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Historical Prospective

Joiya or Joiya is a Rajput clan of Northern India and Pakistan. Joiya are one of the twenty-four undivided Rajput clans or 'Eka'. In ancient chronicles they are described as "Lords of Jangladesh," as a tract which comprehended Hariana, Bhattiana, Bhatner and Nagor. They also held, in common with Dahiya with whom their name is always coupled, the banks of the Indus and Sutlej under their influence.

Jatts also have a clan named Johiya. Their branches are khichar, kulhari, Gaina and Mahla . They are settled in Rajastan, Uttarpradesh and Haryana , City of Sikar in Rajastan was founded by Veerbhan Khichar.


Joiyas are identified with Yaudheya or Yaudheya Gana who were an ancient tribal confederation who lived in the area between the Indus river and the Ganges river. They are mention in Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Ganapatha. There are other references of them namely in Mahabharata, Mahamayuri, Brihat-Samhita, Puranas, Chandravyakarana and Kashika. References span from writings of early medieval period, and the chronology of Yaudheyas from as early as 500 BCE till 1200 CE. They were in zenith of their power from about 200 BC to 400 A.D.

Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Karttikeya.
Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Karttikeya.

The Yaudheys or Yaudheya were a very famous clan of ancient India. They were the ancient republican tribes who resided in the area between the Indus river and the Ganges river. They find mention in Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Ganapatha. King Yayati’s fourth son was Anu. Anu’s eighth son was Maharaja Mahamana. Ushinar was the son of Mahamana and was the ruler of most of the Punjab. Usinara the Anavi King, after his arrival in the Punjab, probably established himself at Multan. There is evidence that after the death of Usinara, his Anavi kingdom was divided among his five sons. Their modern representatives the Punjabee tribe of the Joyas, still live in this part of the province. They were known to the Greek authors of the time of the Macedonian invader Alexander the Great. Ushinar’s son was Nrig and Nrig’s son was Yaudhey. The Yaudhey clan has originated from him.

Puranic Reference

Puranas (e.g. Brahmanda, Vayu, Brahma and Harivamsha) described Yaudheyas as the descendants of Ushinara and Nrigu

Literary and Epigraphical References

We find earliest mention of Yaudheyas in Ashtadhyayi (V.3.116-17 and IV.1.178) of Panini (c.500 BCE) where Yaudheyas are mentioned amongst Ayudhajivin Sanghas.

Later, the Junagadh rock inscription (c. 150 B.C.) of Rudradaman I acknowledged the military might of the Yaudheyas "who would not submit because they were proud of their title "heroes among the Kshatriyas"", although the inscription explains that they were ultimately vanquished by Rudradaman.

Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Karttikeya.
Karttikeya with spear and cock, coin of the Yaudheyas.

""Rudradaman by force destroyed the Yaudheyas.

—Junagadh rock inscription

The Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta also mentioned about the Yaudheyas. Varahamihira in his Brihatsamhita placed them in the northern division of India.

Numismatic Evidences

Their territory included on the west – Sutlej, Depalpur, Satgarha, Ajundhan, Kahror, Multan, on the east - Bhatner, Abhor, Sirsa, Hansi, Panipat and Sonapat and on the north - Kangra. These were listed based on the assumptions of coin finds. Even Haryana and Panjab were included in the territory they might have ruled.

There isn’t much known about ancient tribes which are mentioned in ancient literature and inscriptions but the existence of a powerful clan known as Yaudheyas has come to light mainly from their coins and coin-moulds found in large number in this area. A large number of their coins depicted the god Brahmanyadeva or Karttikeya empire in fourth century http://www.india-history.com/ancient-india/gupta-empire.html

Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Karttikeya.
Six-headed Karttikeya on a Yaudheya coin. British Museum.

Later Developments

Yaudheyas were the rulers of South-Eastern Punjab and Rajasthan. Even today these areas are inhabited by the Joiyas. Colonel Minchin, a British historian says that the extreme north-eastern part of the state Bahawalpur and a portion of Bikaner, was inhabited by a race called the Yaudheyas to whom General Cunningham, another historian, attributes the foundation of the town of Ajudhan or Ayodhaunne, the battle field, which is evidently connected with their own name of Yaudheya or Ajudhiya inscription of Samudara Gupta and at a still earlier date by Panini in the Junagarh inscription of Rudra Dama. Chandra Gupta Maurya, mention of the Yaudhas proves that they must have been a recognized clan before the time of Alexander. General Cunningham identifies them with the existing tribes of Joiyas, which is included by colonel Tod amongst the 24-ruling race of Rajputana. He stated that this race possessed the same atributes as the Dahia or Dahers, are now extinct, but in fact both these tribes are still found in the Bahawalpur state, and they were converted to Islam by the famous Saint Hazrat Baba Fareed Shaker Gunj, whose shrine is in Ajudhan, and from whom the place derives its modern name of Pakpattan (District in Punjab, Pakistan), meaning "the ferry of the pure ones."

Numismatic Evidences

Their kingdoms or territory included on the west – Sutlej, Depalpur, Satgarha, Ajundhan, Kahror, Multan, on the east - Bhatner, Abohar, Sirsa, Hansi, Panipat and Sonipat and on the north - Kangra. These were listed based on the assumptions due to the coins finds in these areas. Haryana and Punjab were included in the territory they ruled.

There isn’t much known about the tribes which are mentioned in ancient literature and inscriptions but the existence of a powerful clan known as Yaudheyas has come to light mainly from their coins and coin-moulds found in large number in this area. A large number of their coins depicted the god Brahmanyadeva or Karttikeya.

The Yaudhey family tree



The Joiyas during the Middle Kingdoms

The Yaudhey people inhabited the areas on the banks of the Satadru (Sutlej) river which latter became part of the princely state of Bahawalpur in today's province of Punjab (Pakistan).

The coins of the Yaudhey clan have also been found in the areas between the Sutlej and the Yamuna rivers in the Sonepat fort of Rohtak in the state of Haryana in India. These coins are marked in Sanskrit as “Yaudhey Ganasya Jay”. The Yaudhey clan was also in existence during the Mahabharata period.

The Yaudheys or Joiyas were known for their bravery. They fought with the Guptas, the Mauryas and the Kushans. They occupied ancient areas like Marwar, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. Rajasthan.Rang Mahal was their capital (ruined city near Ganganagar in India). Rang Mahal culture is spread over in Ghaggar valley and its painted wares are quite different from that of the Harappan period.

The Joiya and the Rathore Rajputs

Before their state in Jangladesh was annexed by the Rathores, the Joiyas had six-hundred villages under their rule. Sher Singh was their ruler and Bhuroopal was their capital and was a great warrior. He gave a tough fight to the Rathores. Rao Bika, the Rathore ruler then aligned himself with the Godara Jats.

The Godara Jats were the most powerful of the six clans of Jats ruling over Jangladesh. Bika along with the Godaras attacked the Joiyas and defeated them. The greatest war between the Rathores and the Joiyas was fought at the village of Dhaka near Sidhmukh.
In the middle of 16th century they were expelled from Joiya capitalof Bikaner by the Rathore rulers with the help of Mughal Emperor Akbar. According to Ain –i-Akbari, volume II section 195,Joiyas were the predominant caste in Mahals(districts)of Sirsa, in Sarkar of Hisar Firozah and in Rajpur, Shergarh, Fathpur and Kahror in Sarkar of Bet Jalandhar Doab, where semi independent state of Fathpur (Vehari) was founded by Raja Fateh Khan Joiya/Joyia. Lateron Daulat Khan Joyia and his descendants (Daulatana) ruled this area and Kahror till 1754,when Amir Mubarik Khan Abbasi conquered and made this area as part of Bhawlalpur state. In Sirsa Joiyas ruled and even helped Bhattis in conquering Bhatnair from Rathores. History of Bhatnair tells us that this fort has been ruled by Joyias, Chayal, Bhatis and Rathores. Though after the great famine of 1783,this area was devastated and migration took place.

This vacuum was filled by the British adventurer Thomas Cook, who ruled this area for few years and latter on taken by Marhattas and finally annexed by the Britishers. Joyias (mostly Hindus) are still living in this area. Moti Chand Joiya was MP in Harayana assembly, whereas Muslim Joiyas migrated to Pakistan and are settled in Pakpattan and Sahiwal districts. The Holy shrine of Hazrat Sultan Mahmood Joiyas is in district Ferozpur and revered by Muslims and Hindus alike.

Joiyas in Bahawalpur and Multan

Joiyas still hold all the banks of the Sutlej from Wattu borders nearly as far down as its coherence with the Indus through Bahawalpur and Multan Divisions of present day Pakistan. Though the Bhattis cut them from Kabror, and later they lost their semi-independence when their possessions formed a part of the Bahawalpur State; they still hold a stip in Bikaner on the bed of the old Ghaggar just below Bhatner, their ancient seat. They are also found in considerable numbers in parts of Lahore , Ferozpur and on the lower Indus of Derajat and Muzaffargarh,in Tehsil Piplan (Distt Mianwali). They occupy few villages  on the banks of Jhelum, and in Shahpur Tehsil of Distt Sargodha and about six villages in Tehsil Khushab and Tehsil Nurpur of Khushab disst (specially the Joiyas of Haveli Chiraq and Ainu are the biggest landlords of disst. Khushab). The Multan bar, to this day is known as as the Joiya Bar.

Few historians say that they are also to be found in Salt Range or mountains of Jud, and identify themselves with the Jodia or Yaudheya.

Conversion to Islam

Johiyas were converted to Islam by the well known sufi saint Hazrat Baba Fareed Shaker Gunj, in 12th century, whose shrine is in ,Ajoodhun and from whom the place derives its modern name of Pakpattan (District in Punjab, Pakistan), meaning 'the ferry of the pure ones'.”

Baba Fareed converted three Joiya brothers, Lunan, Ber and Wasul to Islam and blessed Lunan saying "Lunan, dunan, chaunan," i.e., "may Lunan's posterity multiply". These thee brothers captured the  fortress of Bhatinda from the Slave Kings of Delhi and ruled its territory, with Sirsa and Bhatner independently.

Coin of the Yaudheyas with depiction of Karttikeya.
Shrine of Hazrat Baba Fareed Shaker Gunj

Joiya and Bika Confrontation

Lakhkho, son of Lunan, headed a confederation of Joiyas, Bhattis, and Waryas against the Bika, the founders of Bikaner, but were defeated by the powerful Rathores. Bikaner rose to become a prominent state while the Joiyas were reduced to the status of chiefs.

15th Century Onwards

After Lakhkho, Salim Khan Joiya rose to power in the time of Aurangzeb. He founded Salim Garh which he gave to Pir Shauq Shah which latter became Mari Shauq Shah and founded a second Salim Garh which was however destroyed at Aurangzeb's order, but on its ruins his son Fareed Khan I founded Shehar Fareed in Bahawalpur. After the downfall of the Mughal Empire, the Joiya chiefs continued for some time to pay tribute at Multan. Nawab Wali Muhammad Khan Khakwani, Governor Multan latter married a Joiya girl, Ihsan Bibi, and thus he secured their adherence, which enabled him to find refuge among Admera and Saldera Joiyas when the Marhattas took possessions of Multan in 1757 A.D. After the Joiyas under Fareed Khan Joiya II revolted against Saleh Mohammad Khan, (who the Marhattas had appointed the Governor of Multan) and plundered his territory, but in 1772 when Ahmad Shah Abdali had expelled the Marhattas from Multan, he reappointed Wali Mohammad Khan to its Governorship but this time the Joiyas submitted to his decision. Under the Emperor Zaman Khan, however, the Joiyas again rose in rebellion. But this time the of Governor of Multan requested the  Nawab Mubarak Khan of Bahawalpur for assistance and the latter annexed the territory of Fareed Khan II.

Dullah Bhadera, Shehar Fareed, and Luddan emerged as major Johiya power centres in this era.

Joiya Septs

There are numerous Joiya sects totaling somewhere around 46 in number. Of these the more important are the Bhaderas, Lakhweras, Daultanas, Nihalkas, Ghazi Khananas and Jalwanas, their ancestor having been designated Naik-o-Kar Bhai or the Virtuous Brothers, by Abdullah Jahanian, a Muslim saint. Most of the names of the Joiya sects end with a -ka or -era.
The other principal sects are Akoke, Bhalana, Bhatti, Firozke, Hassanke, Jamlera, Jhagdeke, Jugeke, Lakhuke, Langahke, Laleke, Mihruke, Mummunke, Panjera, Ranuke, Sabuke, Shaikhuke, Sanatheke, Shahbake, Admera,Malkera, Sahuka and Saldera.

Joiya as a tribe appear to rank both as Rajputs and Jats. In Amritsar they are classed as Rajput and in Shahpur (Uttar Pradesh) as Jats. The Kharrals and Hindu Kamboh each possess a Joiya clan.

Joiyas today


Shah Afrin (Royal court poet of King Farrukh Siyar (1713-1719)
DR.Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo Scholar ,intellectual and most acclaimed Sindhi writer.
Professor Taj Joyo Famous Sindhi nationalist and writer ,secty.Sindhi adab sangat
Khaki Joyo prominent Sindhi poet
Mohammad Akhtar Mummunka Photografer,writer
Sardar Mohammad joyia prominent Photografer
Yasin Joyia Media and Cable network
Ishfaq Joyia broadcasting
M.Niaz Hussain Lakhwera PSO to Culture Minister Punjab
Malik Younas Joyia SEWA Organization Lahore
Ulfat Rasool Joyia Rehman Foundation Lahore
Mohammad Iqbal Joyia President Kissan board Multan
Malik Fida mohammad Joyia patron in chief Joyia Haderi Shaheen Tent
pegging Club of Pakistan, rais of Haveli Chiragh - Khushab
Dr Sharif Joyia Multan


Pargiter, F.E. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition Motilal
Banarasidass, Delhi, 1972 pp.109
Junagadh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman I, accessed on 23 March 2007.
Rosenfield, "The dynastic art of the Kushans", p132
Rapson, "A catalogue of the Indian coins in the British Museum", p.lx Source
Allahabad Posthumous Stone Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta, accessed on 23 Marah, 2007.
Allan, John A Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum (Ancient India), London, 1936, Pl. XXXIX.22
Allan, John A Catalogue of the Indian Coins in the British Museum (Ancient India), London, 1936, Pl. XXXIX.22
Rose HA Lesser Known Tribes of NW India and Pakistan, New Delhi, 1870
Rose, H.A. Lesser Known Tribes of NW India and Pakistan. Delhi 1890.
Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934.
Dasgupta, K.K. A Tribal History of Ancient India: A Numismatic Approach, Calcutta, 1974.
Lahiri, Bela Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. - 320 A.D.), University of Calcutta, 1974.
Bahawalpur gazetteer.
Vedic and Aryan India by H. S Bhatia
Imperial Gazetter Sirsa
District Vehari
Sandal Bar by Ahmed Ghazali
Dastan-e- Daultana by Wakil Anjam
History of Bhatanier by Hari Singh Bhatti