Thursday, July 21, 2016

Diler Khan Daudzai

Nawab Diler Khan Afghan. Painting by Mihir Chand in 1770 A,D, placed in the Chester Beatty Dublin.

A Daudzai Afghan, whose proper name was Jalal Khan. He was the younger brother of Bahadur Khan Rohila, and one of the best and bravest generals of tho emperor 'Alamgir. He hold the rank of 5000, and died in the year 1683 A. D., 1094 A. H., in the Dakhan. ["The Oriental Biographical Dictionary" by Thomas William Beale, 1881, p-82]

Diler Khan and Bahadur Khan were the sons of a Daudzai trader named Darya Khan, a soldier of fortune in the service of Jahangir. Darya Khan belonged to the Baqalzai (or Baqarzai) branch of the Daudzai Pashtuns, and was born in the small village of Barbar in the present tehsil and district of Peshawar. Barbar is situated at a distance of about six miles to the north of Peshawar City, and is attached to the Mathra Police Station. His father's name was Ibrahim Khan. Darya Khan had to go to India in connection with horse trade or as an adventurer to seek better livelihood, in the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Jahangir. ["On a Foreign Approach to Khushhal", Dost Muhammad Khan Kamil, p-14]

Bahadur Khan and Jalal Khan entered into the Mughal service like their father. In 1637 Diler Khan ,as a deputy of his brother Bahadur Khan, defeated the Katehari Rajputs in various pitched battles and restored peace to the regions of Shahabad, Bareilly, Rampur and Anola. For continued peace in this region, villages were granted to Bahadur Khan in jagir which the latter placed under the charge of his brother Diler Khan. It was here that Diler Khan laid the foundation of Shahjahanpur in 1647 A.D. Bahadur Khan , who was campaigning in Balkh, persuaded the Pashtuns of the Roh to migrate to Shahjahanpur district. Soon it became a strong Pashtun settlement. Diler Khan also laid the foundations of a Pashtun settlement at Jalalnagar named after himself. In later years , Shahabad (Hardoi district) was granted by Aurangzeb to Diler Khan as a reward for destroying the power of the turbulent Pandes. Aurangzeb granted him thirty seven villages in inam altamgha where Diler Khan laid the foundations of Shahabad in 1677 on the pattern of Shahjahanpur.

Diler Khan was described to be a man of great physical strength and had a great sway over his tribe.. According to Tarikh-i-Dilkusha ,"He surpassed and excelled all the contemporary nobles in the arts of swordsmanship and leadership." He held the rank of 5,000 zat during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb and led a contingent of 5,000 horsemen who members of his own Daudzai tribe

Tomb of Diler Khan in Shahabad

A Portrait depicting Diler Khan


1-  Maasir-ul-Umara, Vol.1,
2-  History of the Pathans, by Haroon Rashid, Vol-III
3-  "Afghan nobility and the Mughals", Rita Joshi
4-  Rise and fall of Rohilla chieftancies, Iqbal Hussain, p-10
5-  History of Aurangzib, by Jadunath Sarkar ,Vol-1 & Vol.2, p-283