- 1 Ahir clans of North India
- 2 Ahir clans in Gujarat
- 3 Sikh Ahir in Punjab
- 4 Muslim Ahir in Pakistan
- 5 Ahir clans in Khandesh, Maharashtra
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Ahir clans of North India
A legendary story of the origin of the Nandvanshi Ahirs narrates that on his way to kill the rakshasas, Krishna crossed the river Yamuna accompanied by the Gawlis; those that crossed the river with him became the Ahir Nandabanshi. Nandvanshi and Yaduvanshi titles are fundamentally synonymous
The Gwalvanshi Ahirs are historically associated with cowherding. According to history professor Rahul Shukla, the Gwalvanshi Ahirs had settled in Azamgarh, Varanasi, Gorkakhpur, Mirzapur etc., besides in Bihar. "They were cultivators or farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. At the turn of the century, they evolved into business and other vocations in a big way.
The Ghosi are a community found mainly in North India. They were the Zamidaars and small kings of various parts of country. The Ghosi claim descent from both the Gurjar and Ahir communities. Ghosi trace their origin to King Nand, the professed ancestor of Yaduvanshi Ahirs.
The Phatak are a clan of Ahir herdsmen, one of the agricultural castes bearing considerable resemblance to Rajputs, claim to be descended from a Sisodia king of Chittore and the daughter of an Ahir king Digpal of Mahaban, to whom he was married.
The Ahar are a Hindu caste of agriculturists. The Ahar tribe are spread through Rohilkhand and other districts of N.W. provinces, following pastoral pursuits. They claim to descended from Yadu.
Kishnaut Ahir clan is dominantly found in the Saran district of Bihar province. They are traditionally cowherders and cultivators and are Hindu by religion. Manjaraut, Goria and Kanaujia are the other Ahir clans in Saran. Kishnaut claim that Krishna was born among their caste. They worship Bir Kuar, a caste deity, for the protection of their cattle and lands. Bir Kuar was a Kishnaut Ahir, who died protecting cattle from the attack of tigers. They are known as Ahir Zamindars.
Ahir clans in Gujarat
The Boricha's are a sub-division of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat.
The community is believed to have derived its name from the Panchal region in Saurashtra, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Krishna to the Parathar region of Saurashtra.
The Maschoiya are a sub-group of the Ahir caste found in the state of Gujarat in India. They settled along the banks of the Machhu-katia river, and the word Maschoiya literally means those from Macchu-katia.
The Bhurtiya are a sub-division of the Ahir community, and like other Ahirs, they claim descent from the god Krishna. They are said to have immigrated to Gujarat, where they were known as Gurjar Rajputs. About three centuries ago, these Gurjar Rajputs settled in Awadh. The etymology of the word Bhurtiya is that it is a corruption of the Hindi word phurti (quickness). According to their tribal legends, an ancestor of the community was in such a rush, that she left her jewellery, and was given the nickname phurti, and this name was given to her descendants, and over time corrupted to Bhurtiya. They are found mainly in the districts of Varanasi, Allahabad, Meerut and Mathura.
The community is believed to have derived its name from the Parathar region, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Krishna to the Parathar region of Saurashtra. The Paratharia then migrated to Kutch around 1500–1600 AD. They are now distributed in eighty four villages in Kutch District, out of which thirty four are in Bhuj taluka, twenty four Anjar talukas and twelve villages in Nakathrana. A few are also found in Saurashtra. The Paratharia are a Gujarati speaking community. The Paratharia community consist of a number of clans, the main ones being the Batta, Gagal, Dheela, Dhangar, Chhangha, Varchand, Mata and Chad. Each of the clans are of equal status and intermarry. Like neighbouring Hindu communities, the community practice clan exogamy. The Paratharia are a community of small and medium-sized farmers. Milk selling is an important subsidiary of the community, while small number are now petty businessmen.
The Sarothia are a sub-group of the Yaduvanshi Ahir found in the state of Gujarat in India. The community is believed to have derived its name from the Sorath region, their original homeland. According to their traditions, they migrated from Mathura along with Krishna.
They are mainly found in Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kutch and other all districts of Saurashtra prant. The Sorathia speak Gujarati. The Sorathia community consist of near about 60 clans: Utadia,Der, Gohil, Bhuva, Jotva, Gohil ,Bheda, Bodar, Dangar, Chandravadiya, Varu, Ram, Solanki, Chavda, Chudasama, Chhuchhar, Bhammar, Dethaliya, Ram Solanki, Barad, Gojiya, Kandoriya, Karangiya, Ravaliya, Vadhiya, Vala, Garaniya, Bhammar,Suva and Pampaniya, Dangiya, Naiyaran. Each of the clans are of equal status and intermarry. Like neighbouring Hindu communities, the community practice clan exogamy.
Sikh Ahir in Punjab
Punjab has an 35,000 Sikhs-Ahir, concentrated in some 26 villages of Patiala and Sangrur districts. The community makes up roughly a third of Dugal Kalan’s 3,500-plus population. Sikhs-Ahir are also there in large numbers in nearby villages such as Devgarh, Bhootgarh, Dhur, Hariau Kalan and Nihal Garh.
Muslim Ahir in Pakistan
The Aheer, are found throughout the western districts of the Punjab, In the Thal region, they are found mainly in Khushab District, concentrated in the headquarters in Khushab. The Khushab Aheer, are often in the news in Pakistan, due mainly to their active participatiojn in politics, having produced Malik Nasim Aheer, a former interior Minister under General Zia. This article will not concentrate on that family, but will be a general description of the tribe. Urdu sources, which often dismissed by those who either have no knowledge of the language, or pretend they don’t, will be the main basis of this summary. My main source shall be Aqvam-i Panjab by SultÌan Shahbaz Anjum.
The name Ahir, which is pronounced Aheer, is used for a large caste cluster found throughout North India, many of whom prefer to call themselves Yadavs. An obvious conclusion would be therefore to conclude the Aheer of the Thal, and others parts of western Punjab, are one and the same as the Ahir. The Tehreek Aqwam e Punjab is silent on this issue, however most Aheers claim descent from Qutab Shah, the ancestor of the Awan and Khokhar tribes, and deny any conection with the Ahir of North India. Denzil Ibbetson, the colonial ethnographer, in his account of the 1881 Census of Punjab, argued that Aheer and Heer was one in the same tribe. Those who spoke dialects of Lahanda, such as Seraiki or Thalochi tended to refer to themselves as Aheer, while those found in central Punjab referred to themselves as Heer. The Heer, a large Jat clan found throughout central Punjab, stretching from Gujrat to Patiala, together with the Bhullar and Maan clans, claim to be the nucleus of the Jat ethnic group, all other tribes were said to be latter incorporated into the Jat. There is a further division as the Heer can be either Muslim or Sikh, while the Aheer are always Muslim. The 1917 District Gazetteer of Shahpur District, which then occupied most of the Thal, simply refers to the Aheer as “an ordinary Musalman peasants, like their neighbours”. They were once a large pastoral tribe, occupying the northern portion of the Thal, whose chiefs or Maliks in the 19th Century confirmed ownership of their lands, which helped to transform them into large landowners in what became Khushab.
Villages in Thal
In Khushab District, there villages include Aheerpur, Rakh Baghoor, Aheer Jagir, Rahdari and Girote near Khushab city. Staying within the Thal, but outside Khushab, important Aheer villages include Aheeranwala, Aba Khel, Ahheranwala, Jandanwala and Wandhi Aheeranwali near Pai-Khel, all in Mianwali District, while across the Jhelum, in Sargodha District, there are several Aheer villages near the town of Sahiwal, such as Ahir Fateh Shah and Ahir Surkhru, and Lakseem near Kot Momin. In Mandi Bahauddin District, Chak Nizam near the town of Malakwal is an important village. Finally in Bhakkar District, they are found in Aheeranwala and Wadhaywala.
Outside the Thal,
The Aheer are found in Rawalpindi, Lodhran, Khanewal, Sahiwal and Faisalabad districts In the canal colonies of central Punjab, Aheers from the Thal, like many others have settled in chaks, or settlements, with important ones being Chak 142J.B (Khai Aheeran), Chak 235JB (Haiboana), Langrana and Mouza Lodhran in Chiniot District, Chak 452 JB (Aheeranwala) in Jhang District, Chak 7 (Aheeranwala) in Mandi Bahauddin District, Chak 77/12-L in Sahiwal District. In southern Punjab, the Aheer are found in scattered settlements in Khanewal District in villages near the towns of Kabirwala and Qadirpur Raan, and in Lodhran District, their most important villages being Basti Aheer and Jhok Aheer. Isolated from other Aheer settlements are the villages of Ahir and Bher Ahir in the Gujar Khan Tehsil.
Ahir clans in Khandesh, Maharashtra
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