Jethwa Rajputs

Maher Surnames

Maher Surnames

Jethwa/Jaitwa /Jheti or Kam(a)ri. Moon-descended.

Jethwa, Gumli or Bhumli, in Kattywar, is the Abpura Hill, the old seat of the the Jethwa. Murvi is an old Jetwa capital. The Rana of Porbandar, styled Puncheria, represents the Jetwa, one of the ancient Rajput races still extant in the Kattyawar peninsula. Since 1979, the succession to the throne of Porbandhar is vacant. Some rulers: Vikmatji IV, Rana Saheb of Porbandar 1831-1900, deprived of his powers by the British 1886, +1900. Grandfather of: Bhavsinhji Bahadur, Rana Saheb of Porbandar 1900-1908. Father of: HH Natwarsinhji Bahadur, Rana Saheb (10/12/1908) then Maharaja Rana Saheb (1918) of Porbandar, invested with full ruling powers 26/1/1920, 180th Ruler of The Distinguished Jethwa House, LtCol, KCSI 1929, first Cpt of the All-India Cricket Team 1932.

In the days of Mahmud, all the west and north of Kathiyawar belonged to the Jetwa Rajputs, but the forays of the Jhala and Jhareja have confined them to their present district, the shaggy range of hills called Burda. The Jhalas of Kathiyawar, who own the raj of Hulwud Drangdra as their chief, are supposed to have sprung from an offshoot of Anhilwara, on the extinction of which dynasty they obtained territorial aggrandizement.

Approximately, four hundred years ago, the district of Dhak and Ghumli, in the Kathiyawar region of Saurashtra, was ruled by the Jethwas. The Jethwa’s daughter was married to the Ra of Junagadh. Kandhalji was a well known figure throughout Sauvrashtra. He was a leader and one of the elders for the Odedra clan in the Maher Community. Kandhalji had a place in the Royal Courts of the Jethwas and was very much respected and admired by the Royal Palace.

A time came when the Jethwa and Kandhalji had different views on a matter. Kandhalji did not agree with the way in which the Jethwa was conducting his rule. He informed the Jethwa of how he felt and left the Royal Courts. He left for the district of Junagadh where the Ra reined. As time went on, the Raar’s Royal Place was blessed with a son. The Ra, being the Jethwa’s son-in-law, decided to ask for Dhak as a means of Dowry. (In those days if a son was born, a dowry was paid by the mother’s father to the proud father of the son.) The Ra sent a message expressing his intention for Dhak. The Jethwa became very concerned about this matter. The Jethwas had reined Dhak for 500 years and had lost many lives in doing so. He couldn’t bear the thought of telling the people of Dhak that he was going to give the district to a new ruler and he couldn’t also bear the thought of refusing his son-in-law’s wish. The Jethwa decided that it would be best if he asked Kandhalji, who was know living the district of Junagadh,to help him to talk to the Ra and negotiate a deal. The Jethwa sent a message to the Ra informing him that he would do what ever Kandhalji agrees to. The Raar was confident that Kandhalji would not let him down and would agree to what ever he demanded. Kandhalji was summoned to the Raar’s Royal Court. Kandhalji appeared before the Ra who read him the letter that was sent by the Jethwa. Kandhalji listened very carefully to what the Jethwa had written. After the letter was read the Ra spoke –

Ra:- “…Kandhalji, see how your Jethwa shakes and runs like the ocean waves! See how Jethwa’s strength weakens!”

Kandhalji:- (Stood up and shouted) “… Ra! The district of Dhak is my motherland. The hand of a daughter can be asked but the hand of a mother is never asked!”

Ra:- ” … Kandhalji, you dare raise your voice at me! You have eaten enough from Junagadh districts plate!…. I give you three days to run as far as you can …. so go Kandhalji … run. On the fourth day I will find you from where ever you are and kill you!”

Kandhalji:- (Took out his sword and with the tip drew three lines parallel to each other) “…This is day one, day two and this is day three – now Ra do as you please. Try killing this Maher in front of you!”

Ra:-“…No Kandhalji, I will not kill you that easily. If I kill you here history will say that I killed you in my own house!”
Kandhalji turned around and walked out of the Royal Courts. Outside stood waiting his horse which he got on and rode out. As Kandhalji headed back to the Jethwas, he came across a village known as Vantheli. This was the village of the Muslim Nageri Rajputs. On that day nine hundred grooms were waiting to be married. The village was filled with great celebrations and joyful folk songs. As Kandhalji got nearer, the village elders looked on. The horse had white froth dropping from its mouth and the body was soaked in sweat. The village braves quickly ran towards the horse making it stop in front of them.

Kandhalji :- (Hastily) ” ..Do you know me? “
Nageri :- ” Of coarse dear friend. Who has not heard of the great Kandhalji! We cannot let you go from here today without being our guest.”
Kandhalji:- “… dear friend … I cannot take your invitation … I have the armies of Junagadh after me.”
Nageri:- ” …. if we let you go now our pride and honor is at stake!”
Kandhalji:- ” .. thank you friend… but I cannot allow these marriages to be disrupted.

The Nageri’s insisted that Kandhalji must stay in their village and decided to fight against the Ra army and several thousands died figthing. This spot where Kandhalji lost his life fighting, is worshipped by many people including the Mahers and the Nageris. Kandhalji’s land which was on the bank of the River Umbudh was presented to the Nageri Rajputs and is to this day farmed by the Nageri Rajput Munja Vur family. The decedents of Kandhalji live in the village of Fatana and are known as the ‘Ji’ family. At times of marriage the family still give one ‘cori’ (approx. 1 ‘pawla’) kurr to the Nageri Rajputs. The Nageri Rajputs of Vantheli, are to this present day considered ‘Blood Brothers’ of the Odedra Mahers.

Article supplied by Kishan V Sisodia edited by Ravi Odedra.