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Mohyal (Punjabi-Gurmukhi: ਮੋਹ੝ਯਾਲ, Punjabi-Shahmukhi/Urdu: ﻣﻮﮨﻴﺎﻝ , Hindi: मोहयाल) (alternate spellings include Muhiyal, Muhial, Mhial, Mohiyal or Mahjal) is the name of an endogamous ethnic group that originates from the Gandhara region and consists of seven Brahmin lineages of that area that left the usual priestly occupation of Brahmins long ago to serve as soldiers and in government services.

The community is noted for a long tradition of producing distinguished soldiers[1][2][3] - including, among others, India's most decorated General, Zorawar Chand Bakhshi.

Despite their classification as Brahmins in the Hindu Varna system, they in fact strictly refrain from working as priests- often to the point of excommunicating those who break that tradition.[4] They also do not adhere to many customs and taboos observed by other Brahmin groups, and their regional history and specific customs mark them as a distinct ethnic group as well.

Most Mohyals are Hindus. Many are Sikhs - largely as a result of the role played by Mohyals in the formative days of the Sikh religion and also because of a tradition once popular in Mohyal families of bringing up the eldest male child as a Sikh. A small percentage are Muslims.

Mohyal Clans

This ethnic group is presently divided into seven clans[5] listed below with their gotras (lineages):

  1. Bali: Parashar
  2. Bhimwal: Kaushal
  3. Chhibber/Chibber:Bhrigu
  4. Datt: Bharadwaja
  5. Lau: Vasishtha
  6. Mohan: Kashyap
  7. Vaid: Dhanvantri

Certain families of Segan Brahmins also consider themselves part of the Mohyal Brahmins because of their historical engagement in military and civil administration.

Courtesy Titles

As an ethnic group, Mohyals have a long military tradition. During Mughal and Sikh rule, Mohyals were bestowed hereditary courtesy titles as for bravery and loyal service. These figure in most Mohyal names even today, and include Bakhshi, Bhai, Chaudhri, Dewan, Malik, Mehta and Raizada and are often indicative of the history of specific families.

Courtesy Title Meaning Background Information
Bakshi or Bakhshi Benevolent Frequent Mohyal title. The term Bakshi was also used for a paymaster of an army, and a small section of Mohyal families carry that name for that reason.
Bhai Brother Conferred on the Chhibbers of Karyala by the Sikh Gurus for great sacrifices and devotion to dharma, and only found among their descendants
Chaudhri Head of village or clan Among Mohyals, usually descended from the Datt families of Kanjrur, Veeram and Zaffarwal
Dewan Landlord or person of authority The Dewans (prime ministers) of all the ten Gurus were Chhibbers belonging to Karyala; Also carried by Datts belonging to Guliana and certain other places
Mehta Responsible for finance/property Frequent Mohyal title
Raizada Of noble lineage Mostly Balis and some Vaids. Among the latter, only those tracing descent from a royal house of the Hindu Shahis
Sultan Sultan Conferred by the Mughals, and carried by Datts (hence the term "Datt Sultan," the only Hindus given this title during Mughal rule)
Khan Khan Conferred by the Mughals (also the only Hindus given this title during Mughal rule)

Numerical Strength and Geographical Distribution

The current strength of the Mohyal community is estimated at about 100,000 persons. This is likely an over-estimation considering that the total number of Mohyals recorded in the 1901 census was 13,413. The census of 1891 placed their strength at 10,871, while a census carried out in 1977 by Mohyals themselves placed their numbers at 35,600. In India’s billion-plus population they constitute a microscopic minority, yet have a disproportionately large presence in various fields, especially the Indian Armed Forces.

The traditional homeland of the Mohyals was the region of Gandhara that corresponds to modern day districts of Rawalpindi, Haripur, Jhelum, Gujrat, Sargodha, Baramulla and Jammu. Once a great centre of Indian learning, Panini, Vasubandhu, Asanga and Charaka hailed from this region.

The river Ravi was regarded as the southern and eastern limit of Mohyal territory. Mohyals continued to live in large numbers in these areas until the creation of Pakistan in 1947, after which a near complete process of brutal religious cleansing emptied their presence in all these areas barring Baramulla and Jammu, which did not become a part of Pakistan. After a loss of many lives, they were forced to move to India - except for the Muslim Mohyals and a few Hindu/Sikh families that stayed on in Pakistan.

Comparative Strength

Even among the various ethnic groups of the sub-continent that have a strong martial tradition, Mohyals are numerically very small by comparison. For example, in today's numbers, the Mohyals number only about 1/400th of the Rajput population. Even in pre-partition India’s District of Rawalpindi, where the concentration of the Mohyals was at its highest, the Imperial Gazetteer of India of 1909 indicated the presence of only 1 Mohyal for every 8 persons of the Janjua community, 13 of the Gakhar and 39 of the Awan[1].

Due to this fact, their very notable presence in the honors list of the armies they have served in is considered an especially remarkable achievement.

Community Organization

The General Mohyal Sabha, with it headquarters at New Delhi is the apex body of Mohyals, to which about 75 local mohyal sabhas in different parts of India are affiliated.

Customs and Values

Mohyals have through history been very selective in choosing rulers to serve, often paying a high price for maintaining a fierce independence[2]. During the British rule they were favored in military recruitment due to their strong martial traditions and their assurance of loyalty.

Mohyals and Religious Identity

On the one hand, Mohyals take pride in having retained their Hindu identity despite living as minuscule religious minorities in predominantly Muslim lands, and in the face of widespread conversions of other groups to Islam. This was generally regarded as a sign of staying unconquered, especially in the backdrop of conversions brought about by force or incentives. On the other hand, many Hindu groups consider them very Muslim-like in their outlook, especially given the Hussaini-Brahmin appellation, and a few other traditions as well. Neither of these perceptions have traditionally caused friction in Mohyal relations with Muslims or other Hindu communities.

Mohyals have been patrons of Hinduism and Sikhism in remote outposts beyond South Asia. In the 1800s, a Mohyal of the Datt clan from Pind Dadan Khan spent nearly all the savings of his life just to sponsor repairs at the Atashgah fire temple in Baku, during his stay in Central Asia.[6]

Links and Relations with Other Groups

Across the subcontinent, other Brahmins are also believed to switched from the traditional duties of Brahmins in favor of military and administrative ones. In other parts of the sub-continent, outside of Punjab and the Gandhara region they have been known as Tyagi Brahman and "brahma-kshatriya" groups. These groups also claim to have descended from ParshuramTyagi Brahmans of Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh have close relationship and brotherhood with Mohyals traditionally..

Some Mohyal Brahmins migrated eastward and became as some sub-divisions of Bhumihar Brahmins, some of whom are also descendants of Hussaini Brahmins and mourn the death of Imam Hussain.[7] Bhumihar Brahmins and Tyagi/ Mohyal Brahmins have an affinity and brotherhood for each other. The Bhumihar Brahmins, of whom many, though not all, belong to the Saryupareen Brahmin division of Kanyakubja Brahmins.In Kerala Ezhavathy is also a Mohyal community.[8]

An eminent example was Sir Ganesh Dutt Singh. Sir Ganesh Dutt Singh, who was a freedom fighter, administrator and educationist in which capacity he did a lot for improving education and health services in the province of Bihar in the pre-independence era.[9][10] Sir Ganesh Dutta made generous donations from his earnings and personal property for the development of educational institutions, like radium institute in Patna Medical College, Darbhaga Medical College, Ayurvedic College and schools for the blind, deaf and dumb, among others.[11]

Mohyals have had a traditional affinity with these groups, on account of similar customs and belief in having descended from the same stock. There are known cases of Mohyals who migrated to other parts of the subcontinent, and became accepted as a part of the corresponding "fraternal community" of the new location.

In addition, Mohyals also have a tradition of respecting other groups' martial traditions, transcending any ethnic or religious divides. Various works by Mohyals on their community's history are especially replete with mentions of a relationship of admiration and mutual respect with Gakhars. According to these works and the oral history of Mohyals, the special respect for Gakhars is believed to date back to the times Gakhars played a key role in fighting off foreign invasions under some rulers from whom Mohyals claim descent. This used to be mentioned as a reason why Mohyals especially served with pride under Gakhar chiefs in subsequent centuries and were sought for their services by them as well, particularly in the era before Sikh rule.

The community's traditional disdain for the "handling of scales" has meant that few Mohyals used to become traders. It was the custom that anyone subsisting solely on charity was especially despised, even more so if that happened to be a Brahmin. With such Brahmins, Mohyals while admitting a common origin, usually objected to be classed with. At the same time Mohyals do also have a tradition of patronizing and supporting other Brahmins that engage in priestly or any other work.

The traditional respect for hard work in Mohyals also translates into a universal respect for farmers, and being a farmer used to be the expected choice for anyone not serving in the army or administration . For that reason Mohyals often insist on being hereditary agriculturists themselves.

Satbansi Brahmins and other offshoots

Mohyals are believed to be the parent community from which the Satbansi Brahmins arose as an offshoot. The term Satbansi literally means seven lineages, and this is a community of Brahmins that does engage in priestly rituals, unlike Mohyals.

According to Mohyals' written and oral history, when the Arora community of Sind and Multan was ostracized by the Khatris, the latter had disallowed their priests from continuing to perform religious rites for Aroras, causing especial hardships for them at funerals and marriages.

In this duress a community elder of the Aroras named Sidh Jaichik of Arorkot had appealed to a Mohyal of Thatta named Gosain Bodh Raj Vaid for help. The Mohyal community, after deliberating on the issue had decided to help out by assigning seven families, one from each Mohyal clan, to perform priestly rituals for the Arora community from that point onwards. At the same time, these 7 families theselves got ostracized from the Mohyal clan as the ritual punishment for taking up priesthood.

The seven persons who stepped forward for rendering this assistance at the expense of their own place in the Mohyal community were Chhangi Ram Mohan, Dhanpat Datt, Lalumal Bali, Satpal Chhibber, Sham Lau, Takhatmal Bhimwal along with Bodh Raj Vaid himself. Those seven clans came to be known as Chhangu Potrey, Dhan Potre, Lalrey,Saitpal, Shamu Potre, Takhat Potre and Bhoj Potre respectively.

As per Mohyal history and other sources, this group in turn is believed to have given rise to other branches, like the Wadhwani clan under Wadho Ram , Mangwanis under Mangho Ram, both descendants of Sham Lau, the Ramanandani clan under Rama Nand, a descendant of Gosain Bodh Raj Vaid, and others.

Mohyal History


Currently, a documented history of Mohyals is mostly derived from oral history and a few historical records.

The known written works include the following:

  • Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Rachnawali (Selected works of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati), Prakashan Sansthan, Delhi, 2003.
  • Bali Nama (Persian) by Rattan Chand Bali
  • Mirat-ul-Mohyali (Urdu, 1870s.)
  • Islah-e-Mohyali (Urdu, 1908) Raizada Rattan Chand Vaid
  • Mohyal History (Urdu, 1940) Chuni Lal Dutt
  • Gulshan-e-Mohyali (Urdu, 1920s) Raizada Hari Chand Vaid
  • Jang Nama - An account of the Mohans by Har Bhagwan Lau
  • Tawarikh-e-Vaidaan - (Punjabi) A history of the Vaids
  • The history of the Muhiyals: The militant Brahman race of India (English,1911) by T.P. Russell Stracey
  • Mohyal History (English, 1985) by P.N. Bali

There have also been in existence many ballads extolling the feats of Mohyals, for many centuries. The sustained existence through the centuries is attributed to the fact that in the past Mohyals used to patronize bards that were devoted to memorizing these ballads and passing them on from generation to generation.

Both the ballads and some of the written sources contain obvious exaggerations of the feats of Mohyals' ancestors, yet at places are also believed to offer interesting nuggets of history.

A good source of recent history is provided by the journal Mohyal Mitter, one of the oldest published journals of the sub-continent, published since 1891. In addition, a Mohyal Gazzette was also published from 1899 regularly until 1912, from Kala Gujran.

Stracey mentions that the Mohyals are primarily a military class, divided into seven clans that have been prominently associated with the government and sometimes rulership of the country. They have also figured at some early period of history in the affairs of Arabia, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Persia. At the time of his writing he states that they were spread from Afghanistan and Punjab to Bihar.


The Mohyals are a branch of the bigger Bawanjai Saraswat group. Bawanjai literally means 52 lineages, including 6 that have since converted en masse to Islam (most prominently, the Gakhar community).

When Gandhara witnessed repeated invasions and decline in Hinduism, many Brahmins are said to have become administrators and warriors. Mohyals are believed to be a community that emerged from this larger group, from the grouping together of seven lineages sharing records of distinguished martial and administrative achievements.

Across the subcontinent, other Brahmins are also believed to switched from the traditional duties of Brahmins in favor of military and administrative ones. In other parts of the sub-continent, outside of Punjab and the Gandhara region they have been known as "brahma-kshatriya" groups. These are believed to have descended from Parshuram, such as Tyagi Brahmins in Western U.P and Haryana, Goud Brahmins in U.P. and Rajasthan, Bhumihar Brahmins in U.P. and Bihar, Gaud Saraswat Brahmins in Maharashtra, Niyogi Brahmins in [Andhra Pradesh], Anavil Brahmins in Gujarat, Havyak Brahmins in Karnataka, Namboothiri Brahmins in Kerala.

With most men either in established militaries or mercenaries, the Mohyals developed a warlike culture and reputation over the last millennium.[12]

"A group of chivalrous Hindus called Muhiyals are very well at par with Pushtuns and Rajputs. Muhiyals have been rulers of territories in the present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. They are essentially a military race, which have served as soldiers throughout the centuries. They have a reputation of courage, loyalty and bravery. Muhiyals are composed of seven clans; Datt, Vaid, Chibbar, Bali, Muhan, Lau and Bhimwal. Though small in numbers but all these clans have a rich military history. In India, they are also called ‘Hussaini Brahmins’ as Muhiyals proudly claim that though being non-Muslim, a small number of them fought in the battle of Karbala on the side of Hussain. Muhiyals are very close to Pushtuns in their character. For centuries, they never or seldom paid in their revenue until coerced by a military expedition involving a number of casualties on both sides. On one occasion, they fought three sanguine battles against Babur’s army as they refused to surrender a khatri girl to Mughals who had sought their protection. The testament to their chivalry is the fact that during Muslim rule, they were the only non-Muslim group on whom the title of Khan or Sultan was ever bestowed. During British rule, a number of them were residing in the military belt of Campbelpur, Rawalpindi and Jhelum area. A number of Muhiyals served with distinction in British Indian army especially cavalry. They served in many regiments especially 9th, 11th, 13th, and 19th Lancers, 3rd, 4th and 15th Punjab Cavalry and Guides Cavalry."[13]

The legend of Rahab Sidh Datt

As per Mohyal folklore, a Mohyal of the Dutt clan had fought on behalf of Imam Hussain in the battle of Karbala, more specifically in the storming of Kufa- sacrificing his seven sons in the process. According to legend, Rahab Sidh Datt (also mentioned as Rahib Sidh or Sidh Viyog Datt in some versions) was the leader of a small band of career-soldiers living near Baghdad around the time of the battle of Karbala. The legend mentions the place where he stayed as Dair-al-Hindiya, meaning “The Indian Quarter”, which matches an Al-Hindiya in existence today. The Dutts have traditionally been referred to as Hussaini Brahmins‎ since times immemorial[14] Munshi Premchand’s novel ‘Karbala’ also mentions about Hindus fighting for the sake of Imam Hussain, and refers to them as descendants of Ashwatthama, who the Dutt clan considers as it of its ancestors. This legend occupies an important part in the Dutt clan’s oral history[15][16], and is considered a source of pride for them[17].

Zameer Hassan Kazmi, in his article "Imam Husain's Hindu Devotees" published in The Illustrated Weekly of India [18], documents sacrifices made by Hindus, particularly Dutt Brahmins, while fighting on the side of a descendant of Prophet Mohammad.

However, certain historians also believe that the seven persons who stepped forward to take up priesthood earlier had sent a representative each from their respective clans under the leadership of Rahib Sidh Dutt.

Early History

Mohyals have long claimed a few royal houses of ancient and early medieval times as their own ancestors, including King Dahir and the Hindu Shahi kings of Kabul and the Punjab. According to their oral history, the Kabul dynasty of King Spalapati that reached a glory under his son King Samanta Dev were of the Datt lineage, and whose ancestors in preceding centuries are said to have been displaced as rulers of a small coastal territory called Harya Bunder further towards the Middle-East. Some of the latter Hindu Shahi Kings that were defeated after successive invasions by Ghazni Sultans are claimed to have been of the Vaid clan, which according to Mohyal ballads is said to have nearly been wiped out in the process.

As per Mohyals' history, King Dahir of Brahmanabad in Sind belonged to the Chhibber clan and was a forefather of Bhai Mati Das. Other oral and written sources talk of the Raja Vishav Rai of the Lau clan having ruled over Bajwara (near modern day Hoshiarpur), and the Mohans ruling over Mamdot. Some of the other royals claimed by Mohyals as their own forefathers are also claimed by other groups, these names include King Porus and Raja Nand of Punjab.

Recent History

During the Mughal and Sikh rule, they were bestowed with titles like Sultan, Bakshi, Dewan, Mehta etc. in reward for their bravery. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had appointed many Mohyals to his famous Vadda Risala-the Life Guards of the Lion of Punjab. During the British period, fifty percent of the Mohyal commissioned officers, were decorated with awards for their distinguished services. In the self-serving "Theory of Martial Races" propounded by the British after the 1857 mutiny, Mohyals were the only predominantly Hindu community from Punjab included in the classification.

Places named after Mohyals

  • Prem Kot - Village near Nankana Sahib, named after Bakhshi Prem Singh Vaid, IOM with 2 bars, OBI
  • Mansehra - Town in NWFP, named after Sardar Raja Mahaan Singh "Mirpuria"
  • Hitesh Mehta Marg - Road in Malviya Nagar, New Delhi- Named after Capt. Hitesh Mehta
  • Ganda Singh Wala - Now a suburb of Amritsar, named after Ganda Singh Datt, IOM, OBI
  • Chowk Paraga Das - A landmark of Amritsar, named after Baba Paraga Das
  • Raman Bakshi Marg - Road in Jabalpur, named after Capt. Raman Bakshi
  • Sudheer Mehta Marg - Road in Yamuna Nagar, named after Capt. Sudheer Mehta
  • Vijay Rattan Chowk - Main crossing in Ambala Cantonment, named after Vijay Rattan Choudhry
  • Jawahir Pur - Village in Tehsil Shakargarh, District Narowal, Punjab, Pakistan, named after Dewan Jowahir Mal Datt
  • Dhok Balian Village in Punjab, Pakistan, once populated with many Bali Mohyals
  • Duttian da Bazaar - Tehsil Gardiwala District Hoshiarpur. This bazaar was once owned by Dutt family of nearby Village Rajjaa Kalan(Jaitanbad)

Famous Mohyals

Famous in Early Sikh History

  • Baba Praga – Baba Praga was a Chhibber belonging to the village of Karyala. He was a notable figure in Sikh history, and participated in many battles. Chowk Paraga Das of Amritsar is named after him. His loyalty and spiritual devotion to different Gurus particularly Guru Arjan Dev finds a mention in the book Suraj Prakash.
  • Dwarka Das – He was the son of Baba Praga, was Dewan to Guru Har Gobind and successive Gurus until Guru Har Rai.
  • Bhai Lakhiya – Also known as Bhai Lakhi Das, he was the son of Dwarka Das. He was appointed Dewan after the death of his father, but did not live long after that himself. He was the first Chhibber of Karyala to be bestowed the title of "Bhai" by a Guru.
  • Bhai Dargah Mal – Was the Dewan after Bhai Lakhiya, up to the reign of Guru Har Kishen.
  • Bhai Mati Das–He was a descendant of the same family as Baba Praga and was a disciple of Guru Tegh Bahadur. He preferred a barbaric death instead of a forced conversion to Islam. Bhai Mati Das was sawed in half on 9 November 1675 under the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb for his refusal to convert, and his only last wish was that he be allowed to face his Guru while the execution was being carried out.
  • Bhai Sati Das – He was the younger brother of Bhai Mati Das, and a scholar of Persian who translated hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur for the understanding of some of his Muslim followers. He too was executed in a barbaric fashion on 10 November 1675 by being subjected to cuts and later burned alive, for his refusal to convert to Islam.
  • Bhai Chaupa Singh Chhibber – He was a descendant of the same family as Bhai Mati Das, and was tutor and care-taker of Guru Govind Singh.
  • Bhai Sahib Singh – He was a nephew of Bhai Mati Das, was appointed Dewan by Guru Govind Singh. He is often mistakenly referred to as one of the Panj Pyare, as he shared his name with Bhai Sahib Singh of Bidar.
  • Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh – He was a son of Bhai Sahib Singh. Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh died defending the Harmandir Sahib during a raid by Ahmad Shah Durrani.
  • Bhai Kesar Singh Chhibber – Bhai Kesar Singh Chhibber was author of 'Bansavalinama Dasan Patshahian Da'. He was the son of Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh.

Many descendants of this extended Chhibber clan of Karyala (Bhai Charan Singh, Bhai Gaj Singh, Bhai Wazir Singh and Bhai Jai Bhan) were entrusted with senior posts during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and awarded jagirs and stipends. They were issued certificates of honour, exempted from paying salt-tax and severe punishments were provisioned for anyone disturbing the peace of their families.

Other Historical Figures

Pre-Mughal Era

  • Gorakh Rai Vaid – He was the chief of Bhatner and died fighting on the side of Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain. According to Mohyals' own recorded history, his son Ganesh Dev subsequently moved East and it was his descendants that also subsequently established the State of Bettiah Raj, as the dynasty of the Jaitheriyas that came to be regarded as a sect of the Bhumihar Brahmin community.

Under Mughals

  • Yakke Khan Datt "Tis Hazari" – was in-charge of the Mughal cavalry.
  • Bakhshi Jograj – ruled his estate of Khanuwan in modern day Gurdaspur. Earlier, commanded an army loyal to the Mughals under the Governor Nawab Begh. He was allotted 22 villages, of those he donated 5 villages to a Gurudwara at Pandori.
  • Fathejang "Khan" Bali – was in-charge of a Mughal force in Gujarat.

During Sikh rule

  • Mehta Radha Kishan – A Bhimwal of Bhaun, was a Governor
  • Bakhshi Amar Singh – (Chhibber) of Bhera, Governor of Thal.
  • Mehta Kishen Chand – (Chhibber) of Pind Dadan Khan, Governor of the are between the Rivers Ravi and Indus
  • Mehta Sukha Nand – A Chhibber belonging to Kala Gujran, was a Governor.
  • Bakhshi Gur Narain Datt – Governor of Kohistan and the Potohar, also in-charge of the Privy Seal of Maharja Ranjit Singh. Was widely admired for his absolute loyalty to the kingdom he was a part of and was chosen by the Sikh Durbar for demarcating boundary with Kashmir after the war of 1845. The lands awarded to him included 8 villages near Rawalpindi, including the land on which today’s city of Islamabad stands. Upon conquest of the Punjab by the British, he refused to part with the Privy Seal, and instead destroyed it and committed suicide.
  • Mehta Dewan Chand Datt – Governor of the Sind Sagar Doab
  • Bakhshi Amrik Rai – of Gujrat served as the paymaster of the Sikh army
  • Sardar Raja Mahan Singh "Mirpuri" – (Bali), was a famous soldier in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's army, who rose to become second-in-command under Hari Singh Nalwa, playing a leading role in the battles of Peshawar and Kashmir, and in defending the Fort of Jamrud in 1837. He was conferred the tile of Raja by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is believed that the town of Mansehra in the North West Frontier Province is named after him. His father Data Ram was a counsellor to the Gakhar Subedar of Gurat, Mukkarb Khan.
  • Sardar Karam Singh Datt – belonged to the Datt clan of Kanjrur, and was the commandant of the Bodyguards of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

In Afghanistan

  • Dewan Narain Dass (Chhibber) – He led the army of King Amir Sher Ali Khan in quelling inter-tribal wars. His great-grandfather had migrated to Kabul from the town of Bhera near Pind Dadan Khan.
  • Brigadier General Dewan Niranjan Dass – He was Chairman of the State Bank of Afghanistan and Finance Minister of Amir Aman Ullah Khan. Besides being a trusted advisor to the King, was quite popular amongst the Afghan people as well.[19] A descendant of Dewan Narain Dass, he earlier served as Sardaftar-e-Wajuhat[20] having responsibility for all taxation in the Kingdom.

Under Dogra Rulers of Kashmir

  • Bakhshi Radha Kishen – of Village Thoha Khalsa in Tehsil Kahuta of Rawalpindi District- rose from humble origins to become commander of the army of the Princely State of Kashmir in the reign of Maharaja Gulab Singh. He won laurels for his conquests of Gilgit and Ladakh in 1861.
  • Bakhshi Moolraj – He was the son of Bakhshi Radha Kishen. He served as Colonel in the Maharaja’s army and eventually became the Governor of Ladakh.
  • Bakhshi Hari Singh (Bhimwal) of Guilana – Starting as a bodyguard of Maharaja Gulab Singh he rose to become a General, played a key role in destroying the Fort of Chilas in 1851 a punitive expedition following a series of attacks by Chilasis, where previous expeditions by others had failed.
  • Dewan Bhim Sain Datt – of Guliana and Jammu (died 1844). He was a minister and the top-most commander of the forces of Raja Suchet Singh, brother of Maharaja Gulab Singh. In 1844, he died fighting on the side of Raja Suchet Singh when their small entourage of 250 persons found itself in an unexpected battle into which they were drawn by treachery. Faced with certain death against a much bigger force of rival Sikh troops of Hira Singh and Pandit Misr Jellah, numbering about 15000 soldiers, most of Raja Suchet Singh's entourage deserted. Dewan Bhim Sen was among about 40 persons who chose to remain on his side and fight, they killed 160 of them before finally being overcome by numbers.
  • Dewan Jowahir Mal Datt – (died 1852). He was the brother of Dewan Bhim Sain Datt, and was a distinguished soldier who was also assigned by Raja Suchet Singh the command of the Dera Charyari, an elite and charismatic Cavalry group under Sikh rule. In the Second Anglo Sikh War in 1848-49 fought between the British-controlled Sikh Durbar and rebellious chieftains, he commanded a major contingent of more than 2000 troops and stayed loyal to the British command, at a time when many others crossed over to the other side. For his bravery, he was awarded a jagir by the British near Kanjrur, which became the village of Jawahar Pur.
  • Mehta Sham Das Chhibber – (died 1912). A descendant of Mehta Sukha Nand, he belonged to Kala Guran and was a representative of the Government of Kashmir in British India.

From the Armed Forces of British and/or Independent India

  • 2nd Lt. Puneet Nath Dutt posthumous winner of India's highest gallantry award, Ashok Chakra, in 1997 for his role in a counter-terror operation
  • Maj. Vijay Rattan Choudhry (Datt) – posthumously won MVC in Indo Pak war of 1971
  • Lt. Col. Rajeev Bakshi – posthumously awarded Sena Medal for his role in a counter insurgency operation that he chose to lead from the front, even when his seniority had allowed him to delegate the task.
  • Lt Col. Harbans Lal Mehta – (posthumously won MVC in Indo Pak war of 1965)
  • Brig. Ravi Datt Mehta – A highly rated officer, died serving as India's Defence Attache in Kabul upon being targeted in a homicide bombing.
  • Lt. Gen. Kalwant Singh (Datt) – (General Officer Commanding during 1948 Indo Pak war)
  • Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Chaudhri Ganda Singh Datt, OBI (awarded Order of Merit (IOM) in 1857, saved the life of Sir Robert Sandeman at Lucknow, and later excelled in British Indian Army's wars with China and Afghan Campaigns particularly in the famous march to Kandahar)
  • Lt. General Yuvraj Kumar Mehta (PVSM, AVSM) Military Secretary, Commandant IMA, Paratrooper
  • Maj Gen SK Bali (Artillery) - 2000, VSM (Vishisht Seva Medal), then Brigadier [3]
  • Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Bakshi Prem Singh Vaid, OBI, IOM with 2 Bars
  • Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Bakshi Tirath Ram Vaid, OBI, OBE, IOM awarded after battle of Malakand in 1897
  • Sardar Bahadaur Mehta Mangat Ram Chhiber, OBI, won numerous medals fought in World Wars I & II, and in Waziristan
  • Subedar Major Hony. Capt. Sardar Bahadur Jai Singh Bali, Order of Merit- served with distinction in the Guides Infantry in the British Indian Army, was a special invitee in the Durbars of King Edward VIII (1903), King George V (1913)
  • Risaldar-Major Dewan Hukam Singh Datt, Hony. Capt., Hony. Magistrate, ADC to Lord Curzon.
  • Raizada Wazir Chand Bali numerous awards from Mesopotamia (1921), Mehmand Operations (1935), Waziristan (1936-38), WW-II including Sardar Bahadur OBI, Hony. Capt., Victory Medal, Iraq Medal, India Service Medal, Burma Star, Britain War Medal.
  • Major (Raizada) Madan Lal Vaid, Military Cross in World War II, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.
  • Capt. (Dr.) Prithvi Raj Bali , Military Cross in World War II, one of the very rare cases of a non-combatant getting that award, in the battle of Sidi Birani
  • Lt. Gen. Zorawar Chand Bakhshi (Lau) (hero of the capture of the strategic Haji Pir pass in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, and India's most decorated General so far, time having been awarded PVSM, MVC , VrC, VSM and the MacGregor Medal)
  • Maj. Gen. Madan Mohan Singh Bakshi – awarded MVC as a Lt. Col. in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, for the capture of Phillora.
  • Lt. Gen. Harish Chander Datta, PVSM
  • Lt. Gen. Dr. Manohar Lal Chhibber, PVSM, AVSM, Padma Bhushan, A key mastermind of India's 1986 Siachen manouvres, was also a Ford Foundation Scholar, Nehru Fellowship Awardee
  • Lt. Gen. BKN Chhibber, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (also former Governor of Punjab)
  • Lt. Gen. J.L Vaid, Director General of Medical Services
  • Maj. Gen. D.N. Chibber, AVSM Additional Director General Army Education
  • Maj. Gen. P.K. Chhiber, AVSM
  • Air Vice Marshal K.K. Bakshi,born 1935 Vr. C, Vayu Sena Medal (as a Sqn Ldr flying a HF-24 Marut in the 1971 India Pakistan War, he had two confirmed air-to-air combat victories[4] to his credit, both involving superior F-86 Sabre aircraft of the PAF.)
  • Air Vice Marshal K.K. Bakshi, AVSM, born 1927
  • Air Vice Marshal A. D. Datt, AVSM
  • Air Vice Marshal Madan Mohan Datt, Vayu Sena Medal
  • Air Vice Marshal Sudarshan Lal Datt, AVSM
  • Air Vice Marshal S.D. Mohan, PVSM, AVSM
  • Vice Admiral N.P. Datta, PVSM, Padma Shri
  • Maj. Gen. K.K. Mehta, PVSM
  • Brig. R.D. Law, VrC
  • Col. (Dr.) Reoti Raman Bakhshi (After serving as a Doctor in the British Indian Army, was noted for being the only Hindu officer to have served in the Pakistani Army, eventually migrating to India upon retirement in the 1970s)
  • Rai Bahadur Bakshi Badri Nath Chhibber (A highly decorated police officer in British and Independent India)
  • Pushp Bali – A President's Bravery Award winner currently serving in the Punjab Police. He rescued a small girl from her kidnappers after a 10-12 hour long operation in Model Town, Jalandhar. In Sept. 2007, he also rescued a young lady from drowning at the Devi Talab Mandir in Jalandhar, where he was on duty. A recipient of numerous awards including Mohyal Gaurav, he is also President Youth Mohyal Sabha of Jalandhar.
  • Jyoti Kishan Dutt , Director General of NSG, a paramilitary component of India's armed forces used in counter-terrorism operations.
  • 'Warrant Officer Bansi Ram Bali – Of village Kalsera, was the only individual from the Indian Postal Services to be “Mentioned in Dispatches” for distinguished services during the World War II (Burma Campaign), by the Secretary of State for War - Allied Forces, by the King's orders. Upon retirement, contributed very significantly{cn} in consolidating the Arya Samaj movement in the area, especially at Naya Nangal (Punjab) and Una (HP).

Lt Gen SS Mehta, PVSM, AVSM and Bar, VSM (Retd). Was Army Commander Western Command when he retired. Was Colonel of 63 Cavalry, which he commanded. His son, Colonel Rohit Mehta, is now commanding 63 Cavalry. Brig BS Mehta (Retd). Younger brother of Lt Gen SS Mehta. Raised 13 Armoured Regiment and became its Colonel. Maj Gen RS (Raj) Mehta, AVSM,VSM (Retd). Commissioned in 16th Light Cavalry. Spent 10 years in 83 Armoured Regiment. Commanded 50 Armoured Regiment and became Colonel of 83 and 50 Armoured Regiments. Wounded in an encounter with terrorists, when commanding an RR Sector in South Kashmir. Edits military books and has written Lost Victory -the Rise and Fall of Velupillai Prabhakaran. Free lance journalist who write for national newspapers and defence related magazines and publications. Younger brother of Lt Gen SS Mehta. Colonel NS Mehta. Younger brother of Lt Gen SS Mehta. Commissioned in 5 GARHWAL, commanded 17 GARHWAL with distinction. Died while in service in 2001. Brig BS Mehta, Armoured Corps (Retired). Was Colonel of 13 Armoured Regiment, which he also raised. Younger brother of Lt Gen SS Mehta.

In other fields in British and/or Independent India

  • Pandit Amir Chand Bombwal - a freedom fighter in the Indian independence movement
  • Sir Ganesh Dutt – Longest serving minister in the entire British Empire.
  • Pandit Sant Ram Vaid – Home Minister of Kehloor State (Bilaspur, Shimla Hills)
  • Dr. Bhai Mahavir – (former Governor of Madhya Pradesh, son of Bhai Parmanand)
  • Bakshi S K Chhibber – (former Lt. Governor of Mizoram)
  • Rakesh Mohan – (Economist, and Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India)
  • Bhai Parmanand (Chhibber) – (A social reformer in the Punjab, and a descendant of the family of Bhai Mati Das)
  • Bhai Balmukand (Chhibber) – (Was an active opponent of British rule in India, was hanged in 1915 along with Lala Amir Chand and Awadh Bihari Bose. Was also a descendant of the family of Bhai Mati Das)
  • Dr. Baldev Singh Vaid MMBS, MRCP, Hony. Brigadier, Padma Bhushan, Sir Neel Rattan Sircar Oration, General SL Bhatia Oration numerous other achievements and awards.
  • Bakshi Ram Dass Chhibber (1850–1937) - From the Bhera branch of the Chhibbers, was tutor of Persian and Urdu to the top-most elite of British India, including Lord and Lady Hardinge, Lady Curzon, Lord and Lady Minto, Lady Lansdowne and Field Marshal Roberts. Was a famous philanthropist, and co-founder of the Lady Hardinge Hospital in Delhi, besides being an active reformist in Hindu Society, particularly against female infanticide.
  • Vijay Mehta Founder of Mefcom Capital Markets Limited
  • Chief Justice V.K.Bali (currently Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal, India and former Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court)
  • Mehta N.N. Mohan (industrialist, founder of Mohan Meakin Breweries)
  • Col. V.R. Mohan, Padma Shri - Industrialist, Member of the Indian Parliament, former Mayor of Lucknow
  • Brig. Kapil Mohan, VSM - Industrialist, Chairman of Mohan Meakins and Indus Airways[5], Chief Scout of All India Boy Scouts Association, decorated volunteer of India's Territorial Army, also famous for overpowering the hijackers of an Indian Airlines flight on April 10, 1993.
  • Raizada Baldev Bali – Industrialist, and the current elected head of the Mohyal community.
  • Prof. V.N Datta– historian

°Shri Surinder Kumar Bali (IFS)-Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra State (


External links


  1. ^ A Historical Review of Hindu India: 300 B.C. to 1200 A.D. - By Panchaanana Raya, I.M.H. Press, 1939- Page 3
  2. ^ Mughal government and Administration, Sri Ram Sharma, Hind Kitabs Limited, Bombay 1951- Page 6
  3. ^ Muhiyals - The Militant Brahmin Race of India by T.P. Russell Stracey, Lahore 1911
  4. ^ Mohyal History, by P.N. Bali, 1995- Page 38
  5. ^ History of the Mohyals, by P.N. Bali,1985
  6. ^ Inscription at Atashgah Temple at Baku recording the contribution of Ram Datt
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  12. ^ Hamid Hussain, in an essay on the fighting tribes of the northwestern subcontinent, Pakistan Defence Journal
  13. ^ Defence Journal, Pakistan- June 2003:Tribes and Turbulence by Hamid Hussain
  14. ^ Reg-i-Surkh: Dut Brahman Imam Husain se Rabt o Zabt, by Mahdi Nazmi, Abu Talib Academy, New Delhi 1984, Pages 63-71.
  15. ^ Alnataq (Urdu), by Shah Nazir Hashmi, Lucknow 1926
  16. ^ Mohyals, Muslims and Mustafabad: The Tribune, Chandigarh (8 August 1993).
  17. ^ Reliving Karbala: Martyrdom in South Asian Memory , by Syed Akbar Haider, Oxford University Press 2006, Page 175
  18. ^ The Illustrated Weekly of India , Vol. XCII II, March 14, 1971
  19. ^ Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Published by Orient Longman, 1982, page 334.
  20. ^ Modern Afghanistan, by Ikbal Ali Shah, Published by S. Low, Marston & Co. Ltd, 1939, page 123.