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The Kathias are found in the Ravi river valley of the Multan and Sahiwal districts, also in the south of the Jhang District, They are also settled in the district of Toba Tek Singh. They are considered as the famous land lords or feudal lords of their respective areas. The Kathia's are one of the most wealthy,respectable and famous rural caste of the Ravi belt. They originated from the Kathiawar.
The Kathias claim to be Panwar Rajputs descended from a Rajput prince named Kathia who lived about the time of their conversion to Islam, in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. An attempt has been made to identify the tribe with the Kathoei, who in their stronghold at Sangla Hill, so stoutly resisted the victorious army of Alexandar the Great, but it cannot be said that anything definite is known about the tribe.
According to their traditions, the Kathia are descended from the legendary Rajah Karan of the Mahabharat.Originally they resided in Bikaner, whence they migrated and founded the state of Kathiawar, which takes its name from the Kathia tribe, and is in modern day Gujerat State of India. From there they went to Sirsa and then Bahawalpur. In this migration, they were accompanied by a few families of the Baghela tribe. Next they crossed over to Kabula stream and went on to Daira Dinpanah. From this place they spread over to Kamalia. The Kathia, like other Neeli Bar tribes were pastorolist.
During the reign of the Emperor Akbar, the Kathia were required to give their daughters in marriage to Emperor Akbar. The Kathia refused, and a Mughal army was sent against them. The Kathia were defeated, and the Raja was made a prisoner. He was then conducted with great honour to the Court of Delhi, where the Emperor Akbar treated him with great kindness. This behaviour led to the Rajah deciding to embrace Islam.