The ruling family belong to the Jadeja clan of Rajputs who ruled at Jamnagar (Nawanagar), and trace their descent from Kumar Shri Vibhoji Ajoji, grandson of Jam Shri Satarsal [Sataji] Vibhaji Sahib. Taken prisoner after the death of his father at the battle of Bhuchar Mori, he was sent a prisoner to Delhi. There, he was placed under the guardianship of his maternal uncle, Jodhaji Soda, maternal uncle of one of Akbar's wives. He joined the Imperial forces and supported Shah Jahan in expelling the Vaghelas from Sardhar. He then married the daughter of the Vaghela chief and made Sardhar his capital. For his services to the Emperor, he received Ardoi, Rib, Ribda and Kalipat, which he converted into a separate principality. His son continued in the Imperial service, receiving further lands in reward.
Thakore Bamanioji, third in descent from Vibhoji, seized Rajkot and surrounding villages from the Babis of Junagadh. His younger son and successor, Mheramanji II, consolidated his control over the area in 1707. He did not hold his new lands long, and was expelled then killed in a skirmish with his foe, the Deputy Faujdar of Junagadh. He left seven sons, who all carved out petty domains for themselves, but it took his eldest son and heir a full twelve years before he recovered his patrimony.
Thakore Ranmalji's son and successor, Lakhoji I, succeeded him in 1746. He later abdicated in favour of his eldest son but resumed the throne when the latter died unexpectedly in 1794. Displeased with his grandfather's action, Ranmalji II deposed him and expelled him to Nawanagar. Thereafter, the family reigned uneventfully, accepted British protection in 1818, and quietly developed their little state. The capital became the headquarters of the British Political Agent, and soon developed into a modern town. It became an important centre of education, with several famous institutions being established there. The state also became famous in the life of M.K. Gandhi, whose father served as its Dewan, completed his schooling, and married in Rajkot.
Thakore Bawajiraj and his son, Sir Lakhajiraj III, were model rulers who slowly developed their state into a haven of liberal learning, discourse and intellectual activity. The state became a favourite venue for meetings of various India wide political, cultural and intellectual organisations. Peasant, youth, farmers' and citizens' councils were encouraged and prospered. However, all this changed when Thakore Dharmendrasinhji succeeded his father in 1930. Although he received a liberal education and was the first of his line to be sent abroad, his interests and inclination were the reverse of his father and grandfather. The British authorities restricted him from exercising full powers for a year and placed him on probation, but he gave full vent to his proclivities when he received full powers a year later. He taxed his subjects heavily, hoarded goods then sold them at inflated prices to his own subjects after creating scarcity, then frittered away the proceeds on his own pastimes. Unlike his father, who lived frugally and spent practically the entire revenue on developing his state, Dharmendra used 50% of the state funds on himself. Not surprisingly, he became the but of many demonstrations, strikes and boycotts, organised by Congress and other left-wing organisations. His early death in 1940 came as relief to his subjects.
Thakore Shri Pradyumansinhji tried his best to reverse his late brother's failures, but time and circumstances were not on his side. Although he did manage to improve the lot of his subjects, War conditions hampered progress for several years. No sooner had the Second World War ended, before the events of partition, independence and merger overtook any plans he had. The state merged with its neighbours to form the United State of Kathiawad in February 1948, then into Gujarat in 1956. The old Thakore Sahib died in 1973, after witnessing the indignity of Mrs Gandhi's removal of the privy purses and official recognition of rulers. His son, Thakore Shri Manoharsinhji, who has carved out a political career at the provincial level, succeeded him. He served as a Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly for several years and as the state Minister for Health and Finance. The Heir Apparent, Yuvraj Sahib Mandattasinhji has embarked on a business career.
Jadeja clan of Rajputs.
A crescent argent (upward) with a label "Raje Kote Praja Raja" (Blessings upon the people's Raja), above a jumping blackbuck proper with horns argent. Crest: a"katar" argent. Supporters: Tridents or, between them "Rajkot". Motto: …
Rectangular navy-blue flag with a yellow saltaire; overall, the state arms in white, in the centre.
STYLES & TITLES:
The ruling prince: Thakore Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Jadeja Sahib, Thakore Sahib of Rajkot, with the style of His Highness.
The consort of the ruling prince: Thakurani Ba Shri (personal name) Sahiba, Thakurani Sahib of Rajkot, with the style of Her Highness.
The Heir Apparent: Kumar Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Jadeja, Yuvraj Sahib of Rajkot.
The younger and grandsons of the ruling prince: Kumar Shri (personal name) (father's personal name) Sahib.
The daughters and granddaughter of the ruling prince: Ba Shri (personal name) Kunvaribai Sahiba.
The other male descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: Jadeja Shri (personal name) (father's personal name).
The other female descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: Ba 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:
Lewis Bentham Bowring. Bowring Collection. MSS. Eur. G.38, Oriental India Office Collection, British Library, London.
Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage. Burke's Peerage Limited, London, 1900-1959.
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Volume VIII. Kathiawar. Government of Bombay, Bombay, 1884.
Ann Morrow, Highness, The Maharajas of India, F.A. Thorpe (Publishing) Ltd, Anstey, Leicestershire, first published by Grafton Books, London 1986, first Charnwood ed. published Nov.1987
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.
Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.