Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kokhraj - Pargana Kara

Road that leads to Koh Inam
You get closer and see few Towers installed in a field
The Narrow lane inside the village
A Chabutra
a typical village home
Primary School in Kokhraj
Waiting for one !
Someone lives here i think !
Qazi Sahib's mosque , you are coming from South in koh Inam
Mosque as seen down the mound
Persian inscription stating its year of Construction 786 Hijri 1384 AD

I entered the mosque

Tree inside the courtyard

Stone Pillars inside the mosque have started to tilt

I am atop the mosque and down I see Kokhraj
The main Gateway of the mosque with Inscription on the wall

The Eid Gaah of Kokhraj
A house remembering its old occupants !
Mazar of Mithai Baba ( Qazi Aleemuddin)
Alone near Mithai Baba !

The whole day in sweat and sultry heat with Rumi Bhai

Kokhraj is a famous village located in Pargana Kara  under Tehsil Sirathu in Distt Kaushambi (formerly) Allahabad.


Its situated a little north to the Grand Trunk Road at a distance of about 24 miles north-west from Allahabad. GT road or NH-2 as it is called officially is one of the most important high-density corridors in India.

Nearest Towns are Manjhanpur(14.6 km),Kaushambi(16.9 km),Sarsawan(19.8 km) Mooratganj  while Sirathu , Ahirara , Balakmau , Bambupur ,Parsakhi are the nearby towns/ villages in the same Sirathu  Block.

Name & Origin

The name Kokhraj is a distorted form of the original name Koh-i-Khiraj. Koh in Persian means Mountain/ hillock and Khiraj refers to the revenue paid to the local government as taxes. Thus Koh-i-Khiraj stood for the hill that paid revenue to the government. It also necessitates another village that must have been a revenue free grant and thus we arrive at the fact that there were two hills / villages named as follows :-

Koh-i-In’aam – The Gifted Koh (Revenue Free)
Koh-i-Khiraaj – The revenue paying Koh

It is noteworthy that Kokhraj was never a part of Pargana Chail.

Kokhraj is /has always been a part of Pargana Kara and Tehsil Sirathu but since it had always maintained its marital relations with the families in Pargana Chail ,it is considered to be an important member of Chaili fraternity.

Both are located too close to be separated from each other.Formerly both the villages were divided into two separate portions but during the last consolidation both the villages were merged into under the name Kokhraj. Morover the village Koh Inam was destroyed in 1857 Uprising.

Koh Inam is still perched on a top hill while Kokhraj is down the hill. If you stand atop the mosque , the surrounding low land is Kokhraj while you would be standing in Koh Inam.


The history of the village is associated with the advent of Qazi Husam-ud-Din Hasan Bukhari.
As you have read in my previous post about Parsakhi that Qazi Husam-ud-din was sent by FIroz Shah Tughlaq to put down the rebellion of Bhars around Kara. Qazi Sahib arrived here in the month of Ramadan and after a few stray skirmishes finally a pitched battle was fought between the royal forces and rebellious Bhar chiefs near Parsakhi. At First Parsakhi was won and later on Koh-i-Inam and Koh-i-Khiraaj both were captured. 

When Firoz Shah Tughlaq heard the news of the victory of Qazi Sahib, he was more than happy and gifted 22 villages as reward to Qazi Sahib for his settlement in the area. Amongst these villages was the village/hill Koh-i-Inam which was granted to Qazi Sahib as revenue free gift while the adjoining Hillock was a revenue paying village. Thus these two names were coined that came into prevalence as Koh-i-Inaam and Koh-i-Khiraaj. This is the reason why  Qazi Husam-ud-din is often remembered as Qazi Husamuddin KOHI because of his special connection with this village KOH.

Lets advance further…..Immediately after the capture of Koh Inam Qazi Sahib laid foundation of a mosque in Koh-i-Inam in the very month of Ramadan that is still present in the village. He erected a dwelling place as well that is now in ruins. There is a Persian inscription on the front wall of the mosque just beside the main entrance which reads as follows:-

Translation from the Persian

(This) Glorious Jami Masjid was built
In the reign of the Just king of the Seven Regions of the World.
King Firuz king of kings the Champion;
By his command, the auspicious foundation laid down by the Qazi
Husamu'ddin Hasan, chief of the era/age
Whose eminence is a beacon in the world!
Was completed on the last day of Ramadan
It was in the year 786 of the Hijrah.

Only because of this mosque Koh-Khiraj has assumed a special place in the Archaeological history of India and has been remembered in history only for having such an ancient mosque. In my opinion It should have very early been declared a heritage monument for it was constructed in 1384 AD ( 786 Hijri) and is amongst the few existing Firuz Shahi monuments but it is still not done. Again when we think that neglect is not always  “theirs” it is “ours” also who should take care of such a gem of historical importance and a relic of our forefathers so we have no right to complain.

This mosque and its inscription have very frequently been quoted by the British Chroniclers and the Archaeological Dept. of India for it is one of the very few inscriptions of Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s time that has survived the tide of time and is still intact.
Here are few references from reliable books that contain the information about Koh Inam mosque.

Book    : The monumental antiquities and inscriptions: in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh ( Vol 12)
Author : Alois Anton F├╝hrer
Printed : by the superintendent, Government press, N.-W.P. and Oudh, 1891

Book     : Indian archaeology
Author  : Archaeological Survey of India Page 92
Publisher:Archaeological Survey of India., 1964

Book     : Babur Nama ( The memoirs of Babur)
Translated by:  Annette Susannah Beveridge

Babur says in this memoirs Babur Namah that he camped at Koh in 5th March 1529  and it is assumed rightly as Kokhraj was the place where he would have camped.…Page 653

It shows that in the past Kokhraj had been an important place and it is not improbable since historical town Kara is nearby and its shadow would easily have easily englufed the neighbouring towns and villages.

About the people
As mentioned earlier Qazi Husamuddin received 22 villages in reward from Firuz Shah after he captured Koh and Parsakhi. He later on divided these amongst his eight sons. In this distribution, Koh-i-Inam was given to Sayyid Aleemuddin while Koh-i-khiraj was given to Sayyid Nizamuddin.

Sayyid Aleemuddin settled in Koh-Inam and It seems that he was later known as Mithai Baba because his grave can still be seen outside the village famed as Mithai Baba and ever since his descendents have been living here as the zamindars and were known to be a powerful lobby during 16th and 19 century AD.

During the uprising in 1857, the zamindars of Koh Inam supported Maulvi Liyaqat Ali enormously but after the re-capture by the British they were treated quite shabbily. The whole rent free village of Koh-i-Inam was confiscated along with other land-grants of Koh Khiraj and the revenue free character of Koh-inam was abolished.The village was ransacked and completely destroyed and since then it could not recover its old glory so far ……..It was a hard time to the affluent zamindars of Both the Kohs. The District Gazetteer of Allahabad (1911) confirms this as per the caption below:-

Amongst the well known people of Koh Inam during the past century were Janab Saiyid Wakeeluddin , Saiyid Zameeruddin and Sayyid Abdul Azeez , Ajjan Miyan who was a Mukhia of the village as well, Rafeeq Ahmad, M. Ilyas Urf Achhe Miyan , Janab Sagheer Ahmad Bukhari etc… Today M. Imran urf Rumi Bhai is the sole person form Koh Inam who is known throughout the Chail.

In Kokhraj settled Sayyid Nizamuddin S/o Qazi Husamuddin  and thus he is the progenitor of the Sadat Bukhari of Kokhraj village. During the last century Koh Khiraj had a few big land holders but first in 1857 and then the Zamindari abolition finished them all. Kokhraj was such an important place that national leaders used to come and address the common man to fight for independence. On one such occasion Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech in Kokhraj was reported to be quite seditious in June 1931 when he advocated to establish India as a peasant republic.

As for the well known in Kokhraj during the past century were Janab Tafazzul Husain, Sharfudden, Ali Jawwad, Muneeruddin,Mohammad Ashraf , Qasim Ali, Jafar Husain , Fazal Husain etc Sahiban .Their descendents have migrated completely and today I could not find a single family of the original Koh Khirajian there.

However Kokhraj has still got a Bukhari family settled there but that is a migrant family from Kashia that is represented by Shamsul Islam , Islam Sahib, Dr.Kafeel Sahiban etc.

Kokhraj was recently in news for a major By Pass that is constructed by the Highways Authority of India on the GT road diverting it left toward Ganges so that it re-joins the GT road near Handia across the district of Allahabad. It has eased the heavy vehicular movement on the arterial GT road inside Chail that goes into the city of Allahabad.

When I saw the mosque in Koh Inam , I sat down there for few minutes and felt the serenity and visualized the time when Qazi sahib would have come here and had laid the foundation of the mosque. What would have been the atmosphere at the time ? How zealous they were to eradicate Kufr and establish the Deen ? With so noble intention he erected a mosque that stands and calls us daily to visit it five times a day but we are so busy that……..we have time for everything in this world but not for Allaah , Rasool and our Deen !
We take pride in being a so and so  but the fact is that we are no and no…..nothing makes us worth of a punt !
I recalled the following verses of Allaama Iqbal and I felt ashamed !
They to aaba who tumhare hi, magar tum kya ho?
Haath par haath dhare muntezir-e-farda ho!

Jinko Aata Nahi Dunia mein koi Fan Tum ho
Nahi Jis Qaum ko Parwa-i-Nasheman Tum ho

Bijliyan Jismein hon Aasooda wo Khirman Tum ho
Bech Khate hain jo Aslaaf Ka madfan tum ho

Har koi mast-i-mai-i-zauq-i-tan aasaani hai,
Tum musalmaan ho? Ye andaaz-e-musalmaani hai?

Waza' mein tum ho nasara, to tamuddan mein Hanood,
Yeh musalmaan hain! Jinhen dekh ke sharmain Yahud?

Firqa bandi hai kahin, aur kahin zaaten hain ! !
Kya zamane mein panpane ki yehi baaten hain?

I am compiling a book based on my research on the history of muslim settlements in Pargana Chail. If you have something relevant to my quest, do forward me a copy with your family accout, Shajra me at .

Khalid Bin Umar
New Delhi


aquib zafar said...

superjob sir!!!!i request you visit my village(rasoolpur qazi)

aquib zafar said...

superb job sir!!!visit my village(rasoolpur qazi) if u have time..

Anonymous said...

khalid bhai........really superb.....kaise kar lete hai itna sub ek sath manage.
matloob syed

mohammed qasim said...

i m very happy 2 c our pergana web.i blong 2 syed sarawan.i m living in karachi my e-mail adderess is QASIM SYED SARAWAN

Anonymous said...

MUHAMMAD NASIR JAFRI(KAFEEL)...I am very happy to see our pargana hisory with village wise. pls Khalid saheb also give a brief history of my village Mahgaon.I live in RAFA-E-AAM society Karachi. My email adrees

noman said...

It's great to read about my ancestors.
Syed Sagheer Ahmed Bukhari, referred in this blog, my father, died in early 90's. Siyyid Abdul Aziz was my great-grandfather.