The political history of Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar) of the two centuries
from Vikram Samvat 1600 is full of amazing incidents. In Vikram Samvat 1800, the first British
"HelliSaheb" of East India Company have entered the area of Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar).
He got the geographical guideline (about the area) from the Indian representative (of East India Company)
Sundarji Shivji Khatri. There has been a lot of written about that two centires (i.e.
the period From Vikram Samvat 1600 to Vikram Samvat 1800) by the authors and poets of that time.
The mirror of that dark time is also reflected in folk tales and folklores as well.
Whatever we are considering as old literature, is also mostly created during the same time.
As that literature is responsible to keep the information about political and historical
incidents of the time, it found interesting.
Actually the valuable history of that times found preserved, but the weak side of that
literature is, it is full of superlativeness. Some tales seems too much fantasized that they
either hides the true historical events or sometimes represent the stuff in very improper
manner. As the author and poets of that time have to somehow keep the rulers of the respective
time happy forcefully, it might have been happened.
That's why after the British (government) got ruling command of the area, some British authors have
also wrote stuff about the same and it is more trusted. Some Gujarati Novels are written by
keeping that (literature by British authors) as the base as well.
This way the literature; documented and from mouth (told) both helped (to know and explore the history).
By taking the help of the same, the authors from old and modern times have shown us the
era (of that times).
The small area of the land of Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar) was a
multicolored mattress of complicated boundaries of tiny and small kingdoms (during the times).
Due to the hunger for the land, the kings of that dark time fought a lot of battles, which caused a lot of deaths.
After the Mughal emperors of Delhi have came into supreme power, the Kathiawad
(or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar) came under the ministry of Peshwai.
The improper management of Peshwai have enlighten the hunger for the land
(into the king of small states of Kathiawad); which made powerful the dirty politics,
jealousy, selfishness and unfaithfulness. The life of the people (or common man)
got a lot disturbed and suffered (due to all these). The entire area (of Kathiyawar or Kathiyawar) was found in the
lap of terror, lack of peace and bad times. The situation got worst in the mid of
eighteenth century of Vikram (Vikram Samvat).
The people considered as great persons by the history of Sorath, who shared the same
time period are, Diwan Amarji (Divan Amarji / Diwan Amarjee – was a minister of the
kingdom of Junagadh), Meru Khawas (or Meru Khavas) of Jamnagar (or NawaNagar / NavaNagar),
Bha Khumbhaji (second) of Gondal, Rana Sartanji of Porbandar, VajeSinh of Bhavnagar,
RaySinh (second) of Dhrangadhra and Thakor Aliyaji of Morbi (Morvi). All these brave
warriors have shared the period of Vikram Samvat 1750 to Vikram Samvat 1860. It was an
interesting sign (signal) for history lovers, because if any of these persons have been
in the time a little earlier or later, and was not offended by the other, a lot of
boundaries had certainly lost their existence from the map of Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar).
A lot of, have been written by the historians about these politically powerful persons.
A lot of myths and novels are found and they got read interestingly (by the people).
But one of the very powerful person and brave warrior like them all, who shared the
same time period, (who was a) cousin of the rulers of Jamnagar; and the ruler (or count) of Paddhari,
Halaji – Kakabhai; is found less famous, which is a puzzle in itself.
I found the name of Kakabhai of Paddhari written under dust in the history of Jamnagar.
In the historical novels also the the name found referred sometimes,
but he is represented as a "very cruel person" then (whenever or wherever referred).
But Kakabhai was not cruel at all.
It was his great efforts which made possible the crowing of Jam Tamachi (Or Jam Tamachee – second)
on the throne of Jamnagard. Once the throne of Jamnagar was in his (Kakabhai - Halaji's) palm, and he have had all
the right to sit on the same as he belonged to the same family lineage (so he inherited the right).
Though, the throne saved and kept safe by himself, was not accepted by him (as a ruler). He have declared
that he was not going to achieve the sign of Jam (by being crowned).
The great person who sacrificed it, didn't get the proper place in the history.
The great castle founded by Kakabhai, in the town of Paddhari which belongs to Rajkot
district of Saurashtra (Gujarat – India), is still as strong and stable as it was;
passing its sad last days. It (the castle of Paddhari) also (still) contains a few
of the remainings of the great bravery of his wealthy owner. There might be a lot of event
found buried below these flashes of the glimpses of the history!! I have observed the
remainings with the feelings of love and gratitude; And I have then found that Diwan
Ranchhodji Amarji, Rukhad Sandhani (or Rukhad Sanghani?) Meer Salmeen, Jamadar Zubaiedee,
Marathee (Marathi) Counts ShivRam Gardi and Khanderav, the British - HelliSaheb, Khatri
Sundarji Shivji and the Cromwell (Kromwel ?) of Kachchh, Jamadar FatehMamad; all these
important persons in terms of history, have visited and played their own role in this
secure castle of the brave warrior Kakabhai. The evidences and proofs found about
the same have inspired me to write this tale.
It is not easy to find the true historical facts from the past, lost into the dark.
Hence I walked the path of gathering written (documented) and oral evidences, in order
to collect the information about this story. I have asked for and listened the stuff
from the elders, whose ancestors played a vital role in the history of Padhhari. The
descendents of Hari Tarvadi, Mangala Upadhya, Ramji Jeram Nandvana (Nandwana), RoopjiSheth
or RupjiSheth (Patel or Gardi?), Lavji Thakkar; who all were brave and notable names and
were happened to be in the same time period Kakabhai was; today also lives in Paddhari and far from Paddhari.
I got some tales which were found useful in writing this story,
from some of the same people (descendents of the well known personalities mentioned).
Though, after traveling and searching a lot in order to find the historical facts,
I have experienced that the people of our country lacks interest in keeping the
remainings (and national wealth), which are evidences of (remarkable) historical events.
This way the valuable and amazing events are getting buried into the dark. I experienced a
lot of difficulties in order to find the pieces (of the story chain). But I must have to be
thankful to one of my friends belong to Charan (A clan famous for its authenticity of
folk stuff and its way of story telling) family, Ratubhai Gadhvi, who have helped me a lot.
He have searched for and provided me the ancient poems about the incidents and events
happened in Paddhari and bravery of Kakabhai.
In (all) that old Charani poems, the events explored were: Killing of Thakor Aliaji of
Morbi by Kakabhai, Attack on Paddhari by Jamadar FatehMamad. In addition, from an old
document found from a house of a family, the reference "Kakabhai Na Darbar Ma Ranchhodji Vasya"
(Deewan Ranchhodji have visited the court of Kakabhai) was mentioned.
At the boundary of Paddhari an old small temple is found, which contains two broken monuments,
one of which belongs to Morbi Thakor Aliaji, it contains well readable writing "Samvat 1796 Varakhe".
In addition of Aliaji, Jam Tamachi (second) and Rana of Porbandar, these two kings were also
killed by Kakabhai. The fact that the ruler of Jamnagar Meru Khavas (Meru Khawas)
was also having disputes with Kakabhai, itself shows the importance of him. Evidences
are also found that, when the Maharana of Porbandar have build the castle of Bhetali
(or Bhetalee) against the kingdom of Jamnagar, and Meru Khawas (Meru Khavas) of
Jamnagar have attacked Bhetali (Bhetalee), Kakabhai have sidelined his personal disputes
(with Meru Khavas) and supported Meru Khawas (by fighting the battle from his side).
Diwan Amarji had faith in the greatness of Meru Khawas. They both get united to destroy the
castle of pirates (which was their adda) at Poshitra. Afterwards both (these) brave warriors
became rivals and opponents of each other. By developing friendship with Bha Kumbhaji of Gondal,
Meru Khavas (Meru Khawas) have planned a trap and finally killed Amarji Diwan.
Still, a lot of evidences are found that, remarkable historical person Diwan Amarji had the
soft corner at the heart, for Halaji – Kakabhai. On the bases of these evidences I have tried
to justify the historical importance of Halaji.
During the ruling of Jam Tamachi (second), there was a time when Halaji was the most
important person in the political management of the state of Jamnagar. He was also
handling the external affairs of the state of Jamnagar. Jam Tamachi himself have given
him the respected name "Kakabhai". By which he got famous and known as.
These old Duhas (a type of poems - fmaous as part of the folk literature)
are the evidences of the same.
Jam Tamachi Pas Ten Halo Rahe Hamesh,
Rajkaj Masalat Jare Deese Humam Sandesh.
Jam Pet Farjan Nahi Bata Jagat Vanay,
Ant Halare Avashen Tilo Nagar Takay.
Haselun Prakam Halviya Ant Morbi Re Aay.
Jangi Jatak Jodhahra Ajitsinh Bulvay.
This much important person Kakabhai, must have been very remarkable character
in the history of Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar).
But instead his name is not justified in the history. By understanding this,
I have tried my level best to remove the dust of misconceptions about him
(at least some of them) and to explore his character properly in this historical tale.
As Meru Khavas (Meru Khawas) of Jamnagar, Diwan Amarji of Junagadh and FatehMamad Jamadar
of Kachchh has dedicated their lives for their masters by all the means, Kakabhai did the
same and there is no doublt about that. And he have established records in terms of bravery.
But historians praise a lot about the other three persons and didn’t (or aren’t)
justifying Kakabhai, is also equally true.
The life span of Kakabhai was about a century (Vikram Samvat 1745 – Vikram Samvat 1843).
After living this long also, he got dead in the battlefield, fighting against Meru Khavas (Meru Khawas).
The history took a turn when Meru Khawas (Meru Khavas) have assassinated Amarji Diwan
at Deradee (Derdi) village (some people tells it was done at Ardoi village) in Vikram Samvat 1840,
by betrayal, in front of the Nawab of Junagadh and Bha Khumbhaji. There were three sons of Diwan Amarji,
from them Raghunathji was killed in the fight with Nawab, Ranchhodji have accepted
the post of minister (Diwan) of Jamnagar and Dalpatram got custody of the wealth and
land of his father and got dead in the problems related to the same only.
Meru Khawas (Meru Khavas) met his death in Vikram Samvat 1860 and Jamadar FatehMamad in
Vikram Samvat 1870; After the death of Jam Jasaji. Jam Sataji have ruled Jamnagar for
short period (Vikram Samvat 1870- Vikram Samvat 1876). Jam Sataji was not having any child
so his queen Achooba have adopted Ranmalji, the son of a relative of the same family
lineage of Jam Jasaji, and declared him as the successor. It have ended the dark time
(full of internal rivalry) in Kathiawad (or Kathiawar / Kathiyawad / Kathiyawar).
During that times at last, Moti Mahta – the minister of Jamnagar, have made the arabs of Paddhari
to betray (the state) and he then bring the East India Company as a mediator, with the aim to
grab (the ruling of) Paddhari. Then HelliSaheb – the representative of
East India Company have landed with Sundarji Khatri and he have provided (the authority)
of the castle of Paddhari to (the state of) Jamnagar (in Vikram Samvat 1872).
This novel ends there, with the fist step of a British (and British government –
via East India Company). Hence it explores one and a quarter century (from Vikram Samvat 1745
to Vikaram Samvat 1872) and its history (regarding the places and persons mentioned).
As to make historical novels interesting, the usage of fantasies is allowed to the author.
But, I haven't accepted that liberty (in this novel). I believe that this informative
historical tale which lacks fantasies (but focuses real events) will be liked by the readers.
As after collecting all the information I took one decade to write it (waiting for the right time).
The glimpses of the divine land of Saurashtra and its history have fascinated and inspired me as well.
With the same gratitude I am feeling gald to present this tale in the hands of the readers.