Khant caste

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The Khant are a Hindu caste found in the state of Gujarat in India.[1]

History[edit]

Khants numbered 13,423 (1901), including 6,733 males and 6,690 females. They are found chiefly in Gir villages in Junagadh district in Kathiawar. The chief of the tribe claims descent from Bhati Rajputs.[citation needed] The leading families are known by the title of Mer, which is said to mean chief. This is derived from the old Gujarati word mer, meaning the largest bead in a necklace.

Dhandh Khant, an early leader, was the son of Sonang Mer, conqueror of Dhandhuka and founder of Dhandhalpur in Panchal. Patal Khant is believed to have conquered Petlad. Their most famous leader was Jesa (or Jesing), who helped Emperor Muhammad bin Tughluq take Junagadh (1330) from Ra'Khengar. In return, the emperor is said to have bestowed on the Khants the hill of Girnar and the 24 villages of Bilkha Chovisi. A century later, when Mahmud Begada conquered Junagadh (1472), he found the Khants living in Girnar. The tribe believe that Markand, the son of Kashyap, is their ancestor.

Present circumstances[edit]

The Khant have clans called "ataks", such as the Chauhan, Pipaliya, Bheda, Bhonkiya, Rathod, Vagadiya, Solanki, Lalakiya, Bhakhotra, Baraia, Chavda, jethva, Makwana, Morabiya,Kandoliya, Gujarati, zala, Sarvaiya, Parmar, Deavla, and Vaghela,. Their claim to Rajput status is generally acknowledged,[citation needed] and they are referred to as darbars (rajput). The Khant are agriculturalists.

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXI Part Two edited by R.B Lal, P.B.S.V Padmanabham, G Krishnan & M Azeez Mohideen pages 643–645