Ranghar: Wikis


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Musalman Rajput
Total population
2 million
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan India United States Canada Australia

HaryanviKhari BoliPunjabiSindhiUrduEnglish


Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •

Related ethnic groups

RajputsMuslim RajputsPunjabi RajputsGaurwas

The term Ranghar refers to the Muslim Rajputs clans, which were once found in the state of Haryana and the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh, India.[1] The Haryana Ranghar are now found in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab of Pakistan, while those of western Uttar Pradesh remain in India.[2] Please note the term Ranghar is very rarely used by the community itself, who prefer the self-designation Musalman Rajput. The Ranghar use the titles of Rao, Rana and Kunwar, prefixed to their given names, and use Khan as a surname. The Haryana Ranghar speak a dialect of their own, called Ranghari, which is a dialect of Haryanvi. Those of Uttar Pradesh speak Khari Boli among themselves, and Urdu with outsiders. After independence of Pakistan in 1947, many Ranghar migrated from Uttar Pradesh in India to Sindh in Pakistan and mostly settling in Karachi.

In addition to the Rajputs, the term was also used for three other communities, the Pacheda, the Muslim Tyagis of Haryana and the Mulla Jats.


History and origin

There are various theories as to the origin of the term Ranghar. According to one of the traditions, the name come from the Hindi words Rana Garh, which means the house (garh in Hindi) of a lord(rana).[3] But the term Ranghar was also some what contemptously applied by the local Hindu community to any Rajput, who converted to Islam. The term Ranghar is rarely used by the community itself.There is another definition of Ranghar that it is combination of two words "Run" and "Garh". Run means battle field while Garh means that who fought bravely in battle field.

If a Hindu Chauhan Rajput turns Mohammadan, he would still be a Chauhan Rajput, but his Hindu kinsmans would also dub him Ranghar, a term only a trifle less deregatory then chotikat.[4]

Different communities of Ranghar had different accounts of their conversion to Islam. Thus in Jind, the local Ranghar claimed descent from a Firuz, who converted to Islam during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. These converted Rajputs kept many Hindu practices, such as keeping Brahmin priests, and avoiding one gotra in marriage.

The Ranghar were pastoralists, and as such came into conflict with the British imperial authorities, as the British colonial policy favoured settled agricultural communities such as the Ror and Jat, at the expense of these pastoralists.[5] But they were also actively recruited by the British in the Indian army, and were dubbed a martial race.[6]

The Ranghar can be roughly divided into sub-groups, conveniently divided by the Yamuna river. Those to the west of the river remained as pastoralists much longer then the cis Yamuna Ranghar, who were all settled agriculturist by the start of the 19th Century. The partition of India further divided these two groups, with the trans Yamuna Ranghar emigrating to Pakistan, while those of the Doab remaining in India. They comprise a large numbered of dispersed intermarrying clans. These exogamous groups are made up of myriad landholding patrilineages of varying genealogical depth, ritual, and social status called biradaries or brotherhoods scattered in the various districts of western Uttar Pradesh. The biradari, or lineage is one of the principal point of reference for the Ranghars, and all biradaris claim descent from a common ancestor. Often biradaris inhabit a cluster of villages called chaurasis (84 villages), chatisis (36 villages) and chabisis (26 villages).[7] The Chauhan, Bhatti and Panwar form the principal biradaris of the Ranghar, with large communities in Chauhan and Bhatti predominating in Uttar Pradesh and the Tomar and Panwar being found among the western Ranghar.

Distribution and present circumstances


In Pakistan

They speak a Haryanvi dialect which is often called Ranghari. After the partition of India, the Haryana Ranghar have settled down in the Lahore, Sheikhupura, Bhakkar,Bahawalnagar, Okara, Layyah, Vehari, Sahiwal and Multan districts of Punjab.[8] They are also found in Mirpur Khas and Nawabshah Districts of Sindh. Recent studies of the Ranghar communities in Pakistan have confirmed that they maintain a distinct identity.[9] They have maintained the system of exogamous marriages, the practice of not marrying with in ones clan, which marks them out from neighbouring Punjabi Muslim communities, which prefer marriages with first cousins. In districts of Pakpattan and Okara, which have the densest concentrations of Rangarh, they consist mostly of small peasants, with many serving in the army and police. They maintain an overarching tribal council (panchayat in the Rangharhi dialect), which deals with a number of issues, such as punishments for petty crime or co-operation over village projects.

Most Ranghar are now bilingual, speaking Punjabi and Sindhi, as well as still speaking Ranghari.

In India

In India, the Ranghar are found in western Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

In Uttar Pradesh

Regions of Uttar Pradesh

The Ranghar of western Uttar Pradesh have remained in India.[10] This community is endogamous, and divided into three broad categories, the Agnivanshi, the Chandravanshi and Suryavanshi, which again divided into several biradaris or gotras. The community is distinct from other neighbouring Muslim communities, in that follow the custom of gotra exogamy, the practice of not marrying among one's father's or mother's clan. The community's primary function has remained agriculture. Animal husbandry and poultry are also secondary occupations. Like their Pakistani counterparts, the Uttar Pradesh Rangarh also have a tribal council. Offences that are dealt by the tribal council include adultery, elopement, disputes over land, water and theft.

In the Doab

The community in mainly distributed in the Doab region, a tract of land between Ganges and Yamuna rivers, which forms the western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh. There main clans are the Chauhan, Pundir, Bargujar and Bhatti. Starting with Saharanpur District, their northern most settlement, their main distribution by clan is as follows; the Chauhan are found mainly in Saharanpur and Nakur, the Pundir are found mainly in the Katha tract and Deoband. Other clans include the Jadaun, Bhatti, Tomar and Rawat, almost all of whom live in Saharanpur Tehsil, while the Panwar and Bargujar are found in Deoband Tehsil.[11]

In Muzaffarnagar District, the main clans are the Chauhan and Pundir, with smaller numbers of Bargujars, Panwars, Tomars and Bhattis. They are confined to the Kairana and Budhana tehsils. The only other family of importance are Sombansi of the village of Ainchauli, who are said to have come from Awadh.[12] In neighbouring Meerut District, their main clans are Chauhan, Pundir and Tomar. Other clans include the Bargujar, Bhatti, Bhale Sultan and Sisodia. The Sisodia have nine villages in the district, while the Tomar have eight in Hapur and three in Baghpat. In total, they have forty-five villages in total.[13] In Bulandshahr District, they belong mainly in the Chauhan, Bhatti and Bargujar clans, while there are also considerable number of Panwar, Bais, Tomar and Bhale Sultan. The Bargujar are further divided into five clans, the Lalkhani, Ahmadkhani, Bikramkhani, Kamalkhani and Raimani. The Lalkhanis have consider themselves distinct from other Rajput communities, having held large estates such that of Chhatari and Pahasu. Aligarh district is the southern limit of Ranghar settlement. They are found mainly in Khair and Aligarh. There main clans are the Chauhan, Pundir and Bargujar, including the famous Lalkhani family. There are also a considerable number of Gehlot in Hathras, Rathore in Khair, Bais in Atrauli and Khair and Bhadauria in Atrauli.

In Rohilkhand

The Muslim Rajputs of the Rohilkhand region are also referred to as Ranghar. They belong mainly to the Bhatti and Chauhan clans. In Moradabad district, they are found mainly in Hasanpur, Amroha and Bilari. The Chauhans are concentrated in Sambhal, the Gaurs in also in Hasanpur, the Rathore in Thakurdwara and Bilari. Other clans are the Bargujars of Sambhal and Amroha, the Katehria of Hassanpur and Moradabad, the Bhatti of Hassanpur, the Tomar pf Hasanpur and Amroha, and Sombansis found in the entire district. In addition, the district is also home to a large colony of Khokhar Rajputs , who settled in the district during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Babar. They are said to have come originally from Sialkot in Punjab, where they are still are a large and important Rajput tribe.[14]

In Bijnor District, there main clans are the Chauhans found in Dhampur, Nagina and Bijnor tehsils, Panwar and Bhatti in the western part of the district, and Sisodia in Dhampur.[15]

The Ranghar in Rampur District, for the most part belonged to the Katehriya and Bhatti clans. They are pretty evenly distributed all over the district. [16]

The Ranghar in Bareilly District are found mainly in Bareilly, Baheri and Nawabganj. In terms of importance, the Jadaun of Aonla are perhaps to the most prominent family in the district. Other clans include the Chauhan, Sombansi and Bhatti.[17] In Badaun District, the main Ranghar clans are the Bargujar, Bhatti, Chauhan and Panwar. The Chauhan are found mainly in Bisauli, Dataganj and Badaun. In numbers, they are the largest clan. The Bargujar are found mainly in Dataganj and Gunnaur, and belong to the Lalkhani family, while the Panwar are found in Gunnaur.[18]

The Ranghar of Shahjahanpur District, for the most part belonged to the Chauhan, Katehriya and Sombansi tribes. The former are concentrated in Tilhar, the other two clans are found throughout the district.[19]

In Delhi

The Ranghar of Delhi are said to have converted to Islam, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The conversion initially is said to have had little effect on the community. Their social customs remained unaltered, their rules of marriage and inheritance remained unaltered, save that they shaved their scalp lock and upper edge of their moustache. The community was historically connected with the Ranghar of Haryana, but their emigration to Pakistan has led to commencement of relations with the Ranghar of the Doab. A good many of the Delhi Ranghar have also emigrated to Pakistan, and are now found mainly in Mirpurkhas District, in Sindh. There main clans are the Badpyar, Bhatti, Chauhan, Gaurwa, Panwar, and Tomar.[20] According to the 1911 Census of India the main clans were as follows:[21]

Tribe Sonepat Tehsil Delhi Tehsil Balabgarh Tehsil Total
Awan 1,520 2,172 3,821 7,513
Badpyar 137 851 988
Chauhan 1,098 1,313 265 2,676
Jawal 219 8 47 288

The Ranghar in Delhi were found mainly in villages, around the city. Their most important settlement was Okhla, which now been incorporated into the city. The spread of Delhi has led to the incorporation of many other Ranghar villages into the city. There are still a small number of Ranghar villages in the west of Delhi, along the border with Rohtak District. They are remnants of the large communities of Panwar and Chauhan communities in region. Much of the Ranghar land was taken over by the Delhi Development Authority in the 1950s and 60s. This has led to landlessness, and many are now engaged as industrial labourers. There has thus been a marked decline in the fortunes of the Rajputs.[22]

The community is entirely Sunni Muslim, and many are now gravitating towards the orthodox Deobandi sect. They remain endogamous, only rarely marrying out, and then only with other Rajput communities in Meerut, and still maintain gotra exogamy. The traditional tribal council is no longer as effective, as the community has rapidly urbanized.[23]

Clans of the Haryana Ranghar

Here is a brief description, with reference of the historic distribution of the Rajput clans of Haryana.


The Haryana Muslim Chauhans all claimed descent from Rana Har Rai, and connect themselves with Prithvi Raj, the last Chauhan Raja of North India. Perhaps the most widespread of the Ambala Division tribe, found in almost every district. In Karnal and Ambala, they were found all along the valley of the Yamuna. In the Rewari Tehsil of Gurgaon District, they formed important communities. According to 1911 Census of India, they numbered 73,604.[24]


The Muslim branch of the Bargujar were found mainly in Jhajjar - Beri , Rewari Tehsil of Gurgaon District.


The Mandahars claim descent from Loa, son of Ram and grandson of Raja Jasrath of Hindu traditions. They converted to Islam in time of the Firoz Shah, Sultan of Delhi, in the 14th century. The tribe was found almost entirely in the old Karnal District, and as well as a few around Samana in Patiala.


In Haryana, the Panhwar or Puar were after the Chauhan, the principal tribe. They used Rao as a title. The Ranghar in Rohtak District were almost entirely Panhwar, and acorrding to the 1911 Census of India they numbered 18,352. According to their tradition, the Panwhar immigrated from Dharanagri (a place said to be somewhere in Deccan), and intermarried with the Chauhans, who gave them lands around Rohtak and Kalanaur.

They have all emigrated to Pakistan, after 1947, and are found in Okara, Kasur and Sahiwal districts.


The Pundir are a Suryavanshi clan. They were found in the Yamuna valley in Karnal and Ambala districts. Like other Haryana clans, the emigrated to Pakistan. They use the title Rao.


The Jatu are a Tonwar clan, who were settled mainly in Sirsa, Rania, Hissar and Jind districts. They are now found mainly in Okara and Kasur districts.


The Raghubansi were found mainly in Hissar, Jind and Bhattinda.


The Rathore are a Suryavanshi Rajput clan. In Haryana, Muslim Rathore were found mainly in Hissar District.


The Taoni claim a connection with the Bhatti Rajputs. They were found mainly in Ambala District.


The Tonwar were found mainly in Delhi, Rohtak, Hissar and Sirsa. The Jatu and Satraola, found in Hissar were clans of the Tonwar.


There were also a few Qaimkhani Chauhan villages in Hissar District, although they are more a Rajasthani tribe, then a Haryanvi one. There most important settlement was Narnaul.

List and Population of Ranghar clans from the 1911 Census of India

The last census of India to give a breakdown of the clans of the Ranghar community was that of 1911.

Hissar District

The main Muslim Rajput clans of Hissar District were as follows:[25]

Tribe Hissar Tehsil Hansi Tehsil Bhiwani Tehsil Fatehabad Tehsil Sirsa Tehsil Total
Bhatti 308 177 244 1,374 4,991 7,094
Chauhan 1,709 2,769 2,140 1,191 3,120 10,929
Jatu 1,951 4,759 2,245 679 10 9,644
Johiya 589 46 77 236 3,837 4,785
Jora 10 2 822 834
Kharal 2 64 774 840
Mandahar 68 314 108 127 617
Mahaar 8 6 2 776 792
Qaimkhani 973 412 602 178 55 2,020
Panwar 365 1,350 1,523 178 2,820 6,236
Raghuvanshi 19 1,468 164 15 1,666
Rathore 39 5 484 6 534
Satraola 4 503 35 6 544
Sakhri 8 74 661 743
Tonwar 276 57 304 637
Wattu 88 2,761 2,849
Warha 664 664
Varya 43 61 459 26 589

Rohtak District

Here are the main Muslim Rajput clans of Rohtak District:[26]

Tribe Rohtak Tehsil Jhajjar Tehsil Gohana Tehsil Total
Chauhan 4,597 603 1,345 6,545
Jatu 1,146 350 515 2,011
Panwar 9,868 173 5,689 15,730
Tonwar 29 29

Gurgaon District

The main Muslim Rajput clans were as follows:[27]

Tribe Gurgaon Tehsil Rewari Tehsil Palwal Tehsil Nuh Tehsil Firuzpur Tehsil Total
Bargujar 303 159 314 27 2 805
Chauhan 1,092 2,873 179 74 3 4,221
Gaurwa 475 475
Jadaun 119 119
Jatu 125 333 12 12 482
Panwar 221 463 80 86 850
Tonwar 17 2 5 241 265

Karnal District

Tribe Karnal Tehsil Panipat Tehsil Kaithal Tehsil Thanesar Tehsil Total
Bhatti 105 40 163 180 488
Chauhan 15,401 1,054 4,894 5,967 27,316
Jatu 303 159 314 29 805
Mandahar 8,877 2,593 8,823 564 20,857
Pundir 555 165 720
Panwar 771 282 302 144 1,499
Taoni 15 223 504 742
Tonwar 827 743 2,455 6,548 10,573
Varya 136 267 308 611


Ambala District

The main Muslim Rajput clans of Ambala District were as follows:[29]

Tribe Ambala Tehsil Kharar Tehsil Rupar Tehsil Naraingarh Tehsil Jagadhri Tehsil Total
Bhatti 839 183 109 138 147 1,416
Chauhan 8,529 779 493 6,381 6,151 22,833
Dahya 79 1,991 1,462 71 17 3,620
Ghorewaha 51 955 1,889 48 6 2,949
Jadaun 43 1 2 46
Mandahar 354 7 164 525
Naru 396 33 117 15 561
Pundir 101 164 265
Raghubansi 168 314 40 1,549 64 2,135
Taoni 1,015 4,711 1,348 1,212 245 8,531
Tonwar 576 55 184 182 200 1,197
Varya 839 183 109 138 147 1,416


The Pachada were a pastoral tribe, and early British historians connected them with tribes found in along the Sutlej such as the Wattu and Kharal, who were also pastoral. During the 1857 War of Independence, the Pachadas played a key part in the disturbances that occurred in western Haryana and northern Rajasthan.

At the time of the partition of India in 1947, the Pachadas like other Muslim Rajputs tribes moved enmass to Pakistan. They are now found through out Punjab, with concenterations in Kasur and Okara Districts.

There are still however, in Bikaner are a small number of Pachadas of the Rath clan.

The main Pacchada clans are:


The Sohu claim descent from the Chauhan Rajputs, through Lal, son of Jata, who is said to have founded Bhirana in Haryana. Jata is said to have come originally from Rawalpindi, and migrated via Bhatner and Rania and eventually settling in Hissar.


The Sukheras claim descent from Sukha, son of Thirpal, a Tonwar Rajput.


The Hinjroan claim descent from the Saroha Rajputs, and claim a kinship with the Hanjra Jats.

Other communities

Included with in the Ranghar category are the Tyagi (Muslim) from the old districts of Rohtak and Karnal in what is now the Haryana state of India. They are now found mainly in Muzaffargarh and Layyah districts of Punjab.

The term Mulla Jat was used to describe Muslim Jat clans settled in the Karnal, Hissar and Rohtak regions of Haryana. They are sometime included with in the Ranghar category, as many are settled in Okara and Sahiwal, among communities of Muslim Rajputs. However, the term Ranghar has historically been restricted to the Rajput community.

The main Mulla clans include the Malik, Godara, Nain, Khatri, Dandiwal, Bacchal, Baidwan and Ahlawat.

Famous persons



  • Vice Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Rao TI(M), SI(M), HI(M).(MD, Karachi Shipyard. Former Deputy Chief of Naval Staff)
  • Air Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman (Chief of staff, Pakistan Air Force).
  • Air Vice Marshal Rao Abid
  • Lt.General Yousaf Khan
  • Lt.General Rao Zulfiqar Ali Khan
  • Maj Gen Rao Farman Ali Khan
  • Maj Gen Muhammad Khalid Rao
  • Brig Rao Jawahar Ali Khan
  • Lt. Col Saleem Raza
  • Lt. Col Kamal ur Rehman
  • Lt. Col Waseem ur Rehman
  • Major Rao Muhammad Iqbal
  • Major Farrukh Shehzad Rao.



  • Rao Abdur Rashid (former IG Punjab)
  • Rao Muhammad Iqbal (DIG Police)
  • Rao Amin Hashim (DIG Police)
  • Rao Toheed (cpo)

See also


  1. ^ People of India: Uttar Pradesh XLII Part III edited by K Singh page 1197
  2. ^ Punjabi Musalmaan by J M Wikely
  3. ^ A Glossary of the tribes & castes of Punjab by H A Rose
  4. ^ A Glossary of the tribes & castes of Punjab by H. A Rose
  5. ^ The Peasant Armed by Eric Stokes
  6. ^ Hindustani Musalmans and Musalman of East Punjab by W M Bourne
  7. ^ Embattled Identities: Rajput Lineages and the Colonial State in Nineteenth Century North India by Malavika Kasturi
  8. ^ Punjabi Musalmans by J. M Wikely
  9. ^ Muslim Communities of South Asia Culture, Society and Power edited T N Madan page 42-43
  10. ^ People of India: Uttar Pradesh XLII Part III edited by K Singh page 1197
  11. ^ A Gazatteer of Saharanpur District page 109
  12. ^ A Gazetteer of Muzafarnagar District page 85
  13. ^ A Gazetteer of Meerut District page 84
  14. ^ A Gazetteer of Moradabad District page 79
  15. ^ A Gazetteer of Bijnor District Volume XX: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville page 104
  16. ^ A Gazetteer of Rampur State edited by H. R Neville page 50 Government Press United Provinces
  17. ^ Bareilly District: A Gazetteer Volume XXXVII, District Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H Neville
  18. ^ Badaun District: A Gazetteer Volume XXX, District Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H Neville
  19. ^ Shahjahanpur District: A Gazetteer Voulume XVII edited by H. R Neville United Provinces District Gazetteers page 81 Government Press United Provinces
  20. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T Ghosh & S Nath pages 496 to 501 Manohar Publications
  21. ^ Delhi Gazetteer: Punjab District Gazetteers Part B 1912 Table 15 page xxxii
  22. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T Ghosh & S Nath page 500 Manohar Publications
  23. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T Ghosh & S Nath page 500 Manohar Publications
  24. ^ A Glossary of the tribes and castes of Punjab by H. A Rose
  25. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers Hissar District Part B 1912 Table 15 pages xii Civil & Military Gazette Press
  26. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers Rohtak District Part B Table 15 page xxxiv Civil & Military Gazette Press
  27. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers Gurgaon District Part B Table 15 page xxxix Civil & Military Gazette Press
  28. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers Karnal District Part B Table 15 page xiii Civil & Military Gazette Press
  29. ^ Punjab District Gazetteers Ambala District Part B Table 15 page xxxiv Civil & Military Gazette Press


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