The "Bar" is a term used to describe thick barren forest areas which covered parts of central Punjab, before the building of the canal irrigation system in the 19th Century, which saw the cutting down of the forests and transformed the region into a place of settled agriculture. The soil of this area is fertile as the plans have been made by the alluvium driven by rivers flowing from the Himalayas.
The Bar area was further divided into four regions;
1. Sandal Bar (the area between the Ravi and Chenab rivers).
2. Neeli Bar (the area between the Ravi and Sutlej rivers).
3. Kirana Bar is a portion of the Chej Doab and takes its name from the Kirana Hills (the area between the Chenab and Ravi rivers).
4. Ganji Bar (the area between the Sutlej and dry river bed of the Hakra).
Most of the Bar now forms part of the modern Faisalabad, Tob Tek Singh, Okara, Vehari, Khanewal, Pakpattan and Sahiwal districts
Tribes of the Bar
The Bar region was inhabited by a number of pastoral tribes, that went by the common name Jat. Captain Mounstuart Elphinstone, the first British district administrator of the Bar, wrote the following in his district settlement report:
The population is distinctly divided into marked sections - the pure agriculture inhabitants and the pastoral tribes.
The former consist of the castes, both Muhammadan and Hindu, which are generally met throughout Eastern Punjab, viz Arain, Kamboh, Hindu Jat, e.t.c But the latter are almost entirely confined to the region which extends from the southern extremity of Multan District to within thirty miles of Lahore.
They are all Muhammadans, and their favorite occupation is breeding and grazing cattle.
They are locally known by the name of Jat, in contradistinction to more settled inhabitants, who call themselves riots or subjects.
The most important tribes are the Kharals, Fattianas, Murdanas, Kathias, Wahiniwals, Baghelas, Wattus ad Johiyas.
The two latter are chiefly confined to the Sutlej, but the others only possess land on the Ravi, and graze their herds in the Doabs adjoining that river.
Starting with the Lower Chenab colony, the British administration in the 19th Century began a process of large-scale canal building, the net result of which the loss by the tribes of their pastoral lands.
The following gives a brief description of the main tribes found in each of the four Bars, and their current location.
1. Tribes of the Sandal Bar
This Bar is situated between the rivers Ravi and Chenab, and now forms parts of Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Nankana Sahib, and parts of Jhang districts.
The Baloch of the Sandal Bar belonged principally to five tribes, the Rind, Hooth, Korai, Lashari and Jatoi. The Jatoi are the most numerous. Bloch's appear to have come into the Bar early in the 15th century. The Rind tribe occupied the country between Jhang and Shorkot until they were overthrown by the growing power of the Siyal. The settlement at Jhok Gandhi, in Toba Tek Singh District, is all that remains of the Baluch presence in that region.
The Baluch also had a presence on the Ravi side of the Bar, and many are now found in villages along the Rakh Branch, and Jhang Branch canals.
The Chadhar are found in numbers in what is now the Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District. They claim to be to be Tonwar Rajputs, and a large number of sub-divisions. Their main sub-division in the Bar are the Jappa, Rajoke, Sajanke and Kangars.
The Haral villages are found mainly along the Rakh Branch canal, and claim to be a clan of the great Ahir tribe of North India. They were pastorolists, and famous for their large herds.
The Johiya claim kinship with the Bhatti Rajputs, and were also found along the valley of the Ravi, and still form a considerable element in the present Jaranwala Tehsil of Faisalabad District. Their main clans are the Maneka, Matiana and Mamoonka.
The Kharal are the most northerly and largest of the great Ravi tribes. In the Bar, the Upera clan predominates, being found in and around Chak Jhumra, Danabad and Lundianwala. The Kharal occupy most the villages on the northern portion of the Burala branch canal.
The Khichi are another Ravi tribe. They claim Chauhan Rajput ancestry and are found in the northern end of the Sandal Bar.
The Lak are a small tribe of Panwar Rajput ancestry. They were found mainly along the Chenab, until they were expelled by the Siyals. Now more of an Kirana Bar tribe, they still have few settlements near Kot Lakhnana.
The Naul are a small clan of Bhatti Rajput ancestry. Found mainly in the Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District.
The Sipra, who are a branch of the Gill, were always closely associated with the Siyal. They are now found mainly in the Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District.
The Sial were found throughout the lower part of the Sandal Bar. The chief clan of the Sials in the Bar were the Bhowana. Other Sial clans, which found in the Bar were the Chuchkana, Maghiana, Bhojuana, Patuana, Vijlana, Khanuana, Ali-Khanan, Rajbana, Marjana, Hasnana, Kauriana, Dhiduana, Ladhiana, Lakhnana and Kamlana.
The Wagha are found in the northern end of the Bar, in what is now Nankana Sahib District. Like many other Bar nomads, they claim Panwar Rajput ancestry.
The Waseer also claim Panwar Rajput ancestry. They were settled around the what is now the city of Faisalabad. Their villages are still found near this modern city.
2. Tribes of the Neeli Bar
This Bar is situated between the rivers Ravi and Satluj, and now forms parts of Khanewal, Sahiwal, Okara, Vehari and Pakpattan districts.
The Arar are a Jat tribe, found mainly in Dipalpur in Okara District, and also in Minchinabad in Bahawalnagar District. They claim to have originally been Mughals, who settled in the northern end of the Bar in the 15th Century.
The Baluch in the Neeli Bar were found in what is now Okara and Pakpattan. They appear to have the country at the time of the Langah monarchy, or a little earlier, about the first quarter of the 15th Century.One Kamal Khan Baluch held a large tract of country between the Ravi river and the central ridge from Shergarh to Waliwala. The Sahiwal District Baloch belong chiefly to the Hooth and Rind tribes. Those of Gugera are mainly Lashari, and those of Pakpattan are Rind and Lashari. In addition to these tribes, the Murdana are a large Baluch tribe, occupying the country between Gugera and Harrapa. Their villages are now found mainly in the Lower Bari Canal.
The Bodla claim to be Shaikh Siddiqui, who were found in the country between Dipalpur and Pakpattan. Like other Bar tribes, they were purely pastoral.
The Chisty tribe had particular sanctity, as they claim descent from the famous Sufi saint Baba Farid. They were and still found in and around Pakpattan town, although like other Bar nomads, their lands are now home to colonists belonging to various tribes, settled by the British in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Dhudhi clam Panwar Rajput ancestry and their traditional habitat were close to the city of Pakpattan.
The Hans are a tribe of who claim Quraishi ancestry. Found in a few villages in Okara District, the main one being Pakka Sidhar.
The Johiya are an extensive tribe on the lower Sutlej, occupying both banks of the river from nearly opposite Pakpattan to Kahror.
The Kathia are one of the larger of the Bar nomads, who were found on both banks of the Ravi River. They claimed to have been Panwar Rajputs, who arrived from Kathiawar, in what is now Gujerat. The Kathia are now found mainly in Sahiwal, Khanewal, and also in the Sandal Bar.
The Khagga are found along the valley of the Ravi in what is now Okara and Sahiwal districts. They claim descent from the Qureshi Arabs
The Kharal claim descent from the famous Rajah Karan of the Mahabharat. His descendants left Hastinapur and came to Uch, near Multan, where they were converted to Islam by the famous Sufi saint Makhdum Jahania Shah. They have the following sub-divisions: Rubera, Gugera and Ransinh.
The Khichi claim descent from Khichi Khan, a Chauhan Rajput, who said to have come from Ajmer in Rajasthan, over 700 years ago. They were a purely pastoral tribe, occupying land in what is now Vehari District.
The Langrial claim descent from Brahmins families, who immigrated to the lower part of the Neeli Bar in the 18th Century, after converting to Islam. The Langrial are late comers to the Bar, and the tribe is found in numbers in the Pothohar region and other parts of northern Punjab.
The Sial of the Neeli Bar is divided into two clans, the Fattiana and Tahrana. They claim to be Panwar Rajputs, Rai Siyal, from who the clan gets its name was the son of the Rai Shankar, the famous Parmar ruler of Malwa.
The Wains are also immigrants from the north and claim to have been originally Janjua Rajputs. They occupy the southernmost portion of the Bar, and their villages are not far from the city of Multan.
Tarohly cast have old tribes of Multan .The Tarohly occupy both banks of Ravi and sutluj river .They are found in Multan, Vehari, Pakpatan Sherif, Toba Take Sing, Jhang, Sahiwal, Faislabad and province of Sindh. Main categories Trihly Tarwaly
The Wattu occupy both banks of the Sutlej river for about sixty miles south of Gugera. They claim kinship with the Bhatti Rajputs, and still form a considerable part of the population of Okara District.
Other than these clans, the following clans were also found in the Neeli Bar, the Bhati, Dogar, Naul, Sahu,Baluch, Daher, Jamu, Hindal, Baori, Nonari and Phullarwan.
3. Tribes of the Kirana Bar
Kirana Bar is a portion of the Chej Doab, and takes its name from the Kirana Hills. This region is divided between the Sargodha and Jhang districts of Punjab, Pakistan. This area starts from the northwest of Hissár country near the bank of river Chenab with an abrupt high ridge and this high bank of bar dies away a little distance east of the boundary of between the Chiniot and Jhang tehsils, opposite the village of Kot Mohla.
The main tribes of the Kirana Bar were as follows:
(Note: Some of the Jat tribes listed above are also present in other social and ethnic groups).