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Sketch of Jadeja Chief Bharvaji Jadeja, 1838, by Mrs Postans.
CountryIndia and Pakistan
Current regionKutch
Estate(s)Kutch State
Nawanagar State
Morvi State
Dhrol State
Gondal State
Rajkot State

Jadeja (Gujarati, Sindhi: Jāḍejā,[1] or Jāṛejā[2]) is a Rajput clan that inhabits the Indian state of Gujarat and the Tharparkar district of Sindh, Pakistan.[3] They originated from Sammas of Sindh, a pastoral group, and laid a claim on the Rajput identity[4] after marriages with Sodha Rajput women[5] by adopting a process called Rajputisation.[6]


Oral sources place the emergence of the Jadejas as being in the late 9th century when kingdoms were established in parts of Kutch and Saurashtra by Lakho Ghuraro and Lakho Phulani who in turn were descendents of Jam Jada, the progenitor of the clan.[7][8] However, available written sources place the emergence of the Jadejas in the 14th century.[9] After the Arab conquest of Sindh, various migrant communities from Sindh (Pakistan), as well as Arab merchants settled in Kutch (India).[7][6] Historian Anisha Saxena suggests that the Jadejas were Hindu branches of the Samma dynasty of Sindh whose leaders, like other Sammas, had adopted the title of Jam, and had settled in Kutch.[7] This view is also advanced by Rushbrooke, who also suggests that Sammas were Hindu and might have migrated to resist conversion to Islam.[8] An alternative view is that the Sammas were a pastoral community from which the Jadejas originated. Sociologist Lyla Mehta argues, that the Jadeja were the Hindu descendants of a Muslim tribe that had migrated from Sindh to Kutch. Once the Jadejas gained political power, they started "modelling themselves" after the Rajputs of Rajasthan and even married Rajput women in the process and adopted the Rajput customs.[10][6] They claim to be descended from the legendary Jamshed of Iran.[11][12][13]

Jadeji Rani Kamabai, the sister of Jam Khengarji I of Kutch, was married to Sultan Mahmud Shah I. Khengar was raised to the title of Rao, and was granted the state of Morvi, later in 1538, by the Sultan of Gujarat.[14]

From 1638 to 1663, the city of Palanpur was ruled by a Muslim, Mujahid Khan II, who was married to a Jadeja lady called Manbai. Their rulership was reportedly popular with the people because of the mixed marriage.[15][16]

A Jadeja dynasty ruled the princely state of Kutch from 1540 and 1948 (when India became a republic). Princely 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 tribe called as Bhayat (Bhai means brother, essentially treated as brothers). Khengarji and his successors retained the allegiance of these Bhayat (chieftains). They claimed legendary descent from Krishna.[7] However, historians state that such claims of illustrious descent though common among Rajput clans have no historical basis.[17][18][19]

Among other territories or princely states ruled by Jadeja before independence of India, were Dhrol,[20] Malia,[21] Morvi,[22] Rajkot,[21] Nawanagar,[23] and Virpur.[24]


Social norms

The Jadejas had high social status and a rigid caste system. They forbade intermarriage with lower social groups – nearly every other clan relative to them – as well as intermarriage within the clan, making it difficult to arrange suitable marriages for female offspring, with costly dowries required even if a match was found. The clan developed a tradition of female infanticide as a result.[25] When the British outlawed female infanticide, Jadeja chiefs began letting their daughters live and married them to other Rajput chiefs of equal status.[9] The practice continues to some degree today, although where modern facilities are available it may take the form of female foeticide.[26]

Lyla Mehta, a sociologist who made studies in Kutch in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, noticed a trend in Jadejas that was unusual for other communities. In gender-based labour such as fetching water, while other communities sent women and girls to fetch the water, the Jadeja men fetched the water from the well and exercised clout at the wells and intimidated many women and girls there. This exception of men fetching the water for the household was due to the custom of ojjal, which barred Jadeja women from being in public.[27]

German scholar Helene Basu claims that the Jadeja Rajputs of Gujarat were labelled as 'half Muslim' and the cooks who worked in their homes were slaves from the Siddi community.[28][29]


The principal deity of the Jadejas was Ashapura Mata (Hope-Giving Mother).[30]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Shah, A. M.; Shroff, R. G. (1958). "The Vahīvancā Bāroṭs of Gujarat: A Caste of Genealogists and Mythographers". The Journal of American Folklore. 71 (281): 258. doi:10.2307/538561. JSTOR 538561.
  2. ^ "જાડેજા". Bhagvadgomandal. GujaratiLexicon.
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Sindhiana, Volume 3 - Entry 7148 (in Sindhi). Sindhi Language Authority.
  4. ^ Sheikh, Samira (2009). "Pastoralism, Trade, and Settlement in Saurashtra and Kachchh". Forging a region: sultans, traders, and pilgrims in Gujarat, 1200-1500. Oxford University Press. pp. 101–128. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198060192.003.0004. ISBN 9780198060192. An example of the process by which a pastoralist group originating in Sind became one of the prestigious Rajput clans of Saurashtra and Kachchh is that of the Sammas. Branches of this clan (who trace their descent to Kṛṣṇa) moved into Kachchh and Saurashtra, where they eventually became the important Rajput ruling houses of the Jāḍejās in Kachchh and the Cūḍāsamās in Junagadh.
  5. ^ Farhana Ibrahim (29 November 2020). Settlers, Saints and Sovereigns: An Ethnography of State Formation in Western India. Taylor & Francis. pp. 127–. ISBN 978-1-00-008397-2. The Jadejas entered the rank of Rajput society slowly from pastoralist pasts, as was frequently the norm in this region. Steady intermarriage between Jadeja men and Sodha Rajput women in Sindh enabled the former to lay claim to a Rajput identity.
  6. ^ a b c Farhana Ibrahim (29 November 2020). Settlers, Saints and Sovereigns: An Ethnography of State Formation in Western India. Taylor & Francis. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-1-00-008397-2. After the Arab conquest of Sindh in the eighth century, pastoralists from Sindh and Arab merchants settled in Kachchh. Some of these pastoralists – the Sammas - were to eventually rise to be the ruling power under the name Jadeja in the mid-1500s. ...At the time, there were Samas in Kachchh as well as Sind. While the Sindhi Samas tended to be Muslim, the Samas in Kachchh were hindus and it is suggested that they might possibly have moved into Kachchh in order ro resist conversion to Islam. (ii):-They also established a kin-based system of administration based on the extraction of agrarian surplus. Adopting Rajput symbol of life was important in the rajputization of the Jadejas, especially to maintain an imperial aura in the face of their subjects
  7. ^ a b c d Saxena, Anisha (2018). "Jakh, Jacks, or Yakṣa?: Multiple Identities and Histories of Jakh Gods in Kachchh". Asian Ethnology. 77 (1–2): 103. JSTOR 26604835.
  8. ^ a b Rushbrook Williams, L. F. (1958). The Black Hills. Kutch in history and legend: A study in Indian local loyalties (in English and Gujarati). London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 91.
  9. ^ a b Shah & Shroff 1958, p. 265.
  10. ^ Lyla Mehta (2005). The Politics and Poetics of Water: The Naturalisation of Scarcity in Western India. Orient Blackswan. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-81-250-2869-7. As stated in Chapter 3, the Jadeja Rajputs were the former rulers of Kutch and the Hindu descendants of a Muslim tribe that migrated to Kutch from Sind.
  11. ^ Rodrigues, Mario (2003). Batting for the Empire: A Political Biography of Ranjitsinhji. Penguin Books, 2003. p. 51. ISBN 9780143029519.
  12. ^ Goswamy, B. N. (1983). A Place Apart: Painting in Kutch, 1720–1820. Oxford University Press, 1983. p. 7. ISBN 9780195613117.
  13. ^ Syed, M. H. (2004). History Of The Delhi Sultanate (Set Of 2 Vols.). Anmol Publications Pvt. Limited, 2004. p. 240. ISBN 9788126118304.
  14. ^ Lingen, Jan (2015). Goron, Stan (ed.). "Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society, No. 224, Summer 2015" (PDF). Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society (224): 32. ISSN 1818-1252.
  15. ^ Gujarat State Gazetteers: Banaskantha District. Directorate of Government Print., Stationery and Publications, Gujarat State, 1981. 1981. p. 104.
  16. ^ Commissariat, Manekshah Sorabshah (1957). A History of Gujarat: Mughal period, from 1573 to 1758. Longmans, Green & Company, Limited, 1957. p. 132.
  17. ^ Koyal, Sivaji (1986). "Emergence of Kingship, Rajputization and a New Economic Arrangement in Mundaland". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 47 (I). Indian History Congress: 536–542. JSTOR 44141600.
  18. ^ André Wink (2002). Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7Th-11th Centuries. BRILL. p. 282. ISBN 0-391-04173-8. In short, a process of development occurred which after several centuries culminated in the formation of new groups with the identity of 'Rajputs'(Rajputization). The predecessors of the Rajputs, from about the eighth century, rose to politico-military prominence as an open status group or estate of largely illiterate warriors who wished to consider themselves as the reincarnates of the ancient Indian Kshatriyas. The claim of Kshatriyas was, of course, historically completely unfounded. The Rajputs as well as other autochthonous Indian gentry groups who claimed Kshatriya status by way of putative Rajput descent, differed widely from the classical varna of Kshatriyas which, as depicted in literature, was made of aristocratic, urbanite and educated clans...
  19. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya (1994). "Origin of the Rajputs: The Political, Economic and Social Processes in Early Medieval Rajasthan". The Making of Early Medieval India. Oxford University Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780195634150.
  20. ^ Gazetteers: Jamnagar District, Gujarat (India) – 1970 – Page 614 Before the integration of States, Dhrol was a Class II State founded by Jam Hardholji, the brother of Jam Raval, who hailed from the ruling Jadeja Darbar family of Kutch.
  21. ^ a b Lee-Warner, William (22 November 1912). "Kathiawar". Journal of the Royal Society of Arts. 61: 391–392. ProQuest 1307274284 – via ProQuest.
  22. ^ Rajkot. India: Superintendent of Census Operations, Gujarat. 1964. pp. 45–46.
  23. ^ a b McClenaghan, Tony (1996). Indian Princely Medals: A Record of the Orders, Decorations, and Medals of ... By Tony McClenaghan. Lancer Publishers. p. 207. ISBN 9781897829196.
  24. ^ Gazetteers: Rajkot District. Directorate of Government Print., Stationery and Publications. 1965. p. 36.
  25. ^ "Museum Bulletin". Museum and Picture Gallery, Baroda. 26: 47. 1973.
  26. ^ Vishwanath, L. S. (2006). "Female Infanticide, Property and the Colonial State". In Patel, Tulsi (ed.). Sex-Selective Abortion in India: Gender, Society and New Reproductive Technologies. SAGE. pp. 275, 278–282. ISBN 9780761935391. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  27. ^ Lyla Mehta (2005). The Politics and Poetics of Water: The Naturalisation of Scarcity in Western India. Orient Blackswan. p. 166. ISBN 978-81-250-2869-7. One notable exception is the Jadeja community. As their women are barred from the public realm due to the ojjal system, Jadeja men fetch water for their households.[...]Jadeja men exercise the greatest clout and power at the wells and intimidate many women, especially young Harijan girls.
  28. ^ Shail Mayaram (6 May 2011). Kamala Visweswaran (ed.). Perspectives on Modern South Asia: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-1-4051-0062-5. Helene Basu points out that the Jadeja Rajputs of Gujarat who were described as 'half Muslim' employed African Siddi (Muslim) slaves as cooks
  29. ^ B. N. Goswamy; Anna Libera Dallapiccola (1983). A Place Apart: Painting in Kutch, 1720–1820. Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-19-561311-7. The connection with the Muslim branches of the Samma families was left behind, but never entirely forgotten . In fact it is a distinguishing feature of Kutch history under the Jadejas that there was remarkable peace between Hindus and Muslims, the Jadejas of Kutch being described by later writers as ' half Muslims ' themselves.
  30. ^ De Neve, Geert; Donner, Henrike (2007). The Meaning of the Local: Politics of Place in Urban India. Taylor and Francis. p. 221.
  31. ^ Bhalodia-Dhanani, Aarti (2012). Princes, diwans and merchants : education and reform in colonial India (DPhil in History thesis). The University of Texas at Austin.
  32. ^ https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/conferencing-the-international/documents/india-office-guides/rtc2-biographical-notes.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  33. ^ "Meghrajji Bahadur's GS Performance Timeline & Stats". db4tennis.com. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  34. ^ Gazette of India. 1953. p. 1475. Major General M. S. Pratapsinhji; 2. Major General M. S. Himatsinhji; 3. Maharaj Shri Duleepsinhji; and 4. Lieutenant General M. S. Rajendrasinhji; members of the family of the Ruler of Nawanagar for the purposes...
  35. ^ Sen, Satadru (2012). Disciplined Natives: Race, Freedom and Confinement in Colonial India. Primus Books. ISBN 978-93-80607-31-3.
  36. ^ "Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji". The Open University Making Britain. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  37. ^ "Royalty on the cricket field". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  38. ^ "Kutch's royal family member passes away". One India News. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  39. ^ The Journal of Indo-judaic Studies , Volumes 1-4. Society for Indo-Judaic Studies. 1998. p. 95. Four generations of the Jamnagar royal family have played test cricket: Ranji and Duleep for England and Indrajit and Ajay Jadeja for India
  40. ^ "I am suffering irreparably: Ajay Jadeja". Times of India. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  41. ^ Yadav, Jyoti (15 April 2020). "Ravindra Jadeja must stop being a 'Rajput boy' and grow up to be a cricketer". ThePrint.

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