RAJPIPLA

BRIEF HISTORY

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 1915.

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.

CLAN:
Gohil clan of Rajputs.

SALUTE:
13-guns (1921)

ARMS:

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.

FLAG:
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 Highness.
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) Sahib.
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 name) Sahiba.

ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
None known.

RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, with the right of adoption by the recognised head of the family, on the failure of natural heirs.

SOURCES:
Administration Report of the Rajpipla State. 1909-1943. Nanod, Kathiawar, India, 1910-1943. IOR/V/10. Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, London.
Affairs of Kumar Shri Himatsinhji, a cousin of His Highness the Maharaja of Rajpipla, in Europe. IOR/R/1/1/2440 1933 [IOR: File 448-P(S)/1933]. India Office Collection, British Library, St Pancras, London.
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.
List of Ruling Princes and Chiefs in Political Relations with the Government of Bombay and their Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Government of India Central Publication Branch, Calcutta, 1931.
“Memoir on the Rajpeepla State, prepared by Mr. J.P. Willoughby in April 1821, Accompanied by Appendicies Nos I to VIII”. Selections From The Records of The Bombay Government. No XXIII – New Series, Part I, Bombay 1856.
Dr Hansdev Patel. Royal Families and Palaces of Gujerat. Scorpion Cavendish Ltd, London, 1998.
Political Internal Department Collection: Bombay States: Rajpipla, Affairs.Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, London.
“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.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Deepak Aggarwal.
Dr Morris Bierbrier, FSA.
Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.
Maharaj Shri Indra Vikram Singh [Teddy Rajpipla].
Major-General Randhir Sinh, UYSM, AVSM, SM.
Brian Himat.
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