Part II-History of Navanagar Princely state of original Yadavas stock of Lunar Race Jadeja Rajputs —-
Jam Raysinhji had a son, named Tamachi, but as he was then quite an infant, one of the maids of-honor concealed him in a box, took him to Bhuj and entrusted him to the care of his aunt, Ratnajiba. The mother of Tamachi was the sister of Pratapsinhji, the chief of Halwad. With a view to advance the claim of his nephew to the throne of Nawanagar, Pratapsinhji married one of his daughters to Sher Buland Khan, the Suba of Gujarat, and gave the hand of his brother’s daughter in marriage to Babi Salabat Mahmud Khan. With the help of these two Moslemn officers he succeeded in seating his nephew, Tamachi, on the throne of Nawanagar (1727).
Jam Tamachi II. gave in mortgage the districts of Balambha, Amran and others to Rao Desalji of Bhuj. The Rao caused a large citadel to be built at Balambha in 1737. Mirza Jafar alias Momin Khan, the Mughal Suba of Gujarat, invaded Nawanagar in 1742. The Jam marched against the Suba who was however prevailed upon to return on the payment of a tribute of R- 50,000 by the Jam.
Jam Tamachi’s father, Raysinhji, was as before stated murdered by his brother Haidhen The new Jam, afraid of meeting with the same fate at the hands of some of his Bhayads, ordered them to leave the metropolis and settle with their families in the villages allotted to them in Giras Such an order highly enraged the Bhayads, who under the leadership of one Halajı of Padadhari, popularly known by the name of Kakabhai, resolved upon taking the life of Jam Tamachi. He set up one Kishansinhji of Wadhwan to go to the palace, attended by his retinue, to pay respects to the Jam Saheb. Kishansinh was admitted into the presence of Jam Tamachi, who was killed there on the spot (1743).
Jam Tamachi did not leave behind him a son, though he had a daughter, by name Raj Kunwarba. She was married to Ramsinhji, the Maharaja of Jodhpur. This lady happened to be in Nagar at the time of Tamachi’s murder. She cleverly dressed up the corpse of her father and made him sit by a window to delude the people into the belief that Tamachi was alive. She at the same time advised all the widows of Tamachi that they should each take a boy in adoption and represent him to be his natural born son. Her step-mothers did as they were told to do, and of these adopted sons, Lakhaji was represented to be the eldest and was seated on the throne of Nawanagar.
Jam Lakhaji was married to Jawuba, the daughter of Raysinhji, the Raj of Halwad. When the new queen went to Nawanagar, her father sent with her as personal attendants three brothers, Nanji, Bhawan and Meheraman alias Meheru, all sons of a Khawas, named Aja. Mehoraman was such an intelligent and gifted young man that the Jam became no more than a mere puppet in his hands. Jawuba could not brook the rising influence of the Khawas brothers and she ordered the eldest, Nanji, to be killed and closed the gates of the palace against Bhawan and Meheru. Meheraman was not a man to be daunted by such obstacles thrown in his way. He got into the precincts of the palace by jumping over the walls by climbing on the shoulders of his men and imprisoned his fair foo, Jawuba.
Meheraman from that day became a formidable figure in the politics of Nawanagar and within a few days he assumed the sole administration of the State. In 1768, Jam Lakhaji died, leaving behind him two sons, Jasaji and Sataji. Of these, Jasaji was installed on the throne by Meheraman, who kept the reins of government into his hands.
At that time Ra0 Godaji of Kutch prepared a large army and pro ceeded to Nawanagar. Demanding some tangible recognition of the material help rendere l by the Ro to Jun Tamachi, he wrote a threatening letter to Meheraman, who did not seen in the least discon certed at the approaching army. He, on the contrary, anticipated the Rao by attacking and seizing the fortress of Balambha He subsequently marched against Hulaji (Kikabhai) of Puladhari and laid siege to Modhpur. He defeated and killed Halaji and captured the citadel.
Jawuba was still more incensed at the ever increasing power and influence of her menial, Meherani vn, and under the pretext of proceeding on a pilgrimage, she repaired to Halwad. From that place she began to devise means for the dismissal of Meheraman from Nawanagar. Meheraman, when he came to know of it, went personally to Halwad and persuaded Jawuba to return with him to Nawanagar. On the day they reached the metropolis, he caused the death of that imperious lady, Jawuba. Meheraman had now no one left to obstruct him in the exercise of his independent authority. After a short time Meheraman with the help of Amarji, the Diwan of Junagarh, marched against the Vaghers of Okhamandal and besieging Positra, took it. Meheraman also threatened to attack and demolish Bhetali, a new fortress built by the Rana of Porbandar, but on the Rana’s undertaking to raze it to the ground, he returned to Nawanagar.
Meheraman once thought of getting rid of one of his greatest rivals in the peninsula, Diwan Amarji of Junagarh, by poisoning him. He once invited the Diwan to Khambhalia to carry out that foul purpose, but Amarji, diving through his wicked intention, at once returned to Junagarh.
In 1783, Meheraman marched against Amarji. In the contest that took place between them at Panch Pipla, Mehern had to return defeated. He at last with the help of the Gaekwadi troops captured the fort of Devda, but even that he had to give up after a short time.
A spirit of bitter rivalry raged between the two great master minds of Kathiawad, Amarji of Junagarh and Meheraman of Nawanagar. Each began to contrive plans for the other’s destruction. After all they were both reconciled to each other. At that time the whole peninsula. of Kathiawad trembled at the names of Amarji, the Diwan of Juna garh, Vakhatsinhji, the Thakore Saheb of Bhavnagar, Meheraman, the premier of Nawanagar and Kumbhaji II, the chief of Gondal. It must also be said to their credit that even to-day Junagarh, Bhavnagar, Nawanagar and Gondal owe their greatness to these master spirits. Amarji and Meheraman then proceeded against the Rana of Por bandar and plundered his territory.
When the celebrated Amarji was murdered on the Holi Holiday at the instigation of Nawab Hamad Khanji in 1785 and when his sons and brothers flying from Junagarh, took refuge at Dhoraji, it was this Meheraman, who summoned Dalpatram, Raghunathji and Ranchhodji, the sons of the late Diwan, to Nawanagar, and entrusted them with high posts in the State.
In 1788 Meheraman caused a strong wall to be built behind the city to render it safer and stronger than before.
In 1792 Meheraman marched with a large army against the Kathis and vanquishing the chiefs of Santhali, Kotdapitha, Babra, Bhadli, Barwala, Anandpur, Bhadla and Jasdan, placed parties of Nawanagar troops at each of these stations. When Jam Jasaji went to Dhrangadra to celebrate his marriage with princess Achhuba, the daughter of Raj Gaj sinhji, Vajsur, the Kathi Chief of Jasdan, gave the bride-groom Atkot as a wedding-gift. The Jam in return raised his out-post from Jasdan. Dado Khachar of Atkot, not agreeing to this arrangement, went into out lawry against Nawanagar. The astute Meheraman, shortly after, con trived to call him to Nawanagar and said that Atkot would be restored to him on condition that he would molest the Chief of Morvi, with whom the Jam had lately fallen out. Dado Khachar accepted the proposal and went against the Morvi Chief at the head of the Nawanagar troops. He plundered the territory of Morvi on no less than three different occasions, but while returning from the last exploit, the Morvi troops surrounded him on all sides near Chotila. When he saw that he had merely to lead a forlorn hope against such fearful odds, he told his followers that only those who were prepared to die should go with him, while the rest were at liberty to go where they liked. Many of his troops deserted him at such a critical moment, while only 30 men resolutely stood by him. With these brave thirty he fell fiercely upon the Morvi army, but eventually they were all slaughtered to a man.
At that time Jam Jasaji was a mere state-prisoner in the hands of Meheramam. When he expressed to the Jadeja Bhayads his desire to free himself from the yoke of the Khawas minister, they in a body rose against the authority of Meheraman. Meheramanji of Rajkot, Dajibhai, the Thakore of Gondal, Modji, the Thakore of Dhrol, and Ranmalji, the Thakore of Khirsara were the ringleaders of this rising. Meheraman marched against the insurgent chiefs and laid waste the district of Sardhar under Rajkot. The Jadeja chiefs saw that they were not com petent to cope single-handed with the powerful Meheraman. They there upon called to their succour Jamadar Fatteh Mahmud, who was then the Vazir to the Rao of Kutch. Fatteh Mahmud marched at the head of a large army from Kutch to the assistance of the Jadejas. Meheru sent his brother, Bhawan, with a detachment of the Nagar troops to oppose his progress.
Bhawan lay encamped near Khakhrabela, but Fatteh Mahmud stealing a march upon Bhawan, went towards Padadhari. Bhawan follow ed him thither, but as Fatteh Mahmud had brought with him a large army Bhawan had to fly back to Nawanagar defeated. Fatteh Mahmud at that time overran the territory of Nagar upto the gates of Khambhalia and then returned to Kutch.
Meheraman seeing that Jam Jasaji and his wife, Achhuba, were secretly inciting these Jadeja chiefs day by day, kept a more vigilant eye over Colonel Walker, the Resident of Baroda, went in person to Kandorna and capturing it from the Jam, restored it to the Rana.
Jam Jasaji refused to grant any appanage to his brother, Sataji, The latter whereupon applied to the British Resident at Baroda as well as to H. H. the Gaekwad for interference. Colonel Walker, the Resident, called upon the Jam to settle with his brother, to which he did not give any countenance, H. H. the Rao of Kutch also preferred certain claims against the Jam of Nawanagar and expressed his desire to entrust the whole matter to the arbitration of the English and the Gaekwad Governments. On this occasion, too, when these arbitrators made a reference to the Jam, he observed a defiant reticence. While all these disputes were going on, a certain Arab shot an English officer at Gopnath. The Jam harboured the culprit, and when ordered to give him up, treated the order with disdain. At last a combined army, under the command of Captain Carnac and Fattehsinh Rao Gaekwad, marched upon Nawanagar in 1812. After joining battle with the invading army for a short time, the Jam concluded a peace on the following stipulations:-(1) to surrender the Arab murderer to the British authorities, (2) to demolish the fortification of Modhpur, (3) to satisfy the claims of the Rao of Kutch, (4) to confer upon Sataji twelve neighbouring villages, including Ranpur, (5) to pay to the Gaekwad, Fattehsinh Rao, a succession duty of Rs. 25,000, and finally (6) to restore the Sarapdad district to the chief of Dhrol. No sooner were these and other minor provisions agreed upon than the invading armies returned to Baroda.
Jam Jasaji died in 1814. As he died childless, he was succeeded by his brother, Sataji. Jam Sataji had also no male issue, nor was there any likelihood of his getting one even thereafter. So Achhuba, the widow of the late Jam Jasaji, adopted Ranmalji, the son of Jadeja Jasaji of Sarodad, who ranked as one of the Bhayads of Nawanagar. Jam Jasaji had before his death directed that the administration of affairs should be entrusted to one Jagjivan Devji. Acchuba, however, was averse to this arrangement, and she set up a rival in the person of one Motiram Buch, who commenced to plot against Jagjivan. While such was the state of affairs, some Muscati Arabs obtained possession of Kandorna and Padadhari. Jagjivan Diwan sought the assistance of the English, who recaptured both these villages from the Muscati Arabs and restored them to Nawanagar in 1816. The Arabs fled and took refuge in the fort of Jodiya, then in the hands of Sagram Khawas. Achhuba was too willing to wreak her vengeance upon the descendants of Meheraman, at whose hands she and her late husband had suffered so great an indignity. She therefore wrote to the British Resident and the Gaekwad that Sagram Khawas was shelter ing her enemies in his stronghold and sought their intervention. An English detachment, under Mr. East, marched upon the fort of Jodiya. Sagram Khawas, losing all courage, fled to Morvi, leaving his territory to the mercy of the invaders. Afterwards owing to the intercession of the English and the Gaekwad, the Jam restored to Sagram Khawas the district of Amran only, which is to this day enjoyed by his descendants.
Jam Sataji died in 1820, succeeded by Ranmalji, the adopted son of Achhuba. During his roign Jamadar Fakir Mahmud, at the instigation of Achhuba and Motiram Buch, commenced to form intrigues for the purpose of appropriating to himself the real management of the state affairs. The Jam, however, was strong enough to expel him from the Nawanagar territory. Maharaja Jam Shri Ranmalji married in 1829 Princess Bai Rajaba, the daughter of Thakore Vajesinhji of Bhavnagar. When the subjects of the Jam were oppressed by famines in the years 1834, 1839 and 1846, Ranmalji, with a view to provide employment for the starving labourers, built the Kotha and Lakhota palaces at Nawanagar and excavat ed the tank near them. Jam Ranıalji was very fond of hunting. He killed several lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers.
Jam Ranmalji died in 1852. He had married eight wives, but Vibhaji, his Bon by Sonibai, succeeded to the throne. Vibhaji gave his sister in marriage to Maharaja Takhatsinhji, then on the throne of Jodhpur, in 1854. While he married his daughter, Bai Rajba, to the heir-apparent, Jaswantsinhji, who is now the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The Jam was put to much expense in putting down the rising of the Vaghers of Okhamandal, in protect ing his subjects from their raids and in rendering assistance to the English troops in capturing them. Mr. Popat Velji was at that time the Superin tendent of Nawanagar Police The Government conferred upon him the title of Rao Bahadur in recognition of the valuable support rendered by that officer to the English authorities. In 1862, Jam Shri Vibhaji, as a mark of appreciation of his good and liberal policy, received from the Government the sanad of adoption, whereby in the absence of a natural born son the Jam was permitted to adopt one without the payment of the customary duty (Nasarana).
In 1864, the Jam established in his State regular civil and criminal courts. He also introduced several reforms in the land revenue system in 1866. He went on a pilgrimage to the sacred cities of Nasik, Kashi, (Benares) Prayag (Allahabad,) Mathura (Muttra), Gayaji, and visited principal places such as Bombay and Calcutta. In 1871, on the occasion of the visit of H. E. Sir Seymor Fitzgerald, the Governor of Bombay, to Nawanagar, the Jam in honour of the gubernatorial visit got opened at his hands the water works, which he had already constructed in his capital. In 1876, Jam Shri Vibhaji went to Bombay to do honour to H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, the heir-apparent to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland and the Empire of India. On January 1st 1877, the Jam attended the Imperial Assemblage held at Delhi in honour of H. I. M. Queen Victoria’s assuming the title of Kaiser-i-Hind (Empress of India). The salute of the Jam was increased from 11 to 15 guns. He also received the banner from H. E. Lord Lytton, the Viceroy and Governor-General of India. On the 1st of January 1878 Sir J. B. Peile (then Mr Peile) invested the Jam with the insignia of K. C. S. I. in a grand Darbar, held at Rajkot.
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Village-Larhota near Sasni
District-Hatharas ,Uttar Pradesh
Associate Prof in Agriculture
Shahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College ,Sawai madhopur ‘Rajasthan ,322001.