|About The Lohanas Of Africa
ओम् नमः रघुकुल शिरोमणि कौशल्यानंदन दशरथ पुत्र श्री राम:
Aum Namah Raghukul Shiromani Kaushalya Nandan Dashrath Putra Shri Raam
(I bow to Lord Rama,The Son of Dashrath,Born of Kaushalya,Scion of the Raghu clan)
रघुकुल रीते सदा चलि आइ
प्रान जाइ पन वचन ना जाइ
Bhishmapitamaha Karamvir Shri Kanji Odhavji Hindocha - affectionally known as HINDOCHA BAPA-
who could not bear to see the poverty,miseries and social ills prevalent among our
Raghuvanshis.During the first decade of the twentieth century he took it upon himself to
conduct a sort of census of Lohanas of India.He traveled on a bullock cart which also became
his home and swore to go bare feet and without his pagdi till he achieved his goal of uniting
the Lohana Community and get them to work for upliftment of our people who were in distress.
Pujya Bhagwanji Bhimji Thakrar who in 1943 created the first unified family tree of the
Thakrars of Khambhodar and late Shri Arvindbhai Vithaldas Thakrar of London,UK who took upon
himself to produce an updated and complete English version in 2010.
Also dedicated to Karamvir Chhaganlal Karamshi Parekh-CHHAGANBAPA(June 27,1894 -Dec.14,1968)
who took the cudgel of the Lohana Parishad, renamed the institution as Shree Lohana
Mahaparishad and convened the first historic Adhiveshan (Convention) in Mumbai in 1952.
THIS project started as Dattani family tree.In last few years the sapling has grown to become
the largest integrated Lohana family tree with over 36,000 names.The growth also necessitated
title change - from Dattani to Lohanas Of East Africa and now finally to Lohanas Of Africa.
Credit for the success of this endeavour goes to the passion and dedication of two individuals
in particular- vadils and mentors:
Shri Narottambhai Topanbhai Ghelani,Baroda,India
Shri Avanikantbhai Pranlal Dhupelia,Durban,RSA and now San Francisco,CA
The title Lohanas Of Africa reflects our strong connection to East,Central and Southern Africa.
I do regret errors and omissions.Therefore MEMBERS PLEASE ADD,CORRECT and EDIT your
family data.Or email the data to me and I will gladly do it for you.Address Book is also
available to keep in touch with each other.
Within the Indian subcontinent Sindh had been the home of Lohanas for a long time.Prior to that
their home was in Lahore-Multan area of Punjab.
Sindhi hindus have nine subcastes :Amils, Bhaibands, Sindhwarkis, Chhaprus, Bhatias,
Masands,Thakurs,Bhagnari,and Lohanas.Continuous muslim invasions and the partition of British
India forced Lohanas eastward into Kutch,Gujarat and other parts of India.All these events
occured in recent memory-say within last 500 years or so.This is why Gujarati Lohanas still
exhibit typical Sindhi physical features.The family names resemble Sindhi names ending in"ani".
Halai, Kutchi, Ghoghari and Nagarthatta?
Those who migrated to Halar (Saurastra) which was ruled by Raja Halaji, and stayed in
Halar were called Halai.
Lohar - rana - Kanaksen from Lohar (sindh) defeated Suba Nahanpur in 3rd century, captured
Kutch. In 1094 AD after the defeat of Veer Jasraj as stated above, Lohanas who stayed in Kutch
were known as Kutchi Lohanas.
Lohana who migrated to Ghogha (Saurastra) were known as Ghogari.
Lohana who stayed in Nagarthatta,Sindh were called Nagarthatta Lohanas. They never migrated out
of Sindh until the partition in 1947.At the time of Adhivation in 1952, Nagarthatta Lohanas
rejoined with other Lohanas and became part of the community.
The above four sects of our community are the main sects from their respective places. They
migrated to other parts of the world in search of work and business. Wherever they went they
stayed in groups, which were known as Mahajans. Thus Mahajans were known by the name of their
village, town, city and country. In December 1916, 4th Adhivation took place at Bhavnagar
where our elders requested three sects to drop the words Halai, Kuchhi and Ghoghari, and start
calling themselves only Lohanas.Again at Rajkot in May 1956, 2nd Adhivationn (actual Viith
Adhivation), resolution was passed that words Halai, Kuchhi, Ghoghari and Nagarthatta must be
dropped. They must now call themselves only Lohanas.
Migratory tradition and an irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit has led Lohanas to
far flung corners of the globe- Africa,Europe,North America and Australia.
HISTORY & FOLKLORE:
THE LOHANA CLAN claims descent from the Raghu dynasty of ancient India.
Aryan clans the 'Madras', 'Madrakas' or the 'Medes' (also: Madai) and the Kekayas
(or the Kaikeyas) were the direct descendants of Raja Yayati's son: Anu.
Yayati's other sons were: Puru, Yadu, Turvasha and Druhya.
Puru founded the Puruvansh(the Puru clan)i.e. the Bharatas -from which 'Bharat-Varsh'
derives its name.
The eldest son Yadu founded the Chandravanshi Yadavvansh or the Moon-worshiping
Kshatriya Yadav clan. The most famous member of this clan was: Krishna Vasudev Yadav
or Bhagavan Shri Krishna.
The Suryavanshi Ikshvaku clan or the Kshatriya Sun worshiping Ikshvaku clan is a part of the
Puruvansh.The most famous of this clan was: Ramchandra Dasaratha Ikshvaku,best known as: the
'Warrior-Saint'- Bhagavan Shri Ram.The Ikshvaku clan is also known as: Raghuvaṃśa or Raghukula
after Raghu a valourous king of this clan and founder of the dynasty.
Another son of the Puru clan (or the 'Puruvansh') was Siddhartha Śuddhodana Śākya - from the
Kshatriya Suryavanshi or the Sun worshiping Śākya clan,best known as: the 'Sage-Prince'-
BhagavanShri Gautam Buddh.He is also referred to as: Śākyamuni. [Muni and Buddh = an
Ramayana tells us that after Raja Dashratha, Shree Ramachandra
inherited Ayodhya.It is stated in Raghu Vansh that Bharat,Shree Ramachandra’s
brother,inherited the Province of Sind.
Shree Ramachandra had two sons - Kush and Luv.They were twins but Kush was considered
eldest.After Shree Ramachandra,Kush inherited Ayodhya.His descendants were called
Vanhans.His brother Luv,inherited the northern part of Koshal,and his descendants
were called Lohana.
According to the folklore, Lohana are Rathod Rajputs (Khatri).Raja Jaichand of Kanoj
(Kanya Kabaj) tormented them. They prayed to their Deity who told them that the following
morning they should walk a mile or two in a certain direction till they reached an Iron Fort.
The Deity instructed the Rathods to take refuge in the Fort for sixteen days and leave
thereafter. The Rathods would then be able to defeat their enemy.The Iron Fort would vanish on
the twenty-first day and they were told to then construct a new Fort at that site. Having taken
refuge in the Iron Fort, the Rathods changed their name to Lohana (Loha = Iron and Na = Of) and
named all their Forts starting with Lo or La viz. Loh Gadah and Lahore. The Lohanas thereafter
migrated to Multan and Sind.In the 13th century, some of them migrated to Kutch.
Those Lohanas who lived in Sind,have many Nukhs i.e Asarpota,Panditpota,
and Mamotia etc. According to the History of Arorvanshi, persons belonging to
above-mentioned Nukhs lived in Punjab as well.
Prior to the Arab invasion, the Lohanas lived in Sind and were wealthy.
But as a result of Arab invasion, many Rulers & Kings along with some of their
subjects fled Sind and took refuge in Kutch and Punjab.They are identified in
Punjab as ‘Arorvanshi’. Aror derived from Alwar, and Vanshi meaning hailing from,
or resident of.
Those Hindus who stayed behind were asked by the Arabs to convert to Islam.
Many Sindhi Muslims are descendants of those converts.In the year 1194, Mohamed Ghori invaded
and defeated Kanoj’s Raja Jaichand and murdered thousands of Hindus. The Lohanas and other
Hindus out of fear started serving the Muslim masters. The author Diwan Bherumal M. Advani,
believes that this was the beginning of Muslim domination of Sind.The Kshatriya Lohanas now
became Vaishya (traders).
DR.HARI DESAI writes in Asian Voice(UK)June 5,2017:
LOHANA'S HSTORY begins with king Raghu, who belonged to the Suryavanshi lineage, since they
worshiped the Sun(Surya). King Dasharath was grandson of Raghu. He had four sons with Rama
being the eldest. The descendents of Rama and one of his two sons, Luv, the Lohanas were not
only the rulers in Afghanistan and modern-day Pakistan but also in Kashmir for more than three
centuries. The Gandhar Desh(Kandahar in Afghanistan) and Kekay Desh( Iran) had matrimonial
alliances with ancient Indian States like Ayodhya, notes Historian Dr. Sharad Hebalkar in
“Bharatiya Sanskriti ka Vishwsanchar”. He adds : “Raghuvanshi Kings of Aryavarta(India) used to
come to extend military support to Gandhar and Kekay. During one of such incidents, King
Dasharath and the Princess Kaikeyeehad met.” She was the Princess of Kekay-King Ashwapati.
Under the instruction of King Rama of Ayodhya, his younger brother, Bharat, defeated the
Gandharva ruler of Gandhar (modern-day Kandahar, Afghanistan) and established Takshashila, now
popularly called Taxila, and Pushkarpur, Peshawar of these-days. Bharat returned to Ayodhya,
handing over these towns to his sons Taksh and Pushkar respectively. The descendent of Pushkar,
Kapiraj,established Kapisha, present-day Kabul, and ruled over it along with the newly
established towns,Samarkand and Bukhara (in Modern-day Uzbekistan).The Greek Emperor, Alexander
the Great, aka Sikander , wanted to conquer the world. He was defeated by King Porasraj, who
was a descendent of Kapilraj. The Greek soldiers, who never wanted to return, joined the army
of Poras. They married the Raghuvanshi daughters and their descendents are called
“Bhanushalis”, according to Parimal Nathwani,a journalist turned President of Reliance
The rulers of Samarkand-Bukhara, Raghuranas,established Loharkot in the hilly valley of Leh to
settle down. They had Leh or Loh States as republics and were called Lohranas. Gradually, they
were named Lohanas. In the history book of Lohana, Prof. Narottam Palan confirms that
Rajatanginini(Rivers of Kings) by Kalhana, which narrates the history of Kashmir rulers, does
mention the Lohar rulers of Kashmir from 1003 AD to 1339 AD(336 years). Of course, their roots
are found in Lohan region of Sindh.
In “Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir”, Jagmohan, who was the Governor of Jammu - Kashmir and also
Union Minister in Vajpayee government, gives description of Lohana rule established by the
Princess Didda of Loharin. She “was married to the second Gupta King, Ksema Gupta(AD 950-
958)and dominated the Kashmir scene for about 50 years, first as queen, then as regent for her
son and grandsons, and finally a direct ruler.” “Before her death, Queen Didda was able to
manipulate the crown for Samgramaraja, a member of her family from Lohara-the principality to
which she herself belonged before her marriage. Thus, a new dynasty, the first Lohara dynasty
(AD 1003-1101), came into being.With this the Kshatriyas came to rule Kashmir.”
The track record of the Lohana Didda was not that popular but she ruled with iron fist. Jagmaon
notes : “She conferred favours, including physical, to the courtiers and senior functionaries
of the kingdom, and then got rid of them, sometimes through secret killings. She is even
believed to have caused the death of her three grandsons.”
Even in Kashmir during the time of Samgramaraja(AD1003-28), Sultan Mahmud of Gazni attacked
after defeating Trilochanapala of the Shahi kingdom and tried to capture the heaven on the
earth unsuccessfully. Rulers of Afghanistan were known as Shahis as they were descendents of
Kidarkushans who in turn had descended from Kushans. Kushans are believed to be descendents of
Kush, the other son of Rama. From Kabul, now the capital of Afghanistan, to Pataliputra, now
Patna, was ruled by Kanishka the Great of Kushan dynasty during the second century.
Prof. Palan says, after 12th century in Punjab and after 1340 in Kashmir, when last adopted
Lohana ruler Ramji lost, no Lohana remained Kshatriya. “Till the time the descendents of Luv
were Kshatriya, they were Loharana. After they turned Vaishya, they became Lohana.” The turning
point was 1300 i.e. before Veer Jasraj fought Changez Khan, the Mongol warrior. Between 1350
and 1450, under the influence of Peer Yusufuddin some Lohan families became Memon. Sant
Uderalal tried to stop conversion. The period of 1450-1550 was the period of Lohanas migrating
from Sindh to Kutch and Saurashtra. Life of Jasraj is an example of courage and valor of Lohar
Ranas because he killed Sabuk-tigin, father of Mahmud Gazni in 997 in his own court in Kabul,
in the presence of his courtiers and still escaped with his party. Sabuk-tigin was originally a
Hindu slave converted to Islam.
Even today both the communities, Lohanas and Khojas, accept their common roots and forefathers.
Jalarambapa(1800-1881) of Virpur is considered the first Lohana who created a bond
between all the Lohanas.
Kanji Odhavji Hindocha did extensive research on the Lohana community which led to
establishment of Shree Lohana Mahaparishad in 1910. In 1938, Harubhai Thakkar happened to
interact with Khan Abdul Gafar Khan, a popular Congress leader, at Haripura in south Gujarat,
where the 51st Convention of Indian National Congress was organized. Harubhai could gather the
history of the ancestors of the Hindu Pakhtoons of Waziristan being Raghuvanshi Lohars. A small
booklet on the history of Lohanas titled “Raghuvanshi Lohana Gnyatino Itihas” by Prof. Palan is
brought out in 2013 by Lohana Mahaparishad. Prof. Palan gives excellent information about the
historical evolvement of the community and does mention further scope to work on the history of
Lohanas in a scientific manner. Even the volume “Raghuvanshi Asmitano Unmesh”, brought out by
Mahaparishad under the guidance of Prof. Palan(82) and Kanu Acharya(67), makes an interesting
reading but gives stray facts on the historical development of the community. Lohana
Mahaparishad, the world body of Lohanas, under the leadership of Yogesh Lakhani, brought out
various publications in 2013 and the team of the present President, Pravin Kotak, is also
actively working on the synergy of the community.
There is hardly any country where the community has not spread the wings.
Sunnis:Memons - the first and earliest converts- are Hanafi Sunnis
The Samans ruled Sind from 1351 to 1521.Murkab Khan, a Saman, ruled Sind with Thhato as its
capital.Murbak Khan was infact Yaam Raidan (1454) who received and welcomed Syed Yusaf
Alluadeen Qadri- a Pir of Iran as his guest and became his follower.Seth Maneckji, Mukhi of
eighty-four lacs Lohanas, was a trusted friend of Yaam Raidan or Murkab Khan the ruler.In 1422
AD,seeing Yaam Raidan convert to Islam,Seth Maneckji, with two of his three sons and 700
Lohana families (6178 souls)became followers of Syed Yusaf Alluadeen Qadri and converted to
Islam.Seth Maneckji’s son Raoji’s name was changed to Ahmed. Raoji’s two sons,Sunderji and
Hansraj,were named Adam and Taj Mohammed.The origin of the name Memon comes from Maumin, which
means “believer” and later evolved to present name.
Later owing to increasing lawlessness in Sindh the Memons split in small groups and migrated
out in different directions - an event that subsequently divided one big Memon community into
One group, under the leadership of Ladha, migrated to the State of Halar in Kathiawar and
became known as the Halari Memons. Another group proceeded towards Karachi and they became
known as Sindhi Memons. A third group, made up of fifty young men, proceeded towards Punjab and
settled in Lahore. The Kutchi Memons, on the other hand, migrated to Bhuj, the capital of
Kutch. They originally settled there under the leadership of Kaneya Seth, the son of Markun
Seth who assumed the Islamic name of Rukunuddin. Markun Seth was the son of Adam Seth, the
first leader of the Memon Community (appointed by Pir Yusuffuddin). When the Memons migrated in
different directions from Varaya, those left behind followed Kaneya Seth to Kutch.( According
to Anthovan, those Lohanas of Thatta who converted to Islam became Memons and were invited by
Rao Khengarji Jadeja, ruler of Bhuj in the 16th century to settle in Bhuj. It is from there
that Kutchi Memons migrated to Kathiawar and Gujarat.)
Shias:Nizari Ismailis(Khojas) are relatively recent converts who follow the Aga Khan;
IthnaAshris are former Ismailis who broke with the Aga Khan
Some 600 years ago a missionary by the name of Pir Sadruddin arrived in Sind in India. There
are a number of myths about his origins. The most common consensus among historians is that he
was Dai (representative or emissary) of the Nizari branch of the Ismaili sect. Some have
suggested that he was a Sufi teacher from Iran.
Pir Sadruddin lived for some time amongst the rich Hindu landowners called Thakkars(Lohanas).
He studied their way of life and of worship. The Thakkars believed that the god Vishnu had
lived through nine incarnations on this earth. They were waiting for the tenth. Pir Sadruddin
managed to convince them that Hazrat Ali was the Dasmo Awtaar of Vishnu (The Tenth
Incarnation). He converted quite a number of the Thakkars into a faith called Satpanth (True
Path) - a peculiar admixture of Sufi/Hindu ideas. (The main book called Das Awtar was
considered a primary text for the followers of the Aga Khan until very recently.)
Some historians maintain that he converted the Thakkars to Nizari Ismailis. Whatever may be the
case, these converts could no longer be called Thakkars in the Hindu community and Pir
Sadruddin gave them the title of Khwaja. The word Khoja is a phonetic corruption of the word
Khwaja.Over a period of time, several Pirs came after Sadrudin and gradually, the beliefs
crystallized to those of the Ismaili Nizari faith; particularly after the arrival of the Aga
Khan from Iran to India in the first half of the 19th Century. By this time the Khojas had
spread all over over Kutch and Gujarat. Some had also moved to Bombay and Muscat. They paid
their dues to the Ismaili Jamaat Khaana and lived quite harmoniously within their society. The
main place of worship was the Jamaat Khaana and the (Jamaat) community was organized round the
Jamaat Khaana - which served as a religious as well as a social centre.
With the arrival of the Aga Khan in India, greater control was exercised by the Aga Khan in the
affairs of the community. This led to certain groups dissenting and being ousted from the
Jamaat Khaana. The most celebrated one was the case of the Bar Bhaya where an influential
family by the name of Habib Ibrahim refused to accept the dictate (firman) by the Aga Khan that
all the property that belonged to the Jamaat would now vest in the Aga Khan. Eventually this
group was out-casted and influenced by the Sunni Aalims they became Sunnites.
This was followed by several court cases and much commotion in the community. In the early
1800s some Khojas went for Ziyarat and while in Najaf they met the Mujtahid of the time, Sheikh
Zainul Aabedeen Mazandarani. During their discussions they realized that there was a need for a
teacher to come to India to teach the community Islam. Soon after, at the behest of Sheikh
Mazandarani,Mulla Kader Hussein arrived in India and some Khoja families left the Ismaili sect
and learnt from Mulla Kader the principles of Shia Ithna Asheri faith.
Of course the most well known Ismaili and for that matter Lohana is none other than Muhammad
Ali Jinnah - founder Of Pakistan.This is how his story goes:Jinnah’s grandfather Gokuldas
“Meghji” Thakkar, and his father Poonjabhai “Jinno” Thakkar, were Lohana businessman from the
Veraval coast near Somnath. Their dabbling in the lucrative local fish trade, though, was
unacceptable to the staunchly vegetarian Lohana community.
The Meghji clan chose commerce over creed and switched religion with no intimation that one
family’s change of course would come one day to violently transform the geo-politics of the
Even today, Gujarati Lohanas who converted — Memons, Khojas — dominate the Karachi markets and
probably constitute Pakistan’s most prosperous mercantile class.
According to a rough estimate for 2013, there were 150,000 Lohanas in Ahmedabad, 1,700,000 in
Gujarat and 2,500,000 in the world(Source:DNA,Ahmedabad,Jan3,2013).UK has the largest number of
Lohanas outside India followed by North America.
WELL known Lohanas:
Muhammad Ali Jinnah(bhai)Poonja Gokuldas Meghji Thakkar,Ben Kingsley(Krishna
Bhanji),Rao Bahadur Sheth Curumsey Damji,Lekhraj Kripalani,Lal Krishna Advani,Azim
Premji,Mahommedali Currim Chagla,Abdul Sattar Edhi,Hindujas Of UK,the Madhvanis and the
Mehtas[Badiani] of Uganda;Mahesh Dattani the Indian playwright and the late Ramu Parmanand
Thakkar -Gujarati writer.
A NOTE ON GENETIC HISTORY:
My DNA test indicates that I belong to Haplogroup R1a1.This probably is true of all
Lohanas.The genetic markers that define our ancestral history reach back roughly 60,000
years to the first common marker of all non-African men,M168,and ending with M17,the
defining marker of haplogroup R1a1.Members of R1a1 carry the following Y-chromosome
This M17 marker arose about 10-15,000 years ago when a man of European origin was
born in Ukraine or Southern Russia.His descendents are to-days Indo-European
peoples.The Kurgans - a nomadic people from steppes of Ukraine and Southern Russia
are the most likely ancestors of the Indo-Europeans who eventually spread out as far
afield as Northen India and Iceland.To-day almost 40% of the men living from the
Czech Republic to Siberia and South throught Central Asia ,Eastern Iran,and North
India carry the M17 marker.This is where our genetic trail ends.
LOHANA GOTRAS ...............WORK in progress.
A Gotra is the lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth. In most cases, the system is
patrilineal and the gotra assigned is that of the person's father.An individual may decide to
identify his lineage by a different gotra, or combination of gotras. For example Lord Rama was
Surya Vansha, also known as Raghu Vansha. This was because Lord Rama's great-grandfather Raghu
The term gotra, itself, according to strict Hindu tradition is used only for the lineages of
Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vysya families. A Gotra relates directly to the original seven Rishis of
Recently, the term "gotra" has taken broader meanings to include any lineage, Brahmin or
otherwise.Therefore, today, other terms are considered synonymous with gotra and the distinct
meaning of the word and the esoteric connotations are lost to many, even within the Brahmin
A common mistake is to consider gotra to be synonymous with cult or Kula. A kula is basically a
set of people following similar rituals, often worshipping the same God (the Kula-Devata - the
God of the cult). Kula has nothing to do with lineage or caste. In fact, it is possible to
change one's Kula, based on his faith or ista devata.
It is common practice in Hindu marriage to enquire about the Kula-Gotra meaning Cult-Clan of
the bride and bridegroom before approving the marriage. In Hindu families, marriages within
the same gotra are prohibited. But marriage within the kula is allowed and even preferred.
The word "Gotra" means "lineage" in the Sanskrit gotra, as given names may reflect the
traditional occupation, place of residence or other important family characteristic rather than
gotra. While it is somewhat akin to a family name, the given name of a family is often
different from its gotra, as given names may reflect the traditional occupation, place of
residence or other important family characteristic rather than gotra.People belonging to the
same gotra also belong to the same caste in the Hindu social system.Many lines of descent from
the major rishis were later grouped separately. Accordingly, the major gotras were divided into
ganas (subdivisions) and each gana was further divided into groups of families. The term gotra
was then frequently started being applied to the ganas and to the sub-ganas.
Over the years, the number of gotras increased due to:
descendants of original rishi also started new family lineage or new gotras,by inter marriage
with other sub-groups of the same caste, and inspired by another rishi whose name they bear as
their own gotra.While the gotras were classified initially according to nine (?) rishis, the
pravaras were classified under the names of the following seven rishis:
The 84 Lohana Gotras THIS PART UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Traditional Hindu convention is followed as described below:
1:Male:middle name is father's first name.
2:Unmarried female:middle name is father's first name; surname is same as
that of father.
3:Married female:upon marriage a woman acquires husband's surname and his first name as
her middle name.Married woman's maiden name is shown in brackets after her married family
name when her parental information is not available.