The Janjuha (also spelt Janjooa, Jhonjua, Janjuah) is a Punjabi clan predominantly found in northern Punjab's, Pothohar Plateau, Pakistan.[1]


Mughal periodEdit

In the 16th century, the Mughal king Humayun was usurped by the Pasthun king Sher Shah Suri, who constructed the Rohtas Fort in Punjab to check Humayun's entry in India, and also to keep a check on the local tribes including Gakhars as well as Janjuas.[2][3][need quotation to verify]

Sikh periodEdit

The expansions of the Sikh empire, spearheaded by Ranjit Singh, was met with a rebellion by the Janjua Sultan of Watli, Sultan Fateh Muhammad Khan. A six-month siege of Kusuk Fort in Watli followed[4] and this was ended when the inhabitants ran short of water.[5]

The Kala Khan branch of Rawalpindi Janjuas fortunes were also eclipsed by the rise of the Sikh Empire.[6]

British periodEdit

By the time the British Raj took an interest in conquering the Sikhs in 1848–49, they were joined by opportunistic tribes such as the Janjua, Gakhars and Awans who had lost control of centuries-old ancestral kingdoms and sought revenge. Tai Yong Tan says that "Besides being impressed with their track record, the British saw in them, with their traditional and historical enmity against the Sikhs, an effective counterpoise against the latter."[7]

The Janjua rebellion against the Sikh empire was not a war against the Sikh faith, but a political rebellion, as the Janjua were initially keen allies to the Sukerachakia Misl.[8]

Martial rolesEdit

During the nineteenth century, the British rulers of India acknowledged the martial potential of the Janjua, designating them as a martial race. During this period, due to their high aristocratic status, Janjua princes refused to serve in any regiment that was not commanded by either a Janjua or another commander of equal social standing. This preference was honoured by the British when selecting regiments for them.[9]


  1. ^ Service, Tribune News. "The Janjuas of Punjab". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  2. ^ The Life and Times of Humāyūn by Ishwari Prasad, Published by Orient Longmans, 1956, p. 36
  3. ^ Temples of Koh-e-Jud & Thar: Proceedings of the Seminar on Shahiya Temples of the Salt Range, Held in Lahore, Pakistan by Kamil Khan Mumtaz, Siddiq-a-Akbar, Publ Anjuman Mimaran, 1989, p. 8
  4. ^ Stein, Marc Aurel (1936). Archaeological reconnaissances in north-western India and south-eastern Iran. London. p. 46.
  5. ^ The Land of the Five Rivers and Sindh: Sketches, Historical and Descriptive David Ross, Publ.Languages Dept., Punjab, 1970, p. 153
  6. ^ Talbot, Ian (1996). Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the Partition of India. Psychology Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-7007-0427-9.
  7. ^ Tan, Tai Yong (2005). The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab 1849–1947. Sage. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-0-7619-3336-6.
  8. ^ Singh, Wazir (1990). Sikhism and Punjab's Heritage. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University. p. 160.
  9. ^ Tan, Tai Yong (2005). The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab 1849–1947. Sage. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7619-3336-6.