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Aerial view of Kotli Mangrallan

The Mangral (alternately Mahngral, Mangarpal Urdu: مہنگرال، منگرال) are a Rajput warrior clan originating from the Jangladesh region of Rajastan and the historical founders and rulers of the Panjab Hills States of Kotli and Poonch. Their ancestor Raja Mangar Pal was the founder of the City of Kotli in modern Azad Kashmir. The Mangrals ruled Kotli State until 1815 and they ruled Poonch State until 1819 following which both of these states were incorporated into the State of Jammu by the Sikh Raja Ranjit Singh.

Today, Mangrals are based mainly in Kotli District, Poonch District (AJK) Trar Dewan Rawalakot(AJK) and Poonch in Indian Administered Kashmir , also Kahuta Tehsil of Rawalpindi District in Punjab, Pakistan. Many have also emigrated to Europe and the United States of America.

Many of the clan use the surname Khan following their ancestor Raja Sensphal Khan who founded the City of Sehnsa and was the first Mangral to adopt Islam.

Contents

Chandravanshi Rajput origin of Mangrals

Lord Krishna with Radha, as painted by Raja Ravi Varma

Mangrals are a Chandravanshi Rajput clan descended from Raja Mangar Pal son of Hani Dev who migrated to present day Sialkot from the Jangladesh region of northern Rajastan in the Twelfth century A.D. Hani Dev's brother Nirmal Dev continued to live in Jangladesh. Prior to the mid 15th Century Jangladesh was a wild barren area. It was subsequently conquered by Rao Bika a Rathore Rajput and since then has been known as Bikaner.

Raja Hani Dev was the son of Raja Aori Pal who was the son of Raja Cchatar Pal who was the son of Raja Burj Pal. The ancestral line of the Mangral Rajputs goes back in time through the Yaduvanshi lineage of Chandravanshi Rajput. The Yaduvanshis claim descent from the Hindu God Krishna, who in turn was born into a Chandravanshi dynasty.

Hani Dev settled in the Royal Court of Kashmir in Sialkot (Winter Capital) whilst his brother Nirmal Dev continued to live in Jangladesh. Following the death of his father, Raja Mangarpal moved to Kashmir where he ruled the states of Kotli (now a tehsil and district of Azad Kashmir) and Poonch (now divided between Pakistan and India).

Founding of Kotli and Poonch

As stated in History of the Panjab Hill States by J.Hutchinson and J.P. Vogel: "Kotli was founded about the fifteenth century by a branch of the royal family of Kashmir. Kotli and Punch remained independent until subdued by Ranjit Singh in 1815 and 1819 respectively."[1]

Sikh conquest of Kotli

The Mangrals ruled Kotli state for approximately four centuries until they were defeated by the army of the Sikh leader Ranjit Singh. Singh was referred to locally by the derogatory name 'Kaala Kaana' i.e. the black faced 'boz-eye' - a reference to his dark complexion and missing eye. The Mangrals led by Raja Shah Sawar Khan initially defeated the Sikh forces in two battles (1812 and 1814), though at very high cost in loss of life.

The Sikh army returned in 1815 with 30,000 soldiers and a final battle ensued. Having lost many fighters, the Mangrals agreed to a compromise, giving up control of their city (then based in Baraali near modern Kotli) to Ranjit Singh. The rural areas remained under the control of various Mangral families as jagirs from Jammu, and they continued to be the landowners and collectors of tax revenues. This arrangement lasted until Pakistan's 1962 Land Reform Act, whereby the ownership of the land was transferred to the tenant farmers without compensation to the landowners.

Mangrals in the British Army

Mangrals, being of Rajput origin and therefore classified by the British as a martial race, readily joined the British Indian army and fought in several famous campaigns. Kotli was in fact a major recruiting ground for the British Indian army. It is estimated that about 80,000 men of consisting of mainly Rajput and Jat(Chaudhry) origins were recruited from Kotli to fight in the Second World War. Some of the campaigns in which Mangrals fought include the Cassino Campaign and the War in Burma.

Though Mangrals were traditionally involved in soldiering, modern Mangrals have branched out into medicine, law, and information technology.

Mangrals and the Pakistan Movement

The Mangrals were instrumental in the Pakistan movement and were a huge contribution in the struggle to free Kashmir from Dogra rule. It is noted that the Mangrals of Kotli Mangrallan together with the Gakkar of Mirpur rose up in revolt against the Dogra forces of Gulab Singh.[2] Furthermore, the Mangral, led by Colonel Mahmood chased the Dogra forces out of Throtchi Fort and defeated them in a historic Battle at Dabrian which was a key battle in the freeing of Azad Kashmir from Dogra rule. Similarly Raja Sakhi Daler Khan played an active role in liberating this area from Dogra army.

Modern Mangrals

The last official count of Indian castes was conducted by the British in their census of India of 1931. At the time they recorded 4,500 adult male Mangrals.

Most modern Mangrals are still located in Azad Kashmir. However, significant numbers have migrated and today Mangrals are settled in a variety of locations across the globe. Many emigrated to the United Kingdom in the sixties and seventies for economic reasons. In the United Kingdom they originally settled in the Midlands in places like Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent but later dispersed across the country to Lancashire, Yorkshire and the South (London, Luton, St. Albans). There has also been steady migration to the United Kingdom in later years through marriage or work visa and student visa arrangements. Others have migrated to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Malaysia, and the United States.

Notable Mangral Rajput Personalities

Documented history of the Mangrals

The Mangral rulers, in line with tradition, appointed the trustworthy people from the Mirassi caste and the story tellers of the Panjab Hills States to protect the lineages and the family trees of their ancestors. The Mangral rulers rewarded the Miraasi with jagirs (feudal lands awarded for service to the ruler). Of particular mention are Rai Qadir Miraasi and Rai Watu Miraasi. Their descendants kept up to date the lineages and many other historical events and the Jagirs are still under their use.

The District Inspector of schools for Mirpur, Raja Muhammad Yaqoob Tariq (the writer of the history of Gakhars) succeeded in meeting with one of the family members of these Miraasis, named Sahib Din and acquired some historical information about Mangral Rajputs of Kotli Mangrallan and published them in a monthly magazine under the subject “The Valley of Sehnsa Kotli” in 1955. This was a short history of Mangral Rajputs.

Hust-O-Bood is the first more detailed history of Mangral written by Mian Ejaz Nabi of Gujarat Pakistan.[3]

A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province based on the census report for the Punjab, 1883 written by Sir Denzil Ibbetson has reference to the Mangral. Under Western Rajputs, he writes that “The third Group is the Rajpoots of the western hills including the Salt Range Tract, comprising both dominant tribes of proud position such as Janjua and Mongrel Rajpoots from the Jammu hills and descendants either of the Yadu Bansi( Bhutti) dynasty of Kashmir and Mythical Raja Rasalu of Sialkot.”[4]

The lineage Of Mangral Rajputs of Kotli

By Raja Sarfraz A Mangral (USA)

                                           Raja Burj Pal
                                                 |
                                            Raja Chhatar Pal
                                                 |
                                            Raja Aori Pal
                                       __________|_________
                                       |                  |
                                 Raja Hani Dev        Raja Nirmal Dev
                                        |
                               * Raja Mangar Pal( The ancestor Of Mangral Rajputs)
                                        |
                                 Raja Hindu Dev
                                        |
                                *Raja Sehns Pal( Converted To Islam)
             ____________________________|_________________________________ 
            |                |             |              |               |
     Raja Daan Khan   Raja Tatar Khan  Raja Qandhar Khan Raja Janib Khan Raja Muratab Khan
            |                |         
     Raja pareetam Khan 
            |
     Raja Sara Khan    Raja Kamran Iqbal khan Mangrallan son of Raja Mohammad Iqbal Magrallan District kotli, village Kartot AK
            |
     Raja Musahb Khan
        _____|___________________________________________
        |                   |                      |
     Rai Gagar Khan        Raja Sawa Khan        Raja Autam Khan 

See also

References

  1. ^ History of the Panjab Hill States By J. Hutchinson, J.P. Vogel
  2. ^ Interview With Krishan Dev Sethi
  3. ^ Hust-O-Bood by Mian Ejaz Nabi B.A., born 18th April 1917 in a Mangral Rajput family in Gujarat and whose Great Grandfather migrated from Kotli Mangrallan.
  4. ^ Panjab Castes by Sir Denzil Ibbetson
  • (In the Free Homeland (Azad Kashmir) Part 1: (translation of the hand-written account of Colonel Mirza Hassan Khan, Military Cross, Fakhar-e-Kashmir, during his imprisonment and confinement in the last stages of his life)
  • (Treaty of Amritsar, 16 March 1846)
  • History Of Mangral Rajputs of Kotli Mangralan By Raja Sarfraz Mangral USA.
  • History of Mangral Rajputs by Raja Sawar Khan Mangral
  • Tareek Mangral By the famous writer and historian Anjum Sultan Shabaz
  • The Bleeding Kashmir By Major Iqbal Hashmi,Published by Royal Book Co., 1993 Original from the University of Michigan
  • A Hand Book on Azad Jammu & Kashmir, By Pirzada Irshad Ahmad Published by Nawab Sons Publication, 2003 Original from the University of Michigan.
  • [Punjabi Musalmans] By Lt.Col.J.M Wikeley (Mangral- Second Edition Page No.126)
  • Events at the court of Ranjit Singh. 1810-1817
  • [Kashmir Fight For Freedom] By Yousaf Saraf
  • Rajput Qabail by Raja Sarwar Sulehria.

External links

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