District Overview

Chiniot has faced the periods of thousands years. And the story of the name of Chiniot that is linked with the name of the Rani Chandan is absolutely wrong. It is wrong that it was called “Chandan Vet” or “Chandaot” on behalf of Rani’s name because the Period of the Rani, who was the sister of Machi Khan, was of Temour, whereas Chiniot was existed as a city in B.C. The description about Chiniot is found in the famous book of sanskrit, “Ramine of  Bal Make” of 1923 Dharmic Society of Dehli.

On its 676 page we see some details about Chiniot, which is written as Chani Vet. We also find some details of Chiniot in the history of Al-Brunei. He has written that in Chani Vet commonly called as Ajhan, was a famous school of Hindus where a special arrangement for religious studies was made. With these details, two things become clear;The name of the town was Chani Vet and the name of the school was Ajhan. Now the point is whether the word ‘Chani Vet’ belongs to snsikrat language or to some other language. According to the research of Pandit Laxmi Narine, Ajhan was existed on the other side of the River Chenab where is now Chanab Nagar (Rabwa), and a little town Cahni Vet was on the other side, but in the shape of mound.

With the help of such details, we can say that there had been a  town with the name of Chani Vet for several years and the school was too. But later on, this town destroyed and rebuilt after a long time. In such a way, the history of this town hid under the layers of past and disappeared in the passage of past. A regular and authentic history of this city starts with the age of Maurine Family. In 326 B.C., history saved the details about a man called Chenek and who belonged to Chiniot. He was very bold and brave. He was also a very noble member of his tribe. So he succeeded to get access in the court of ‘Chander Gupt’ and this man proved as a loyal minister of Chander Gupt Moria. He got built many schools and mandirs. It was his age when Alexander made an assault and the whole area of Chiniot and Pindi Bhattian went in the custody of Greeks. Alexander himself did not reach here but his soldiers encamped here. The local leaders and the members of the family of Chander Gupt were to face the lost. But after two years, they regained their power and forced the Greeks to run away and again established their government. This government remained in power till 30 years B.C. In the same year, some Greeks who belonged to Bekrene Family had been living in the provinces of Lahore and Multan after exile, organized their martial power, attacked and took Chiniot and suburbs in their custody. This family ruled for some years but Chander Gupt Family started a war. In this war, the leader of Bekrene Family was killed and government of Chiniot transferred to Chander Gupt Family and remained ruler till 471 A.D.

In 471 A.D. a tribe, Whit Huns belonged to Portugal came here for trade, made an organized rebellion and took over different areas including Pindi Bhattian, Chiniot , Bhakkar, Layya, Jhang and Multan after beating the local leaders. This tribe killed the people and looted the local people. This tribe ruled over these regions by force till 550 A.D. In the same year, a person, Chander belonged to the family of Maharaja Bekriya Jeet provided army and a fought a battle against Europeans and got over all the cities and towns after beating them. Chander was killed in this war. A mandir was built as his memoir in Chiniot that was demolished in the period of Aurangzaib Aalam Geer and a strong castle was built in the same place.

After the death of Chander, Herman Roy ruled over Chiniot till 631 A.D. In 632 A.D., a Brahman Chuch brought about the end of the government of Herman Roy and ruled over a large area from Sindh to Kashmir. At that time, Sindh was spread upto Pindi Bhattian. After his death, his brother Chander became the ruler. He was the follower of Buddhism. During his reign, Buddhism was preached in northern Punjab. After the death of Chander, Dahir who was the son late Chuch, became the ruler and was defeated by Muhammad bin Qasim. And near about in 716 A.D. Muslims started to visit Chiniot. First Muslim ruler of Chiniot was Dawood Tai, who remained ruler only for two years and died. History could not save the names of rulers who succeeded him. The people who belonged to Ismaeeli sect preached here for their religion and gave it strength but Muhammad Ghori defeated and they were exiled. Sasani Kings ruled over till 970 A.D. then Elegstene occupied and Chiniot became a part of his state. In 976 A.D. Subuktagene became the king and he waas defeated in 980 A.D. by Raja Jai Pall. In the same year, Subuktagene with the help of Sheikh Hamid Lodhi who was the ruler of Multan, defeated Raja jai Pall .Raja Jai Pall agreed for peace on the very terms that he would handed over the region near River Chenab.( ccoding to Jhang Gazier of 1929 A.D., Tas-e-Chenab is used for Chiniot because on its both sides Kerana Bar and Sandle Bar are resent.) But after two years, the leaders of karamtia Sect destroyed this region. In 1010 A.D. Sultan Mahmoood Ghaznavi not only killed the Karamti leaders but also occupied a vast region. From 1030 A.D. to 1113 A.D. Khokher ruled over this region and built many armed-stations there. In 1175 A.D., Shahab-ud-Din Ghori defeated the Khokhers and occupied the whole region. But with the combined conspiracy between Ghakhar Tribe of Gujranwala and Khokhers, Shahab-ud-Din Ghori was assassinated and Khokhers established their government again.

In 1218 A.D. Ghulaman Family ruled over Chiniot and Pathans, Turkish and Mogul ruled overthis region. We find the witness of the stronger features of the history of Chiniot in the same period. Mogul conqueror Zaheer-ud-Din Babar described about Chiniot at many places. Before Babar, Turkish tartars were ruling here. In these Turkish, there was a man Machi Khan who was very brave and valiant. He was the ruler of Bhera and Khushab. The ruler of Chiniot got him killed and occupied the Khushab. The sister of Machi Khan whose name was Channi put on the male-dress and commanded her army towards Chiniot to revenge the bloodshed of her brother. She arrived at the bank of the River Chenab. The ruler of Chiniot was also informed about her arrival by his spies. Therefore, armed forces of both regions came face to face and a war fought, which continued for three days. Channi became the triumphant. The city was affected very badly during this battle. So, Channi ordered to build a new city, which is existed. That is why, some historians made a wrong notion that this city was built by RaniCahndan. It is clear that both Rani and Chandan are the names of Hindus and these were not the names of Tartars. The name of the sister of Machi Khan was Channi and the city was also called “vet”. So, generally, people thought it as a deformed state of the Chani Vet.

During the reign of Channi, Mogul leader attacked and went away after plundering. The second larger attack was made by Mogul in 1398 A.D. who ruined the whole region. Third attack was made by the ruler of Kabul, Sheikh Ali on the request of Shah Rukh Mirza in 1430 A.D. Sultan Shah Lodhi was ruler at that time. Sheikh Ali occupied the region from Trimo to Pindi Bhattain. In 1431 A.D., Khokher took advantage of the panic created due to Mogul and started ruling over this region. but soon they were defeated and the Langa tribe of Multan ruled over this region till 1528 A.D. But they could not stay there longer because of the attack of Mogul and Zaheer-ud-Din Babar ruled over Chiniot till 1540 A.D. Then after defeating Humayyo, Sher Shah Sori got control over Chiniot and the city mad much progress and development during this period. From Jalal-ud-Din Akbar to Bahadur Shah Zafar, Chiniot remained in direct control of the Governemnt of Delhi or seldom in the control of local leaders. In this period, the visit of Mogul Emperors Jahangeer and Shahjahan were a great blessing for the Chiniot as in the period of Jahangeer, Ilm-ud-Din Insari who was an inhabitant of Chiniot, was appointed as the Governor of Punjab and the people of Chiniot attained access to Royal Court. Then in the period of Shah Jahna, Nawab Sad Ullah Khan was in government and Chiniot became a center of wealth and status. This region was also important by politics. The family of Qazi was of importance and power and their forefathers had been appointed as “Qazi-ul-Fiqqa”(Chief Justice). This family still possesses the orders, documents and gifts of the Mogul kings and the large area of land was awarded too.

Nawab Wali Dad Khan Sial also ruled over Chiniot for some years. This ruler was veryexperienced, intelligent and courageous. He occupied on Chiniot, Rajoa, Langer, Kamalia and Maari, and in this way expanded his state. But he had to return the state of Rajoa to Syed because of the order of Mogul Emperor. He died in 1163 A.D. He had no male child. He had only one daughter who was married with Inayat Ullah Khan who was the nephew of Wali Dad Kahn. She gave birth two sons who fought each other for power and in the result, Inayat Ullah Khan himself took the control of the state in 1167 A.D. But in the same days, Ahmad Shah Abdali made an assault on Chiniot. According to Jhang gazetteer, Ahmad Shah Abdali made assault in 1778 A.D. but a pact was made and Inayat Ullah agreed to pay tax. In thesame days, Sikhs started attacks. The first attack on Chiniot was made by the families of Sardar Ganda Singh and Sardar Dasso Singh. Anoop Singh was the superintending officer of the castle. He made conspiracy with Sikh army and opened the door of the castle at the very time of attack. But the army of Inayat Ullah fought boldly and killed the Sikhs and gave shelter to those Sikhs who sought for forgiveness. In this way Sial remained the ruler of Chiniot.

Inayat Ullah Khan died in 1203 A.D. After his death, Mahmood Khan and Sahib Khan who were his sons started to fight against each other. Mahmood Khan had been appointed as the successor of his father and he was the ruler. Sahib Khan became a rebel and got attacked on Chiniot and other regions with the help of Mahaan Singh, the father of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. But Mahmood Khan faced them boldly and defeated them. Sahib Khan fled away and remained disappeared for six months. He again organized his power and got his brother killed and took the charge of the government but he was killed by his enemies after a short period of four months and Kabeer Khan became the ruler of Chiniot. Kabeer Khan married the widow of Sahib Khan and generated close relations with the two sects of Sials. He died after eleven years of supremacy and his son, ahmad Kahn who had become rebel in the life of his father, succeeded his father. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh made an assault on Chiniot in 1809 A.D. and conquered it. But Ahmad Khan made a pact with Ranjeet Singh decided to pay sixty thousands rupees per year as tax and included Chiniot in his state. But this pact broke and Ranjeet Singh again made another assault on Chiniot with the declarationthat Ahmad Kahn had tried to break the promise. But another pact was made on these terms that the son of Ahmad Khan whose name was Inayat Khan, would be in the custody of Sikhs and he would pay seventy thousands rupees per year. So ianyat Khan got a regularcommission in the army of Sikh army. Later on, the state of Chiniot went into the control of Bhangi Sikhs. In the period of Sikhs, Jana Singh, Mohan Singh and Ghulab Singh, the ruler of Kashmir were ruler. Due to inner problems of Sikhs, Bhangi Sikhs were ruling over Chiniot.

Ranjeet Singh made an assault and got victory. At that time, Mian Sultan Khoja was theadministrator of the castle and army of Chiniot. He did not open the door even after defeatbecause his master did not order him to do so. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was deeply impressed by his loyalty and he awarded him the land of Kalo Wal and Changer Wala, which was in the custody of Rehan’s befor this. That is why the Khojas of Chiniot became power both politically and worldly. In 1849 A.D., this region went into the custody of English rulers. Hamilton was appointed as the first deputy commissioner. Pindi Bhattain became a part of Gujranwala.

There were some families who accepted the English as their ruler without any hatred or prejudice but their some other families also here who participated in the movement against the government. In Chiniot, a family of Saadat Gilani and the people of Basaan Tribe remained busy in fighting against the English ruler for freedom, and confronted the pains and troubles of prison. Today too, people recalls the valour and bravery of Basaan Tribe in the local songs and pay tribute to them, particularly in villages.

Hazrat Molana Noor Ahmad Naqsh Bandi played an important role in the freedom-war of 1857 A.D. and faced the troubles and tortures of jail. In the start of twentieth century, a freedom-fighter of Chiniot, Hazrat Molana Muhammad Zakar strengthen the freedom movement and took part in every movement of freedom. The first martyr of Kashmir Freedommovement that was started by Majlis-e-Ehrar-e-Islam, was an inhabitant of Chiniot whose name was Elahi Bukhsh. He became the martyr of Kashmir Freedom movement.

Chiniot had also enjoyed the right to represent itself on district level politically. Syed Ghulam Abbas and Mian Hussain Shah, who belonged to Rajoa Sadaat, were elected as the members of federal assemblies. In 1940 A.D., when Quaid-e-Azam got the Resolution of Pakistan accepted and invited the nation, then a member of Qazi family, Qazi Ghulam Mortaza (Late) offered his services. There are many other political personalities like Hakeem Mirza Iltaf Ahmad, Muhammad Azeem Tameem and Chaudry Muhammad Ismaeel Maggoon. The role of Malik Allah Ditta and Malik Nazar Muhammad in Majlis-e-Ehrar-e-Islam, and Doctor Muhammad Ismaeel in Khaksar Tanzeem is of great worth and praise.