SAMRA (also spelled as SUMRA – समरा) is a gotra (clan) of Jats in Punjab, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
History and origin
B S Dahiya writes: This clan was settled at one time in the lower Indus. They are mentioned by Farishta, who says on ancient authority, that the Samras had a kingdom in Sindh and were in fact one of the two main Zamindars (landlords) of Sindh, up to 782. A.H. (1380 A.D.) when many of them embraced Islam . The remaining Samras are now followers of Sikhism.
Megasthenes tells them to be the Samarabriae (Samra), along with, Sambruceni, Bisambritae, Osii (Asii), Antixeni (Antal), and the Taxillae (Taxak) with a famous city, If we cross to the other side of the Indus and follow its course downward we meet them
Colonel James Tod in his Book, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan refers to them as a part of the twin clans of Umra and Sumra as one of the 35 branches of Pramaras Rajputs who in remote times held all the Rajputana desert. Frequently combining with their brethren the Umars, Sumras gave name to a large tract of country, which is even still recognized as Umra-Sumra and Umarkot.
H.A Rose, who made a comprehensive glossary of the Tribes of Punjab and North West Frontier, mentions Sumra as one of the Jat Tribes of the Western Plains and quotes from other writers like E.O’Brein and describes the Sumra as originally Rajputs. “In A.D.750 they expelled the first Arab invaders from Sindh and Multan, and furnished the country with a dynasty which ruled in Multan from 1445 to 1526 A.D., when it was expelled by the Samma”. Punjab District Gazetteer – District Muzzafarpur, published in 1929 by the Punjab Government records that “The first Arab conquerors held Sindh and Multan from A.D.711 to A.D. 750, when they were expelled by a Rajput tribe called Sumra, whose representatives are still found in the district. In A.D.1351, the Sumras were expelled by the Summas, another Rajput tribe…”. The rise of this clan is well recorded, however, the exact period of the rise of this clan and it’s decline, as mentioned by various historians, differs in various publications. According to Ain-i-Akbari, the Samra clan of the Jats established their kingdoms in 1054 and 36 kings of Sumra clan ruled for 500 years when they were superseded by another Jat clan, the Sammas. One of their famous Samra kings was Dalu Rai or Deva Rai. It has been recorded that according to the Muntakhib Tawáríkh it was in 1053 AD, that in the reign of Abdurrashíd son of Sultán Mahmúd of Ghazní, who was a weak prince, that the Súmrahs secured their independence and elected Súmrah as their chief. He was succeeded by a line of chiefs that are given below:—
- 1. Súmrah died 1054 AD
- 2. Bhúngar bin Súmrah died 1068 (After a reign of 15 years)
- 3. Dódá bin Bhúngar died 1092 (24 years.)
- 4. Sanghár died 1106 (15 years.)
- 5. Khafíf died 1141 (36 years.)
- 6. Umar died 1180 (40 years.)
- 7. Dódá died 1193 (14 years.)
- 8. Punhún died 1226 (33 years.)
- 9. Khinrah died 1241 (16 years.)
- 10. Muhammad Túr died 1256 (15 years.)
- 11. Khinrah died 1259 (4 years.)
- 12. Táí died 1283 (24 years.)
- 13. Chanesar died 1300 (18 years.)
- 14. Bhúngar died 1315 (15 years.)
- 15. Khafíf died 1332 (18 years.)
- 16. Dódá died 1356 (25 years.)
- 17. Umar died 1390 (35 years.)
- 18. Bhúngar died 1400 (10 years.)
- 19. Hamír (dethroned by Sammahs.)
Edward Green Balfour, says that “Sumra claim to be descendants of Sam’ra ; their sections are Kumirpota, Mitopota, Budipota, and Norungpota. ‘ Samra ‘ has been corrupted into ‘ Sumra'”…
Distribution In India
‘Samra’ is a common surname of Jat Sikhs from the Indian Punjab. There are villages almost entirely inhabited by Samra clan in the Amritsar and Ludhiana districts of Indian Punjab. Villages with significant population of Samra clan are listed as below:
- District Amritsar – Akalgadh, Nona, Dinewal, Pakhoke, Fatahpur, Bharariwal, Thande, Kotla Sultan Singh, Maari
- District Gurdaspur – Samra, Chakawali (Near Dera Baba Nanak)
- District Jalandhar – Bhatija, Samrai, Sidhwan (Nakodar)
- District Ludhiana – Pohir, Gorsian Makhan, Akhara
- District Moga – Lohgarh, Daulat Pura Ucha,Jalalabad,
- District Bathinda – Rampura Phul
Prominent Samra Personalities
- Lieut. Shamsher Singh Samra: Winner of Gallantry Award – Mahavir Chakra in 1971 Indo Pak War “
- Amarjeet Singh Samra : Former D.G.P of Maharastra The face that calmed Mumbai after the 13 serial blasts that killed over 250 people in 1991 “
- Amarjit Singh Samra : Member of Legislative Assembly of Punjab representing Nakodar constituency of Indian Punjab.
Sumras (Soomras) of Pakistan
Some influential members of the Sumra clans had accepted Islam soon after the Arab conquest of Sindh. Even after conversion they retained their old Hindu names and customs. They had intermarried with local Arab landowners and thus had acquired great influence and power. Sumra, also known as the Soomro clan of Pakistan traces its lineage to the Sumrah dynasty of Sind
- “Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan”, By James Tod, Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.
- Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, By By H.A. Rose, IBBETSON, Maclagan.
- “Punjab District Gazetteer – District Muzzafarpur, Government of Punjab, 1929”.
- “A History of Sind, Vol II, Translated from Persian Books by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg, Deputy Collector, Kotri (Sind)”.
- The Last Charge.
- Vocal Demands. Outlook Magazine. December 15, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- Amarjeet Samra brought peace to a troubled city. DNA. Wednesday, May 7, 2008, 3:17 IST. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- “The cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, commercial, industrial, and scientific; products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures”, by Edward Green Balfour.