(This chapter has some very interesting narrations)
RIJHSINGANI: – Mr. Rijhsingh.
Nukh: – Chachra.
Lalwani Diwans of Hyderabad and some Bhaibunds have the same Nukh.
The author, Diwan Bherumal was not able to find out from where, when and for what reasons they came to Sind.
The elder Diwan Sabhachand had two sons: Diwan Vasanmal and Diwan Jamiatrai.
Diwan Jamiatrai’s son, Diwan Basantram sired Diwan Rijhsingh. Diwan Rijhsingh was an Ajardar (Revenue Collector). He was permitted to retain half the revenue for his services and deposit the balance with the Mirs.
Diwan Rijhsingh’s descendants called themselves Rijhsanghani viz. Diwan Sobhsingh Sadhuram Rijhsingani, Superintendent Land Records and Mr. Tirth Sabhani B.A., Editor of Sindhi weekly ‘Sindvasi’.
As a matter of fact, Rijhsingani are Sabhani and have/had many graduates amongst them.
(P.S. Even after partition, Mr. Tirth Sabhani, whom this translator knew, continued as editor of Hindvasi’s and Hindustan Daily at Mumbai. Narain S. Kimatrai.)
Gopwani hail from Halla. Their forefather was Bhai Hassomal Gopumal.
Bhai Hassomal sired three sons: Bhai Deomal, Bhai Vensimal and Bhai Topandas.
Bhai Deomal Hassomal sired nine children. Eight sons and one daughter (The daughter was translator Narain Sobhraj Kimatrai’s mother).
1) Bhai Chhataram Deomal. Bhai Chhataram sired three children.
Son: Bhai Avatram. He did not marry.
Rukubai. She married Bhai Mohandas and sired one son Lal and three daughters. After partition they came to Mumbai for awhile and then moved to Madras. Lal was last seen in Japan. One married daughter Pari lives at Singapore.
Mevibai. She married Bhai Jivatram Baxani and sired three sons. Son Mr. Ram Baxani lives in Dubai. Mr. Hotu lives in Hong Kong and the third son Mr. Rochi lives in United States.
2) Bhai Jhangimal Deomal. Bhai Jhangimal sired nine children. Five sons and four daughters.
Bhai Kewalram. He married Parvatibai. They had no children.
Bhai Atmaram. He married Lachmibai, sister of Parvatibai mentioned above. They have two sons: Kishin and Veer and sisters.
Bhai Nichaldas. He married Jankibai. They had one son named Nari and sisters.
Bhai Tirthsingh. He did not marry.
Parvatibai, Satibai, Savtribai and Mohinibai.
Bhai Vishindas Deomal. Bhai Vishindas sired two sons.
Bhai Wadhumal and Bhai Rochiram. Bhai Rochiram married Gopibai.
Bhai Ramchand Deomal. Bhai Ramchand sired three sons:
Bhai Tulsidas, Bhai Khemchand and Bhai Bulchand.
Bhai Khemchand moved to Nagpur after partition. Their store is known as Karachi General Store.
5) Bhai Parumal Deomal. Bhai Parumal sired 12 children. 7 sons and 5 daughters.
M/s. Daryanomal, Teoram, Rupchand, Jawahar, Jaidev, Hargun and Kishin.
Devibai married Mr. Tarachand, Lachhabai married Mr. Jaikishin and Savtribai.
Bhai Rijhumal Deomal. Bhai Rijhumal sired 4 children.
Sons: – M/s. Kishu, Dayal and Manu.
Mr. Kishu lives at Mumbai, Mr. Dayal in the United States and Mr. Manu
Daughter: – Dayalibai.
Bhai Suratmal Deomal. He sired 5 children.
Sons: – Mr. Tikamdas who lives in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Mr. Jivat who lives in Ahmedabad and Mr. Gul who lives in Bangalore.
Daughter: – Jamnabai who married Mr. Gurmukh.
Bhai Gunomal Deomal. He sired 2 sons and 4 daughters.
Sons: M/s. Deepak and Ashok. One of the daughter is named Thakuribai.
9) Shrimati Tikkabai (Translator’s mother). She married Bhai Sobhraj
Jhamatmal Kimatrai (Gianchandani). See the Kimatrai Chapter.
Bhai Vensimal Hassomal sired three sons: Mr. Mangharam, Mr. Rochiram and Mr. Khemchand.
Mr. Khemchand Vensimal Gopwani is reported to be at Lagos in Nigeria.
Bhai Topandas Hassomal sired two sons: Bhai Mulchand and Bhai Gagoomal.
Bhai Mulchand sired two sons: Mr. Gul and Mr. Nanik. Mr. Gul, after the downfall of Saigon Viet Nam went to the Philippines and has since expired.
Bhai Gagoomal, after the downfall of Saigon Viet Nam settled at Goa, India. Their establishment is known as “Selections”.
A note received Nov 2008
Dear Aunty Shakun, Wish you a Happy New Year! I was reading this article in BOOKS section of your website about SINDHI SURNAMES. I am curious to know if you have some information missing in the TITLE “GOPWANI: – BHAI GOPUMAL”. My Grandfather MR. SURATMAL DEOMAL GOPWANI was one of the sons of Mr. DEOMAL Gopwani. I would like to request you to add the following information: DEOMAL GOPWANI SURATMAL DEOMAL >> 4 SONS & 1 DAUGHTER (SONS: TIKAMDAS, JIWATRAM, GULABRAI, PARTAPRAI. DAUGHTER: JAMNA (Later, KAMLA GURMUKH HEMNANI). Thanks and best regards, Deepa J. Gopwani (Now, Mrs. Vriti Girish Matreja) Hong Kong
Sadarangani forefather: – Sadarangmal.
Mahtani forefather: – Mr. Mahtabrai.
Nukh: – Ghera.
Sadarangani, Dheromalani, Sabhagchandani, Sachanadani & Mahtani (Mr. Asanmal Rijhumal’s descend) and others have common nukh i.e. Ghera.
Sadarangani are assumed to have come to Hyderabad from Kherpur State where the Thadani Bhaibunds lived. Some of them (Thadani Bhaibunds) lived at Sakhar as well. Their Nukh is also Ghera.
Sadarangani were zamindars. To water their land, they had dug a canal from the river Indus to their fields. The canal was named “Sadarang Wah”.
The forefather of Sadarangani: Mr. Sadarangmal and forefather of Mahtani: Mr. Mahtabrai were brothers. Prominent amongst them: Diwan Hassomal, Prof. Harumal Issardas and others. There are Sadarangani Bhaibunds as well.
Mr. Mahtabrai sired Mr. Madansingh who sired Mr. Motiram. Mr. Motiram sired Mr. Baharmal who lived in Tando Mohamed Khan. Mr. Baharmal sired Mr. Ajumal.
Mr. Ajumal, great grand son of Mr. Mahtabrai was Tasildar (Revenue Officer) with Mir Mohd. Khan. Mr. Ajumal sired two sons: Mr. Rijhumal and Mr. Satramdas.
Mr. Rijhumal was also Tasildar with Mir Nassir Khan and popularly called Mr. Rijhumal Tasildar. Mr. Rijhumal sired five sons: M/s. Kishinchand, Thadomal, Wadhumal, Assanmal and Parmanand.
Karachi’s English Daily ‘Chronicle’ & ‘Sukhri’ and Sindhi Daily ‘Hindu’ were published by Mr. Assanmal.
From Mr. Mahtabrai’s roots came Mukhi Mulchand, his son Mr. Daryadinmal and his son Mukhi Issardas of Tando Mohd. Khan. Thus Sadarangani and Mahtanis are cousins.
Some Sadaranganis opted for higher education and then worked for the Government. They were identified as Diwans. Amongst them were Diwan Hassomal, Prof. Harumal Issardas and others.
The other Sadaranganis were considered as Bhaibunds even though they have same Nukh. Similarly there are Bhaibunds and Amils amongst the Kirpalanis and Vaswanis.
The family Tree as far back as could be traced:
Mr. Tiloo Singh
Mrs Bharti and Mr. Manghan Mahtani
Ms Bharti and Mr. Manghan had 2 sons named Sunil and Arun
Sunil married Nisha Moorjani and her name later changed to Karina
Their children’s names are Nikhil and Sherina.
Arun married Nandini Dadlani and her name changed to Mihika
Their children’s names are Shiksha and Simran.
A Reader writes (July 2006):
My grandfathater’s name is Rewachand Mahtani (last lived in Bangalore) and he sired 4 children, of which he had 2 sons: Mohanlal Mahtani (my father) and Murli Mahtani.
My great grandfather’s name is Rijhumal Mahtani (I believe last lived in Ajmer), and his father was Kodhumal Mahtani.
Rijhumal has actually adopted my grandfather (and in fact was his maternal grandfather). He was adopted after his daughter died giving birth to my grandfather.
My grandfather’s blood-father’s last name was Nagrani.
When I ask my parents (unfortunately my grandfather is not living anymore), they tell me we are Lokumal’s Mahtanis.
Is anyone now able to now shed more light to my query.
Families having the same Nukh lived in Punjab as well. Shivdasani are Arorvanshi.
Around two hundred and forty years ago, four brothers, Mr. Thadomal, Mr. Shivdas, Mr. Devandas and Mr. Mansukhdas lived in Multan. A tribal savage community (Bheels) looted and terrorized the area. The brothers were close to a Brahmin, Mahraj Harkishindas who had relatives living in Sind. He advised the brothers to move on to Sind. The four brothers along with the Brahmin walked their way to Shikarpur and camped near the Hathi Gate.
Not content with the meager income, they moved to Sahiti district. After accumulating some wealth, they moved again to Saywan. En-route they came across Gosain Niranjan Gur who was in his deep meditation. Mahraj Harkishindas noticed a snake heading towards Gosain Niranjan Gur. Mahraj Harkishindas picked a stone and killed it. After coming out of his meditation, Gosain Niranjan Gur thanked all of them for saving his life and invited them to stay at his Ashram (Marhi).
The four brothers and Mahraj Harkishindas thereafter left for Manjhand where a cousin of the Mahraj lived. They spent some time there and moved again to Hyderabad. En-route to Gidhu Bunder they were confronted by some dacoits who rid them of their money and belongings. In the scuffle the brothers were hurt and their cries attracted passerby who came to their rescue and took them to the Ashram of Gosain Niranjan located in Gosain Ghitti for treatment.
At the recommendation of Gosain, the four brothers started working for the Mirs. The Mir awarded them with land near the Ashram where they built their houses, got married and settled permanently in Hyderabad.
Diwan Thadomal then shifted to Nihayun Jo Pir while Shivdas (Shivdasani) and his family remained at Gosain Ghitti, which had Shivdasani Ghitti in it.
From Devandas’ family roots: Diwan Choithram Daftardar’s (Revenue Officer) family. Professor Ghansham Jethanand was, in the year 1946, a member of Sind Legislative Assembly. Actually they are Devanmalani, but prefer to call them-selves Shivdasani.
Diwan Mansukhdas and his family shifted a short distance away. The street was called Mansukhani Ghitti near Chandiramani Ghitti.
Mahraj Harkishindas, who had accompanied the four brothers, stayed on at the Ashram (Marhi) for a while. Having enhanced his knowledge, his followership (Jajmans) grew. His children were Mahraj Lokram Nainaram, and Mahraj Vishnu Sharma.
SHAHANI: – Shah Bihari (Governor).
Nukh: – Bathija.
It is believed that before the Shahanis migrated to Sind, fire in their kitchen was never extinguished. The stove or oven (Tandoor) was always hot and burning. All visitors were expected to have a meal before departing. Hence the nukh Bathija. Batho= Oven, Ja= wara, Bathi wara = Bathija.
Shahanis lived at Larkana, Hyderabad and Tharoo Shah.
Generally all the Surnames are named after an elderly ancestor. But, it is no so with the Shahanis.
During the Mir dynasty, Governor of Chandka District/ province (Larkana) was Shah Bihari. His Dargah is located in Lahore at Ghaar Wah near Kheraj Faqir Baug and is protected under the Heritage Act and maintained by the Government.
Many Hindus were in the employment of Governor Shah Bihari and they all held important and non-important posts. The Governor considered them as his protegees. All these Hindus, whether related or not, out of prestige and respect to The Shah, called themselves Shahanis
Author Diwan Bherumal M. Advani in the year 1946 wrote that amongst the Shahanis it was difficult to identify who is who and who was who.
Diwan Bherumal further wrote in his volume that only when he receives more detailed information from Diwan Gokaldas Shahani of Tharoo Shah (who was a City Magistrate at Hyderabad for a while), and from the other Shahanis, that he would be able to unfold the Shahani mystery.
One family in Larkana named their surname after their Nukh i.e. Bathija. They don’t call themselves Shahani. However, as their Nukh Bathija is common with the Shahanis of Hyderabad and Larkana, Diwan Bherumal Advani states that it can be said with certainty or assumed that they are Shahani. However, Diwan Bherumal also wrote in his volume that more information from Bathijas was solicited.
It seems that not all the Shahanis migrated to Hyderabad at the same time. They appear to have come at a time when all the vacant plots of land in Hyderabad, from Chhotki Ghitti to Gosain Ghitti, were occupied by other migrants.
Some of the Shahanis formed their own Ghitti near Seray Ghat. The street was called ‘Ghat Wari Ghitti’. Later they formed ‘Karari Ghitti’, named after a tree in Sindhi called ‘Karar’ that once stood there. The tree was uprooted during the year 1887-1888. As Diwan Sahibrai and other Shahanis lived in that Ghitti the street came to be known as ‘Diwan Sahibrai Ji Ghitti’ but the old name ‘Ghat Wari Ghitti’ stuck on.
Many Shahanis of ‘Ghat Wari Ghitti’ had purchased farms at and around Badeen. These Shahanis were called Badinaee (Badeen Wara). The other Shahanis continued to stay at Khiyanati Tando. Principal Diwan Sahibsingh Chandasingh Shahani and his cousins first lived towards Akatrai Ghitti and thereafter they got scattered all over Hyderabad.
According to documented information available with Diwan Bherumal M. Advani, Rajarshi Diwan Dayaram Gidumal, Diwan Gurmukhsingh Parumal, Dr. Awat Shahani, Shahanis of Ghat Wari Ghitti and Khiyanati Tando were great grand children of Diwan Salamatrai and grand children of his three sons: Diwan Nirmaldas, Diwan Thawardas and Diwan Hakumatrai.
In the said document, names of Principal Shahani, Diwan Gulabsingh Bajasingh and their close cousins do not figure. They are connected to Shahanis of Larkana.
The Shahanis of Larkana confirmed that their great grandfather’s one brother was domiciled at Larkana and the other at Hyderabad. From their descend came Principal Shahani and his cousins. Rajarshi Dayaram Gidumal and Principal Shahani were their distant cousins.
Nukh: – Motan Pota.
Motwanis of Larkana have the same Nukh.
The Idnanis migrated to Sind from Punjab. Their elder Diwan Idanmal had three sons: M/s. Phabiasingh, Dayaram and Gurbomal. From their roots came Diwan Jagatrai (Advocate) son of Diwan Nenumal Mukhtiarkar, Diwan Manghomal Issardas of Rangoon Burma, Dr. Assudomal Baghmal and others.
Rai Sahib Diwan Bulchand Khemchand’s forefathers had lived in Manshiani Paro in Advani Ghitti for over a hundred years and called themselves Advani. But in fact they are Idnani.
NUKH: – Manchanda.
The Karanmalanis hail from Lahore and belong to the same Bradri (family) as Gidwani, Bhavnani, and Jagtiani who share the same Nukh. There are families with the same Nukh living in Punjab. The Karanmalanis are Arorvanshi and hailed from Aror (Alwar) district Rohiri. During the Arab invasion they moved to Punjab and returned to Sind during the reign of Kalhoras.
Mr. Adyomal Shewani, a Khatri by caste and resident of Village Seetpur (Punjab), separated from his father and came to Sind. He took employment with Miya Adam Shah Kalhori. Mr. Adyomal was sent to Shikarpur on Miya Adam Shah’s errand and there he was houseguest of a wealthy businessman. The businessman approved of Mr. Adyomal and got his daughter married to him.
Mr. Adyomal had two sons, Mr. Choithram and Mr. Sakharmal.
Descendants of Mr. Sakharmal: Jagtianis of Hyderabad and Ajwanis of Kherpur.
Mr. Choithram had two sons: Mr. Sabalmal or Sabaldas and Mr. Khatumal.
Mr. Khatumal had two sons: – Mr. Belomal and Mr. Bhavandas.
Descendants of Mr. Belomal: Gidwanis of Hyderabad.
Descendants of Mr. Bhavandas: – Bhavnanis.
The forefather of Jagtiani was Diwan Jagatrai. One of his sons was Diwan Ratanmal who sired Diwan Tharoomal.
Diwan Tharoomal’s son was Diwan Karanmal. The Karanmalani are named after him. Due to surname being too long, they have shortened it to Karna.
Ajwani, Bhavnani, Jagtiani, Gidwani, and Karanmalani are therefore of one Bradri.
Karna along with Gidwani and others lived at Khudabad. When the Khosa (a caste among Muslim) burnt Khudabad in 1759, Karna fled to Larkana while others escaped to Hyderabad.
Prominent amongst the Karna: Honorable Diwan Lalchand Navalrai, Advocate. He was born in the year 1870 at Larkana. While still studying for Matric (O level), that he passed in the year 1888, Diwan Lalchand got married and had a child.
Honorable Diwan Lalchand Navalrai was Member of Hind Assembly for many years.
Nukh: – Mihra.
In Multan families having the same Nukh were referred to as Malhotra.
Khatris were domiciled at Shikarpur, Larkana and Halla.
There were, in the year 1946, only three Khatri households at Larkana. One belonged to Mr. Kishinchand Tirthdas ‘Bewas’ (Pen name-Helpless) and the other two were his relatives.
Mr. Kishinchand’s grandfather Mr. Parmanand and his great grandfather Mr. Menghraj were born and brought up at Multan. Mr. Parmanand got married to the sister of Tabib (Doctor) Kotumal Tandon of Shikarpur. His in-laws persuaded him to stay and settle down in Shikarpur permanently.
There are twelve family surnames amongst the Khatris. Collectively they are called Barhi (twelve). The three important amongst these in Multan were Khanna, Malhotra and Kapur. They affixed the word Mulk (Hakam= Ruler) to their names, Viz. Mulk Radha Krishin Khanna, who in 1946 was a renowned Advocate in Multan.
Mulk Radha Krishin Khanna was the nephew of Mr. Kishinchand Tirthdas (Bewas).
Mr. Kishinchand Tirthdas’ four daughters were married to Khatris in Multan.
Mr. Kishinchad was a School Master/Teacher and also a poet. His pen name was Bewas (Helpless). He, along with Dr. Gobindram Chuharmal Dadlani ran a homeopathic clinic in Larkana.
Nukh: – Katarn – Khatar.
The Katars are Arorvanshi. They hailed from Aror (Alwar) district Rohiri. During the Arab invasion they moved to Punjab. Later some of them returned and relocated themselves near Ubwari, while the others went to Shikarpur and Sahiti.
The Katars changed the pronunciation of their surname and nukh from Khatar to Katar.
Nukh: – Manchanda.
Mr. Adyomal Sehwani, a Khatri by caste, domicile of Village Seetpur (Punjab), separated from his father and came to Sind and worked with Miya Adam Shah Kalhori. Mr. Adyomal was sent to Shikarpur on Miya Adam Shah’s errand and stayed with a wealthy businessman. The businessman approved of Mr. Adyomal and got his daughter married to him.
Mr. Adyomal had two sons, Mr. Choithram and Mr. Sakharmal.
Descendants of Mr. Sakharmal: – Jagtianis of Hyderabad and Ajwanis of Kherpur.
Mr. Choithram had two sons: – Mr. Sabalmal or Sabaldas and Mr. Khatumal.
Mr. Khatumal had two sons: – Mr. Belomal and Mr. Bhavandas.
Descendants of Mr. Belomal: – Gidwanis of Hyderabad.
Descendants of Mr. Bhavandas: – Bhavnanis.
Descendants of Mr. Belomal: – Diwan Gidumal, son of Mr. Belomal. (Gidwani).
Ajwani, Bhavnani, Jagtiani, Karanmalani and Gidwani therefore belong to one Bradri (cousins).
Diwan Gidumal had no children and considered his nephews (children of his brothers) as his own. His nephews, out of love and affection called themselves Gidwani.
Many Hindus worked for the Kalhoras and later for the Mirs. They were employed as Diwans (Ministers). The name Diwan thereafter stuck on.
In the History of Sind, Diwan Gidumal has received maximum laurels.
In the days of King Akbar, Delhi ruled over Sind through the hands of their Nawabs. After King Akbar, around the years 1754-1755 the Mogul dynasty weakened and lost the Empire to Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali of Iran.
Diwan Gidumal was Diwan of Miya Noor Mohd. Kalhora (Governor of Sind). He, Miya Noor Mohd. was required to pay a tribute to the rulers at Delhi. But when Ahmed Shah Abdali shattered the stronghold of Moguls, Miya Noor Mohd. thought he could break away and seek independence and escape from paying any tribute.
News of this conspiracy reached Ahmed Shah Abdali, who then marched with his army to Sind and set up his camp at Navsheri Firoz. With Ahmed Shah Abdali’s presence so close placed Miya Noor Mohd. into doldrums.
Diwan Gidumal seeing his Master’s plight met Ahmed Shah Abdali at Navsheri Firoz and advocated Miya Noor Mohd.’s point of view. Ahmed Shah Abdali, being pacified, retreated. Thus, major bloodshed was averted.
However, before the news of Diwan Gidumal’s success and Ahmed Shah Abdali’s retreat could reach Miya Noor Mohd., he anticipating the talks to fail, absconded to Jaisalmer and died there in the year 1755. Miya Noor Mohd’s descendants built a Dargah in a village situated in Mori District. The Dargah was named ‘Miya Ja Quba’ (Tombs of Miya).
Had Miya Noor Mohd. not fled, he would have appreciated the efforts taken by Diwan Gidumal to save his sovereignty over the territory.
After the death of Miya Noor Mohd. disputes arose as to who should be his successor. Diwan Gidumal after concurring and taking Ahmed Shah Abdali into confidence chose Miya Murad Yar Khan, son of Miya Noor Mohd. and bestowed upon him the title of ‘Ser Buland Khan’ (Head High Khan). Diwan Gidumal thus saw to it that justice prevailed.
But, Miya Murad Yar Khan could not digest the power and the authority. He spent his treasury funds lavishly. Instead of looking after his subjects, he burdened them with more taxes. Diwan Gidumal regretted having selected him. All the Ministers of Murad Yar Khan, Chieftains and the public at large revolted and as a result, Miya Murad Yar Khan was removed in the year 1757 and replaced by his brother Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro.
Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro, though wise and intelligent, lacked education. However Diwan Gidumal supported him and continued with him as his Minister.
The ruler of Kutch, ‘Rai’, had just been installed to the throne. His father, the previous Rai, had not governed well. The new Rai, in the process of correcting the economy of Kutch could ill afford to spend funds to strengthen his Army.
Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro at this stage decided to annex Kutch and Bhuj into his kingdom. He invaded Kutch twice and both sides encountered heavy casualties.
Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro then came out yet with another proposal that if ‘Rai’ gave his sister’s hand in marriage to him, he would sign a truce and peace treaty.
Diwan Gidumal was deputed and sent to Bhuj to convey Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro’s proposal to the ‘Rai’.
‘Rai’, the ruler of Kutch declined the offer at first, but then realized the fact that he lacked the strength and the army to face another battle. Rai, the ruler, then got a woman from his Bradri (cousins) married to Miya Gulam Shah Kalhoro and bought peace.
During the reign of Miya Noor Mohd. Kalhori (1759), Khudabad was the capital of Sind. The Khosa (a caste among Muslim) had attacked and burnt the city. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhori then desired to revive and reconstruct the old city of ‘Naren Kot’ (Hyderabad) and make it his Capital.
Miya Gulam Shah Kalhori desired to build a new Fort at Naren Kot, and entrusted the work to Diwan Gidumal.
Diwan Gidumal and his gang (crew), along with two boatloads of money sailed from Halla and landed at Kotri, on the bank of River Sindhu. On the other bank of Sindhu, Diwan Gidumal set up his camp. This site came to be known as ‘Gidu Jo Tando’ (village), and later called ‘Gidu Bunder’ (Pier).
Diwan Gidumal was a friend of Lala Mulraj, Governor of Multan. At Diwan Gidumal’s request Lala Mulraj deputed Miya Sheikh Mohd., an engineer, along with other technicians to Naren Kot (Hyderabad), to assist Diwan Gidumal to construct the Fort.
Diwan Gidumal constructed two forts (qila or qilo) at Naren Kot. One pako (solid) made of stones, and other katcho or katcha, made out of earthen materiel. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhori visited Hyderabad at regular intervals to inspect and supervise the progress of Pako (solid- made of stone) Qilo and stayed in the ‘Katcho (made of earthen material) Qilo’ that served as his camp.
In the year 1768, construction of Pako Qilo was completed. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhori then gifted the katcho qilo to Shah Makai’s Dargah.
There were very few inhabitants living at Hyderabad then. Miya Gulam Shah Kalhori was yet to shift his residence to Hyderabad to live in the pako qilo (New Fort) and enjoy its comforts when suddenly in the year 1771 he expired.
After the Kalhoras, the Mirs ruled over Sind. Diwan Gidumal joined them and became their confidant and also a Minister.
Hyderabad’s population gradually grew under Mir Fatehali Khan’s reign. The Saghranis (Mukhi of Hyderabad), Bhatias and Bhaibunds migrated to Hyderabad. They selected plots of land on the plateau extending from Qilo to Chhotki Bazaar.
The Amils followed and they selected their plots extending from Chhotki Bazaar to Seray Ghat. The Mirs thereafter moved in and occupied the Fort.
Diwan Gidumal accompanied the Mirs to Hyderabad. He occupied the first vacant plot available near the Qilo. Diwan Gidumal’s cousins and his bradri members built their houses next to his house. The street was named Gidwani Ghitti.
Gidwani Ghitti, Gidu Jo Tando (Gidu Bunder), Hyderabad’s Fort (Qilo) and Gidu Bunder Railway station stand tall in tribute to Diwan Gidumal.
Diwan Gidumal served his masters, first the Kalhora and then the Mirs faithfully, sincerely and diligently but the Mirs did not live up to their expectations.
It is said that, Diwan Gidumal’s daughter was very pretty and beautiful. The Mir had heard about it and desired to marry her, but first he wanted to see for himself to determine whether it was true or not.
The Mir camouflaged himself into a woman’s attire, donned a burqa (veil) and went to Diwan’s house that was guarded by Diwan Gidumal’s trusted and loyal servants who were of African origin known as Makrani. The guards recognizing the Mir informed Diwan Gidumal. Diwan Gidumal after ensuring that the camouflaged lady was indeed the Mir, told his guards that the burqa clad lady was a vagabond and ordered his guards to get rid of her. The guards pounced upon the burqa clad Mir and beat him up. The Mir had to run for his life.
After that episode Diwan Gidumal and all his cousins fell into the bad books of the Mir. Mir became difficult to reason and deal with. This compelled the Gidwanis to leave Hyderabad and seek refuge elsewhere. It is believed that the Gidwanis fled to Bhuj in Kutch that was then ruled by a Raja.
The Mir, on learning where the Gidwanis had sought refuge, asked the Raja of Kutch to return them to Sind. Raja had no choice but to oblige. The Gidwanis were forced to return to Hyderabad. On their return journey, a seven months pregnant Gidwani lady delivered her child in a boat.
Diwan Gidumal, though angered by the behavior of the Mir and the difficulties encountered during the travel, did not loose his cool. Reaching Hyderabad, he told his daughter that her beauty was responsible for the sufferings of Gidwanis. He then asked her if she was willing to convert and embrace Islam and marry the Mir?
Diwan Gidumal then told his daughter that if she did not choose to marry the Mir, he would have to kill her to end her life.
Tears dropped from Diwan’s eyes as he wept. This was the first time any one had seen Diwan Gidumal crying.
Diwan Gidumal’s daughter was a devout Hindu. She told her father that death to every human being was inevitable and immanent in life. She preferred to die by the sword of her father and seek her salvation then to submit to Mir’s desires.
Diwan Gidumal was in a dilemma. Had some one asked him for his head instead, he would have willingly given. But head of his dearest and loving daughter, that was a part of him?
Diwan Gidumal braved himself and with a heavy heart executed his beloved daughter. In the dark of the night, he carried her body to the cremation ground and performed the last rites.
When the news reached the Mir, he got into a rage and spite. He summoned Diwan Gidumal to his court. Little did the Diwan know that the death was waiting for him in the court of the Mir. He assumed it was a routine call. No sooner Diwan Gidumal entered the court, Mir’s guards surrounded and killed him.
During the Kalhora dynasty, Hindus Kings viz. Asso Sumro (Rajput), Tamachi (Yadoovanshi Rajput) and others ruled some areas around Laar but they had no contact with Miya Noor Mohd.
Under the Mir dynasty, the Amil Diwans and the Seths (Hindu traders and zamindars) did not rely entirely upon the Mirs for their safety and security.
They had made alternate arrangements. Had Diwan Gidumal got a wind of what the Mir was plotting, he would have sought help and assistance of Lala Mulraj (Governor of Multan), Raja of Jaipur and Jodhpur, Nomarya of Thane Bula Khan (Kotri), Yaam of Lass Bela and Khan of Qalat. They all would have gladly and willingly come to Diwan Gidumal’s rescue without hesitation.
The local Muslims and the Hindus had very cordial relationship amongst each other and supported one another.
One such instance was that at the beginning of Mir dynasty, Karachi was in hands of the Khans of Qalat. A Nawab was deputed by the Khans as Governor of Karachi. The Bhojwanis of Karachi were very influential and friendly with the Khans. If the Nawab acted adversely to their (Bhojwani) or Karachi’s interest, Bhojwanis made sure that he was replaced.
In the year 1792-1793, Mir Fateh Ali Khan Talper, sent fifteen thousand armed Baruchs to invade and capture Karachi. The Nawab of Karachi was ill equipped. Neither he had a large Army nor ammunition. Bhojwanis provided Nawab with their own ammunition and men (Jokhiyas and others) who were loyal to Bhojwanis, to defeat the invaders.
Twice, the Mirs had suffered defeat at the hands of Bhojwanis. Later, the Mirs extended their hand in peace and friendship to Bhojwanis. In return, Bhojwanis convinced the Khans of Qalat to hand over Karachi to the Mirs.
Soon after Diwan Gidumal’s murder, the Mir desired to convert Seth Hotchand, father of Seth Naumal Bhojwani, to Islam. Hindus protested and showed their resentment.
Seth Naumal Bhojwani, to avenge Mir’s action, invited the British to take over Sind. Seth Naumal extended full help and support in the take over. Mirs were defeated. Hindus had stuck to their guns.
Diwan Gidumal had no son of his own. Sons of his three brothers, Diwan Alimchand, Diwan Jaspatrai and Diwan Khanchand proudly identified themselves as Gidwanis.
From Diwan Alimchnd’s roots: Diwan Shokiram Navalrai Mukhtiarkar and others.
From Diwan Jaspatrai’s roots: Diwan Baharsingh son of Diwan Jagatsingh Bajisingh Jaspatrai and others.
Diwan Baharsingh Jagatsingh was born in the year 1832. While he was still five years old, he lost his father due to a snakebite. Diwan Jagatsingh left behind his son Bahar and two daughters.
Diwan Jagatsingh’s younger brother: Diwan Kansingh. Diwan Kansingh had six sons. One of them, Diwan Chandiram Gidwani was a prominent Advocate.
Diwan Kansingh’s other sons: Diwan Murjmal Sub. Judge, and Diwan Mangharam Deputy Collector.
Though Diwan Kansingh had his own children, his nephew Bahar was his favorite. He brought up Bahar like his own son and considered him as his first born.
In his childhood days Diwan Baharsingh suffered an ailment. Diwan Kansingh summoned Hakim (doctor) Diwan Pribhdas Himatsingh, who lived in Chandiramani Ghitti, to treat him.
Diwan Pribhdas’ elder brother Diwan Nanikram, was a Daftardar (Revenue Officer) with Collectors Office at Hyderabad and his younger brother Suratsingh was of the same age as Bahar. Suratsingh called his elder brother Diwan Pribhdas Dada, and accompanied him on his daily rounds to visit his patients.
Suratsingh got fascinated by Bahar and would stay back to nurse him. Bahar recovered and both became thick friends. They were lovingly called “Surat Bahar”.
Diwan Kansingh was caretaker of Mir Gulam Hussain’s estate (Jageer). His jageer was located at Farid Dero, district Mori, and at Kaak, district Tando Baghi. Diwan Baharsingh was thirty years old when Diwan Kansingh expired. Mir Gulam Hussein, thereafter, appointed Diwan Baharsingh as caretaker of Farid Dero Jageer at a salary of Rupees eighty per month.
It was due to the impeccable reputation of Diwan Kansingh that Diwan Baharsingh was selected for the post. Salary of Rupees eighty was a bonanza for him, considering the fact that ruling or going rate of salary then was only Rupees forty. Diwan Baharsingh proved his worth as he worked hard and conscientiously. He also donned attire befitting his post and position.
Diwan Baharsingh thereafter took the ‘Farid Dero Jageer’ (property) on lease from the Mir and profited from it.
Diwan Baharsingh was a pious man and contributed his bit to the charity. At the age of 45, Diwan Baharsingh’s childhood friend Diwan Suratsingh expired. Grieved at the loss of his dear friend, Diwan Baharsingh give up all the worldly comforts. He decided to renounce the world and spend remaining years of his life in solitude, but his mother forbade him, at least till she was alive. Diwan Baharsingh honored his mother’s wishes and remained by her side till her death. She died two years later.
After his mother’s death, Diwan Baharsingh left for Kashi. There he met many Sadhus and in their company he donned their attire and stayed at Mahraj Amardas’ Ashram. Little later he bought some land and constructed his own ‘Aakharo’ (Monastery). Diwan Baharsingh was follower of Guru Nanak and followed Sikh faith. He installed Aadi Granth Sahib and appointed one shewadari (one who does service to God). Every day Langhar (Community Kitchen food) was served.
Diwan Baharsingh had four sons and one daughter. Sons: Diwan Shersingh, Diwan Lalsingh, Diwan Dayasingh and Diwan Gidasingh (Gidumal) who expired at the age of 22 years.
Diwan Baharsingh’s daughter was married to Diwan Chhatomal Khubchand Advani. Their sons: Rai Sahib Diwan Dayaram, Rai Sahib Diwan Kesavdas and Mr. Tilokchand LL.B. Advocate.
Before leaving for Kashi, Diwan Baharsingh had entrusted the responsibilities of his estate to his son Diwan Shersingh and kept in regular touch with him and other children and relatives. He was versed with the happenings at home but did not return to Sind. Whenever his sons felt the need to consult him, they went to Kashi. Diwan Baharsingh’s cousin Diwan Chandiram Advocate visited him at Kashi every year.
At Kashi, Diwan Baharsingh had a thirteen-year-old helper Gangadhar working for him. In 1897, due to an epidemic Gangadhar fell sick and Diwan Baharsingh nursed him back to recovery but in the process he fell ill. Diwan Baharsingh’s brother in law (sister’s husband) Mr. Hiranand who was at that time in Kashi, tried to get him medical treatment, but Diwan Baharsingh refused and said that “The end has come and it’s time to say goodbye”. He expired at Kashi on 15th April 1897 at the age of 65.
The ‘Aakharo’ (Monastery) built by Diwan Baharsingh was located at Asi Ghat, Kashi and still functioned in the year 1946-1947. Maintenance and upkeep expenses of this Aakharo were contributed by Rai Sahib Diwan Hashmatrai Lalsingh and Mr. Chandumal, the grand sons of Diwan Baharsingh. Students of Benaras University were invited by Diwan Hashmatrai to stay at the Aakharo pending their arrangements to stay in the hostel.
Diwan Baharsingh’s dearest friend Diwan Suratsingh was a poet. He, Diwan Suratsingh, had in his compositions used the word ‘Surat’ followed by the word ‘Bahar’. The title of the composition was “Surat Bahar”, first printed in the year 1886, and reprinted again in 1935 by the grandsons of Diwan Baharsingh, Rai Sahib Diwan Hashmatrai Lalsingh.
Diwan Baharsingh Jagatsingh’s son Diwan Shersingh was timekeeper with the North Western Railways. His father Diwan Baharsingh, before leaving for Kashi, had entrusted him with responsibilities of looking after his estate and Jageer at Farid Dero. To do so, Diwan Shersingh gave up his job and became zamindar.
Diwan Shersingh’s income from the zamindari was quite substantial. He spent a good sum towards charity. One particular year he had a bad crop and wrote to his father about it. Diwan Baharsingh in reply sent him one paisa with instruction that the paisa be kept in the safe and that he keep a clean heart and be just in his dealings.
Diwan Shersingh followed his father’s advice and the next year he had bumper crop thus recovering all the losses.
Diwan Shersingh, no doubt was following his fathers’ footsteps, but was short tempered. Even on trifle matters he would loose his temper. On one of Diwan Shersingh’s visits to Kashi, his father asked him “I want some thing from you towards Daan (charity). If you give, it will make me happy”!
Diwan Shersingh being an obedient son immediately replied in affirmative. His father Diwan Baharsingh then said ‘’Donate your Kirodh (Temper) to me”. Diwan Shersingh turned blue. He was speechless, and had no words to express. But, the words of his father penetrated deep in his heart. From then on, he kept control over his temper and gradually became soft hearted and gentle. He, Diwan Shersingh expired in the year 1903 – 1904.
Diwan Shersingh’s younger brother Diwan Lalsingh Baharsingh was the head treasurer in the Treasury Dept. After Diwan Shersingh’s demise, he looked after the jageer (estate) at Farid Dero that was taken on lease jointly by Diwan Baharsingh and Khan Bahadur Raees Gulam Rasool Jitoee. Diwan Lalsingh expired on March 6th 1910.
Diwan Lalsingh had two sons: Diwan Hashmatrai and Mr. Chandumal.
Diwan Hashmatrai was born on May 16th. 1880. He studied at Sind College at Karachi and did his finals at the Ferguson College, Bombay. Diwan Hashmatrai passed his BA and first year LL.B. in 1902. He and Prof. Shewaram Pherwani, both passed out in second class.
Diwan Hashmatrai, in the year 1900, married Sadhu Hiranand’s (Sadhwani Originally Advani) daughter Shrimati Lachibai (Lachmibai).
Diwan Lalsingh desired that Diwan Hashmatrai should take up employment but Sadhu Hiranand and Rajarshi Diwan Dayaram Gidumal differed. After sitting idle for two years, Diwan Hashmatrai took up a job with the Treasury Dept. and became Deputy Collector. For some time at Karachi, Diwan Hashmatrai was Daftardar (Revenue Officer). Towards the retirement he was Deputy Collector of Qanber Division. In the year 1935, at the age of 55 years, he retired and took his pension. Diwan Hashmatrai was bestowed with the title of ‘Rai Sahib’.
Rai Sahib Diwan Hashmatrai, in the year 1946, was the Vice President of Hyderabad Educational Society, President of Navalrai Hiranand Industrial Academy and President of ‘Fund for the marriage of needy Amil girls’. Rai Bahadur Diwan Tarachand Shokiram was secretary of the ‘Amil Relief Fund’.
Mr. Chandumal, brother of Diwan Hashmatrai, was a zamindar.
From the same roots of Diwan Jaspatrai, were Sant Bhai Kalachand, Diwan Vasyomal Panjumal, social reformist and others.
From Diwan Khanchand’s (youngest brother of Diwan Gidumal) roots came Diwan Teckchand Hassasingh and others.
Nukh: – Wandhoja.
Lala’s are Bhatias. During the year 1946 they lived at Rohiri. Lala’s are originally from Jaisalmer and they first migrated to Delhi. With their Rajput background they reached high levels during the Mogul reign and held high posts. They were bestowed with the title of ‘Lala’.
Lala Parmanand came to Sind as Nawab of Bakhar and soon was followed by other Lalas. It is said that when famine gripped Bakhar, he ordered free distribution of Govt. grain and rations to public. Some envious persons complained to the Mir. Lala Parmanand was arrested and executed. His body was mutilated and packed in a jute bag and thrown in to the river.
The bag instead of sinking, floated towards Rohiri. It reached a spot where Sati Aastan stood (cremation ground along the riverbank where women preformed ‘Sati’ = self-immolation after their husbands demise). The bag burst open. Out came Lala Parmanand live, hail and hearty.
It is said that Lala Parmanand stood at this Aastan and proclaimed that hereafter all his descendants would perform their Munan (Tonsure – Shaving off the hair that the child is born with) at the Aastan. After proclaiming, Lala Parmanand jumped back into the river and disappeared.
From then on all the Lala children preformed their Munan at that Aastan. As a remembrance, the Lalas used to sacrifice a lamb/goat, put the remains in a jute bag and offer it to the river. However, with the change of time, the Lalas offered a jute bag stuffed with edibles instead.
History books available with the ‘Kotie Syeds’ (local Muslim tribe) of Rohiri, and Baluchistan Gazette have mention of the Lalas.
Lala Gangaram was the Prime minister of Khan of Qalat. Lala Hardaram was the ruler of Upper Sind Frontier. Lala Belaram was Ahalkar (public officer) of Shikarpur. In the year 1946, descendants of Lala Parmanand lived at Rohiri, Sakhar and Shikarpur.
Lala Parmanand’s brother was Lala Bangalmal. His descendants call themselves Banglani Lala and lived in Banglani Mahlo at Rohiri. They were Shroffs (Bankers).
The other Lalas living at Rohiri were Kanoon Goyan Lalas and lived at Kanoga Mahlo. They were mostly in the Government service, while the other Bhatias were traders.
The Lala men-folks were called ‘Raizadah’ and the women, ‘Rairanyan’.
LALWANI: – (1) – Bhai Lalchand.
Nukh: – Chachra.
From where, when and under what circumstances the Lalwanis came to Sind, is not known. However it is known that their ancestors were traders.
The Great grand father of Lalwani was Bhai Lalchand. His sons: Mr. Gurdasmal, Mr. Sahibrai, Mr. Phulchand and Mr. Panjumal.
Eldest son Bhai Gurdasmal lived a simple life. Bhai Sahibrai, the other son was a Bhagat (devotee of God). He installed a Tikano (Gurdwara). After him, his seat (gadhi) went to Bawa Paruram and others, who were Bhagat Sahibrai’s Shishah (disciples) and not his children.
The third son was Mr. Phulchand. His sons: Mr. Chandumal, Mr. Thanwarsingh and Mr. Mangharam.
Mr. Chandumal’s sons: Mr. Fatehchand and Mr. Jichandrai.
Most of the prominent amongst the Lalwanis in the year 1946 were descendants of Mr. Fatehchand and Mr. Jichandrai.
From the roots of Mr. Fatehchand was Diwan Watanmal. His son Diwan Lilaram was a Sub. Judge. Later he became a Khalsa (follower of Guru Nanak) and called himself Lilaramsingh. He was fond of writing plays and novels. He wrote ‘Mohan Tarka’, ‘Sawarjan Radha’ and a Poetry book called ‘Diwan Khaki’. His pen name was ‘Khaki’.
Diwan Lilaramsingh’s brother was Diwan Loksingh. He worked with the Engineering Dept.
The other brother of Diwan Lilaramsingh: Diwan Joharsingh. Diwan Joharsingh’s son: Diwan Dialmal Advocate.
From the roots of Diwan Jichandrai: Diwan Nirbhdas and Diwan Rewachand.
Karachi’s newspaper ‘Sind Times’ in it’s issue of July 11th 1884, stated that Diwan Rewachand Lalwani took up employment in 1839 and was a Munshi (manger) with Mir Shahdad Khan. In the year 1847 he was selected by Lt. Colonel Lambert, Asst. Canal Officer, as his Naib at a salary of Rupees Sixty. Soon he was promoted to the post of ‘Gauger’ at a salary of Rs. 100/-.
Diwan Rewachand received swift promotions and was elevated to the post of Head Munshi (manager) to the Superintendent and to the Chief, Engineering Dept. Lack of English knowledge did not deter him from advancement. He retired in 1884. Commissioner of Sind honoured him with ‘Saroopa’ (Dress of Honor).
From Diwan Chandumal Phulchand’s brother Diwan Mangharam’s roots: Diwan Khanchand Partabrai B. A. He was Principal of Navalrai Hiranand Academy.
Bhudda or Bhuddo (Toothless) Information on: – Diwan Bherumal M. Advani writes in his volume that there are/were toothless (Bhuddas) persons born amongst the Hyderabad Lalwanis and few other families and it had drawn the attention of the world.
The first toothless person in Hyderabad was Diwan Bhavandas Thadani (Nukh: – Bhagia). In Hindi ‘Bhudda’ means ‘Barha’ and in Sanskrit ‘Wardh’. They are/were born toothless, and remained so except for the last four tooth’s, on both sides, total eight i.e. Wisdom teeth. Lack of front teeth made them look old even at young age.
The Bhuddas don’t have pores in their skin. Their skin does not breathe; hence they do not perspire. Absence of perspiration made their body temperature rise and they needed to take frequent showers.
The unsolved mystery (1946) was that the children born to Bhuddas, both male and female were normal. But only some male children, alternate male children for that matter born to their daughters, were born Bhudda. If the first son was normal, the second son would be a Bhudda and so on. Children born to their sons were all normal.
Prominent amongst the Bhuddas was Mr. Daulat Advani. He took full advantage of his being toothless. He became an actor.
Gunga (Deaf) Information on: – Diwan Bherumal M. Advani writes that hereditary deafness was another ailment in one other Lalwani family. Deafness affected every alternate child.
LALWANI: – (2) – Bhai Lalchand.
Lalwani families having Lulla Nukh were scattered all over the Sind. The Lalwani’s mentioned above lived at Hallani Taluka Kandyari. The are named after their elder Bhai Lalchand and are descendents of the two sons of Bhai Lalchand i.e. Bhai Thakumal and Bhai Aildas.
In 1946, there were about ten households of Lalwanis in Hallani. They were zamindars and some were graduates and in Government service. Prominent amongst them in 1947 was Mr. Kishinchand Lilaram and Mr. Bhagwandas Motiram. Both were graduates.
‘The Source of Sindhi Surnames’ is a translation into English, by Mr. Narain Sobhraj Kimatrai from the original in Sindhi by Mr. Diwan Bherumal Mahirchand Advani