Bhimwals – The Great Clan among Mohyals

Mohyals were the rulers of ancient Punjab and Afghanistan who held sway up to Arabia and Persia. Fair complexioned  with sturdy physique, tall these Brahmins today hold important Govt. and  business posts. lnterestingly these  Brahmins are revered both by Muslims, Sikhs and of course Hindus for their magnificent role in the hour of crises in lslam and Sikhism. Many of us might have read about the battle of Karbala where Hussain the son of Hazret Mohammed sahib’s daughter Fatima’s was martyred on Oct. 18, 680 AD by the forces of Yajid. On this occasion Rahib  ,  a Mohyal ruler fought on the side of Hassan and Hussain valiantly and defended the survivors until the enemy forces compelled him to retire towards lndia. The Mohyals claim that it is for this reason they are respected by the Muslims also. The Mohyals claim that their community had been getting daughters even from the Pathans. The Bhimwals derive Kosalya gotra from their patron-saint Agastya, a Gotrakara Rishi.

According to Mohyal historian Rattan Chand Vaid, author of Islahe-Mohyali, the founder of the Bhimwal family was Raja Nand. He had a fort called Nandana Fort after his own name. It is situated on the west bank of river Jhelum near present day Khushab. The crumbling ruins of this fort are discernible at Balnath Hills, on the outskirts of Baganwala village in Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan, Dislt. Jhelum. Originally, Raja Nand was the ruler of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand.

When the marauder Mahmud Ghazni raided Nandana fort in 985 AD, he carried on plunder and killing to his familiar design, and the worst sufferers of his orgy were the Bhimwals. They were nearly annihilated and the few who survived migrated to Makhiala, in the nearby salt ranges. With the passage of time, the town of Makhiala became a flourishing centre of the Bhimwals and acquired the status of Dheri (a capital town in Mohyali lexicon) of their clan. These people owned large tracts of land and residential property in Makhiala and were the ruling aristocracy of that place. The family crematorium of Bhimwals, near the dilapidated fort, was a land-mark of the town.

In the book Garjak Nama published by Parma Nand Bali (a Naib Kanugo of Pind Dadai1 Khan), it is stated that members of the Janjua tribe made a blistering attack on Makhiala and ousted the Bhimwals from their home land. In the grim battle, the place was razed to cinders and untold number of Bhimwals were killed and their dead bodies, en masse, consigned to fire in the family crematory.. This mayhem probably occurred in the wake of the Mahmud Ghazni’s outrage.

By another version given in Gulshan-e-Mohyali, during the desultory invasions of Ghazni-he attacked India 17 times during 1000 to 1026 AD-Rajyapal the cowardly Pratihar king of Kannauj surrendered to the Tu_’k tyrant in January, 1019, without offering even semblance of a resistance. This act of rank timidity infuriated Raja Nand of Kalinjar and in sheer exasperation. he attacked Kannauj and killed the servile ruler. On this wanton murder of his protege, Mahmud Ghazni retaliated violently and overran Kalinjar in 1021.

While the non-Mohyal writers have invariably credited the victory to Mahmud, the Mohyal historians have concluded that in the final count Mahmud suffered great humiliation and Bed to home, crestfallen. The former interpretation appears more likely, considering the devilish genitls of the invader.

After vicissitudes of over a century, the scene inevitably shifted to MatllUra. the haven of Mohyals in distress in the ancient times. In the chapter on Balis. we have noted that Kutab-ud-din Aibak attacked Mathura in 1195 and expelled from there the ruling family headed by Raja Dhrupet. When the royal family went into exile. they had in their entourage two Mohyal noblemen, namely, Rai Tirlok Nath Bali and Rai Barn Dev Bhimwal. Some Mohyal scholars have stipulated that it was Barn Dev who was the real forefather of the Bhimwal sect, the founder of Makhiala town and the bestower of Bhimwal surname on them.

After the death of Rai Barn Dev, his son Kalas Dev’succeeded him. He held a ministerial post with Raja Mal Khan son of Raja Dhrupel. Meer Dev, a descendant of Raja Kalas Dev was the head of Bhimwal family during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb. However. after a couple of generations the peaceful life of Bhimwals was disrupted by the incursive attack of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1761. They were forced to abdicate their ancestral town and seek refuge in the nearby places cohabited by their fellow Mohyals. But they still held title to their lands and property located in Makhiala.

The name of Pohlu Bhimwal appears in the epigraphs of that period so he must have been a phenomenal personality to deserve such honour.

It was an irony of fate that the Shahtd Ganj of Peer Tapak and Nandana Fort on the Balnath Hills, standing in close proximity of each other, in Baganwala village of Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan. were mute witnesses to the wholesale slaughter of both Vaids as well as Bhimwals. at the hands of their common tormentor, the abominable Mahmud Ghazni.

Guliana in Tehsil Gujar Khan was another stronghold of the Bhimwals. Bakshi Hari Singh, the stalwart Bhimwal hailing from Guliana, was Body Guard of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Kashmir. He was later made the Governor of Gilgit. Mehta Radha Kishan, an aristocratic landlord of Bhaun. was also vested with the rank of a Governor during the Sikh rule. Captain Ram Lal of Tal Khalsa (Rawalpindi) and Bakshi Dewan Chand Bhimwal of Jhelum were both eminent civil surgeons during the British supremacy. Captain Ram Lal was the son-in-law of Ch. Ram Bhaj Dati.

Comments (1)

  • Parikshit Bhimwal
    November 3, 2017 at 5:30 am |

    Thanks for the valuable information on mohyals , can you please share the Kul Devi of Bhimwals.

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