The royal house
belongs to the Gohil clan of Rajputs. The ancestor of the
house is Chokrana, son of Saidawat, Raja of Ujjain and a
descendant of the Kshatriya Parmar Maharaja Vikram of
Ujjain, Maharaja Nand Rai. Quarrelling with his father,
he left Ujjain and laid the foundations of a new state at
the town of Pipla in 1200 AD. On the extinction of his
male line, Raja Samaisinhji Gohil, a younger son of
Mokhadaji Gohil, of Gogha (Bhavnagar) and maternal nephew
of the Prince Chokrana, ascended the gadi in 1403
under the name of Arjunsinhji. His descendants ruled the
state continuously until 1947, usually facing and
adapting to invaders from outside. In time, the state
became a model amongst Indian princely states,
particularly after the modernising reforms introduced by
Maharajas Chhatrasinhji and Vijaysinhji.
Due to financial mismanagement, the British authorities
removed Maharana Gambhirsinhji from exercising executive
authority and placed the state under the joint
administration of a British officer and state officials
in 1884. After three years, this system failed to improve
matters and a sole British administrator assumed charge
of affairs. When the ruler expired in 1897, full control
devolved on his son, Chhatrasinhji. The new ruler vowed
never to allow his state to be taken-over again. He
immediately set about instituting a programme of reform
and development, which was continued and expanded
considerably under his able son.
Chiefly remembered for his success on the turf, Maharaja
Vijaysinhji was a keen reformer who did much to develop
his little state. He oversaw the construction of an
extensive network of roads, railways and tramways; built
a modern hospital and regional dispensaries; introduced
free primary and affordable secondary education;
regularised revenue collection; constructed water works
and electricity plants; introduced town planning methods,
and reformed the civil and criminal justice systems.
Agriculture and animal husbandry improved substantially
through the implementation of drought and flood relief
programmes. Farm yields grew with modern farming methods,
introduction of new varieties of seed and improved
quality control. He introduced a salaried civil service,
army and police, together with a system of retirement
pensions, which did much to eradicate corruption. Despite
reductions in the level of taxation, state revenues had
reached Rs 36 lakhs when the state was merged with Bombay
in 1948, compared with Rs 13 lakhs at his accession in
Rajpipla acceded to the Dominion of India in 1947, merged
with the Bombay Presidency in 1948, and became a part of
Gujarat in 1960. The present Maharaja, Raghuvirsinhji,
and his wife Maharani Rukmani Devi, have turned Maharaja
Vijaysinhji's principal palace into a popular tourist
destination and hotel. Their son and heir, Yuvraj
Manvendrasinhji, is a keen farmer, who promotes organic
and sustainable farming.
Gohil clan of Rajputs.
SALUTE: 13-guns (1921)
Azure on a pale wavy between two gallions argent,
three cannon gules pointed to the sinister
side of shield. Helmet: argent. Crest:
Bison regardant. Supporters: Bhils proper.Motto: "Rewaji re Kante" (on Rewah's
bank) gules on a riband murrey.Lambrequins: Azure and argent.
A rectangular bicolour of purple over white.
STYLES & TITLES:
The ruling prince: Maharana Shri (personal name) (father's
name) Sahib, Maharaja of Rajpipla, with the style of His
The consort of the ruling prince: Maharani (personal
name) Sahiba, with the style of Her Highness. The Heir Apparent: Yuvraj Shri (personal name)
(father's name) Sahib.
The younger sons of the ruling prince, during their
father's lifetime: Maharakumar Shri (personal name)
(father's name) Dada Sahib.
The daughters of the ruling prince: Maharajkumari
Bapuraja (personal name) Sahiba.
The younger brothers of the ruling prince: Maharaj Shri (personal
name) (father's name) Sahiba.
The wives of the sons and younger brothers of the ruling
prince: Rani (personal name) Sahiba.
The grandsons of a ruling prince, in the male line:
Rajkumar (personal name) (father's name)
The wives of the grandsons and other male descendants, in
the male line: Kunwarani (personal name) Sahiba.
The granddaughters of a ruling prince, in the male line:
Rajkumari Bapuraja (personal name) Sahiba.
The great-grandsons of a ruling prince and other male
descendants, in the male line: Kunwar (personal name)
(father's name) Sahib.
The great-granddaughters of a ruling prince and other
female descendants, in the male line: Bapuraja (personal
ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, with the right of adoption by the
recognised head of the family, on the failure of natural
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“Proceedings of the Bombay Government in 1815-1821 Connected with the Disputed Succession to the Gadee of Rajpeepla, Inclusive of the Report (Dated the 20th February 1821) By Mr. J.P. Willoughby, First Assistant President at Baroda, of his final investigation into the Rival Claims”. Selections From The Records of The Bombay Government. No XXIII – New Series, Part II, Bombay 1856.
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, Delhi, 1935. IOR V/27/70/71. Correction slips to 2nd Edition 1936-1946 IOR V/27/70/72. British Library, St Pancras, London.
Thacker’s Indian Directory, Thacker’s Press & Directories, Ltd, Calcutta 1863-1956.
Dr Morris Bierbrier, FSA.
Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.
Maharaj Shri Indra Vikram Singh [Teddy Rajpipla].
Major-General Randhir Sinh, UYSM, AVSM, SM.