Sood Surname History
The past history of a country, nation or community has always
inspired the present generation. The deeds of bravery and valour of
the fore-fathers have always been a source of inspiration for their
coming generations. The past record acts as a lever for future
performances and fore services to be rendered to our land, our religion
and our community. In olden days, the bhats used to sing the songs of
glory of the dynasty and those songs used to electrify the youth to
fight with renewed vigour and to sacrifice their lives in the battlefield
for the defence of their motherland. It is thus a natural urge for an
individual to try to know something about the past history of his
community/dynasty. It gives him a sense of pride and prestige.
I do not suggest that one should derive only false pride or vanity
by extolling the deeds of his fore-fathers to the sky. I am fully aware
of the taunt “Pidram Sultan Bood”. Ultimately, one’s own actions
and deeds decide, what sort of man he is. But in our society, as it is
today, one’s past plays a very important part in his life. Whenever
any youth commits a wrong, he is generally told, “You should feel
ashamed of yourself. You are son of so and so and grand son of so
and so. This action does not behove a man of your family”. Indirectly
such taunts help a youth to shape himself well and to desist from
indulging in things wrong and distasteful.
Ignorance about one’s past sometimes creates awkward
situations. In the case of our community, to know the past, was very
important as many wrong stories were current about our origin. Not
knowing the facts, many members of our community used to link
themselves with Khatris, Aroras, Banias etc. Some of us being unable
to explain, what Soods actually are, used to style themselves as Gupta,
Kayshap etc. Other started writing their Sub Castes against their names
and in some cases spelt them in such a way as to show similarity with
Sub Castes of other communities.
After the first war of Indian independence in 1857, the then
Punjab Government published a book “Punjab Glossary of Tribes”
mentioning the antecedents and origin of different castes and tribes
residing in Punjab. Damaging remarks about our community were
given in the book. Probably this was due to the fact that the then
British Officers themselves did not have an intimate knowledge about
the local inhabitants. They had no personal contacts with the general
public and whatever information they got from hither and thither was
compiled. In the first Census in 1881, the same remarks were repeated.
It is needless for me to contradict these remarks. They apparently do
not apply to our community. The leading members of the community
felt agitated and thus the need for the correct past history of the
community was keenly felt.
Rai Bahadar Shri Mool Raj Dosaj did some research and came
to the conclusion that Dosajs were Rajputs. But he did not write any
detailed history and the matter did not progress further. The first
Sood Conference was held at Ludhiana in 1881. A resolution was
passed that efforts should be made to write a history of the community
and then to get these damaging remarks expunged. But somehow no
concrete steps could be taken in this direction.
In the meantime, the members of our Biradri residing in hilly
areas, faced another difficulty. Not exactly knowing about their origin
and having heard rumours, the Brahmins and Rajputs refused to allow
them to draw water from their Baories* saying that Soods were from
a very law caste. Soods filed a suit in the court of Law. Pt. Sant Ram
Shastri of Bajwara, Rajguru of Jubbal State, wrote a book “Sood
Vanshavali” and proved that Soods were Agnikul Rajputs. This was
not a complete history of the community and did not serve much
purpose. But the Soods gained their point in the court and the right to
draw water was restored to them.
In 1882, Sood Conference was held at Lahore. A Sub
* Small tanks of water in hilly areas where water is stored and then taken for
Committee, consisting of 13 members was formed to compile the
history of the community. But somehow again nothing positive could
be done in this matter. Later on also, this matter continued to be
discussed and debated at the Conferences, but without any positive
result. In 1935, L. Salamat Rai Dosaj of Tarkheri, took pains and
wrote a book “Mukammal Tarikh Soodan”. By giving quotations from
different history books, he proved that Soods were Agnikul Rajputs.
He laboured really very hard and gave convincing arguments in favour
of his conclusions, but his was not a history of the Sood dynasty in
any chronological order. Need, therefore, continued to be felt, to
have complete history of the Community.
Sood confernce was held at Chandigarh in April, 1972, under
The Presidentship of Mr. Tek Chand Sood, retired Judge of Punjab
High Court. A Sub Committee consisting of myself and Shri Shamlal
Sood of Amritsar was formed to take steps towards writing a complete
history of the community. Due to the members of the Sub Committee
being at different places, frequent meetings could not be held.
Ultimately I was asked by friends to go ahead all alone and do whatever
was possible in this direction.
It would not be inappropriate, if I mention of a personal incident
in this connection. In 1934, when I was a student of Govt. High Scool,
Kasur, District Lahore, I stood first in all the local schools, but was
denied the scholarship by Government, simply because I did not belong
to an agriculturist community, although our family had considerable
land in three villages of Tehsil Kasur. According to the Land Alienation
Act, certain castes were declared as “Agriculturists” notwithstanding
the fact, whether the members of those castes were in the profession
of agriculture or not. The other communities in spite of being land
owners and cultivating it, were still “non-agriculturists”. In all walks
of life, preferential treatment was given to agriculturists. “Rajputs”
as such were declared as “agriculturists”. I had gone through L.
Salamat Rai’s book. My mind naturally revolted. When we are Rajputs
and all Rajputs are agriculturists, why Soods are not declared as
Agriculturists? The question began to weigh heavily on my mind.
The matter was discussed in the meeting of the local Sood
Baradri at Bhangala and myself and late L. Babu Ram Sood were24
asked to move in the matter and take necessary steps. We collected
material to show that Soods were Rajputs and decided to file a
declaratory suit in a court of Law against the Government. A few
eminent Lawyers at Lahore were consulted. They were convinced of
our case. But we were advised to first approach the All India Rajput
Sabha. “The case would be very strong if first they own you”, we
were told. The All India Rajput Sabha used to publish from Lahore a
monthly paper, “Rajput Gazettee” under the editorship of Sh. Sukhram
Das Chauhan. Both of us decided to see him, as he was the Vice
President of the All India Sabha also. Unfortunately, when we went
to his office, he was not there and we met the Assistant Editor. We
showed all our papers to him. He was satisfied and promised us all
help, adding in the end “because I am also a Sood”. He was none else
but Shri Pritam Ziai, who was later on Editor of daily “Vir Bharat”.
He was very happy to know of our past and said that “now after
knowing the truth I will be able to tell all these people and I am also
a Rajput and one of them”. He took all the material we had collected,
and it was published in “Rajput Gazette” in installments. Bhangala
Sood Sabha received many letters from members of our community
and other Rajputs in this connection. We were invited to attend the
meeting of the Working Committee of All India Rajput Sabha. When
we placed the whole case before the Committee, they felt convinced,
but objected to Bhangala Sood Sabha approaching them for the
purpose. “You have an All India body— Sarvdeshik Sood Sabha—
Let that body contact us”, we were ultimately told. Their stand was
correct as naturally they could not negotiate with one basic unit
ignoring the All India Association.
How a controversy started in the Sarvdeshik Sabha about this
proposal, when it was placed before them and how it fizzled out, is a
long story and I need not go into the details. Many articles appeared
in the “Sarvdeshik Sood Samachar” and “Sood Hiteshi” for and against
this proposal and ultimately the matter rested at that.
By narrating these facts, I simply mean to emphasize that the
need of a complete history of the Community was keenly felt for the
last about a century. Now it is high time, the members of the
commounity are told the truth about their origin and history.25
“Sood”— What does it mean
What is mean by the word “Sood”? This is a question very
commonly asked. So e people taunt by saying it means “Interest” or
“Beaj”. No doubt, these are the meanings of the word “Sood” in
persian language. But has the persian language any relevancy with
the name of our community?
It is a fact that while naming the children, the language of the
day and the place, plays an important part. When the language spoken
in India was Sanskrit, the names we gave to our children, were
meaningful words of that language. With the invasion of Arabs/
Persians we, in this matter, were much influenced by their contact.
We started naming our children as Salamt Rai, Hakumat Rai, Mushtaq
Rai, Gulshan Rai, Haqiqat Rai, Sultan Singh Hazari Lal, Gulzari Lal,
etc etc. all Persian words. With the influence of Englishmen, we gave
names like Karnail Singh, Major Singh, Germani Dass, even Angrez
Singh to our children. Once this practice started, we came down to
use the names of months, days etc., such as Chet Ram, Baisakhi Ram,
Jetha Nand, Sawan Singh, Maghi Ram and then Som Raj, Mangal
Das, Budh Ram, Vir Singh, Shukar Singh and so on.
In this connection, I am reminded of an incident, which
occurred, while we were at Lahore. One Arya Samajist Brahman
shifted to a new locality. One morning he was visited by a Seth and
his wife. They told him that a grand daughter had been born in their
family and they wanted to give her a name. His guidance in this respect
was sought. He was not in the habit of performing these duties, but at
the same time, he did not want to disappoint them. He decided to
oblige them. Before suggesting any name, just to know something
about their taste in this respect, he asked,
“Have you any grand children already”?26
“Yes, with God’s grace two grandsons”
“What are their names”?
“Peshawari Lal and Lahori Lal”.
The Brahman was started to know of their taste. Without
waiting for a minute he advised,
“Then why consult anyone? Name her Rawalpindi.
It is midway between the two.”
Leave aside the names of cities, as was done in this case, we
even came down to meaningless names like Chhajju Ram, Ghasita
Ram, Ruldu Ram and what not.
Muslims invaded India about 600/700 years ago. Our
community, as the history tells us, was known with this very name
‘Sood’, thousands of years ago. So the Persian word ‘Sood’ has
nothing to do with the name of our community. Originally the spoken
language in India was Sanskrit and we will have to revert to this
language to know the exact meaning of the word ‘Sood’.
The late Prof : Rulya Ram Kashyap, M.Sc. who was a scholar
of Sanskrit and had studied Vedas extensively, after great research
published a small book ‘Sood Yog’.
According to him word “‚ÍŒ” has been mentioned in Vedas at
23 places-15 places in Rig Ved, 6 places in Yajur Ved and 2 places in
Atharva Ved. It does not appear in Sam Ved. Every time it has been
used in the same sense and carries the same meaning.
* 'Sood' means one who can progress and prosper easily. Very noble person etc.27
For Fulfilling desire of all The subjects and the king, one all,
Glory doth manifest in Kings—
Protectors of the noblest beings
In crusades against evils all,
Do stand erect and never fall,
The contemplative youthful ones,
Above all ignominy, chumsBravest, those monarchs, gems too pure,
Like seed of Glory, Maha, of yoreThat Nebula Golden Divine,
In Lustrous space, eternal fineSuch princes of all of royal blood,
Agnih creates, and then doth flood,
Them, with progressive energy,
Making them Sood so blessedly.
Again Creator Primaeval,
Perceptor martial yet noble,
Eternal Lord, in human form,
To every Sood, imparts a charm.
Created gentle, speedy trained,
By That Great Architect ordained;
Have still been hit through whip or cane,
Wounded now stayest with low mane;
I do attend your wounds so deep,
As spoons for oblations which peep;
Neglect I can’t will miss worship,
I will then lose divine kinship,
Through formulae ordained by Veda,
I do soothe thee and elevate;
Just as the spoons I do improve,
So to you horse true must I prove,
Your deepest wounds too will heal up,
Muscle in same healthy grow up
Thus elevated at the base,
Will wounds heal up and then for race
Befit you soon, a Sood you make,
Your speed, we too, will then partake,
Your ailment thus I all remove.
And talents every way improve
Like injured horse, now calm and soothe,
My low comrade, you too grow Sood.
An ordinary piece of wood,
Approacheth Agnih-Lord of good;
This parteth with its minute part,
He changeth its entire heart;
Trans-forming into oblation,
Through its processes of wisdom,
And energy, That Lord Divine,
Doth make it so transparent fine;
Divideth into parts the three,
Thus setting it entire free;
That Pacifier of all gods,
Agnih supplieth all the lords;
With proper food as oblation,
Granting to all proper ration;
So ordinary human being,
Approaching Primaeval supreme,
Agnih, doth at once Sood become,
Blessed to secure Divine chum.
O peasent lad protecting wood,
Abandon rashness and be good;
Approach the learned ones at once;
Superior-most gnash, serve hence;
Making you calm, acceptable,
Will he lift, making worshipful,
Acquainted with all traits divine;
He truly worships in ways fine;30
A servant true, he, of the Lord,
Will make you Sood— a blessed bard.
You will then compose hymns divine,
And chant his psalms so blessed fine.
Of all divinity, ge-ne-sis,
Will then you note, and never miss;
Ultimate That Primaeval Being,
Agnih, you will see One Supreme.
O not ignoble speediest one;
Make us your followers, make us one
Protected by Thee, accompany,
We, always Lord brightest Agnish.
May we win wars, by help Divine;
Your policy may ensure us fine
Riches, food and blessings all,
From kingdom may we never fall.
For spread of truth, do make a Sood
Of worshipper and priest too good;
Their praise may spread aye wide and far
May they be lifted high afar.
That speedy Dadhikra we praise
Higher than earth or sky we raise;
He beareth all and doth carry,
Produceth sound, looks all-beauty;
That current electric finest;
Which causeth dawn for us choicest;
May dawns the same me make a Sood,
Beyond all evil, rapturous mood,
May be my always blissful one,
That miss I never, Divine chum.
Dadhikra plane with charming note;
Which elevates a Sood of note;
Electricians’ inventive brain
Did same prepare with a strain;
To public then they did supply;
For enjoyment and business try
Possessors of that plane were then,
Honoured as Indrash by laymen;
Approaching functions through the same,
Were applauded in happy strain.
An aeroplane raiseth status,
Of man, as Sood, then him doth bless.32
Repeated praises we do sing,
Of Dadhikra with finest wing;
May dawns one all, a Sood, me make,
That blessing their may I partake;
I do respect victorious Lord,
A’pah, Suryah, Brihaspatih,
He Himself is Angir-Agnith.
I adore Him in every mood,
And worship for eternal good,
Protector of the greatest one,
Of Vedic speech, He Lord the One,
Present in all, Primaeval, Sun,
Essence of all, He, all-Wisdom,
May kindly bless me every way,
At places all under His away.
In every form or mood that be,
May we be blessed, honoured He.
O Better-knowing All-Science;
Through Sweetest speech, finest essence,
Offered by us you do enjoy,
And conduct same to gods away.
O do improve our oblations,
O highest lift our offer-ings,
Do raise the status of Yajaman,
Making him Sood, O Lord Mahan;
Him do thou bless with riches all,
Though he be rich, let him not fall.
Enjoying breeze so charming fine,
Enraptured gets a Sood like kine;
She secure health becomes happy,
He secures strength and gets wealthy.
With milk her udder agitates,
With devotion his heart vibrates.
Just as a bull, too strong vital,
Doth create noise making hell;
So does a Sood mustering strength,
Power divine exhibit at length.
A cloud about to rain thunders,
A Sood about to help murmurs.
Appearing in the home of Lord,
Majestic looks the Soodik bard.
Thus Sood manifests Lord’s glory,
Preacheth the doctrine so hoary.34
Active protectors through worship,
Do lift highest, secure kinship;
With Sood Agnih of wondrous feat,
As friend secure Him clean and neat;
Then send Him as their messenger,
To Devas all as harbinger
Ordainers of truest wisdom,
Worshipper sends his oblation.
Those emanations from this Lord,
A’pah from Indra, eternal God;
In various forms of energy,
Area connected with all-sundry.
Essence they withdraw from objects,
Spirits attract from all subjects;
They then mature this soul-essence,
Sood into soma-crystal essence,
Then Deities progeny generate,
In heaven, birthday, celebrate;
These types of bodies issue then,
Celestial, earthly, etheric one,35
They benefit the three Lokas,
Invigorate the three Vedas.
Similarly should ladies all,
Take food too fine, and absorb all;
Then generate progeny fine,
Like moon the Sood, so blessed find;
So too should monarchs get from men
Taxes to return more to them;
But never kill, through tax, the low,
And lift higher, if Sood be low.
O glittering, purifying, one;
Delicious be for Indrah chum.
From flowers honey, bees collect,
Essence from that thou dost extract;
O make it pure, and live therein,
As well too pure, thou shine therein.
Ocean of this pure Sood essence,
Doth ensure for us luck-presence.
Progeny we then brave secure,
Riches finest we all procure.
For we have Indrah for a friend,
Whose friendship with us will not end.36
Desirous of destroying germs,
Wishing to offer oblations,
Trying to fell all enemies,
He calculates alter at ease,
With poles too high known as Soodah,
Their sits he chanting all Vedah;
Thus protection, procreation,
Throughout the world he spreads wisdom;
Speedy his process, lore so fine,
Melodious looks his beauteous rhyme.
As rain blesseth whole cre-a-tion,
So doth he serve to all ration.
Saraswati, Saryuh, Sindhuh,
Chenab, the great, in torrents too,
In waves tumultuous ye! Go on,
To protect us, e’er flow on.
Desirous of promoting all,
Ye mothers kind, permeate all,
With vital fluid, life-essence,
You bless us with omnipotence.37
Ye streams eternal, art divine,
Your water so transparent fine,
Like butter clarified or milk,
Like honey sweet, so fine as silk.
Through same you respect us and bless,
You grant us thereby all prowess,
Intuition and procreation,
Through you protected thus we live,
Mothers kind; our faults forgive,
Your connection will uplift us,
Your service will bless Soods us.
Your joints, aching, defective,
Under the Maruts corrective;
may get solace, and grow better,
Not remain diseased, get thicker.
Thus healthy with joints so plump;
Become a Sood, now you can jump;
Forces vital of nature gay,
In days or months or half months say;
Thus cure the sickly weakling ones,
And turn them into bravest sons.
With pleasure does a wooden piece
Give up its ego, splits at ease,
Into its components so fine,
To reach the highest heights divine,
Agnih, satisfier of all,
Then this oblation, lets not fall.
Thus cheapest one Vanaspatih,
Is now a Sood, too pure Havih.
So comrades, students, friends ye all,
Abandon ego, never fall;
Enjoying bliss with gods so great,
Objects of love, for Agnih, straight;
Pacifiers of creation,
Become ye Soods, never mention;
And let not pride your fall ensure,
Humility, safe, will keep you sure.
ARISE, AWAKE, O BLESSED ONES;
STOP NOT TILL YOU BE DIVINE CHUMS.
What fear-provoking in your frame,
Exists evil in name or fame;
Sight or hair, which fault betray,
Self or body, unfair port-ray;
Through Vacha and speech we same remove,
Your self immortal we improve;
The Lord of Creation will then,
Make you a Sood, His blessed son.39
May Savita Deva, His grace us grant,
His sacred psalm that may we chant;
May that Divinity above all,
Eternal who knoweth no fall,
Omniscient-True Wisdom, He,
That Sun Divine the Light Supreme.
Grant us his visions e’er in dream.
May All-pervading Loving One,
That Mother Kind, Her blessed son,
Lift up happily, easily,
And make a Sood, so blessedly.
May Mothers loving, make us pure.
Through butter pure, our strength ensure;
In preparation, so expert,
Vitamines, they not make inert.
Force divine the vital one,
Ozoned oxygen, purest chum,
Doth remove disease, evil, sin;
Breathing deep ensures intuition.
Thus purified absolute, clean
Through assistance of these, not mean
Can I remain, but rise higher,
Happily, easy, live longer.40
High I rise and Higher Still,
A Sood am I, cannot sit Still.
The Captain of that team divine,
Men offer whom praises so fine;
May He approach us here on earth,
Through conveyances which give mirth,
And are of multifarious form,
Treading the paths of Vedic charm
Attracted by our attention,
So loving made through Name-mention
He doth ennoble our worship,
Higher doth make, fit for kinship,
Of Devas all, Himself supreme,
This Yajnah too makes Suda supreme;
That invincible Agnih Lord.
Nectar in hand, enchants us Bard.41
When Ashok – the Great – embraced Budhism, after the great
battle of Kalinga, this faith gained popularity and spread not only all
over India, but practically in all the countries in the Eastern part of
the world. The rulers having adopted it, it became Raj Dharam and
people at large followed suit. There may be many reasons for this
mass change, but I need not go into this question in detail. The fact
remains that the old Vedic Religion got great set back by the spread
Perturbed by this state of affairs, Brahmin Rishis arranged a
big Yagya in Brahm Kund at the top of Abu Parbat. They offered
prayers. From the sacred fire, four figures issued forth. They were
named as Parmar, Parihar, Solanki and Chauhan. They took a vow to
fight against this mass change of faith and to re-establish the Vedic
This incident is mentioned in many history books such as Vakai-Rajasthan, History of Ancient India by R.C. Dutt, History by Chander
Berdai, Bhavish Puran etc. etc.
Col. James Tod was Agent to the Governor General in different
Indian States. He has written history of the Rajasthan region, known
as ‘Tod’s Rajasthan” or Annals and Antiques of Rajasthan”. This
book is considered to be an authority on Rajput history. On page 75,
“Agniculas.— 1st Pramara. There are four races to whom
Hindu genealogists have given Agni or the element of fire, as
progenitor. The Agniculas, are, therefore, the sons of Vulcan,
as the others are of Sol, Mercurius, and Terra.
The Agniculas are the Pramara, the Purihara, the Chalook or
Solanki and the Chohan.”42
Again at pages 76, 77, he goes on the say:—
“The Agnicoonda is still shown on the summit of Aboo, where
the four races were creatd by the Brahmins to fight the battles
of Achiles and Polytheism, against the monotheistic Budhists,
represented as the serpents or Takshacs.
The probable period of this conversion has been hinted at, but
of the dynasties issuing from the Agniculas, many of the princes
professed the Budhist or Jain faith, to periods so late as the
The Pramara, though not, as his name implies, the ‘Chief
Warrior’, was the most potent of the Agniculas. He sent forth
thirty five sachae, or branches, several of whom enjoyed
extensive sovereignties. ‘The world is Pramar’s’ is an ancient
saying denoting their extensive sway : and the No-kote
Maroosthulli signified the nine divisions into which the country,
from the Sutldge to the ocean, was partitioned amongst them.
Maheswar, Dhar, Mandoo, Oojein, Chandrabhaga, Cheetore,
Aboo Chandravati, M’how, Maidana Parmavati, Omrakote,
Bekher, Lodurva and Puttan, are the most conscious of the
capitals they conquered or founded.
Though the Pramara family never equaled in wealth the famed
Solanki princes of Anhulwara, or Shone with such luster as the
Chohan, it attained a wider range and an earlier consolidation
of dominion than either, and far excelled in all, the Purihara,
the last and least of the Agniculas, which it long held tributary.”
Finally on page 79 he says:—
“Notwithstanding the sanctity of Aboo, and the little temptation
to disturb the anchorites of Bal, ‘the Moonis, who passed their
time in devotion, whom desire never approached, who draw
support from the cow, from the roots, fruits and flowers’, yet
did the Dytes, envying their felicity, render the sacrifice impure,
and stop in transit the share of the gods.
The Brahmins dug the pit for burnt-sacrifice to the south-west43
(nyrut), but the demons raised storms which darkened the air
and filled it with clouds of sand, showering ordure, blood, bones
and flesh, with every impurity, on their rites. Their penance
was of no avail.
Again they kindled the sacred fire, and the priests, assembling
round the Agnicoonda, prayed for aid to Mahadeo.
From the fire-fountain a figure issued forth, but he had not a
warrior’s mien. The Brahmins placed him as guardian of the
gate, and thence his name, Prit’hiha-dwara.
A second issued forth and being formed in the palm (challoo)
of the hand was named Chalooka. A third appeared and was
named Pramara. He had the blessing of the Rics, and with the
others went against the demons, but they did not prevail.”
They divided the country in four regions, each one of them
being in charge of one region, and started preaching the Vedic religion.
Shankar and Kamaral Bhat used to preach and they were escorted by
these Agnikul Rajputs, as they came to be known. All the area above
Vindhyachal upto Jammu was taken over by Parmar, down from
Vindhyachal upto far South was given to Parihar. The area between
the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna upto river Beas and allotted to
Chauhan and Bangal area to Solinki.
Parmar was allotted Rig Ved, Chauhan Yajur Ved, Solinki Sam
Ved and Parihar Atharva Ved.
They fought many battles in their respective areas and
ultimately succeeded in defeating the Budhist kings and re-established
Parmar had 35 sons, Parihar 16, Solinki 8 and Chauhan 24.
The second son of Parmar was named ‘Sood’ and he was crowned as
king of Pattan. His elder brother Maharaja got Ujjain and the other
princes were given different other areas in the same region.
The descendants of this second son of Parmar came to be known
as “Soods”, after his name. With the passage of time and due to the44
various influences of language and* region, there were certain
variations also, such as, Sooda, Sodha, Sudha etc. in the same way as
with the influence of English, ‘Ram’ is spelt as ‘Rama’, ‘Krishan’ as
‘Krishna’ etc. When Soods were able to build an empire and had one
hundred small states of their own, they came to be known as
“Saugaddi” or “Sogadi”. Col. Tod elaborates this point on page 78 as
“Not one remnant of independence exists to mark the greatness
of the Pramaras : ruins are the sole records of their power. The
prince of Dhat**, in the Indian desert, is the last phantom of
royalty of the race; and the descendant of the prince who
protected Hemayoon, when driven from the throne of Timoor,
in whose capital, Omrakote, the great Akbar was born, is at the
foot of fortune’s ladder; his throne in the desert, the foot stool
of the Bulotch, on whose bounty he is dependent for support.
Among the thirty-five sachae of the Pramaras the Vihil was
eminent, the princes of which line appear to have been lords of
Chandravati, at the foot of the Aravulli.
The Rao of Bijolli, one of the sixteen superior nobles of the
Rana’s court, is a Pramara of the ancient stock of Dhar, and
perhaps its most respectable representative.
* It will be noticed that the spellings of different places, cities and towns, as
they were in use when "Tod's Rajast'han" was written are quite different from
the spellings as they are used now. There is vast difference which has come
about due to passage of time and different influences which worked in India.
** Of the Soda tribe, a grand division of the Pramars, and who held all the
desert regions in remote times. Their subdivisions, Oomra and Soomra, gave
the names to Omrakote and Oomrasomra, in which was the insular Bekhar
on the Indus: so that we do not misapply etymology, when we say in Soda we
have the Sogdi of Alexander.45
Thirty-Five Sachae of the Pramars
Soda— Sogdi of Alexander, the princes of Dha’t in the Indian
It will thus be seen that the second son of Parmar, namely Sood,
was the King of Pattan and the founder of the Sood dynesty.46
War of Succession
After the death of Raja Sood, his son Manjan Rao succeeded
to the throne. Manjan Rao was succeeded by Bachira Rao, Reejh
Rao, Anirudh and Ana Rao. Nothing significant happended during
the period and Soods ruled over Pattan undisturbed. On the death of
Ana Rao, there was a* war of succession among his sons and relatives.
Kin Rao became victorious and occupied the throne. Although
apparently the question of succession was decided, but there was great
resentment under the surface. Violence and war erupted again headed
by Kin Rakha Gandal. A fierce battle followed in which Kin Rao,
alongwith his eight brothers, was killed and Kin Rakha Gandal won
the war. With a view to celebrate this victory and his coronation,
Gandal performed a big Yajna and fixed a Shila** in Sudani Ghati,
which is three miles from Railway Station Bishnal on the border of
Kotah and Boondi. The writing on the Shila is as under:—
* This incident of war of succession is mentioned in ‘Kirpal Chiritra’ written by Kirpal
** Page 110, Waqa-i-Rajasthan, Part III.47
“Like Dharmputra, King Yudhishter Pandava, on not getting
his share of the Kingdom of his ancestors, Maharaj prayed to God. In
Samvat 3009, war was started at an auspicious time. Goodness
triumphed over evil. The vain Kin Rao was punished. By the grace
of Gauri Nandan now the great warrior Kin Rakha Gandal had got
what was his right and by the grace of the family Deity ascended the
throne of Pattan at an auspicious time. The rule of evil came to an
end. The people and the animals will enjoy. The Vedas, the Brahmins
and the ascetics will now be respected. The Soods of Chandra Kul
will gain fame. The glory of Rai Sood, Manjan Rao, Rijh Rao, Anirudh
Friday, Rohni Nakshatra, Kalosar Samvat -530"
On the death of Kin Rao and his eight sons, his remaining family
members and some other relatives left Pattan and migrated to Maru
Desh. Thus the descendants of Maharaj Sood were divided into two
groups— one led by Gandal remained at Pattan and the other left for
Maru Desh. Gandal and his sons ruled over Pattan for about 50 years.
Rajas of Yadav and Amravali attacked them and they were all defeated
and killed and thus Soods lost Pattan. Those who remained alive
migrated to the valleys of Ganga and Yamuna and settled there.
Kin Rao’s sons conquered a large territory of Marwar and began
to rule there with Amarkot as their Capital. Kin Rao’s son Jachak
Rao and grandson Tiri Rao were able to establish their hold in this
area. Rana Jagdev, son of Tiri Rao, further extended his kingdom to
the whole of Sindh and a great part of Punjab, extending from Punjab
to Karachi and from river Sutlej to Sindh, including Kashmir. He
shifted his capital from Amar Kot to Alwara. The area was divided in
different parts and given under the control of his brothers and relatives.
The trade in his regime flourished very much. He himself was very
God-fearing man and spiritually very high. He daily used to give dan
to everyone who came to him and nobody went empty-handed from
him. There is a story about his being very true to his word.
“It is said that a Bhatni named Kali came to him and asked for
one Vardan. The Raja agreed to fulfil her one desire. She in turn48
asked for the head of the Raja. He at once drew his sword and cut his
head. The Bhatni was very much terrified and said that she just wanted
to be sure that the Raja would give her what she wanted. She took the
body of the Raja to the Shiv Temple, closed all the doors from inside
and prayed there. On the third day, when the door was opened, the
Raja was alive again, but his neck was smaller than before and there
was a circle around it.”
On the face of it this may seem to be unbelievable, but this
incident has been mentioned in detail in Chajnama and the history
book written by Jam Sahib of Jam Nagar.
*After his victories, he arranged a big Yagya and in the memory
of this Yagya, he fixed a Shila. The written on the Shila is as under:—
Shri Mahadev Namai
Sood Bin Manjan Rao, Bin Bachira Rao, Bin Reejh Rao, Bin
Anirudh, Bin Anu Rao, Bin Kin Rao, Bin Jachak Rao of Agni Kul
Pramar Vansha, and Kul Man, Mahabali, Pratapi, Dani Jagdev Kesar
has preformed Yagya in Agan Sakh in Samvat 330. The Brahmins
and Sadhus have been given alms. At the time of Yagya twenty famous
kings and Monarchs are present in the Yagya Pandal. Maha Raja
* Detailed account of these conquests is given in “Chajnama”.49
Attal Pratapi paid respects to all of them. Munies and Brahmins sing
praises of Kul Chandra Pramar Soods. Victory pillar was installed.
Samvat 2271, Yudhishtri, Sunday, Posh Nakshtra
Rana Jagdev ws succeeded by Anirudh and then he was
succeeded by Harsh Rao-I.50
After the death of Harsh Rao I, his eldest son Rai Shah or Shah
Ras— as he was commonly known – succeeded him. He was a very
good administrator. He divided his kingdom in one hundred small
units and put each unit under the command of one member of the
royal family who was ultimately responsible to him. In view of the
earlier invasion of Dara in the time of his father he reinforced his
defence arrangements in the northern part of his kingdom.
It was 331 years B.C., that after defeating Puru (Poras),
Alexander advanced and reached the banks of river Beas. Rai Shah
sent his forces to defend his territory under the command of his able
general Kidar Sood. He collected Sood forces on the other side of
the river and himself camped in Ajmadha Fort. On seeing the
preparedness of Kidar Sood, the forces of Sikander were surprised
and disheartened. In their battle with Puru, they had seen that Rajputs
were very tough and after hearing the stories of the bravery of Agni
Kuls, they were completely demoralized and refused to advance and
fight. Alexander tried his best to persuade his army officers to fight.
He even said that they will be surrounded by the Indians, in case they
tried to retreat, as the Kanauj forces had also reached Sirhind, but he
did not succeed. The officers and Sepoys were adamant and wanted
to go back to their homes, as they were out of their homes and country
since a very long time. They were tired of constant fighting. Alexander
felt helpless. He then sent a message to Kidar Sood saying that he
would go back if Soods agree to admit his sovereignity, and send him
war money regularly. Kidar rejected this suggestion and replied that
Soods were themselves emperors and they cannot agree to it. “It would
be better if you return immediately otherwise I have received orders
to take the initiative”, Kidar added. Alexander was very much upset.
He again collected his officers and persuaded them to fight, but they51
flatly refused. There was a danger of open rebellion. Alexander then
sent a message that he wanted to go back to Persia via Attack and that
Sood armies should allow his forces to go undisturbed. Kidar refused
to give any undertaking and asked him to get permission from Emperor
Rai Shah. A representative was then sent to the court of Rai Shah,
who allowed Alexander to retreat. He then divided his army in two
parts and returned via Ghazni.
In his book Tabkat-e-Sikandri, the author has praised the Sood
armies and specially Kidar Sood very much.
Among other things he writes:—
“*The ruling dynasties of India are discendents of Surya Vansh
and Chander Vansh, but these Soods are said to have been born
out of fire. Every day in their temples, Ghee, fruits etc. are
burnt** in fire. Soods are very true to their word. Having
once allowed my armies to return, they raised no obstacles in
my way, but helped the army with rations etc. The officers and
men of my army are all praise for Soods.”
Rai Shah had no son and on his death, his nephew Ana Rao
succeeded the throne.
* The details of this incident are given in “Chajnama”, “Tabkat-e-Sikandri”, “Tarikae-Ahmadia” and “History by Alfinstan”.
** He obviously refers to “Havan” being performed daily.52
The first Arab invasion
After the death of Alexander, his successor in the area of
Northern India, which he had run over, again attacked, but Ana Rao,
who was at that time on the throne of Alwara, defeated him. When
Ana Rao died, his son Mangal Rao Sood was crowned as King of
Alwara. Some *Iranias, had settled in India on the bank of river
Jehlum. Mangal Rao Sood thought them to be a danger to the security
of his kingdom. He attacked and defeated them.
Khalifa Waleed then invaded Iddia, bnt was given a tough fight
by the Soods. In the meantime, there was Khilafat dispute in his own
country and he retreated.
Soods reigned unintrupted for some time and extended their
area of influence. When Maharaj Dewaich succeeded the throne, the
territory of Alwara Kingdom was upto Kashmir, Kandhar and Sistan
on one side and upto Yamuna on the other. In the east, it was upto
Kanauj and in the west upto Arabian Sea.
After the death of Dewaich, his son Dahar was crowned as
Emperor of Alwara. Sood empire, in his time, had expanded very
much. With a view to administer his empire properly, he distributed
the whole area in one hundred small states, headed by a member of
the royal family just like Rai Shah.
Having extended his kingdom upto Karachi in Arabian Sea,
he started trade with Basra, Istambole, Greece etc. Indian sailors,
duly escorted by Sood forces, used to take merchandise to the various
countries. There was one difficulty. The Hindu sailors and their
escort used to rush back after unloading the cargo, as they would
not eat or drink anything there – the population of those areas being
Muslim. They did not bring anything in return from other countries.
Dahar realized the difficulty. In the meantime, a Muslim named53
Ilaifi* came to him and narrated his tale of woe. The Governor of
Basra had murdered all his family and he had escaped from there.
He prayed for shelter. Dahar allowed him to stay in this territory
and employed him. He was put incharge of sailors. He recruited
more Muslim Sailors. The new fleet with these Muslim Sailors used
to carry goods to other countries and bring their products in
exchange. Thus the trade with countries overseas developed very
Dahar patronized Ilaifi very much, but he turned out to be a
traitor. He hatched a conspiracy with heads of Budhist Devals and
Lohana Jats and organized a rebellion against the Sood Emperor. Soods
were isolated and all the population stood up against them. A great
bloodshed followed. Sood as a class were the targets of attack
everywhere. The country remained in turmoil and taken by strife for
many days. Vashishat Brahmins were Raj Gurus of Sood. They
performed yajnas and organized prayers in temples for the victory of
Sood. The great Bengali historian Mr. R.C. Dutt writes on page 16 of
his book “History of Ancient India”. The Vashishats prayed as under:—
* The Ilaifi episode has been given in many history books, such as History by Prof :
Zaka Ahmed; “Middle Age of Rajputs” by Lokmanya Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak etc.,
but minutest details are given in ‘Chaj Nama’.54
“O Indra! God of Rains, we worship you. Perish with your
bow all those who are enemies of Soods and protect all the brave
Soods with your strength. The atheists raise their voice. All are against
us. O Indra! Help us and command that the brave Soods of Rigvedas
O Indra! God of rains this world has to perish. Cries of war
penetrate the skies. Our enemies confront us. O God! listen to our
prayer, come close to us. Save Vedas and the Soods.”
Ultimately the rebellion was crushed. All heads of Lohana
Jats were killed. Budhists were converted to Hinduism and all their
Devals (Maths) were taken over. Only from one Math at Jarah, near
Attock, gold coins worth six crores and diamonds and bricks of silver
and gold worth many crores, were taken in possession by the Sood
armies. Following restrictions were imposed on Lohana Jats :—
1. No Member of their community could ride a horse.
2. No one was allowed to have a turban on his head.
3. If he meets a Sood on the way, he should kneel down, put
off his cap and should fold his hands in salutation.
4. Lohans should provide firewood in the house of every
Sood, etc. etc.
Rai Mehta – uncle of Dahar – who was ruler of Babia State,
asked Dahar to get rid of Ilaifi, as he was the root cause of all trouble,
but the did not listen to his advice.
Although the rebellion was crushed, but there was
dissatisfaction all round. Ilaifi again became active. He invited Mohd
Bin Qasim to invade India.
Qasim attacked Wahail (Karachi). Soods forces were taken
unawares. After taking Forts of Wahail and Siania, Qasim attacked
Babia – where Rai Mehta, uncle of Dahar was the ruler. Dahar’s
force could not come to his aid in time and he had to leave Babia. He
went to Dahar and apprised him of the situation, explaining that Ilaifi
was the cause of whole trouble. Dahar summoned Ilaifi, who showed
his ignorance. Rai Metha asked him to come and fight the forces of55
Qasim. He hesitated and Rai Mehta was about to attack him, when
Dahar intervened. Rai Mehta got annoyed and left Alwara. He went
to the Shah of Kanauj, who was his relative. Dahar’s forces left Alwara
to check the forces of Qasim, who was heading towards Brahminabad
Fort. On hearing the news that Dahar alongwith his army has left for
Brahminabad, Qasim with a part of his army attacked Alwara. Sood
Rani, with the available forces, gave him a tough fight but later on
made a retreat in the Alwara Fort. Qasim came to know that there
were ladies in the fort with only 500 Rajputs to protect them. He
attacked the fort, but could not succeed. He then started digging a
tunnel to reach the fort.
Rani sent a message for truce, which was accepted by Qasim.
The gate of the fort was opened to allow Qasim’s representatives to
negotiate settlement. But Qasim’s whole army entered the fort and
started mass killing. The Rani committed Saka but two daughters of
Dahar were arrested. After taking possession of the fort, Qasim left
for Brahminabad. A servere battle was fought there for three days.
On the fourth day, Qasim’s army was about to run from the battlefield,
when Dahar’s elephant, Daljit, on which he was riding, became
uncontrollable and began to run towards a lake. Sood armies thought
that Dahar had run away, they became demoralized and surrendered.
The elephant entered the lake. One Arab soldier attacked Dahar and
killed him. Rana Mokha along with Ilaifi came to Qasim and he was
the first Sood, who was converted to Islam. Qasim declared himself
as emperor of Alwara. Lohana Jats and Budhists did not help their
ruler in the fight but help in all respect was given to the invader.
It will be seen that the two main causes, which led to defeat of
(a) Rajputs were generally very large hearted and open
minded. They thought others to be as sincere as they
themselves were. They would even believe their foes.
Dahar’s faith in Ilafi is an example of this simple
(b) Elephants were the other weakness. Porus lost to Sikandar56
due to his elephants. Prithvi Raj, Rana Sanga also lost
due to the elephants. The soldiers generally looked
towards the king in the battle field and when his elephant
ran away, the soldiers, although winning, used to run away
from the battlefield. It was the elephant who turned
Dahar’s victory into defeat.
Qasim took both the daughters of Dahar to the Khalifa and
presented them to him to be kept in his Harem, alongwith other
valuables, he had looted from India. The Khalifa treated them well
and sent them to his palace.
After some days, when he wanted to marry them, they told him
that they not being pure, were not fit to be his Begums, because Qasim
had already outraged their modesty before presenting them to the
Khalifa. He was red with rage and ordered that Qasim should be
killed at once and his dead body should be brought to the Darbar.
Next day in the open Darbar, the dead body of Qasim was
brought before the Khalifa. Both the sisters laughed heartily and said
that they had just told a lie to take revenge, otherwise Qasim had not
even touched them. So saying they killed each other with their swords
and saved their honour.
The author of ‘Chajnama’ has mentioned the names of all the
101 Sud Rajas who were ruling in different States under emperor
Maharaj Dahar Emperor of Alwara
1. Rana Rai Mehta Raja of Babia
2. " Chitra " Bhamian
3. " Bachita " Sistan
4. " Kaula " Seesagar
5. " Dhewal " Dumela
6. " Cheera s/o Ala Singh " Behrur
7. " Bajar s/o Sunder " Keeka Kotal
8. " Phag Singh " Alkananda
9. " Tek Kaka " Pholra
10. " Tal s/o Mohinder " Kohelo57
11. " Nal s/o Mohinder " Sanchra
12. " Tej Singh " Hisar
13. " Beri Lal " Biswa
14. " Brahm Singh " Alwar
15. " Dhir Singh " Kalar
16. " Dhanda " Karman
17. " Dhupkal " Imli
18. " Beeram Singh " Kusha
20. " Dheeraj Singh " Moda
21. " Dhal Singh " Aroda
22. " Adh Ram " Lokaram
23. " Makar Singh " Sewal
24. " Pasar s/o Deva " Sugra
25. " Maujh " Saran
27. " Man Singh " Saru
28. " Unher " Sanchal
29. " Dhaunchkar " Bheran
30. " Loka Rai " Sohaban
31. " Sanwal Singh " Jagra
32. " Rai paul " Devra
33. " Chanda Bahan " Sogra
34. " Rai Parshadan " Kokan
35. " Dhoich " Khamba
36. " Gopal " Dharan
37. " Vilodhan " Amana
38. " Uharan " Brahmpura
39. " Duli Rai " Varam
40. " Gaj Rai " Kohania
41. " Abhey Singh " Hauso
42. " Rai Tiranji " Arodal
43. " Ikhat Rai " Arora
44. " Dadan " Jamer
45. " Mukand Rai " Basar
46. " Gobinda Rai " Mani58
47. " Lehnar Singh " Komal
48. " Nandan Rai " Dadahi
49. " Gaja Singh " Sarain
50. " Rai Chand " Nismal
51. " Bahu Kalya " Sarmada
52. " Rok Mal " Barkota
53. " Sawahan " Shajrala
54. " Budhi Rai " Dwar
55. " Rai Khorpa " Iskana
56. " Borey Rai " Narsingh
57. " Nahar Rai " Multan
58. " Jaidpal " Saharan
59. " Sahidal " Biyaha
60. " Behrur " Yalwarai
61. " Rishi Sagar " Mumtani
62. " Saran " Neeru
63. " Dhil Rani " Urjan
64. " Dev Raj " Basket
65. " Bhoney Rai " Nahal
66. " Kaka Kamal " Sujana
67. " Rai Sel " Udhama
68. " Kolarai " Ratman
69. " Sagar Singh " Aihyan
70. " Rai Saharan " Deepal
71. " Jag Arth " Kirlos
72. " Mahisa " Janjot
73. " Sheersa " Maha Ban
74. " Ujal Singh " Bhakkar
75. " Acharya " Sirsam
76. " Pharsi " Mailsi
77. " Rai s/o Sankli " Pattan
78. " Gondhar " Pak Pattan
79. " Nabh " Alop
80. " Makar Singh " Deep59
81. " Dwichka " Channu
82. " Rai Udhar " Lakhi
83. " Balajan s/o Anirudh " Tal Amb
84. " Umra " Malhar
85. " Gaj Singh s/o Sunder " Chanyot
86. " Bhim s/o Sundar " Larkana
87. " Rora Rai " Samli
88. " Inder Rai " Ujand
89. " Rai Swarup " Samar Satta
90. " Bhooray Rai " Tong
91. " Har Mukh " Sadar
92. " Saroria " Biswandni
93. " Balaicha " Talmir
94. " Mankit " Thal
95. " Ransiya " Ket Wari
96. " Sanchor " Pharsoo
97. " Bada " Agar
98. " Surya " Lokoi
99. " Bhidar s/o Ram " Gordha
100. " Khoorya " Chak Ana
101. " Tikka " Garur
These names of the Rajas may sound very queer, strange and
meaningless these days. But as I have said already, in those days the
names used to be in Sanskrit or other local languages, which may be
spoken at that time. As they are now not common, they seem to be
The names of the States or their capitals also seem unheard of.
Due to the passage of time, the old cities must have been perished,
looted by the enemies or even abandoned by the rulers, when attacked
by the enemy and it would be very difficult now to locate them, but
some of them such as Hissar, Alwar, Urja, Multan, Mailsi, Pak Pattan,
Larkana etc. are still thickly populated cities in India/Pakistan.60
On Dahar’s death and fall of Alwara, Jai Singh, the eldest son
of Dahar, tried to reorganize the forces. Their number was now very
small, they were unable to give an open fight to Qasim’s army. They,
therefore, started guerilla war in jungals and in the mountainous
regions. This went on for a few years. Due to this fight with the
foreign invader and specially due to the fact that a section of the local
population also sided with the invader, the Sood army suffered heavy
Muslims started forced conversions to Islam and the Hindu
population, Jats, Budhists etc., who had helped them against Dahar,
soon realized their mistake. Terribly shaken by the brutal use of force,
they then started helping the Soods secretly. The Muslims, who had
settled in India, were also upset by the sudden attacks, loot and plunder
of Sood guerilla forces. These circumstances helped Soods, and they
were able to re-establish their hold on the area on the other side of
Attock river and the southern parts of Sindhu. They concentrated
there and declared Amar Kot again as their capital.
After the death of Jai Singh, Rana Kumbha, Jaitak Rai, Nahar
Singh, Lakhan Singh and Samicha Rao ruled over Amarkot. Then
Rana Hameer succeeded to the throne. He extended his empire upto
Udepur, on the one side and upto Chittor on the other. He founded a
new city known as Sudalpur.
He came to be known as ‘Sodha’ (coming from a high family).
To celebrate his victories, he performed a yajna and got fixed a Shila.
The inscription on the Shila is as follows:—
In Samvat 1143 Bikrami, this day is an auspicious time of an
auspicious year when the great victorious Rai Maharana Hamir has
ascended the throne. And shines like a moon among sixteen other
kings like stars in the sky. Sitting on the throne, laden with jewels, he
looks like Lord Krishna. Even Indra does not command as much
respect in Indrapuri as has been acquired by Sodha Maharaja by raising
the status and respect of his forefathers. All the learned people sang
praises, the Brahmins and Munies showered their blessings. He
distributed charity amongst the poor and Jagirs were awarded to the
Samvat 1143 Vikramaditya, Puran Amavasya, Rohni Nakshatra
Loss of Amarkot
Rana Hamer was succeeded by Rana Urshi, Sikadal Singh,
Indrawal, Beri Dal, Jag Dal, Thamal Singh, Vajar Singh, Jaidal, Shalya,
Mand, Kahan, Tannauj, Ginbal and Dhanda Singh. Nothing of
importance happened during their time and Soods continued to rule
over Amarkot. After Dhanda Singh when Rai Parshad occupied the
throne of Amarkot, great political changes occurred in India. The
Mughal rule in Delhi got a big jolt, when Sher Shah Suri defeated
Humayun. Humayun ran away to save his life alongwith his family
members and close associates. His Begam was pregnant. In Tozake-Hamayun at page 182, he has thus described an incident:—
“I was very much discouraged and surprised. In this state of
mind I crossed Ganga on horse back and left for Jodhpur, but
on the state boundary, I was checked and not allowed to enter
the State. Finding no alternative, I decided to go to Amarkot–
There was no water or habitation for miles together. Men and
horses began to die of thirst. At last, we reached the outskirts
of Amarkot. Sher Shah’s army was chasing me. On the other
hand, there was a fear that Rana of Amarkot also may not refuse
entry like Jodhpur. To my joy and surprise, the son of Rana
Rai Parshad of Amarkot received me and took me to the Fort.
The Begam warned me that there may not be any conspiracy,
but I had heard about the generosity of Agnikul Parmars and
consoled her saying that Sood Rajputs give shelter to anyone,
who comes to them for help and there is no danger. Anyway,
we left everything to God. The Rana consoled me and looked
after all of us very well. After resting for three days, we were
about to leave, when the Begam got labour pains and the next
day Prince Akbar was born. We extended our stay. I decided
to leave the Begam and the Prince at Amarkot and to leave for63
Kabul, the Rana promised to send both of them there after
sometime, when they will be fit enough to undertake the journey.
But the Begam did not agree. We stayed there for full one
month. When we left, the Rana offered gold Mohars, elephants
and horses. But I accepted only ten horses, which were badly
needed. The Rana accompanied us alongwith his forces upto
Bhakkar and came back when we crossed Attock. He gave
some of his trusted soldiers to escort us to Kabul.”
When Humayun recaptured the throne of Delhi, he invited Rana
Rai Parshad to Delhi, honoured him very much and kept him as his
personal guest. The younger brother of Rana Rai Parshad was given
Jagir and created a Subedar.
*Aila-ud-Din Khilji invaded Chittor in 1218 Bik. Rana Bhim
Singh asked for help from Amarkot, which was promptly given and
the Khilji was defeated. One Bhat has recorded as to how the Sood
Rana addressed his armies before the fight:—
Details in “History of Chittor” written by Shri Madhav Saran Srivastav and History of
India by Jam Sahib of Jamnagar.64
Akbar invaded Chittor in 1568. The Rana of Chittor asked for
help from Amarkot. Both these rulers had promised to help each other
in times of need. Dewan Hari Singh Sood of Amarkot went to the aid
of Rana of Chittor with a big Sood force. On his way to Chittor, he
came to know that the Begum and daughter of the crown princess are
on their way to join the Mughal forces. He attacked the Caravan,
killed the escort and took the Begam and the princess to the Chittor
fort and presented them to the Maharani of Chittor. The Maharani
gave all honour to the princess, but forced the Begam to fill the Chillum
of her hukkah. The Begum resented very much, but had to obey as
she was like a prisoner in the Fort. She felt very much insulted and
hurt. At last there was a treaty with Akbar and he went back. Rana
Rai Parshad had died by that time. His son Rana Jagga was occupying
the throne. Akbar, as he was born when his parents had taken shelter
with Soods, used to respect them very much. He never came into
open conflict with them. He tried his best to see that Soods did not
come to the help of Chittor against him. He sent a message to Dewan
Hari Singh Sood to desist from coming into conflict with the Mughal
forces, but the Dewan rejected his advice saying that Soods cannot
go back from their promise, which they had given to Chittor.
Akbar felt very much humiliated and let down by Soods. When
he returned to Delhi, he instigated Baluch and Bahawalpuries and
they attacked Amarkot.
Soods could not stand against the collective forces of Baluch
and Bahawalpur and were defeated. They thus lost Amarkot. The
strength of the Soods had much dwindled by these constant fights
and soon they had to leave Amarkot again. They then scattered in
different parts of Sindh, Marwar and Rajasthan. In about 1315,
Prince Bal Singh came to the descendent of Rai Mehta at Sirhind
and joined the Soods living there. He was appointed a Bakshi (Head65
of the Cavalors).
Rana Jagga then went to Chittor and the Maharana gave him
some jagir, which came to be known as Sudgarh. They collected their
forces, made preparations, while at Sudgarh and recaptured Amarkot
and Rana Maula, the eldest son of Rana Jagga, occupied the throne of
Creation of Sub-Castes
*Rai Mehta left Alwara and came to Sabar Nadia where the
Shah of Kanauj was camping. Shah of Kanauj, when came to know of
Qasim’s invasion offered 2 lakhs of his trained soldiers to Rai Mehta
to go and fight the invader. He further promised to send another one
lakh within 15 days and then again the third batch of 50,000 after a
month. But Rai Mehta gratefully declined the offer and said that he
had taken a vow not to see the face of Dahar again. After a few days
the son of Rai Mehta and more Sood families joined Rai Mehta and
told the story of fall of Alwara and Dahar’s death. Shah of Kanauj
was very much upset. But when Rai Mehta refused to go back, he
crowned him as Raja of Sahar Nadia and went back to Kanauj. Sahar
Nadia was then given the new name Soodpur and later on came to be
known as Sirhind. Thus Soods first came to Sirhind. Later on many
more families joined them.
After settling at Sirhind, the first difficulty, Soods had to face
was that there were no other royal Rajput families near about and it
became a problem to marry their sons and daughters. They then
divided themselves into Sub Castes and started inter-marriages. On
the name of the head of the family, or on the name of the village, they
settled in, a Sub Caste was created – such as Gopal after the name of
Gopal-bin-Saru, Raja of Dharan, Mandal after Mandal-bin-Rekh Singh
Raja of Urja; Dadan after Dadan-bin-Nirhar Raja of Jamer, Ugal Singh
Raja of Bhakkar, Phassi after Pharsi Raja of Mailsi etc. There were
in all the following 52 Sub Castes:—
* Chajnama— extracts from.
Ahmed Shah Abdali invaded India 7 times. Every time the
target was Sirhind, as it was an important trade centre. The invader
used to link it with the Kabul regime, but when he went back it was
again taken over by the local rulers. Disgusted with this loot, plunder
and political instability, some families migrated from Sirhind to the
mountainous regions and then the following 52 separate Sub Castes
of those families were created, mostly after the names of the villages,
they settled in, such as Bajwaria, Mahdoddia, Jullundhri,
Sirhind has played an important part in the history of Sood
community. It has earlier been explained that Rai Mehta was crowned
as Raja of *Soodpur by Shah of Kanauj, when on the invasion of
Mohd Bin Qasim, he came here.
Nasiri Sirhindi was a famous poet of Sirhind, who was alive
during Mughal period. He has written history of this city. I am giving
below a few extracts from his book:—
“Sirhind is about 100 Kms from Delhi on the Jarnaili Road on
the banks of Hausla Nadi. It is the first city of military importance
after crossing Sutlej. The city has eight gates— four big and four
Due to the proximity of hills, the merchandise from China come
here for Sale. It is a great commercial city. Usually all communities
have compact blocks of residential houses.
On the opposite side of the Fort, near the Mint is the Chawk
Khas, where members of one community known as Sood are residing.
They have the majority of population in the city. They say they were
the rulers of the city, when it was known as Soodpur. Due to Mughal
invasion, they lost. Their dress and ornaments are different from other
Hindus and show that they have come from Rajputana. There are
signs of seriousness and bravery on their faces. They do not have
lazy faces like Banias. Their Chawdhris are ÷ Palki Nashin, (moving
from one place to another in Palkies). They are not traders but
generally take royal estate on contract. They do not worry much about
marriage. Nobody has prior information about the marriage of a Sood
boy/girl. People come to know when the bridegroom brings his bride
* The city was first known as Sabarnadi, after the name of a river flowing near by.
Shah of Kanauj gave it the name of Soodpur and later on it came to be known as
Sirhind. ÷ This was considered to be a symbol of status.70
in a Palki. They do not spend much on marriages and this is why they
are rich. The other reason of their richness is that whenever a boy
becomes major, the father does not give him anything from his
property, but all Soods give him Rs. 10/- and 10 bricks each. This
makes him about a lakh of rupees and bricks for the construction of
his own house.
The members of this community are very wise. Their women
never go to their estates but live in the houses.
When Raja Man Singh Kachwaha was appointed Subedar
(Governor) of Kabul, he stayed at Sirhind and called the headmen of
Soods. Soon five thousand Soods— fully armed like Rajut warriers,
accompanied Raja Man Singh to Kabul to give a fight to Pathans,
who were defying the emperor of Delhi.
The head of every family was appointed an officer in Raja’s
army. This raised their prestige in the city.”
In ‘Tabkat-e-Akbari’ it is further mentioned that after defeating
the Pathans, when Soods came back, they were appointed to look after
law and order on the road from Ambala to river Beas. They were also
appointed as Subehdars at Lahore and Agra and Faujdars at Thanesar
and Pak Pattan.
One Bhat of Soods has mentioned about it as follows:—
(Badhus are known for spending on Kaj and Sandal and Kesar
for their services. Mahiyar and Malam Soods of Navrang Rai are
* Badhus - a Sub Caste of Soods.
÷ The ceremony which is performed on the death of an elder in the family is commonly
known as 'Kaj'. People spend thousands of rupees on feeding the poor and giving
rulers of Delhi and Thanesar.
Arth Mal Badhu is ruler of Pattan (later known as Pak Pattan,
due to Baba Farid) and Kesho Rai of Patti (which was at that time
known as Saka Patti), and do not forget Doona Mal, who wears clothes
of golden thread and looks a Raja. Shiv Rai Badhu is ruling Agra and
Narpat Rai *Phacca at Lahore).
The family of Shiv Rai Badhu is still in Agra.
Now a question arises the Soods having been divided in three
groups— one which remained in Sindh, the second which migrated to
Maru Desh and the third group was of those who came to Sirhind—
did they ever meet and had contacts with each other? In those days
means of communication were very meager and it seems they lost
contact with each other. They were lost to each other and merged
themselves with the local population with the changes that history
brought about. Only once Girja Nand Bhat of Soods came from
Amarkot to Sirhind. He was received by Sirhind Soods very warmly.
He conveyed his thoughts in the following:—
(After leaving Maru Desh you have settled at Sirhind. The
Raja has given all honours, riches, villages etc.
I am Bhatt— great Bhat— of Soods and have undertaken this
journey after hearing your name. The descendents of Raghu all Parmar
* another Sub-Caste of Soods72
Soods are my Yajmans.
The descends of Chander Vansh shine like moon and those of
Soods are brave. May Almight keep them always full of riches.)
Girja Nand stayed in Sirhind for sometime and when he left,
he was offered ten thousand gold coins, twenty horses and four
elephants by the Soods. He was seen off in a Palki and was requested
to come again. He thus mentions about it:—
It is not known whether any other Bhat later on contacted the
other groups of Soods or not. Most probably they had then no
opportunity to see or contact each other and all their traces were lost.73
Soods Leave Sirhind
After the settlement of Soods at Sirhind and other near about
cities, this area underwent many political changes. The Mughal Empire
was on its last legs and the authority of the Emperor of Delhi was fast
dwindling. One Bazida Ranghor of Kunjpura was appointed as
Goveror of Sirhind by Delhi Darbar. Guru Gobind Singh in those
days was fighting against the Mughal rule. The Governor of Sirhind
arrested two sons of Guru Gobind Singh. They were given temptations
to get themselves converted to Islam, but they refused. History tells
us that they were buried alive in a wall by the Governor of Sirhind.
After sometime, Banda Bahadur invaded Sirhind. The Mughal forces
were defeated and he captured the city. As the two Sahibzadas were
buried alive in a wall at Sirhind, Banda Bahadur with vengeance looted
the whole city and ordered its complete demolition. The Hindu
population of the city, which mostly consisted of Soods, was ordered
to be evacuated to safer places in other parts of Punjab. The important
Sardars of the Sikh forces, who were occupying important positions
in the Army of Banda Bahadur, took Sood families to their own Jagirs.
Some were sent to the Jagir of Sodhi Jassa Singh in Doaba at Phillor,
Nurmahal, Malsian, Zira, Dharamkot, Sheikhupura, Jullundur,
Phagwara, Mehatpur, Kartarpur etc. Some of them accompanied S.
Ala Singh of the Bahadurgarh Fort (which later on came to be known
as Patiala) and other village near about. A few families were evaculated
to the Jagirs of Sodhis at Morinda, Katani, Machhiwara, Ludhiana,
Jassowal etc. The Majhail Sikh Jagirdars took some families with
them and settled them at Jhabbal, Naushehra Panwan, Dhutian, Tut,
Tarn Taran, Patti, Amritsar etc.
As Soods and other Hindus had to leave Sirhind in abnormal
circumstances, they were not able to carry their belongings and had
to start life afresh at the new places, they migrated to. They, therefore,74
adopted whatever profession they could to earn their living. Some
took to agriculture, others to trade, money-lending etc. etc.
Later on, due to partition of the country and passage of time,
they scattered all over the country, but the villages and cities, where
they had settled, are still known as strong holds of the Community.75
Saka or Jauhar
Saka or Jauhar was a custom among Rajputs. Rajput ladies
when found that it was not possible for their men to win a war and the
enemy was stronger, then with a view to see that women folk did not
fall in the hands of the enemy and may not be dishonoured, they used
to burn themselves alive voluntarily. The Rajputs then used to wear
Kesari clothes and lay down their lives fighting. Sometime if the
Raja was killed in the battle field, the Rani and other women folk
used to perform Sati. The object was the same, i.e., the women folk
of the royal family wanted to protect their honour after the death of
I have come across some cases of this type in Sood families
and mention a few of them below:—
*In 780, Mangal Rao Bhati of Sialkot was defeated by Shah of
Gazni. He crossed river Ghaggar and with the aid of Soods, who
were ruling this area, came and settled at Lodarwa. His son Manjan
Rao was declared as ruler of Lodrwa and Rawal Sood himself
performed the coronation ceremony and announced the engagement
of his daughter with Manjan Rao.
In 1271 (Bikrami) Lakhan Dev succeeded the throne of
Lodarwa. He was also married to the Sood princess. He was a simple
man and his courteers had great influence on him. The Rani was very
active and shrewed. She called some Soods from Amarkot to help
her run the administration. Instigated by the courteers, Lakhan Dev
got all the Soods murdered during night and threw their bodies out of
Sood Rawal of Amarkot, when came to know of it, was
* Page 394, Waqa-e-Rajasthan Part III76
infuriated. He attacked Lodarwa and occupied it after severe fighting.
Lakhan Dev was killed. The Rani performed Sati and while the pyre
was lit, she scolded Soods for killing her husband, knowing well that
the courteers were at the back of this killing. “Your Amarkot will fall
and you will wander from place to place.” So saying she burnt herself
Soods were horrified to hear this. They begged pardon but it
was too late, the Rani had jumped into the fire.
At the place on every Amavash Soods come and bow their
heads and a big mela used to be held.
*The Treasury of Mohd Ghauri, Shah of Delhi, was being taken
from Bhakkar to Delhi with an escort of 800 Pathans. Rawal Jit Singh
of Jaisalmer, who was married to the Sood Princess of Amarkot, killed
the escort and looted the treasury, alongwith 1200 horses and 2,000
Mules. He then started preparations for war as he was sure that the
Shah would attack Jaisalmer, as soon as the news reached him. He
requested Soods of Amarkot for help. An army of 30,000 strong with
other war material was sent by Soods.
The Shah of Delhi sent a big army under the command of
Mehboob Khan. The war went on for a very long time and at last
Jaisalmer forces retreated in the fort. Preparations were made for
Jauhar. 24,000 Rajput ladies, including 2,000 Sood ladies from
Amarkot collected in the royal palace. Rani Urmila put on her best
clothes and jewellery, bowed her head before Rawal Jit Singh and
jumped into fire, followed by others.
All Rajputs put on Kesri clothes with Tulsi leaves in their
mouths, opened the door of the fort and attacked Pathans. The Pathan
forces could not stand their determined attack and fled from the battle
Mehboob Khan was a friend of Rattan Singh, the crown prince,
who was commanding the Rajput forces. Before the attack, he sent
all the treasury and jewels to Amarkot and his two minor sons aged 11
* Page 396-“Waqa-e-Rajasthan” Part II and “Tareekh Jaisalmar”77
and 7 years to Mehboob Khan for safe custody with the promise that
they would not be converted to Islam.
But when the Pathans ran away, the princes returned to the
Fort. Mehboob Khan’s real brother, who was badly injured requested
Rattan Singh for help. He was taken to the Fort and was well looked
after. In the Fort he saw that there were only 200 Rajputs left. He
deceived the Rajputs and sent a message to the Pathans. The Pathans
on hearing this attacked again. Rajputs were taken unawares and found
that they could not win now. Both Rattan Singh and his brother Mool
Raj killed each other and the fort fell to Pathans.
*There are few other small incidents which are worth
After the return of Nadir Shah. Mughals became very weak.
Sarbuland Khan Subedar of Gujrat became independent. Abhe Singh
Rathod agreed to give him a fight provided forces of Sood Raja of
Dhar accompany him. This was done. When the forces reached Gujrat,
Sarbuland Khan ran away with his French Topkhana, without a fight.
Soods were given lands in Gujrat and they settled there. Dharam
Das Sood was appointed as Subedar of Gujrat.
Kirpal was a Bhat in the family of Bhats of Maharana Udepur,
he has written his story of Rajputs ‘Kirpal Chalittar’. About Soods
Soods were Rajas of Pattan. They were living peacefully, when
civil war broke out. A severe battle followed. One group then
migrated to Maru Desh. The second one lost Pattan to Yadavs.
Yadavs and Soods were not on good terms since long. It started
with the engagement of the only daughter of Raja of Ras. She
was engaged to a Yadav prince, but later on was married to the
Sood prince of Pattan. When the marriage party was returning
to Pattan, Yadavas suddenly attacked it. Both the bride and
the bridegroom were killed. The enmity lasted till both the
* Page 105-Waqa-e-Rajasthan Part III78
dynasties were destroyed. One Bhat describes the war as
Sarvdeshik Sood Sabha
It will be seen that the Community was thus divided in different
parts of the country, in Pattan, Marwar, Amarkot, Sirhind and later on
in different parts of Punjab. They lost contact with each other. The
old system of Bhats visiting the members of the community at different
places and keeping them united died down gradually. No link was
left between them and due to this dis-integration, the community was
divided in different groups known as Pahari, Maidani, ‘A’ Section,
‘B’ Section etc.
It was in 1881, that a few elders of the Community seeing this
state of affairs leading to division and total dis-integration of the
community, joined heads and decided to end this situation and to reunite the Community. The idea of holding a conference of the
Community thus took shape and the first Sood Conference was held
at Ludhiana in 1881. A society known as ‘Sood Sahayak Sabha’ was
formed. To keep the members of the Community, residing in different
parts of the country, in touch with the developments, a monthly paper
‘Risala Soodan’ was also started.
In 1882, the second Sood Conference was held at Lahore and
it was presided over by Rai Bahadur L. Mohan Lal Sood, MLC of
Garli; followed by another one in 1912 at Paragpur. In 1914, the fifth
Conference was held at Jawala Mukhi and was presided over by
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jai Lal Sood. Again there was a gap of about 5
years and in 1919 the next conference was again held at Ludhiana
under the presidentship of L. Duni Chand.
After some intervals, the Conferences were held at the following
Year Place of the Conference Name of the President
1928 Jullundur Shri Atam Sarup Beri of
1929 Moga R.S.L. Mushtaq Rai Sood
1930 Hoshiarpur R.B.L. Jodha Mal
1932 Jullundur R.S.L. Radha Kishan of
1933 Garli Cap: Dr. Bhagwan Dass
1935 Simla R.S. Ch : Ganpat Rai of
1938 Amritsar L. Milkhi Ram Advocate
1941 Palampur L. Mela Ram Sood of
1943 Amritsar L. Mangat Rai Kuthiala of
1946 Simla Seth Sulakhan Singh Sood
1950 Phagwara L. Amolak Ram Advocate
1957 Ludhiana L. Amar Nath Beri of
1962 Amritsar Seth Sulakhan Singh.
1966 Hoshiarpur L. Kidar Nath Bourie of
1972 Chandigarh Mr. Justice Tek Chand
At all these Conferences, different resolutions were passed to
bring about reforms in the various social customs and funds were also
collected, out of which scholarships were given to the needy students
to prosecute their studies; as also help to widows and other disabled81
members of the Community.
It was in the year 1928, when the Conference was held at
Jullundur under the Chairmanship of Shri Atam Sarup Beri of Patiala,
that the name of ‘Sood Sahayak Sabha’ was changed to that of
‘Sarvdeshak Sood Sabha’. The name of the official organ of the Sabha
was also changed from ‘Risala Soodan’ to ‘Sarvdeshak Sood
The main difficulty about the proper functioning of the offices
of the Sarvdeshak Sood Sabha had been that the practice was to shift
the offices of the Sabha as well as the Monthly Organ alongwith the
venue of the Conference from one place to another. The Offices had
to function every year at a different station. The major difficulty was
about discontinuing the publication of the paper at one place and then
filing declaration denove from the next station. It meant considerable
Feeling this difficulty, it was decided to open the permanent
office of Sarvdeshak Sood Sabha at Chandigarh and to shift the official
paper also to this city. The Sood Sabha, Chandigarh, was also
publishing their own monthly paper known as ‘Sood Sandesh’. It was
felt that it was of no use to publish two papers of the community from
one and the same place and it was, therefore, decided that this paper
of Chandigarh Sood Sabha should be taken over by the Sarvdeshak
Sood Sabha and should continue to be published from Chandigarh.
These conferences have gone a long way in keeping the
community united, but it must be admitted that very few people from
outside Punjab and Delhi attended these conferences. The members
of the community are scattered not only throughout the length and
breadth of the country but a considerable number is residing in foreign
countries also. It is only through the paper that they can remain in
touch with the different developments and the happenings in the
community and efforts are being made to achieve this object through
the monthly paper.
One Sood family researcher says that the Sood family orginated in India and that "sood" refers to "a courageous or brave person." the history of the Sood family and related information is from this Sood family researcher is show below. This page is the home for the complete history of the Sood family name, Sood etymology, and history of Sood ancestors. Sood family history has a rich and complex origin whose details have been accumulated over the years by Sood family researchers. The Sood family name is an old family line that has spread all across the world for many generations, and as the Sood family has migrated, it has evolved making it's etymology difficult to unearth.O
The family history of the Sood last name is maintained by the AncientFaces community. Join the community by adding to to our knowldge of the Sood:
- Sood spelling & pronunciation
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Sood Country of Origin, Nationality, & Ethnicity
Sood Meaning & Etymology
Sood Pronunciation & Spelling Variations
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In times when literacy was uncommon, names such as Sood were transcribed based on how they sounded when people's names were recorded in government records. This could have led to misspellings of Sood. Researching misspellings and alternate spellings of the Sood family name are important to understanding the possible origins of the name. Family names like Sood change in how they're spelled as they travel across communities, family lines, and languages over the years.
Last names similar to SoodSoodack, Soodah, Soodak, Soodall, Soodalter, Soodan, Soodard, Soodbar, Soodchai, Soodcock, Soode, Soodeem, Soodeem-nich, Soodeen, Soodek, Soodell, Sooder, Soodey, Soodgautam, Soodhalter
Sood Family Tree
Here are a few of the Sood biographies shared by AncientFaces users. Click here to see more Soods
- Yogendra L Sood 1942 - 2011
- Sarla D Sood 1925 - 2001
- George David Sood 1914 - 2009
- Laura Sood 1895 - 1992
- Louis Sood 1916 - 1992
- Katherine Sood 1912 - 1999
- Karl Sood 1904 - 1975
- Margaret Sood 1899 - 1973
- Rampiari Sood 1915 - 2004
- Vidya S Sood 1932 - 2005