Part I-History of princely Kutch State of Original Yadavas Stock Jadeja rajput clan of Lunar Race upto 18th century —-
Arca 6,500 sq. miles. Population.-558,415.
Revenue.-18,04,000 rupees. The territory of H. H. the Rao of Kutch is bounded on the north and north-west by the province of Sindh, on the east by the dominions of H. H. the Gaekwad, on the south by the Gulf of Kutch and the peninsula of Kathiawad, while the. vast Indian Ocean rolls in the south-westerly direction.
The present Rao of Kutch is a Rajput of the Jadeja clan. Before his ancestors had settled in the province, it was ruled by a prince of the Chavda dynasty. The seat of government was then in Patgarh.
The Jadejas are said to have descended from the original stock of the Yadavas, of the lunar race. Shri Krishna, the sovereign lord of Dwarka, had a son, named Sâmba, by one of his wives. Jambuvanti. He married Rama, the daugh ter of Kaubhanda, who was prime minister to the well known Banasura, then reigning in Shonitpur. believed to be in Egypt. A son was born of this marriage, and he was nained Ushnika. When the Yadavas destroved themselves on the banks of the Gomati, Ushnika was in Shonitpur , where he remained all his life. Banasura was after his death succeeded by Kaubhenda, and after his death, Ushuika became the lord of Shonitpur. A certain prince, Devendra, flourished in his line, 79th degree removed from him. He had four sons of these four, one. Aspat, embraced Maho inedanism: Claud, the son of Gujapat, founded a kingdom in Sorath, and his descendantse kaown by the name of Chudasama. Narapata, his third son. killed Placesha the Emperor of Ghazni, and usurped his throne. He as anel the title of Jam. Sultansha, the son of Pherozsha, succeeded in taking back Ghazni from Samanta, the son of Narapat, whe thereupon fled to Sindh, and there set up a separate and independent throne. His decals aesrmed the name of Sama, derived from his name Samanta, in place of their former name Yadava. In his line of descent, nine degrees removed from him, there flourished Lakhiar Bhada, who founded the city of Nagar Samai and made it his seat of go vernment. It has now lost its old name and is generally known by the name of Nagar Thatha.
Lakhiar Bhada had a son, named Lakho Churaro. He was married to Princess Bothi, the daughter of Viramadeva, the Chavda ruler of Patgarh in Kutch. This union was blessed with four sons. Two of them. Moda and Manai, stayed in Kutch with their uncle. They treacherously murdered their patron, and usurped the throne of Kutch. Lakho Phulani was fourth in descent from Moda, who, dying without issue, was succeeded by his nephew, Puwaro, the son of Jam Ghao. He also died childless, and Lakhaji and Lakha dhir, the sons of Jam Jado, the then reigning prince of Sindh, sixth in descent from Uuada, the step brother of Jams Moda and Manai, were summoned to assume the sovereignty of Kutch. They were the sins of Vereji, though they were both adopted by Jam Jado. It was from him that his descendants took the distinctive appellation of Jadeja. It is also said that Lakhaji and Lakhadhir were twin-brothers. In the Sindhi language the children born simultaneously are called ‘Jada,’ and it might be this circumstance that caused their descendants to be known by the name of Jadeja. What ever may be the origin of the name, the Jadejas came into existence for the first time from this date. These two brothers founded another city, and named it, Lakhiyar Viyaro, after them both, and transferred their seau of government to the new city. Jam Lakhaji’s son, Rayadhanji. had four sons, Dedoji, Othaji, Gajanji and Hothiji. They distributed among themselvos their paternal estate, by giving Kanthakot to Dadarji, Lakhiyar Vivaro, the metropolis, to Othaji, the district of Bara to Gajanji, aud Gajod with twelve other villages to Bothiji. All the four brothers were styled Jains.
Othaji, who inherited the seat of government, ascended the throne in 1385. He expelled the Jains from his dominions. Othaji died in the year 1405. He was succeeded by Price Ghaoji. The enraged Jains took shelter under Rayadhanji of Bara, the cousin of Chaoji. They plundered the territory of Ghaoji and harassed him much. They were, however, put down by the valiant Abadlo, the son of Rayadhanji’s uncle, Jiyoji. Ghaoji died in 1437, and was succeeded by Jan Vahenaji. Raya dhanji with the assistance of other malcontents began to raise serious disturbances regarding the boundaries of Poeni. Jain Vahenaji thereupon left his metropolis, Lakhiyar Viyaro, and went to the hills of Haba. From the latter place he made several inroads upon the territory of Rayadhanji and oppressed his subjects. Rayadhanji was eventually compelled to kneel at the feet of Vahenaji, and the two cousins were reconciled.
After the death of Jam Vahenaji in 1450, his son. Malwoij, succeeded to the throne. Mulwaji was suffering from rheumatism, which
incapacitated him from wielding his sword. The enemies of his father, taking advantage of this circumstance, invaded his dominions. But it was not long before he was cured of his disease and he lost no time in taking up arms against his enemies. He succeeded in subduing everyone of his opponents, but was killed in a battle with the Kathis in the year 1470. Jam Mulwoji was succeeded by Kanyoji. He bore a grudge to the Kathis, who had killed his father, and he expelled them from his dominions in Kutch. He also wreaked his vengeance upon the Vaghela chief of Gedi, who had formerly sheltered the Kathis, by taking his life.
Amarji ascended the throne of Kutch after the death of Kanyoji im 1490. In his reign the emperor of Kabul made an inroad upon Kutch and demanded of Jam Amarji a tribute, called the Swari Vero. The Jam was brave enough to repudiate such a presumptuous demand and took up arms against the Moslem. A fierce battle ensued, in which the Mussalmans were defented and driven back. The valiant Jam, however, received a mortal wound, of which he died in 1510. Amarji, while dying, summoned his son, Bhimji, to his bed side and thus spoke to him, You are no doubt the heir-apparent to the throne, but it is my dying wish that if your mother, who is now enreinte, gives birth to a son the throne be given to that son. My salvation will be ensured only if you promise to carry ont this last behest of mine. Bhimji magnanimously agreed to it, and on the birth of the posthumous son, he caused a general proclamation to be circulated throughout the land, investing Prince Amar Amarani with all the regal power, reserving to himself the management of the administration. When Amar attained the age of 15 years, all the brothers assembled together and unanimously resolved that as Amar seemed to be of weak intellect he would not be able properly and efficiently to administer the state affairs. They requested Bhimji to resume the reins of government, but he was too loath to break the solemn pledge that he had given to his deceased father. They remonstrated with Bhimji that if Amar were allowed to retain possession of the throne their enemies, taking advantage of his weakness, would some day march upon the capital and deprive him of his gadi. Such an event would bring dishonour upon the yet untarnished name of their ancestors and that it was he alone who could save the whole family from such a calamity. Bhimji was thus compelled to ascend the throne of Kutch. During his reign the descendant of Jam Gajanaji of Bada, was treacherously murdered by some persons. The
suspicion fell upon his sons, Jam Raol, Jam Bhimaji, and Prince Hamirji, Bhimji vowed vengeance agairist them. He, however, died in the year 1525, and Prince Hamirji assumed the title of Jam. Hamirji took up his residence in Lakhiyar Viyaro. Jam Raol, who grew jealous of him, repaired thither within a week after his accession and entreated him to go with him to Bada and grace his peor cottage by his royal presence. Hamirji could at once see through his wicked intentions and refused to comply with his request. The wily Jam Rrol swore in the name of his tutelary goddess, Ashapuri, that there was no plot laid against his life, and it was only when such a strong assurance was given that Hamirji was prevailed upon to accompany him to Bada. The confiding Hamir was entertained to a princely banquet, in which he was pressed to drink so much of liquor that he fell senseless on the ground. The fatal signal was given by Raol to his attendants, who at once murdered the unfortunate youth. The con temptible Raol made a searching inquiry after his sons, with a view to get rid of them also, but he was ther. in frustrated by the fidelity of one of Hamir’s attendants, named Chhachhar Butto, who had obtained a clue to this vile treachery. Kamabai, the daughter of Jam Hamirji, was given in marriage to Mahmud Shah Begada, Emperor of Gujarat, and Chhachhar Butto effected his escape to Ahmedabad with all the princes. After the death of Jam Hamirji in 1537 Jam Raol conquered all his dominions and incorporating them with his own, began to reign supreme in Kutch. The names of the sons of Hamirji, who were safely escorted to their sister’s house at Ahmedabad, were Alioji, Khengarji, Rayabji, and Sahebji. Mahmud Begada readily granted them his sup port by despatching a large army to Kutch. The whole province was over run and wrested from the hands of Jam Raol. Khengarji, the bravest of the four princes, was re-instated on the throne, elevated with the new title of ‘Rao.’ Jam Raol, seeing that the day was against him, crossed the Run of Kutch and escaped into Saurashtra. He there became the founder of a new dynasty of rulers in Nawanagar.
The present capital of Kutch, Bhuj, was founded on Mugsur Sud 6th Samvat 1650, corresponding to 1549, by Rao Khengarji only a few years after his accession. Lakhiyar Viyaro, the ancient capital, was given to the bards and Charans as a present and Bhuj was made the seat of government. In 1580 was founded the important seaport town of Mandvi, which even to this day commands the extensive trade of the whole province. Chhachhar Butto was given seven villages for the yeoman service he had done to the prince in times of difficulty, while other people also received some such rewards, in recognition of the support given by them in those troublous times Jam Rol was always devising plans to wreak his vengeance upon Kheng urji. One day in a grand Durbar held at Nawanagar Lakhapsada circulated a Beer challenging the courtiers to bring the head of Khengarji. Twelve of the nobles seated there picked up the Beera, accepting the challenge, and they all went to Kutch and began lurking about the palace to carry out their wicked plan. Once Khengarji happened to go out a-hunting, unaccompanied by any of his re tinue, and the twelve assassins, taking advantage of the opportunity, fol lowed him and surrounded him in a jungle. The Raol, wielded his sword so dexterously and valiantly that he effected his deliverance by slaving all the twelve that had barred his way.
Khengarji had two sons. Bhojrajji and Bharmalji. The heir apparent, Bhojrajji, had gone to the roscue of Raydhar Hala, where he was shot by an arrow. He had a son, named Aliyoji but after the death of Khengarji, in 1585, Bharmalji assumed the reins of government, setting aside the claims of Aliyoji. In his time Muzafar III. the King of Gujarat, while roaming about as a fugitive, was at last caught at the court of Bharmalji. On his way back he committed suicide with a razor and the government of Gujarat thus passed into the hands of the Mughal Emperors. After the death of the Great Akabar, Jehangir (Selim) as cended the Imperial Masnad When Jehangir visited Gujarat Bharmal ji went to Ahmedabad to pay his respects to the Emperor. The Rao presented him with 2,000 rupees, 100 ashrafis, and 100 Kutch horses. In return Jehangir gave him his own horse, an elephant, a dagger, a sword and diamond rings and also accorded him the privilege of issuing in his territory his own stamps and coins, called the Kories.
Rao Bharmali, dying in 1631, was succeeded by Bhojrajji. Nothing important happened in his reign. He is said to have been a great patron of letters. He died in 1645. As he had no male issue he was succeeded by his adopted son, Khengarji, the son of his brother, Meghaji. Rao Khengarji II. died in 165. His death is attributed to a curse pronounced against him by a Charan woman.
After the death of Rio Khengarji, one of his courtiers, Sigramji, instal nineteenth day after the death of the Rao one of his Bhayads, Hothiji, took with him the Rao’s brother, Tamachiji, to the capital and deposing Hamirji, instated him on the gudi. Rin Tamachiji died in 1662, and was succeeded by Rayadhanji, The Suba of Gujarat sent a large army under Muazim Beg to levy a tribute from the Rao of Kutch, but when he found that he had not a sufficiently strong army to cope with the well-manned troops of the Kutch potentate he returned to Ahmedabad.
Rayadhanji died in 1697. He had ten sons, each of whom was entrusted during his life time with the management of different districts. All the sons of Rayadhanji except the third, followed, as chief mourners, the corpse of the deceased R to in the funeral cortege. Pragmalji, however, stayed back in the palace under the pretext that he had a severe pain in his eyes. He caused the gates of the city to be closed and usurped the throne, issuing the Royal Proclamation in his own name, and setting aside the claims of the eldest son, Rawoji, and of the son of Nodhanji, who had died in the life time of the late Rao. The other princes, who were on the funeral ground, when they were apprised of this act of treachery on the part of Pragmalji, at once ran to the different districts that were already in their charge, and held them independently against the ruling chief.
Pragmelji died in 1715, and was succeeded by Godaji. His reign, extended over a period of three years only, and he, dying in 1718, was succeeded by Deshaji. Kanyoji, the chief of Morvi, and the son of Rawoji, the elder brother of Pragmalji, invaded Kutch with the assistance of a small contingent from Sher Buland Khan, the Mughal Suba of Gujarat. The Rao seemed for a time disconcerted at the approach of such a vast army, but he afterwards showed remarkable courage. He fought against the invading army and defeating it, drove it out of the country. Many of the Mussalmans were killed in the battle that ensued between the two contending armies. Sheth Devkaran was honoured with the Diwanship by Rao Deshalji. This Diwan effected great reforms and retrenchments in the expenditure of the State. The heir-apparent, Lakhapatji, was, however, an extravagant youth. He always stood in need of money. Once at the instance of Devkaran his royal father refused to grant him any further subsidy This enraged the Prince who hired. a Pardesi to assassinate the miserly Lohana. This was soon effected and Lakhapatji got rid of one, who had played the chief obstructionist to his pleasures and extravagance In 1741 Lakhapatji invited his father to an entertainment at his place. He there imprisoned him and usurped the throne, deposing the innocent father. Rao Deshalji spent the remaining period of his life as a State-prisoner, from which predicament he was relieved by death ten years later, in 1751.
Lakhapatji assumed the reins of govertiment immediately after the dethronement of his father in 1741. He made Punja Sheth, the son of the very Diwan, whom he had caused to be murdered, his prime minister. The new Diwan was not able to find funds for his master sufficient to meet his extravagance. He was soon after removed and his place was given to Rupji Shah. On the dismissal of Punja Sheth he was fined 20 lakhs of Kories. The Bania minister resolutely refused to pay the fine and a small skirmish ensued, in which 65 men were killed. Rupaji Shah was dismissed after four years and Punja Sheth was re-instated in his Diwanship. He was however, soon, replaced by one Gordhan Mehta. The implacable Punja Sheth devised a plan so as to create in the mind of the Rao a strong suspicion against the new premier and he succeeded in his plot, for the Rao at once ordered the execution of Gordhan Mehta. After his death the Diwanship was once more given to Rupji Shah. He was, in his turn, succeeded by Tulsi Das. This Diwan was mainly instrumental in effecting a reconciliation between Rao Lakhapatji and the ruler of Kabul.
Rao Lakhapatji was not on good terms with his son, Godaji. Once the prince went to Morvi and with a large army, supplied to him by the chief, marched against his father. Diwan Tulsi Das was dismissed for his inactivity in making preparations to oppose the invading enemy and the place was given to one, Devji. He succeeded in bringing about a settle ment between the father and the son. Rao Lakhapatji was ennobled with the title of Mirza’, in recognition of the military service rendered by him to Ahamud the Emperor of Delhi, in troublous times. He was also pre sented with Shah, the Mahi Muratib. The Emperor of Kabul conferred upon him the distincton of ‘Maharaj Adhiraja. Rao Lakhapatji employed in his ser vice one Vaghela, Ram Sinh, of Dwarka, who had undertaken several voyages to Europe. He made him introduce into Kutch those arts and manufactures, with which he had become so well acquainted during his stay in Europe. Taken into the service of the Rao, he established a cannon foundry and silk and glass manufactories made clocks and minutely copied patterns of European models and figures. So well did he infuse this artistic taste that the mechanical skill, for which Kutch craftsmen are now famous, is generally, traced to his training. The Rao also extended his patronage to letters. Himself a good student of the Brij (Vraj) language, he founded a school to render it accessible to all his subjects. He made arrangements for providing lodging and boarding to those students, who came from the mofussil. He died of dropsy, at the age of 44, in the year 1760. Fifteen of his concubines im molated themselves on the funeral pyre and followed their departed lord.After his death he was succeeded by Prince Godaji.
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.
14-Gujrat state Gazetteer :Amreli 1972 .
15-Gazetteer of Bombay presidency , vol 9, part I ,p.129.
16-The Hind Rajasthan or The Annals of the Native states of India., Voll.2 , issue I, part 2.complied by Manu Nandshankar Mehta and Markand Nandshankar Mehta.
16-History of the Dhrangadhra state by C.Mayne.
17-History of Sama and Soomra Rajputs of western India by Bipin Shah
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.