On the other side of river Chenab, 8 kms distant from the river and 114 kms from Lahore lay the town of Gujrat. It was an old city. It stood like a gem in the green woods of the region. It was a fertile place, though slightly cultivated. A fort built by Akbar was situated in the heart of the town, which was surrounded by mud walls. It had about eight thousand houses. Population mainly consisted of Muslim Gujars and Hindu Khatris. The place was fa nous for manufacturing of daggers, swords, matchlocks and other arms. The main road to Kashmir started from there. Gujrat was under Sultan Mugarrab Khan Gakhar. The Gakhars were a most powerful tribe. They had possessed great power for many hundred years. They dominated over a wide extent of country lying between Chenab and Indus rivers. They were a united people,It was their organisation that had enabled them to subdue other war like Muslim tribes such as Awans, Chibs, Gujars, Janjuas, Khatars, Khokhars, and others, On account of their superiority all the Gakhars, high and low, were addressed as Raja. Sultan Muqarrab Khan became the head of the Gakhar tribe in 1739 at the time of Nadir Shah’s invasion. He subdued Yusafzai Afghans of Hazara district. He defeated Jang Quli Khan Khatak. He seized Gujrat and established his headquarters there in 1758 after the death of Adina Beg Khan. He overran the Chib territory up to Bhimbar in the north. He supported Ahmad Shah Durrani in his Indian invasions, and gave away his daughter in marriage to him, and received great consideration from him. Gujar Singh decided to capture Gujrat. Charat Singh agreed to support him. The two Jat sardars marched upon Gujrat in December, 1765. Mugarrab Khan offered tough opposition first on western bank of river Chenab, and then outside the walls of the town. Having been defeated he shut himself up in the fort. The town was immediately besieged. In a few days supply of foodstuff ran short both in the town and the fort. The Gakhar chief decided to escape. In a dark night he made a sudden sally and cut his way through the besiegers. He was riding on an elephant. The Sikhs pursued him. Mugarrab Khan descended into the flooded stream flowing nearby. The elephant crossed it, but the chief was not on its back. The Sikhs thought he had been drowned. Riding a horse at the head of his women folk he dushed on. On the banks of river Jehlam, 50 kms away from Gujrat he was captured by his rival Gakhar chief Himmat Khan of Domeli, 30 kms to the west of river Jehlam, and was put to death. The two elder sons of Mugarrab Khan seized Perwala, and the two younger sons Wangli. Ganesh Das Wadebra says that the Sikhs first plundered the entire camp of Muqarrab Khan. Afterwards they fell upon Gujrat, Whatever they found in the town was carried away. Houses and shops were reduced to ashes by fire. The people fled away to Jalalpur, Shadipur, Akhnur and other places far and near. The Waraich Jats who held 170 villages in Gujrat district and 4 villages in Gujranwala submitted quietly. The Chaj Doab was divided between the two Jat sardars, Gujar Singh’s territory extended from river Jehlam to Wiso Sohawa! Charat Singh’s share was from Kunjah to Mini. The most important places belonging to Gujar Singh in the Chaj Doab were Gujtat, Jalalpur and Islamgarh.

References :-

  • History of Sikhs -Vol. IV ,The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of Sikh Misls By Hari ram gupta.
  • Firozpur District Gazetteer 1883-84 14-17.
  • Gujranwala District Gazetteer 1883-84 15, 16, 19; 1893-94, 23.
  • Gujrat District Gazetteer 1883-84 16, 112-17; 1892-93, 122-23.
  • Hazara District Gazetteer 1907, 124-25.
  • Lahore District Gazetteer 1883-84, 17, 19, 29.
  • Montgomery District Gazetteer 30-34.
  • Rawalpindi District Gazetteer 1883-84, 31, 37-39, 69,71,106,107, 109,111; 1893-94.237.
error: Alert: Content is protected !!