KHOSLAS OF NURMAHAL
Dewan Moti Ram Khosla moved from Rahon (Nawashahr) to Nurmahal (Jalandhar) in search of better prospects. He was the sixth generation of Lala Takhat Mal, who moved from Talwan to Rahon. Nurmahal is an old historical town. The town was established by the emperor Jahagir, the son of emperor Akbar. A beautiful monument built of red stones called Saria was built at Nurmahal by Jahagir. The town, even today, is known by its Saria. The town is located on old Grant Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri. The Grant Trunk Road connects Pashawar to Calcutta.
These Khoslas at Nurmahal were called Rahon's Khoslas. There were three other distinct groups of Khoslas living at Nurmahal who perhaps migrated from Talwan. The Khoslas of Rahon lived in a street called Mishra Mohalla. They lived in big houses called Havelis. The Houses were made of small bricks. The brick walls were very wide (2-3 feet) and the ceilings were very high. The rooms were very small and each member of the family has a room.
Dewan Moti Ram and his future generation became prosperous in Nurmahal. Nurmahal was an agriculture based town. Most of businesses in Nurmahal depended on agriculure related business including the manufacture of brown sugar. Many khoslas became money lenders and they were prestigious. The first president of Nurmahal municipal committee was a Khosla. Later Mela Ram Khosla, son of Prithi Ram, was the president of Nurmahal municipal committee for many years. Sahela Ram Khosla, son of Salig Ram was a well to do man. He helped to start and manage Doaba Arya High School in Nurmahal. Basant Rai, son of Mohkam Chand, built a Hindu Temple. The temple exists today and is still used for worship. This hundred years old temple needs some renovation.
The government later discouraged the pratice of money lending by establishing cooperative banks. At the start of the nineteenth century, many Khoslas started to move out to other places in search of livelihood. They started to move to places like Lahore, Delhi, Jalandhar, Beas and Phillaur. Khoslas were educated at a vernacular (8th grade) school that was established in about 1865 A.D.. The school was upgraded to a high school in 1925. Many Khoslas studied in this school and many went to colleges in Lahore. By 1950, many Khoslas were employed in banks, goverment civil and defence jobs. The havelis at Nurmahal became empty. In 1994 there were only about half dozen families left in Nurmahal. Most of them are now engaged in agriculture or own their businesses.
The Khoslas now live in various part of India and other countries like Canada, United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (USA). I moved to USA in 1971. My brother and sisters also moved to USA later on.
Nurmahal has many other Khatari and Brahmin familes. Khataris casts include Nayyar, Kholi, Kochhars, Mehan and others. Brahmins casts include Misher, Randev, Kalia and Sharma. A large number of Soods once lived in Nurmahal. Other communities include the Ramgarias (Chauhan, Dhaman and Sambhi).
The population blend of Nurmahal changed after 1947 partition of India. The Muslims, the half of the population of Nurmahal before partition were replaced by Arora's who migrated from Pakistan. The recent migration to Nurmahal is from villages surrounding it.
Sudesh (Sonny) Khosla
Chicago, IL, USA