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The thana was established on 1 September 1874. It contained 92 villages covering an area of 744.5 square miles (1,928 km2). The population in 1901 was 43,195. Its Headquarters town was at Sihori.
The thana was divided between 34 talukdars, or petty estate holders. The most important of these were Thara, Khamboi and Un. Most of the estates were small, often covering not even a single village, but parts of several villages shared with others. There were numerous bhayats (land alienated to junior branches) of these petty chiefs, but the lands were not actually surveyed and divided; they simply occupied as much as land as they could cultivate. Primogeniture was not observed in any of the estates of Kankrej Thana; rather, giras were divided up in equal shares among all sons.
Most estates paid tribute to Baroda. With the exception of Thara, all talukdars in Kankrej were non-jurisdictional, jurisdiction being vested in the thandar who had restricted civil and criminal powers. The Kankrej Estates, had originally been part of the Mahi Kantha Agency, but they were transferred to the Palanpur Agency in 1844, owing to their proximity to Palanpur State. Its chiefs were bound by the same Engagements as the Chiefs of Mahi Kanthi, executed in 1812.
The taluka of Thara, the most important of all the estates that made up Kankrej thana, consisted of 24 villages and 5 others coshared with other estateholders of Kankrej thana. Total area for the estate was 78 square miles (200 km2), and the population 8,860 (1901 Census). Revenue amounted to Rs.31,138 (in 1903-4). The two principal shareholders exercised very restricted joint jurisdictional powers through a judicial kamdar.
There were five main shareholders in Thara, grouped into two major patis or branches known as the Sardarsinhji and Jasabhai jagirs. The former was put under British management after the death of its chief in 1906. In 1926 the two chiefs named are Madarsingh Sardarsinghji (succeeded 9 June 1906), and Godadsingh Gajsinhji (succeeded 15 April 1867). They were Waghela Rajputs, first established in the area in the 18th century. Although with the passage of time they degraded into Kolis, they were later readmitted into the Rajput class by marrying into Rajput families and refusing to eat with other Waghela Kolis. Succession in the two main shares (one in each pati or jaghir) was governed by the rule of primogeniture.
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