LIMBDI

The Jhala Dynasty

BRIEF HISTORY

The ruling family of Limbdi descends from Harapal Devji, of Patdi, common ancestor with the ruling family of Dhrangadhra. Manghuji, second (or nineteenth) son of Harapal Devji and Sakti Devi, received the chorasis of Jambu and Kundni. His grandson, Dhaval, married the daughter of Vaja Palaji of Veraval Patan and received seven villages in dowry. Sultan Qutb ud-din Aibak of Delhi drove him from Jambu in 1194, when he retired to Veraval Patan. His father-in-law assisted him to conquer forty-one villages along the coast, when he established his capital at Dhamlej. He returned to Jambu once the Muslims had left the area, but finding it laid waste, returned to Dhamlej, appointing a governor to administer that region. His son, Kaluji, established his capital at Kundni, where it remained for the next six generations. Soghaji re-established the capital at Jambu, but his son, Sarangji, moved to Jasdan. Thereafter the state capital alternated between Kundni, Jambu and Jasdan.

Maharana Shri Khetoji II, who reigned during the fifteenth century, incurred the enmity of both the Vaghela and Sarvaiya clans, and lost his life and property in battle with them. At he heart of the trouble lay a romantic tale chivalry, so often told by he Rajput bards. Khetoji once came across he marriage procession of the intended bride of Vaghela Godhba of Sardhar, the daughter of the Sarvaiya Rao of Bhadli. By chance, her eyes fell upon his long hair when he had cause to remove his turban, and she was smitten. She implored him to take her away, and he agreed to do so after consulting his advisers. Godhba, furious at this insult, invaded Kundni and met him in mortal combat, slew Khetoji and annexed Kundni and Jasdan. Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat, stepped into the breech and annexed Jambu and Shiani to his own domains.

Khetoji left thirteen sons, the eldest of who suffered from physical disabilities, could not reassert the family honour and was debarred from ascend the gadi according to the traditions of the house. He abdicated his rights in favour of his next and younger brother. Bhanji Sahib headed the house in exile for a period but then voluntarily abdicated, along with his other brothers, in favour of the youngest and more able brother, Sangaji. The latter headed a band of 500 horsemen, who wandered about the countryside until they came upon Godhba at Jhobala. Aided by 8,000 loyal shepherds, they defeated and exacted vengeance upon the Vaghela. Sangaji settled at Dhanvaa until the Sultan heard of his deeds, took sympathy upon the family and restored Jambu and Shiani to him. Maharana Sangaji's line reigned over the state until the eighteenth century, when they shifted their capital to Limbdi.

Maharana Shri Harisinhji came under British protection because of the Treaty of Bassein with the Marathas in 1807. His great grandson, Maharana Jaswantsinhji succeeded as a minor in 1862. The first ruler of his line to receive a modern education, at which he excelled and then used his knowledge to very good effect. Great changes and reforms were instigated by him which brought about a transformation. He constructed irrigation works and improved agriculture, reformed the courts and built schools, endowed scholarships for gifted students and established municipal government. Not content with the knowledge he had gathered within India, he travelled abroad to the UK and Europe, to learn about the latest innovations and methods of administration, agriculture and health care. Returning to India, he redoubled his efforts to improve the lot of his people. His exertions were recognised with government sought his advice and council. The Governor of Bombay appointed him a member of the Bombay Legislative Council, one of the first princes to hold such a position. At his death in 1907, he left behind the best-administered state in Bombay and universally happy subjects.

Maharana Shri Daulatsinhji, a direct descendant of Khetoji I's eldest son, succeeded as the chosen heir of his kinsman, Jaswantsinhji. Although very distantly related to the late ruler, he had made a career for himself in neighbouring states, where he had proved himself an able administrator and soldier. He apprenticeship was fortuitous, for he proved to be an equally capable and distinguished ruler as his predecessor. Ho continued all his good works, especially in the fields of education and agriculture. Limbdi excelled in both fields, and her treasury showed the beneficial results of his policies. Despite he size and income of his state, he spared nothing in supporting the British cause during the Great War. He reigned successfully for thirty-three years, and died during the dark days of the Second World War in 1940. It would have saddened him to go at that time. Loyal to his King-Emperor in an almost fanatical way, he would have relished a second victory against the old foe.

Maharana Shri Digvijaysinhji succeeded his father for just about a year before dying in 1941 and leaving his throne to his son Chatrashailyasinhji, barely a year old at that time. The government appointed a regency council to conduct the administration during his minority. He never received his full ruling powers as the transfer of power intervened when he was six years old, and Limbdi acceded to the Dominion of India in 1947. It joined the other states of the region to form the United State of Kathiawad (Saurashtra) in the following year. The Maharana became a successful businessman and hotelier. He has retained an interest in motor cars and angling throughout his life.

SALUTE:
9-Guns.

ARMS:
Shield in murrey, a small temple in or, the inside of the temple is vert with a trident and snake in or inside; between two flags, the dexter gules, the sinister or; all within a bordure vert. Helmet: Or. Crest: A dexter hand appumÚ or. Supporters: dexter, a tiger and sinister, lion, all or. Motto: In the powers of the Almighty. Lambrequins: Or.

STYLES & TITLES:
The ruling prince: Maharana Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib, Thakore Sahib of Limbdi, with the style of His Highness.
The consort of the ruling prince: Thakorani Shri (personal name) Sahiba, Thakorai Sahib of Limbdi, with the style of Her Highness.
The Heir Apparent: Yuvaraj Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib, Yuvaraj Sahib of Limbdi.
The consort of the Heir Apparent: Yuvarani Shri (personal name) Sahiba, Yuvarani Sahib of Limbdi.
The younger sons of the ruling prince, during the lifetime of their father: Rajkumar Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib.
Th daughters-in-law of the ruling prince: Rani Shri (personal name) Sahiba.
The brothers of the ruling prince: Maharaj Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib.
The daughters and grandaughters of the ruling prince, in the male line: Rajkumari Bai Shri (personal name) Sahiba.
The grandsons of the ruling prince, in the male line: Rajkumar Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib.
The other male descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: Kumar Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Jhala.
The other female descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: Bai Shri (personal name) Sahiba.

RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, with the right of adoption by the recognised head of the family on the failure of natural male heirs.

ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
None.

SOURCES:
Annual Administration Report of the Limbdi State. 1909/10-1912/13, 1914/15-1932/33, 1934/35, 1936/37-1938/39, & 1941/42-1944/45. IOR/V/10, Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, St Pancras, London.
Chiefs and Leading Families in Rajputana (The Ruling Princes, Chiefs and Leading Personages in Rajputana and Ajmer). Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta, 1894, 1903, 1912, 1916 and 1935.
Alexander Kinloch Forbes. Ras-Mala, Hindu Annals of Western India, with particular reference to Gujarat. Heritage Publishers. New Delhi, 1973.
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Volume VIII. Kathiawar. Government of Bombay, Bombay, 1884.
C. Mayne. History of Dhrangadhra State. Thacker, Spink & Co.,Calcutta and Simla, 1921.
Memoranda on The Indian States 1940 (Corrected up to the 1st January 1940). Manager of Publication, Government of India, Delhi, 1940.
The Rajputana Gazetteer. Volume II. Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta, 1879.
The Ruling Princes, Chiefs and Leading Personages in the Western India States Agency, 1st edition. Rajkot, 1928.
The Ruling Princes, Chiefs and Leading Personages in the Western India States Agency, 2nd edition. Manager of Publications, Delhi, 1935.
Elizabeth Sharpe. Thakore Sahib Shri Sir Daulat Singh of Limbdi, Kathiawar. A biography. John Murray & Co. Ltd., London, 1933.
Thacker's Indian Directory. Thacker's Press & Directories, Ltd., Calcutta 1863-1956.
A. Vadivelu, The Ruling Chiefs, Nobles & Zamindars of India. G.C. Loganadham Bros., Madras, 1915.
Capt. H. Wilberforce-Bell, The History of Kathiawad, from the earliest times. William Heinemann, London, 1916.
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CopyrightęChristopher Buyers, April 2007 - August 2008