Kamboj


Kamboj

The Kambojs ( _hi. कम्बोज "kamboj", _ur. کمبوہ "kamboh", _pa. ਕਮ੍ਬੋਜ "kamboj") are an ethnic community of the Punjab region. They are the modern representatives of ancient Kambojas, a well known Kshatriya tribe of Iron Age India, said to have Indian as well as Iranian affinities. [See: Vedic index of names & subjects by Dr. Arthur Anthony Macdonnel, Dr Arthur. B Keath, I.84, p 138.] [Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p 107, Dr Ram Chandra Jain.] [The Journal of Asian Studies, 1956, p 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.).] [ Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muz̤mirāt va rujḥānāt, 1989, p 2, Munīr Aḥmad Marrī.] [ India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 49, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala.] [Afghanistan, p 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet.] [ Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, p 80, 311 etc.]

"Kamboj" is frequently used as surname in lieu of the sub-caste or the gotra name by many Kambojs of Punjab, India. Their Muslim counterparts living in Pakistan mostly use last name "Kamboh" instead of the gotra name.

Early history

The Kambojas were a people of Iron Age India, frequently mentioned in (post-Vedic) Sanskrit literature, making their first appearance in the Mahabharata and contemporary Vedanga literature (roughly from the 5th century BCE). Their Kamboja Kingdoms were likely located in regions on both sides of the Hindukush (see Kamboja Location). They apparently qualify as an Indo-Iranian people, better as Iranians, cognate to the Indo-Scythians. "It seems from some inscriptions that the Kambojas were a royal clan of the Sakas better known under the Greek name of Scyths" [Ref: La vieille route de l'Inde de Bactres à Taxila, p 271, Dr A Foucher; See entry Kamboja in online "Heritage du Sanskrit Dictionnaire, sanskrit-francais", 2008, p 101, Gerard Huet, which defines Kamboja as: "clan royal [kṣatriya] Kamboja des Śakās". See Link: [http://sanskrit.inria.fr/Dico.pdf] ; See also Serge Thion: On Some Cambodian Words, Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletter (NEWSLETTER is edited by Scott Bamber and published in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies; printed at Central Printery; the masthead is by Susan Wigham of Graphic Design (all of The Australian National University); Cf: Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute - India; cf: Notes on Indo-Scythian chronology, Journal of Indian History, xii, 21; Corpus Inscrioptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part I, pp xxxvi, 36, Dr. S. Konow; Cf: History of Indian Administration, p 94, Dr B. N. Puri.] .

Together with the Indo-Scythian invasion of India during the pre-Kushana period, Kambojas appear to have migrated to Bengal, Sri Lanka and Cambodia in the period spanning the 2nd century BCE and the 5th century CE. Their descendants held various principalities in Medieval India, the one in north-west Bengal being seized, around middle of tenth century CE, from the Palas in Bengal.

'Taarikh Aale Kambojia' (meaning "The history of Kamboj nation") is a wonderful, informative Urdu book written in this context. The book is based on more than 20 years of research by late 'Chaudhry Allah Ditta Kamboh Majithia' (1921-2002), a Muslim Kamboh who migrated from Amritsar (India) to Lahore (Pakistan) during Indo-Pak partition in 1947. It is available at most Libraries in Lahore, including the Punjab Public Library.

Muslim rule

Muslim Kambohs/Kambojs were very influential and powerful in the early days of Moghul rule. "General Shahbaz Khan Kamboh" was the most capable and trusted general of the Akbar [Islamic Thought and Movements in the Subcontinent, 711-1947, 1979, p 274, Syed Moinul Haq - Islam.] [Cf: The Sikhs, p 57, A. H. Bingley.] . "Sheikh Gadai Kamboh" was the "Sadru-s-Sadur" or "Sadar-i-Jahan" in Akbar's reign. [Muntak̲h̲abu-t-tawārīk̲h̲, p 7, Abd al-Qādir ibn Mulūk Shāh Badāʼūnī.] [Glossary of Tribes, Vol I, H. A. Rose] . Numerous other Kamboj are known to have occupied very key military and civil positions during Lodhi, Pashtun and the Moghul reign in India. "The Sayyids and the Kambohs among the Indian Muslims were specially favored for high military and civil positions during Moghul rule" [See: The composition of the Mughal nobility, The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993, p 70, Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc., Robert McHenry; See also: Concise Encyclopedia Britannica, Online.] [Some Aspects of Afghan Despotism in India, 1969, pp 23, 59, Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui.] [The Mughal Nobility Under Aurangzeb, 2002, p 21, M. Athar Ali.] [ cf: Cultural History of India, 1975, p 261, A. L. Basham.] .

Ain-i-Akbari of Abu-Al-Fazal Alami (Trans. H. Blochman) informs us that it was a matter of honor to belong to the Kamboh lineage during the reigns of Mughal emperors like Akbar and Jahangir etc [Ain-i-Akbari, Abu-al-Fazal, English Trans by H. Blochmann, Part I, p 614. ] [The Tribes and Castes of the north-western Provinces and Oudh, Vol III, p 120, William Crooke.] [REPORT ON THE REVISED LAND REVENUE SETTLEMENT OF THE MONTGOMERY DISTRICT IN ..., 1878, p 50, fn, W. E. Purser, C. A. Roe.] [Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, 1899, p 14, Sir James MacNabb Campbell, Reginald Edward Enthoven [http://books.google.com/books?vid=0Xhg370eSFhQz3ovu80XQq-&id=3L0MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=Kambus] .] .

The Kambohs held Nakodar in Jullundur [Imperial Gazetteer of India, p 180, William Wilson Hunter.] [ Punjab gazetteers, 1883, bound in 10 vols., without title-leaves, 1883, p 159, Punjab.] and Sohna in Gurgaon some centuries ago; and the tombs and mosques that they have left in Sohna show that they must have enjoyed considerable position. [ Glossary of Tribes, p 443, H. A. Rose; Panjab Castes, p 148, Denzil Ibbetson ]

Kamboj/Kamboh in Modern Times

The modern representatives of Ancient Kamboja who still call themselves Kamboj (or prikritic Kamboh, or Kamoz) or Kambhoj are estimated to be around 1.5 million and the rest of the Kamboja population, over the time, has submerged with other occupationalized castes/groups of the Indian sub-continent. Consequently, one can notice numerous of their sub-caste names over-lap with those of other communities of northern India like the Khatris, Rajputs, Jats, Brahmins, Arains etc [IMPORTANT NOTE: In this connection, the views of scholars like DR V. A. Smith and Col James Tod etc may be noted. Dr V. A Smith states that "the Kshatriya or Rajput group of castes in India is at present essentially an occupational group composed of all clans, following the Hindu rituals, who actually undertook the work of government; consequently, people of most diverse races were and are lumped together as Rajputs; and most of the great Rajput clans now in existence, INSPITE OF THEIR HOARY PEDEGREES, are either descended from foreign immigrants (i.e obviously like the Sakas, Pahlavas, Kambojas, Hunas, Kunshans etc) or from the indigenous races (like the Gonds and Bhars)". Accortding to Col James Tod also, the Rajputs were descendants of the foreign invading tribes like the Sakas, Hunas, Kushans, Gurjaras etc (the list is suggestive only and not exhaustive...eahaustive list also includes the Kambojas, Pahlavas, Yavanas etcals). At the time of James Tod, the Rock Edicts V and XIII of King Asoka (as found at Shahbazgarhi/Peshawar and Mansehra/Hazara and which refer to the Kambojas/Yonas etc as MOST PROMINENT SELF RULING PEOPLE of north-west...Dr H. C Raychaudhury, Dr D. C. Sircar etc) were not yet completely studied and published. The Shahbazgrahi Edicts of king Asoka were discovered and published in 1836 and th Mansehra Edicts were discovered/published in parts in 1839 and in 1889 AD ("See: Asoka Text and Glossary, 1982, XI, XII, Alfered C. Wooler; Ancient India, 1962, p 252 seq, Dr Vidya Dhar Mahajan; Buddhist Sites and Shrines in India: History, Art, and Architecture, 2003, p 317, D. C. Ahir")). The Shar-i-Kuna Inscription of Kandhahar/Afghanistan, which throws light on the Kambojas and the Yonas as very important intimately connected people, was discovered only in 1957 AD. Furthermore, the Mathura Lion Capital Inscription which also attests the ROYAL CLAN STATUS of the Kambojas (Kamuia in Kharoshthi) was discovered from Mathura only in 1869 AD (again after death of Col James Tod). Now James Tod's classic book "Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan" had already been published in 1829 (Vol I) and in 1832 (Vol II), hence James Tod did not discuss the Kambojas among the royal races of northern India (Col Tod has referred to the Kambojas/Cambojas only three times in his classics, and too in a very passing way). Had the above Inscriptions relating to the Kambojas been known and studied/scrutinized by Col James Tod, he must have given an important place to the Kambojas as an important ancient Rajput clan of north-west. Both Col Tod and Dr Smith had regarded the Kambojas of the Sanskrit texts as if they were some people different from the Iranian or Indo-Iranian race. Curiously enough, they regarded the Kambojas from the Mongolian race and therefore, located them in Tibet/eastern parts of Hindukush rather than in Afghanistan/Tajikstan and thought that they may have been a perso-Mongol people (Persian speaking Mongolian Tribe). Had king Asoka's Rock Edicts V and XIII at Mansehra and at Shahbazgarhi been discovered/published by the time of Col James Tod, then the Kambojas (like the Sakas etc) are sure to have found a prominent mention and a place in the list of the 'foreign invading tribes whom Col James Tod had regarded as the most probable candidates to be the ancestors of the modern Rajputs'. Unfortunately, as noted above, king Asoka's Rock Edicts V and XIII found from Mansehra and Shabazgarhi, Edict Shar-i-Kuna discovered from Kandhahar and the Mathura Lion Capital Inscription (discovered from Mathura) were discovered/published only after Col James Tod had already completed/published his classic book "Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan" on Rajputs in 1829/32. And it is also very important to note that much of the information and knowledge about the ancient Kamboja tribe became available only after the first quarter of 20th century AD when Dr B. C. Law had published his book famous research book "Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India". Dr Law has plenteously demonstrated that the Kambojs were very prominent Ksatriyas of ancient India (See: Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 1924, p 230-252, Dr B. C. Law).] .

The Kambojs, by tradition, are divided into 52 and 84 clans. 52 line is stated to be descendants of Cadet branch and 84 from the elder Branch. This is claimed as referring to the young and elder military divisions under which they had fought the Bharata War. Numerous of their clan names overlap with other Kshatriyas and the Rajput castes of the north-west India, thereby suggesting that some of the Kshatriya/Rajput clans of north-west must have descended from the Ancient Kambojas. [ For overlap of Kamboj/Kshatriya clan names, see Glossary of Tribes, II, p 444, fn. iii.]

The Kambojs/Kambohs practiced "weapon-worship" in the past but the practice is now going out of vogue. [ Jatt Tribes of Zira, p 138; Glossary of Tribes, II, p 444 ]

Diaspora

The Kamboj or Kamboh living in upper India (Greater Punjab) are identified as the modern representatives of the ancient Kambojas. They are found as Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists and the Jains. Kambojs are known as adventurous and enterprising people. Therefore, as a colonists, servicemen, politicians and businessmen, they have also spread, after the partition, into various parts of India, including a belt of Haryana from Sirsa to Hisar and Karnal to Yamunanagar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, "Ganganagar" in Rajasthan, Nainital, Dehradoon and Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh. There is also minuscule "Kambhoj" (jaina) community living since olden times near Nanded in Maharashtra, possibly the dwindling remnant of ancient Kambojas who had settled southwest India around the Christian era. (See links: [http://books.google.com/books?id=BsBEgVa804IC&pg=PA910&ots=0k-6i0b5Mn&dq=Kambhoja&sig=cjvbpQ_AE8D_1d-h0u9fvHIyziE] , [http://books.google.com/books?id=lYSd-3yL9h0C&pg=PA265&ots=aBqkEjZ6JS&dq=Kambhoja+desh+features&sig=pbU8jeev6YHSf6WV3gL-BNzfDhc] ) [This Kambhoja country of southern India as hinted at by Syed Siraj ul Hassanis, in all probability, is the colonial settlement of the migrating Kambojas, who in alliance with the Sakas, Pahlavas had entered into and spread into south-western and southern India prior to/around the beginning of Christian era.] . The community obviously seems to have mixed with the local communities over time and imbibed local cultures and languages.

The Tajiks, Siyahposh tribe (Kam/Kamoz, Katir/Kamtoz) of Nuristan, Yashkuns, Swatis, and the Yusufzais of Eastern Afghanistan and NWFP of Pakistan are said by various scholars to have descended from the ancient Kambojas. [See various refs like: Ancient Kamboja, people and the Country, 1981, Dr Kamboj, p 165, 248; Comprehensive History India, Vol II, p 118, Dr N. K. Shastri; Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Ounjab, Dr Buddha Parkash; Bharatbhumi aur unke Nivasi, Dr Jaychandra Vidyalankar, p 313-14; Political History of Ancient India, Dr Raychaudhury, 1996, p 133 etc.]

According to "Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency", the "Kambus" (Kambohs/Kambojs) are an offshoot of the "Afghan stock" [Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, 1904, p 14, Bombay (India: State); Also see: Indo Aryans: Contribution Towards the Elucidation of their Ancient and Medieval History, 1881, p 186-188, Rajendra Lal Mitra] [http://books.google.com/books?vid=0Xhg370eSFhQz3ovu80XQq-&id=3L0MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=Kambus link]

Traditions

The Kambohs are stated to be the ancient inhabitants of Persia. [Panjab Castes, Denzil Ibbetson, p 148; Glossary of Tribes, H. A. Rose, p 443; Jatt Tribes of Zira, 1992, p 137, S. S. Gill; Tarikh-i-Kambohan, p 302, Chouhdri Wahhab ud-Din] .

The Sikh Kamboj of Kapurthala & Jullundur (Punjab) claim descent from "Raja Karan" [ See refs: Glossary of Tribes & Castes by H. Rose p 443-445; Also read: "Kamboh" in Panjab Castes by Denzil Ibbetson , pp 149/150; REPORT ON THE REVISED LAND REVENUE SETTLEMENT OF THE MONTGOMERY DISTRICT IN ..., 1878, p 50, C. A. Roe and W. E. Purser; Gazetteer of the Montgomery District (Sahiwal), 1883-84, Edition 1990, p 68, Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab (Pakistan - Sahiwal District (Pakistan); The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh, 1896, p 206, William Crooke - Ethnology; Folklore of the Punjab, 1971, p 8, Sohindara Siṅgha Waṇajārā Bedī - Folklore; Bibliotheca Indica, 1949, p 388, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Asiatick Society (Calcutta, India); Punjabi Musalmans, 1991, p 89, J. M. Wikeley - Ethnology; ʻAin-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl-i-ʻAllami , 1948, p 388, Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak, Jadunath Sarkar; The Historical Background of Pakistan and Its People, 1973, p 128; An Observation: Perspective of Pakistan, 1987, p 100, Ahmed Abdulla; Punjab, the Land of Beauty, Love, and Mysticism, 1992, p 211, Syed Abdul Quddus - Punjab (India); See also: Kamboj Itihaas, p 7, 1972, H. S. Thind.] . They also have a tradition that their ancestors came from Kashmir. [Glossary of Tribes, p 443, H. A. Rose; Panjab Castes, p 148, Denzil Ibbetson; Sidhaant Kaumudi, 1966, p 22, Acharya R. R. Pandey]

Hindu Kambohs claim to be related to the Rajputs and to have come from Persia through southern Afghanistan. [The Sikh, A. H. Bingley, p 57; Encyclopedia of Sikh Religion & Culture, 1997, p 24, Dr Gobind Singh Mansukhani, Romesh Chander Dogra; Punjabi Musalmans, 1991, p 89, J. M. Wikeley - Ethnology.] The Chapter III of Gazetteer of Muzaffarnagar (UP) based on British India census reports of 1881/1891 etc note that about 1200 Muslim and Hindu Kamboj were living in Saharanpur who also claimed to be Rajputs. The Kamboj in Phillaur, District Jullundur, too claimed to be "Suryavanshi" Rajputs. [Glossary of Tribes, Vol II, p 443 fn, H. A. Rose.] The Kambohs of Bijnor claim that they came from Trans-Indus country and Mr Purser accepts this as evidently true. Many of the Bijnor Kambohs also have a tradition that they are of the same ethnic stock as the Chattris or Khatris [The Tribes and Castes of the north-western Provinces and Oudh, Vol III, p 119, William Crooke.] . "In the Census of 1891, it is reported that the Kamboh, who lived around Mathura in the United Province (Uttar Pradesh), were originally Kshatriyas" [See: Tribes of Ancient India, 1977, p 99, Dr Mamata Choudhury.] [Encyclopedia of Indian Tribes 1995, p 89, Padamashri S. S. Sashi, S. S. Shahi.] [ The authors of both "Tribes of Ancient India" as well as "The Encyclopedia of Indian Tribes" also comment that in the Manu Samhita (10.43-44) as well in Mahabharata (13.33.20-21), the Kambojas, the ancestors of modern Kambohs, along with other tribes like the Yavanas, Sakas, Dravadas and Daradas etc have also been described as Kshatriyas, but were degraded to the state of sudras because of their non-observance of sacred rites and of their disrespect to the Brahmanas (p 90).] . The Rajasthan [district Gazetteers] asserts that the Kambohs are probably related to the Khatris [ Rajasthan [district Gazetteers] , Edition 2001, p 83, by Rajasthan (India).] . The Hindu Kambohs from Karnal claim their origin from "Garh-Gajni". Their Pandits still pronounce the following couplet at the "phera" during their marriage ceremony to give information about their original home: "Garh Gajni nikaas, Lachhoti Ghaggar vaas" (Trans: Originated from the fort of Gajni, and settled down in Ghaggar region (in Haryana or Punjab)). One Gajni or Ghazni is located in Afghanistan, but based on another tradition of the Karnal Kamboj, the eminent ethnographers like H. A. Rose and several other scholars have identified this Gajni in Kambay in Saurashtra (port of Vallabhi) [Glossary of Castes, H. A. Rose, 1883, p 444; See entry at Kamboh, Punjabi Mahankosh, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha etc]

Muslim Kambohs have a tradition that they descended from ancient "Kai" dynasty of Persia, to which the emperors Kaikaus, Kaikhusro, Kaikubad, Kai-lehrashab and Darius all belonged. On the last king of the dynasty having been dethroned, and expelled from the country, he wandered about some time with his family and dependents in the neighboring countries and finally settled in Punjab [See: Glossary of Tribes and Castes of Punjab and North-west Frontier Province, Vol II, p 444, H. A. Rose.] [The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh 1906, Page 119-120 William Crooke.] [Völkerstämme am Brahmaputra und verwandtschaftliche Nachbarn, Reise-Ergebnisse und Studien – 1883, P 80, Philipp Wilhelm Adolf Bastian.] [ The Sikhs, p 57, A. H. Bingley. ] [Balocistān: siyāsī kashmakash, muzmirāt va rujhānāt 1989, p 1, Munīr Ahmad Marrī.] . [Supplementary Glossary, p 304, Sir H. M. Eliot. ] [In their writings Dr G. S. Mansukhani, R. C. Dogra, Dr J. L. Kamboj, K. S. Dardi etc. also refers to this tradition among the Muslim Kambojs claiming relationship with Royal lineage of Persia.] [ Also cf: The Indo-Aryans: Contribution Towards the Elucidation of their Ancient & Mediaeval History, 1881, p 188-89, Rajendra Lal Mitra.] [Kai = Kaiyani = Kawi. Kawi means glory (Median: Farnah, Khotanese: Pharra)..."In Avesta, the xwarenah is called 'Kawyan', that is belonging to the Kawis or Kais. The Kais or Kawis were a partially a legendary dynasty of Eastern Iranian rulers. Xwarenah can be a creative power used by the gods or it can be a religious power. But generally it embodies the concept of good fortune. As a kind of fiery radiance, it would relate to the word for Sun (Xwar) (Old Iranian: Suvar) (hwar=to shine, xwar=to grasp)". (Malandra: 1983, p 88).] [Kai or Kawi was a princely title in eastern Iran, or at least in the house of Zarathushtra's eventual patron, Vishtaspa. Zarathushtra attaches no pejorative connection to the title Kawi when it is applied to him. Zarathushtra eventually found a patron, the Kai/Kawi Vishtaspa, who not only espoused the new faith but protected it and helped propagate it by force of arms [http://users.cyberone.com.au/myers/zoroastrianism.html] ] [As the name "Vishtaspa" itself suggests, the Kai dynasty was apparently connected with the horses since Aspa in Iranian means horse. And so are the Kambojas---the Ashvakas or Aspasioi/Assakenoi of Arrian. Hence, the Kai ruler Vishtaspa might have been from the Ashvaka clan of the Kambojas]

Agriculturists

The modern Kamboj are still found living chiefly by agriculture, business and military service which were the chief professions followed by their Kamboja ancestors some 2500 years ago as powerfully attested by Arthashastra [Arthashastra(11/1/04) ] and Brihat Samhita. [Brhat Samhita(5/35) ] Numerous foreign and Indian writers have described the modern Kambojs/Kambohs as one of the finest class of agriculturists of India. [ Report on the revision of settlement of the Pánipat tahsil & Karnál parganah of the Karnál..., 1883, pp 1, 89; India and World War 1, 1978, p 218, DeWitt C. Ellinwood, S. D. Pradhan; The Transformation of Sikh Society, 1974, p 132, Ethne K. Marenco; Gazetteer of the Montgomery District (Sahiwal), 1883-84, 1990, p 67, Punjab (Pakistan); Report on the Revised Land Revenue Settlement of the Montgomery District in the Mooltan Division, p 49, C. A. Roe and W. E. Purser; Green Revolution, 1974, p 35, Business & Economics etc.] British colonial writers such as H. A. Rose and Denzil Charles J. Ibbetson note the Kamboj and Ahir agriculturists as the first rank husbandmen. [Panjab Castes, 1974, p 149, D. Ibbetson; Glossary, II, pp 6 & 442, H. A. Rose. ] They occupy exactly the same position in general farming as the Ramgarhias occupy in general industry.

The Kambojs have made great contributions in agriculture and military fields. The majority of "Krishi Pandit" awards in Rajasthan/India have been won by the Kamboj agriculturists [Origin of names of Castes and Clans, 2004,Principal Sewa Singh.] . Col Lal Singh Kamboj, a landlord from Uttar Pradesh, was the first Indian farmer to win the prestigious "Padam Shri Award" for progressive farming in 1968 from President of India.Some of the other names who have done remarkeble work for society are Sh.Hans Raj Josan Forest Minister Punjab,Col.C.D.Singh Kamboj , Sardar Hardial Singh Kamboj , Nanak Chand Kamboj, Rakesh Kamboj Ex.MLA, Banwari Lal Kamboj, Dr. Jiya Lal Kamboj, Seth Karta Ram Kamboj, Deepak Kamboj, etc etc....

Nanak Chand Kamboj is renowed for his social work done for the Kamboj Community. He is working for the community from his childhood at the age of 10. He is President of All India Kamboj Maha Sabha.

Deepak Kamboj started the powerful interactive platform - www.KambojSociety.com, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world.

According to Dr M. S. Randhawa (Ex-Vice Chancellor, Punjab University), the Kamboj farmers have no equals in industry and tenacity. [Out of Ashes, p60, Dr M. S. Randhawa.]

Physical Characteristics

Several foreign and indigenous observers have described the modern Kambojs as very industrious, stiff-necked, hardy, turbulent, skillful, provident and an enterprising race [A. H. Bingley, H. A. Rose, William Crooke etc. ] . British commentator, William Crooke, observes that "The Kambohs are a hardy independent people and do not pay much deference to the leading castes" " [ The Tribes and Castes of the north-western Provinces and Oudh, Vol III, 1896, p 119, William Crooke. ] [Cf: Babu Sambhuchandra Mukerjee remarks: "Generally, they are independent of Brahmin and Kshatriya influence, and do not pay deference to the leading castes" "(See ref: Indo-Aryans: contributions towards the elucidation of their ancient and mediæval history, 1881, p 187, Rājendralāla Mitra, Mitra).] . Some commentators have described the Kambohs/Kambojs as "ethnically more akin to the Afghans than to any of the 'meek Hindu races' of the plains of India wherein they have now settled for generations". [See: Indo Aryans: Contribution Towards the Elucidation of their Ancient and Mediaeval History, 1881, p 187, Rajendra Lal Mitra .] [See also: Tribes and Castes of North-western Province and Oudh, p 118, William Crooke.] [cf also: The Sikhs, p 57, A. H. Bingley; These Kamboj People, 1979, p 192, S Kirpal Singh Dardi; See also The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 219.]

There is a medieval era Persian proverb ("verse") current in the north-west to the effect that of the Afghans, the Kambohs (Kamboj) and the Kashmiris... all three are rogues. [.:Agar kahat ul rijal uftad, azeshan uns kamgiri:Eke Afghan, doyam Kamboh soyam badzat Kashmiri
:Ze Afghan hila bhi ayad, ze Kamboh kina bhi ayad,:Ze Kashmiri nami ayad bajuz andoho dilgiri |
: — (Roebuck’s Oriental Proverbs, Part I. p. 99).
] [However, Richard F. Burton (Arabian Nights, Vol. 10, pp. 178-219) presents this proverb in the following form::"'Agar kaht-i-mardurn uftad, az ín sih jins kam gírí;:Eki Afghán, dovvum Sindí,: "{NOTE: For "Sindí" Roebuck (Oriental Proverbs Part i. p. 99) has Kunbu (Kumboh) a Panjábi peasant and others vary the saying ad libitum.}":siyyum badjins-i-Kashmírí:Trans: "Though of men there be famine yet shun these three — Afghan, Sindi and rascally Kashmiri". [http://www.jrbooksonline.com/DOCs/PartD_pederasty.doc] . See also [FN#404] of [http://www.wollamshram.ca/1001/Vol_10/v10notes.htm] ] [ In one version of it, the three rogues stated are the Sindis, the Jats and the Kashmiris......See: Lady Burton, Arabian Nights, Vol IV, p 92; Tribes and Castes of North-western Province and Oudh, p 120, William Crooke.] Prof Blochman comments on this proverb: "This verse is very modern, for during the reigns of Akbar and Jehangir, it was certainly a distinction to belong to the Kamboh tribe" [Aina-i-Akbari, Abu-al-Fazl Ibn Mubark, 1975, p 436.] [Ain-i-Akbari, Abu-al-Fazal, English Trans by H. Blochmann, Part I, p 614.] [The Tribes and Castes of the north-western Provinces and Oudh, 1896, Vol III, p 120, William Crooke.] [Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, 1899, Vol IX, Part II, p 14 (Mussalmans and Parsis), Sir James MacNabb Campbell, Reginald Edward Enthoven .] [Cf: Report On Revised Land Ravenue Settlement of Montogomery, 1873, p 50, fn, C. A. Roe, W. E. Purser.] .

This old proverb seems to convey the historical fact that in the distant past, the Persians, the Afghans, the Kambojs/Kambohs and the Kasmiris lived more or less as neighbors and belonged to one inter-related racial group.

Against the above proverb and with reference to the Kambohs/Kambojs, other investigators and scholars like Sardar Gurdial Singh note that "during the reign of terror, it were the Kambojs/Kambohs only who were most trusted by the rich bankers for carrying their cash in the disguise of faqirs" [ Rajasthan [district Gazetteers] , 2001, p 77, Rajasthan (India).] . British ethnographer H. A. Rose also states that: "As agents to the bankers, the Kambohs are much trusted" ". [Glossaray of Tribes of Punjab and North-west Printier Province, H. A. Rose, p 444-445; Punjab Castes, Sir Denzil Charles Ibbetson, Language Deptt., Punjab, Edition 1976, p 201-202.] [ Rajasthan [district Gazetteers] , 2001, p 77, by Rajasthan (India); These Kamboj People (Historical & Cultural Study), 1979, p 345; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 358, Kirpal Singh.] The honesty and integrity of the Kamboj/Kamboh community of Punjab is proverbial. [cf also: Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 129, Dr J.L. Kamboj.]

The Kamboj integrity and honesty has also been specifically acknowledged in the "Census Report of India, 1881" by Denzil Ibbetson. [ See also: Kamboj Itihaas, 1972, p 87-88, H. S. Thind.]

The Kambojs are also proverbial in Hindustan for " 'their sagacity, sharpness of intellect and quickness of apprehension' " (perception or understanding). [See: Ref: The Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl, Vol I, p 399, translated by Blochmann and Jarrett, Read under Shahbaz Khan.] [Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part - II - P 126, Satish Chandra.] [The Maāthir-ul-umarā: Being Biographies of the Muhammādan and Hindu Officers, 1952, p 732, Shāhnavāz Khān Awrangābādī, ʻAbd al-Ḥayy ibn Shāhnavāz, Baini Prashad - History.] [ Bibliotheca Indica, 1952, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India) - Indic literature.]

The Kambojs have also been noted for their courage, tenacity and stamina for fighting. They (Kamboj) make excellent soldiers, being of very fine physique and possessing great courage.....They have always been noted for their cunning strategy, which now, being far less 'slim' than in former times, has developed into the permissible strategy of war. [The Sikhs and the Wars by Reginald Holder From Panjab: Past & Present Vol IV, Part I, 1970, S. No 7, Edited by Dr Ganda Singh. ] [Cf: "The Kamboh Sikhs are numerous in Kapurthala and they make very good soldiers, being of fine physique and very courageous" (See Ref: The Handbook of the Fighting Races of India, 1899, p 82, P. D. Banerjee).] .

Modern Kamboj are a generally tall, well-built, sharp featured, and generally very yellow ("gaura varna") race. "Pure blood Kamboj ladies are very beautiful and attractive". [History of Origin of Some Clans in India, with Special Reference to Jats, 1992, p 149, Mangal Sen Jindal; Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 359, Kirpal Singh.] Kamboj women have especially been noted for their beauty in ancient times too. ["They (Kambojas) were not only famous for their furs and skins embroidered with threads of gold, their woolen blankets, 'their wonderful horses and their beautiful women', but by the epic period, they became especially renowned as Vedic teachers and their homeland as a seat of Brahmanical learning" " (See: Hindu World, Vol I, p 520, Prof Benjamin Walker).] [See also: Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 228, Dr J. L. Kamboj; And also: Mahabharata 11.25.1-5.] [Cf also: "Kamboja was one of the sixteen countries in ancient India, noted for its beautiful women" (See: A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: With Sanskrit and English Equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali...1987, p 195, author William Edward Soothill, Lewis Hodous); (See also: A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: With Sanskrit and English Equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali, 1995, p 195, Lewis Hodous - Reference); (and also: Entry Cam Bồ Quốc ( =Kamboja) in Buddhist Dictionary of Vietnamese-English [http://www.quangduc.com/tudien/tdphathoc/tdphthienphucVA-ca.html] ).] [ cf also: "“One hundred (charming) Kamboj maidens, wearing jeweled earrings with circlets of gold upon their arms and adorned with rings and necklaces of the finest gold; one hundred elephants, snowy white, robust and broad-backed, adorned with gold and jewels, carrying their great trunks curved over their heads like plowshares, could not even begin to equal one sixteenth part of the value of one step of one circumambulation”" (See: Buddhist Sanskrit Vinaya Text, Caitya-pradaksina-gatha] [Stupa, Sacred Symbol of Enlightenment:See link: [http://www.tersar.org/stupa.html] .] In ancient references, the Kambojas have been described as a very handsome race. [ Mahabharata 7.23.43] Ancient Kamboj princes have also been noted as tall like towers, exceedingly handsome and of "gaura varna", [See: Mahabharata 8.56.113-114; Mahabharata; MBH 7.92.72-76] having faces illustrious like the full moon, [Mahabharata 8/56/111 ] lotus eyed, [Mahabharata 8/56/110-114 ] handsome like the lord-moon among the stars. [Mahabharata 1/67/31 ] Even Ramayana calls the Kambojas "ravisanibha" i.e. with faces illustrious like the Sun. [ Ramayana 1/55/2 ]

Kamboj/Kamboh vs Arain issue

W. E. Purser writes: "“The Arains of Punjab claim descent from Rai Jaj, the grandson of Lava, the founder of Lahore. Jaj was ruler of Sirsa territory and on that account was called a Rae; and his descendants became known as Rain, hence Arain [ Jalandhar Settlement Report, p 82, sqq; Cf: ˜The œtribes and castes of the north-western provinces and Oudh…, 1999 edition, p 206, William Crooke; See also: North Indian Notes and Queries, 1896, p 64, Hindu Mythology; A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of the Punjab & North-west Frontier Province, 1911, p 13, H. A. Rose.] [Lava was the elder son of Ram Chandra of the Ikshvaku lineage who was the ruler of Ayudhya. Hence the Arains claim descent from the Ikshvakus and therefore, from Suryavamsa or Solar lineage.] .......the Jalandhar Arains claim descent from Rai Bhutta, fifth in descent from Raja Karan, and were settled in Uch (in Multan)" [Op. Cit,, 1999, p 206, William Crooke; North Indian Notes and Queries, 1896, p 64, Hindu Mythology, Mythology; A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of the Punjab & North-west Frontier Province, 1911, p 15, H. A. Rose .] . The Arains of Sahiwal point out that they were Surajbansi Rajputs, originally settled around Delhi [An Observation: Perspective of Pakistan, 1987, p 100, Ahmed Abdulla - Pakistan; Punjab, the Land of Beauty, Love, and Mysticism , 1992, p 211, Syed Abdul Quddus - Punjab (India).] . Arains of Ghaggar valley are also said to have been formerly Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan [Final Report on the Revision of Settlement of the Sirsá District in the Punjáb, 1884, p 97, J. Wilson, Sir James Wilson - Sirsa (India : District); A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of the Punjab & North-west Frontier Provinces, 1911, p 13, H. A. Rose; The Historical Background of Pakistan and Its People, 1973, p 128; An Observation: Perspective of Pakistan, 1987, p 100, Ahmed Abdulla - Pakistan; Punjab, the Land of Beauty, Love, and Mysticism , 1992, p 211, Syed Abdul Quddus - Punjab (India).] . The Arains of Hissar also claim Rajput descent [Settlement Report of Hissar, 1892, P. J. Fagan; The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh, 1896, p 207, William Crooke - Ethnology.] .

W. E. Purser and J. Wilson surmise that the difference between the Arains and the Kambohs/Kambojs is probably religious i.e "the Arains are probably the Kambohs who have become Musalmans" [REVISION OF SETTLEMENT, 1883, p 98, J. WILSON; REPORT ON THE REVISED LAND REVENUE SETTLEMENT OF THE MONTGOMERY DISTRICT, 1878, p 49, C. A. Roe and W. E. Purser; Final Report on the Revision of Settlement of the Sirsá District in the Punjáb, 1884, p 98, J. Wilson, Sir James Wilson.] . Against this, Denzil Ibbetson, H. A. Roses write that this may not be true since "a considerable proportion of the Kambohs of Amritsar, Lahore, Ferozepore, Patiala, Nabha and Malerkotla were Musalmans, although Musalman Arains were also numerous in those tracts. In some villages like Bhalowal in Jalandhar, there were inhabting the Arains as well as the Kambohs---both being Musalmans. It is therefore, perhaps doubtful whether the alleged relationship between the Kambohs and the Arains has any further basis than the fact that they both came from the west and are of equal agricultural repute..." [A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of the Punjab & North-west Frontier Provinces, 1911, p 14, H. A. Rose; The Punjab Castes, 1977 Edition, p 148, Denzil Ibbetson.] .

Unfortunately, some half-baked modern scholars like Ahmed Abdulla of Pakistan and Syed Abdul Quddus of India etc have intentionally (or ignorantly) distorted Rai Jaj of Mr Purser to Rai Chajju and further have connected him erroneously to Ujjain in Malwa, rather than the Sirsa of the Arain traditions [See:Jalandhar Settlement Report, p 82, sqq. ] . Further, both these writers have also mischievously related Rai Chajju ("Rai Jaj of Mr Purser") to Raja Karan, the supposed ancestor of the Kambohs/Kambojs of Jalandhar (Punjab) [The Historical Background of Pakistan and Its People, 1973, p 128; An Observation: Perspective of Pakistan, 1987, p 100, Ahmed Abdulla - Pakistan.] [Punjab, the Land of Beauty, Love, and Mysticism, 1992, p 211, Syed Abdul Quddus - Punjab (India).] , but curiously enough, they have not furnished 'any reason or evidence to prove the relationship between Raja Karan and Rae Jaj ( or "Rai Chajju"?).

Raja Karan vs other Communities of Punjab

"Raja Karan is a highly prestigious but elusive figure in Punjab ethnology. The Kamboj tradition, as narrated by Punjab Mirasees, would certainly make the Kamboj Raja Karan identical to the Pandava/Kaurava Raja Karan of the Mahabharata, since both personages are known for their generosity and charity-giving. But Raja Karan of Mahabharata can not be same as the alleged Kamboja ancestor since the Kambojas pre-date this epic Raja Karan by many centuries.

Very curiously, besides the Kamboj/Kamboh people, many clans of the Jatts, Rajputs, Arains and other peoples of Punjab also boast of their descent from the "same Raja Karan". See Link: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Kamboj#KAMBOJ.2FKAMBOH_vs_ARAIN_ISSUE] . If this Raja Karan was indeed the ancestor of the Kamboj people as is thoughtlessly asserted and propagated in the writings of these British colonial writers or their lieutenants like Ahmed Abdulla, Syed Abdul Quddus etc in order to establish a hypothetical connection between the Kamboj and the Arains, then, an inevitable consquence of this misdemeanor must also be faced-- that is, "besides the Arains of Pakistan, many clans of the Jatts and Rajputs like the Dhillons, Gorayas, Sandas (Sandha?), Thathus/Thathas/Thathials, Naru/Narma/Narwa, Babbar, Khakh, Janjuhan (Janjua?), Kharrals, Harrals, Lakas, Langhas/Lahnghas, Bhuttas, Varyas/Barias, Barah/Warah, the Kathias of Ravi/Jhang, the Punwars, the Baghelas, the Balwanas, Pawars [Many among these clans claim direct descent from Raja Karan, while the others indirectly.] , many sections of the Rajputs from Kathiawar and the Kakezais of the Afghans etc--- all these must also be treated as a Kamboja breed". This may also make a sense since the people like Kambojs (and the Kathis and the Gujjars etc) are the oldest surviving tribal identities and rest of the people named above are simply the ("later-time") derived castes/units from the ancient classical tribes like the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, Paradas, Rishikas, Hunas, Gurjaras etc etc. The process of "occupationalization" (caste-formation) surely and slowly went on as the centuries rolled by, thus, finally emerging into a picture as we see it today.

See also Raja Karan: Raja Karan

No connection Between the Kambojs and Arains

There is no connection between the Arains and the Kamboj/Kamboh. The Kamboj have persistently denied any relation as Mr William Crook has commented. Whereas the term "Arain" is an occupational caste and is a mixture of diverse ethnic elements which occurred over the time, the term "Kamboj" represents purely a tribal name. William Crook also observes that "none of the important clan names of the Arains occur in the 52 sub-division of the Kamboh/Kamboj" [The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh, 1896, p 119, William Crooke - Ethnology.] . In the undivided Punjab, the Moslem Kamboj and Moslem Arains were coexisting as distinct groups together with other communities like the Jatts, Rajputs etc; and in the same villages, there were found both the Moslem Arains as well as the Moslem Kambohs, "hence the assertion of Mr W. E. Purser or J. Wilson that the Arains are merely the Kamboh converts to Islam loses all its argumental force". Even Denzil Ibbetson and H. A. Rose had to admit that the "supposed relationship between the Arains and the Kambohs/(Kambojs) is doubtful and it does not perhaps have any further basis than the fact that both the Kambohs as well as Arains came from the west and that both are of equal agricultural repute etc..." [A Glossary of the Tribes & Castes of the Punjab & North-west Frontier Province, 1911, p 443, H. A. Rose; Punjab Castes, 1974 Edition, p 148, Denzil Ibbetson.] . Citing several forceful arguments, independent and unbiased scholars like Principal Sewa Singh, have rejected "in toto" the hypthesis on Arain connections with the Kambojs [Origin of names of Castes and Clans, 2004, Principal Sewa Singh.] . Of the numerous castes of the Kamboj, only about twenty unimportant clan names overlap with the Arains. Thus, "Gaure, Momi, Handa are the only important clans of the Kamboj shared with the Arains" [ op cit, p 448, H. A. Rose.] . On the other hand, over sixty of Arain clans overlap with those of the Punjab Jatts, and about twenty with those of the Rajputs. Some important Arain clans overlapping with the Rajputs are "Siroha, Janjua, Chauhan, Bhatti, Bhutta (or Bhutto), Chachar, Indrai/Indhar, Joiya, Khokhar etc". Hence, like the Rajputs and the Jatts, the Arains also represent an occupational caste, rather than a single ethnic group which the Kamboj undoubtedly are, and therefore, the Arains, in all probability, are a mixture of numerous diverse ethnic elements from the ancient Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Pahlavas, Hunas, Gurjaras etc. It is notable that the title of "Mahar" is prevalent both among the Arains as well as the Gujjars [The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh, 1896, p 206, William Crooke - Ethnology.] .

List of Kamboj Gotras (clans)

For more expanded list of Kamboj clans visit: [http://punjabi.net/talk/messages/1/60697.html?1096086196]

52 Gotras: Azad, Abdal, Ajpal/Ajapal, Angiarey, Asoi, Bahujad, Bage, Ban/Bhaun/Bhawan, Barar, Batti/Bhatti, Basra, Chak, Chandi, Chandna/Chandne/Chand, Chatrath, Daberah, Dhanju, Dhot/Dhat/Dhudi, Dote, Dulai, Handa/Handey, Jaiya/Joiye/Jie, Jammu, Jaspal/Jakhpal, Jatmal, Josan/Jossan, Jaura/Jaure, Judge/Juj, Kadi or Karhi, Khere, Kosle/Kausle, Karanpal, Kaura/Kaure, Kayar/Kaiyar, Khinda/Khinde/Khande, Kirgil, Lori/Laure, Mardak, Mehrok/Mehroke/Mirok/Marok, Momi, Mutti/Moti, Nadha/Nandha/Nandhey, Nagpal, Nagri/Nagra, Nandan, Nibber/Nibher, Padhu/Pandhu, Patanroy/Patanrai, Pran, Ratanpal, Sama/Samey, Sandha/Sandhey, Sandher, Sandheyer/Sandheer, Sawan, Soi/Sohi, Shahi, Suner, Tandne/Tandna, Tarikha/Trikhe/Trikh, Thind, Tume, Turne/Turna, Vinayak, Pathan, Unmal

84 Gotras : Aglawe/Aglawey, Ambri/Ambrey, Angotre, Bagwan/Bagyan/Bagban, Bahia, Bala, Bangwaye, Bangar/Bangare, Banjahal/Bhunjal, Banur, Barham, Bargote/Barhgotey, Bassi/Basi, Bastorh, Beeharh/Beharh, Bhujang, Brahman/Behman, Chamri/Chimre, Chaupal/Chaufal, Cherta/Churta/Churawat, Chhanan/Chhiyanwe, Chhichhoti/Chhichhote(Olma)/Chhachhate/Chhachha, Chichare/Chachare, Chimne/Chimni/Chimna, Chine/Chini/China, Churiye/Chirwey/Chidey/Charway, Dange, Datane/Dotane/Datana/Dutane, Dehar/Dehal, Dehgal/Duggal, Dhare, Dheel/Dhillan, Dhehte, Dode, Doliyan, Fokni, Gadre or Gadra, Gagre/Gagra, Gande/Gandi, Gandheyor/Gandhare/Gandhi, Gaure/Gore/Rai Gore/Gori, Geelawe, Ghasitey, Gogan/Gugan, Gosiley, Gal/Gayile, Ghangra, Harse, Jade/Jarhe, Jagman, Judge Jande/Jandu, Jangle/Jangli, Jhamb/Jham, Jhand/Jhandu, Kalra/Kalre/Kalar, Kalsia/Kalsi/Kalas, Camari/Kamari/Kamare, Khokhar, Kokar/Kakar/Kakra, Kukri/Kukar, Lahre/Lehri, Lakhi, Lahndey/Landei, Late/Lata, Lahange/Lahinga/Lahinde, Lall, Machhliye/Machhle, Magu/Mage, Mahesi/Mahes, Makore/Makkar, Mall, Momsarang, Sarang, Mandey/Mande/Nanda, Melle/Meliye/Malle, Multani, Nagambr/Nigambar, Nehriye/Nehre/Ner/Naru/Nehru/Nauhriye, Nepal/Nipal/Naipal, Nuri, Pandey/Pandhey, Padhasi, Rindi, Sainik, Sandle, Sathand, Senpati/Senapati, Sapre Or Sapra/Sawre, Sarnote/Sarkude, Satte, Sauki/Soki, Soni, Suhagi/Suhage/Suage, Sunehre, Silahre/Sulahre/Sulare/Sular/Sulehre, Sulhiro, Tande, Tagal/Tugal, Taparhiye, Thathai/Thathaiya/Thathe, Thingrey/Thengrey, Topchi

Footnotes

gainda

ource of Kamboj Gotras (clans)

*The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 423-432, S Kirpal Singh ji
*Glossary of Tribes and Castes of Punajb and north-west Frontier Provinces, Vol III, p 524, H. A. Rose
*Kamboja Itihaas, 1972, pp 42-43, S H. S. Thind
*Jatt Tribes and Zira, 1992, pp 141-42, H. S. Shergill
*Vishal Kamboj, Monthly
* http://kambojsociety.com/subcastes.asp
* Deepak kamboj (MCA) G.Noida* http://orkut.com

ee also

*Kambojas
*Kamboja
*Kamma

External links

* [http://www.kambojsociety.com A website for the Kamboj community]


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