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Atwal (अटवाल)[1][2] or Atval (अटवाल)[3] or Attwal (अट्टवाल) or Athwal (अठवाल or Ant is a clan name or Gotra of Jats from Punjab, India and Pakistan. Ant is a Gotra of the Anjana Jats in Gujarat. Members of the clan were originally based in villages in northwest India. They are found in Gujarat where they call themselves as Ant. Due to mobility of population in the form of migration and emigration during the 20th century, members of the clan can be found all over the world, including in the the United Kingdom, the U.S.A. and Canada. Originating villages are Shankar and Hakim Pur, in the Doaba region of Punjab. They are Punjabi Sikh Jats.


Jat Gotras Namesake

Mention by Pliny

Pliny [4] mentions Arabia......... Beyond this, the navigation is impracticable on that side,21 according to Juba, on account of the rocks; and he has omitted all mention of Batrasave22, a town of the Omani, and of the city of Omana23, which former writers have made out to be a famous port of Carmania24; as also of Homna and Attana, towns which at the present day, our merchants say, are by far the most famous ones in the Persian Sea.

21 On the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf.

22 Considered by modern geographers to be identical in situation with the Black Mountains and the Cape of Asabi, and still marked by a town and district named Sabee, close to Cape Mussendom.

23 In the modern district still called Oman.

24 On the opposite coast.


B S Dahiya[5] writes: Mahabharata mentions Atavika/Ataval . The phrase Prithvi Sarva Smlecchatvika, shows that they were associated with the Mlecchas from the west.

Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 30 mentions this tribe in derogatory sense and advises to avoid this country:

"The Karasakaras, the Mahishakas, the Kalingas, the Kikatas, the Atavis, the Karkotakas, the Virakas, and other peoples of no religion, one should always avoid."
कारः करान महिषकान कलिङ्गान कीकटाटवीन
कर्कॊटकान वीरकांश च दुर्धर्मांश च विवर्जयेत Mahabharata (8.30.45)

The Mahabharata Tribe - Atavisavara - Refers to the tribes of mid- Vindhya region, and may be identical with the Atavikah mentioned in the Puranas and the Allahabad Pillar Inscription of Samudragupta. Mentioned in geography of Mahabharata (VI.10.46).

अपरन्ध्राश च शूद्राश च पह्लवाश चर्म खण्डिकाः
अटवी शबराश चैव मरु भौमाश च मारिष (VI.10.46)

The Mahabharata Tribe - Atavisavara may be identified with Jat Gotra - Atval (अटवाल) of Jats from Punjab.

Atwals are one of the oldest Jat tribes, settling in the Punjab region during the Mahabharat era. They are mentioned Sabha Parva of Mahabharata, Vayu Purana and Markandeya Purana. [6] [7] [8] They are also mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudragupta under the name Ātvika. Mahabharata mentions them [9] The phrase Prithvi Sarva Smelecchatavika shows that they were associated with the Mlecchas from the west. [10] [11]

There is unanimity among historians that Atwals used to husband camels, so they were originally known as the Oonth Wala, which changed over time to Atwal. They inhabited the Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala districts of the Punjab, some settling as far west as Sialkot, Multan, Jhang, Montgomery, Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur in West Punjab, what is now Pakistan. After settling in West Punjab, many Atwal Jats converted to Islam although most Atwals in India are Sikhs. Atwals are also found in large numbers in Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

H.A. Rose considers Atwals to be descendants of the Panwar and that they came to East Punjab from Multan. Jats, Khatris, Rajputs and Dalits have a common background and Atwal is a well-known and ancient sub-caste of Jats.

According to B S Dahiya[12] Atval are mentioned in Sabha Parva MBT, Vayu Purana and Mark. Purana.[13] They are also mentioned in the Allahabad Pillar inscriptions of Samudragupta under the name Atvikas. By replacing the suffix 'ka' with 'al', we get the proper name, Atval. They are found in Punjab only and are followers of Guru Nanak.

Distribution in Punjab

Villages in Patiala district

Athwal population is 1,542 in Patiala district.[14]

Villages in Amritsar district

Athwal population is 2,067 in Amritsar district.[15]

Villages in Jalandhar district

According to B S Dhillon the population of Athwal clan in Jalandhar district is 6,300.[16]

Villages in Hoshiarpur district

Pandori Atwalan,

In Hoshiarpur district the Athwal population is 708. [17]

Villages in Gurdaspur district

Athwal (Dera Baba Nanak tahsil),

In Gurdaspur district the Athwal population is 1,791. [18]

Distribution in Himachal Pradesh

Villages in Kangra district

Ghurkari Khas,

Distribution in Pakistan

The Muslim Atwal were found mainly in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Kapurthala districts of East Punjab. Like other Jat clans, they migrated to Pakistan on the partition of India. They are now found mainly in Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Toba Tek Singh Districts.

Name of a Village

Atwal village in tahsil Jhadol in Udaipur District in Rajasthan.

Notable persons

Harbhajan Singh Atwal.jpg


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