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The Gandapur (Pashto: ګنډہ پور, Urdu: گنڈہ پور) also called Gandapore, are one of two Pashtun tribes (the other being the Bakhtîâr/Pakhtîâr) who originated in southwestern Pakistan. During the early 20th century, the tribe numbered about 8,000 and principally resided in the small town Kulachi in the Dera Ismail Khan District, the Northwest Frontier Province, and a large part of them settled in the Dera Ismail Khan area in the 17th century AD after a bloody feud with Lohani tribe near Qamar Din Karez.


The Gandapur, like many other nomadic Pashtun groups in the region, regularly moved between the Daman plains stretching from the Indus to the eastern slopes of the Sulaiman mountains. They combined pastoral nomadism with the transportation and peddling of goods between central Asia and south Asia. The pattern of these nomadic movements and the transformations of their society fluctuated with the rhythms of trade and the nature of their contacts with the surrounding political economies throughout their history. During the 17th century, most of the Gandapur had settled in Dera Ismail Khan, with large numbers engaged in the trade between India and Khorasan, which intensified in the next two centuries.

Origin Legend[edit]

There are different legends about the origin of the Gandapur tribe. There is a belief that the original name of Gandapur was Tairi Khan, who was a Pashtun/Pukhtun living in Afghanistan. He had four sons and one daughter.

The Khaḍəl Lawuṇ Era[edit]

Lavuṇ is a small Pashtun tribe residing in and around Qamardin Karez in the west of Zhob district in northwest Balochistan. Gənḍapūrs used to pass through this area while going from their place in Ghazni to Dera Ismail Khan in a usual annual cycle of nomadic life.

Khaḍəl Lawuṇ was chief of the Lavuṇ tribe in the 16th century AD. He found a narrow pass on the path of nomadic tribes going to Dera Ismail Khan and the rest of Indus plain passing through his area. When groups came upon him, he demanded that girls from the various tribes should lift him in their shawls. This was an extremely humiliating demand which none of the tribes could accept. When the Gənḍapūrs arrived at the pass, they found Khaḍəl Lawuṇ lying there. After lengthy and unsuccessful negotiations, some of the Gənḍapūr young men disguised themselves as girls by wearing women's shawls and approached Khaḍəl. He assumed they intended to follow his request, but they soon killed him.

The death of Khaḍəl Lawuṇ made the Lawuṇ tribe furious with the Gənḍapūrs, and the route from Ghazni to Dera Ismail Khan no longer remained safe for them. This led to the separation of the Gənḍapūr tribe into two parts. One part of the tribe settled in Damaan, Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan, currently Pakistan and the other part of the tribe remained in Ghazni, currently Afghanistan. The enemy tribe now separated the two groups with a distance of more than 450 kilometers (≈280 miles) between them. Over a period of almost four centuries, the two parts of the Gənḍapūr tribe lost contact between themselves.

PLS mention the year/tenure of Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Gənḍapūr or Afghānpūr[edit]

When the great Afghan King and warrior Ahmad Shah Abdali gathered all the Pashtun tribes and conquered a large part of the area in present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Gənḍapūrs were part of his army. As the tradition goes, soldiers speaking Persian used to pronounce the "d" in the word Gənḍapūr as a soft "d" (Voiced dental stopIPA [d̪], like "th" in the English word "the") instead of the actual hard "d" or "ḍ" (Voiced retroflex stop, IPA [ɖ], as in English word "made"). With the soft "d", the word "Ganda" would become a Hindustani language word "Ganda" (meaning "not clean" or "untidy"). When Ahmad Shah Abdali came to know that fact, he bestowed upon Gənḍapūrs the title of "Afghānpūr". Gənḍapūrs were held in high esteem by Ahmad Shah Abdali.

Size of the tribe[edit]

The number of Gənḍapūrs living in Afghanistan range between 30,000 and 40,000 according to conservative estimates. They live in Ghazni district in Afghanistan, associating themselves with the Tarakəi tribe.

Gənḍapūrs living in Pakistan do not form a very large tribe. They have occupied northern part of Tehsil Kulachi. The area occupied by Gənḍapūrs is roughly one-third of the area as occupied by the Marwat tribe. The population of Gənḍapūrs may range from 70,000 to 90,000, but their influence is relatively large.

There is no interaction between the Gənḍapūrs living in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


The tribe is further divided into the following sub-tribes; it has not been possible to trace how these sub-tribes are interrelated. These are the sub-tribes existing in Kulachi, Dera Ismail Khan region at present. It is also possible that some of these sub-tribes may not be part of the original lineage of Gandapur. They may have been living with Gandapurs and may have merged with them over a period. Ali Zai (not to be confused with the Alizai of Dera Ismail Khan) Allah Dad Khel Bahadar Khel Badi Khel Bara Khel Dai Khel Hamid Khel Behlol Khel Bazeed Khel Hafiz Khel Hammarh (cousins of Gandapur) Hussain Zai Ibrahim Zai Peshahwar Kamal Khel Khadar Khel Akteyar Khel Marirh (cousins of Gandapur) Musa Zai Nasar Khel Shakhi (Cousins of Gandapur) Sheikh Shehzad Khel Usman Khel Yakhel (or Yahya Khel) Yaqub Zai Zarni Khel Zuhaq Zai Ghurani Marhail Natthu Zai Nakundar Zai Rana Zai Jafar Zai Nur Ahmad Khel

In Afghanistan, Gandapurs are considered as cousins or a part of the large Tarakai tribe. It is possible that some of these sub-tribes may not be part of the original lineage of Gənḍapūr, but have resided with Gənḍapūrs and merged with them over a period of time.

Allied Sub-tribe[edit]

  1. Ghurānī
  2. Maṛel
  3. Rānā Zəi (descendants of Rana Gulab Singh from Swat Region of Northern KPK)
  4. Peshahwər

In Afghanistan, Gənḍapūrs are considered cousins or a part of the (large) Tarakai tribe.

Gənḍapūr villages in Kulāchī[edit]

Gənḍapūrs reside in many villages other than the city of Kulachi such as:

  1. Abdullah Gəra
  2. Asləm Ābād
  3. Jahāngīr Ābād
  4. Aṭəl Sharif
  5. Dawlət
  6. Guldād Gəra
  7. Hathala
  8. Ibrāhīm Gəra
  9. Īsa Khān Gəra
  10. Jāna
  11. Jahān khānī
  12. Kanoṛī
  13. Kiṛi Maləng
  14. Kundo Kot (kot Zafar Bala Dasti)
  15. Luṇi
  16. Madda Gəra
  17. Maddi
  18. Mastān
  19. Pota
  20. Qaləndər (Daulatpur Gharbi)
  21. Roṛi
  22. Sultān Kot
  23. Təkwāṛa
  24. Wəli Kot
  25. Gəra Awdal
  26. Gəra Mirbāzī
  27. Gəra Muhabət
  28. Gəra Gurlangi
  29. Gəra Nawābi
  30. Kot Zafər (Fero Dasti)

Notable people[edit]

Sardar Innayat ULLAH Khan Gandapur



Pakistan News

Further reading[edit]

The most important sources regarding the history of Gandapurs are as follows:

  • Tarikh-e-Pushtun (History of Pushtun) by Sher Muhammad Khan Ibrahim Zai Gandapur. Originally written in Persian with title Khurshid e Jahan (Sun of the World) for Begum of Bhopal
  • Tarikh-e-Ganadapur (History of the Gandapurs) by Qadir Dad Khan Gandapur
  • Tarikh-e-Sarzamin-e-Gomal (Urdu) (History of the Gomal Land) by Aminullah Khan Gnadapur, published by National Book Foundation, Islamabad, 2008
  • Gazetteer of District Dera Ismail Khan (1882–83)
  • "Musalman Races in Sind, Baluchistan and Afghanistan" (1904)

External links[edit]