The Jadeja are an community originating in India who claim to be descended from the mythological Krishna and thus to belong to the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who in turn form a part of the Chandravanshi (Lunar Dynasty).
Jadejas dynasty ruled major parts of present day Gujarat, notably Kutch, Nawanagar, Rajkot, Morbi, Gondal and Dhrol. The dominant races in Kutch previous to the 9th century of Christian era were the Chavda, Kathees and Waghela, they ruled the western, central and the eastern parts of Kutch respectively. The reigning Prince of Nagar Thatta in Sindh towards the end of 8th century AD was Lakho Ghuraro. He had eight sons by two wives, the eldest son being Unad from the first wife and the other being Mod by a wife from Chawda tribe. As Unad was the eldest, he succeeded the throne by virtue of his primogeniture. Shortly afterwards brothers Mod and Manai started planning against the life of Unad in order to usurp his throne. However they did not succeed and found it necessary to go into exile with their followers to Kutch where they had maternal relations with the Chawda tribe. This was the first historically noted foray of Samma Rajputs of Sind in Kutch. After arrival in Kutch, Mod had a dispute with his maternal Uncle Chawda Whagum, The ruler of Eastern Kutch, and was killed by Mod, thereafter, Mod assumed the sovereignty of the province.
There is no concrete information available for the period that followed except the names of the rulers up to five generations. They were Jam Mod, Jam Saad, Jam Phool, Jam Lakho Phoolani and Jam Pooeronjee. It is important to note here that Lakho Phoolani is the most revered and cherished warrior in the history of Kutch and Saurashtra. Jam Pooeronjee was a very cruel ruler and created despair and apathy among his dominion until he was killed by Jakhs. During this time the direct descendents of Jam Unad in Nagar Thatta Sind was Jam Jada, as he did not have any legitimate heir to the throne he adopted his brothers son Lakho, however, after adopting Lakho, Jam Jadas wife gave birth to a child named Ghao, As Jam Jada had already adopted lakho, he decided to divide his dominion equally among both his legitimate son Ghao and adopted son Lakho, however after the demise of Jam Jada, Ghao refused to give any share to Lakho and was forced to leave Sind with his twin brother Lakhiar and well wishers. Lakho and Lakhiar ventured into Kutch and slowly regained the territories in control of Chavdas, as Lakhiar was childless, Lakho named his territory after his brother and called it Lakhiarviro. As Lakho was adopted by Jam Jada, the descendants of this Lakho Jadani were called Jadejas. The name Jadeja means “Belonging to Jada” in the Sindhi and Kutchi language, and is pronounced as “Jaa day jaa”.
A Jadeja dynasty ruled the princely state of Kutch between 1540 and 1948, at which time India became a republic. This state had been formed by king Khengarji I, who gathered under him twelve Jadeja noble landowning families, who were also related to him, as well as two noble families of the Waghela Rajput community. Khengarji and his successors retained the allegiance of these Bhayat (chieftains) until the mid-1700s.
In vikram samvat 683, present day egypt was called ‘missar’, and there was one state in missar called “shonitpur”, which was rulled by great king Jam Devendra Sama. His forefathers were given the title ‘Jam’ by emperor of Iran. In that year v.s.683, Sonitpur was attacked by Omar Khalifa, and King Devendra was defeated in that battle of sonitpur. Omar Khalifa offered the eldest son Aspat of Devendra the Throne of Sonitpur with the condition that Aspat will have to convert to Islam. So Aspat converted to Islam and became king of sonitpur. Three other brothers Gajpat, Narpat and Bhupat refused to get converted to Islam and they migrated to present day Afghanistan. They captured Gazni by defeating king Firozshah and Jam Narpat was made King of Gaznee. He ruled a major part of Afaghanistan from Gazni for 18 years. After that in a war with Badshah of Kabul, he was defeated and he became Martyr. His son Samaji migrated to present day Sindh (Pakistan). They were all called “Sama” Rajputs at that time. The King of Sama Rajput was called Jam. Since that many many generations of Sama Rajputs rulled Sindh. Thier capital was “Sama nagar” or ‘Nagar-Thaththa’, 100 k.m. from Karachi, still one can see remains of ThaThaa, about 100 k.m from Karachi.
Around 800 v.s. there was very famous samrat “lakho Ghuraro” who defeated the king of Kabul also. The eldest son of Lakho Ghuraro Jam Mod sama had captured Kutchha in v.s. 875, ‘Gutaree gadh’ was its capital at that time. After that, Sama Rajputs ruled Kutch for about 200 years till v.s. 1075. The son of Mod, Jam Sad, constructed great fort “Kanthkot”. The greatest Ruler was Jam Lakho Fulani who rulled for 99 yers, and became martyr in a battle with Mulraj Solanki in Atkot (50 k.m from Rajkot) in v.s.1035.
In v.s.1185, Jam Jadaji became king of Sama Nagar, Sindh. He had no sons. So he adopted two sons of his Younger brother Veraji; Lakhaji and Lakhiyarji. So The names of Lakhaji and Lakhiyarji were changed to Lakhaji ‘Jadeja’, means son of Jadaji. Thereafter all descendents were named ‘Jadeja’, means sons of Jadaji. This Jam Lakhaji also called Lakha Jadani, captured again Kutchchha in v.s.1203 and established his capital in “Lakhiyar Veero” named after his younger brother Lakhiyarji. Jam Lakho jadani is attributed to the surname Jadeja being adopted for all his descendants. Lakho Jadani reigned in Kutch between AD 1147–1175 and had one heir to the gaddi (throne), Jam Rato Raydhan, Rato means Red in Kutchi and he was so called because he used to tie a red cloth across his turban to prevent it from dislodging during battles. Jam Rato Raydhan had four sons namely, Jaedaji, Hothiji and Gajanji and Odhaji they were given the territories of Kanthkot, Gajod and Bara and main capital Lakhiyar Veero respectively in Kutch. As Othaji was the youngest and even then he was selected as occupying the main crown by GURU MAMAIYA MATANG, he ascended to the throne and the rest became a part of Bhayyat or the Brotherhood, Bhayyat is the term used for all the descendants of the royal family who own and control their own domains allocated to them within the state and adhere to the feudal system.
Over the years, there were constant skirmishes due to injustice to the elder brothers by Mama Matang that marred within these houses, until they merged in two groups of Othaji and Gajanji. The first incident among these which changed the history of Kutch is the murder of Jam Hamirji of Lakhiar Veero, chief of younger branch of Jadeja and descendant of Othaji, by Jam Rawal of Bara-tera. It is believed that Jam Rawal attributed the murder of his father Jam Lakhaji to Hamirji, as he was killed within the territory of Lakhiarviro, and on the pretense of resolving the dispute between the two branches, took a fake oath of Maa Aashapura, the supreme deity of Jadejas. He invited Hamirji for a meal and killed him by deceit. During this time Alioji and Khengarji, two sons of Hamirji were in Ahmedabad and escaped the complete destruction of the royal family perpetuated by Jam Rawal,thereafter Jam Rawal usurped the throne of Kutch and reigned with supreme authority. Thereafter Jam Rawal captured Majority of area Of Saurashtra by defeating all kings af that area and the great kingdom Nawanagar was established, the capital city was called Jamnagar, which is still a promonent city of Saurashtra. Jamnagar was founded by Jam Rawal on 7th day of shrawan mounth of first quarter of v.s. 1596. The Jam Rawal was never defeated in his life in any battle. In v.s.1606, Jam Rawal defeated combined forces of all kings of Saurashtra and Gujrat, even Sultan of Ahmedabad supported opposition by giving 140 guns, which Jam Rawal did not possess. Even Then Jam Rawal defeated all in great battle of “Mithoi”, the site near present day refinery of reliance. In that Battle the younger brother of Jam Rawal: Hardholji became Martyr. It was the great battle; “MITHOI BATTLE”. The combined forces of all kings of saurashtra and Gujrat with support of sultan of Ahmedabad, was about 2,50,000 in numbers and army of Jam Rawal was about 1,50,000. Combined forces had 140 big guns (Cannons), none in possession of Jam Rawal’s army. There was a meeting of ‘think tank’ of Jam Rawal’s army before battle started, in which it was decided that we can only win the battle if we can neutralise the power of cannons if a particular screw is fitted at specific site of the cannon, a cannon cannot fire. So a huge meeting of all armymen of Jam Rawal’s army was called, in which a ‘Beedu’ was circulated in which it was declared “Is there any brave Rajput who can fit a screw in all the 140 big guns of combined enemy forces, That brave Rajput will be awarded with 12 villages”, according to the principles of ‘beedu’, if nobody accepts that challenge, then a holi brahmin-man is killed in front of whole meeting and the ‘great sin’ of brahma-hatya applies to all the people present in the meeting. The beedu is circulated maximally four times, even then if no body accepts the challenge, a holy brahmin man is killed. Nobody took challenge till three rounds, but on the fourth circulation, one great brave man TOGAJI SODHA took up the challeng along with three JADEJA rajputs, and went to opposition camps in name of strangers, eager to know about the big-guns. With great bravery, chivalry and skills TOGAJI SODHA and his other three collegues, rendered all the 140 big guns of enemies totally useless. In later part, when enemies realised, there was fierce fight between soldiers of enemies and these brave 4 persons of Army of Jam Rawal. There were 84 wounds in body of TOGAJI SODHA ,when he came back after successfully completing the task of desarming all the 140 big guns. TOGAJI SODHA was one of the greatest war hero of that century in the world at that time, Jam Rawals army had quite few of them. There was a great panic in the camp of combined forces once they realised that only 4 soldiers of Jam Rawal’s army destroyed all of our guns, then what will happen if all 1,50,000 soldiers come to fight us. As a last resort, a huge meeting of all 2,50,000 soldiers of combined forces was called and acting in same way as Jam Rawal’s strategy, they also circulated a ‘beedu’, that ‘Is there any brave person in our clan who can bring the severed head of Jam Rawal?’ A soldier named Karsanji took up the challenge. Karsanji went by putting a white flag on his ‘bhalo’ (spear). A white cloth suggests that ‘we want to surrender!’, so he was allowed to go to deepest part of army camp of Jam Rawal. Karsanji insisted that he will personally hand over the message to Jam Rawal only, not to anyone else. HARDHOLJI, younger brother of Jam Rawal, and also commander of Jam Rawal’s army, told Karsanji that he was Jam Rawal, give me ur message. Karsanji thoght he was Jam Rawal, and immediately took his spear and stuck a blow on Hardholji and he was severely hurt and later died and became martyr. Jam Rawal was very furious and ordered to kill Karsanji, but by that time Karsanji ran very very fast on his horse and went out of army camp. There was a young boy of 16 years name Meramanji Hala (a sub-branch of jadeja rajputs) was busy bathing his horse in river ‘SINHAN’, name of his horse was “Patti”, a female horse. He heard the noise and saw a person running away and hundreds of people shouting and running after him. He soon realised and immediately took his horse and ran after enemy soldier Karsanji. There was a great race and still some good distance was there between him and enemy. In between came river-pit some 50 feet wide, MERAMANJI asked his horse ‘patti’, that ‘this is the time of test of bravery for Hala clan of Jadeja, and it is in ur hand’. Patti jumped 50 feet river-pit and Meramanji Hala jadeja stood up on horse and threw his spear on Karsanji. The spear of Karsanji pierced through Karsanji’s heart, his horse and went deep into the soil. This was the force of one of the greatest warroirs of the century Meramanji Hala Jadeja. Then thousands of soldiers and Jam Rawal came and saw the bravery, chivalry of Meramanji. Jam Rawal was never a poet, but after seeing this great bravery, there were spontaneous words from mouth of Jam Rawal ”HALAJI TARA HATH VAKHANU KE PATTI TARA PAGALA VAKHANU” (What to praise? Whether I should praise the hands of Meramanji Halaji or the legs of Patti horse! I am confused), and these words became the words of great bravery song of Gujrati Language, inspiring lacs and crores of people since centuries to fight for the Nation.
Lakhaji after hard fighting with Sanghers won and consolidated both the fiefs in to an estate which he named HALAR, after the son of Gajanji of Bara and his forefather Halaji, however in doing so, he had invited a lot of bad blood within the newly claimed territory, and on one occasion, was followed by Sanghers on his visit to his paternal place of Bara in Kutch, while passing through Lakhiarviro, he had doubts about the hospitality of Hamirji and decided to pass the night in the village on the outskirts, where he was murdered by the posse that had followed him. Jam Rawal, son of Lakhaji lay the blame on Hamirji, as his father was killed within the territory of Lakhiarviro, and was intent on revenging his fathers death, over the time, on pretense of resolving the dispute between the two branches, Rawal started developing amicable relations with Hamirji, with intention to one day avenge the murder of his father, on one such visit to Lakhiarviro, he invited Jam Hamirji to Bara, and took a fake oath of Maa Aashapura, he supreme deity of Jadejas, Jam Hamirji saw a chance to settle the dispute and decided to accept the invitation, however the Women of the house sensed a bad premonition and held the young princes back Khengarji and Alioji, instead Jam Hamiji visited with his trusted aide, after the meal, alone and surrounded by Jam Raawals men, he and the aide were both hacked to death by Jam Rawal.
Hardholji was made king of Dhrol state by Jam Rawal in 1575 itself. After Jam Rawal, Jam Vibhaji became King of Nawanagar. After vibhaji, Jam Sataji-1 became the king of Nawanagar. He was a very great warrior and defeated great Emperor Akbar of Delhi twice in the battle of Junagadh near ‘Majevadi’ village ground in v.s. 1633, Jam Sattaji defeated the Moghul Akbar’s army chasing Muzaffarshah-III who was defeated in a battle with moghul army. 3335 horses and 52 elephants of Moghul army were captured by Jam Sattaji’s Commander in chief Bhanji Dal. Keeping this insult in mind, Akbar attacked Jam Sattaji in 1640 once again near ‘Tamachan’ village (at present near Und irrigation dam) and once again Akbar’s army was badly defeated. The very very furious Akbar dismssed suba of Ahmedabd and Aziz Koko was appointed as the new governor ‘subo’ of Ahmedabad, Gujrat and Jam Sattaji was attacked with a huge army of 90,000 soldiers. In this famous battle ‘Bhucharmori’, near Dhrol, Jam Sattaji was defeated, but akbar had to compromise with this famous king Jam Sattaji just one and half year later and again Jam Sattaji was the king of Nawanagar. Even in his famous book ”Akbarnaama”, Akbar wrote “Satta was very powerful and notorious keeping an army of 30,000”. After defeating Akbar’s army in v.s.1633, in battle of Majevadi, Junagadh, Jam Sattaji was given the title of ”Paschim Bharat ko Badshah” by local people and local poets etc.
The Khengarji, who was inheriting Kutch, was only 15 years old when his father was murdered. He enlisted into the army of Mahmud Begada. During one Royal Hunting party, Khengar killed a lion and saved the life of Sultan for which he was asked to name his reward, the prime ambition of Khengar was to regain Kutch and hence he asked for support to fight Jam Rawal, whereby, he was given 1000 soldiers and complete access to Morvi and given a title of Rao by the sultan Mohamad of Ahmedabad. Rao Khengar with the support of well wishers within Kutch and Morvi fought with Jam Rawal and slowly started gaining the territories of Rapar and nearby villages, as Khengar was the rightful heir to the throne he was welcomed and dissent towards Jam Rawal grew within the state of Kutch. Jam Rawal was ardent devotee of Maa Ashapura, and it is believed that the Goddess indicated Jam Rawal to leave Kutch and establish himself at Halar (Saurashtra), and that she will support him in this venture. Jam Rawal set out for Saurashtra and established himself at Nawanagar. Khengar became the 1st Rao of Kutch in AD 1549 and established Bhuj as Capital.