The Grewals are a tribe of the Jat clan found in Northern India.The Grewals are descendants of Gharwal Rajputs, in North India. Chandels are one of the 36 royal castes of Rajputs. At one time, Chandels ruled over Bundelkhand. The state of Bundelkhand was located in between rivers Yamuna and Narmada with a garrison atKalinjar. On the other hand, as per the Grewal Itihas Committee, the Grewals originated from the Chandel Rajputs of Chendeli in Himachal Pradesh. Vedsi was the first ancestor of the Grewals, he was a prince of Bilaspur state and had married a beautiful Jat girl named Roop Kaur. Chaudhary Gujjar sixteenth in lineage of prince Vedsi established the Grewal estate at Gujjarwal (Ludhiana) in 1469 A.D. occupying 52,000 bighas of land. Grewals are described as a superior class of Jats in North India.
In Indian Punjab, Grewals primarily belong to the Malwa region in Punjab. There are a total of 52 purely Grewal villages (meaning everyone in the village is Grewal) Ludhiana district alone. The main villages of Grewals are located in Ludhiana district in and around Ludhiana City, such as Threeke, Dolon Kalan,Noorwal, Ratan Lalton Kalan, Gujjarawal, Phallewal, Pakhowal, Qila Raipur, Sarabha, Baddowal, Sunet, Daad, Narangwal and Kadian,etc. The Rajputs started living in these villages around 1469 AD. When the sixth Guru of Sikhs Guru Hargobind visited Gujjarwal in 1631 AD, the Rajputs converted to Sikhism and gave themselves the name Garhwal, presumably based on the name of one of the royal princess of the royal Rajput clan.
The Grewal villages being south of the Sutlej River, came under British rule early even as Maharaja Ranjit Singh consolidated the Sikh Empire all the way to Kabul. The Grewal villages are characterized by large land holdings and a large estates called Jagirdars. As a result, the Grewal villages with a high middle class prospered. They also joined the British-Indian mercenary army and fought in wars from Mesopotamia to Germany.
One of the very first Sikh Regiments in the British army that was created after the mutiny, bore the name Ludhiana Sikhs, other one being Ferozepur Sikhs." Grewals also contributed to the fight for freedom of India. Kartar Singh Sarabha from Sarabha village lead the fight and was accepted as a guru by the freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Women's emancipation came early to the Grewals: a girl's high School was established in Gujjarwal and Qila Raipur nearly a hundred years ago. Grewals were also the first among the Jat sikh clans to encourage their daughters to seek higher education and seek outside employment as opposed to traditional role of Indian women. Education became the passport for the Grewals to travel and obtain positions across the globe.
Dr Gurdial Kaur Grewal and Dr Shivdev Kaur Grewal graduated from Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi early in the twentieth century. With education came problems for the girls: while sought after as educated brides, they were also less likely to accept the often vicious treatment of daughters-in-law across India. The prohibition of Grewals marrying Grewals made the matters only worse. Even though infanticide was common across Punjab at the turn of the 20th century, it was common for large Grewal families to include more girls than boys. In the Grewal villages, women held equal power and often worked on the farms.
The main villages of the Grewals are Koga near Kharar(Mohali District), Sural Kalan (near Rajpura, Patiala District), Dolon Kalan, Dolon Khurd, Sahouli, Narangwal, Qila Raipur, Gujjarwal, Lohgarh, Dhaipai, Dhandra, Dulay, Thrike, Baddowal ,Jassowal Sudhan, Chupki, Sarabha, Lalton Kalan, Lalton Khurd, Jhande, Mansuran, Jodhan, Humanyunpura, Barewal, Koga, Grewal, Mehma Singh Wala, Phallewal, Daad, Hawas, Khawajke, Sirha (Chude kuku wala), Noorwal, Thakkerwal, Majri, Bihla, Sukhana, Khanjarwal, Mehmoodpur, Assi Kalan, Aandlu, Ballowal, Chaminda, Butahri, Chubki, Khedi Jhamedi, Kadian, Buraj Pakka, Bamla, and Chandeni,(Hakmabad,16, 17, 19z,Sriganganagar, Rajasthan),BIJWASAN(New Delhi)Dadheri, Fatehgarh Sahib
Many Jat Sikh Grewal families are also based in parts of Jalandhar District such as villages Bilga, Talwan, Sareenh, Paasla and Pharwala In Hoshiarpur District, the Village of Jalota Ear Dasuya. Amritsar district has a dense population of Grewals in Khojala village. Sangrur district has two big villages settled by Grewals named Grewal and Sakroudi.
Most of these families are engaged in farming . Rai Singh Wala is another village in Sangrur District of Punjab dominated by Grewal Sikh clan. The city of Phillaur in Doaba region, adjacent to the Malwa region, was originally named as Phulnagar (The Town of Flowers) by a Grewal Jatt called Phul Singh Grewal.
Grewals have migrated to all corners of the globe with significant populations having settled in parts of Malaysia, Canada, the United States, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Australia. Almost all of the Grewals from village Bilga in district Jalandhar now live in England.
The very first husband-wife team to be elected to the Canadian Parliament was Grewal (that of Mrs. Nina Grewal and Mr. Gurmant Grewal). Mr. Gurmant Grewal was later embroiled in a controversy and did not seek re-election. Mrs. Nina Grewal is still a sitting member of Canadian Parliament. British television channel 4 depicted life of a Grewal family living in borough of Hounslow near Heathrow airport in a real life show called Family in 2009. (www. thegrewalfamily.com) Justice Gurnaam Singh Grewal from Mehma Singh Wala village was the Chief Minister of Punjab for a short period of time. Inderjit Singh Grewal from Qila Raipur was a Member of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee in the 11th House of the Mini Parliament of Sikhs from 1996 to 2004.
Grewals have won two gold medals at the Olympic Games: In Berlin (Germany)- 1936 Summer Olympics, by Gurbachan Singh Garewal as a player of the Indian men's hockey team; and in Los Angeles (USA) - 1984 Summer Olympics, by Alexi Grewal]] in the individual road race, becoming the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in cycling.