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Gujjars of Mansehra

The word Gujjar is driven from a Sanskrit word Gorjar that means brave. There are
various theories about the origin of the Gujjars. According to Mahabharatha the
Gujjars came with the Aryans from outside. Gujars, Gujjar, gurjar or gorjara are the
members of the many groups, or casts of the subcontinent, many inhabiting Punjab,
(Pakistan), Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab (India) and Gujrat, with some groups in
Rajastan and Haryana. Gujjars belong to the Kshatriya and Brahmin casts.
 
 
The Gujjars were designated by the British as a Martial Race. The martial race was a
designation created by the British Raj to describe races that were thought to be
naturally warlike and aggressive in battle, and possessing qualities like courage,
loyalty, self-sufficiency, physical strength, discipline, and tenacity.
 
 
There are various theories about the origin of the Gujjar tribe. Som are as follow:
 
 
   •   According to Maj. Mangali the Gujjar tribe is a branch of the Scythians.
   •   He says, “The U.P, Jaats and the Gujjars are branches of the Sythians”.
   •   According to Waisali the Gujjars came to the Subcontinent in the 3rd Century
       A.D. He Writes, “The Huns and the Gatai are the two branches of the
       Sythiand and they came from the Qandahar and occupied Kabul and Kashmir.
       In the 3rd Century A.D they migrated towards the south and settled there.
   •   Sir Olf Careo writes that the Gujjar came to the Subcontinent with White
       Huns and after the falls of the Huns they remained here in the Subcontinent.
   •   V.A. Smith is of the view that the Gujjar was one of the strongest branches of
       the Huns who ruled over Qanuch.
 
 
 
  •   Most of the Rajput families are the decedents of the Gujjars.      The Huns
       permanently resided in Rajputana and Punjab of whom the Gujjars were in
       majority.
   •   Balseo writes that the Gujjars were among the subjects of the White Huns.
   •   According to S.S Burni the Gujjars are the descendents of the Scythians or
       the Whit Huns.
   •   Dr. Syed Mughin ul Haq says, “ The Gujjars who belonged to any of the
       Central Asian nations, after the Huns came to the Subcontinent and played a
       major role in the history of the of the Indo Pak”.
   •   Prof. Syed Abu Zafar Nadvi writes, “The Gujjar came to the subcontinent in
       5th Century A.D. The original home of the Gujjars is Garjistan which is now
       called as Garjistan or Jarjia. When these Gujjars came through Persia and
       attacked Hind, they captured Punjab and Sindh then went              through
       Rajputana, Marwar and established their state in Gujrat, Pona and Daccan.
   •   George Cunigham is of the view that the original home of Gujjars is Gujrat
       and due to some unknown reasons they left their homeland and went to
       Jammu and Kashmir.
   •   According to Rana Hassan Chohan the Gujjars are the original inhabitants of
       Hindustan, He says, “ The Gujjar are Kashtri Aryans whose mother language
       was Sanskrit from which emerged the Gujrati/Gojjri Language, their religion
       was Vadic, their book was Gita and the name of their homeland was Gujrat.
 
   •   According to the Piam Shah Jahan Puri, Balakot was an ancient village of the
       Gujars. The Gujjars were converted to Islam before the Mughal reign and
       after accepting Islam they ruled over this region till 17th century A.D, then
       they were defeated by the Afghan Swatis who established their rule here in
       17th century A.D.
 
 
In 3rd Century A.D Hazara was ruled by the Gujjar Hindu Rajas, and then they
accepted Islam. And people of Kaghan were also converted at the same time.
 
The Gujjars participated in the freedom war and help syed Ahmad Baralvi, a Muslim
Mujahid who fought against the Sikh and was killed at Balakot in 1830.
 
 Lifestyle:
 
A large number Gujjars live in the Kaghan Valley some of them are Grazers while
others are agriculturists. The grazers are nomads and move from one place to
another according to the climatic condition. They are very different from the others
and they have a unique life style. The others call them with different names like
Aajri, Bakarwal, Pala, Kaghani and Muqaddam etc. Their life is very tough and to
some extent is similar to the prehistoric people. A Gujjar can spend his night in a
place where a layman could not dare to go during the day.
 
 
Akbar S. Ahmad says that it is the climatic condition that forces the Gujjars to
migrate from one place to another. They are very hard working, brave and
courageous and can easily face any harsh situation, specially the severe climatic
condition (rain and wind and cold nights) They migrate to the upper Kaghan i.e.
Naran, Bata Kundi, Burwai, Jhalkad up to Babu Sar Pass with their cattle’s in the
beginning of the summer season and after spending eight months they come back
to the plains of Mansehra, Balakot, Gari Habibullah, Abbott Abad and Hari Pur.
 
Gujri Language:
 
The Gujjars of Kaghan have their own specific language called as Gori and it is one
of the ancient languages of the world. According to Dr. Sabir Affaqi the origin of
Gujri goes back to 400 B.C., while Rafiq Ahmad says, “The Gujri language has a rich
vocabulary”. He writes, “The experts are of the view that Gujri is the mother of Urdu
language and in the beginning, Urdu was also called as Gujri” (p.168; Sakhab K.).
There is no prose book in the Kaghan valley written in Gujri language. However, late
Israil Mahjur (1996) and Muhammad Ismail Zabigh were the two known poets
both belong to Patlang.Muhammed Ismail established an institute of Gujri literature and
was the first president of that institute and Published     books (Nala Dil, Intizar,
Haqiqat-o-Majaz and Guldasta Zabigh. And it was due to his efforts that Gujri
Programs have been telecasted from Radio TrarKhal.
 
Dresses:
 
The dress of the Gujjars is also different from other tribes. The Young usually
wearing Shalwar and kamees vary in colours i.e. white kamees and black shalwar,
and they use decorated scarves. The aged wear turban while the female wear
shalwar kamees and shawls, embroidered. They also use necklaces and huge
bracelets.

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