Gohil Rajput

Gohil Rajput

The Gohil, ruled parts of Saurashtra region of present-day Gujarat state of India as subordinates or independents starting 12th century. Their origin is traced to Guhila dynasty of Mewar and they had migrated to Saurashtra in 12th century. The earliest known inscription of Gohils is found from Mangrol so they must be ruling in southwest of peninsula under Chaulukya dynasty. They later moved to the east coast where they established themselves and the region came to be known as Gohilwad and ruled till the independence of India in 1947. The erstwhile princely states of Bhavnagar, Palitana, Lathi, Vala and Rajpipla belonged to Gohil rulers.

Traditionally, Gohils trace their origin to the king named Shalivahana. D. R. Bhandarkar, C. V. Vaidya and Gaurishankar Oza have established origin of Gohils with Guhila dynasty of Medapata (Guhilots of Mewar). This Shalivahana is identified with Shalivahana, the Guhila king of Medapata. He mentioned in Atpur (Ahar) inscription of his son Shaktikumara dated 977 CE (VS 1034). He is sometimes misidentified with Shalivahana of south who is sometimes associated with Saka Era. Guhilas considered themselves as Suryavanshi.

Gohil kings

Mohadasa

It is said that a descendant of Salivahana settled in Khera-gadh on the banks of Luni river in the Jodhpur State. The last prince of Khera, Mohadasa, was killed by Siaji, grandson of the Rathod ruler ‘Jayacandra’ of Kanauj, according to the tradition.

Sejakji

Traditions say that Mohadasa’s grandson, Sejakji (1194–1254 CE or 1240–1290 CE), migrated to Saurashtra about VS 1250 and entered in service of Chudasama king Mahipala ruling from Junagadh. He obtained 12 villages around Sapur and from his progeny descended the Gohils of Saurashtra and other regions. According to Bardic accounts, he entered in service of another Chudasama king Kavat and had his daughter Valamkunvarba married to Khengar, son of Kavat. Kavat gave him a grant of Shahpur and surrounding twelve villages in Panchal (central Sairashtra). Sejakji’s sons Shahji and Saranji obtained Mandvi Chovisi and Arthila Chovisi due to interests of their sister Valamkunvarba. The rulers of Palitana State and Lathi State traces their ancestry to these two brothers. James W. Watson, in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Kathiawar Volume VIII (1884) had given VS 1290 and reason as their rivalry with Rathods. Sejakji is reported to have established new village named Sejakpur and won several villages surrounding it.

Ranaji and Visoji

Ranaji/Ranoji (1254–1309 CE or 1290–1309 CE), descendant of Sejakji, established Ranpur and moved their capital to it. With help of Koli forces of Dhanmer, he captured Vala (Vallabhipur). It is told that he died in battle with forces of Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat Sultanate. Virbhadra Singhji has identified him as the grandson of Sejakji while other sources identify him as a son of Sejakji.

Mokhadaji

Ranaji’s son, Mokhadaji (1309–1347 CE) captured Bhimdad from Vala Rajput and Umrala from Kolis. Then he captured Khokhra and later Ghogha expelling Muslim Kasbati (chief). From Baria Kolis, he conquered the Piram Island in the Gulf of Cambay. He established himself there and took up piracy. This irked Delhi Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq who was in Gujarat to quell rebellion. After hard-fought battle, he killed Mokhadaji and captured Ghogha and Piram island in 1347 CE.

Descendant States

The rulers of Palitana and Lathi States trace their ancestry to Shahji and Saranji, two sons of Sejakji.  Mokhadaji’s elder son Dungarji (1347–1370) fled to Und-Saravaiyawad but he was captured by the Delhi forces. He was later reinstated as a chief of Ghogha and regained his father’s possession of Umrala. His successor Visoji (1370-1395) was involved in a dispute of Jani and Rana clans of Audichya Brahman landlords of Sihor. Jani clan summoned Visoji while Rana clan summoned Kandhoji Gohil of Gariadhar. Visoji defeated Kandhoji and captured Sihor. He fortified it and made it his capital.

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