The past history of a country, nation or community has alwaysinspired the present generation. The deeds of bravery and valour ofthe fore-fathers have always been a source of inspiration for theircoming generations. The past record acts as a lever for futureperformances and fore services to be rendered to our land, our religionand our community. In olden days, the bhats used to sing the songs ofglory of the dynasty and those songs used to electrify the youth tofight with renewed vigour and to sacrifice their lives in the battlefieldfor the defence of their motherland. It is thus a natural urge for anindividual to try to know something about the past history of hiscommunity/dynasty. It gives him a sense of pride and prestige.I do not suggest that one should derive only false pride or vanityby extolling the deeds of his fore-fathers to the sky. I am fully awareof the taunt “Pidram Sultan Bood”. Ultimately, one’s own actionsand deeds decide, what sort of man he is. But in our society, as it istoday, one’s past plays a very important part in his life. Wheneverany youth commits a wrong, he is generally told, “You should feelashamed of yourself. You are son of so and so and grand son of soand so. This action does not behove a man of your family”. Indirectlysuch taunts help a youth to shape himself well and to desist fromindulging in things wrong and distasteful.Ignorance about one’s past sometimes creates awkwardsituations. In the case of our community, to know the past, was veryimportant as many wrong stories were current about our origin. Notknowing the facts, many members of our community used to linkthemselves with Khatris, Aroras, Banias etc. Some of us being unableto explain, what Soods actually are, used to style themselves as Gupta,Kayshap etc. Other started writing their Sub Castes against their names2122and in some cases spelt them in such a way as to show similarity withSub Castes of other communities.After the first war of Indian independence in 1857, the thenPunjab Government published a book “Punjab Glossary of Tribes”mentioning the antecedents and origin of different castes and tribesresiding in Punjab. Damaging remarks about our community weregiven in the book. Probably this was due to the fact that the thenBritish Officers themselves did not have an intimate knowledge aboutthe local inhabitants. They had no personal contacts with the generalpublic and whatever information they got from hither and thither wascompiled. In the first Census in 1881, the same remarks were repeated.It is needless for me to contradict these remarks. They apparently donot apply to our community. The leading members of the communityfelt agitated and thus the need for the correct past history of thecommunity was keenly felt.Rai Bahadar Shri Mool Raj Dosaj did some research and cameto the conclusion that Dosajs were Rajputs. But he did not write anydetailed history and the matter did not progress further. The firstSood Conference was held at Ludhiana in 1881. A resolution waspassed that efforts should be made to write a history of the communityand then to get these damaging remarks expunged. But somehow noconcrete steps could be taken in this direction.In the meantime, the members of our Biradri residing in hillyareas, faced another difficulty. Not exactly knowing about their originand having heard rumours, the Brahmins and Rajputs refused to allowthem to draw water from their Baories* saying that Soods were froma very law caste. Soods filed a suit in the court of Law. Pt. Sant RamShastri of Bajwara, Rajguru of Jubbal State, wrote a book “SoodVanshavali” and proved that Soods were Agnikul Rajputs. This wasnot a complete history of the community and did not serve muchpurpose. But the Soods gained their point in the court and the right todraw 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 fordomestic use.23Committee, consisting of 13 members was formed to compile thehistory of the community. But somehow again nothing positive couldbe done in this matter. Later on also, this matter continued to bediscussed and debated at the Conferences, but without any positiveresult. In 1935, L. Salamat Rai Dosaj of Tarkheri, took pains andwrote a book “Mukammal Tarikh Soodan”. By giving quotations fromdifferent history books, he proved that Soods were Agnikul Rajputs.He laboured really very hard and gave convincing arguments in favourof his conclusions, but his was not a history of the Sood dynasty inany chronological order. Need, therefore, continued to be felt, tohave complete history of the Community.Sood confernce was held at Chandigarh in April, 1972, underThe Presidentship of Mr. Tek Chand Sood, retired Judge of PunjabHigh Court. A Sub Committee consisting of myself and Shri ShamlalSood of Amritsar was formed to take steps towards writing a completehistory of the community. Due to the members of the Sub Committeebeing at different places, frequent meetings could not be held.Ultimately I was asked by friends to go ahead all alone and do whateverwas possible in this direction.It would not be inappropriate, if I mention of a personal incidentin 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 wasdenied the scholarship by Government, simply because I did not belongto an agriculturist community, although our family had considerableland in three villages of Tehsil Kasur. According to the Land AlienationAct, certain castes were declared as “Agriculturists” notwithstandingthe fact, whether the members of those castes were in the professionof agriculture or not. The other communities in spite of being landowners and cultivating it, were still “non-agriculturists”. In all walksof 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 Rajputsand all Rajputs are agriculturists, why Soods are not declared asAgriculturists? The question began to weigh heavily on my mind.The matter was discussed in the meeting of the local SoodBaradri at Bhangala and myself and late L. Babu Ram Sood were24asked to move in the matter and take necessary steps. We collectedmaterial to show that Soods were Rajputs and decided to file adeclaratory suit in a court of Law against the Government. A feweminent Lawyers at Lahore were consulted. They were convinced ofour case. But we were advised to first approach the All India RajputSabha. “The case would be very strong if first they own you”, wewere told. The All India Rajput Sabha used to publish from Lahore amonthly paper, “Rajput Gazettee” under the editorship of Sh. SukhramDas Chauhan. Both of us decided to see him, as he was the VicePresident of the All India Sabha also. Unfortunately, when we wentto his office, he was not there and we met the Assistant Editor. Weshowed all our papers to him. He was satisfied and promised us allhelp, adding in the end “because I am also a Sood”. He was none elsebut 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 afterknowing the truth I will be able to tell all these people and I am alsoa Rajput and one of them”. He took all the material we had collected,and it was published in “Rajput Gazette” in installments. BhangalaSood Sabha received many letters from members of our communityand other Rajputs in this connection. We were invited to attend themeeting of the Working Committee of All India Rajput Sabha. Whenwe placed the whole case before the Committee, they felt convinced,but objected to Bhangala Sood Sabha approaching them for thepurpose. “You have an All India body— Sarvdeshik Sood Sabha—Let that body contact us”, we were ultimately told. Their stand wascorrect as naturally they could not negotiate with one basic unitignoring the All India Association.How a controversy started in the Sarvdeshik Sabha about thisproposal, when it was placed before them and how it fizzled out, is along story and I need not go into the details. Many articles appearedin the “Sarvdeshik Sood Samachar” and “Sood Hiteshi” for and againstthis proposal and ultimately the matter rested at that.By narrating these facts, I simply mean to emphasize that theneed of a complete history of the Community was keenly felt for thelast about a century. Now it is high time, the members of thecommounity are told the truth about their origin and history.25“Sood”— What does it meanWhat is mean by the word “Sood”? This is a question verycommonly asked. So e people taunt by saying it means “Interest” or“Beaj”. No doubt, these are the meanings of the word “Sood” inpersian language. But has the persian language any relevancy withthe name of our community?It is a fact that while naming the children, the language of theday and the place, plays an important part. When the language spokenin India was Sanskrit, the names we gave to our children, weremeaningful 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, MushtaqRai, Gulshan Rai, Haqiqat Rai, Sultan Singh Hazari Lal, Gulzari Lal,etc etc. all Persian words. With the influence of Englishmen, we gavenames like Karnail Singh, Major Singh, Germani Dass, even AngrezSingh to our children. Once this practice started, we came down touse the names of months, days etc., such as Chet Ram, Baisakhi Ram,Jetha Nand, Sawan Singh, Maghi Ram and then Som Raj, MangalDas, Budh Ram, Vir Singh, Shukar Singh and so on.In this connection, I am reminded of an incident, whichoccurred, while we were at Lahore. One Arya Samajist Brahmanshifted to a new locality. One morning he was visited by a Seth andhis wife. They told him that a grand daughter had been born in theirfamily and they wanted to give her a name. His guidance in this respectwas sought. He was not in the habit of performing these duties, but atthe same time, he did not want to disappoint them. He decided tooblige them. Before suggesting any name, just to know somethingabout 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. Withoutwaiting 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, weeven came down to meaningless names like Chhajju Ram, GhasitaRam, Ruldu Ram and what not.Muslims invaded India about 600/700 years ago. Ourcommunity, as the history tells us, was known with this very name‘Sood’, thousands of years ago. So the Persian word ‘Sood’ hasnothing to do with the name of our community. Originally the spokenlanguage in India was Sanskrit and we will have to revert to thislanguage to know the exact meaning of the word ‘Sood’.The late Prof : Rulya Ram Kashyap, M.Sc. who was a scholarof Sanskrit and had studied Vedas extensively, after great researchpublished a small book ‘Sood Yog’.According to him word “‚ÍŒ” has been mentioned in Vedas at23 places-15 places in Rig Ved, 6 places in Yajur Ved and 2 places inAtharva Ved. It does not appear in Sam Ved. Every time it has beenused in the same sense and carries the same meaning.* 'Sood' means one who can progress and prosper easily. Very noble person etc.27For Fulfilling desire of all The subjects and the king, one all,Glory doth manifest in Kings—Protectors of the noblest beingsIn 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 upThus elevated at the base,Will wounds heal up and then for raceBefit you soon, a Sood you make,Your speed, we too, will then partake,Your ailment thus I all remove.And talents every way improveLike 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;30A 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 oneProtected by Thee, accompany,We, always Lord brightest Agnish.May we win wars, by help Divine;Your policy may ensure us fineRiches, food and blessings all,From kingdom may we never fall.For spread of truth, do make a SoodOf worshipper and priest too good;Their praise may spread aye wide and farMay they be lifted high afar.That speedy Dadhikra we praiseHigher 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 brainDid same prepare with a strain;To public then they did supply;For enjoyment and business tryPossessors 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.32Repeated 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,Bliss-Consciousness-Energy God.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.34Active 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 harbingerOrdainers 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,35They 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 menTaxes 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.36Desirous 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.37Ye 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,Continuity, revelation.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 pieceGive 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.39May Savita Deva, His grace us grant,His sacred psalm that may we chant;May that Divinity above all,Eternal who knoweth no fall,Omnipotent-all energy,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, cleanThrough assistance of these, not meanCan I remain, but rise higher,Happily, easy, live longer.40High 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 charmAttracted by our attention,So loving made through Name-mentionHe 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.41The OriginWhen Ashok – the Great – embraced Budhism, after the greatbattle of Kalinga, this faith gained popularity and spread not only allover India, but practically in all the countries in the Eastern part ofthe world. The rulers having adopted it, it became Raj Dharam andpeople at large followed suit. There may be many reasons for thismass change, but I need not go into this question in detail. The factremains that the old Vedic Religion got great set back by the spreadof Budhism.Perturbed by this state of affairs, Brahmin Rishis arranged abig Yagya in Brahm Kund at the top of Abu Parbat. They offeredprayers. From the sacred fire, four figures issued forth. They werenamed as Parmar, Parihar, Solanki and Chauhan. They took a vow tofight against this mass change of faith and to re-establish the Vedicreligion.This incident is mentioned in many history books such as Vakai-Rajasthan, History of Ancient India by R.C. Dutt, History by ChanderBerdai, Bhavish Puran etc. etc.Col. James Tod was Agent to the Governor General in differentIndian States. He has written history of the Rajasthan region, knownas ‘Tod’s Rajasthan” or Annals and Antiques of Rajasthan”. Thisbook is considered to be an authority on Rajput history. On page 75,he writes:—“Agniculas.— 1st Pramara. There are four races to whomHindu genealogists have given Agni or the element of fire, asprogenitor. 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 orSolanki and the Chohan.”42Again at pages 76, 77, he goes on the say:—“The Agnicoonda is still shown on the summit of Aboo, wherethe four races were creatd by the Brahmins to fight the battlesof Achiles and Polytheism, against the monotheistic Budhists,represented as the serpents or Takshacs.The probable period of this conversion has been hinted at, butof the dynasties issuing from the Agniculas, many of the princesprofessed the Budhist or Jain faith, to periods so late as theMahomedan invasion.The Pramara, though not, as his name implies, the ‘ChiefWarrior’, was the most potent of the Agniculas. He sent forththirty five sachae, or branches, several of whom enjoyedextensive sovereignties. ‘The world is Pramar’s’ is an ancientsaying denoting their extensive sway : and the No-koteMaroosthulli 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 thecapitals they conquered or founded.Though the Pramara family never equaled in wealth the famedSolanki princes of Anhulwara, or Shone with such luster as theChohan, it attained a wider range and an earlier consolidationof 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 temptationto disturb the anchorites of Bal, ‘the Moonis, who passed theirtime in devotion, whom desire never approached, who drawsupport from the cow, from the roots, fruits and flowers’, yetdid 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 airand filled it with clouds of sand, showering ordure, blood, bonesand flesh, with every impurity, on their rites. Their penancewas of no avail.Again they kindled the sacred fire, and the priests, assemblinground the Agnicoonda, prayed for aid to Mahadeo.From the fire-fountain a figure issued forth, but he had not awarrior’s mien. The Brahmins placed him as guardian of thegate, 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 wasnamed Pramara. He had the blessing of the Rics, and with theothers went against the demons, but they did not prevail.”They divided the country in four regions, each one of thembeing in charge of one region, and started preaching the Vedic religion.Shankar and Kamaral Bhat used to preach and they were escorted bythese Agnikul Rajputs, as they came to be known. All the area aboveVindhyachal upto Jammu was taken over by Parmar, down fromVindhyachal upto far South was given to Parihar. The area betweenthe confluence of Ganga and Yamuna upto river Beas and allotted toChauhan and Bangal area to Solinki.Parmar was allotted Rig Ved, Chauhan Yajur Ved, Solinki SamVed and Parihar Atharva Ved.They fought many battles in their respective areas andultimately succeeded in defeating the Budhist kings and re-establishedVedic religion.Parmar had 35 sons, Parihar 16, Solinki 8 and Chauhan 24.The second son of Parmar was named ‘Sood’ and he was crowned asking of Pattan. His elder brother Maharaja got Ujjain and the otherprinces were given different other areas in the same region.The descendants of this second son of Parmar came to be knownas “Soods”, after his name. With the passage of time and due to the44various influences of language and* region, there were certainvariations also, such as, Sooda, Sodha, Sudha etc. in the same way aswith the influence of English, ‘Ram’ is spelt as ‘Rama’, ‘Krishan’ as‘Krishna’ etc. When Soods were able to build an empire and had onehundred small states of their own, they came to be known as“Saugaddi” or “Sogadi”. Col. Tod elaborates this point on page 78 asunder:—“Not one remnant of independence exists to mark the greatnessof the Pramaras : ruins are the sole records of their power. Theprince of Dhat**, in the Indian desert, is the last phantom ofroyalty of the race; and the descendant of the prince whoprotected Hemayoon, when driven from the throne of Timoor,in whose capital, Omrakote, the great Akbar was born, is at thefoot of fortune’s ladder; his throne in the desert, the foot stoolof the Bulotch, on whose bounty he is dependent for support.Among the thirty-five sachae of the Pramaras the Vihil waseminent, the princes of which line appear to have been lords ofChandravati, at the foot of the Aravulli.The Rao of Bijolli, one of the sixteen superior nobles of theRana’s court, is a Pramara of the ancient stock of Dhar, andperhaps its most respectable representative.* It will be noticed that the spellings of different places, cities and towns, asthey were in use when "Tod's Rajast'han" was written are quite different fromthe spellings as they are used now. There is vast difference which has comeabout 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 thedesert regions in remote times. Their subdivisions, Oomra and Soomra, gavethe names to Omrakote and Oomrasomra, in which was the insular Bekharon the Indus: so that we do not misapply etymology, when we say in Soda wehave the Sogdi of Alexander.45Thirty-Five Sachae of the PramarsSoda— Sogdi of Alexander, the princes of Dha’t in the Indiandesert.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.46War of SuccessionAfter the death of Raja Sood, his son Manjan Rao succeededto the throne. Manjan Rao was succeeded by Bachira Rao, ReejhRao, Anirudh and Ana Rao. Nothing significant happended duringthe period and Soods ruled over Pattan undisturbed. On the death ofAna Rao, there was a* war of succession among his sons and relatives.Kin Rao became victorious and occupied the throne. Althoughapparently the question of succession was decided, but there was greatresentment under the surface. Violence and war erupted again headedby Kin Rakha Gandal. A fierce battle followed in which Kin Rao,alongwith his eight brothers, was killed and Kin Rakha Gandal wonthe 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 ofKotah and Boondi. The writing on the Shila is as under:—* This incident of war of succession is mentioned in ‘Kirpal Chiritra’ written by KirpalBhatt.** Page 110, Waqa-i-Rajasthan, Part III.47“Like Dharmputra, King Yudhishter Pandava, on not gettinghis share of the Kingdom of his ancestors, Maharaj prayed to God. InSamvat 3009, war was started at an auspicious time. Goodnesstriumphed over evil. The vain Kin Rao was punished. By the graceof Gauri Nandan now the great warrior Kin Rakha Gandal had gotwhat was his right and by the grace of the family Deity ascended thethrone of Pattan at an auspicious time. The rule of evil came to anend. The people and the animals will enjoy. The Vedas, the Brahminsand the ascetics will now be respected. The Soods of Chandra Kulwill gain fame. The glory of Rai Sood, Manjan Rao, Rijh Rao, Anirudhhas increased.Friday, Rohni Nakshatra, Kalosar Samvat -530"On the death of Kin Rao and his eight sons, his remaining familymembers and some other relatives left Pattan and migrated to MaruDesh. Thus the descendants of Maharaj Sood were divided into twogroups— one led by Gandal remained at Pattan and the other left forMaru Desh. Gandal and his sons ruled over Pattan for about 50 years.Rajas of Yadav and Amravali attacked them and they were all defeatedand killed and thus Soods lost Pattan. Those who remained alivemigrated to the valleys of Ganga and Yamuna and settled there.Kin Rao’s sons conquered a large territory of Marwar and beganto rule there with Amarkot as their Capital. Kin Rao’s son JachakRao and grandson Tiri Rao were able to establish their hold in thisarea. Rana Jagdev, son of Tiri Rao, further extended his kingdom tothe whole of Sindh and a great part of Punjab, extending from Punjabto Karachi and from river Sutlej to Sindh, including Kashmir. Heshifted his capital from Amar Kot to Alwara. The area was divided indifferent parts and given under the control of his brothers and relatives.The trade in his regime flourished very much. He himself was veryGod-fearing man and spiritually very high. He daily used to give danto everyone who came to him and nobody went empty-handed fromhim. 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 forone Vardan. The Raja agreed to fulfil her one desire. She in turn48asked for the head of the Raja. He at once drew his sword and cut hishead. The Bhatni was very much terrified and said that she just wantedto be sure that the Raja would give her what she wanted. She took thebody of the Raja to the Shiv Temple, closed all the doors from insideand prayed there. On the third day, when the door was opened, theRaja was alive again, but his neck was smaller than before and therewas a circle around it.”On the face of it this may seem to be unbelievable, but thisincident has been mentioned in detail in Chajnama and the historybook written by Jam Sahib of Jam Nagar.*After his victories, he arranged a big Yagya and in the memoryof this Yagya, he fixed a Shila. The written on the Shila is as under:—Shri Mahadev NamaiSood Bin Manjan Rao, Bin Bachira Rao, Bin Reejh Rao, BinAnirudh, Bin Anu Rao, Bin Kin Rao, Bin Jachak Rao of Agni KulPramar Vansha, and Kul Man, Mahabali, Pratapi, Dani Jagdev Kesarhas preformed Yagya in Agan Sakh in Samvat 330. The Brahminsand Sadhus have been given alms. At the time of Yagya twenty famouskings and Monarchs are present in the Yagya Pandal. Maha Raja* Detailed account of these conquests is given in “Chajnama”.49Attal Pratapi paid respects to all of them. Munies and Brahmins singpraises of Kul Chandra Pramar Soods. Victory pillar was installed.Samvat 2271, Yudhishtri, Sunday, Posh NakshtraRana Jagdev ws succeeded by Anirudh and then he wassucceeded by Harsh Rao-I.50Alexander RetreatsAfter the death of Harsh Rao I, his eldest son Rai Shah or ShahRas— as he was commonly known – succeeded him. He was a verygood administrator. He divided his kingdom in one hundred smallunits and put each unit under the command of one member of theroyal family who was ultimately responsible to him. In view of theearlier invasion of Dara in the time of his father he reinforced hisdefence 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 Shahsent his forces to defend his territory under the command of his ablegeneral Kidar Sood. He collected Sood forces on the other side ofthe river and himself camped in Ajmadha Fort. On seeing thepreparedness of Kidar Sood, the forces of Sikander were surprisedand disheartened. In their battle with Puru, they had seen that Rajputswere very tough and after hearing the stories of the bravery of AgniKuls, they were completely demoralized and refused to advance andfight. Alexander tried his best to persuade his army officers to fight.He even said that they will be surrounded by the Indians, in case theytried to retreat, as the Kanauj forces had also reached Sirhind, but hedid not succeed. The officers and Sepoys were adamant and wantedto go back to their homes, as they were out of their homes and countrysince a very long time. They were tired of constant fighting. Alexanderfelt helpless. He then sent a message to Kidar Sood saying that hewould go back if Soods agree to admit his sovereignity, and send himwar money regularly. Kidar rejected this suggestion and replied thatSoods were themselves emperors and they cannot agree to it. “It wouldbe better if you return immediately otherwise I have received ordersto take the initiative”, Kidar added. Alexander was very much upset.He again collected his officers and persuaded them to fight, but they51flatly refused. There was a danger of open rebellion. Alexander thensent a message that he wanted to go back to Persia via Attack and thatSood armies should allow his forces to go undisturbed. Kidar refusedto give any undertaking and asked him to get permission from EmperorRai Shah. A representative was then sent to the court of Rai Shah,who allowed Alexander to retreat. He then divided his army in twoparts and returned via Ghazni.In his book Tabkat-e-Sikandri, the author has praised the Soodarmies and specially Kidar Sood very much.Among other things he writes:—“*The ruling dynasties of India are discendents of Surya Vanshand Chander Vansh, but these Soods are said to have been bornout of fire. Every day in their temples, Ghee, fruits etc. areburnt** in fire. Soods are very true to their word. Havingonce allowed my armies to return, they raised no obstacles inmy way, but helped the army with rations etc. The officers andmen of my army are all praise for Soods.”Rai Shah had no son and on his death, his nephew Ana Raosucceeded 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.52The first Arab invasionAfter the death of Alexander, his successor in the area ofNorthern India, which he had run over, again attacked, but Ana Rao,who was at that time on the throne of Alwara, defeated him. WhenAna Rao died, his son Mangal Rao Sood was crowned as King ofAlwara. Some *Iranias, had settled in India on the bank of riverJehlum. Mangal Rao Sood thought them to be a danger to the securityof his kingdom. He attacked and defeated them.Khalifa Waleed then invaded Iddia, bnt was given a tough fightby the Soods. In the meantime, there was Khilafat dispute in his owncountry and he retreated.Soods reigned unintrupted for some time and extended theirarea of influence. When Maharaj Dewaich succeeded the throne, theterritory of Alwara Kingdom was upto Kashmir, Kandhar and Sistanon one side and upto Yamuna on the other. In the east, it was uptoKanauj and in the west upto Arabian Sea.After the death of Dewaich, his son Dahar was crowned asEmperor of Alwara. Sood empire, in his time, had expanded verymuch. With a view to administer his empire properly, he distributedthe whole area in one hundred small states, headed by a member ofthe 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 variouscountries. There was one difficulty. The Hindu sailors and theirescort used to rush back after unloading the cargo, as they wouldnot eat or drink anything there – the population of those areas beingMuslim. They did not bring anything in return from other countries.Dahar realized the difficulty. In the meantime, a Muslim named53Ilaifi* came to him and narrated his tale of woe. The Governor ofBasra had murdered all his family and he had escaped from there.He prayed for shelter. Dahar allowed him to stay in this territoryand employed him. He was put incharge of sailors. He recruitedmore Muslim Sailors. The new fleet with these Muslim Sailors usedto carry goods to other countries and bring their products inexchange. Thus the trade with countries overseas developed verymuch.Dahar patronized Ilaifi very much, but he turned out to be atraitor. He hatched a conspiracy with heads of Budhist Devals andLohana Jats and organized a rebellion against the Sood Emperor. Soodswere isolated and all the population stood up against them. A greatbloodshed followed. Sood as a class were the targets of attackeverywhere. The country remained in turmoil and taken by strife formany days. Vashishat Brahmins were Raj Gurus of Sood. Theyperformed yajnas and organized prayers in temples for the victory ofSood. The great Bengali historian Mr. R.C. Dutt writes on page 16 ofhis 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 yourbow all those who are enemies of Soods and protect all the braveSoods with your strength. The atheists raise their voice. All are againstus. O Indra! Help us and command that the brave Soods of Rigvedasmay win.O Indra! God of rains this world has to perish. Cries of warpenetrate the skies. Our enemies confront us. O God! listen to ourprayer, come close to us. Save Vedas and the Soods.”Ultimately the rebellion was crushed. All heads of LohanaJats were killed. Budhists were converted to Hinduism and all theirDevals (Maths) were taken over. Only from one Math at Jarah, nearAttock, gold coins worth six crores and diamonds and bricks of silverand gold worth many crores, were taken in possession by the Soodarmies. 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, putoff his cap and should fold his hands in salutation.4. Lohans should provide firewood in the house of everySood, 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 wasdissatisfaction all round. Ilaifi again became active. He invited MohdBin Qasim to invade India.Qasim attacked Wahail (Karachi). Soods forces were takenunawares. After taking Forts of Wahail and Siania, Qasim attackedBabia – where Rai Mehta, uncle of Dahar was the ruler. Dahar’sforce could not come to his aid in time and he had to leave Babia. Hewent to Dahar and apprised him of the situation, explaining that Ilaifiwas the cause of whole trouble. Dahar summoned Ilaifi, who showedhis ignorance. Rai Metha asked him to come and fight the forces of55Qasim. He hesitated and Rai Mehta was about to attack him, whenDahar intervened. Rai Mehta got annoyed and left Alwara. He wentto the Shah of Kanauj, who was his relative. Dahar’s forces left Alwarato check the forces of Qasim, who was heading towards BrahminabadFort. On hearing the news that Dahar alongwith his army has left forBrahminabad, Qasim with a part of his army attacked Alwara. SoodRani, with the available forces, gave him a tough fight but later onmade a retreat in the Alwara Fort. Qasim came to know that therewere ladies in the fort with only 500 Rajputs to protect them. Heattacked the fort, but could not succeed. He then started digging atunnel 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 tonegotiate settlement. But Qasim’s whole army entered the fort andstarted mass killing. The Rani committed Saka but two daughters ofDahar were arrested. After taking possession of the fort, Qasim leftfor 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, becameuncontrollable and began to run towards a lake. Sood armies thoughtthat Dahar had run away, they became demoralized and surrendered.The elephant entered the lake. One Arab soldier attacked Dahar andkilled him. Rana Mokha along with Ilaifi came to Qasim and he wasthe first Sood, who was converted to Islam. Qasim declared himselfas emperor of Alwara. Lohana Jats and Budhists did not help theirruler 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 ofDahar were:—(a) Rajputs were generally very large hearted and openminded. They thought others to be as sincere as theythemselves were. They would even believe their foes.Dahar’s faith in Ilafi is an example of this simplemindedness.(b) Elephants were the other weakness. Porus lost to Sikandar56due to his elephants. Prithvi Raj, Rana Sanga also lostdue to the elephants. The soldiers generally lookedtowards the king in the battle field and when his elephantran away, the soldiers, although winning, used to run awayfrom the battlefield. It was the elephant who turnedDahar’s victory into defeat.Qasim took both the daughters of Dahar to the Khalifa andpresented them to him to be kept in his Harem, alongwith othervaluables, he had looted from India. The Khalifa treated them welland sent them to his palace.After some days, when he wanted to marry them, they told himthat they not being pure, were not fit to be his Begums, because Qasimhad already outraged their modesty before presenting them to theKhalifa. He was red with rage and ordered that Qasim should bekilled at once and his dead body should be brought to the Darbar.Next day in the open Darbar, the dead body of Qasim wasbrought before the Khalifa. Both the sisters laughed heartily and saidthat they had just told a lie to take revenge, otherwise Qasim had noteven touched them. So saying they killed each other with their swordsand saved their honour.The author of ‘Chajnama’ has mentioned the names of all the101 Sud Rajas who were ruling in different States under emperorDahar:—Maharaj Dahar Emperor of Alwara1. Rana Rai Mehta Raja of Babia2. " Chitra " Bhamian3. " Bachita " Sistan4. " Kaula " Seesagar5. " Dhewal " Dumela6. " Cheera s/o Ala Singh " Behrur7. " Bajar s/o Sunder " Keeka Kotal8. " Phag Singh " Alkananda9. " Tek Kaka " Pholra10. " Tal s/o Mohinder " Kohelo5711. " Nal s/o Mohinder " Sanchra12. " Tej Singh " Hisar13. " Beri Lal " Biswa14. " Brahm Singh " Alwar15. " Dhir Singh " Kalar16. " Dhanda " Karman17. " Dhupkal " Imli18. " Beeram Singh " Kusha20. " Dheeraj Singh " Moda21. " Dhal Singh " Aroda22. " Adh Ram " Lokaram23. " Makar Singh " Sewal24. " Pasar s/o Deva " Sugra25. " Maujh " Saran27. " Man Singh " Saru28. " Unher " Sanchal29. " Dhaunchkar " Bheran30. " Loka Rai " Sohaban31. " Sanwal Singh " Jagra32. " Rai paul " Devra33. " Chanda Bahan " Sogra34. " Rai Parshadan " Kokan35. " Dhoich " Khamba36. " Gopal " Dharan37. " Vilodhan " Amana38. " Uharan " Brahmpura39. " Duli Rai " Varam40. " Gaj Rai " Kohania41. " Abhey Singh " Hauso42. " Rai Tiranji " Arodal43. " Ikhat Rai " Arora44. " Dadan " Jamer45. " Mukand Rai " Basar46. " Gobinda Rai " Mani5847. " Lehnar Singh " Komal48. " Nandan Rai " Dadahi49. " Gaja Singh " Sarain50. " Rai Chand " Nismal51. " Bahu Kalya " Sarmada52. " Rok Mal " Barkota53. " Sawahan " Shajrala54. " Budhi Rai " Dwar55. " Rai Khorpa " Iskana56. " Borey Rai " Narsingh57. " Nahar Rai " Multan58. " Jaidpal " Saharan59. " Sahidal " Biyaha60. " Behrur " Yalwarai61. " Rishi Sagar " Mumtani62. " Saran " Neeru63. " Dhil Rani " Urjan64. " Dev Raj " Basket65. " Bhoney Rai " Nahal66. " Kaka Kamal " Sujana67. " Rai Sel " Udhama68. " Kolarai " Ratman69. " Sagar Singh " Aihyan70. " Rai Saharan " Deepal71. " Jag Arth " Kirlos72. " Mahisa " Janjot73. " Sheersa " Maha Ban74. " Ujal Singh " Bhakkar75. " Acharya " Sirsam76. " Pharsi " Mailsi77. " Rai s/o Sankli " Pattan78. " Gondhar " Pak Pattan79. " Nabh " Alop80. " Makar Singh " Deep5981. " Dwichka " Channu82. " Rai Udhar " Lakhi83. " Balajan s/o Anirudh " Tal Amb84. " Umra " Malhar85. " Gaj Singh s/o Sunder " Chanyot86. " Bhim s/o Sundar " Larkana87. " Rora Rai " Samli88. " Inder Rai " Ujand89. " Rai Swarup " Samar Satta90. " Bhooray Rai " Tong91. " Har Mukh " Sadar92. " Saroria " Biswandni93. " Balaicha " Talmir94. " Mankit " Thal95. " Ransiya " Ket Wari96. " Sanchor " Pharsoo97. " Bada " Agar98. " Surya " Lokoi99. " Bhidar s/o Ram " Gordha100. " Khoorya " Chak Ana101. " Tikka " GarurThese names of the Rajas may sound very queer, strange andmeaningless these days. But as I have said already, in those days thenames used to be in Sanskrit or other local languages, which may bespoken at that time. As they are now not common, they seem to berather strange.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 attackedby the enemy and it would be very difficult now to locate them, butsome of them such as Hissar, Alwar, Urja, Multan, Mailsi, Pak Pattan,Larkana etc. are still thickly populated cities in India/Pakistan.60Rana HameerOn Dahar’s death and fall of Alwara, Jai Singh, the eldest sonof Dahar, tried to reorganize the forces. Their number was now verysmall, they were unable to give an open fight to Qasim’s army. They,therefore, started guerilla war in jungals and in the mountainousregions. This went on for a few years. Due to this fight with theforeign invader and specially due to the fact that a section of the localpopulation also sided with the invader, the Sood army suffered heavylosses.Muslims started forced conversions to Islam and the Hindupopulation, 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 hadsettled in India, were also upset by the sudden attacks, loot and plunderof Sood guerilla forces. These circumstances helped Soods, and theywere able to re-establish their hold on the area on the other side ofAttock river and the southern parts of Sindhu. They concentratedthere and declared Amar Kot again as their capital.After the death of Jai Singh, Rana Kumbha, Jaitak Rai, NaharSingh, Lakhan Singh and Samicha Rao ruled over Amarkot. ThenRana Hameer succeeded to the throne. He extended his empire uptoUdepur, on the one side and upto Chittor on the other. He founded anew 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 anauspicious year when the great victorious Rai Maharana Hamir hasascended the throne. And shines like a moon among sixteen otherkings like stars in the sky. Sitting on the throne, laden with jewels, helooks like Lord Krishna. Even Indra does not command as muchrespect in Indrapuri as has been acquired by Sodha Maharaja by raisingthe status and respect of his forefathers. All the learned people sangpraises, the Brahmins and Munies showered their blessings. Hedistributed charity amongst the poor and Jagirs were awarded to thecourteers.Samvat 1143 Vikramaditya, Puran Amavasya, Rohni Nakshatra‘Naryana’.62Loss of AmarkotRana 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 ofimportance happened during their time and Soods continued to ruleover Amarkot. After Dhanda Singh when Rai Parshad occupied thethrone of Amarkot, great political changes occurred in India. TheMughal rule in Delhi got a big jolt, when Sher Shah Suri defeatedHumayun. Humayun ran away to save his life alongwith his familymembers 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 ofmind I crossed Ganga on horse back and left for Jodhpur, buton the state boundary, I was checked and not allowed to enterthe State. Finding no alternative, I decided to go to Amarkot–There was no water or habitation for miles together. Men andhorses began to die of thirst. At last, we reached the outskirtsof Amarkot. Sher Shah’s army was chasing me. On the otherhand, there was a fear that Rana of Amarkot also may not refuseentry like Jodhpur. To my joy and surprise, the son of RanaRai 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 andconsoled 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 lookedafter all of us very well. After resting for three days, we wereabout to leave, when the Begam got labour pains and the nextday Prince Akbar was born. We extended our stay. I decidedto leave the Begam and the Prince at Amarkot and to leave for63Kabul, the Rana promised to send both of them there aftersometime, when they will be fit enough to undertake the journey.But the Begam did not agree. We stayed there for full onemonth. When we left, the Rana offered gold Mohars, elephantsand horses. But I accepted only ten horses, which were badlyneeded. The Rana accompanied us alongwith his forces uptoBhakkar and came back when we crossed Attock. He gavesome of his trusted soldiers to escort us to Kabul.”When Humayun recaptured the throne of Delhi, he invited RanaRai Parshad to Delhi, honoured him very much and kept him as hispersonal guest. The younger brother of Rana Rai Parshad was givenJagir and created a Subedar.*Aila-ud-Din Khilji invaded Chittor in 1218 Bik. Rana BhimSingh asked for help from Amarkot, which was promptly given andthe Khilji was defeated. One Bhat has recorded as to how the SoodRana addressed his armies before the fight:—Details in “History of Chittor” written by Shri Madhav Saran Srivastav and History ofIndia by Jam Sahib of Jamnagar.64Akbar invaded Chittor in 1568. The Rana of Chittor asked forhelp from Amarkot. Both these rulers had promised to help each otherin times of need. Dewan Hari Singh Sood of Amarkot went to the aidof Rana of Chittor with a big Sood force. On his way to Chittor, hecame to know that the Begum and daughter of the crown princess areon their way to join the Mughal forces. He attacked the Caravan,killed the escort and took the Begam and the princess to the Chittorfort and presented them to the Maharani of Chittor. The Maharanigave all honour to the princess, but forced the Begam to fill the Chillumof her hukkah. The Begum resented very much, but had to obey asshe was like a prisoner in the Fort. She felt very much insulted andhurt. At last there was a treaty with Akbar and he went back. RanaRai Parshad had died by that time. His son Rana Jagga was occupyingthe throne. Akbar, as he was born when his parents had taken shelterwith Soods, used to respect them very much. He never came intoopen conflict with them. He tried his best to see that Soods did notcome to the help of Chittor against him. He sent a message to DewanHari Singh Sood to desist from coming into conflict with the Mughalforces, but the Dewan rejected his advice saying that Soods cannotgo back from their promise, which they had given to Chittor.Akbar felt very much humiliated and let down by Soods. Whenhe returned to Delhi, he instigated Baluch and Bahawalpuries andthey attacked Amarkot.Soods could not stand against the collective forces of Baluchand Bahawalpur and were defeated. They thus lost Amarkot. Thestrength of the Soods had much dwindled by these constant fightsand soon they had to leave Amarkot again. They then scattered indifferent parts of Sindh, Marwar and Rajasthan. In about 1315,Prince Bal Singh came to the descendent of Rai Mehta at Sirhindand joined the Soods living there. He was appointed a Bakshi (Head65of the Cavalors).Rana Jagga then went to Chittor and the Maharana gave himsome jagir, which came to be known as Sudgarh. They collected theirforces, made preparations, while at Sudgarh and recaptured Amarkotand Rana Maula, the eldest son of Rana Jagga, occupied the throne ofAmarkot.66Creation of Sub-Castes*Rai Mehta left Alwara and came to Sabar Nadia where theShah of Kanauj was camping. Shah of Kanauj, when came to know ofQasim’s invasion offered 2 lakhs of his trained soldiers to Rai Mehtato go and fight the invader. He further promised to send another onelakh within 15 days and then again the third batch of 50,000 after amonth. But Rai Mehta gratefully declined the offer and said that hehad taken a vow not to see the face of Dahar again. After a few daysthe son of Rai Mehta and more Sood families joined Rai Mehta andtold the story of fall of Alwara and Dahar’s death. Shah of Kanaujwas very much upset. But when Rai Mehta refused to go back, hecrowned him as Raja of Sahar Nadia and went back to Kanauj. SaharNadia was then given the new name Soodpur and later on came to beknown as Sirhind. Thus Soods first came to Sirhind. Later on manymore families joined them.After settling at Sirhind, the first difficulty, Soods had to facewas that there were no other royal Rajput families near about and itbecame a problem to marry their sons and daughters. They thendivided themselves into Sub Castes and started inter-marriages. Onthe name of the head of the family, or on the name of the village, theysettled in, a Sub Caste was created – such as Gopal after the name ofGopal-bin-Saru, Raja of Dharan, Mandal after Mandal-bin-Rekh SinghRaja of Urja; Dadan after Dadan-bin-Nirhar Raja of Jamer, Ugal SinghRaja of Bhakkar, Phassi after Pharsi Raja of Mailsi etc. There werein all the following 52 Sub Castes:—* Chajnama— extracts from.1. Dosaj2. Phakka3. Phassi4. Bourie5. Teji6. Sulhan677. Balagan8. Beri9. Varanwal10. Gopal11. Ugal12. Law13. Makaura14. Tagala15. Kajla16. Behal17. Dhanda18. Dhalli19. Gajri20. Jari21. Mahidhar22. Dhiri23. Moman24. Baddhu25. Poora26. Mohni27. Nehra28. Bharak29. Vassan30. Rohri31. Bodhi32. Dhookhi33. Bhokaha34. Mukandi35. nandu36. Dadan37. Dhaunchak38. Dauli39. Gondal40. Sanwal41. Jandpaul42. Rudher43. Paul44. Dhoop45. Rara46. Udher47. Gajja48. Bhola49. Pharwaha50. Brahmi51. Mandal52. MahiyerAhmed Shah Abdali invaded India 7 times. Every time thetarget was Sirhind, as it was an important trade centre. The invaderused to link it with the Kabul regime, but when he went back it wasagain taken over by the local rulers. Disgusted with this loot, plunderand political instability, some families migrated from Sirhind to themountainous regions and then the following 52 separate Sub Castesof those families were created, mostly after the names of the villages,they settled in, such as Bajwaria, Mahdoddia, Jullundhri,Jandrangloo:—1. Karol2. Banta3. Takarlo4. Mahdoodia685. Lauriya6. Pabba7. Dopal8. Cheemra9. Chakahria10. Chauhalia11. Chaujhar12. Jhalya13. Kuthiala14. Dogar15. Masand16. Pulkaha17. Mariya18. Chhabb19. Dorela20. Bhagra21. Udhwal22. Kutharia23. Jallundhroo24. Didi25. Kalandar26. Lakhauta27. Patopa28. Bhagla29. Bisohal30. Mithoo31. Jhangra32. Bisolia33. Indoria34. Kandol35. Langa36. Chamohia37. Salhooria38. Jaiswal39. Bajwaria40. Mangwalich41. Sawalia42. Jandranglu43. Lahaspar44. Saha45. Masoob46. Mehta47. Lasaria48. Chaudhri49. Dagan50. Lama51. Harail52. Jhilgat69SirhindSirhind has played an important part in the history of Soodcommunity. It has earlier been explained that Rai Mehta was crownedas Raja of *Soodpur by Shah of Kanauj, when on the invasion ofMohd Bin Qasim, he came here.Nasiri Sirhindi was a famous poet of Sirhind, who was aliveduring Mughal period. He has written history of this city. I am givingbelow a few extracts from his book:—“Sirhind is about 100 Kms from Delhi on the Jarnaili Road onthe banks of Hausla Nadi. It is the first city of military importanceafter crossing Sutlej. The city has eight gates— four big and foursmall.Due to the proximity of hills, the merchandise from China comehere for Sale. It is a great commercial city. Usually all communitieshave compact blocks of residential houses.On the opposite side of the Fort, near the Mint is the ChawkKhas, where members of one community known as Sood are residing.They have the majority of population in the city. They say they werethe rulers of the city, when it was known as Soodpur. Due to Mughalinvasion, they lost. Their dress and ornaments are different from otherHindus and show that they have come from Rajputana. There aresigns of seriousness and bravery on their faces. They do not havelazy faces like Banias. Their Chawdhris are ÷ Palki Nashin, (movingfrom one place to another in Palkies). They are not traders butgenerally take royal estate on contract. They do not worry much aboutmarriage. Nobody has prior information about the marriage of a Soodboy/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 asSirhind. ÷ This was considered to be a symbol of status.70in a Palki. They do not spend much on marriages and this is why theyare rich. The other reason of their richness is that whenever a boybecomes major, the father does not give him anything from hisproperty, but all Soods give him Rs. 10/- and 10 bricks each. Thismakes him about a lakh of rupees and bricks for the construction ofhis own house.The members of this community are very wise. Their womennever 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 ofSoods. 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’sarmy. This raised their prestige in the city.”In ‘Tabkat-e-Akbari’ it is further mentioned that after defeatingthe Pathans, when Soods came back, they were appointed to look afterlaw and order on the road from Ambala to river Beas. They were alsoappointed as Subehdars at Lahore and Agra and Faujdars at Thanesarand Pak Pattan.One Bhat of Soods has mentioned about it as follows:—(Badhus are known for spending on Kaj and Sandal and Kesarfor 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 commonlyknown as 'Kaj'. People spend thousands of rupees on feeding the poor and givingDan etc.71rulers 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 timeknown as Saka Patti), and do not forget Doona Mal, who wears clothesof golden thread and looks a Raja. Shiv Rai Badhu is ruling Agra andNarpat Rai *Phacca at Lahore).The family of Shiv Rai Badhu is still in Agra.Now a question arises the Soods having been divided in threegroups— one which remained in Sindh, the second which migrated toMaru Desh and the third group was of those who came to Sirhind—did they ever meet and had contacts with each other? In those daysmeans of communication were very meager and it seems they lostcontact with each other. They were lost to each other and mergedthemselves with the local population with the changes that historybrought about. Only once Girja Nand Bhat of Soods came fromAmarkot 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. TheRaja has given all honours, riches, villages etc.I am Bhatt— great Bhat— of Soods and have undertaken thisjourney after hearing your name. The descendents of Raghu all Parmar* another Sub-Caste of Soods72Soods are my Yajmans.The descends of Chander Vansh shine like moon and those ofSoods 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 fourelephants by the Soods. He was seen off in a Palki and was requestedto come again. He thus mentions about it:—It is not known whether any other Bhat later on contacted theother groups of Soods or not. Most probably they had then noopportunity to see or contact each other and all their traces were lost.73Soods Leave SirhindAfter the settlement of Soods at Sirhind and other near aboutcities, this area underwent many political changes. The Mughal Empirewas on its last legs and the authority of the Emperor of Delhi was fastdwindling. One Bazida Ranghor of Kunjpura was appointed asGoveror of Sirhind by Delhi Darbar. Guru Gobind Singh in thosedays was fighting against the Mughal rule. The Governor of Sirhindarrested two sons of Guru Gobind Singh. They were given temptationsto get themselves converted to Islam, but they refused. History tellsus that they were buried alive in a wall by the Governor of Sirhind.After sometime, Banda Bahadur invaded Sirhind. The Mughal forceswere defeated and he captured the city. As the two Sahibzadas wereburied alive in a wall at Sirhind, Banda Bahadur with vengeance lootedthe whole city and ordered its complete demolition. The Hindupopulation of the city, which mostly consisted of Soods, was orderedto be evacuated to safer places in other parts of Punjab. The importantSardars of the Sikh forces, who were occupying important positionsin 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 knownas Patiala) and other village near about. A few families were evaculatedto the Jagirs of Sodhis at Morinda, Katani, Machhiwara, Ludhiana,Jassowal etc. The Majhail Sikh Jagirdars took some families withthem and settled them at Jhabbal, Naushehra Panwan, Dhutian, Tut,Tarn Taran, Patti, Amritsar etc.As Soods and other Hindus had to leave Sirhind in abnormalcircumstances, they were not able to carry their belongings and hadto start life afresh at the new places, they migrated to. They, therefore,74adopted whatever profession they could to earn their living. Sometook 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, wherethey had settled, are still known as strong holds of the Community.75Saka or JauharSaka or Jauhar was a custom among Rajputs. Rajput ladieswhen found that it was not possible for their men to win a war and theenemy was stronger, then with a view to see that women folk did notfall in the hands of the enemy and may not be dishonoured, they usedto burn themselves alive voluntarily. The Rajputs then used to wearKesari clothes and lay down their lives fighting. Sometime if theRaja was killed in the battle field, the Rani and other women folkused to perform Sati. The object was the same, i.e., the women folkof the royal family wanted to protect their honour after the death ofthe Raja.I have come across some cases of this type in Sood familiesand mention a few of them below:—*In 780, Mangal Rao Bhati of Sialkot was defeated by Shah ofGazni. He crossed river Ghaggar and with the aid of Soods, whowere ruling this area, came and settled at Lodarwa. His son ManjanRao was declared as ruler of Lodrwa and Rawal Sood himselfperformed the coronation ceremony and announced the engagementof his daughter with Manjan Rao.In 1271 (Bikrami) Lakhan Dev succeeded the throne ofLodarwa. He was also married to the Sood princess. He was a simpleman and his courteers had great influence on him. The Rani was veryactive and shrewed. She called some Soods from Amarkot to helpher run the administration. Instigated by the courteers, Lakhan Devgot all the Soods murdered during night and threw their bodies out ofthe Fort.Sood Rawal of Amarkot, when came to know of it, was* Page 394, Waqa-e-Rajasthan Part III76infuriated. He attacked Lodarwa and occupied it after severe fighting.Lakhan Dev was killed. The Rani performed Sati and while the pyrewas lit, she scolded Soods for killing her husband, knowing well thatthe courteers were at the back of this killing. “Your Amarkot will falland you will wander from place to place.” So saying she burnt herselfalive.Soods were horrified to hear this. They begged pardon but itwas too late, the Rani had jumped into the fire.At the place on every Amavash Soods come and bow theirheads and a big mela used to be held.*The Treasury of Mohd Ghauri, Shah of Delhi, was being takenfrom Bhakkar to Delhi with an escort of 800 Pathans. Rawal Jit Singhof Jaisalmer, who was married to the Sood Princess of Amarkot, killedthe escort and looted the treasury, alongwith 1200 horses and 2,000Mules. He then started preparations for war as he was sure that theShah would attack Jaisalmer, as soon as the news reached him. Herequested Soods of Amarkot for help. An army of 30,000 strong withother war material was sent by Soods.The Shah of Delhi sent a big army under the command ofMehboob Khan. The war went on for a very long time and at lastJaisalmer forces retreated in the fort. Preparations were made forJauhar. 24,000 Rajput ladies, including 2,000 Sood ladies fromAmarkot collected in the royal palace. Rani Urmila put on her bestclothes and jewellery, bowed her head before Rawal Jit Singh andjumped into fire, followed by others.All Rajputs put on Kesri clothes with Tulsi leaves in theirmouths, opened the door of the fort and attacked Pathans. The Pathanforces could not stand their determined attack and fled from the battlefield.Mehboob Khan was a friend of Rattan Singh, the crown prince,who was commanding the Rajput forces. Before the attack, he sentall the treasury and jewels to Amarkot and his two minor sons aged 11* Page 396-“Waqa-e-Rajasthan” Part II and “Tareekh Jaisalmar”77and 7 years to Mehboob Khan for safe custody with the promise thatthey would not be converted to Islam.But when the Pathans ran away, the princes returned to theFort. Mehboob Khan’s real brother, who was badly injured requestedRattan Singh for help. He was taken to the Fort and was well lookedafter. In the Fort he saw that there were only 200 Rajputs left. Hedeceived the Rajputs and sent a message to the Pathans. The Pathanson hearing this attacked again. Rajputs were taken unawares and foundthat they could not win now. Both Rattan Singh and his brother MoolRaj killed each other and the fort fell to Pathans.*There are few other small incidents which are worthmentioning:—After the return of Nadir Shah. Mughals became very weak.Sarbuland Khan Subedar of Gujrat became independent. Abhe SinghRathod agreed to give him a fight provided forces of Sood Raja ofDhar 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. DharamDas 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 Soodshe writes:—Soods were Rajas of Pattan. They were living peacefully, whencivil war broke out. A severe battle followed. One group thenmigrated to Maru Desh. The second one lost Pattan to Yadavs.Yadavs and Soods were not on good terms since long. It startedwith the engagement of the only daughter of Raja of Ras. Shewas engaged to a Yadav prince, but later on was married to theSood prince of Pattan. When the marriage party was returningto Pattan, Yadavas suddenly attacked it. Both the bride andthe bridegroom were killed. The enmity lasted till both the* Page 105-Waqa-e-Rajasthan Part III78dynasties were destroyed. One Bhat describes the war asunder:—Sarvdeshik Sood SabhaIt will be seen that the Community was thus divided in differentparts of the country, in Pattan, Marwar, Amarkot, Sirhind and later onin different parts of Punjab. They lost contact with each other. Theold system of Bhats visiting the members of the community at differentplaces and keeping them united died down gradually. No link wasleft between them and due to this dis-integration, the community wasdivided in different groups known as Pahari, Maidani, ‘A’ Section,‘B’ Section etc.It was in 1881, that a few elders of the Community seeing thisstate of affairs leading to division and total dis-integration of thecommunity, joined heads and decided to end this situation and to reunite the Community. The idea of holding a conference of theCommunity thus took shape and the first Sood Conference was heldat Ludhiana in 1881. A society known as ‘Sood Sahayak Sabha’ wasformed. To keep the members of the Community, residing in differentparts 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 andit was presided over by Rai Bahadur L. Mohan Lal Sood, MLC ofGarli; followed by another one in 1912 at Paragpur. In 1914, the fifthConference was held at Jawala Mukhi and was presided over byHon’ble Mr. Justice Jai Lal Sood. Again there was a gap of about 5years and in 1919 the next conference was again held at Ludhianaunder the presidentship of L. Duni Chand.After some intervals, the Conferences were held at the followingplaces:Year Place of the Conference Name of the President1928 Jullundur Shri Atam Sarup Beri ofPatiala801929 Moga R.S.L. Mushtaq Rai Soodof Jullundur.1930 Hoshiarpur R.B.L. Jodha MalKuthiala.1932 Jullundur R.S.L. Radha Kishan ofAmritsar1933 Garli Cap: Dr. Bhagwan Dassof Jullundur.1935 Simla R.S. Ch : Ganpat Rai ofMoga.1938 Amritsar L. Milkhi Ram Advocateof Hoshiarpur1941 Palampur L. Mela Ram Sood ofSimla.1943 Amritsar L. Mangat Rai Kuthiala ofHoshiarpur.1946 Simla Seth Sulakhan Singh Soodof Amritsar.1950 Phagwara L. Amolak Ram Advocateof Moga.1957 Ludhiana L. Amar Nath Beri ofLudhiana.1962 Amritsar Seth Sulakhan Singh.1966 Hoshiarpur L. Kidar Nath Bourie ofLudhiana.1972 Chandigarh Mr. Justice Tek ChandSood.At all these Conferences, different resolutions were passed tobring about reforms in the various social customs and funds were alsocollected, out of which scholarships were given to the needy studentsto prosecute their studies; as also help to widows and other disabled81members of the Community.It was in the year 1928, when the Conference was held atJullundur 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 Sabhawas also changed from ‘Risala Soodan’ to ‘Sarvdeshak SoodSamachar’.The main difficulty about the proper functioning of the officesof the Sarvdeshak Sood Sabha had been that the practice was to shiftthe offices of the Sabha as well as the Monthly Organ alongwith thevenue of the Conference from one place to another. The Offices hadto function every year at a different station. The major difficulty wasabout discontinuing the publication of the paper at one place and thenfiling declaration denove from the next station. It meant considerabledelay.Feeling this difficulty, it was decided to open the permanentoffice of Sarvdeshak Sood Sabha at Chandigarh and to shift the officialpaper also to this city. The Sood Sabha, Chandigarh, was alsopublishing their own monthly paper known as ‘Sood Sandesh’. It wasfelt that it was of no use to publish two papers of the community fromone and the same place and it was, therefore, decided that this paperof Chandigarh Sood Sabha should be taken over by the SarvdeshakSood Sabha and should continue to be published from Chandigarh.These conferences have gone a long way in keeping thecommunity united, but it must be admitted that very few people fromoutside Punjab and Delhi attended these conferences. The membersof the community are scattered not only throughout the length andbreadth of the country but a considerable number is residing in foreigncountries also. It is only through the paper that they can remain intouch with the different developments and the happenings in thecommunity and efforts are being made to achieve this object throughthe 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 source of our ancient history is based upon the narrationsof worthwhile achievements by the bards of the period which wererecited from generation to generation.The word “Sood” is of Sanskrit origin and according to AmarKosh it means a courageous and a brave person or a victor of hisenemies. It also means a man who can easily make progress.The word “Sood” has occurred fifteen times in the Rig Ved,six times in the Yajur Ved and twice in Atharv Ved. The prayer of theworshipper is that God Almighty may make him ‘Sood’.This suggests that “Sood” is a very ancient fraternity and hadalso a noble quality.There are references to the term “Sood” in Bhavishya Puran,Upsarg, Ardhang Adhyaya 6th.