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The Khokhar (Hindi: खोखर, Urdu: کھوکھر) or Khokar (Hindi: खोकर, Urdu: کھوکر) are a people of Pakistan and India. According to H.A. Rose[1] they are the gotra of Rajput,[2][3] Jat/Jaat, Arain, Nai, and Churah. According to Sir Denzil Ibbetson[4][5] they are also a gotra of the Tarkhan and Khatri tribes. In terms of religion, they are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christians (possibly some other faiths). Many Muslim Khokhars, commonly known as Qutb Shahi Khokhars, also claim ancestry from Qutb Shah,[6] who is said to have come from Ghazni with Mahmud of Ghazni.[7] In Pakistan they are predominately Muslim with a Christian minority and are one of the largest Rajput clans in Punjab,[2][8] they are also commonly found in Azad Kashmir and the Hazara Division of the North-West Frontier Province. In India, where they are predominately Hindu or Sikh, they are mainly found in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Khokhars were designated as an agricultural tribe.[9]

Before the partition of India, many Sikh and Hindu Khokhars[10] lived in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan of West Punjab. Likewise (before Partition), many Muslim Khokhars lived in Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Jalandhar districts of East Punjab. Most of these emigrated to West Punjab, now called Pakistani Punjab, after independence in 1947. In central and northern Punjab, they were and are still found in Lahore, Gujranwala, Jhelum, Kasur, Sialkot, Khushab, and Gujrat. Hindu and Sikh Khokhars can be found in many regions of Indian Punjab (Batala, Chandigarh, Gurdaspur, Ropar, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib), Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat, many Hindu and Sikh Khokhars moved from Pakistan to India after the partition of British India. In addition, Muslim and Hindu Khokhars are also found in western region of Uttar Pradesh.




Kshatriya view

Hindu and Sikh Khokhar trace their ancestry to Kshatriya origins. The common surname between Hindu and Muslim Khokhar is indicative also of a common north Indian Aryan ancestry.[11]

'That the Khokhars were originally Hindus appears hardly open to question. The Khokhars in Jhelum say they used to keep up certain Hindu customs and had parohits who were Datts, until recent times , but that this is no longer the case .They do not know whether they are connected with other Khokhars of the Punjab.[12]
In an account of the Katil Rajputs from Gurdaspur it is said that some of the earliest converts to Islam became known as the Khokhars , but further on it says “one of our ancestors settled down in the fort of Mangla Devi in the Jammu state and then took possession of Khairpur , hence his descendents became known as Khokhars , after being converted to Islam in the time of Ghaznavi [13]

The Mohyal of whom the Datts are a sub clan were also purohits of the Khokhran in earlier times however

the Muhial having ceased to be Brahmans at all , no longer minister to the Khokharan-Khatris and so a special group of Khokharan-Brahmins has had to be formed . .[14]

The Mohyal Brahmins associated to the Khokhars and Khokhran have a long history of not following the priesthood occupation that was usually associated with Brahmins in the past.

S A A Rizvi in his book 'The wonder that was India', also notes:

Muizzuddin whose capital was in Ghazni, followed Mahmud's tradition of Invading India . His army consisted mainly of Turkic and Taji (Persian -speaking Turks). Finding the Ismailis a threat to his power in the east, Muizzuddin seized Multan in 1175, then he conquered Uch. In 1178 he invaded Anhilvara or Patan, the capital of the Vaghela raja of Gujarat, Mulraja 11. A battle was fought near Mount Abu, the Rajas army, which outnumbered the Turks, won the day. The invaders fled through the inhospitable deserts in a miserable condition and endured considerable hardship. Muizzuddin thereupon decided to give up Mahmud's plan of invasion through Sindh and Multan. The Punjab offered better prospects. In 1179 he seized Peshwar. Two years later he invaded Lahore. The Ghaznavid ruler, Khusraw Malik made peace. In 1182 Muizzuddin conquered Debal and made the Sumra rulers of lower Sind his vassals. After a three year lull Muizzuddin invaded Lahore again and after ravaging the surrounding countryside occupied the strategic fort of Sialkot. The deposed Khusraw Malik made an alliance with the Khokhars, a Hindu tribe from the Salt Range but to the Mongols.[15]

Apart from the recordings of Amir Khusrau (1253-1325), who refers to Khokhars as a non-Muslim tribe,[16] the way they were constantly attacked and killed by sultans like Iltutmish and Balban supports Khusrau’s contention that they were originally Hindus.

J.M.Wikeley in his book Punjabi Musalmans, makes the observation:

The general conversion of the Muhammadan Rajputs from Hinduism is supposed to have taken place towards the end of the 13th or early 14th century AD. The Muhammadan conquests undoubtedly accelerated this change of religion, but the preaching of several renowned Muhammadan saints, especially Bawa Farid of Pakpattan and Syed Ali Hajveri of Lahore, whose eloquence drew large numbers to hear him, helped considerably to this end [17][18]

Qutb Shahi view

A Governor of Herat and a general in the army of Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutub Shah was a Hashemite descendant of the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali (but by a wife other than the Prophet's daughter, Fatimah).[19]

It is asserted that Qutb Shah and six of his sons accompanied and assisted Mahmud in his early eleventh century conquests of what today forms parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. It is claimed that in recognition of their services and valour, Mahmud bestowed upon Qutb Shah and his sons (who, according to tribal traditions, settled primarily in the Salt Range) the title of Awan, meaning "helper".[20]

Tribal history[citation needed] holds that Qutb Shah and his sons married local women who converted to Islam from Hinduism. Qutb Shah’s sons are said to have settled in different regions of the Punjab and to a lesser extent, what now constitutes parts of the North West Frontier Province; Gauhar Shah or Gorrara, settled near Sakesar, Kalan Shah or Kalgan, settled in Kalabagh, Chauhan colonized the hills close to the Indus, Mohammad Shah or Khokhar, settled by the Chenab, and Tori ‏and Jhajh settled in Tirah. Their descendants not only came to heavily populate these regions, but a number of Awan sub-clans that trace their origins to these six individuals, give their names to various localities such as Golera in Rawalpindi, Khewra in Jhelum, Banjara in Sialkot and Jand in Attock. Some of Qutub Shah’s sons are supposed to have assumed names that reflected the Hindu heritage of their mothers and the Khokhar sub-clans that trace their origins to these particular individuals, bear the names of their eponyms.[21]

The Awans are divided into numerous clans....

The following are the best known of these clans :—

Khokhar Rehan Darhal Saghral Chajji Mumnal Jand Gulshahi Shial Saidan Khattar Babkal Kang Sudkal Parbal Kalgan Khurana Chohan Bugdial Ballial [22]

The individual Qutb Shah appears in relation to Khokhars, Awans and other clans in various records, sometimes as a Military General in the army of Ghazni and at other times as a saint. Some Pakistani and western scholars such as Syed Abdul Quddus, Ahmed Abdulla and J M Wikely; who quotes Pandit Harikishan Kaul in his report on the census of 1911, attribute the conversion of Khokhars to Qutb Shah during the invasions of Ghazni rather than his having an ancestral relation to Khokhars or Awans.

Almost 60% of the population of the Punjab comprises of Rajputs and Jats and the various branches of their race such as Awans , Khokhar , and Khattars , Janjuas , Arains Gujjars etc , though the Awans , Khokhars and Khatars claim common ancestory from Qutb Shah , who is said to have come from Ghazni with Mahmud Ghazni , scholars hold the view that they were most probably converted by Qutb Shah during Mahmud Ghaznnavi reign and were not his descendents . This tendency of claiming foreign origin by some of the local tribes is not uncommon. Even admittedly rajput tribes of famous ancestry such as the Khokhar , have begun to follow the example of claiming connection with the Mughal conquerors of India or the Qureshi cousins of the prophet.[23][24]
The origins of the Khokhars are as obscure as those of any Punjab tribe. Tradition appears to invariably to connect them with the Awans, making Khokhar one of Qutb Shah's sons and the Khokhar Qutb Shahis his descendants , who would thus be akin to the Juhans also . But this pedigree probably merely records the fact that the Awans and Khokhars owe their conversion to Islam to the saint Qutb Shah or his desciples , or that they both accepted his teachings [12][25]

However, most of these claims can be traced to the works of H. A. Rose in the book 'Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province'[26]. Here he states that he is assuming the Gakhar and Khokhar to be the same,[27][28] and contributes his findings to H M Eliot and Dowson's book The History of India, as told by its own Historians, however the latter make no such connection.

H. A. Rose then, in the same book, goes on to accept the Awan (whom he had already connected to the Khokhars) to be of Arab origin.

But in the best available account of the tribes, the Awan are indeed said to be of Arabian origin and descendants of Qutb Shah, but he is said to have ruled Herat and to have joined Mahmud of Ghazni when he invaded India.[19][29]

Mir Hussein Ali Khan Kirmani in his book 'History of Hyder Naik' (translated from Persian by Colonel Miles, and published by the Oriental Translation Fund) also notes the Khokhars to be "an Afghan tribe famous in the subcontinent".[30][31][32]

The officers of the Nawaub’s infantry, nevertheless did not lose heart, but determined to sell their lives dearly; and they therefore strengthened a large building at the gateway, and defended it gallantly, while the Khokur, (Afghan), with a few brave fellows, made an attack on the unlucky Mahrattas, and with the sword and spear killed a great many of them [32][33][34]

Differing theories of origin

Some claim the confusion of origin to be caused by different Rajput/Jat tribes which are geographically related, such as the Kukhran/Khokharan and the Gakhar/kakar/khakhar tribes.[35][36] This ambiguity can be illustrated by well documented historical figures such as Sheikha and Jasrat being regarded as Khokhar by some[37][38][39][40][41] but Gakhar by others,[42][43][44] or in some works by H. A. Rose, who even states that he is assuming the Gakhar and Khokhar to be the same.[27][45] This can also be seen from the fact that some historians attribute the killing of Muhammad Ghori to the Khokhars of Potohar while he was returning to Ghazni at his camp at Dhamyak near Lahore on the Jhelum River in 1206,[46][47][48] however according to H. M. Eliot and Dowson, in the book The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period

Various muslim historians record the encounter of Muhammad Ghori with the Gakkhurs and him being killed by the Hindu Gakhars. Hasan Nizami in his book the Taju-L-A'Sir has recorded the Gakhars killing Ghori in the chapter The Return of Muhammad Ghori from Khwarzim and his war against the Gakkhurs and the Death of the Sultan of Sultans , Muhammad Sam [49][50]
An 1876 engraving of Khokar rajputs, from the Illustrated London News.

Firishta, in the account of this transaction, contained in the History of Sind (Vol. ii. pp. 610–5), has followed the Rauzatu-s Safá almost verbatim, adding only a few particulars which his greater, local knowledge enabled him to supply. According to his writing, a Gakhar chief named Kokar Sanka (whom H.A. Rose has documented as a chief of the Khokhars)[51] had embraced Islam during the time of Sultan Muhammad Ghori.

Sultán Jalálu-d dín, after applying to Shamsu-d dín (iltumash) for such aid as would enable him to return to his native country, where he learnt the sentiments of the Sháh towards him, returned by way of Lahore towards the abodes of the Khakkars, and after arriving in that country, he went to the hills of Balála and Bankála, and thence despatched Táju-d dín Khilj to the hills of Júdí, to plunder that province. * * The Ráí of the Khakkars, Kokár Sanká, who had attained the honour of Islám in the time of Sultán Shahábu-d dín (Ghori), solicited the Sultán that he would prevent Násiru-d dín Kubácha from harrying his country, as he was for ever doing. The Sultán gave the Ráí's son the title of Kalíj Khán, and sent one of his nobles, who was known as Úzbek Báshí (he was Jahán Pahlawán Úzbek), with seven thousand men against Kubácha, the ruler of Uch and Multán, who was encamped with twenty thousand men on the bank of the river Sind, which is near Úch.
The Jhelum River in Punjab, Pakistan

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition of 1911 states

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

However, there are those who dispute that the Khokhars are of Arab origin; these include Alexander Cunningham, Harikishan Kaul and Arthur Brandreth. Cunningham looked upon the Khokhar as a Rajput clan, some even taking into account the Gakhars being at time confused witht he Khokhars.

The Khokhars have at times been confused with the Gakhars; who state that the historian Ferishta has himself made this mistake. The Khokhars were well settled in the Punjab centuries before the Gakkhars, and were early spread all over the central districts of the province before the Gakkhars acquired their seats in the Salt Range and in the hilly country extending from the Jhelum to the Khanpur "ilaqa" in Hazara, to which they have always been confined.[52]

Historical records

Prior to the historical records of the tribe a traditional history of the Khokhars commences their record from about 1500 B. C. and makes them Descendants of Bustam Raja surnamed Kokra, who was governor of the Punjab. Driven thence by Faridur who had acquired the Persian throne, Bustan sought refuge in the hill of Ghor, West of Kandahar, where his people ruled for generations, being called Ghori of Ghoria. Later the Khokhars re-entered the Punjab under chiefs such as Jot, Sirkap, Vikram and many others, and thenceforth held the Punjab.[53]

Khokhars support Shahi struggles against Mahmud of Ghazni

After Raja Jaipal the Shahi king lost to Mahmud Ghazni, his successor Anandpal organised a confederacy of Hindu kings including the rulers of Ujjain, Gwalior,Kanauj, Delhi and Ajmer .

The Khokhars of Multan area also joined Anandpal .[54]

In the following year Mahmud resolved further to chastise Anandpal for his opposition to the passage of the Muslim army through his dominions on its way to Multan, and in the autumn of 1008 marched to Peshawar. Anandpal, who had been aware of his intention, had appealed for aid to other Hindu rajas, and one historian mentions the rajas of Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kanauj, Delhi, and Ajmer as having either marched in person or sent troops to his assistance. The number and consequence of his allies are perhaps exaggerated, but it is evident from Mahmud's excessive caution that Anandpal had received a considerable accession of strength and that the army which he led into the field was a very different force from that which Mahmud had so easily brushed aside on his way to Multan. Among the most valuable of Anandpal's auxiliaries were the wild and warlike Khokars from the lower hills' of Kashmir.[55]

Khokhars kill Ghori

Coin of Mu'izzuddin Muhammad Bin Sam (Ghori), circa 1173-1206 , Issued from Delhi following coin typology of Prithviraja.

Many campaigns were undertaken against the Khokhars by Ghori in the Punjab and ultimately he is killed by the Khokhars of the Salt Range in 1206.

581 (1193 A.D.) Mu'izzu-d-Dln advances a second time to Lahor and pillages the surrounding districts. He retires by the northern part of the Panjab, and on his way repairs anew the fort of Sialkot, leaving there a garrison under the command of Husain-i-Khar-mll. On his departure Khusru Malik invests it, with the aid of the Khokar tribe, but unsuccessfully [56]
Henceforward Aibak was the muslim ruler of northern India , for his master who retained Ghazni as his capital , was so occupied with the affairs of Khorasan that he only twice again marched into India , once in 1193 , when he defeated and slew Jaychandra , raja of Kannauj and Banares , and again in 1205 , to crush a dangerous rebellion of the Khokhars in the Salt Range of the Punjab.[57]
The rising was crushed with appaling severity , great number of Khokhars being slain or captured and sold into slavery .[58]
The Khokhars were killed in large numbers, and the province was pacified. After settling the affairs in the Punjab. Shahabuddin marched back to Ghazni. While camping at Dhamayak in 1206 CE in the Jhelum district, the sultan was murdered by the Khokhars[59]


Hasan Nizami and Ferishta record the killing of Ghori at the hands of the Gakhars. However, Ferishta is known to have often confused them with the Khokhars,[61] other Historians have alluded the killing to a band of Hindu Khokhars.[62]

Some also claim Ghori was assassinated on the banks of the River Sindh by a radical member of an Ismaili Muslim sect, most popularly known as the Hashshashin[63][64]

Razia sultana marches with an army of Khokhars to recapture Delhi

In 1240 A.D, Razia, the daughter of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish marched with her husband Altunia to recapture the throne from her brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah, she is reported to have headed an army composed mostly of mercenaries from the Khokhar tribe of the Punjab[65][66]

Khokhars attacked by Balban of the Mamluk Dynasty

The Qutub Minar, an example of the Mamluk dynasty's works.

"In 1246-7 Balban mounted an expedition as far as the Salt Range to chastise the Khokhars"[67] "His last campaign was undertaken with the object of subjugating the turbulent Khokhars of the Salt Range."[68]

Khokhar/Khokhran and Ala-ud-din Khilji

"The Khokhran section is said to consist of the descendants of certain Khatris who joined the Khokhars in rebellion against Ala-ud-din Khilji who ascended the throne of the Delhi Sultanate in AD 1296.);and with whom other Khatri families were afraid to intermarry ".[69] The Khokhran were concentrated in the areas of the salt range and particularly Bhera.

Shaikha Khokhar and Tamerlane

The Lahore Fort was badly damaged after being occupied by Shaikha Khokhar in 1393 A.D.

Shaikha/Sheikha or Shuja Khokhar was a chief of the Khokhars in the 14th and early 15th century and a contemporary of Taimur's (Tamerlane) invasions into Punjab.[41] Shaikha occupied Lahore in 1393.[70] Shaikha is the usual form of his name.[71]

(1393 A.D.) About the same time, Sárang Khán was sent to Díbálpúr, to get possession of the fiefs, and to suppress the rebellion of Shaikha Khokhar. In the month of Sha’bán, he proceeded to Díbálpúr, where he recruited and disciplined the soldiers and officers, and got possession of the fief (iktá’). In Zí-l ka’da, 796 H., having taken with him Ráí Khul Chain Bhattí and Ráí Dáúd Kamál Main, and the army of Multán, he crossed the Satladar (Sutlej) near the town of Tirhárah, and the Biyáh, near Duhálí, and came into the country of Láhor. When Shaikha Khokhar heard of Sárang Khán’s advance, he also collected his forces, and attacked the neighbourhood of Díbálpúr, and laid siege to Ajodhan; but on being informed that Sárang Khán had passed Hindupat, and had sat down [against Láhor], he left Ajodhan in the night, and proceeded to Láhor. On the next day the hostile forces prepared for battle, and placed themselves in array at Sámuthalla, twelve kos from Láhor. Sárang Khán obtained the victory, and Shaikha Khokhar went into Láhor. In the night, however, he collected his wives and children, and fled to the Júd mountains. On the following day, Sárang Khán obtained possession of the fort of Láhor, and giving his brother Malik Kandhú the title of ‘Ádil Khán, he left him there, and himself returned to Díbálpúr.[72]
Monument of Timur (Tamerlane) in Tashkent.
'In 1397 came Tamerlane (Timur) himself , whose troops occupied Uch and Multan , sacked Tulamba, raided the Khokhars of the Ravi Valley and passed on across the Bias to Pakpattan and Delhi [73]
'In Meantime Tamerlane marching from the north encamped outside Tulamba (October 13, 1398). After chastising some zamindars in the neighourhood and seizing a large number of cattle he passed on leaving the fort uncaptured. He then halted at Jal (or may be at a 'chal'or lake on the Bias 'opposite Shahpur' from which he marched out with a flying column to chastise Nusrat Khokhar who was encamped in swampy ground on the bank of the lake. The 'unsanctified Indians' being defeated and the 'God forsaken being slain', the army moved to Shahnawaz ..[74]
(1398 A.D.) From Dehlí, Tímúr returned by the skirts of the hills, and made prisoners of those people who had remained in the hills. When he arrived at Láhor, he plundered the city, and he made Shaikhá Khokhar prisoner, with his wives and children, and all those who had taken refuge with him. This Shaikhá Khokhar, through enmity to Sárang Khán, had early joined Tímúr, and had acted as his guide, in return for which he had received mercy and favour. Tímúr granted the fiefs of Multán and Díbálpúr to Khizr Khán, and sent him thither. Then he marched through Kábul to his own territories, and arrived at his capital, Samarkand.[75]

Some sources claim Shaikha was in fact a Gakhar, and so also known as Sheikha Gakhar,[42] the same can be said of his brother Nusrat, and son Jasrath.[43][44] However, according to Sir Denzil Ibbetson in A Glossary of the Tribes and castes of the Punjab and North -West Frontier Province compiled by H. A. Rose:

it will be of interest to notice briefly the contentions of the most prominent member of the (Gakhar) 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" [76]

Jasrath Khokhar

Jasrath/Jasrat or Dashrath Khokhar[77] was the son of Shaikha Khokhar and leader of the Khokhars in the 15th century. Jasrath or Dashratha are also the names of the father of Rama the Hero from the epic Ramayana.

On the death of Taimur, Jasrat escaped from prison, returned home and assumed the leadership of his tribe and set himself up at Sialkot. Intervening in the civil war in Kashmir between Ali Shah and Shahi Khan, while favouring the latter he gained immensely by his victory. Being enriched with wealth and equipment and fortified by the friendship of the new King of Kashmir, he conceived of conquering Delhi. The joining of Tughan Rais, after his defeat at the hands of Khizr Khan’s general, Zirak Khan, further strengthened his hands and emboldened him in his designs. Availing himself of the opportunity provided by the death of Khizr Khan, he crossed the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj, swooped down upon the Governor of Ludhiana, Rai Kama-ud-Din Firoz Mian, at Talwandi, defeated him and drove him to the east. Encouraged by that victory, he ravaged the country as far as Rupar and, recrossing the Satluj, laid siege to Jullundur, worsted and imprisoned the Governor, Zirak Khan. From there, He marched on Sirhind, but the rains delayed his plan of conquest [78]
News now arrived of the rebellion of Jasrath Shaikhá Khokhar and Túghán Raís.

The cause of this outbreak was, that in 823 H. (1420 A.D.), Sultán ‘Alí, King of Kashmír, led his army into the country of Thatta, but as he returned, he was encountered by Jasrath Khokhar. The Sháh’s army was scattered, part being still in Thatta, and part having come out. Incapable of sustaining the attack, it broke and fled. Sháh ‘Alí himself fell a prisoner into the hands of Jasrath, and all his baggage and stores were plundered. Jasrath Khokhar was an imprudent rustic. Intoxicated with victory, and elated with the strength of his forces, he began to have visions about Dehlí [79]

Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Jasrath was captured and brought here after Shaikha Khokhar's defeat in 1398 A.D.

On the 2nd Jumáda-l ákhir, Zírak Khán came out of the fort of Jálandhar, and was conducted to Jasrath Khokhar, who was drawn up ready to receive him with his whole force. When Jasrath saw Zírak Khán in his power, he forgot his promise, and carefully guarding him, carried him off a prisoner over the Sutlej, to the town of Ludhiyána. From thence he marched on the 20th Jumáda-l ákhir, to Sirhind, where he arrived in the middle of the rainy season. Malik Sultán Sháh Lodí took refuge in the fort, and although Jasrath made great exertions, God guarded the fortress, and Jasrath failed to take it. When Malik Sultán Sháh’s appeals for assistance reached the ears of the Sultán, he, notwithstanding the rains, marched out of the city in the month of Rajab, and proceeded towards Sirhind. He reached the town of Kohila, in the neighbourhood of Sámána, and Jasrath hearing of his approach, raised the siege of Sirhind, on the 27th Rajab, and retreated to Ludhiyána.[80]

In Jumáda-l ákhir of this same year, Jasrath Shaikhá crossed the rivers Jánháva and Ráví with a large force of horse and foot, and proceeded to Láhor.* He pitched his camp near the place (tomb) of the Shaikhu-l Mashaikh Shaikh Hasan Zanjání. On the 11th Jumáda-l ákhir, an engagement was fought in the mud fort (hisár-i khám), and by God’s grace Jasrath was repulsed[81]

In the year 826 H. (1423 A.D.),...In Jumáda-l awwal of this same year, there was fighting between Jasrath Shaikhá and Ráí Bhím. The ráí was killed, and the greater portion of his horses and arms fell into the hands of Jasrath. On ascertaining the death of Ráí Bhím, Jasrath united a small army of Mughals with his own, and attacked the territories of Díbálpúr and Láhor. Malik Sikandar immediately marched after him, but Jasrath fell back, and crossed over the Jánháva. About this time intelligence arrived of the death of Malik ‘Aláu-l Mulk, amír of Multán[82]

In 1428 A.D , The Mughal armies, under Shaikh Ali of Kabul, invaded and a contingent of Khokhars headed by 'ain-ud-din and malik abu-l-khair joined them at Talwara to guide them onwards.[83]

In the year 835 H. (1431-2) it was reported to the Sultán that Malik Sikandar Tuhfa had marched towards Jálandhar. For Jasrath Shaikhá Khokhar had come down with a strong force from the mountains of Telhar, and having crossed the Jhilam, Ráví and Biyáh, had come near to Jálandhar on the river Paní. Malik Sikandar was incautious, and encountered him with a small force. At the first charge he was defeated, and by the decree of fate fell into the hands of Jasrath Khokhar. Some of Malik Sikandar’s men were killed in the fight, and some fled to Jálandhar. Jasrath carried off Sikandar and some others who had been made prisoners with him, and marched in triumph to Láhor, to which fortress he laid siege. Saiyid Najmu-d dín, lieutenant of Sikandar, and Malik Khush-khabr, his slave, held the fort, and carried on a constant fight with the besiegers...................When the Sultán received information of these events, he himself marched towards Láhor and Multán, and he sent Malik Sarwar on in advance with a strong force to repress the rebellion of Púlád. When the army came near to Sámána the infamous Jasrath Khokhar abandoned the siege of the fort, and went into the hills of Telhar, carrying with him Malik Sikandar[84]

“In 845 (1441 A.D.), the Sultán went to Sámána. He “conferred upon Bahlol Khán the country of Díbálpúr and “Láhor, and sent him against Jasrath Khokhar. Then “the Sultán returned to Delhí. Jasrath made peace with “Bahlol Khán, and flattered him with hopes of the throne “of Dehlí. Aspirations of sovereignty now inspired Bahlol “Khán and he became intent on forming a party. He called “together the Afgháns from all parts around, and enlisted “them, so that in a short time he assembled a large force. “He also took possession of all the surrounding parganas. “On a slight pretence he declared war against Sultán Mu-“hammad Sháh, and marched against Dehlí in great force, “and besieged it for some time, but was eventually obliged to “fall back unsuccessful. The business of the State day by “day fell into greater confusion, and affairs came to such “a pass that there were amírs at twenty kos from Dehlí who “shook off their allegiance, and made pretensions to inde-“pendence. At length, in the year 849* (1445, A.D.), Sultán “Muhammad Sháh died, after a reign of ten years and “some months[85]

He did not, however, live to see the fruition of his plan, for, in A.D. 1442, he was murdered by his queen to avenge the death of her Father, Rai Bhilam [86]

A medieval Dogri poem called Chariot cloud, written in the 17th century by Prashasti and translated by Shivanath mentions the death of Jasarath Khokhar[87]

Grand-nephew of Jasrath Khokhar aligned with Mughal Emperor Akbar

Buland Darwaza built by emperor Akbar in 1602 A.D.

In the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, the Khokhars held portions of the Bari Doab, the Jullunder and Rachna Doabs, Multan and portions of Jammu and Sialkot, with a population estimated at 200,000 souls[88]

In March 1557, Akbar was at Delhi when the news reached that an instigation of Mulla Abdulla Sultanpuri and Sikandar Sur had descended upon the plains of Jalandhar Doab and had started collecting the revenue. In consequence, Akbar was sent in charge of Bairam Khan to the Punjab and advanced by way of Sirhind, Sultanpur and Hariana on Kalanaur, while Sikandar Sur withdrew to Mankot. The imperial forces immediately advanced through Jalandhar to the Shivalik Hills and encamped at Dasuya. The hill Rajas, who had sided with Sikandar Sur deserted him and submitted to Akbar. After receiving the submission of the Raja of Kangra, Akbar took up his residence at Jalandhar, where among others, Kamal Khan, a grandnephew of Jasrath Khokhar before mentioned, waited on him and was well received. Akbar was now called to the east to meet Hemu, and during his absence Sikandar Sur defeated Khizr Khan, Governor of Lahore, at Chamiari, which may be the village of that name in the extreme north of the Jalandhar District. This disaster necessitated the return of Akbar, who had defeated Hemu at Panipat.[89]

Hameed khan khokhar owned strong forts(Qilas) in Hoshiarpur during Mughal era.[citation needed]

From the 1882 census

A quote from p. 97 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. Published By the Asian Educational Services .

 :"On the other hand in Shahpur the Bhat are divided into Bunjahis and Khokhars, the latter suggesting the Khokhrain group of the Khatris thus
Section of Khokhars - Gotra
Sigarre ------------ Kushab
Nadhipotre ---------- Bhardwaj
Apat -------------- Balash
Jain --------------- Vashisht" ,[90]

In Gujarat State of India Khokhar along with Sharwani(Sherwani) has ruled till India got independence. This place was near Porbandar, namely Kutiana and its nearby places. Though in 1947 Kutiana was under Junagadh Nawab, it was earlier ruled by Khokhar's and Sharwani. Bhudhu Khokhar signed the state in India at the time of Independence.


Malik is used by Khokhars and Khokhran, and refers to chiefs, [91] primarily by Qutab-Shahi Khokhars who claim to be descendants of Qutab Shah. Chaudhry is used by Khokhars in parts of Punjab. Raja is used by many Khokhars, and is commonly used by Rajputs in Punjab.[92] Rana is also commonly used by Rajputs in Punjab, and is used by Khokhars in central and eastern Punjab. Rai is also used.[citation needed]

Geographical distribution

The Punjab and it's surrounding areas in 1903. The historical home of the Khokhar clan.

Khokhars are mainly found in the Punjab region. In Pakistan, Khokhars can be found in the regions of Gujranwala, Jhelum, Mianwali, Khushab, Khanewal, Shahpur, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sargodha, Bhera, Chiniot ,Gujrat, Gujar Khan, Multan, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Vehari, Pakpattan and adjoining areas. Khokhars are also found in areas of Kashmir including Azad Kashmir and Mirpur. In India, areas include Batala, Chandigarh, Gurdaspur, Ropar, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Jammu and Kashmir. Khokhars are now based all around the world. Muslim Khokhars are also found in Moradabad District in Uttar Pradesh, where they are said to have settled in the 18th Century, and are considered as a clan of the Ranghar community. In addition, Hindu Khokhars are also found in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, and are considered to be a Jat clan.


There are several sub-divisions of the Khokhar tribe, such as the Bandial, Bhachar, Dholka, Ganjial, Jalap, Majoka, Rawal, and Denaar.

List of Khokhar Towns and Villages

A village in Pind Dadan Khan, Jhelum.

Notable Khokhars

See also


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