A Brief Description of the Khan Sarguroh Family

 

(This treatise dated 11th September 2005, is compiled by Ghufraan vald Abdul Wahab vald Ibrahim of Panhalje. His paternal & maternal grandfathers, father & mother are the chief sources of information. Contact No. 24465868. E-mail: gwsgh9@yahoo.com Website: http://www.geocities.com/gwsgh9/Sarguroh_Ghufraan.html)

 

{The source of information i.e. the manuscripts are very ancient & not entirely delving into the specifics of the family hierarchy. Besides, as is the nature of History, the information passed on by the word of mouth from generation to generation may not necessarily be accurate. Hence, all the information provided in the following pages may not be necessarily correct. Any suggestion, recommendation, addition, edition, or correction is most welcome. We are indeed thankful to all those who have and/or will contribute by providing relevant information and/or editing the treatise.}

 

In the year A.D. 1497, Daryakhan the head officer of the province of the Maimun Bander (which is now the Dabhol port) was, in accordance with a Royal Order, granted as Inaam, twelve villages & three hamlets which were under the territorial division of the said Bunder which is presently in the Ratnagiri District of the Konkan Region in the State of Maharashtra in India.

 

All the said villages & hamlets, under the Moamelah (Taluka - Tarf) of Jafarabad (Khed) & Hamzabad (Chiplun) were given as Inaam to the office of Sarguruhi (Head Officer) including Khoti (Zameendari), together with the revenue in kind & cash, all taxes & assessments, all pre-requisites of land, fields, immovable properties, services, Adhikmas (surplus), Pattawan, supply of grass, Vet Begar (unremunerated labour), Sadhak & Badhak (deficiency & surplus), jurisdiction in respect of murder, hidden treasure, all rights of the Hakdars, pre-requisites of the land-holders and all the expenses. Therefore the said villages were considered as a grant to Daryakhan, free of all taxes & assessments. According to the Royal Firman (Order) {issued by the Kings agent at Mustafabad (Parganah Dabhol)}, the aforesaid should also continue to his descendants, both in the male & female lines.  

 

Under the Moamelah Hamzabad the following villages & hamlets were a part of the royal grant:

 

Village Kamthen

Village Nirbaden with the Hamlet Karoli

Village Pewah

Village Kutren with the Hamlet Ambil

Village Kalondah

Village Kalusten

Mouje (village) Gimvi was also previously under the said office of Sarguruhi (Daryakhan)

 

Under the Moamelah Jafarabad the following villages & hamlets were a part of the royal grant:

 

 

Village Panhaljen

Village Hodkhad

Village Talghar

Village Ashgani

Village Visapur with the Hamlet Khatloli

Village Dhamni

 

Daryakhan & Daudkhan sons of Alamkhan were, as described by the Firman of the Majesty (The Adilshahi Royalty who had their seat of power at Bijapur which is in the present day Karnataka) brave & loyal commanders and also efficient administrators of the government.

 

Organization Chart

 

{The above information has been obtained from the translation in English (which was done many decades ago) of the original hand written manuscripts in Persian which are in possession of Abdul Wahab Khan ibn Ibrahim Khan ibn Mohd. Sharif Khan of Panhalje. The said manuscripts were originally in the possession of Cassimkhan ibn Husseinkhan ibn Sharfuddinkhan of Pewe}.

 

The Khans who are Sunni Muslims were originally migrants from Afghanistan (possibly Kandahar) or from somewhere in Central Asia. However, there probably aren’t any direct documentary proofs which indicate the same. Who & how many of our ancestors migrated & when & from exactly where & where did they first settle in India & how & why did they migrate are questions that are, given the paucity of clear proofs, difficult to answer. But what can be said with a fair degree of certainty is that the Khans are on the Indian soil for atleast 5-6 centuries. Also, we can trace our Pathan lineage from physical, sociological, geographical & cultural factors.

 

The following are some of the reasons which indicate our ancestral roots:

 

o       We find names of our known ancestors which are common among Pathans

o       The color of the skin of all those Sargurohs who are not the product of inter race marriages is distinctively fair & have features that are different from the local inhabitants.

o       Our known ancestors were the Head Officers of the Adilkhani Majesty. Naturally we being Khans were more likely to be trusted & given responsibility by the rulers who had the same last name.

o       Since Khan is not essentially a local surname, it has to be a foreign one.

o       The Khan Sargurohs are Hanafees (followers of Imam Abu Hanifa) which is not the norm among local Konkani Muslims who are Shafaes (followers of Imam Shafee). The local Kokani Muslims have been in general, converted by the Arab traders who landed on the shores of Konkan; whereas those who are Hanafees have been in general, converted by the Hanafees who came from the north by land (possibly Iraq or Afghanistan).

o       Furthermore, those Hanafees who came for the propagation of Islam to the north of the Indian Sub-Continent are not known to have traveled so far south to the Konkan.

o       Our general characteristics like the flair, the magnanimity, the inclination for grandiose, the lucidity of language especially Urdu & Persian that some of the elder Sargurohs had & have is atypical of the local Moeslems. 

o       Many of the local converts even after embracing Islam continue to practice some of their local traditional customs & at times even incorporate them in their system of belief. This trait is not apparent in most of the Sargurohs.

 

The above factors suggests that our ancestors were Buddhists, since the majority of the Afghans were, before embracing Islam, Buddhists. This is in contrast to the local converts whose ancestors were probably Hindu. 

 

It is believed that somewhere down the family tree, two brothers, Daud Khan & Mohd. Khan had settled in Pewe & Panhalje respectively.

 

Of the villages & hamlets which were under the control of the Khans only three remain: Pewe (TalukaGuhagar), Panhalje & Hodkhad (TalukaKhed). Besides, even in these the Khans do not today enjoy absolute power as they did in the earlier times. Also, some of the Khans still have ancestral property in the Khamshet & Kharekond villages in Taluka Guhagar. Moreover, most of the Khans have now for all practical purposes, effectively adopted the title (Sarguroh) conferred upon their forefathers as their surname. 

 

These villages were electrified approximately in 1975. Before that lanterns were the source of light. Also, earlier the only means of transportation was non-mechanized boats on the waterways. Later on it was mechanized boats. During this period BI (British India) Shipping Company use to ply passenger ships from Bombay to Dabhol & by transit from Dabhol to Govalkot. In the year 1972 (approx.) State Transport buses started plying from Bombay to Pewe. In the year 1995 (approx) access road to Panhalje was completed & State Transport bus started plying from Bombay. Telephone links were established by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) in the year 2000 in both the villages.

 

Over the years Haji Qutbuddinkhan ibn Misrikhan’s Haveli at Panhalje, was the house where the administrative officials were hosted. This house was instrumental in making the Panhalje port as a passenger ship station. Furthermore, they made the Postal Services accessible in the village Panhalje & mainly due to their efforts Local Board School was established in the same village. Also they were the ones who donated land for the Mosque & the school in Panhalje. Even the road access in Panhalje was possible chiefly due to the untiring efforts of Abdul Rahim Khan ibn Sharifkhan who was of this house. Besides, it was Mr. Roshankhan ibn Alikahn who was instrumental in bringing piped water connection to each house in Panhalje. Also, Mustafakhan who was the father of Murtazakhan of Lodheekhanwad was the person who primarily rebuilt the structure of Panhalje’s mosque. This mosque was subsequently reconstructed with the help of DosMohd. ibn Fareedkhan of Kaatalwad from South Africa.   

 

The Arabian Sea has an inlet at Dabhol (which is in the Dapoli Tehsil) that is called Vashshiti Khadi. This Vashshiti Khadi ends at Gowalkot (which is in the Chiplun Tehsil). Panhalje & Hodkhad are in Khed Tehsil on one bank of the creek Vashishti whereas Pewe is in Guhagar Tehsil on the other bank of the creek. Through waterways (on the creek Vashishti) it takes about 2-3 hours from Panhalje to Pewe. By road the distance between the two is about 125 Km. Panhalje is about 275 km from Bombay. Pewe is about 310 km from Bombay. Panhalje & Hodkhad are divided by a small river. Settlements in Panhalje & Hodkhad are a little away from the bank of the creek on the hill-slopes. Muslim settlements in Pewe are on one side of a small river, close to the bank of the river.

 

All the three villages have been gifted with different topographies which are captivating & enchanting. These villages which are nested in the curvaceous hills have jungles with various species of snakes, attractive birds, tigers & domestic animals. These villages also have picturesque mangroves. Moreover the creek & the little tributaries are full of frogs, fishes & crabs. There are a wide variety of trees such as jackfruit, coconut, cashew nuts, nuts, berries, teak, aein, khair, shewri, bamboos, different types of mango, papaya, ramfal, banana, chikoo etc. Besides the waterfalls gracefully gushing from the hillocks, there are springs, wells, and rivers as well.

 

These exotic tropical villages which are the cradle of the Sarguroh heritage provide one with a spectacular access to the ultimate in fascinating landscapes. The alluring & seamless meeting of the hills with the creek epitomize the bounty of scenic beauty with which the region is blessed. Away from the crowds, pollution and noise of the city, they present a tranquil & pleasant retreat. These villages still retain some of the old world charm, potentially making them ideal holiday destinations.

 

The following are broadly, the different Mohallas of Sargurohs in the village Panhalje:

 

·        Lodheekhanwad

·        Khailaghar

·        Usman Tembir

·        Kaatalwad (Masoodkhanwad)

·        Kaatal

·        Baigwad

·        Chichaba (Qutbuddinkhan)/Gharukhan (Misrikhan) Area

 

Besides there are other non-khans as well:

o       Sain, Dawre from Sainwad

o       Chivelkar, Nadgavkar, Lore from Chivelkarwad

o       Chikte, Papa, Pathan, Navshekar from Katalwad (Tyaawad)

o       Baig from Baigwad

o       Syed from Katal

 

The following are broadly, the different Mohallas of Sargurohs in the village Pewe:

 

·        Sheri

·        Khaari

 

Besides there are other non-khans as well:

o       Mullah, Motlekar, Syed, Mukhri from Vailyamaalad

o       Pewekar from Khaari

o       Pathan from Sheri

 

The Kunbees (Marathas), the Bhois (Fishermen) & the Buddhists; who are the Non-Muslim residents of the said villages have primarily, over the centuries, thrived on the lands of the Khans. Besides, the villages have well maintained mosques & High Schools.   

 

The population of the Khan Sargurohs today is almost equally distributed in Panhalje & Pewe with Hodkhad having a meagre population. Moreover, many of the residents of these villages have migrated to various other places: - Mumbai, Dapoli, Chiplun etc. and even abroad: - South Africa, U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Pakistan etc.

 

The descendants of the Daryakhan & Daudkhan were quite well-to-do due to the income accruing from agricultural returns. However, the income from the paddy & Alphanso mangoes is no longer enough & rather unpredictable. Today, given the lack of dependable means of income many Sargurohs living in the villages have a hard time sustaining their families. Therefore many of the Sarguroh clan are working in the Middle-East or in a Metropolis like Bombay.

 

The Khan Sargurohs in the earlier period used to have matrimonial relations among themselves or with the Qazis from Dhamni (who are also Hanafees). However, as of now they do enter into matrimony with other Konkani Muslims & at times also with non-Koknis. Furthermore, the Khan Sarguroh descendants have over the centuries in large measure, adopted the typical Konkani culture so much so that some of them are almost indistinguishable from other local Konkani Muslims and have become quite proficient in Marathi. The language which they speak is a corrupted form of Marathi known as Kokni. But those who have settled in Mumbai regularly converse in English & Hindustani; with some of them having good command over these languages as well.    

 

In the contemporary era, Sargurohs in general, are generally honest, not of very elitist taste, middle-class people. Some of them are quite religious & reasonably refined in their mannerisms & conduct themselves in a respectable way. Some of them are quite intelligent & innovative while some not so intellectually gifted. Some of them are quite philanthropic & kind hearted whereas there are a few who aren’t quite as good-hearted. Some are graciously hospitable whereas some are narrow-minded. Some are quite nonchalant in their demeanour whereas most are predisposed to go off the handle with alacrity. Some are charismatic & have/had illustrious careers, whereas some are comparatively nondescript. Infact, there is a fair measure of diversity that one can find among Sargurohs.

 

As far as education is concerned the Sargurohs in the bygone eras weren’t all that educated. Whatever little education they had was in general, a privilege of the males. The females were mostly uneducated with little exposure. This picture however is increasingly changing for the better. Both the genders of the new generation are being educated. Today one can find among the Sargurohs, graduates in various disciplines of engineering, medicine, science, commerce, arts & management. Besides, there are Haafiz-e-Quran & Ulemas among the Sargurohs as well

 

Many of the Sargurohs have served private, government & semi-government organizations like BPT (Bombay Port Trust), Municipal Corporation, Courts, in the education field, financial organizations, and telecommunication & Information technology sectors with dignity, integrity, efficiency &.distinction.

 

Milestones:

§         Muneer Khan ibn Dost Mohd. Khan was the person who founded the first Urdu Medium High School in the Konkan region at Dapoli known as Anglo Urdu School.

§         Ishaq Khan ibn Saheb Khan was a Corporator of Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation & Chairman of the health committee of BMC.

§         Akber Khan ibn Misri Khan (Gharu) was the Deputy Mayor of London Municipal Corporation, U.K.

§         Gulzar Khan ibn Misri Khan (Gharu) was a Corporator of the Cape Town Municipal Corporation, South Africa.

 

Note: There might have been other significant achievements which have not been mentioned as the compiler of the treatise is unaware of them. Besides, there are & have been several Executive Officers, General Managers, Principals, Assistant Commissioners, & Gazetted Officers as well. Also, among the Sargurohs there are & have been eminent Advocates, reputed Doctors & other distinguished and renowned professionals too.

 

Note:

Ø      The initial part of the first family tree is possibly a common ancestry of all Sargurohs from Pewe, Panhalje & Hodkhad.  

Ø      Most of the entries in the following tree diagrams are of the 20th and/or 21st century.

Ø      Special characters used along with an entry in the following tree diagrams indicate particular relationships with other entries with the same characters.

Ø      Special characters like *, +, % indicate that, that entry belongs to Pewe, Hodkhad, Panhalje respectively.

Ø      Numbers that appear along with the entries indicate that there is a related explanation regarding that entry, in the References that follow at the end. Two or more numbers (if required) are separated by a comma.

 

It is an earnest request to all the future generations to kindly update the following Hierarchy Diagrams as and when required so that the Khan Sarguroh History is always maintained.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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