History of Lunar Race Yaduvanshi Jadeja Rajputs Ruling Chief of Kutch State —-
The Jadejas almost certainly belong to the great Yadava / Jadava stock who se pedigree goes back to Samba ,son of Lord Krishna , who brought a colony of Yadavas from Dwarka in Kathiawar to Sind .According to another account , the Jadejas , claiming to be sprung from Krishna and the Yadavas trace their descent through a line of eighty mythical sovereigns of Shantipur and Misar ,the latter Egypt , the former (otherwise called Devikot ) the capital of Banasur a legendary king of Southern India.
Jareja Rajputs, who came to Kutch from Sind early in the
14th century, under the leadership of his ancestor, the .He is supposed to have completed the conquest of cutch in A.D.1320 .He was succeeded by his nephew Punvaro and on Punvaro’s death his widow sent to Sindh for Lakha the son of Jam Jada of Tatta .From this time the Sammas called themselves Jadejas .
Till 1540 Kutch was divided between two Jadeja chiefs ,Jam Hamirji and Jam Raval.Raval treacherously killed Hamirji and seized on his dominions. Hamirji’s son Khengar, when only a lad of fourteen, slew a lion with his sword at a hunting party with the King of Ahmadabad, who was so much pleased with this feat that he conferred on the young prince the territory of Morvi, in the north of Kathiawar, with the title of Rao. After this the Rao Khengar succeeded in making himself the master of the whole of Kutch, with the city of Bhuj for his capital . Rao Khengar attacked his uncle Raval , and finally , in 1548 A.D. , drove him from Kutch .Jam Raval sought refuge in Kathiyavad , established Navanagar , and gradually spread his power over the whole of north-west Kathiawar .
The Rao Khengar I. was succeeded by Rao Bharmal I., during whose reign, from 1585 to 1631 A.D ., the government of Gujarat passed from the Kings of Ahmadabad to the Mughal Emperors. Bharmal, who was at the head of a large military force, visited the Emperor Jahangir in 1 61 7, and received from him most costly presents, including his own horse, elephants, dagger, and a sword with diamond-mounted hilt. A descendant, Rao Lakhpatji, who reigned from 1741 to 1760 A.D ., set up a cannon-foundry, and introduced other manufactures from Europe by the aid of an adventurer named Ramsingh ; and the mechanical skill and working in metals, for which the craftsmen of Kutch are still famous, date from this reign. In 1809 the rulers of Kutch sought British help ; the Rao Raidhan II. being on the gadi, but the administration of the State being carried on by a very powerful and ambitious Prime Minister named Fatheh Muhammad. A treaty was signed in that year, and again another in 1812. In 1813 both Fatheh Muhammad and the Rao died. The latter was succeeded by his son, Rao Bharmal II. ; but there was so much disorder in the State that the British Power was compelled to intervene, and to send troops into the Principality in 181 6, and again in 18 18-19. On the latter occasion the Rao was deposed, and his son, the Rao Desalji II., succeeded as a minor, and ruled happily for more than forty years, till 1860. He took vigorous measures to suppress infanticide, sati (or the burning of widows on the funeral pile of their deceased husbands), and the trade in slaves. On the death of Rao Desalji in i860, the Government of Bombay thus recorded the official appreciation of his career : ” Marked by a love of truth and plain dealing, Rao Desalji was probably more than any one else in Kutch learned in the traditions and customs of the Province. He was a careful and painstaking judge, and a staunch and devoted ally of the British Government. With the help of a few Chiefs and Court servants he managed the whole business of the country, and by his knowledge of their character, friendly intercourse, and timely concessions, avoided any struggle with the Jareja chiefs.” The ” Jareja chiefs ” referred to are the Bhayad — brotherhood or frerage of the ruling family, being all descendants of the first Rao. The Rao Desalji II. was succeeded by his late Highness the Maharao Pragmalji, father of the present Rao. During the fifteen years of his rule, i860 to 1875, he showed himself anxious to improve the management of the State. He framed codes for the guidance of his officers in matters of civil and criminal justice, he undertook works of public usefulness, and introduced State systems of public instruction and of vaccination. In recognition of his excellent administra- tion he was in 1 871 honoured with the title of Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India. Unlike his forefathers, none of whom left Kutch, he thrice visited Bombay — in 1870 to meet His Royal Highness the Duke of Edin- burgh, in 187 1 to take part in a Chapter of the Star of India, and in October 1875 to meet His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. These happy visits are marked by important public works dedicated to their Royal Highnesses — the Albert Edward Breakwater and Harbour Works at Mandvi, which have cost over 1 2 lacs of rupees, and the Alfred High School at Bhuj, the pro- vincial centre of education; and the establishment of two “Rao Shri Pragmalji Scholarships ” in the Elphinstone College, and two in Sir Jamsetji Jijibhai’s School of Art, Bombay. His Highness Rao Pragmalji was described by the British authorities as “most enlightened and liberal,” as well as a “loyal, consistent, and devoted friend” of the British Government. Rao Pragmalji built a palace at Bhuj at a cost of about Rs. 2 0,00,000 ; con- structed the Pragsar Tank, which is an immense reservoir of rain water in the Chadwa range of hills, and a causeway in the large Hamirsar tank ; he also built the Jail (Rs.79,509), the Hospital, the Horse and Elephant Stables (R.s. 1,84, 303), and the Schools at Bhuj and Mandvi; remitted transit duties, and occasionally remitted import duties in times of scarcity or deficient rainfall. He ordered out cotton gins, and introduced screw presses, and finished the Bhuj-Mandvi road. He was a great sportsman, and killed many wild animals, including a number of panthers. The total expenditure on public works started during His Highness Rao Pragmalji’s reign amounted to Rs.32,41,435. He was succeeded in 1876 by His Highness the present Maharaja, Rao Khengarji, who was described at that time by the British Political Agent as “a most promising boy of ten.” he was born 16 August 1867, succeeded to the gadi 19th December 1875.Later on he is called His Highness Maharao shri Mirza Raja Sawai Sir Khengarji Bahadur ., G.C.I.E. In 1877 Sir Richard Temple, as Governor of Bombay, visited the State, and complimented the young Prince on his general progress, and on the accuracy and ease with which he could converse in English— his education having been mainly in the hands of M. Chhotalal Tewakram and Captain J. W. Wray of the Staff Corps. He was admitted into the Council of Administration, at an unusually early age, in 1882 ; and on 11 th August 1884, having attained his majority of eighteen years of age, he was invested with full powers of State. On 14th November of that year Sir James Fergusson, as Governor of Bombay, visited Bhuj, and held a grand Darbar for the purpose of formally installing His Highness, in the name of the Queen ‘Empress, as Rao of Kutch. In the course of his speech on that occasion Sir James Fergusson said : ” I venture to augur very favourably of His Highness’s reign. His natural intelligence has been well developed, his mind has been instructed by a liberal education, he possesses a complete knowledge of the circumstances and wants of his country and people ,but more hopefull still are his disposition and character.
On the 2nd March 1885 a Darbar was held at the Bhuj Place for the investiture of Highness with the hereditary distinction of “Sawai Bahadur ,” conferred on the rulers of Kutch by British Government .In 1887 His Highness proceeded to England to represent the Princes of the Bombay Presidency on the occasion of the celebration of the Jubilee the Queen Empress, and during his absence he entrusted his State to his Diwán, Rao Bahádur Motilál Lálbhái.
Whilst in England His Highness was created a Knight Grand Com mander of the Indian Empire. He takes a deep interest in education, and especially in the education of women.. He founded a Sanskrit school or Páthshálá, at a cost of Rs.25,000, and named it after his mother. He also founded the Fergusson Museum and Library at Bhuj, an institution erected as a memorial of the Governorship of Sir James Fergusson. This last cost Rs.32,000. To encourage learning he has founded various scholarships of more. or less importance, and has also inaugurated a fund from which deserving scholars desirous to study in England or America can obtain their expenses, Among the scholarships for females may be mentioned the one to Kutch females attending the Grant Medical College in Bombay, the “Kutch Barton Scholarship” to Kutch females attending the Training College at Ahmadabad or Rájkot, scholarships for female assistant-teachers at Bhuj, the Rao Shri Khengárji scholarships, and one for girls attending the High School at Puna. For males the Rao has founded scholarships for Kutchis receiving scientific and technical education in England, for students receiving agricultural or other scientific education in India, for Kutchis attending the Veterinary College at Bombay, the Veterinary School at Puna and the College of Science at Puna; also scholarships open to any citizen of Bombay attending the Ripon Technical School, Bombay; and further gives annual prizes for quali fying for any professional function in connection with a mill, and for the work of a captain of a steamer. It should be mentioned that the scholarships for Kutchis resident in Bombay alone were established at a total cost of Rs.25,000. As a further stimulus to education, and especially with the object of encouraging native talent and spreading knowledge amongst the people, the Darbár annually commissions competent persons to write essays on various subjects, and to translate standard English works into the Gujarati language.
In the matter of public works considerable improvements have been effected within recent years in connection with the extension of roads, the pier and reclamation works, and the erection of new buildings. Since the accession of His Highness to the gadi the expenditure incurred by the Darbár on works of public utility has amounted to Rs.66,24,672. Great attention is paid by His Highness to well-irrigation, which has been found by experience to be most suited to the peculiar requirements of the Province, the rainfall being limited and precarious. Other means of inge tion have also been adopted. Under his guidance strenuous efforts have also been made in the direction of reclamation of waste land. In the course of the last fifteen years the number of acres of waste land brought under the plough amount to 83,890, and fifteen new villages have been established.
His Highness is a thorough sportsman, fond of pig-sticking, shooting, and all manly exercises. He is, moreover, a firm though conciliatory ruler, and is regarded by his subjects with a deep and ardent attachment. He married the daughters of the Thakur Saheb of Sayla, and of the Rand Jalamsinghji, cousins of His Highness the Raj Saheb of Dhrángadra, in Kathiawár (9) on 19th February 1884. The occasion of this marriage was remarkable for the substitution for the old custom of giving Fulekas (grand dinners and a nightly procession, according to old practice) of a small Darbár, at which nazars were paid, which His Highness touched, and remitted to be utilised in furthering the cause of female education. His sons are named-Mad hubha, otherwise called Vijayarájji, born and September 1885; and Manubhá, born 12th September 1888.
His Highness’s brother is named Karansinghji, born in 1870, and educated at the Rájkumár College, Rajkot; he visited England on the occa sion of Her Majesty’s Jubilee in 1887, and was then created a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, and married a daughter of the House of Aramda, in Okha, Káthidwar, in March 1889. His Highness’s sister was married to His Highness the Mahárájá of Bikanir (q.v .), in Rájputána.
The State has an area of 6500 square miles, exclusive of the Runn of Kutch, which is about 9000 square miles .
Highness maintains a military force of 354 cavalry, 1412 infantry, and 164 guns; and is entitled to a salute of 17 guns,
The coat of arms adopted by His Highness’s family is most inter esting, as illustrating Oriental heraldry. The sketch given in the margin is taken from a document kindly supplied by the Kutch Darbár, and was described by His Excellency the Diwán of Kutch in 1876 in the following words:
(1) The Fort of Bhujia, which overlooks the capital of Bhuj.
(2) The Moon, showing that the reigning family belongs to the Lunar dynasty.
(3) The Crown, and the Jari Patka flag (with representations of the sun and the moon), emblematic of royalty.
(4) The Mahi Muratab, a flag with a gold-fish at the top, presented to a former Rao of Kutch by an Emperor of Delhi. This is considered a valued present, and is carried in State in all ceremonials by sowaris on the back of an elephant.
(5) The Trident of the family goddess, and old weapons of the family.
(6) A Boat, showing that Kutch is a maritime Power.
(7) Two Horsemen, representing Kutch as a horse-producing country, and showing specimens of her military retainers.
(8) A Cow, representing the customary title of a native potentate.
(9) A killed Tiger, indicating the great historical event from which the title of Rao was derived.
(10) The Motto adopted by the family, showing the attributes by which the first Rao Khengár succeeded in regaining his lost patrimony.”
Residence. The Palace, Bhuj, Kutch, Western India.
1-History of Gujarat by J.W.Watson .
2-History of Gujarat by Edalji Dosabhai.
3-The History of Sindh by K.R.Malkani.
4-Bombay Gazetteers, Kathiawar III.p ,554.
5-The Golden book of India ,a Genealogical and Biographical Dictionary of the ruling Princes , Chiefs by Roper Lethoridge.
6-Imperial Gazetteer of India ,v, 11.p78.
7-The Rajputs of Saurashtra by Virbhadra Singh.
8-Yaduvamsh prakash .,pp.,263-287.
9-History of Kathiyawar from Earliest Times .,p177, by Harold Wilberforce -Bell.
10-Bombay Gazetteer , 8,p-489-90, 565-66, p124-126.
11-Glimpses of Bhartiya History by Rajendra Singh Kushwaha.
12-A History of the Indian State forces by HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur.
13-Gujarat State Gazetteers :Rajkot.
Author- Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village-Larhota near Sasni
District-Hatharas ,Uttar Pradesh
Associate Prof in Agriculture
Shahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College ,Sawai madhopur ‘Rajasthan ,322001.