Wednesday, April 28, 2010

History of VIRKS

Jump to: navigation, search
Jat Clan: Virk
Distribution Malwa(Punjab)
Owner: Dhaliwal's everywhere
Descended from: Many
Branches: Ludhiana,Jalandhar in Punjab,Panipat, Kurushetra and Karnal in Haryana(India) and Sekhupura(Pakistan)
Religion Khanda1.svg Sikhism and Allah-green.svgIslam
Languages Punjabi


The Pandavas, when they returned from forest, had demanded: "give us even Kusasthala, Vrikasthala, Makandi, Varanavata and, for the fifth, any other that thou likest (see -Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 31: Vrikasthala was one of them: (Bickram Virk)

It is one of the most important clans. It is mentioned by Panini and V.S. Agrawal has identified Virks with the Jats. The same identification has been mentioned by Buddha Prakash [1]. Mahabhasya mentions Vrika and its derivative Varkenya, the Varkan of the Persians, and Hyrcan of the Greeks. The Caspian sea was once called the Sea of Vrkans (Hyrcanian). The identification of Hyrcan with Varkan has also been mentioned by Rawlinson in his "History of Herodotus", he mentions that, even in the thirteenth century, their country in Central Asia was mentioned as Urkanich in Yakut. According to Herodotus, they fought in the battle of Thermopylae under their leader named Megapanus which, afterwards, was a Satrap of Babylonia [2]. They are one of the earliest clans to enter India and, up to the sixth century A.D., at least they were ruling in Malwa under their king Vishnuvardhana, Vrik. The Vriks are remembered in the Brahma, Vaman and Markandeya Puranas. Their antiquity goes very much deep in the past.

A country called Uruk/Wark is mentioned in Sumeria, along with a country called Gutium. In fact, Trigan, the last Gutian king in the twenty-second century B.C. was defeated by Utu-Khegal, the ruler of Wark country. It is possible that this country has been named after them.

The word Vrik in Sanskrit means a wolf - the same as Russian word Volka which also means the same and after which the river Volga is named.

In the Kushana period, an officer of Vima Kadphises was a Vrika, according to K.P.Jayaswa.

According to Patan Jali Bhashya 4.6-114, Ashtadhyayi l-6-155 Mahabhasya 4-2-154 and Kashika varti 1-1-175, Raja Virk Vardhan had his forts in Kasrud (Mandsaur), Central India, Shakil (Sialkot) Sosaph, Dathaaprastha, Naudipur, Koak, Kandewa, Mula, Pava Datt, Karkar, Virkgary, etc.

According to historians, the present Sheikhupura was the site of Virkgarh.

According to Th. Yugendrapal, Virks are Vahikas who are mentioned in the Mahabharata and who took one-sixth of the income of King Shalya. In the fourth century AD, they had a powerful kingdom. They were contemporaries of the Gupta rulers. According to Brij Indra Bhaskar, in 428 AD, the Virk rulers performed a big Yagya near Bayana and constructed a Pillar, on which they are mentioned as Virks. Rock inscriptions of Yasodharman have been found in Mandsaur. Their reign in Malwa came to an end in 462 AD.

King Singhavarma belonging to this dynasty ruled from 535 AD to 585 AD. He had two sons Narvarma and Chandravarma. Chandravarma's son was Yasovarman. According to a rock inscription found in Gandhara, he was an independent ruler. He had two sons, Bhimvarma and Bondhuvarma. Bondhuvarma was defeated by the Gupta rulers and Bhimvarma was appointed the savant of a principality near Kausambhi but, once again, he became independent and, allying himself with Anu Gupta, fought the Huns. This has been referred to in the "Chandra Viyakaran".

Bhandhuvarmas's son was Yasodharman and his son Shiladitya.

The Virk Jat Kapur Singh founded Kapurthala and made it his capital. Before Punjab's partition, Sir Shahab-ud-Din, member of the Punjab Assembly and Secretary of Jat Sabha belonged to Tar in Sialkot. Jandiala in Amritsar belonged to the Virks.

Yasodharman was Virk Clan Jat

The Bijayagadh Stone Pillar Inscription of Vishnuvardhana shows that Yasodharman, the father of Vishnuvardhana, was a king of Virk gotra.[1][2]Thakur Deshraj and C.V. Vaidya have concluded that the inscription of Bijaygarh and Mandsaur prove that Yasodharman, the ruler of Malwa, was a Jat king of the Virk gotra (clan).[3][4]

Virks in Other Ancient Texts

According to the Patanjali Bhashya (4.6-114), Ashtadhyayi (l-6-155), Mahabhasya( 4-2-154) and Kashikavarti (1-1-175), Raja Virk Vardhan built forts in:

  1. Kasrud (present-day Mandsor) in central India
  2. Shakil (Sialkot)
  3. Sosaph
  4. Dathaaprastha
  5. Naudipur
  6. Koak
  7. Kandewa
  8. Mula
  9. Pava Datt
  10. Karkar
  11. Virkgarh(Sheikhupura).

According to Thakur Yugendrapal, the Virks are the Vahilkas (they are believed to be the founders of Bahawalpur) who are mentioned in the Mahabharata and who took one-sixth of the income of the King Shalya, who was the king of the Madras and ruled over Madradesa (modern-day Sialkot). In the 4th century AD, they had a powerful kingdom. They were the contemporaries of the Gupta rulers. According to Brij Indra Bhaskar, in 428 AD, the Virk rulers performed a big Yagya near Bayana and constructed a pillar, on which they mentioned themselves as Virks. Rock inscriptions of Yasodharman have been found in Mandsor. Their reign in Malwa came to an end in 462 AD.

Virks in Punjab

Controversy Surrounding the Virks

Traditionally, Virks have been associated with horse and buffalo trading throughout Punjab. This account of the Virk clan's historical role in Punjab has recently gained increasing support with the discovery of 17th century texts written by Bhai Gurdas. However, speculation remains regarding the extent these actions as well as the accuracy of this account.

The headquarters of the Virks appear to be the Gujranwala and Lahore districts, especially, the former in which they own 132 village. They claim origin from a Minhas Rajput called Virk, who left Jammu and settled at Ghuchli in Amritsar and, in Gujranwala, nearly a third of them have returned themselve as Rajputs, but they marry freely with the Jat tribes in their neighbourhood. They say that their ancestor, Virk, had descended from Raja Malan Hans Dev of Jammu, the founder of the Manhas or Minhas clan of Rajputs. Leaving Paragowal in Jammu, Virk settled in Amritsar and married a Gill Jat girl. His descendants, shortly afterward, moved westwards into Gujranwala. There are three main sections of the tribe, the Jopur, Vachra, and Jan. The tribes rose to some political importance about the end of last century, ruling a considerable tract in Gujranwala and Lahore, till subdued by Ranjit Singh.


According to the historians, the present-day city of Sheikhupura in the province of Punjab (Pakistan), was the site of Virkgarh till the Mughal emperor, Jahangir built the city of Sheikhupura. The epical ancestor of Virks, Raja Virk Vardhan, was a ruler of the area with its capital being the present-day city of Sialkot, Punjab (Pakistan). The eastern extent of his Raj included [Amritsar] (India) which still belongs to the Virks. Haji Shah Muhammad Virk of Nabipur (Virkan), Sheikhupura was a great politicion of this area and he was one of the biggest landloards of Punjab at that time and, after his death in London, his wealth was distributed amongst his two sons Haji Abdul Karim Virk and Haji Maqbool Hussain Virk. The Virks are still strong in this area politically and economically. There are 132 villages in this area which belong to the Virks. Another Jat of the Virk clan was known as Chaudhry Imam Din. He was the most influential person of the area and his son still hold the area under his control through his educational and financial ability. Both the sons of Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail and Chaudhry Ghafoor are educationally well- placed.

Muslim and Sikh Virks

Whether Muslim or Sikh, Virks always took pride in being members of the Jat community. The majority of Virks on the western side of Punjab converted to Islam while the majority of Virks on the eastern side of Punjab converted to Sikhism. The famous Virk chieftan, Nawab Kapur Singh founded the Dal Khalsa and, later, divided it into twelve Misls. He belonged from the "Fyzallapur" village which remained his headquarters. This village was, later, renamed as Singhpur. The Misl that he headed was, consequently, known as the Singhpuria Misl.

Virks in the British Period

In Punjab (British India), Virks held very high positions in the British Indian Army. Before the Partition of India, Sir Shahab-ud-Din, or officially known as Khan Bahadur Chaudhry Sir Shahab-ud-Din, Kt. B.A., LL.B., a member of the Punjab Assembly and Secretary of the Jat Sabha, was a Virk Jat who belonged to Tar village in Sialkot. He was a friend of Sir Alama Mohammad Iqbal, and both of them attended Government College Lahore together. He was President of the Punjab Assembly from 1927 to 1945 He was the first Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He did not have his own children, but adopted his nephew, Waheedudin Virk, who later served as commissioned officer under the Royal British Army in World War II. His children and grandchildren live in Lahore, Pakistan, and Canada.

Virk Jats Today

Most of virk jatts live in bathinda district also. there are two villages in district bathinda: VIRK KHURD and VIRK KALAN. all the people of these villages are of virk jatts only. Today, one can find Virk Jats on both sides of Punjab and also in foreign countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.). In Punjab (Pakistan), a majority of Virks live in the Sheikhupura district and some are scattered in the Sialkot district. There is also a village named *Toleke Virkan* near Gujranwala [a district in Punjab, Pakistan]. There is a small village "Virk" in Sialkot which is inhabited by Virk Jats. Virks still control the city of Sheikhupura (the ancient Virkgarh) both, politically and economically. In India, Virks are mainly concentrated in the Karnal district of Haryana.There is also few villages of VIRK's in LUDHIANA district. Village BIRK in tehsil Jagraon has all the famlies of VIRK Jatts. A majority and some very prominent Virk families are concentrated in villages around tehsil Assandh, district Karnal, village Habri (district Kaithal) and few are temporarily living in Patiala district. Mostly, Virks live in village Sounkra (district Karnal). Virks also live in Melbourne (Australia), Toranto (Canada), UK, Italy and other countries.

Distribution in Punjab

In the present day, Virks live in Sheikhupura, a district in Punjab. Virk population is 3,600 in Patiala district.

According to B. S. Dhillon, the population of the Virk clan in Jalandhar district is 3,150.

Virk population is 2,037 in Amritsar district. In Firozpur district, the Virk population is 1,500.

Notable Virk Jatts

  • Col (Retd) Muzaffar Ahmed Virk is very well known structural engineer of Pakistan. He also served as chief engineer of Fauji Foundation Pvt Ltd for over ten years. His son Dr Imad Muzaffar Ahmed Virk is a very distinguished nephrologist in Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Nawab Kapur Singh Virk, was famous Jat Sikh Misl warriors leader in the 18th century in Punjab.
  • Khushal Singh Virk-was famous Jat Sikh Misl - Nawab Kapur Singh Virk was succeeded by his nephew (brother's son) Khushal Singh.He occupied the town of Jalandhar by defeating its ruler Shaikh Nizam-ud-Din.
  • Karora Singh Virk, was a famous Jat Sikh Misl leader of warriors in the 18th century in Punjab.
  • Jathedar Teja Singh Chuharkana was a fighter against British Rule and one of the few responsible for India's freedom from the British.
  • SS Virk, Former DGP Punjab, now Maharashtra chief of police
  • Birshalinder Singh Virk : Inventor of Turbo bioreactor Technology TBRTM and first virk to have International wastewater Process IP based on Biocatalyst.
  • Sardar Nishan Singh Virk(village Balu, Karnal), one of the prominent freedom fighters in Haryana received several recognition awards from recent Presidents of India. The final recognition came in on Oct 26, 2008 when his body was given state honor by the government when he died at the age of 105.
  • Kulwant Singh Virk is known as the emperor of Punjabi short story genre. Among several awards, he also won the Indian president's prestigious Sahitya Akedemi award for Punjabi literature in 1967. His works have been published in Russian and Japanese. More about him on web site
  • Sardar Bahadur Buta Singh Virk was a prominent lawyer from Sheikhupura and the deputy speaker of United Punjab. His family currently resides in Karnal and Chandigarh and his great daughter in law Mrs. Sumita Singh is the sitting M.L.A from Karnal.
  • Hina Tahir Virk is the first lady fighter pilot in Pakistan Airforce in the Whole Islamic World. Who flied the F 7P aircraft solo.
  • DR Azhar Abbas Virk (Baddo Murraday SHEIKHUPURA) Currently Head Of the Al Ain Royal Zoo and Aquarium UAE.
  • Dr Asif Abbas Virk is a Famous Gastroenterologist in Brooklyn USA.
  • Charanjit Singh Virk, MLA (Member of Uttar Pradesh [UP] state government). The first sikh MLA outside Punjab. Major accomplishments, hundreds of kilometers road works, establishment of Degree College. Big personality, popular figure and a very charismatic leader, Charanjit was in local politics between 1974 to 1982 in Philibit district of UP state. UK returned, settled at Khali Nawada Farm, Majhola, Philibhit, UP, India until death in Dec. 1982.
Jat Clan: Virk
Distribution Malwa(Punjab)
Owner: Dhaliwal's everywhere
Descended from: Many
Branches: Ludhiana,Jalandhar in Punjab,Panipat, Kurushetra and Karnal in Haryana(India) and Sekhupura(Pakistan)
Religion Khanda1.svg Sikhism and Allah-green.svgIslam
Languages Punjabi