Limbdi State

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Limbdi State
લીંબડી
Princely State of British India
c. 1500–1947
Location of Limbdi
Location of Limbdi State in Saurashtra
History
 -  Established c. 1500
 -  Accession to the Union of India 1947
Area
 -  1931 632 km2 (244 sq mi)
Population
 -  1931 40,688 
Density 64.4 /km2  (166.7 /sq mi)
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Limbdi State was a princely state and was entitled to a 9-gun salute during the British Raj period. It was ruled at that time by members of the Jhala dynasty.[1] It belonged to Kathiawar Agency.

After India's independence from British colonial rule in 1947, Limbdi was integrated into the Indian Union with other princely states. It has a current population of about 70,000 people who are employed in diverse professions from agriculture to small businesses.[citation needed]

Royal History of Limbdi[edit]

During local princely states existence in Kathiyawad, there were approximately 222 small & medium princely states. During that era, Limbdi was also a princely state. During the time span from 1768 to 1948, many rulers had taken charge of Limbdi starting from Harisinhji, Bhojrajji, Harbhamji, Fatesinhji, Jashwantsinhji, Jatashankar.

During the reign of king Jaswantsinhji, Swami Vivekananda had stayed in the city Limbdi during his visit of Saurashtra. King Jaswantsinhji had become the friend of Swami Vivekananda. They had stayed together in Mahabaleshwar during 4-May-1892 to 28-May-1892. Spiritual discussion held between them has been well depicted in the Daily Diary of king Jaswantsinhji. It is believed that king Jaswantsinhji had inspired & requested Swami Vivekananda to participate in the World Religion Conference.

After Sir Jaswantsinhji, Sir Jatashankar took over the charge of the Limbdi state and introduced modern values during his rule. For the purpose of making people aware of the ruling of the state, he had initiated tradition of publishing "Limbdi Darbari Gazzete" in 1909. For ensuring well-managed administration of Limbdi state, a tradition of "Sudharai (improvement)" was executed which consisted of 30 members out of which 18 members used to belong to public body and 12 used to belong to administrative body. In this arrangement, main social benefits such as cleanliness, health, fire brigade and lighting were made available as and when need arises.

There were several princely cities in Saurashtra, but Limbdi was the first city to install electricity bulbs on the roads of the city during the reign of king Jatashankar. During Jatashankar's rule, utmost importance was given to improving the condition of agriculture and farmers. For making proper use of land resources, the king used to give waste lands and barren lands to needy farmers for 3 years for development without collecting any taxes from them. In 1908, the cultivated land was 11,600,000 acres (47,000 km2) which reached to 18,100,000 acres (73,000 km2) in 1935. For the upliftment of farmers, Limbdi Co-operative Bank was established. By forming various farmers oriented laws, they had been made free from the burden of debt. During this time, famines(droughts) used to happen over and over again. But the king always encouraged the farmers to store food & fodder to meet future contingencies. Therefore in 1912, Limbdi state didn't have to suffer much due to famine.

During the reign of king Jatashankar, there was full-fledged development of cotton trading and ginning mills. Apart from this, a few more industries had emerged such as soap factories, bras factories, nicol plating factories, factories of knife etc. For the welfare of people, the king had passed "Nashabandhi(No liquor)" by forgoing the probable income of 15 to 20 thousand of that time. There was strict restriction on the production and selling of liquor. A person caught in such activities had to suffer a lot. In 1912, a law was brought in force against child-marriage. Moreover, there was also a ban on begging. However, it was taken care that nobody in the Limbdi state sleeps hungry. Wrong traditions before and after death were also abolished. During holy festivals and in the month of "Shraavan", animal-klling was prohibited. In 1909, export of cows from the state was banned.

Education from primary to matriculation was free of cost which was compulsory for boys and voluntary for girls. However, if a girl goes to school, she was furnished all the necessary items such as books, bags, stationery and clothes free of cost. Sir Jashwantsinh High School (Sir J. High School) was included in top 10 schools of the country by the Education Head of Mumbai Govt Mr. D. Parajay. Sir Jatashankar had made an arrangement of providing all the expenses of meritorious students going abroad for further study. For this noble purpose only Rs.20000/- (presently Rs.20 crores) used to be kept reserve. This king used to give donations for the development of education not only in Limbdi state, but also the colleges outside the Limbdi state. The king had given donation of Rs.1 lakh to Banaras Hindu University [2] and also to Rabindranath Tagore for Shantiniketan. He had helped several caste-based hostels with financial means.The king had established 5 mobile libraries.

Cricket was given prime importance in the state. During a cricket match in England between India & England in 1928, Ghanshyamsinhji was the vice captain of Indian Team. For ready availability of health related service, 8 hospitals were established. The Limbdi state had sent Dr. A.D. Popat to England for further study in medicine. In 1914, tram facility was introduced from railway station to the palace for the convenience of people. In 1909, Wood House vegetable market and Circuit House were built. Moreover, "Baluba Dharm-shala" was built near railway station at the expense of Rs.80000/-. A bridge named Dolatsinh was built on the river Bhogavo in 1936 which was inaugurated by Vice Roy Lord Willingdon. Sir Jatashankarji was really a modern and high profile ruler of Limbdi state. He had bought a two-seater plane and an aerodrome. He was bestowed with KCIE award in 1921 and KCS award in 1931 by British Government.

In 1938, Sir Jatashankar had begun to renounce the ruling power reaching at the age of 70 years. During this time, the people of Limbdi had formed a "Praja Mandal" on 24-Dec-1938 due to which there was wild struggle between the king and the people of Limbdi. During 1939, a conference was held by "Praja Mandal" which the king didn't like and made huge uproar at the conference. Many people were wounded during this mishap. Many people felt disheartened and started migrating from Limbdi to other cities. In 1940, after death of Sir Jatashankar, Sir Jayantilal Raval became ruler who could rule only for 4 months after which he died. Upon his death the next in line for the Princely throne was Mr. Jaykant Raval, who has one son and three daughters. After independence, Limbdi state was merged with united India. The royal family of Limbdi still follow traditional values and are equally respected in today’s day and age.

Rulers[edit]

The rulers of Limbdi had the title of Thakur Sahib.[3]

  • 16.. - 17.. Verisalji I Aderajj
  • 17.. - 17.. Askaranji III Verisalji
  • 17.. - 17.. Aderajji II Askaranji
  • 17.. - 17.. Verisalji II Aderajji
  • 17.. - 1786 Harbhanji I Verisalji (d. 1786)
  • 1786 - 1825 Harisinhji Harbhanj (d. 1825)
  • 1825 - 1837 Bhojraji Harisinhji (d. 1837)
  • 1837 - 8 Jan 1856 Harbhamji II Bhojraji (d. 1856)
  • 8 Jan 1856 - 30 Jan 1862 Fatehsinhji Bhojraji (d. 1862)
  • 30 Jan 1862 - 26 Apr 1907 Jashwantsinhji Fatehsinhji (b. 1859 - d. 1907) (from 30 Jun 1887, Sir Jashwantsinhji Fatehsinhji)
  • 30 Jan 1862 - 1 Aug 1877 Rani Shri Hariba Kunverba - Sahiba (f) -Regent
  • 26 Apr 1907 - 30 Sep 1940 Daulatsinhji Jashwantsinhji (b. 1868 - d. 1940) (from 1 Jan 1921, Sir Daulatsinhji Jashwantsinhji)
  • 30 Sep 1940 - 6 Jan 1941 Digvijaysinhji Daulatsinhji (b. 1896 - d. 1941)
  • 6 Jan 1941 - 15 Aug 1947 Chhatarsalji Digvijaysinhji (b. 1940)
  • 6 Jan 1941 - 15 Aug 1947 .... -Regent

References[edit]

Coordinates: 22°34′N 71°53′E / 22.567°N 71.883°E / 22.567; 71.883