History and origin
According to traditions, the Wattoo are descended from a Rajah Junhar, a descendant of the famous Raja Salvahan of Sialkot. This Raja Junhar settled in Bhatner, where he had two sons, Jaipal and Rajpal. Jaipal was the ancestor of the Bhattis, while Rajpal was the ancestor of the Wattoo. They are said to have converted to Islam at the hands of the famous Sufi saint Baba Farid of Pakpattan.
|“||Some Wattoo were converted to Islam during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq.||”|
Rajah Khiwa, was the ruler of Haveli Lakha near Sahiwal, was the first of their tribe to become a Muslim. He was succeeded by the famous Wattoo chief, Lakhe Khan. His descendents are known as the Lakhwera Wattoo. They then spread from Sahiwal along the banks of the Sutlej, settling as far east as Sirsa. The Sirsa settlement was started by one Fazildad Rana, who settled in the district in the early 18th Century. The tribe was pastoral at that time, taking their herds of cattle from Fazilka to Okara, and back. The Wattoo chiefs rose against the British in the 1857 War of Independence.
The Wattoo clan in Bahwalpur has a different tradition of their origin. They claim descent from Wattoo, 8th in descent from Rajah Jaisal, the founder of Jaisalmer. Wattoo left Jaisalmer, and settled along the banks of the Sutlej river, in what is now south Punjab, Pakistan. They then converted to Islam during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi.
Prior to the partition of India, the Wattu extended as far east as Sirsa, in modern day Haryana state. There were sizeable colonies in Fazilka in what is now Punjab, India. All of these communities migrated to Pakistan in 1947.
Despite converting to Islam, the Wattu retain many Hindu Rajput traits and have several minor castes living amongst them, as helpers and minions; amongst these are (a) the 'traditional menial castes' such as Mochi, Teli, Julahiya (e.g. cobblers, oil-extractors, weavers) etc. and (b) the so-called .
- A Glossary of the tribes & castes of Punjab by H. A Rose
- A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North -West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol III Page 493
- Chauhdry, GM, Okara District Report, 1998, Pub Lahore: Govt of the Punjab, pp. 121-128
- Chauhdry, p.127