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The Khakha Rajputs of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan are clan of Muslim Rajputs who have inhabited the Kashmiri region since the 13th century after the conquer of Janjua warlord Raja Khakha of the region of Upper Jhelum Valley of Kashmir.
The Khakha is a warrior tribe that ruled western Punjab since the 13th century. Historians have queried whether the Khakha name is a derivative distortion of the word Khatri rather than an actual name of the tribe:
Historian Pt Har Gopal Kaur feels that the word Brahman got corrupted to make Bamba and the word Khatri to yield Khakha (author - I have no opinion on what these clan names are a corruption of. However, knowing the languages of the area, I have no doubt that these are corruptions of words beginning with B and with K respectively.
They may be associated with the Khasa tribe mentioned in the Mahabharata and other texts. The 12th century text Rajatarangini describes the rulers of Rajapuri (modern Rajauri) as the "lord of the Khasas". The Khasa chiefs of Rajapuri intermarried with rulers of Kashmir and the Khasa chief of Lohara married a daughter of the Shahi Kings of Kabul.
The Khakha Rajputs played an important part in the history of Kashmir by creating alliances with other Kashmiri tribes against many powerful rulers, such as the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Khakha warlords allied with Kashmiri Emperor Yakub Shah against Akbar's army at the battle of Bulyasa and were victorious.[better source needed]
It is recorded, that upon a British Officer's visit to Kashmir in 1822, he had to return from Uri as the Khakha chief would not allow him to pass.
The Khakhas began to intensify their raids in consequence to the weakening Sikh power. Eventually, when Maharaja Gulab Singh assumed rulership of Kashmir, he managed to drive back the Khakhas with great difficulty. But knowing the unrelenting fierce reputation of the rebellious Khakhas, he immediately installed strong garrisons in the forts guarding the passes.
Despite facing the best of the Sikh power to subdue them, they still enjoyed a highly privileged position, paying little if any taxes, openly wearing arms and defying orders where possible.
Ancestral title and reputation
The Khakhas continue their tradition of recording their genealogy.
Their fierce, often predatorial raids during the Sikh age earned them a localised legend, that mothers would tell their children "..the Khakhas are coming..." to frighten them.
- Culture and Political History of Kashmir by Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai, MD Publ. Ltd., 1994, p669
- History of Mediaeval Hindu India by Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya, Cosmo Publ. 1979, p129
- Parvéz Dewân's Jammû, Kashmîr, and Ladâkh: Travel, Trekking, Culture, History, Wildlife, Almost Everything By Parvez Dewan Edition: illustrated Published by Manas Publications, 2004 Item notes: v. 1 Original from the University of Michigan Page 423
- Kalhana. Kalhana's Rajatarangini: a chronicle of the kings of Kasmir. 2. p. 433. ISBN 9788120803701. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- Culture and Political History of Kashmir by Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai, MD Publ. Ltd., 1994, p637
- Culture and Political History of Kashmir by Prithivi Nath Kaul Bamzai, MD Publ. Ltd., 1994, p637, p669, p670
- History of Operations in Jammu & Kashmir, 1947-48 by Sri Nandan Prasad, Dharm Pal, Govt. of India 1987, p4
- Kashmiris Fight for Freedom by Muhammad Yusuf Saraf, Ferozson 1977, p77
- Kashmiris Fight for Freedom by Muhammad Yusuf Saraf, Ferozson 1977, p78