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The History of Gondal

The Name  ‘Gondal’

       It is found from various literature that people of ‘Gond’ tribe lived here before several years, so the name is affiliated as Gondal . It is also believed that the town’s name was ‘Godal’ but as the people had difficulty in pronouncing it, it become Gondal. Certain other prediction tell us that 'Gaumandal' that is Cows place represents Gondal. All the views prescribed in nature as no resembling fact is available.

The History of Throne

       It is found from various literatures that people of ‘Gond’ tribe lived here before several years. So, the name is affiliated as Gondal. It is also believed as Gondal. It is also believed that the town’s name was ‘Gondal’ but as the people had difficulty in pronouncing it, it become Gondal. Certain other prediction tells us that ‘Gau mandal’ that is ‘cows place’ represent Gondal. All the views prescribed seem to be illusionary in nature as no resembling fact is available.

       The History of the Gondal State affords an illustration of what energy, fact and courage may achieve in the way of building up a principality. The early history is wrapped in obscurity. Different masters of different dynasties such as the Yadavas, the Guptas, the Chundasamas, the Jethwas, the Mohammadans and the Vaghelas ruled Gondal. Jadeja Rajputs were the first to settle in Gondal. From the available references, it is said that in St. 1506 Jam Haimirji  was murdered by Raval, thirteenth descendant branch. Hamir’s son Khengar was eager to take revenge so, he seek aid from Mohammad Begda, viceroy of Gujarat, who married a sister of Khengar. With this aid Khengar returned to his native but Raval fled away and gave the territory to the right owner.

       In St. 1663 Jam Sataji died. He had 3 sons – Ajaji, Jasaji and Vibhoji of these Ajaji was killed in the battle of Dhrol. But by the right of primogeniture his oldest son Lakhaji was entitled to the throne. Jasaji set Lakhaji’s claims aside and took the government in his hands, giving Kalavad to his younger brother Vibhaji. But Vibhaji was not satisfied. So, he repaired to Sardhar the seat of a Vaghela Chief, his maternal him kindly who received him kindly and gave him right to enjoy the revenue of ‘Chibhda’. After that he suspected to have killed the Sardhar to marry his daughter. This way he conquered Sardhar and Vibhoji, he got Kalavad back, Vibhoji, an ambitious ruler was also the founder of Rajkot district in 1611 A.D.

       Vibhoji died in 1635 and after him his son Mehramanji came and reigned the thorne. He too was daring and adventurous as his ancestors. Mehramanji, had two queens. Kunvar Sahebji was the son of Vagheli Rani and Chudasama Rani’s son was Kunvar Kumbhoji. From his youth Kumbhoji was of a (wiels) disposition and he won’t allow his brother have the Gadi. Mehramanji felt himself dying he called Sahebji and warned him to be on his guard (excasing) a plea of illness and asked Kumbhoji to go to the burning ground after his death. When Kumbhoji returned from the funeral ground, all the town gates were shut. Kumbhoji finding himself unsupported, fled to Junagadh to (soliat) assistance from the Fouzdar there. Sahebji asked for help of Jam Ranmalji. But the Jam felt no inclination to involve him in a useless quarrel. After much  negotiations it was agreed that the district to the south of the Sardhar dyke should belong to Kumbhoji and to the north of the dyke should remain in the possession of Sahebji. Kumbhaji acquired twenty villages. He took up his () about at Ardoi, which was at that time a flourishing village owned by a Kathi Garasia. Gondal which was then a small village of 300 hundred houses was occupied by him, but on temporary basis in St. 1703. This way Kumbhoji gained Gondal but in 1678 Governor of Junagadh who had recently arrived from Ahmedabad, on hearing from of Kumbhoji insolence dispatched a small body of soldiers to retake the place back. When the army approached a heavy stone fell on the commandant and crush him to death. Kumbhoji, seeing his inability to oppose the infuriated soldiery fled by a postern gate to Ardoi. There, after a year in 1679 he died leaving two sons. Sagramji and Sangoji.

        Sangoji separated himself receiving six villages and establishing chief. The town Kotada Sangani is named through his name.


       Sangramji I was born in St. 1690 and succeeded his father when was only fifteen years of age. His main policy was to keep on good terms with the Junagadh authorities. He used to pay constant visits to Junagadh and in time  of need always offered his services to the governor. In 1709 Sagramji changed his seat of government from Ardoi, to Gondal and made it his capital. The new place was then a small and humble village of only a few huts and two or three temples hotably one dedicated to Gondla Nag and to which according to popular theory, the town owns its name, though, perhaps the more probable origin is from ‘Gaumandal’ or ‘herd of cows’.

       Sagramji died in St. 1770, at the age of eighty years. He had married the daughter of  a Jhala Rajput of Vaghasia in Jhalavad, by whom he had four sons, namely- Haloji, Nathuji, Hothiji and Bhoraji.


       Haloji being the oldest succeeded him, while the nest received each an appange of six villages. Haloji also continued the policy of his predecessors friendly relation where maintained with Junagadh for self-interest. Many causes of disorder were prevailing in Sorath, and it gave rise to perpetual tumults jealousies and disorder. Bahadur Khan in Junagadh, made their offices hereditary, this was revolted by Vasantrai Pourabia who had great influence and a large force. His object was to take the Nawab prisoner and then to govern the country in the name of the ambitious and intriguing Sultanbibi. The Nawab, becoming aware of the plot, and finding himself unable, to restore order, fled to Balasinor and hence to Ahmedabad, leaving the administration of affairs in the hand of his Divan, Dalpatram a Nagar of Gujarat. (St. 1803). The expulsion of Vasantrai went far to remove the prevalent disorder, and Divan Dalpatram leaving the town in charge of Haloji, hastened to Balasinor to bring back Nawab Bahadur(Sher) Khan. Then Dhoraji, and four other villages were assigned to Gondal by the Nawab. After completion of these agreements Haloji returned to Gondal. Haloji obtained about half a dozen more villages from the Kathis, Ayars. Bhhayavadar, which at the collapse of the Moghal Empire, was acquired from Govindram Desai partly by threats and partly by force.

        Haloji was married to a Jala lady Balala , by whom he had four sons and one daughter. Haloji died in St 1809. After his death Bha Kumbhaji II succeeded his father at the age of 41.

Kumbhoji II

       Bha Kumbhaji or Kumbhoji II was the most daring and enterprising chief Gondal ever had, His friendship and co-operation were heading states, of the province and his name was a terror to many. His chief desire was to expand his possession and to place his state on a sound and durable basis, He perhaps followed an old maxim of a Hindu sage.

        “Woe be the Brahman who is disconted, And to The king who is contented”. The maternal uncle of Kumbhoji was Jala Harisinghji was granted two villages of Chordi and Gundala. He took services from many people and gave them possession of his properties for capturing many other territories. In the similar manner the Raizadas, Sumaranis, Khanderias and other Rajputs were enlisted into the service of the state. The Arabs in Kathiawar, like good-will by providing settled dwellings providing their families at Dhoraji which was called the second Vildyat of the Arabs.

        There are many other accessions wherein the performed his bravery and  gave the best service to his  state and its possessions.

        Kumbhoji married two wives. One was Naniba, daughter of the Raizada of Soroder, by whom he had a son named Sangramji and the other was Jhalivalu, daughter of a Bhayad of Limdi by whom he had a son named Mokaji, who was given the villages of,Lunviyar, Analgadh and Sidhavadar in appanage,. Kumbhaji died in 1790 A.D.

       Sagramji the elder of to had died in st 1836 at the age of 48, during his fathers lifetime, living four sons viz, Malubhai, Devobhai, Hathibhai and Bhavobha. Bhavobha was by Motiba and the others were by Fuliba, Kunkabai was married to Raj Saheb  Bhavoji of Vankaner but owing to some difference of a trifling nature she is said to have returned to Gondal where she spent the rest of her days in piety and devotion.


       Muluji was the grandson of Kumbhaji and eldest son of Sagramji. He was born in St 1811. He was in his thirty fifth year when he assumed the reins of the govt. He was a weak Prince and was entirely under the influence of one Vaghela Veroji of, Bandhia.. Muluji had two wives, one was Ajiba daughter of Thakore Akheraj of Bhavnagar. His other wife was Adiba, daughter of the Raizada of Chorvad, By this lady he has two sons Bapji was dumb and cripple and the other was Dajibhai who succeeded the Gadi. Muluji died in St. 1848 A.D.


     Dajibhai was born in St. 1832. He succeeded the throne at the age of 16 years. In St. 1849 the position of Junagadh was again disturbed. Nawab Hamad Khan with his wonted duplicity and treachery had plundered the Nagarwada of the town occupied by habitation of the Nagar Brahman caste. The Nagars were seized and sealed were put on their honours and property. Amarji Divanis son were kept in confinement. The brave Kathis of Jetpur took advantage of the confusion and began to encroach on several Junagadh villages. Thus embraced the Nawab applied to the chief of Gondal for help. Dajibhai deputed Mehta Vasanji – a very shrewd and intelligent officer to the Nawab’s court, Amarji’s sons were relieved and their movable property was transferred to Dhoraji where they resolved to reside. This was not the only issue where in Dajibhai showed his intelligence and carried on good contacts with Junagadh

      In administrative affairs Dajibhai was more or less guided by his uncle, Devobhai, who afterwards succeeded him, but this was disliked by Dajibhai’s wife Vagheli Vahu, a clever and accomplished lady, who by her graces and unsurpassed beauty had captivated the heart of her husband. She prevailed on him to remove Devobhai from the court and he was constrained much against his will to ask his uncle to go to the village assigned to him. Devobhai however preferred going to seek an honourable living at Navanagar.

     In St. 1856, the Gondal forces nearly came into collision with the Jetpur troops through the indiscretion of the Vania Manager, Shamji of Dhoraji. It so happened that Valera Vala of Vaghania, an influential Kathi Cheiftain, made a halt with three hundred horses at Kerala after having plundered some villages belongings to Navanagar. All the Kathis were wildly indigent at this act of treachery, as they called it for hithereto they had been on the mostly friendly terms with Gondal. They unanimously resolved to make war on Gondal and to humiliate Dajibhai. Accordingly, Vasanji collected 30,000 Arab mercenaries 2,500 horses and 10 guns and marched on Dhari-Gundali. While preparation were made for an assault, Dajibhai breathed his last in Gondal at the early age of thirty-four.

      Dajibhai was a patron of letters and was especially fond of poetry. He was a contemporary of Mehramanji II of Rajkot and the author of ‘Pravin Sagar’. He entertained at his court Dullabhram a good poet, and son of Kavi Jasuram, the celebrated author of ‘Rajniti’.

     Dajibhai married three wives, namely Chuvanvahu of Vaosavey, Jhalivalu of Saela and Jethvivahu of Saela and Jethvivahu of  Porbander. He didn’t have heir from any of them. But Vageli Vahu conspired with Adiba, Kuru  Sheth Govindji and others and declared that she was expecting her confinement. As the throne cannot be kept unoccupied it was decided that when the male child attains a particular age Devobhai will handle him the gadi and until that he will protect it. Devobhai then seated on the throne. A strict watch was kept on the Zenana. It was at last confessed that the pregnancy was a fraud. So, Devobhai’s succession remained undisputed.

Devobhai or Devaji

     Devaji was 43 years old when he assumed charge of the state. He soon fell under the influence of bad companions. He was very much under the power of his old companion Nathuji a crafty and ambitious man whose all towards the endeavours were directed towards the diminishing the importance of Vasanji.

     Devaji was a brave prince. At the instance of Colonel Alexander Walker, then Political Agent of Kathiwar, Devaji was the first to discourage the practice of infanticide at that time common among the Jadejas. The Jadejas not finding suitable husband for their daughters or lacking means for their marriage expenses were in the habit of putting their new-born girls to death. The British Govt. desired to put a stop to this unnatural practice, and Devabhai set an honourable example, introducing the reforms in his own state. Others have since followed his lead and now the inhuman and wicket custom is entirely abolished.

     Devobhai married two wives. Kasiba, daughter of the Jhala chief of Balala and Baijiba of Dhrangadhra. The former had no issue. While the latter had four sons Nathuji Kanuji, Motibhai and Bhanabhai all of who mounted the gadi.


     Nathuji   reign was very short and void of any remarkable event. When Vasanji resigned the Kamdarship, Nathuji instead of appointing a successor carried on the administration himself.

     Nathuji’s reign was full of disastrous situations. Nathubhai died in St. 1870. He was a man of courage and education. He was fond of gymnastic exercises. Dying childless he was succeeded by his brother Kanuji.


     Throughout his reign Kanuji was confined to his bed through ill health, brought on by excessive drinking. He never had hi appearance in public and only few could have access to him. His temper was extremely petulant and irascible. Kanji and Jagannath enjoyed his confidence, especially the former. There was everywhere disorder in the state. Kanuji expired in St. 1877. He had married three wives viz.Nanibaiba, of Soderda, Valivahu, of Talaja; and Motibaiba, of Ganod. All being childless, the gadi lapsed to Motibhai, the third son of Devobhai.

Motibhai alias Chandrasinhji

     The history of the reign of Motibhai, as well as of his successor, is mainly one of changes of ministers, internal intrigues and financial embarrassments. It also lays bare the general weakness of the administration and the want of proper check on irresponsible managers expert in the art of peculation. Motibhai was twenty-four years old when succeeded his brother. He was under the influence of unscrupulous Kanji. Motibhai died in 1897, after a reign of twenty years. He had married two wives, Sunderba of Narichana and Anopba of Vaniavadhar. He was very handsome and well builds man. In religion he was staunch follower of Shiva. Having died childless, he was succeeded by his brother Bhanabhai.


     On Motibhai’s death a rumour was set afloat that Anopba was in a state of pregnancy; but it turned out to be groundless. Bhanabhai received in legacy a State-debt of twenty lakhs of koris. Bhanabhai had married two wives – one was the daughter of Jhala of Gundala, who died at the early age, and the other was Motiba of Gundiali, by whom he had two sons, Sagramji and Muluji. Sagramji being the eldest son succeeded to the throne.

Sagramsinhji II

     Thakorshree Sagramji was born in 1822 A.D. Thakore Saheb Sagramji was a remarkable man, unlike his predecessors, who took pleasure in was and manly exploits, he delighted in a life of peaceful piety and passed his days in a mental tranquility commonly denied to those in his position. It cannot be denied that his self-abnegation interfered to some extent with his public duties.
     Thakore Saheb’s reign may be said to make a transition between the old order of things and the new. The old ways had just begun to be touched by the influence of the west. In accordance with the spirit of the time new courts and court-houses at the town of Upleta, a well-built jail in Gondal, the formation of a municipality, a drilled police improvements effected during Sagramji’s reign.

     He married three queens. First was Panchaliji Zala’s daughter Raiba  who couldn’t live longer .Second was Ramba, daughter of Harisinh Zala of Gundiyadi. She had two sons, Balubha and Pathubha . Balubha died at the age of 2 , Pathubha was born in 1841 A.D. But at the age of 21, in 1862 A.D. he died. Then in 1913 A.D. Queen Ramba died and Maharaja Sagramji had no heir  for the throne . Later, he married Monghiba daughter of Zala Sartanji of Meenapur in 1913 A.D. Maharaja Sagramsinhji and Queen Monghiba had two children, one was Bhagvatsinhji and the other was princess Majirajba.

     After Thakore Sagramsinhji’s death and Shri Bhagvatsinhji’s minority the state was at first administered directly under the Kathiawar Agency. The first among them was Captain Good fellow who joined the province on 27th April 1870. St. 1926. As he was acting for Captain Lloyd, he could not stay for than 10 months. After that Captain Lloyd took charge on 10th June 1872. During this British management the police organization was inefficient. Then, Captain Lloyd was succeeded by Captain Phillips, who remained till the end of 1875. He also made dharma shalas, traveller’s bunglows, bridges and roads during his period.

     Then came Major Scott, Major Reeves, Captain Salman respectively and ruled upto 1879. This period was one of general progress in all the departments of the State. Money was spent for the public works such as Gondal Hospital, telegraph and post offices, the state utara at Rajkot, the new palace at Gondal, the Peile Bridge over the Bhadar and grain And vegetable markets at Gondal.



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