand fort, Anderana
fort, Sialkot Fort (which was given to
the Janjua by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq who accepted their
suzerainty in that region in about late 14th century and many
Some of these forts were lost, others gained as the
changing climate of rulers endured.
The Kusak fort is still in control of the Janjua Sultan of Watli.
The Watli Sultans were the descendants of Raja Jodh Khan through
his second son Raja Sunpaal.
The Janjua Rajputs possess a martial reputation and rank as the
"aristocracy of the Salt Range." Their pride in their ancestry is
renowned and are always addressed by their ancestral title of
. Their exploits and reputation has earned them the
regard as the most valiant Kshatriyas (warlords) in the Punjab. The
tribal system of loyalty to the clan is still adhered to, and they
tend to only align with other tribes of equally high social rank
The Janjua are famed as a "restless and warlike Muslim Rājput
tribe" and are "doubtless pure Rājputs". Today a great many Janjua
are employed in the Pakistan Army and Navy, as well as the Police
Forces in Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
Martial distinction during the British Raj
During the nineteenth century, the British rulers of India quickly
realised the martial potential of the Janjua Rajput, and designated
them as a Martial Race
. The Janjua were
heavily recruited into the British
.The Jhelum Gazetteer
1907, Lahore Press,
The British held a high regard for the Janjua recruits;
Due to their high aristocratic status, Janjua princes refused to
serve in any regiment
that was not
commanded by either a Janjua or another commander of equal social
standing, a rule that the British honoured when selecting regiments
Janjua contribution to World War I & II
The Janjua also took part in the Allied Forces, during both
World War I
and World War II
, with very high numbers. The
tribes of Jhelum and Rawalpindi particularly supplying the largest
Muhammad Hussain Janjua (Shaheed) of the Raja Jodh line of Gujar Khan, was awarded Nishan-e-Haider, the highest Gallantry
Award of Pakistan, for sacrificing his life for his country.
To keep his memory alive his ancestral village in now named after
- Naik Saif Ali Janjua (Shaheed)
which is equal to Nishan-e-Haider .
He fought in the Kashmir sector during the 1948 War and embraced
martyrdom. The valiant soldier hailed from
- General Asif Nawaz Janjua of
Chakri Rajgan, of the Raja Darwesh Khan line (see
above), was a highly notable General of the Pakistani Army
achieving the high grade of Chief of Army Staff in
August 18, 1991:
- Raja Shah Nawaz Khan,
hailing from Matore, born in January 1914, Raja Kala Khan
Janjua side , was a famous freedom fighter for the acclaimed
INA of Subhash Chandra Bose. He was a close
aide and follower of the legendary Indian Leader. He was one of the
three freedom fighters brought to trial by the British Raj in the
famous Red Fort Trial of 5
November 1945, charged with "waging war
against His Majesty the King Emperor". He famously represented
by none other than Jawaharlal
Nehru. When the trial began a mass demonstration was going on
outside the Red Fort. People gave voice to their resentment on the
trials by shouting;
After the partition of India and Pakistan, Raja Shahnawaz decided
to stay in India and his one son still reside in India.He chaired
the enquiry into the death of Subhash Chandra Bose
in 1956. He later
became an Indian Government Central Minister. He was also god
father to Mrs Lateef Fatima
who is the mother of Bollywood
Megastar Shahrukh Khan
.Raja Shah Nawaz Khan
died in 1983, with full National Honours, draped in the proud
Indian Tri-Colour flag. He was buried in the famous grave yard of
Jamia mosque, Delhi. His funeral was also attended by Indira Gandhi
and Rajiv Gandhi.
- Major General Iftikhar Khan
Janjua of the Jhelum Janjuas. Known as a National Hero in Pakistan,
given the popularly known reference The Hero of Rann of Kutch after his death in the 1971 Indo-Pak
War. In National commemoration for his last
memorable sacrifice for his country, Iftikhar Khan Janjua Road in
Rawalpindi, the road to the Army headquarters (GHQ), is named
in his honour.
- Brigadier Amir
Gulistan Janjua served in the Pakistan Army.
retirement, his excellency was appointed as Pakistan's Ambassador UAE, Nepal and Saudi Arabia. He also served as Governor of
the North Western Province of Pakistan between 16 Jun 1988 to
19 July 1993. He is the current President of the Friends of
Nepal Organisation. A highly respected and nationally renowned
GenMuhammad Afzal Janjua HI,SJ,SBT Born on 1 Sep 1943 to the
Family of Janjuas of jehlum was commisioned in Pakistan army in
1965 as his military career started from pratical war.He received
Sitar-e-Jurat for his gallantry services in the war of 1971 when he
was cammanding a company of SSG (Special Services Group).He was the
fielld commander of all the operations during the Afghan War . He
ws also the Corp Commander 5 corps Karachi.He also served as the MD
Mari Gas Company. A very well reputed and highly respected Janjua
among the Army and among the mases.
- Khan Bahadur Shah Nawaz
was from village Mowara, tehsil Kahuta. He was the first Muslim
Subedar Major of Frontier Force Regiment. In 1893, he was ADC to
Field Marshal Lord Roberts, Commander-in-Chief in India. He was
awarded the title of Khan Bahadur in 1903. His two sons Lt. Sher
Ali, OBI and Capt. Faqir Ullah, OBI, MC, MID & Two Bars, fought
in the First World War. Capt Faqir Ullah was among the first few
Indians to be selected for the King's Commission but just months
before he could get it was killed in action in 1918.
Mohammad Zafar Ul-Haq of Matore, Rawalpindi. He is the Chairman
of the Muslim League Party and also is also the Secretary
General of the World Muslim Congress since 1992. He has also served as
Pakistan's Ambassador to Egypt from 1985,
as well as served as Leader of the House (Pakistan Senate). He was a close associate and
minister of information and religious affairs of President Zia ul Haq during his reign. He was
also member of cabinet of Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
- Tehmina Janjua
is a Pakistani diplomat currently Deputy Permanent Representative
in United Nations.
- Kuljit Singh Janjua was born
in village Kukowal, district Hosiarpur. He is the creator of
www.sikhrajput.com, a website dedicated to unite Sikh Rajputs
around the world.
- Kuldip Singh Janjua,
IAS was born in village Kukowal, district Hosiarpur. His family
moved to village Todarpur district Hosiarpur after the partition.
He was a senior bureaucrat with the Government of Punjab, India. At
the time of retirement, he was serving as Financial
Famous Janjuas in sport
- Khalid Hamid. Hockey Olympian, Pakistan Hockey Team. 1984
Olympics Gold Medalist in Field Hockey in Los Angeles, USA.
- Amir Khan,
born in Bolton, originally hailing from Raja Kala Khan's line of
Matore is a world
class boxer. He was a silver medallist in the 2004 Olympics
whilst only 17 years old. He was a Gold medallist in the 2003
- Sajid Mahmood hailing also from
Matore, from Raja Kala Khan's line. He is a world class cricketer,
playing professionally for the England Cricket team and also for
his home county of Lancashire. In 2003, he won the NBC Denis
Compton Award 2003.
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.
- Raja Bhir's descendants reside primarily in Malot Chakwal and
Jhelum holding some sub-branches.
Jodh's descendants inhabit mainly the Jhelum region although some
sub branches were displaced during the Sikh Conquest, migrating to
Malowal, a village of Gujrat, and whilst
the last Raja of Jalalpur, Raja Abdullah Khan, conquered Ratala,
Khan presently held by the descendants of Raja Mirza
Atta Mohammed Khan, renaming it Ratala Rajgaan. Some numbers are also
Kala Khan's descendants inhabit the Kahuta region of Rawalpindi,
with some residing in Gujar
- Raja Khakha Khan's descendants reside in the lower Jhelum
valley of Kashmir in Muzaferabad and Kot Khakha.
Janjua Rajputs are in abundance in Hoshiarpur, Faridkot,
Kapurthalla and Fatehghar Sahib of Haryana in India.
- Hindu Janjua Rajputs reside in the Indian Punjab region, with
some numbers also in Delhi.
- Raja - The aristocratic Janjua clans of
Pakistan use their ancestrally inherited title of Raja. Janjua Rajputs are always referred to as
- Nawab - The title Nawab
was conferred on the ruler of the Darapur State, Malik Talib Mehdi
Khan. His current descendants use the title as Nawabzada since the
abolition of Princely States in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Current chief of the Darapur Dynasty being Nawabzada Iqbal Mehdi
- Kunwar - (pronounced Koo-war) Hindu
Janjuas use the title of Kunwar with their names. The variation of
the pronounced word, Kanwar, is also used by Muslim Janjuas, Kanwar
Muhammad Dilshad being the Secretary of the Election Commission of
- Sultan - The tribal chief of the Janjuas of
Watli, who also retains control of the Fort of Kusak uses the
centuries the title of Sultan which was conferred by Mughal Emperor
Babur. The title was also conferred to the King of the Makhiala
Janjua branch. The title is only held by the Regal Chief of these
two respective clans and is not used by any other Janjua.
- Mirza - A well-known Janjua
chief of Ratala Rajgaan, tehsil Gujar Khan, Mirza Atta Mohammad Khan was known by the title of
Mirza (Persian title of Prince of the blood) and was a tribal
chief of Ratala Rajgaan during the early to mid 20th
- Khan - Traditionally applied to a Islamic
tribal chief, the title has been used by the heads of the
respective Janjua branches since before the 16th century.
Chronicles of Early Janjuas by Raja Muhammad Anwar
Khan Janjua, Tarik-i Janjua (Sahiwal, 1982)