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Sarhal Mundi

Sarhal Mundi is a village situated 5 miles south of Behram in Tehsil Phillaur, Jalandhar district, Punjab,] also known as Sarhala, the village near Nawanshahr.


According to ‘Census Report for Punjab 1883’ (Denzil Ibbetson) and ‘Census Report for Punjab 1892’ (E.D.Maclagan) and the book ‘A Glossary of the tribes and casts of Punjab and N.W.F’ written by H. A. Rose this village is populated by Chauhan Rajputs. The common belief is that the foundation of this village was laid by Gopal Chauhan - 6th generation of Lav Dev. Some argue that Lav Dev was not Prithvi Raj Chauhan's but Krishna Chauhan's son who was a General in Prithvi Raj Chauhan's army and fell martyr in the second battle against Muhammad of Ghor commonly known in the history as Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori or Muhammad Gauri.



History

A historic ‘Shiv Dawala’ and many old houses of small brick can roughly put the origin of this village back to as early as 16th century. It is quite probable that the ancestors of this village could be Ghorewaha Rajputs. Elders of this village also talk of ‘Bundi’ links which make them Hara (Hadha) Chauhan’s. Whatever may be the case Sarhal Mundi is one of the very few Rajput villages of Doaba besides Karnana and Sahlon which H. A. Rose’s book lists as Rajput. Other surrounding villages of Rajputs are listed as Mahton Rajput (a distortion of Mehta name which is a respectable term in Pahari Rajputs of Kangra). The Rajputs of these villages objected to the word Mahton being attached and in 1935 a convention held at Nadalon village passed the resolution to this effect and the word Mahton was removed from official papers and only Rajput was left as a record of cast. The practice of census data recording cast ceased in 1947 when India gained independence. Mahton or Mehton is not a caste in India.This is a group of rajput clans in punjab since 11th century when Raja Bhoja then organized his armies to attack Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi who had invaded Somnath. Ghaznavi fearing the powerful army of Bhoja retreated via the desert of Sindh to avoid a clash (reported by Turkic author Gardizi as Indian Padshah Parmar Dev) with the Indian king and lost many of his men.At that time rajput families settled in punjab area.

Demographics

This village is a nice mix of Sikh and Hindu Rajput families and many of its old inhabitants migrated to UK & USA. Late Thakur Des Raj Singh ji was the first person from this village to gain a prosecuting police officer’s commission under the British and later retired as Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police. He also won President’s Gold Medal for his meritorious services. Thakur Kanwar Tek. C. Chauhan of this village was the first person to be selected as an I.A.S Officer. Another famous son of this village was Wing Commander Late Thakur Kuldip Chauhan.


Overview

Just like most villages of this area Sarhal Mundi may be much older in historic terms than most of us think it is as the words ‘Mundi’ and ‘Lundi’ are found in ancient ‘Takka’ language. Old excavations of ‘Harrapa’ found around these villages of Phillaur also suggest that these areas have always been the hub of civilizations just the old has been replaced by the new. Some historians believe that from time to time Rajputs of these villages found new lands rather than submitting to invaders who ruled Northern India from time to time. Genealogical and physical attributes such as tall stature, good martial skills, fair colour as compared to others, stubborn nature, sense of adventure and travel and a belly full of fire makes Doaba Bist inhabitants of these villages more akin to Rajput ancestry. Sardar Gurdial Singh as quoted by H. A. Rose believes them to be of “good Rajput blood”. Although some historians tend to follow the thinking that Rajputs are descendants of Huns but the controversial view that Rajputs are linked to Indus Aryans holds equally powerful logic, general sharp Grecian/Mediterranean/Caucasian features hint at an Aryan/Scythic decent. No matter what the argument it has to be admitted that North India was the melting pot out of which Rajputs kept their traditions alive. Present day Sarhal Mundi is only a shadow of its old self with many houses under lock and key and disrepair as inhabitants live abroad. The total adult population of voting age is just 1152 (M 569 F583). There is a Government Elementary School but no medical hospital. The Shrine of Baba Uttam Das and the pond are still there reviving the old nostalgia. This village is easily accessible by going to Phagwara and travelling approximately 8 miles by the side of a canal, the route used by many buses and cars.
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