The Mangral (alternately Mahngral, Mangarpal, Urdu: مہنگرال، منگرال) is a Rajput clan and the historical founders and rulers 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 ruled Poonch State until 1819, following which both of these states were incorporated into the State of Jammu by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Sikh conquest of Kotli
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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.
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. 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.
- Interview With Krishan Dev Sethi at kashmiraffairs.org
- The Bleeding Kashmir. Major Iqbal Hashmi. Royal Book Co., 1993
- A Hand Book on Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pirzada Irshad Ahmad. Nawab Sons Publication, 2003