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Gohil

The Gohils are a Suryavanshi clan, a branch of the Guhilot Rajputs of Mewar and claim descendancy from the illustrious Bappa Rawal. This branch moved from Mewar, to Marwar in an area called Khergarh, and were later driven from there by the migration of the Rathores into Marwar, as a result of the sack of Delhi by Ghori. In Kathiawar, they are mainly settled in Bhavnagar, Vallabhipur, Palitana, Lathi and surrounding areas of Gohilwar. Vams: SuryaVams

Chamunda Mataji
Kuldevi: Chamunda Gotra:Gautam Shakha: Madhyayani Illustrious heroes: Sejakji Gohil, Ranoji Gohil, Mokhdaji Gohil, Hamirji Gohil,Wakhatsinhji Gohil (Aatabhai), ..... Religious Sites: Rajpara Khodiyar Mandir: Established by Thakore Wakhatsinhji Barso Shiv Mahadev: Established by Raol Shri Akheyrajji of Lakhanka Jashonath Mandir: Established by Maharaja Jaswatsinhji Takhteshwar Mahadev: Established by Maharaja Takhtsinhji Bhavnath Mahadev: Established by Maharaja Bhavsinhji Mandva Mahadev Mandir: Established by Solanki Ruler Siddhraj Jaisinh Vaijnath Mahadev: Established by Thakore Vijoji-I of Palitana Rajbai Mataji Mandir: Gariyadhar Chogath Khodiyar Mandir: Established by Thakore Sarangji Gohil (Raol) Capitals in Kathiawar: Sejakpur, Ranpur, Ghogha, Umrala, Sihor, Bhavnagar, Palitana, Gariadhar, Lathi The Gohils are Suryavanshi Rajputs who have descended from the Guhilots of Mewar. After the sack of Vallabhi, the pregnant queen of king Shiladitya of Vallabhi, who had survived the attack due to her

having been on a pilgrimage, gave birth to a boy in a cave. Due to the circumstances surrounding the boy's birth, he was named Guha or Guhaditya. He is later supposed to have caputred Idar with the help of his Bhil compatriates, amongst whom he had grown up and become popular. The illustrious Bappa Rawal, the father of the house of Mewar, established his seat in Chittor. A few generations down, a branch of this Guhilot clan migrated and settled an area in Marwar by the river Luni. They ruled there for a significant time. It may have been around this time that they came to be known as Gohils. The Gohils were pushed out in early 13th century from Khergarh Marwar by the Rathores. They then marched back to Saurashtra under their chief Mohodas, who is also referred to as Kunwar Pal, father of Sejakji. The Gohils came to the court of the Chalukya ruler Sidhraj Jaisinh and were appointed governors. Sejakji conquered a vast area and carved out his own principality with Sejakpur as his capital. He also married his daughter Valum Kunverba to the Yuvraj of Junagarh, and became right-hand man of the Solankis. Sejakji was chief from 1240 to 1254 and turned himself into a huge force in Gohilwar.

Sejakji had four sons, Pratap Pal or Somraj, Mulraj, Shahji and Sarangji. The eldest, Pratap Pal, had no son, so Mulraj's son Ranoji became chief from 1290 to 1309. Shahji and Sarangi were given the jagirs of Mandvi and Arthilla, which later became the princely states of Palitana and Lathi.

There is this stirring tale of Hamirji Gohil, the 16-year-old newly-married chieftain of Lathi, who sacrificed his life in 1401 defending the Somnath temple from the attack of Muzaffar Shah. Hamirji Gohil's cenotaph still stands at the entrance to the fabled Somnath temple.

Ranoji was another warrior and conqueror like his grandfather Sejakji. He further expanded his territories and founded a new capital, calling it Ranpur. He was a staunch opposer of the spread of Islamic rule in Gujarat and Kathiawar and in time he was expelled from there and slain by Muslim invaders.

He was succeeded by his son Mokhdaji. He conquered Umrala from the Kolis, and wrested back the island of Piram or Pirambet from the Muslims. There he set up the capital of his principality of Ghogha, ruling for a long period of 38 years. He was killed in battle in 1347, succumbing to wounds inflicted by the sword of none other than Muhammad bin Tughlaq.

Mokhdaji's first wife, Sarvaiya princess of Hathasani in Kathiawar, bore him a son Dungarsinhji who succeeded as chief of Ghogha. In 1723, his descendant Bhavsinhji founded the city of Bhavnagar, establishing his capital there.

The second wife of Mokhdaji was the Parmar princess of Rajpipla. Their son Samarsinhji, who assumed the name Arjunsinhji, succeeded to the gadi of Rajpipla as his maternal grandfather Chokrana had no male issue. Thus the Gohils extended their sway over Rajpipla too for the next six centuries, ruling from Junaraj (Old Rajpipla) in the hills, and deep in the vortex of the forests there. They shifted their capital in 1730, after the weakening of the Mughal empire, to Nandod (New Rajpipla) in the plains on the banks of the Karjan, a tributary of the holy Narmada. Mokheraji, conquered Umrala from the Kolis and Gogha from the Muslims, succumbed fell to the sword of Muhammad bin Ghias ud-din Toghluk's in 1347. His great-great-grandson, Sarangji, assumed the title of Raol to honor the help and services, provided to him by the Raol Patai of Champaner, helped him recover his throne from his uncle.

Raol Dhunaji moved his capital to Sihor ca. 1600, where it remained for over a century. However, Sihor was found to be vulnerable to attacks, and when pressurized by the Marathas, Thakore Bhavsinhji decided to scout a more secure area to set up his capital, as a mode of defense against the Maratha predators. Bhavnagar became the capital in 1723, under Thakore Bhavsinhji. Bhavnagar has been the capital and name of the state, ever since. A wise and politically astute ruler, Bhavsinhji followed a policy of conciliation with the Muslim rulers of Surat and with the British. Bhavnagar prospered and expanded through trade and commerce. He died in 1764, having divided his territories between his twin sons.

Akherajji, the inheritor of Bhavnagar, sided with the Marathas against the Mogul Viceroy of Gujerat. He assisted the British in reducing the pirate stronghold of Talaja, and sheltered Raghunath Rao Peshwa, when a refugee. His son, Raol Shri Vakhatsinhji spent his entire reign fighting various foes. Kathis, Jats, Kolis, Gaekwads, Babis, even his Palitana clansman all savoured the cut of his sword. His campaign in Chital against the united Kathi uprising became one of the key battles during his reign. The Kathis were routed with heavly losses. Vajesinhji, the son and successor of Vakhatsinhji, succeeded in making peace with the Kathis in 1829. He reigned for thirty-six prosperous years, leaving his throne to his grandson Akherajji III in 1852. He died without sons two years later, being succeeded by his brother

Jaswantsinhji. The latter improved the administration and placed the revenues of his state on a sound footing, but died leaving a minor son as successor in 1870. Takhatsinhji assumed full ruling powers in 1878, continuing in the footsteps of his illustrious father. He died in 1896, celebrated as one of the most generous, loyal and benevolent princes of his age. His son and successor, Raol Shri Bhavsinhji II continued his good works. He saved countless lives during the severe famine of 1899-1900, through a number of relief works. He also contributed generously during to the war effort during the Great War. These and other numerous services were rewarded with the hereditary title of Maharaja and increased gun salutes. A great supporter of female emancipation he promoted monogamy, advanced education and abolished "purdah". At his death in 1919, he left a flourishing state to his minor son, Maharaja Krishna Kumarsinhji. The last independent ruler of his line, Maharaja Krishna Kumarsinhji, like his brothers, received an advanced education, within India and in England. He received full ruling powers on attaining his majority in 1931. He governed as a model ruler, closely involved in advancing the cause of independence for India. One of the first rulers to accede to the new Republic of India, he served as the first Indian Governor of Madras between 1948 and 1952. He died at Bombay in 1965, being succeeded by his son, Maharaja Raol Shri Dr Veerbhadrasinhji. Maharaja Vijayarajsinhji Gohil succeeded his father as titular Maharaja and Head of the Royal House of Bhavnagar in 1994. Miscelleneous historical images from Gohilwar

Historical playing card set based on the battles of Chital and the battle of Tana

Bhavnagar view card series (Color version)

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