Report on the Rawalpindi Settlement 1865-Part III

Summarized by Dr. Abdus Salam [email protected]

    The autumn is called Thandi Bahar ٹھنڈی بہار .It is followed by the cold season or Siala سیالا commencing in December. Then comes  the Khulli کھلی Bahar, or spring. Fever is very prevalent during some months of the year, calling for issue of Quinine. Instances are not infrequent of men living above a hundred years. Wazir Tora the principal agent of the Maliks of Pindi Gheb died recently. He was more than a hundred years old.

       The Attock town was formerly inside the fort. Now the new town is rapidly springing up on the rocks east of the fort. Its principal merchants are the Prachas پراچہ . They trade with Central Asia, and exchange the goods of Hindustan for those brought by the Russians. Another fraternity of these Prachas live at Makhad. The population of both Attock and Makhad is small.

       The population of Rawalpindi district is composed of 350 clans, lordly Gakhars, گکھڑ to the low caste Musalli مصلی. The superior Castes are called
Sahoo, / سہو /ساھو the inferior Zameendars, and lower still the Kumeens کمیں . The proportion of Muslim and Hindu population is 88 and 12 per cent. Muslims keep hawks, dogs, and horses.  The food of people is bajra during winter, and wheat in the summer. In bad years they eat “Bhakra.”. بھکھڑا

       In Chhachh چھچھ crimes of violence were frequent. Kidnapping of traders occurred. The Mosques were filled with students تالے بان living on charity and ready for any kind of mischief. Since the expulsion of this class the crime has become less frequent.

        Donkeys are numerous and are employed by merchants for carrying grain. Stone carriers Odh, اوڈ employ donkeys in carrying stone for public works. A native proverb assigns to this District a capacity for producing only donkeys and stones.

        The best horses are found in  Pindi-Gheb and Fateh Jang. Captain Cooper of the Stud Department greatly approved of the breed of these horses. There are five Government Stallions (horse for breeding) in the district. A yearly fare is held at Nurpur near Rawalpindi. A yearly offering. ڈالی is brought from Peshawar, and a fair is held of Shah Latif-Barri tomb. The horse fair is held at Rawalpindi about the time. Horses come from surrounding Districts. Many horses are purchased at this fair by the Cavalry. The people do not readily sell goats or sheep. They keep them prink for wool, which is exported. Nearly all the packing bags locally called chhutt چھٹ and bori, are made of Goats’ hair.

      Sarai at Kala Sarai (now the place is called Taxila. Abdus Salam does not know when the name Taxila came in vogue) is fast crumbling to ruins. It is proposed to construct a new caravansary on the spot. At the Margalla Pass there is a remarkable stone pavement constructed by Aurungzeb. The inscription on a stone slab states that it was made in the year Hijri 1083 (1677AD). The spot is associated with the General John Nicholson, who in 1848 made an assault on a Sikh fort. A monument is now in course of erection to his memory on the site of the dismantled fort.

·         The imperial Military roads are the GT Road, Murree Road, Kohat road, and Haripur Hazara Road. The Commercial roads are the road to Kala Bagh via Fateh Jang and Pindi Gheb, the road to the Salt mines starting from Mundra and Road from Attock to Makhad. Public spirited natives have built Sarai e.g. Nund Sing Sarai Sangjani; Mukhun Mull Sarai Rawalpindi; Mungul  sarai  Mundra  and Sharif Pracha  Sarai  Attock

      The rule of the Gakhars extended over the tehsils of Rawalpindi Gujar Khan, Kahuta and Fateh Jang. It did not extend to Chhachh and Pindi Gheb. Besides the revenue obtained from the crop, the Gakhars took the following taxes: —5 Rupees per Village in lieu of fodder, 1 Rupee per Buffalo ,4 annas per Cow, and 3 pie per Goat per annum. They also realized from the Artisans 8 annas per annum as Kumeana,   کمیانہHaq-booa بوآ or Door tax was also collected

      In 1770 AD the Sikhs obtained complete mastery over the Gakhars. Sikhs pursued Gakhars system of taxes. The district was visited by swarms of Locusts for three years 1841, to 1842. This calamity is known by the name of Makrimar مکڑی مار. Although the Zamindar had no crops, the Sikhs realized the full revenue. Chiefly from this period dates the indebtedness of the farmers to the trading Khatri class, which reaped a rich harvest from their misfortunes

      During Sikh rule Tehsil Attock was composed of 5 fiscal Sub-divisions, namely Haveli, Sirkani, Nulla, Sarwala and Haro. In 1813 the Sikh power was fully established in Attock Tehsil. Chhachh was leased to Chaudhry Mazoolla of Musa Kudlathi who collected the tax by appraisement of the standing crop for Rupees 24,000. Chhachh was afterwards managed by successive Kardars passing through the hands of the well-known Sheikh Imam Uddin.

      The Tehsil of Pindi Gheb is composed of the Elaqas of Seel, Khunda, Jandal, and Makhad. The Sikhs leased Pindi Gheb for the annual sum of Rupees 6,900 to Malik Amanat. He was followed in Elaqa Seel by his son Malik Nawab, and in Elaqas Kote and Khunda by Rae Jalal (ancestor of Sirdar Fateh Khan Gheba of Kot). Malik Nawab rebelled and died in exile. Then Leases were given to Malik Glulam Muhammad and to Rae Muhammad Khan (father of Sardar Fateh Khan Gheba). Malik and the Rae failing to fulfil their contract, were summoned to Lahore. Some altercation ensued as they were leaving the Maharaja’s Durbar. Rae Muhammad Khan cut down Malik Ghulam Muhammad and fled. His offence was condoned and a fine imposed

      Elaqa Makhad contains two parts, five villages the Jageer of the Muttoo Sardars, and seven villages (Makhad proper), inhabited by the Saghri Pathans, of whom Sirdar Glulam Mohammed Khan is the chief. The township of Makhad was always held by the Sikhs under direct management. It was a considerable trading mart.

   TEA…      The cultivation of Potatoes is on the increase, and should be the encouraged; As to Tea, it is not expected, that for many years to come it will form a staple produce of the region. It is fully believed that ultimately the Zamindar will take to it, but its introduction will require persistent efforts, directed with patient consideration to the hill-men.

·         The Tehsil of Attock contains the Elaqas of Haveli and Surkani, better known as Chhachh, and those of Haro, Sarwala and Nulla. Chhachh is very fertile.  Wheat grows in the spring & maize in the autumn. The Cheyl flows through the tract. The vast majority of Proprietors are Yusufzai Pathans. There are few Maliyar, Awan & Gujar. The Elaqa Haro is fertilized by the Haro and the Chiblat.  Punj Kattha area has five Katthas کٹھہ, or watercourses, cut from the Haro.

    The Elaqa Sarwala is south of Chhachh and north of Chitta Puhar. This tract contains the Cantonment of Campbellpur. It is a poor Elaqa, deficient in population and cattle. The Haro flows through it. The principal proprietors are Khattar, and Awan.  The Elaqa of Nulla is situated due South of Haro, East of Sarwala and ‘North of Fateh Jang. It contains the Zamindari Estates of the Dhrek دھریک family, now represented by Fateh Khan, and Nawab Khan Khattar. The Elaqa was divided into Tehsil Attock Nulla and Tehsil Fateh Jang Nullah. There are few better villages in the district, than Bahtar. The proprietors of tehsil Attock Nullah are chiefly Afghans, belonging to the old Burhan Elaqa.


Next Post

Report on the Rawalpindi Settlement 1865-Part IV

Wed Feb 22 , 2023
Summary of a Historical Report on the Settlement of Rawalpindi.
Report on the Rawalpindi Settlement 1865-Part IV

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