Monday, November 19, 2012


“ Jenab I belong to the Dar family of Rajauri.I am married in Raina family. Our families have Kashmir ancestry. If you go to nearby Thana Mandi, you shall find some Wani or Mir families. They too are from Kashmir . And again we had one Mr Rawal as Executive Engineer over here who had his ancestral Jaagir ( agricultural land ) in this area . Bakshi family from Kashmir had their Jaagir in Thana Mandi. I mean the family of Radhe Nath Bakshi Sahib ,Chief Engineer. This area was known as Rajpuri in olden days . Mughals also travelled through this area to visit Kashmir. If you go via Loran , Bafiaz , Noori Chhamb and Behraamgala, you shall immediately reach Shopian. This route was also used by Sikh forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to enter Kashmir where they defeated the Afghans in a bloody battle fought at Shopian town. Jenab visit Chingus , just 24 km from Rajauri town. This was a Mughal Sarai. Mughals stayed at this beautiful Sarai ( transit camp ) enroute to Kashmir . In fact Noor Jehan buried intestines of Jehangir in this serai when the Emperor died in October 1627 AD on their way back journey to Delhi from Kashmir . Noor Jehan kept this death a secret from Delhi Darbaar to avoid a war of succession.She got the body of Jahangir embalmed to protect it from decay. Once embalmed, the body was dressed and kept on a horse in a sitting posture to make everyone believe that the emperor was alive . ”
So Said Fazal Rehman Dar. He does not remember the name of his ancestor who had migrated from Kashmir to Rajauri in the Jammu division. Fazal Rehman Dar is a well-known name in Rajauri town.
I know Fazal Rehman Dar told us well established historical facts. I also need to add that Word Chingus in Persian means intestines . History also tells us that forces of Sultan Zain ul Abdin ( with his army commander Jasarat Kholkhar )and his brother Sultan Ali Shah ( his wife was the daughter of a hilly King from Jammu ) fought a pitched battle for Kashmir’s throne at Thana Mandi . Sultan Ali Shah was defeated and Zain ul Abdin entered Kashmir as a victorious King. This Sultan was later known as Budshaah or Great King in Kashmir for his noble and just deeds .
We also know that the present Mughal Road passes through Bufliaz , Poshana , Chattapani , Peer Ki Gali , Aliabad , Zaznaar , Dubjan , Heerpora and Shopian . Mughals built many rest houses and Serais on this road . I also met many Kashmiri speaking families in this area who reported that their ancestors had migrtated to this part of Jammu some 200 hundred years ago. I found some Kashmiri poets in the Rajauri area. Kangri and pheran is also used by some people over here. Apart from Pahaari , Dogri , Punjabi and Urdu , Kashmiri is widely spoken in this area. A sizeable population of Loran and Thana Mandi has Kashmiri as their mother tongue. A road now connects this part of the Jammu division with the Shopian town of Kashmir . Rajauri town is about 150 km from Jammu on Jammu- Poonch road. Prior to 1968, this area was a part of the Poonch district.
Kalhana has repeatedly mentioned this area and its Kingdoms as Lohaara ( Loran ) and Rajapuri ( Rajauri ) in Rajatarangini. See the story of Rajapuri ( Rajauri ) in Taranga 8 verse 429, Taranga 6 verse 286,Taranga 7 verses 1597to 1599,Taranga 7 verses 1150 1152 and Taranga 7 verses 588 to 590 .This town also finds mention in many other Tarangas of Rajatarangini .
Many historians are of the opinion that Rajauri was a part of the Kingdom of Panchal Desa mentioned in Mahabharata. Panchal Naresh ,the King of Panchal Desa was the father of Draupadi who was married to Pandavas. Draupadi is also known as Panchali. The historians identify Panchal Desa as the Panchal range of mountains( presently known as Pir Panchal) . 
The Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited the town in 632 A.D and described it as part of the Kingdom of Kashmir. Earlier, in the Buddhist period , it formed a part of Gandhara Kingdom (Afghanistan and Central Asia ). During Mauryan period and Alexander 's invasion, Rajauri was an important trade centre and known in the entire Central Asia . Al-biruni has recorded his visit to Rajouri with Sultan Masud (Mehmood of Gazni ) in 1036. In 1813, Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu captured Rajouri for the Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by defeating Raja Agar Ullah Khan.
( Avtar Mota)
( Text and photos by Avtar Mota)

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