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The Khokhar are an indigenous community of the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. They were designated as an agricultural tribe during the British Raj era. The term agricultural tribe, according to the Punjab Land Alienation Act, 1900, was at that time synonymous with martial race.[1]


Muhammad Ghori undertook many campaigns against the Khokhar in Punjab before he was killed by the Khokhar of the Salt Range in March 1206.[2]

In 1240 AD, Razia, daughter of Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, and her husband, Altunia, attempted to recapture the throne from her brother, Muizuddin Bahram Shah. She is reported to have led an army composed mostly of mercenaries from the Khokhar tribe of Punjab.[3][4]

From 1246 to 1247, Balban mounted an expedition as far as the Salt Range to chastise the Khokhars.[5]

Although Lahore was reoccupied by Delhi,[when?] it remained in ruins for the next twenty years, being attacked multiple times by the Mongols and their Khokhar allies.[6] Around the same time, a Mongol commander named Hulechu occupied Lahore, and forged an alliance with Khokhar chief Raja Gulchand, the erstwhile ally of Muhammad's father.[7]

Jasrath Khokhar

Raja Jasrath Khokhar (sometimes Jasrat or Dashrath)[8] was the son of Shaikha Khokhar. He became leader of the Khokhars after the death of Tamerlane and after his escape from prison with the intent to take leadership.[clarification needed] He supported Shahi Khan in the war for control of Kashmir against Ali Shah and was rewarded for his victory. Later, he attempted to conquer Delhi, after the death of Khizr Khan. He succeeded only partially, while winning campaigns at Talwandi and Jullundur, he was hampered by seasonal rains in his attempt to take over Sirhind.[9]

Modern era

In reference to the British Raj's recruitment policies in the Punjab, vis-à-vis the British Indian Army, Tan Tai Yong remarks:

The choice of Muslims was not merely one of physical suitability. As in the case of the Sikhs, recruiting authorities showed a clear bias in favor of the dominant landowning tribes of the region, and recruitment of Punjabi Muslims was limited to those who belonged to tribes of high social standing or reputation - the "blood proud" and once politically dominant aristocracy of the tract. Consequently, socially dominant Muslim tribes such as the Gakkhars, Janjuas and Awans, and a few Rajput tribes, concentrated in the Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts, ... accounted for more than ninety percent of Punjabi Muslim recruits.[10]



  1. ^ Mazumder (2003), p. 105
  2. ^ Singh (2000), p. 28
  3. ^ Syed (2004), p. 52
  4. ^ Bakshi (2003), p. 61
  5. ^ Basham & Rizvi (1987), p. 30
  6. ^ Chandra (2004), p. 66
  7. ^ Jackson (2003), p. 268
  8. ^ Pandey (1970), p. 223
  9. ^ Singh (1972), pp. 220-221
  10. ^ Yong (2005), p. 74


  • Bakshi, S. R. (2003), Advanced History of Medieval India, 1606 - 1756, 2, Anmol Publications, ISBN 9788174880284, retrieved 30 November 2013
  • Basham, Arthur Llewellyn; Rizvi, Saiyid Athar Abbas (1987) [1954], The Wonder that was India, 2, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, ISBN 978-0-283-99458-6
  • Chandra, Satish (2004), From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206-1526), Har-Anand Publications, ISBN 9788124110645, retrieved 30 November 2013
  • Jackson, Peter (2003), The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History, Cambridge University Press, retrieved 30 November 2013
  • Mazumder, Rajit K. (2003), The Indian army and the making of Punjab, Delhi: Permanent Black (dist. Orient Longman), ISBN 978-81-7824-059-6, retrieved 16 August 2011
  • Pandey, Awadh Bihari (1970), Early medieval India (Third ed.), Central Book Depot
  • Singh, Fauja (1972), History of the Punjab, III, Patiala
  • Singh, Nagendra Kumar (2000), International Encyclopaedia of Islamic Dynasties, Anmol Publications, ISBN 978-81-261-0403-1
  • Syed, M. H. (2004), History of Delhi Sultanate, New Delhi: Anmol Publications, ISBN 978-81-261-1830-4
  • Yong, Tan Tai (2005), The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab, 1849-1947, Sage Publications India, p. 74, ISBN 9780761933366