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The location of Hazara relative to surrounding areas

Gakhar (also Gakkhar or Ghakhar or Ghakkar) (Urdu: گاکھر) are an ancient aristocratic and warlike clan now located in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Jhelum, Kashmir, Gilgit, Baltistan (Tibet), Chitral, and Khanpur regions in modern day Pakistan and India (in the latter case the majority are Hindu with some settlements in Delhi). According to the Gakhar legends, they are an Aryan clan (a racial designation first used by Darius the Great) of Persian descent - they claim descent from the legendary Kayani ruling clans of Persia[1] and therefore also claim and use the title Kayani. To quote from the reliable Gazetteer of the Rawalpindi District 1893-94:

...from the moment where oral traditions give way to more authentic historical records, the history of the Potohar becomes that of the Gakhar clan. The Gakhars became prominent at the time of the early Muslim era and have more or less maintained their rule over the city of Rawalpindi and parts of Hazara and Jhelum districts, independent of the sovereign powers at Delhi and Agra, until being defeated at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the Sikhs.
and from the reliable Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition,
The Ghakkars seem to represent an early wave of conquest from the east, and they still inhabit the whole eastern slope of the district; while the Awans, who now cluster in the western plain, are apparently later invaders from the opposite quarter. The Gakhars were the dominant race at the period of the first Mahommedan incursions, and long continued to retain their independence. During the flourishing period of the Mogul dynasty, the Gakhar chieftains were prosperous and loyal vassals of the house of Babur; but after the collapse of the Delhi Empire Jhelum fell, like its neighbours, under the sway of the Sikhs. In 1765 Gujar Singh defeated the last independent Gakhar prince, and reduced the wild mountaineers to subjection. His son succeeded to his dominions, until 1810, when he fell before the irresistible power of Ranjit Singh.
Important sources for the Gakhars are their own tribal history, the Kai-Gohar Nama, Ferishta's The History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India Till The Year A.D. 1612 and Zahir-ud-din Mohammad Babur's, Baburnama although much is disputed for the earliest periods of their history.

Earliest Gakhars

The Gakhar's claim their apical ancestor as Kai Gohar of the Kayanid dynasty of Isfahan in ancient Persia [2]. His son Sultan Kaid, a reputed general, conquered Badakshan. They claim he later conquered a part of Tibet where they remained for many generations before extending their dominions over Kashmiri regions and later gaining alliances with Sebük Tigin and his son, Mahmud's campaign of conquering India.[3] Kabil Khan joined the Ghaznin South Asian campaigns. His son, Gakhar Shah, (from whom the tribe gain their name) accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in his conquer of India in the early 11th century. He gained possession of the area of Potohar and gained leave to remain there.[4][5] The Gakhars claim descent from the Kayani ruling clans of Persia[6] and therefore also claim and use the title Kayani.

The reliable 16th century historian Ferishta however states that in the 7th century the Gakhars already ruled over lands in India ceeded to them by the Raja of Lahore.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and the Gakhars

According to ancient historian Ferishta, Sultan Mahmud of the Ghazni Empire, in the year A.H. 399 (A.D. 1008), returned to India to face the army of Emperor Anandpal Shah at Peshawar which contained, as Ferishta recorded, no less than thirty thousand Gakhars, who fought valiantly against the Ghazni Sultan, until they were utterly defeated in what was a highly reputed battle.

However, Khan Bahadur Raja Jahandad Khan, ruling chief of the Khanpur Gakhar Kayanis, claimed that Ferishta was mistaken and confused Gakhars for Kokhars (another well known prominent Punjabi tribe). The Gakhars' own legends and documented accounts stated that there was an alliance where the Gakhars fought for Sultan Mahmud, rather than against him. Therefore it is possible that the 'Gakhars' mentioned by Ferishta, were 'Khokhars' who were in possession of the tract at that period of time. It is possible therefore that the 'Persians' who may have entered India with 'Gakhar Shah' may have merged with a native aristocratic aryan tribe to form the 'Gakhars'.

Muhammad of Ghor and the Gakhars

The Ghaznavid Empire ended in 1149 AD. with the capture of Ghazna or Ghazni by Muhammad of Ghor (also known as Muhammad Ghori). Ghaznavid power in Pakistan and Northern India continued until the conquest of Lahore in 1187.

According to Ansari in The Encyclopedia of Islam
In 1204-5 they (the Gakhars) rose up against the rule of Muhammad Ghori, who took strong measures against them and quelled the rebellion with an iron hand. After this crushing defeat they were so demoralised that their chief simply because a Muslim captive had initiated him into the tenants of Islam, willingly became a convert, followed by his tribe en masse.
According to Ferishta:
During the residence of the South Asian conqueror Sultan Muhammad Ghori at Lahore, the Gakhars, who inhabited the country along the banks of the Nilab, up to the foot of the mountains of Sewalik (Shiwalik), exercised unheard of cruelties on the Muslims, and cut off the communication between the provinces of Peshawar and Multan.

These barbarous people continued to make incursions on the Muslims till, in the latter end of this king’s reign, their chieftain was converted to a faith when a captive. After becoming a proselyte he procured his release from the king, who endeavoured to persuade him to convert his followers, and at the same time honoured him with a title and dress, and confirmed him in the title of chief of the mountains. A great part of these mountaineers, having very little notion of any religion, were easily induced to adopt the tenets of the true faith, at the same time most of the infidels who inhabited the mountains between Ghazna and the Indus were also converted, some by force and others by persuasion; and at the present day, being 1018 of the Hijra (AD 1609), they continue to profess the faith of Islam.''

On the second of Shaban (Sha'aban) A.H. 602 (March 14, A.D. 1206), having reached the village of Rohtuk, on the banks of the Indus, twenty Gakhars, who had lost some of their relations in the late wars, entered into a conspiracy against the king’s life, and sought an opportunity to carry their horrid purpose into effect. The weather being sultry, Muhammad Ghori had ordered the screens, which surround the royal tents in the form of a large square, to be struck, in order to give free admission to the air. This afforded the assassins an opportunity of seeing into the sleeping apartments. They found their way up to the tents in the night, and hid themselves, while one of them advanced to the tent door, but being stopped by a sentry, who was about to seize him, he plunged his dagger into his breast. The cries of the dying man roused the guard, who running out to see what was the matter, the other assassins took that opportunity of cutting their way into the king’s tent. He was asleep, with two slaves fanning him. These stood petrified with terror, when they beheld the Gakhars enter, who, without hesitation, sheathed their daggers in the King’s body, which was afterwards found to have been pierced by no fewer than twenty-two wounds. Thus fell Sultan Muhammad Ghori, in the year 602 (AD 1206), after a reign of thirty-two years from the commencement of his government over Ghazna, and three from his accession to the throne (of Delhi).''

Historian Ansari in The Encyclopedia of Islam also makes mention that the Assassin may have been a Gakhar owing to his tribe's subjugation by the conqueror.

According to Sir Denzil Ibbetson
it will be of interest to notice briefly the contentions of the most prominent member of the tribe of the present time, the late Khan Bahadur Raja Jahandad Khan, E.A.C, who has made a most painstaking study of the original authorities: it must be noted, however that, particularly in the exactness of the references to the authorities cited by him, there is something wanting, owing to his omissions to supply further information asked for: his views are as follows:-'

All the historians before the time of Ferishta agree that the Khokhars, not the Gakhars, killed Shahab-ud-din Ghori. Ferishta certainly confused these two tribes, in other cases: thus he frequently refers to Shekha and Jasrat as Gakhar Chiefs; there are no such names in the Gakhar tree, whereas Shekha and Jasrat appear as father and son in the genealogy of the Khokhars"'' [7]

However, Khan Bahadur Raja Jahandad Khan's failure to provide accurate citations and references for his claims makes them unreliable.

The early Delhi Sultanate and the Gakhars

The Gakhars were in a state of constant war with the successors of Muhammad Ghori, viz. the Delhi Sultanate.

According to Ferishta:
Meanwhile news had arrived that the Mongols of Genghis Khan had invaded Lahore, on Monday the 16th of Jumad-ool-Akhir (Jumada al-thani), in the year AH 639 (November 22, AD 1241); that Mullik Kurragooz, the Viceroy, finding his troops mutinous, had been obliged to flee in the night, and was on his way to Delhi, and that Lahore was plundered by the enemy and many of the inhabitants carried away as prisoners.

In the month of Rujab (Rajab), A.H. 644 (July, A.D. 1247), the King (Nasir al-Din Mahmud) took the field, and marched towards Multan. The army encamped for sometime upon the banks of the Sodra, from whence the Vizier proceeded towards the mountains of Jud, and the provinces on the Indus. These countries were reduced, and the King took revenge on the Gakhurs for their continual incursions, and for having led the Monguls through their country into Hindustan. Deeming these offences too great to be pardoned, he carried several thousand Gakhars of all ages, and of each sex, into captivity.

In (the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq) the year A.H. 743 (A.D. 1342), Mullik Heidur, a chief of Gakhars, invaded Punjab, and slew Tartar Khan, the viceroy of Lahore, in action. To reduce this enemy, Khwaja Jehan was sent into that quarter.

He (Nasir-ood-deen Mahomed Toghluk II) returned to Mahomedabad, in the month of Rubbee-oos-Sany (Rabi' al-thani), of the year AH 796 (February, AD 1394), and sent his son Hoomayoon to crush Sheikha Gukkur, who had rebelled and occupied Lahore.

In the reign of Mahmood Toghluk, (AH 796, AD 1394) Sarung Khan, governor of Depalpore (Dipalpur), collected the troops of the province of Multan, and the north-west divisions of the state, and advanced against the Gakhars, who waited for him at Ajoodhun, about 24 miles from Lahore. A battle ensued, and the Gakhars being defeated, their chief, Sheikha, took refuge among the mountains of Jummoo (Jammu)."

Timur and Sheikha Gakhar

But worse was to come. The Mongol conqueror, Timur (1370–1405), ruler of the Timurid Empire in Central Asia. Known for his daring military adventures, audacious campaigns and aggressive expansions, Timur was also responsible for bloodthirsty massacres of civilians and the plundering of whole nations.

In 1398, when Timur was more than sixty years of age, Ferishta tells us that:"informed of the commotions and civil wars of India, he began his expedition into that country, and on the September 12, 1398, arrived on the banks of the Indus."

Ferishta says that Timur "marched to a town called Shahnowaz, where finding more grain than sufficient for his whole army, he caused what could not be carried away to be burnt. At this place, the brother of the chief of the Gakhars, who had attempted to defend the place with two thousand men, lost his life. Jusrut, the brother of Sheikha Gukkur, who had fled after being defeated by Timur, had been reproved by his brother for opposing the Monguls, which being represented to Timur, Sheikha was admitted to his presence, and became a favourite. But when Timur marched on to Delhi, Sheikha took advantage of his absence, and got possession of Lahore, and when the King reached Jummoo, he refused to submit to his authority. Amir Timur accordingly detached part of his army to besiege Lahore, which was taken in a few days (A.H. 801, A.D. 1397). Sheikha was brought prisoner to the King, who ordered him to be instant­ly beheaded."

After the sack of Delhi, Timur returned to Samarkand (Uzbekistan) with Jasrat Gakhar as a captive leaving Khizr Khan, to rule the Punjab and upper Sind as his deputy.

The later Delhi Sutanate and Jasrat Gakhar

At Timur’s death in 1405 AD. Jasrat Gakhar regained his freedom, returned to the Punjab and reestablished the Gakhar state. Meanwhile, Timur's governor Khizr Khan seized the Delhi Sutanate for himself.

Khizr Khan’s son, Mubarak Shah, spent much of his reign trying to defend Delhi against the Gakhar ruler, Jasrat who was growing stronger. Around AD 1420. Jasrat defeated the army of Kashmir and participated in the selection of the new Kashmir ruler, the great Zain-ul-Abidin (see History of Kashmir). The Gakhars were never successful in conquering Delhi, but they were never subdued.

Jhanda Khan, a Gakhar chieftain, restored a ruined and deserted city in the Potohar (Pothwar) Plateau region and gave it the name of "Rawalpindi" in 1493 AD.

Emperor Babur and Hati Gakhar

Zahir-ud-din Mohammad Babar of Kabul, a descendant of Timur, made several incursions into India before finally overthrowing Sultan Ibrahim Lodi with his 12,000-man army, including the Gakhars, equipped with cannons against Ibrahim Lodi's 100,000 soldiers and 100 elephants at the First battle of Panipat on April 21, 1526. In 1519, during one of these incursions, Babar decided to make a surprise attack on the Gakhar stronghold of Pharwala Fort near Rawalpindi. The Pharwala Fort covers about 175 acres and is situated six kilometres north of Eleot, on the Rawalpindi-Kahuta Road. There are six gates to this fort:
  • Elephant Gate for the entrance of elephants
  • Lashkari Gate for soldiers
  • Begum Gate for the women
  • Garden Gate
  • Fort Gate for commoners
  • Ziarat Gate.
Besides the Gakhar family, the fort housed fifty elephants, 200 horses and 500 soldiers.

According to the Rawalpindi Gazetteer
Tatar Khan’s rule was of short duration, for Hati Khan, rebelled against him, captured and put him to death. His two sons were minors, and the Janjua chief, Raja Darwesh Khan, took the opportunity of recovering much of the country which the Gakkars had taken from his tribe. Hati Khan opposed him, but was defeated and compelled to fly to Basal, while his cousins Sarang Khan and Adam Khan, escaped to Dangalli."

According to Babur:
There were the Jats, the Gujjars, and many other peoples living in the mountains between the Nilab and Bhera (in Jhelum district), which are connected to the mountains of Kashmir. Their rulers and chieftains belong to the Gakhar clan whose chieftainship is like that of the Jud and Janjua. At that time (1519), the chieftains of the peoples on the mountainsides were two cousins, Tatar Khan and Hati Gakhar. Their strongholds were the ravines and cliffs. Tatar's seat was Pharwala, which is way below the snow-covered mountains. Hati, whose territory was adjacent to the mountains, had gained dominance over Kalinjar, which belonged to Babu Khan of Bisut. Tatar Khan had seen Dawlat Khan and owed him total allegiance; Hati, however, had not seen him and maintained a rebellious attitude towards him. With the advice and agreement of the Hindustan Begs, Tatar had gone and camped at a distance as though to lay siege to Hati. While we were in Bhera, Hati seized upon some pretext to make a surprise attack on Tatar, kill him, and lay hands on his territory, his wives, and everything he had."
Babur goes on to say:
Having somehow consolidated the territory with hopes of peace, we moved out of Bhera on Sunday on the eleventh of Rabi’ I [March 13] to re­turn to Kabul. We made it to Kalda Kahar and camped. That day, there was an unbelievable rainstorm. With cloaks or without, it made no dif­ference. The tail end of the camp kept coming until late that night.

Those who knew the lay of the land hereabouts, especially the Janjua, who were old enemies of the Gakhar, reported that Hati Gakhar had recently turned outlaw. He was engaging in highway robbery and bringing ruination upon the people. It was necessary to do something to drive him from the area or else to teach him a good lesson. In agree­meant with them, the next morning we assigned Khwaja Mirmiran and Mirim Nasir to the camp and left the camp at mid-morning to ride to Pharwala against Hati Gakhar, who had killed Tatar a few days before and taken over Pharwala, as has been mentioned. We stopped in the late afternoon, fed the horses, and rode off by night. Our guide was a servant of Malik Hast’s, Surpa by name. We cleared the road and stopped near dawn. Beg Muhammad Moghul was sent back to camp. As it was becoming light we mounted, and at midmorning we put on our armor and charged. With one league left to go, we could see the outline of Pharwala. Off we galloped. The right wing went to the east of Pharwala. Qoch Beg, who was with the right wing, was sent to rein­force its rear. The men of the left wing and center were pouring down on Pharwala. Dost Beg was directed to support the rear of the left wing, which was also attacking.

Pharwala, situated among ravines, has two roads. The one to the southeast—the road by which we were traveling—is atop the ravines and is surrounded by ravines and gullies on both sides. Half a kos from Pharwala, the road becomes such that in four or five places before reaching the gate the ravines are so precipitous that it is necessary to ride single file the distance of an arrow shot. The other road to Pharwala is to the northwest and leads through a wide valley. It too is precarious, and there is no other road on any side. Although it has no ramparts or battlements, there is no place to bring force to bear either. All around are ravines seven, eight, or ten yards straight down.

The men farthest forward in the left wing passed through the nar­rows and gathered at the gate. Hati drove back the attackers with thirty to forty armed horsemen and many foot soldiers. When Dost Beg, who was reinforcing the rear of the attackers, arrived, he brought a lot of force to bear, unhorsed many men, and defeated the foe. Hati Gakhar was renowned in those parts for his valour, but regardless of how well he fought he could not maintain his stand and was forced to retreat. He was unable to hold the narrows, and when he made it to the fortress, he could not make it fast either. The attackers poured into the fortress be­hind him and ran through it to the narrow ravine on the northwest, but Hati got out and fled unencumbered. Here Dost Beg performed a good action and received the fiuldu. Meanwhile I entered the fortress and dismounted at Tatar’s quarters. Some of those who had been assigned to stay with me while the attack was launched had nevertheless gone on to join the fray. Among them were Amin-Muhammad Tarkhan Arghun and Qaracha, who for their disobedience were attached to the Gujar guide, Surpa and sent into the wilderness without their cloaks to meet the camp. The next morning we got across the northwest ravine and camped in a grain field. Wali KhizanachI was assigned a few valiant warriors and sent to meet the camp.

On Thursday the fifteenth [March 17] we marched out and stopped at Anderana on the banks of the Sohan. [231] Long ago the Anderana fortress had belonged to Malik Hast’s father, but after Hati Gakhar killed Hast’s father, it fell to ruins, which was its condition when we found it. That night, the part of the camp that had been detached at Kalda Kahar arrived and joined us. After Hati took Tatar, he sent his relative Parbat to me with a mail clad horse and gifts. Before catching up with me, Parbart encountered the men of the camp who had stayed behind and came along with the uruq to present his gifts and pay homage. Langar Khan also came with the uruq on several matters of business, and when finished, he and some local people were given leave to depart for Bhera. Marching on and crossing the Sohan, we stopped on a hill. Parbat was given a robe of honor, and Muhammad-Ali Jang-Jang’s servant was sent to Hati with letters of appeasement.

According to Ansari in The Encyclopedia of Islam
At the end of 933/1526, Hati Khan waited on the emperor during his return to the Punjab (after the First battle of Panipat) and greatly assisted in procuring suppilies for the Mughal army. Babar fully recognised his services, making him a handsome present and conferring on him the title of Sultan".

Sher Shah Suri and Sultan Sarang Khan

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Entrance to the Rohtas Fort
During the reign of Humayun, Sultan Sarang Khan gained much prominence. He became so powerful that he struck his own money, included his name in the khutba and refused to recognise Sher Shah Suri, on the defeat and exile of Humayun in 1540, as the new sovereign of India. Sher Shah sent emissaries to Sarang Khan to demand his submission and his presence at Sher Shah's court. He famously replied that the Gakhars were a warlike people and sent Sher Shah Suri, a sheaf or arrows and a pair of tiger cubs to remind him of the fact. He obstructed by all the means at his disposal, the construction in 1541 of the Rohtas Fort ( [1], [2]) designed to prevent Humayun's return. The headquarters of the Gakhars was the Sultanpur fort situated eight kilometres from the Mangla Fort. This act of open hostility coupled with his rebellious behavior, enraged Sher Shah who personally led an expedition against him resulting in the rout of the Gakhars and the capture and subsequent execution of Sultan Sarang. His tomb still exists at Rawat Fort, near Rawalpindi.

He was succeeded by his brother Sultan Adam, who had several skirmishes with the troops of Islam Shah Sur. Adam was so powerful that in 1552, Prince Kamran, the rebel brother of Humayun, who had been refused shelter by Islam Shah, sort refuge with him. He was however betrayed and given up to Humayun on his return from exile, who had Kamran blinded. Sultan Adam was rewarded with robes of honour, kettle drums and other insignia of nobility. (Ansari)

The later Mughals and the Gakhars

Sultan Adam was imprisoned at the Pharwala Fort by his nephew Kamal Khan, one of Sultan Sarang's sons. Adam died in captivity. Kamal Khan also hanged Adam's son Lashkar Khan, who had been found guilty of an illicit love affair with the wife of Kamal Khan's brother. Abul Fazl in his Akbarnama, gives a different version omitting all reference to the love-affair and asserting that on a petition from Kamal Khan, Akbar ordered the division of the Gakhar territory between him and his uncle Adam; this resulted in a pitched battle in which Adam was utterly defeated and captured. This was clearly a stratagem which Akbar employed to punish the rebellious chief by pitting his own kinsman against him and to implant his overlordship firmly in the territory of the Gakhars, (Ansari).

In order to further cement his relations with the Gakhars and use them as an ally against the tubulent Afghans, Akbar in accordance with his well-known policy, contracted matrimonial alliances with them. Prince Salim (Jahangir) was married to a daughter of Said Khan, a brother of Kamal Khan. Said Khan had fought under the Mughal General, Zayn Khan against the Afghans in Swat and Bajaur. Later, Aurangzeb also honoured the Gakhar chief, Allah Kuli Khan (1681-1705) by marrying one of his daughters to his son, prince Muhammad Akbar. Thus, two Gakhar women found their way into the Imperial harem. Akbar's policy of pacification and reconciliation had its desired effect and we find the Gakhars leading a peaceful and uneventful life during the major part of the Mughal rule. They seem to have only reluctantly accepted the Mughals as their overlords. However, a celebrated Gakhar warrior-chief, Mukarrab Khan, sided with Nadir Shah and took part in the battle of Karnal (1739), which showed up the crumbling fabric of the Mughal Empire. As a reward for his services, he was confirmed in his possession of the fort of Pharwala and on his return to Kabul, Nadir Shah conferred upon him, as a mark of further favour, the title of Nawab (this seems to have been a personal title as no later Gakhar chief ever used it. In his days, Gakhar power was greater than it had ever been before. He defeated the Yusafzai Afghans and Jang Kuli Khan of Khattak, and captured Gujrat, overrunning the Chib country as far north as Bhimber. He was finally defeated by the Sikhs at Gujrat in 1765 and had to surrender the whole of his possessions up to the Jhelum.

The Sikh and British conquests

Four years later, Sultan Mukarrab Khan was treacherously captured and put to death by a rival chief, Himmat Khan. The Sikhs annexed the entire Gakhar territory to the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab. Mukarrab Khan's two elder sons were, however, allowed to retain the ancestral Pharwala Fort; but this too was later confiscated in 1818 by the Sikh governor of the area.

Chafing under successive insults and acts of expropriation, the Gakhars revolted in 1835 but were crushed by the Sikhs, who put their chieftains - Shadman Khan and Muddu Khan - along with their families in confinement, where they later died. On the annexation of the Punjab in 1849 (after the Second Anglo-Sikh War), the British conferred a pension of Rs. 1200 per annum on Hayat Allah Khan, a son of Shadman Khan, he and other members of his family having been released from capitivity by the British two years earlier. In 1853, Nadir Khan, the Gakhar chief of Mandla, joined a Sikh conspiracy against the British. The rising which could have proved a serious threat, was promptly quelled and Nadir Khan was captured and hanged. Apart from this incident, most of the Gakhars remained loyal and peaceful; they joined the British Indian Army and few served the British well.
  • According to the Rawalpindi Gazetteer of 1894:
The Gakhars still bear many traces of their high descent in their bearing, and in the estimation in which they are held throughout the Rawalpindi district. Though almost all in poor circumstances, they are as proud as ever of their name, and are emphatically the gentlemen of the district. They make first rate soldiers, in the cavalry especially, and in general no recruits are more approved of than true Gakhars. They are not, however, good cultivators, and the higher their descent, the less inclined they are for hard work, whatever their circumstances may be.

The chief man among the Gakhars in the Rawalpindi district is Raja Karmdad Khan - son of Hayat Allah Khan, of Pharwala Admal. This man is the head of all the Gakhars of the Rawalpindi district, given the title of "Raja" as being the head of his tribe, member of the Vice Regal Council and is an Honorary Magistrate of the Bench in the town of Rawalpindi. The Adamals of Pharwala, though much reduced in circumstances, are very much looked up to by all.''

The Adamals of Pharwala are always called Raja, the other Adamals are always spoken of as Mirza.

An important point to note here is that all Gakhars started to use "Raja" the title of Rajputs after 1800, however there is no reference of them using "Raja" before 1800

Gakhar clans

Currently, there are forty one clans/branches of Gakhars but the following six are well-known and are the most important ones:
  1. Adamal (descended from Sultan Adam).
  2. Sarangal (descended from Sultan Sarang).
  3. Hathial (said to be descended from Sultan Hathi).
  4. Bogial (said to be descended from Malik Boga).
  5. Firozal (said to be descended from Malik Firoz).
  6. Sikandrial (said to be descended from Malik Sikandar).

Prominent Gakhar figures in recent times

  • Raja Hassan Akhtar, (late) son of Raja Karmdad Khan of Pharwala Adamal. - Bureaucrat, Deputy Commissioner and later Member of the National Assembly; President of the West Pakistan Muslim League; Tehrik e Pakistan Gold Medalist.
  • Raja Sultan Zahur Akhtar - son of Raja Hassan Akhtar, engineer, Philanthropist, Politician, Gakhar historian and writer; Tehrik e Pakistan Gold Medalist; Author of several books. He updated and translated in Urdu and English the Kai-Gohar Nama history of the Gakhar tribe.
  • Major Masud Akhtar Kiani, (Shaheed) Sitara e Jurat 19 Lancers - son of Raja Hassan Akhtar, killed in action at Jasoran, Chaivinda sector during the 1965 war.
  • Sultan Raja Erij Zaman Khan, The present chief of the Gakhar clan. He succeeded to the title in October 1963. He is the maternal grandson of the Khan of Makadh (a prominent estate in Attock). He was crowned Sultan by then President of Pakistan, Field Marshal Ayub Khan.
  • Raja Sikandar Zaman, (late) Uncle of Sultan Erij, Ex-Chief Minister of the North West Frontier Province.
  • Faisal Zaman - son of Raja Sikandar Zaman. MPA and Former Minister of (Sports and Culture).
  • Col. Sir. Sher Muhammad Khan (late)
  • Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan (retired)- Ex Chief of Naval Staff and Ambassador; son of Col. Sir. Sher Muhammad
  • Major Kazim Kamal Khan, 9th Punjab- Shaheed Sitara e Jurat, - son of Col. Sir. Sher Muhammad Khan, killed at Tengail East Pakistan in 1971 war against India serving as an SSG officer.
  • Raja Azmat Kamal Khan (late)- son of Col. Sir. Sher Muhammad Khan, ex Chairman of District Council Jhelum for 16 years.
  • Justice Raja Khurshid - Ex Chief Justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir
  • General Ashfaq Kayani - Vice Chief of Army Staff.
  • Air Commodore(retired) Farooq Hussain Kiani - Eminent educationist. Graduated from Leeds University UK. Presently Principal Lawrence college Ghora Gali
  • Justice Muhammad Rustam Kiani, (late) - Ex Chief Justice (popularly known as Justice M.R. Kayani); Author of the book Not the whole Truth; co-author of the Punjab Disturbances Court Of Inquiry Report, also known as the Munir Report.
  • Raja Shahid Zafar, MNA and Ex-Federal Minister, Pakistan
  • Lt. General Jamshed Gulzar Kiani (retired), ex-corp commander and former chairman Federal Public Service Commission
  • Mohammad Ashraf Khan Kiani of Bakot, engineer and author of Kiani history
  • Major General Dr. Masud ur Rehman Kiani, (retired) a prominent Heart Surgeon.
  • Dr. Afzal Naubhar Kiani, (retired) Ministry of Health, Govt. of Pakistan
  • Raja Hamid Mukhtar, (late) Deputy Commissioner
  • Brigadier Mansoor Hamid SI(M) (Retd), - son of Raja Hamid Mukhtar. Ex- SAPM, currently: Director General, Army Heritage Foundation.
  • Air Marshal Shahid Hamid (retired) - son of Raja Hamid Makhtar. Chairman of the Alternative Energy Development Board
  • Major General Khuda Dad Khan (late)
  • Major General Hameed Asghar Kiani (late)
  • Major General Qamar Ali Mirza (late)
  • Raja Sultan Maqsood, (late) Deputy Commissioner
  • Capt Raja Muhammad Sarwar Khan SB,OBI (Late) son of Raja Muhammad Khan Raees and Numberdar (Lehri) Jhelum.
  • Brigadier Dr. Ghazanfar Azam SI(M) (Retd) - COAS Gold Medal (NUST), Ph.D (Penn State University, USA), Ex General Manager NHA, Ex Administrator DHA (Karachi).
  • Brigadier Muhammad Inayat - SI(M) of Badlot Jhelum
  • Raja Allahdad Khan of Shakarparian, (late) Revenue Assistant; Member of Provincial Assembly
  • Major General Mohammad Zaman Kiani, (late) Chief of General Staff, Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj). First Muslim to achieve Sword of Honour in Royal Military Academy, Deradoon.
  • Brigadier Muhammad Jan Kiani, (late). Brother of Gen. Zaman Kiani.
  • Eminent Engineer Asad Jan Kiani, son of late Brig. Muhammad Jan Kiani, of Attial.
  • Raja Zahid Jan Kiani, Son of Brig. Mohammad Jan Kiani of Attial, Rawalpindi - Ex Army Officer, International Businessman, CEO of Triad International.
  • Raja Muhammad Afzal (late) Of Badlot. Retired Additional Secretary to the Government of Pakistan.
  • Raja Muhammad Arshad (late) Of Badlot, IG,Police
  • Raja Raza Arshad, Additional Secretary, Government of Pakistan, - son of Raja Muhammad Arshad.
  • Brigadier Raja Ghazi ud Din Haider (late) also known as Brig. R.G Haider.
  • Saleem Sherafghan Kiani, Ex-Deputy Commissioner, presently Advisor to Govt. of Punjab.
  • Raja Lal Khan (Late) D.S.P. (Police) of DOMELI, Jhelum. (Pre-1947 period)
  • Raja Nargas Zaman Kiani, Ex Senator.
  • Raja Mehtab Khan, Owner and Chief Editor of the Ausaf Daily Newspaper.
  • Raja Haq Nawaz Kiani- President, National Police Foundation,Senior Superintendent of Police Islamabad.
  • Raja Tariq Mehboob Kayani- First District Nazim Of Rawalpindi; Twice President of the Rawalpindi Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, from Shakarparian.
  • Amer Mehboob Kayani- Senior Diplomat In the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service. Presently Head of U.S. Commercial Service in the Middle East, from Shakarparian.
  • Ashraf Khan Kayani, Ph.D (Demography) from University of Western Ontario & University of Alberta 1974
  • Saleem Kiani, Ex-Deputy Commissioner, presently Additional Secretary Govt. of Punjab.
  • Brigadier Arshad Nawaz Kayani (Late). Son of Raja Sardar Khan (Late). of BADLOT SHARIF.
  • Raja Khushal Khan Kiani, Son of Raja Shahswar Khan of Shalial,Jhelum - CEO of Maharaja Group, Rawalpindi.
  • Ghulam Mustafa Kiani (late), Ex-Chairman of Union Council Kallar Syedan.
  • Anil Gakhar - famous golf player of India.

Emeralds in National Museum Iran

Emeralds in National Museum Iran

Thrones of Kiani Kings - National Museum Iran

Thrones of Kiani Kings

Historical Forts of Gakhars

Click for photos of Forts

Kianis and Islamabad

Gakhars & Islamabad

Gakhar Chief Jhanda Khan named Rawalpindi

Jhanda Khan's Rawalpindi


1. ^ The Ain i Akbari trans by H.Blochmann, Vol i, Low Price Publ., 2006, p506
2. ^ E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936
by M. Th. Houtsma, E. van Donzel, BRILL 1993, p128
3. ^ Punjab Chiefs By W.L. Conran & H.D. Craik, Sang-e-Meel, 2004, p233-4
4. ^ Punjab Chiefs By W.L. Conran & H.D. Craik, Sang-e-Meel, 2004, p235
5. ^ The Ain i Akbari trans by H.Blochmann, Vol i, Low Price Publ., 2006, p506
6. ^ The Ain i Akbari trans by H.Blochmann, Vol i, Low Price Publ., 2006, p506
7. ^ A quote from Page 275 In the Book "A Glossary of the Tribes and castes of the Punjab and North -West Frontier Province compiled by H. A. Rose and based on the Census Report for the Punjab 1883, by Sir Denzil Ibbetson and the census report for the Punjab 1892 by Sir Edward Maclagan
  • "Kai-Gohar Nama" by Rai Duni Chand, updated and translated by Raja Sultan Zahur Akhtar.
  • Jhelum Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 Online Edition.
  • Gujrat Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 Online Edition.
  • Gakkhar, A. S Bazmee Ansari, in Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed.,Edited by J.H.Kramers et al, E.J Brill, Leiden, pp.972-74.
  • Gazetteer of the Rawalpindi District 1893-94, Punjab Government, 2001 Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore.
  • The Baburnama: memoirs of Babur, prince and emperor, Zahir-ud-din Mohammad Babur, Translated, edited and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston. 2002 Modern Library Paperback Edition, New York.
  • The History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India Till The Year A.D. 1612, Muhammad Kasim (Ferishta), Translated, edited and annotated by General J. Briggs. Reprinted 1981, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi, 4 vols.
  • Sher Shah Suri: A Fresh Perspective, Basheer Ahmad Khan Matta. 2005, Oxford University Press, Karachi.
  • The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, Peter Jackson, Cambridge University Press.

See also

Castes and Tribes of the Punjab
This box:     [ edit]
Ancient Kshatriya TribesAhir | Gurjar | Kamboj | Khash
ArainsArain | Chaudhary | Mian | Malik | Sardar
BrahminsSaraswat Brahmins | Punjabi Brahmins | Mohyal | Chhibber | Datt | Mohan | Vaid
DalitsPunjabi Dalits | Balmiki | Chamar | Chura | Kabirpanthi | Mazhabi | Nai | Ramdasia | Rangrehta | Ravidasi
JatsJat: List of Jat surnames
KshatriyasKhatri : Dhaighar | Charghar | Aathghar | Barahghar | Bawanghar | Kukhran | Sareen |
Arora : Uttradhi | Dakhna | Gujarati |
Bhatia | Sood | Lohana
RajputsRajput | Bagal | Bais | Bhutta | Bhatti | Chadhar | Chauhan | Chibb | Doad | Dogra | Gheba | Haral | Jamwal | Janjua | Jarral | Jaswal | Johiya | Jaura | Jodhra | Khakha | Kharal | Khati | Khokhar | Mahnike | Mair | Mangral | Manhas | Manj | Meo | Minhas | Mir | Narma | Naul | Noon | Paramara | Parhar | Ponwar | Pundir | Puni | Punwar | Rana | Rawat | Ranial | Rathore| Salaria | Saroya | Sial | Thakial | Wattu | Wejhwa | Wijhalke
ShaikhsShaikh | Paracha | Abbasi | Alavi | Farooqi | Gardezi | Gilani | Hashemi | Osmani | Quraishi | Sayyid | Shaikh Siddiqui
TarkhansTarkhan : Bhatti | Dhiman | Gade | Jhangra | Khatti | Matharu | Nagi | Netal | Siawan | Tharu | Virdi | List of Tarkhan surnames
OthersAhluwalia | Awan | Bakarwal | Bania | Bishnoi | Chhimba | Gakhar | Kalal | |Meghwar | Mekan | Saini | Sansi
Writing system: Urdu alphabet (Nasta'liq script) 
Official status
Official language of:  Pakistan ;
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Rawalpindi   (Urdu: راولپنڈی
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اسلام آباد) is the capital city of Pakistan, and is located in the Potohar Plateau in the northwest of the country. It is located within the Islamabad Capital Territory, the area has historically been a part of the crossroads of
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Jhelum or Jehlum may mean:
  • The Jhelum River of northern India and Pakistan, a tributary of the Indus.
  • Jhelum (city), a city on the banks of the Jhelum River.
  • Jhelum District surrounding the city of Jhelum.

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Kashmir (Urdu: کشمیر) is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Historically the term Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range.
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Gilgit River (Urdu: دریائے گلگت) is a tributary of the Indus River, and flows past the town of Gilgit. It is located in the Northern Areas of Kashmir, Pakistan.
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Baltistan (Urdu: بلتستان) , also known as بلتیول (Baltiyul) in the Balti language, is a region to the north of Kashmir, bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China.
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Town of Chitral
Motto: "With the help of God the success is not afar"
Country Pakistan
Province NWFP
Established 1700?
Incorporated 1969
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Khanpur (Urdu: خانپور) is a city in Punjab, Pakistan.

Khan Pur is the centre for Sugar cane and Cotton crop. The Tehsil of Khanpur is one of the largest area-wise of Rahim Yar Khan District.
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اتحاد، تنظيم، يقين محکم
Ittehad, Tanzim, Yaqeen-e-Muhkam   (Urdu)
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This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
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Hindu ( pronunciation  , Devanagari: हिन्दु), as per modern definition, is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, and the
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Coordinates: Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ, Urdu:
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Darius I of Persia, the Great
Great King (Shah) of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt

Reign 522 BC to 485/486 BC
Born 549 BC
Died 485 BC or 486 BC
Predecessor Smerdis
Successor Xerxes I

Darius the Great (c.
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50-60 million
(including all sub-groups)
Regions with significant populations
 Iran [1]
 Tajikistan [2]
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The Kayanians (also Kays or Kayanids or Kaianids) are a semi-mythological dynasty of Greater Iranian tradition and folklore. Considered collectively, the Kayanian kings are the heroes of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, and of the Shahnameh, Iran's national epic.
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The Kayanians (also Kays or Kayanids or Kaianids) are a semi-mythological dynasty of Greater Iranian tradition and folklore. Considered collectively, the Kayanian kings are the heroes of the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, and of the Shahnameh, Iran's national epic.
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The Pothohar Plateau (also spelled Potwar or Potohar) (Urdu: سطح مرتفع پوٹھوہار) is a plateau in Punjab, Pakistan.
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The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century
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Rawalpindi   (Urdu: راولپنڈی
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Hazara Division was one of the administrative subdivisions of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, forming part of the third tier of government, below the federal and provincial levels.
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The Jhelum district (Urdu: جہلم) is situated in Punjab province of Pakistan. It had a population of 936,957 of which 31.48% were urban in 1998.
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Coordinates: Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ, Urdu:
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Agra pronunciation   (Hindi: आगरा
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Spoken & written script of holy Guru Granth Sahib:
Written language of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is: Gurmukhi, Sahiskriti and Sant Bhasha[19]
Spoken words: Punjabi, Bengali, Brij Bhasha and Persian[20]
Predominant spoken languages:
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Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the day.
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Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (February 14, 1483 – December 26, 1530) (Chaghatay/Persian: ﻇﻬﻴﺮ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد
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Firishta or Ferishta (c. 1560–c. 1620), given name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah was a Persian historian.

Firishta was born at Astrabad, on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
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Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (February 14, 1483 – December 26, 1530) (Chaghatay/Persian: ﻇﻬﻴﺮ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد
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