Dhillon (Punjabi: ਢਿੱਲੋਂ) (component letters are ਿ ਢ ੱ ਲ ੋ ਂ , please take note of the last letter which is a bindi ਂ thus giving the n sound),{Urdu: ڈھلوں } is a large Jat clan found mainly in the north western and central regions of greater Indian Subcontinent including Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttranchal and Delhi states of India and Punjab state of Pakistan. They are also found in migrant Indian communities across the globe in countries of Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States of America.[1]

The Dhillons are sometimes known as the "Raja Jats" (King Jats) due to the large number of kings, royalty and warriors. It is thought to be one of the oldest Jat syndicates with history dating back over four thousand years.[2]([citation needed]


Royal Origin and history

Royal Lineage

The Dhillons are the descendants of[3] King Karna, the famed royal warrior mentioned in the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata and he was also the eldest son of Queen Kunti. There was a King Karna in the Bhin-baroliya gotra too. Most Dhillons today trace their history back to Prince Dhillon,[4] the first Dhillon, the grandson of King Karna and great grandson of Queen Kunti.([citation needed]

According to the family tree of Dhillons of Amritsar, Prince Dhillon was the grandson of Mahabharat famed Karna and son of Loh Sen.[3] After Karna was killed at the Battle of Kurukshetra, his descendants first went to Rajasthan, Haryana and then to Bathinda in present-day Punjab (India).

In addition, Dhillons are linked to the royal house of the Pandavas. Yudhishtra, ruler of Hastinapur and Indraprastha, later known as Delhi. The third ruling Jat dynasty in Lastinapur, Indraprastha and Kausambi. During the reign of the fourth generation, the capital was changed to Magadh. It is also mentioned that during the reign of the fourth generation of Yudhisthra, Hastinapur was destroyed due to changes in the course of the River Ganges.

The Dhillon Dynasty founded Delhi[3] and ruled there from 800 BC to 283 BC (about 450 years). It is from the name of Dhillon that we have the word Dhilli or Delhi.[citation needed] A ruler of the Dhillon dynasty, Raja Dhilu (King Dihlu) founded Delhi and the dynasty ruled from there from 800 BC to 283 BC. According to Radhe Lal, who quotes 'Waqiate-panch Hazarsala, 800 years before Christ, 13 rulers of Dhillon gotra - ruled for about 450 years. Some of their names are:

  • Raja VirMaha (817 BC - 800 BC)
  • Mahabal or Swarupbal (800 BC - 744 BC)
  • Sarvdutt or Swarupdatt (744 BC - 708 BC)
  • Virsen (708 BC - 668 BC)
  • Singdaman or Mahipal (668BC - 624 BC)
  • Kalink or Sanghraj (624 BC - 595 BC)
  • Jitmal or Tejpal (595 BC - 515 BC)
  • Kaldahan or Kamsen (515 BC - 506 BC)
  • Shtrumardan (506 BC - 481 BC)
  • Raja Jiwan (481 BC - 455 BC)
  • Virbhujang or Hari Rao (455 BC - 424 BC)
  • Virsen II (424 BC - 389 BC)
  • Udaybhat or Adityaketu (389 BC - 372 BC)

This book[3] describes the Dhillon Jat rule from 800 BC to 350 BC.

Dhillon Jats ruled Delhi again in the 8th century. They are from among the Saroa Rajputs. In 8th century, Toors had seized the throne and power of Delhi from Dhillons and their kinsman Sanghas, Malhis, Dosanjhs and Dhindsas who were descendants of Shah Saroa. Leaving Delhi, they moved towards Rajasthan. After some time they migrated to areas of Sirsa in Haryana and Bathinda. Some of them went beyond to Ludhiana and Ferozepur. Most of the Dhillons from Ferozepur went into Majha(amritsar and gurdasur). Dhillons from Ludhiana went further into Doaba. Some of the Dhillons went as far as Gujjranwala. There are about 22 Dhillon villages in the westside of Ludhiana.

The Dhillon Sikh Dynasty and their clansmen founded the Bhangi Army (Misl), who ruled and governed in the 18th century over most of the major cities of Punjab, including Amritsar, Lahore, Multan, Chiniot, Jhang, Bhera, Rawalpindi, Hasan Abdal, Sialkot, Gujrat and large areas of central and western Punjab.[5]


Dhillon Jatts are mostly Sikhs in India, and those in Pakistan are Muslim. Sikh Dhillon Jats founded the Bhangi Army (Misl).

Among Rajputs

Dhillon is also a gotra among Saroa Khatris/Rajputs[5] who arrived in Delhi in the 8th century. They chose to join and merge with the Dhillon Jats over 1000 years ago.[3]

Secondary Dhillon Jat names

Due to the age and size of the ancient royal Dhillon clan, it has some small number of derivative secondary family names that keep Dhillon as their main surname but have minor family name before main Dhillon surname. The Sikh Dhillon Jats of the village of Kairon take on the name of the village and keep the main royal Dhillon name as their fourth name.

Geographical distribution

In India

In Punjab, the majority of Dhillons inhabited Amritsar, Ferozpur, Ludhiana. In joint Punjab, majority of Dhillons were in Amritsar Ferozpur, and Ludhiana. In the 1881 Census, Dhillons numbered at 86563 (one of the largest amongst the Jat tribes).[4]

Historical Dhillon Jats

Prominent Dhillon Jats


  1. ^ The Jat People & Dhillons in History - "Know Thy Roots" by Dr Amarjit Singh Dhillon
  2. ^ Satyarth Prakash - Swami Dayananda Saraswati. (Original Book version non-online)
  3. ^ a b c d e Satyarth Prakash - Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
  4. ^ a b History of the Jatt Clans - H.S Duleh.
  5. ^ a b History of the Jatt Clans - H.S Duleh (Translation from original Punjabi work "Jattan da Itihas" by Gurjant Singh).
  6. ^ jats chief ministers
  7. ^ Service Record for Air Vice Marshal Satinder Singh Dhillon 7980 AEM [www.bharat-rakshak.com]

See also

  • List of Jat Clans of West Punjab

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