History of the Walias

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was born (1718-1783) at a village called Ahlu or Ahluwal near Lahore, established by his ancestor, Sadda Singh, a devotee of the Sixth Guru, Hargobind Singh Ji. Hence the name Ahluwalia stuck to him. His forefathers were Kalals (wine merchants). Hence he is also called Jassa Singh Kalal.

Jassa Singh Ahluwalia is the FIRST Ahluwalia (or Walia) from where all the Walias and Ahluwalias in the World have decended from. He is our First Father.

It is a known fact that all the sects of Ahluwalias decended from Jassa Singh Kalal (Ahluwalia). In some parts of Himachal Pradesh, India, Ahluwalias and Walias are still referred to as Kalal.

When I did some study on Kalals, I found out that they were from Turkistan (modern Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India, China). Here is some more information on Turkistan. It is very hard to get information on the Kalals, as not very many of them are left. I am planning to go to these countries sometimes this year, and also will be going to Ahluwal in Pakistan. Hopefully I will be able to get more information.

I have also learned that in Hardwar there is a place where you can find out about your ancestors back upto the 1600's. I went there and found out my ancestors upto about 1755. Sardar Jassa Singh Ji has been mentioned in there, but how I am related to him was still not very clear. There are thousands of books that those 'Purohits' have to go through, that it's almost impossible to find the exact details. (Purohit is the person who keeps a record of families by village name, and my Village is SAROKI in Gujranwala). I sat

there for hours and hours for about 5 days, just to get a few details about my previous 6 generations!

Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia is also the one who laid the foundation stone for the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Finally, it must be mentioned, that Walias and Ahluwalias are Sikhs and Hindus. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was Kalal, originally from a Hindu background, who became a Sardar (Sardar means Leader). Sardars were the fighting force created by Hindus during the invasion period of India. Every Hindu family used to make their eldest son a Sardar, to fight for the cause and protection of Hindus. This tradition is still followed in many families.

There are still Kalals all over the world, who are Hindus. Only the descendents of Jassa Singh Kalal are now known as Walias and Ahluwalias. A lot of Ahluwalias don't use their last name as Ahluwalia or Walia, instead they use their Gotra, or even the name of the village that they were born in, or are originally from. This seems to be a tradition that is being followed from the old days when Jassa Singh Ji started using Ahluwalia (from Ahluwal).

Some of the Gotras under Ahluwalia are
Bhalla (or Bhulla)
Judge or Jaaj
Mumick or Mamik
Paul or Pal
Sand or Sandh
(This is Me)

If anyone knows of any more, please write to me so that I can post them on this site.

It must also be mentioned that Ahluwalias only married Ahluwalias. They were not allowed to marry outside the Ahluwalia 'Biradari'. An Ahluwalia could only marry another Ahluwalia from a different Gotra. Members of the same gotra are considered to be first blood relations, and all the other gotras are considered to be second blood relations. Now, it seems like this is more in line with Islam (Muslims), where they can marry any blood relations except their first blood relation. But there is a difference between the Walias rule of marraige and the Islamic rules. In Islam, you are allowed to marry your father's brothers daughter/son, but not so in Ahluwalias, because your fathers brothers daughter/son is from the same gotra as yourself, so you are considered to be first blood relations.

Nowdays, it is common for Ahluwalias to marry outside the Ahluwalias biradari. In the old days, it was considered a sin to give an Ahluwalia to a non-Ahluwalia! And for non-Ahluwalias to get married in Ahluwalia biradari was a dream come true. It was considered to be very respectful for non-Ahluwalias to get married in the Ahluwalia biradari!

Syed Mohd Latifs history of the punjab and some other history books point out that the earliest migrations to India from the north included people from present day Iran before it became Muslim. It was home to the finest wine makers in history This was around the period up to coming of Islam to the present Iran.which disowned wine making and its consumption and forced wine makers to move out with their trade skills or perish. The proud and the best moved to the west to europe across the alps to the Italian peninsula and the Iberian peninsula and disappeared having merged with the caucasian stock. Many moved east and came to India with roving traders. In those centuries the present region off Rajasthan was the most agriculturally productive area and their concentration was around Jaisalmer and Bikaner. Until today you will find traces of these people there. Of course they are Hindus because Sikhism did not reach these parts. Many settled in other parts of India. These people inter-married with other tribes in India. Later due to geophysical shifts in weather pattern and rivers in India, Rajasthan becanme a desert and these people were forced to move to more fertile areas further north. There they came into contact with the growing Sikh influence and were converted. Those that settled in the Lahore areas close to the birth place of Sikhism became the first to do so. One of the places was called Ahlu and all of them who embraced Sikhism came to be called Ahluwalias.They dropped wine making as Sikhism like Islam forbade use of wine, and became businessmen traders and farmers. The rise of the Misls placed them in eminent position following one of their leaders assuming leadership of a Misla and their adeptness in simple business ceratinly helped. (This paragraph was sent to me by Jaswinder Singh Ahluwalia, Advocate and Solicitor, Malaysia)

I have received a few messages from some Ahluwalias who are having problems with this page and are getting all riled up telling me that this history is not correct. Some have even threatened me that they are going to take me to court. I suggest to those people that they read the following links first.

Link #1
Link #2
Link #3
Link #4
Link #5

I will post more links later. Even after this if they feel that they want to take me to court, then they are most welcome to do so. I will be waiting for their summons. Make sure you send me a ticket from USA to India to get to court also! It will be my vacation. Thanks.