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The Ranial Rajputs of Rawalpindi are a branch of the Janjua Rajput clan. The Janjua Rajput (Punjabi ਜਨ੍ਜੁਅ, Urdu: جنجوعہ) (also spelt Janjuha, Janjuah) is a royal warrior clan of Northern India and Pakistan. They are known as the most Valiant Kshatriyas (Warriors) of Punjab. Their warlike nature and dominant rule of their kingdoms against other tribes earned them a powerful reputation in Western Punjab, the Jhelum Valley of Kashmir.The Janjua is a dominant warlike clan of the Punjab and has played a key role throughout Punjabi history - from becoming one of the first Rajput clans to convert to Islam to being the first to begin salt mining in the Salt Range of Western Punjab plains. They aided the Mughal conqueror Babur conquest of India, as well as today providing many soldiers and highly decorated generals to the Pakistani Army.
1 British records 2 History 3 The Janjua conquest 4 Family tree 5 References
Under the British Raj of India, they were designated as a martial race and provided strong numbers to the British Imperial Army and fought in both World Wars. The Gazetteer of the Rawalpindi District records, "They (Janjua) are very proud of their ancestry, make good soldiers...they are usually addressed as "Rája", and stand very high in social rank." (Sang-e-Meel, 2001, Lahore, p105). Panjab Castes also confirms, "Dominant tribe of proud position, such as the Janjúa, have retained their pride of lineage and their Rájpút title...and always addressed as Rája." (Denzil Ibbetson, Delhi, 2002, p. 132, p. 149, p. 154).
The Punjab in the pre-Mughal era was one of much civil wars between many kingdoms and new dynasties began to spread their dominions over other crumbling dynastic houses. In the early thirteenth century, the Janjua chieftain, Raja Mal Khan rose to prominence. He increased his dominion over Hazara (later renamed Amb through his son Raja Tanoli, Jhelum through his son Raja Jodh, parts of Kashmir through Raja Khakha, Rajghar (later renamed Malot) Chakwal through his eldest Raja Bhir and what is today known as the Kahuta district through Raja Kala Khan. Tarikh-e-Alfi of the Ghorids makes a mention of the rise to power of Raja Mal. According to Lepel H. Griffin, in Chiefs and Families of note in the Punjab (Lahore, 1910, ii, p254),: "On the death of their father, they determined to divide the country called, from Raja Mal, the Maloki Dhan between them. Jodh took the Salt Range near about the Makrach, and captured the town of Makshala from a colony of Brahmins (Mohyals)...He changed its name to Makhiala and built a fort there and two tanks for rain water..... Wir Khan (also spelt Bhir), took the possession of Khura (also spelt Khewra) near modern Pind Dadan Khan." The descendants of Raja Jodh continued to rule this region through various interruptions until the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Raja Bhir meanwhile took over the Malot (Rajghar) state from his father. It was in this tradition that Raja Bhir's later descendant, Raja Malu Khan, allying his cousin Raja Mubarak Khan who was the descendant of Raja Jodh Khan, gained control of the region of Dhamial and Ranial.
The Janjua conquest
According to the Tehreek-e-Janjua (Sahiwal Press, v1, p224), these two Rajas employed a sudden military onslaught to conquer the areas of Ranial and Dhamial. Through the repute of their military success, they were able to win the neighbouring gentry over to their own side and established good relations with them. Raja Malu took the area of Hayal Ranial whilst Raja Mubarak took the Dhamial plain. Interestingly, Raja Malu's offspring were known as the Rajas of Ranial and Raja Mubarak's offspring likewise, were known as the Rajas of Dhamial. This later culminated in the recognition of these two branches as simply Ranial Rajas and Dhamial Rajas. Being neighbours, they taxed their subjects separately, but followed common and shared policies on other matters such as the supply of soldiers to the Mughal emperors, cultivation and trade. A tradition which is maintained to this day in modern day Pakistan. However Dhamial in itself gained greater prominence but through the shared input of both branches. Today, there is an established military base in Dhamial.
The Ranial Rajputs are linked ancestrally to the Janjuas through Raja Malu Khan, who was a descendant of Raja Bhir as illustrated below:
Raja Mal Khan, the Janjua king | Raja Bhir, the elder son of Raja Mal Khan | Raja Acharpal (later converted to Islam and was renamed Raja Ahmed Khan) | Raja Sunpal | Raja Islam-ud-din | Raja Noor-ud-din | Raja Daulat Khan | Raja Hans Khan | Raja Malu Khan (during Jehangir’s reign [1605-28])
Some of Raja Malu Khan's descendants have also spread to Nambal, Ranial, Chand Tehsil and Malot, Chakwal (the ancestral kingdom of Raja Bhir who inherited it from his father, Raja Mal Khan. Raja Malu Khan was one of five brothers. The other brothers were: Raja Sadu Khan: His descendants are settled in the area of Sehel Tehsil and Pindi Gheb. Raja Nadyam Khan: His descendants are in Harajpur Pind and Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. Raja Babul (who was the Minister of Maral Garh): His descendants are settled in the Murali district in Chakwal Raja Jangu Khan: His descendants are settled in Dana, Khanpur and Dadan Chey.