Part II-History of Princely State Kutch of original Yadavas Stock Lunar Race Jadeja Rajputs upto 18 th century—

Part II- History of  princely Kutch State of Original Yadavas Stock Jadeja rajput clan  of Lunar Race–

Modern History

After  the death of Rao Lakhapatji prince Godaji was  succeeded . He conferred the place of his Diwan upon one, Jiwan, a menial servant of the old Diwan, Punja Sheth, Punja Sheth taking umbrage at the indiginty thus offered to him, went to Sindh and induced Gulam Shah, the reigning sovereign to invade Kutch with a force of 70,000 men, promising in return to bestow upon him the hand of the fair princess of Kutch. Diwan Jiwan opposed this army with the combined forces of Kutch and Radhanpur. During the fight one of the cannons in the front file burst with a loud explosion, which created a confusion in the armies of both the hostile factions. The enemies met pell-mell and had a hand to hand fight, in which the swords drank the blood ofmany a valiant hero. Jiwan was killed in this bloody contest. The Sindh monarch returned to his country, burning several of the villages on his way. Gulam Shah had made Punja Shah his Diwan, and he also plundered many of the villages in Kutch. Finally he was apprehended by the Rao, was put in chains, and after a close confinement for ten days, was poisoned, Gulam Shah, hearing this, marched upon Kutch with a forer of 50,000 men. He procceeded as far as Lodar Mata, but returned to his dominions, appeased with the hand of a daughter of ar ordinary Jadeja. Meanwhile Meru Khavas, the Diwan of Nawanagar, taking advantage of this turmoil, seized the fortress of Balambha. The army of the monarch of Sindh again invaded Kutch, but was ultimately driven back.

Rao Godaji died in the year 1778. He had two sons, Raya dhanji and Prithirajji, of whom the elder, Rayadhanji ascended the throne. He bestowed the Diwanship upon one, Devchand Sheth. He and his three brothers, however, fell victiras to the foul play of a Sindhi Jamadar, Jamal Miyan. The Rao, acting upon the advice of one Sindhi, Maricha, made Vagha Parekh his Diwan. The new Diwan made an inroad upon the territory of the chiefs of Patri, who were the Rao’s Bhayauls, but who were at daggers drawn with him. The Jadeja Rajputs resented this unwise step on the part of the Diwan, but he, with true political instincts, effected a speedy reconciliation with the Jadejas, and within a few days expelled all the Sindhies from the province of Kutch. One Mahomedan preceptor, of the Dame of Mahmud Pana, was so successful in preaching the creed of Islam to Rao Rayadhanji that his faith in Hinduism was shaken to its very founda tion and he eventually embraced the Moslem religion. He also began to convert other Hindus to the new faith. The whole population of Bhuj was thrown into an abnormal state of excitement and Vagha Diwan, with the other courtiers, thought it prudent to put the Rao under restraint. Vagha asked his brother, Koro, then staying at Anjar, to proceed at once to Bhuj, with a retinue of 400 men. Vagha and Koro, with their men, entered the Darbar, but the trusty Pathans, by whom the Rao was always defended, opposed them and killed them all in the scuffle. Vagha, Koro and other men who were slain in the contest were interred in large pits, dug after the Mahomedan creed. This created a great consternation among all his Hindu chiefs and subjects. Soine of them. taking advantage of the situa tion, assumed independent powers in the districts entrusted to their care. Meghaji Sheth and others resolved upon taking hold of the person of the Rao and putting him under restraint at any hazard. On the day that the fanatic Rv had ordered all the Hindu temples to be destroyed, Meghaji Sheth and others made a bold attack on the Darbar-Cadha (palace walls): the Rao and his Patban mercenaries, unable to cope with them, took refuge in the interior of the palace. Meghaji Sheth with the spirit of a true soldier surrounded the palace with his followers and remained there for several days. The brave Pathans, seeing the helpless predicament into which they were thrown, at last surrendered and the Rao was taken prisoner in 1786. Meghaji Sheth appointed Trithirajji, the brother of the Rao, gene ralissimo of the forces and put down all who had usurped absolute powers during the late disturbances. The first chief they marched against was Ramji Khawas, who held independent possession of Mandvi and defeating him, they levied upon him a daily tribute of 700 Kories. After that Moghaji went against Roha, but the Jadejas took offence and he had to fly for his life when he heard that they had determined upon poisoning him. The next place that fell into Meghaji’s hands was Anjar. After the departure of Meghaji, Ramji Khawas of Mandvi stopped the payment of the central government. Bhati Hamir and Turkwa Dina, two of the officers of the State, freed Rayadhanji from restraint. But he was again imprisoned by Fatteh Mahnind, the Jamadar of a small detachment.

After the capture of the Rao, Dosal Ven, one of the most powerful and influential members of the government, entrusted Fatteh Mahanud with a command of 200 horses. This afforded the Jamalar the first step ping stone to his future greatness. He, by his affibility of manners, became a general favourite with the Kutch nobility. He was universally praised for Ho his amiable disposition and he became in short the sole moving spirit in the whole goverameat first devised means to enhance the power and prosperity of the State. He marched against the Thakore of Sanwa in Vagad, who hal stopped the pay ment of tribute, and sucked his capital. This prompt action struck terror into the hearts of the other Gurasia chiefs, who were also guilty of the same offence, and they, each and all, began to make regular payments of their annual tribute. He expelled from the country gangs of marauders that infested Vagad. He also captured Mandra, held by Dosal Ven indepen dently of the Rao. He built the fortalice of Lakhapat and increased its sea-port Levenue. He turned Ramji Khawas out of Mandvi, and entrusted the management of its affairs to Hansraj. The Jamadar became such a power ful personage in Kutch that every one grew jealous of him. Modaji succeed ed in creating a sort of ill-feeling between Fattch Mahmud and Prithi rajji, the brother of Rao Rayadhanji. Once at an entertainment Prithira – jji drew his sword and rushed upon the Moslem Vazier. The party as seinbled dispersed in confusion and the Jamadar escaped unhurt. The next day when Prithirajji learnt that Modaji had merely got up a fabricated story to get rid of the Jamadar, he went to Fatteh Mahmud and begged to be forgiven. From that day, though they kept up friendly appearances, each conceived a strong dislike for the other. When Fatteh Mahmud was wending his way towards Lakhapat, the wily Modaji won over, Hansraj to his side and induced him to give over Mandvi to Prithirajji.

The Jamadar, when he learnt this, marched back to Bhuj in a single day He made preparations to attack Mandvi, with a force of 10,000 men, when he learnt that an army from Ridhanpur was making its way towards Kutch. He made up his mind to first obstruct its course and drive it back, and then proceed towards Murdvi. When Fatteh Mahmud was thus engaged with the Radhanpur army, Prithirajji, Hansraj and Mahmud Miyan made a cominon cause and invaded Bhuj. The Jainvlar was forced to coine to terms with Prithirajji. The prince got possession of Bhuj, while Fatteh Mah inud released the Rao from restraint. Prithirajji made Hansraj his Prime Minister, but the young Rao defueto did not live long to enjoy his newly acquired power, Prithirajji died in the year 1801.

On the death of Prithirajji, Rayadhanji once more became the sole monarch of Bhuj and the neighbouring districts He began to devise means to get rid of Hausraj. The minister, however, brought a large army froin Mandvi and again placed the Rao under restraint. Intrigue reigned supreme for a time, and Ashkaran, taking advantage of the con sternation pervading the whole country, pillaged the capital The Rao could all-brook the indignity thus offered to him. He was on the point of taking the life of Ashkaran, when the latter escaped into Sindh. Fatteh Mahmud, who remained all the while in the back ground, went to Bhuj on receiving intelligence of its pillage He was obstructed in his progress by soldiers employed by the Rao, and a scuffle ensued between them and the Jamadar’s followers. A bullet from the gun of one of the Jamadar’s party struck the Rao in one of his legs, which incapacitated him, and he was once more made a prisoner. Fatteh Mahmud then imposed several cesses and taxes upon the Girasia, Dharmada and Miyana Villages. This act of oppression enraged the Girasias, and a land-holder of Dhamadaka entered the private Kacheri of Fatteh Mahmud and there dealt him a wound with his sword. The Girasia, while turning back, was cut to pieces by one of the Jamadar’s guards. Fatteh Malinud, who was of a very vindictive disposition, bore this in mind, and on his recovery four months after, he confiscated the villages of Dha madaka and Chobari. He also subjugated the recalcitrant Thakore of Sanwa, and inflicted severe penalties upon the other Girasias, who had raised their heads against him. He sacked Warahi and marched upon Nawanagar, under the pretext of asserting the right of Kutch over the fortress of Balambha. He laid waste the whole territory of Nawanagar, but when Meheru Khawas, the Diwan of that place, came to mest him with the combined forces of Nagar and Junagarh, he effected a retreat. He made another attempt to conquer Nawanagar and seize its fortress by implanting on its walls the victorious standard of Kutch, but with no better success. He founded several Thanas (out-posts) in Halur and then returned to Kutch. He then made many inroads upon Halar, where he occasionally succeeded in raising large sums of money by inflicting heavy fines upon the unfortunate land-holders. It was on the 26th of October 1809 that the intervention of the English was for the first time called for. Several negotiations were entered into between the English and the Kutch authorities. The Paramount Power was represented by Mr. Greenwood, on behalf of Colonel Walker, the Resident of Baroda, while Rao Rayadhanji delegated his power to Jama dar Fatteh Mahmud.

The Jamarlar was too ambitious to acknowledge for a long time the supremacy of a foreign power, and he began in 1813 to devise means for the expulsion of the English from the country, and to make Kutch an independent sovereignty. He allowed the several free-booters and outlaws to carry on their raids unchecked in the teeth of an express stipulation with the British Government to the contrary. This led to the mission of Captain MacMurdo, who was ordered to proceed to Kutch, with a Royal Kharita from the Imperial Government. Fatteh Mahmud boldly refused to make good the losses occasioned by these robberies, where upon he received another Kharita from the India Government. In the midst of these and the like disputes with the British Power his life was cut short by an attack of cholera, to which this astute statesman and soldier succumbed in 1813. Rao Rayadhanji did not long survive the Jamadar. He also died in 1813, twenty-five days after the death of the Musalman prenier. He had, while on death bed, expressed his desire to the Musalman chiefs about him that his corpse should be buried after the Mahomedan creed, but the Rajputs mus tered strong, and about 500 of them succeeded in driving away the Mahomedans from the palace. The dead body of the Rao was incremated according to the rites of the Hindu religion. Rayadhanji was succeeded by Bharmalji. He was then only 15 years old. The entire management of the State was therefore entrusted to Hussein Miyan, the son of Fatteh Mahmud. Captain MacMurdo visited Bhuj, to enforce the stipulations entered into between the English and the Kutch Darbar, which had long been allowed to fall into desuetude. Hussein Mivan was well inclined towards the English, but his brother, Ibrahim Miyan, strongly opposed his conciliatory policy. Jagjiwan Meheta, a trusted protege of the late Fatteh Mahmud, tried his utmost to persuade Ibrahim, but to no purpose. On the 30th August (1814) Jagjiwan Meheta and his family were moşt cruelly murdered. Ibrahim’s triumph did not last long. On the 23rd September, he was murdered by a Marwadi officer in the Rao’s employ in the presence of his brother, Hussein, and the minister Lakhami Das. Hussein did not prove a successful administrator and the sole management of the State was entrusted to Diwan Lakhami Das. Hussein Miyan there upon went to Anjar, which he appropriated to himself independently of the Rao. On the 11th of August 1815. the outlaw of Vagad sacked the encamp ment of Captain MacMurdo near Ghatila. This led to an invasion of Vagnd by the Rao, whose army was re-inforced by the combined forces of the English and the Gaekwad horse, amountnig to 4,000, under Colonel East, who came down to the scene of action on 14th December 1815 Some of these inarauders, daunted at the very sight of these men. yielded while some, including Hussein Miyan, sallied forth to fight against then. In the contest that commenced on the 25th of December Hussein Miyan was forced to lay down his arms, and the whole district of Anjar was conquered by the English troops. In 1823 this district was restored to the Rao, on his paying the English the sum of 88,000, rupees, Kutch continued to be a hot bed of intrigues, and disorder, and anarchy still pervaded the whole country. It was from the month of January 1819 that a British Resident was permanently appointed at the Court of the Rao, and the choice of the Government, for their first representative in Kutch, fell upon Captain James MacMurdo.

Rao Bharmalji was found incompetent to administer the affairs of the government. He was, therefore, dethroned in the summier of that year, and kept under restraint, while his infant son, Deshalji, aged 3 years was proclaimed Rao of Kutch. The British Government appointed a Council, consisting of the Resident, the Diwan and four other local chiefs to carry on the administration duing the Rao’s minority. The English Government, as the guardian of the young Rao,gave him princely education, and on his attaining the age of 19, handed over to him, on 8th July 1834, the sole management of the State. From the 1st of April 1840 the Government changed the designation of the British officer, residing at the
Court of Kutch, from a Resident to a Political Agent. With a view to prevent female infanticide, an inhuman custom prevalent among the Jadejas, a fund was raised in Rao Deshal’s time, and it was resolved to pay out of the fund a sum of 4,000 Kories to a Jadeja, found in needy circumstances, on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter. In 1851 the Rao founded a school and a dispensary. He put a stop to slave-trade and the evil practices of Sati (burning of widows), Samaha (burning oneself alive, a custom indulged in, by the Yogis and such barbarities, then prevailing in Kutch). In his reign Kushalchand, Mehta Ambaram and Thakar Nanji were successively made Diwans. After Nanji the Rao summoned Munshi Behari Lal from Agra and bestowed upon him the Diwanship. He was such a clever administrator that he soon secured the favour of both the Rao and his subjects. Rao Deshalji died in 1860, amid universal regret. He left behind him two sons and one daughter. He was suc ceeded by the elder prince, Pragmalji II, while to the younger, Hamirji, was given in Girus the district of Tera. The Princess, Bai Saheb, was married to the lat Sir Jawan Sinh, the Maharaja of Idar. Pragmalji had attained the age of 22 years at the time of his accession. Behari Lal still continued to administer the affairs as the Diwan. He went to Bharatpur in the beginning of 1861. Motilal Jiwandas was made acting Diwan, in his place, but finally Mcheta Vallabhaji Ladha was given the permanent Diwanship. Nani Ba, the Jhala wife of Maha Rao Shri Pragulji, gave birth to the heir-apparent, the present Maha Rao, Sir Khengarji, on the Shran Vud 13th of the year Samvat 1923. (1867 A. D.)

In 1868 the Rao dispersed with the services of Meheta Valla bhaji Ladha and conferred the Diwanship upon Khan Bahadur Kazi Shahab-ud-Din C. I. E. When Kazi Shahab-ud-Din went to England on some state business his work was entrusted to Rao Saheb Bhogilal Pran vallabhdas, Mehota Ishwarlal Ochhavram and Mr. Motilal Dalpatram. After his return from England Kazi Saheb continued to be the Diwan of Kutch until he accepted service under the Baroda Government in February 1874. The late Rao Bahadur Krishnaji Lakshaman Nalkar C. I. E. succeeded Kazi Shahab-ud-Din in Kutch. Rao was a highly educated prince, with refined tastes and high principles, and his selection of Ministers and advisers was also a very happy one. He framed new cories for the administration of Civil and Criminal Justice. He divided the whole province into several Praganas, and appointed one Vahivatdar for each of them. He also placed the Educational and Medical Departments on a proper footing. He for the first time established a Police force on the British model and appointed Nyayadhishes (Magistrates) in several places. He got a large Tank excavated in the Chadwa hills, which is named Pragsar’ after him. He also laid out a fine extensive garden, outside his capital, known by the name of Sharad Bug, and built a large central Jail at Bhuj. As a further embellishment of his capital he spent lakhs of rupees in building a large palace, a rare specimen of architectural beauty, called the ‘Prag Mahel’. In the year 1871 he was blessed with another son, Karan Sinh, who was born on Shrawan Vad 10th St 1927. In the same year the Rao was decorated with the insignia of the Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. A stately Darbar was held in the spacious hall of the new palace to invest him with that highly distinguished title. He went to Bombay, in the same year, on the occasion of the arrival of H.R. H. the Duke of Edinborough, second son of H. I. M. the Queen Empress of India, and to perpetuate the memory of that visit, he spent a large sum of 150,000 rupees towards the establishinent of a High School, named the ‘Alfred High School.’ He, on an other similar occasion, went to Bombay to pay his respects to H. R. H. the Prince of Wales in 1875. In honour of this second visit he laid the foundation–stone of the Edward Albert Break-water at Mandvi. This Break-water has been completed at the expense of Rs. 2 lakhs.

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.
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.

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