Part III- History of princely Kutch State of Original Yadavas Stock Jadeja rajput of Lunar Race–
Rao Pragmalji 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 lukhs 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 2 lucks of rupees.
Rao Pragmalji was a good sportsman, having killed no less than 45 tigers, leopards and wild boars. He had a pretty good command over the English language. He introduced so many useful reforms in the State that a narration of them would fill one whole voluine; suffice it to say that he was a very wise, beneficent and progressive ruler. He was fond of reading books and news-papers.
Rao Shri Pragmalji expired at the early age of 37 in the very prime of his life, on the 1st day of January 1876. He left behind him the present Maha Rao, Khengarji, Prince Karan Sinh and a daughter, Bai raj Ba, who was married to Dungar Sinh, the late Maharaja of Bikaner.
only nine years old; so the late Rao had, prior to his death, thought it politic to make a will, indicating the lines on which the new administration was to be carried on during his son’s minority. In accordance with this will, the British Government appointed a Regency, composed of the Political Agent of Kutch, the Diwan, Rana Shri Jalam Sinh, Madhavlal Bapuji and Ravji Hirachand, to carry on the government. Rao Shri Khengarji was placed under the supervision of a competent European officer, and a tutor was appointed to look after his education. The place of the Diwan was given to Rao Bahadur Manibhai Jasbhai. The competent Diwan worked assiduously for the amelioration of the condition of the province and for equipping the young Rao with sound training. In 1880 R. B. Manibhai had to leave Kutch at the instance of the Bombay Government and his place was given to Rao Bahadur Nandshankar Tuljashankar. Rana Shri Jalam Sinh also was ordered to leave the limits of Kutch. The young Rao was favourably inclined towards R. B. Manibhai and after expostulating with the Bombay Government for three years, he succeeded in reinstating R. B. Manibhai in his old place, and also in getting the order regarding Jalam Sinh cancelled.
In 1886, on the Maha Rao’s attaining the age of majority the sole admin istration was entrusted to his care. The Imperial Government ennobled Maharajadhiraja Mirza, Maha Rao, Shri Khengarji with the title of ‘Sawai Bahadur, while his favourite Diwan, Rao Bahadur Manibhai Jasbhai, who was subsequently raised to the high position of the Diwan of Baroda was honoured with the distinction ef ‘Diwan Bahadur’
In 1885 His Highness the Rao entered into an agreement with the Bri tish Government as regards salt. By this agreement His Highness undertook to prevent the exportation from Kutch of all salt, produced or manufactured within the province, to any part of British India, or of any native state, or of any foreign European settlement in India.
The Kutch State has made no agreement regarding opium. In the Kutch territory opium is not cultivated or manufactured. The quantity required for the local consumption is imported from the British territory, where it has paid duty to the British Government. The responsibility of preventing the import of illicit opium into, and the export of all opium form, its territory lics on the State.
The name of His Highness’s brother is Karan Sinh born in 1870. He is educated at the Rajkumar College,’ Rajkot. On the occasion of Her Majesty’s Jubilee, he visited England, and was then created a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire. He married a daughter of the House of Armada in Okha, Kathiawad, in March 1889. His High ness’s sister was married to the late Maharaja of Bikaner in Rajputana.
In 1887, on the occasion of the celebration of the Jubilee of the Queen Empress, His Highness proceeded to England to represent the Princes of the Bombay Presidency, and was there created & G. C. I. E. During his absence the State was in the charge of his Diwan, Rao Bahadur Motilal Lalbhai.
The Rao takes a deep interest in furthering the cause of education. He has founded a Sanskrit Pathshala, (which is named after his mother) at a cost of Rs 25,000, and the Fergusson Museum and Library at Bhuj, in memory of Sir James Fergusson, the Governor of Bombay, at a cost of Rs. 32,000. To encourage learning, he has founded numerous scholarships, such as for Kutchies re-eiving scientific and technical education in England, for Kutchies attending the Veterinary College at Bombay andthe Veterinary School at Poona, for Kutchies attending the Pooua College of Science andfor students receiving agricultural or other scientific education in India: scholarships are also offered to any citizen of Bombay, attending the Ripon Technical School. The scholarships for Kutchies, resident in Bombay alone, were established at a total cost of Rs. 25,000. His Highness has also inaugurated a fund from which students learning in England and America can obtain their expenses. Annual prizes are also awarded to those, who qualify themselves for any professional function in connection with a spinning-mill, and for the naval work of ship-mate. Competent persons are also commissioned to write essays and to translate standard English works into the Gujarati language. To female education the Rao pays special attention. A scholarship is awarded to Kutch females, attending the Grant Medical College at Bombay, and the “Kutch Barton scholarship” is awarded to Kutch females, attending the Training College at Ahmedabad or Rajkot. Among other scholarships should be mentioned those for female assistant teachers at Bhuj, the Rao Shi Khengarji scholarships and one for girls attending the High School at Poona.
Within recent years considerable improvements have been made in the matter of public works. Since the accession of His Highness the to gadi Rs. 66, 24, 672 have been expended on works of public utility. New buildings are erected, roads are extended, and waste land is reclaimed.
As in Kutch the rainfall is scanty and irregular; it is found by experience that well-irrigation is very much suited to the requirements of the province. His Highness has consequently paid great attention to it. Other means of irrigation have also been adopted. In the course of the last fifteen years 83, 890 acres of waste land have been reclaimed and fifteen new villages have been established.
His Highness is a thorough sportsman. He takes much delight in all manly exercises, such as pig-sticking, shooting &c. As a ruler he is firm and thoroughly wise. His subjects regard him with a deep and ardent attach ment. On 19 th February 1884 he married the daughters of the Thakore Sa heb of Sayla, and of Rana Jalam Sinh. The said Thakore Saheb and the Rana are cousins to His Highness the Raj Saheb of Dhrangadra in Kathiawad. On the occasion of this marriage, a small Darbar was sub stituted for the old custom of giving Fulekus (grand dinners and a nightly procession). At this Darbar nazars were offered, which His Highness touch ed and remitted to be utilised in furthering the cause of female education, and thus the occasion was made a very remarkable one. His Highness has two sons, one, Madhubha, otherwise called Vijayarajji, born on 2ud September 1885, and the other, Manubha, born on 12 th September 1888.
In 1890 the British Government made an agreement with the State of Kutch for the construction of a telegraph line from the eastern bound ary of the State to Mandvi, through Bhuj. The line was constructed and is worked by the British Telegraph Department.
The Maha Rao of Kutch enjoys full civil and criminal powers in his territory and is entitled to a salute of 17 guns.
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
Village-Larhota near Sasni
District-Hatharas ,Uttar Pradesh
Associate Prof in Agriculture
Shahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College ,Sawai madhopur ‘Rajasthan ,322001.