History of Lunar Race Yaduvanshi Jadeja Rajputs Ruling Chief of Kutch State

History of Lunar Race Yaduvanshi Jadeja Rajputs Ruling Chief of Kutch State —-

Ancient History–

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.

Modern History

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,

Arms—
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.

References–

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.

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