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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Map of Surashtra

Kathiawar or Kathiawad (Hindi:काठियावाड़, Gujarati: કાઠીયાવાડ) is a peninsula and part of Saurashtra region on the Arabian Sea coast of Gujarat.


It is bounded on the north by the wetland of the Rann of Kutch, on the northwest by the Gulf of Kutch, on the west and south by the Arabian Sea, and on the southeast and east by the Gulf of Khambhat.

Origin of name

Kathiawar, also (Kattywar), the peninsula gets its name from the prominence of the Kathi people.

Variants of name

Mention by Panini

Daru-kachchha (दारु-कच्छ) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [1]

Major cities in Kathiawar

The major cities of Kathiawar are Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar, Wadhwan, Porbandar, Junagadh, Diu, Somnath, Dwarka, Palitana, Sasan Gir, Gondal, Jetpur, Dhoraji,Amarvalli (Amreli) and Upleta.


V. S. Agrawala[2] writes that no examples of kachchha ending names found in Sutras and Patanjali, but there was a well known sea-port called Bhrigukachchha called Broach. Kasika instances Daru-kachchha and Pipalli-kachchha (Rajpipla near the mouth of Narmada; under agni again Kāṇḍāgni and Vibhujāgni (modern Bhuj); under vaktra Indravaktra and Sindhuvaktra; under garta Bahugarta and Chakragarta.

Standing at the head of Gulf of Cambay, we have to our left Pippalli-kachchha, the sea cost of Pippali comprising the delta area of Sabarmati, Mahi River, Narmada, and Tapti Rivers of which the old name is preserved in Pipla or Rajpipla. To our right is the sea cost of Kathiawar, literally equivalent of Daru-kachchha (Dāru=kāshṭa).

Some historians suggest that the Kathi people are basically Scythians who migrated to Surashtra (referred to as Saraostus as well, by Greeks) around second century B.C.

Kati is the name of an ancient tribe, which in Afghanistan has given its name to the Katawaz district of Ghazni ; they are the same people, apparently, as the Kathi of the Punjab, whose ancestors opposed Alexander, and whose posterity afterwards spread southwards and gave their name to an extensive country, the modern Kathiawad or Kathiawar. [3]

Concurrently, major Rajput clans that held a sway over this region include the Walas (Kathis ), Jethwas, Raijadas, Chudasamas, Gohils, Parmars, Jhalas, Jadejas, Chavdas, Solankis, Patgirs or Pargirs, and Sarvaiyas, Savjis. Most of the princely states of Kathiawar were brought under the British protectorate by 1820, but from Kathiawad first treaty with the British was made by Vira Wala of Jetpur with Col.Walker at Baroda on 26 October 1803.

Migration of Jats from Sind

Migration of Jats from Sindh to Rajasthan

As for the migration of Jats from Sind, it may be assumed that natural calamity and increase in population compelled them to migrate from their original abode in search of livelihood.[4]Hoernle has propounded the 'wedge theory' for the migration of most of the ancient tribes. This wedge theory tends us to believe that the Jats were among the first wave of the Aryans, and their first southeast migration took place from the North-West, and established their rule at Sorpur in Multan regions. Further they migrated towards east and stretched their abode from Brahmanabad (Mansura) to Kathiawar. As Jataki, the peculiar dialect of the Jats, also proves that the Jats must have come from the NW Punjab and from other districts (e.g. Multan) dependent upon the great country of the Five rivers.[5]

In Chauhan records

Dasharatha Sharma in "Early Chauhan Dynasties" [180-191] writes about Jalor Chauhan ruler - Samantasimha and Kanhadadeva.

Samantasimha - [Page-180] The inscriptions of Samantasimha range from V. 1339 to 1362 and show Samantasimha ruling over almost the same territories as his father,Chachigadeva. Of Samantasimha's 16 inscriptions, four come from Bhinmal, three from the state of Sirohi, and the rest from various parts of the Jodhpur division of Rajasthan. About V. 1353, he associated his son, Kanhadadeva , with himself in the government of Jalor; The Jalor inscription of Samantasimha, V. 1353, refers itself to the reign of Maharajakula Sri-Samvatasimha, while Kanhadadeva was subsisting on his lotus like feet and bearing the burden of administration (EI, XI, pp. 61f.). Similarly the Chohtan inscription V. 1356, speaks of Maharajakula Sri-Samvatasimhadeva and Rajan Kanhadadeva.

In V. 1353 (1296 AD) the ruler on the throne of Delhi was Firuz's nephew and assassinator, Ala-ud-din Khalji, perhaps the greatest of Sultans of Delhi, whose avowed ambition was to end all Hindu principalities and kingdoms, and who had been advised by his trusted counselors to treat the Hindus as no better than slaves. Samantasimha of Jalor does not appear to

[Page-181] have been a man gifted or capable enough to fight against such a redoubtable adversary. It was good that he realised the need of some assistance, and acting probably on the advice of his people put the real direction of the affairs of the state into the hands of Kanhadadeva, then perhaps a young man of twenty five years or so.

Kanhadadeva - Kanhadadeva had not to wait long for a chance to prove his mettle. In the third year of his joint reign, i.e., 1298 A.D., Alauddin decided to conquer Gujarat and destroy the temple of Somanatha. As the best route for his army lay through Marwar, he despatched a robe of honour to Kanhadadeva and desired that he should permit the Khalji forces to pass through his territory. Worldly wisdom should have dictated instant submission to the imperial orders. But to the brave Kanhadadeva svadharma mattered more than worldly pleasures, or a kingdom or even his life. He therefore sent back Alauddin's messenger with the blunt answer,

"Your army would, on its way, sack villages, take prisoners, molest women, oppress Brahmanas and slay cows. This being against our dharma, we cannot accede to your request."

Though the refusal must naturally have angered Alauddin,he took no immediate steps against Jalor. The Khalji army, commanded by Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan, marched instead through Mewar. Like a storm of extreme fury, it laid low every state, every chiefship, every principality that lay across its path, conquered very soon the whole of Gujarat and Kathiawar, and destroyed the temple of Somanatha, in spite of the gallant opposition offered by the Jethava (जेठव), Vala (वला), Baja (बाजा) and Chudasama (चुडासामा). And then on its way back to Delhi, Ulugh Khan, either on his own initiative or acting on

[Page-182] instructions beforehand by Alauddin, decided to punish Kanhadadeva for the affront to Khalji authority. Victorious every where he marched through the Jalor. When the Khalji army reached Sakrana (tah-Ahore), a village 18 miles from Jalor, Kanhadadeva’s chief minister, Jaita Devada, conveyed his master’s message to Ulugh.

[Page-183] In a well planned raid led by Jaita Devada, Nusrat Khan’s brother, Malik Aizudin and a nephew of Alaudin were slain. Ulugh Khan barely escaped his life. They liberated thousands of Hindu prisnors and the rescue of an idol of Somanatha which was being carried to Delhi.

[Page-184] Kanhadadeva had its five fragments installed respectively at Prabhasa, Bagada, Abu, Jalor and his own garden. This rescue of Somanatha forms in the popular mind Kanhadadeva's best and greatest title to greatness.

Kathiavar or Sourashtra in Nagavanshi History

Dr Naval Viyogi[6] writes ....Kathiavar[7], the peninsula or western portion of the province of Gujrat, is great centre of Naga worship. There are temples of Basuki and his brother Vanduk locally called Vāsang ji and Bandia Beli respectively, at Than and Mandhogarh. The two[8] Nag brothers are Said to have settled here after having rid the country of a dangerous demon, Bhimasur, at the request of five famous Rishis. To the present day no one is allowed to cut a tree in the grove that surrounds Bandia Beli's shrine, and it is said that, should anyone ignorantly cut a stick in this grove, the snake appears to such a person in his dreams and orders him to return the stick and should he fail therein, some great calamity shortly befalls him; and in fact, in or near the grove may be seen many logs or sticks accidentally cut and subsequently returned.

The Vasuki[9] temple at Thana contains the image of a three-headed cobra with two smaller monocephalous ones, one on each side-carved on the same slab. Besides which there is a figure of the four armed Vishnu, while on and in front of the altar on which the images are placed are Sāligrām stones and sankh shells. A common votive offering at this shrine seems to be a representative of the three snakes in alto-rilievo on a flat earthen ware tile.

Other shrines in Kathiavar are that of Pratika at Talsānā in Jhalavar, and that of Devānik Charmālia in the village of Chokri under Chuda. But the most famous snake temple of Gujarat is that of the celebrated Dharanidhara or 'Earthholder' situated at the village of Dhemi, a few miles to the North-West of Tharād, in North Gujarat. This shrine is visited by pilgrims from all parts of India. There is a well executed image of a cobra in the temple of the Dhem-Naga, as the Dharanidhara is locally called. There are many other local temples in Gujrat and Kathiavar where cobra is worshipped.[10]

It is quite clear that Kathiavar is an important centre of Naga worship, which simultaneously is also a big centre of Megaliths. The round headed Alpine race is also settled, here in a very high number.

Bastar, the ex-feudatory state in the south-east corner of the central province, was ruled by a Naga-dynasty, whilst most Gond chiefs in the same province likewise pretend to have descended from the Nagvansa.[11]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[12] ने लेख किया है ...कठियावाड़(गुजरात) (AS, p.162): प्राचीन किंवदंती है कि इस प्रदेश का नाम कठ जाति के यहां निवास करने के कारण निवास काठियावाड़ हुआ था. यह जाति पश्चिमी पंजाब पर अलेक्षेंद्र (सिकंदर) की आक्रमण के समय (326 ईसा पूर्व) मुठभेड़ हुई थी तथा जिसकी वीरता का गुणगान तत्कालीन ग्रीक लेखकों ने किया था मूलतः पंजाब में रहती थी. अलेक्षेंद्र के आक्रमण के पश्चात यह लोग काठियावाड़ प्रदेश में आकर बस गए. तत्पश्चात घूमते फिरते राजस्थान और मालवा तक जा पहुंचे. कठ लोग सूर्य के उपासक थे. प्राचीन साहित्य में काठियावाड़ के सौराष्ट्र और आनर्त आदि नाम मिलते हैं. (दे. कठगणराज्य, सौराष्ट्र, आनर्त)

कठ गणराज्य

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[13] ने लेख किया है ...कठ गणराज्य (AS, p.127) प्राचीन पंजाब का प्रसिद्ध गणराज्य था। कठ लोग वैदिक आर्यों के वंशज थे। कहा जाता है कि कठोपनिषद के रचयिता तत्वदर्शी विद्वान् इसी जाति के रत्न थे।

अलक्षेंद्र के भारत पर आक्रमण के समय (327 ई. पू.) कठ गणराज्य रावी और व्यास नदियों के बीच के प्रदेश या माझा में बसा हुआ था। कठ लोगों के शारीरिक सौदंर्य और अलौकिक शौर्य की ग्रीक इतिहास लेखकों ने भूरि-भूरि प्रशंसा की है। अलक्षेंद्र के सैनिकों के साथ ये बहुत ही वीरतापूर्वक लड़े थे और सहस्त्रों शत्रु योद्धाओं को इन्होंने धराशायी कर दिया था जिसके परिणाम स्वरूप ग्रीक सैनिकों ने घबरा कर अलक्षेंद्र के बहुत कहने-सुनने पर भी व्यास नदी के पार पूर्व की ओर बढ़ने से साफ़ इनकार कर दिया था।

ग्रीक लेखकों के अनुसार कठों के यहाँ यह जाति प्रथा प्रचलित थी कि वे केवल स्वस्थ एवं बलिष्ठ संतान को ही जीवित रहने देते थे। ओने सीक्रीटोस लिखता है कि वे सुंदरतम एवं बलिष्ठतम व्यक्ति को ही अपना शासक चुनते थे।

पाणिनि ने भी कठों का कंठ या कंथ नाम से उल्लेख किया है। ( 2,4,20) (टिप्पणी- कंथ शब्द कालांतर में संस्कृत में 'मूर्ख' के अर्थ में प्रयुक्त होने लगा)

महाभारत में जिस क्राथ नरेश को कौरवों की ओर से युद्ध में लड़ता हुआ बताया गया है वह शायद कठ जाति का ही राजा था- 'रथीद्विपस्थेन हतोऽपतच्छरै: क्राताधिप: पर्वतजेन दुर्जय:।[14]

कठियावाड़ परिचय

काठियावाड़ दक्षिण-पश्चिमी गुजरात राज्य में प्रायद्वीपीय क्षेत्र, पश्चिम भारत में स्थित है। यह कच्छ के छोटे रण (उत्तर), खंभात की खाड़ी (पूर्व), अरब सागर (दक्षिण-पश्चिम) और कच्छ की खाड़ी (पश्चिमोत्तर) से घिरा हुआ है। पूर्वोत्तर की ओर से एक प्राचीन बलुआ पत्थर की संरचना का विस्तार प्रायद्वीप के भीतर तक है। भावनगर यहाँ का प्रमुख बंदरगाह और शहर है।

इतिहास: काठियावाड़ में मानव बस्ती का इतिहास तीसरी सहस्राब्दी ई.पू. है। लोथल और प्रभाष पाटन (पाटन सोमनाथ) में हड़प्पा सभ्यता के पुरातात्विक अवशेष मिले हैं। तीसरी शताब्दी ई.पू. में यह प्रायद्वीप मौर्य वंश के प्रभाव में आ गया, लेकिन बाद में इस पर शकों का प्रभुत्व रहा। ईसा के बाद की आरंभिक शताब्दियों में इस पर क्षत्रप वंशों का शासन था और गुप्त साम्राज्य के पतन के बाद काठियावाड़ पर पाँचवी शताब्दी में वल्लभी शासकों ने क़ब्ज़ा कर लिया। इसे मुसलमानों का आरंभिक आक्रमण झेलना पड़ा, जिसकी परिणति महमूद गज़नवी के अभियानों और 1024 -25 में सोमनाथ के मंदिर को नेस्तनाबूद किए जाने के रूप में हुई। बाद में यह क्षेत्र मुग़ल शासन के अंतर्गत आ गया। 1820 के बाद कई छोटी रियासतों ने अंग्रेज़ों की प्रभुता स्वीकार कर ली।

भूगोल: काठियावाड़ का क्षेत्रफल 60, 000 वर्ग किमी है। लेकिन अधिकांश बलुआ पत्थर लावा से ढका हुआ है। तटीय क्षेत्र पश्चिम तथा पूर्व में चिकनी मिट्टी और चूना-पत्थर एवं दक्षिण में जलोढ़ सामग्री और मिलियोलाइट, अर्थात् हवा द्वारा निक्षेपित रेत का जमाव, जिसे पोरबंदर पत्थर कहा जाता है और निर्माण सामग्री के रूप में इस्तेमाल किया जाता है, से घिरा हुआ है। खंभात की खाड़ी की ओर का इलाक़ा मुख्यतः जलोढ़ीय है।

प्रायद्वीप का अधिकांश भाग समुद्रतल से 180 मीटर से कम ऊँचाई पर स्थित है, लेकिन गिरनार की पहाड़ियाँ और विलग गिर श्रेणी की ऊँचाई क्रमशः 1,117 मीटर व 647 मीटर है। इस शुष्क गर्म क्षेत्र की प्राकृतिक वनस्पति मुख्यतः कंटीले जंगल हैं, लेकिन समुद्र के पास स्थित निम्न भूमि में मैंग्रोव जंगल भी पाए जाते हैं। उद्योग और व्यापार

इस प्राय:द्वीप के लोगों का मुख्य व्यवसाय खेती है। यहाँ उगाई जाने वाली मुख्य फ़सलों में गेहूँ, ज्वार-बाजरा, मूँगफली और कपास शामिल हैं।

विशेषता: गिर के जंगलों में गिर राष्ट्रीय उद्यान स्थित है और यहाँ अंतिम जंगली भारतीय सिंहों और अन्य वन्यजीवों का आवास है।

संदर्भ: भारतकोश-काठियावाड़


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[15] ने लेख किया है कि....शकस्थान शकों का मूल निवास स्थान था जो ईरान के उत्तर-पश्चिमी भाग तथा परिवर्ती प्रदेश में स्थित था. इसे सीस्तान कहा जाता है. शकस्थान का उल्लेख महा-मायूरि 95, मथुरा सिंहस्तंभ-लेख कदंम्बनरेश मयूरशर्मन् के चंद्रवल्ली प्रस्ताव लेख में है. मथुरा-अभिलेख के शब्द हैं-- 'सर्वस सकस्तनस पुयेइ' जिसका अर्थ, कनिंघम के अनुसार 'शकस्तान निवासियों के पुण्यार्थ' है. राय चौधरी (पॉलीटिकल हिस्ट्री ऑफ अनसियन्ट इंडिया, पृ. 526) के मत में शकस्तान ईरान में स्थित था और शकवंशीय चष्टन और रुद्रदामन के पूर्व पुरुष गुजरात-काठियावाड़ में इसी स्थान से आकर बसे थे.

शकों का उल्लेख रामायण ('तैरासीत् संवृताभूमि: शकैर्यवनमिश्रितै:' बालकांड 54,21; 'कांबोजययवनां श्चैव-शकानांपत्तनानिच' किष्किंधा 23,12 महाभारत ('पहलवान् बर्बरांश्चैव किरातान् यवनाञ्छकान्' सभापर्व 32,17); मनुस्मृति (पौण्ड्रकाश्चौड्रद्रविड़ा:कांबोजा यवना: शका:"' 10,44 तथा महाभाष्य (देखें इंडियन एंटिक्ववेरी 1857,पृ.244) आदि ग्रंथों में है.


Notable persons

External links


  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 65
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.65
  3. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan By H. W. Bellew, The Oriental University Institute, Woking, 1891, p.17
  4. Dr S.Jabir Raza, The Jats - Their Role and Contribution to the Socio-Economic Life and Polity of North and North West India. Vol I, 2004, Ed Dr Vir Singh
  5. Richard F. Burton, op. cit., p.246
  6. Nagas, The Ancient Rulers of India, Their Origins and History, 2002, pp. 28
  7. Vogel J. P.H. P-268
  8. Vogel J. P.H. P-269
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid
  11. Vogel J. P.H. P-36
  12. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.162
  13. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.127
  14. 'राय चौधरी- 'पॉलिटिकल हिस्ट्री ऑफ एशेंट इंडिया'- पृ. 220
  15. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.886

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