Dhundi-Kairali language

Dhundi-Kairali language

The Dhundi-Karlali language[1] is spoken throughout Abbottabad District, and the adjoining Murree Hills and Galyat areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.[2] The Dhund Abbasi and Karlal Tribe form 80% of the population that uses this language. More than 1.5 million people speak this language from the north of Islamabad to the Kaghan Valley in the south, and in the east from the right bank of the Jhelum River to the Silk Road from Hasanabdal to Abbottabad. Nazim Afaq Abbasi and some General Councillors of the Union Council, Birote, objected to the name "Dhundi-Karlali" language and passed a resolution on 28th Oct 2006, in which they demanded all linguists change it to "Kohsari Language", because this language is not only the language of the Dhund Abbasi and Kareal tribes, but it is spoken by all tribes of the region.



The linguist Rev. T. Grahame Bayley contributed in the 1901 census of India report on the "dialects spoken in the hills between Murree and Kashmir"[3]. Bayley was the first to study the language, which he included in his book Languages of the Northern Himalayas Studied in the Grammar of Twenty-Six Himalayan Dialects, published the by Royal Asiatic Society London in 1908. Grearson detailed the nature and translation of the Sattiali language in the linguistic survey of India (Linguistic Survey of Pakistan Vol IV) published in Lahore in 1980. Linguists consider the Dhundi-Kareali language to be the same as Pahari (Dhondi), Pothwari (Potwari), Chibhali, Punchhi (Poonchi), and Mirpuri, varying slightly in dialect. This language belongs to the Western Pahari language family, which is a branch of the Indo-Iranian language. Indo-Iranian (also known as Aryan) is a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. (For details read Mohabbat Husain Awan of Birote Kalan book ASSAN NAY NABI PAK HOR (Our Holy Prophet) first book on Dhundi-Kairali language, published in 2006 in Karachi and won Seerat Award in 2008.The book preface research article was written by Mohammed Obaidullah Alvi [1] and covers five millenniums history and literature of Dhundi-Kairali language. Gulfiraz Abbasi [2], a lecturer of Murree College is also written a research thesis about this subject [3] in 2010 also. )

Ancient History

The earliest known roots of the language go back to 5,000 BCE when Indo-Aryan priests wrote the Vedas on the high brinks of the Mukeshpuri and Murree hills. The Sattiali language evolved from an ancient Prakrit in 3,500 BCE and by the first century emerged as the Sharda language. This language developed and changed into the Sharda language of Kashmir, the official language of the Buddhist University at Taxila's Sharda Campus sixteen centuries before the invasion of the Huns from Central Asia. Kautilya and Pāṇini were the great scholars of this language.[citation needed]

Muslim conquest

After the Muslim conquest of Kashmir in the twelfth century, many Muslim tribes such as Satti, Awan, Seyed, Dhund Abbasies[4], Kareal, and Gakhers (the main feudal lords of area), and many more came to Kashmir with Mahmud of Ghazni and his invading forces; they partially changed the social and political culture as well as the Sharda language of Kashmir.

Effect on language

This influx resulted in new linguist influences; this dramatically altered the language, literature, poetry, philosophy and some 35% of the vocabulary. This created another version of the Sharda language. In the middle of the second millennium some social changes occurred: Gakhars displaced the Kareal tribe from Bakote to Galyat and promoted the Dhunds as their allies. Gakhars granted Abbottabad District and Murree Hills as jagirs (territorial grants) to Rattan Khan (Abd-u-Rehman), the great-grandson of Shah Wali Khan (Dhond Khan) as a reward. This jagir was geographically a hilly and mountainous area that has been developed by Katwals, Satties, Gujjars and Kareals through the centuries. Today a pure form of this language is spoken by Satties; resultantly, the language is now referred to as Sattiali in this area.


  1. ^ Ethnologue report for language code:phr
  2. ^ Location of Birot - Falling Rain Genomics
  3. '^ H.H. Risley and E.A. Gait, (1903), Report on the Census of India, 1901, Calcutta, p. 247
  4. ^ Formerly known as Qurashies, as narrated by Akram Abbasi in his book Aena-e-Qurash and Noor Alahi Abbasi in Tareekh-e-Murre

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