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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.
Kankrej contained twenty-six distinct estates, held by Koli Thakardas, most of them Rajputs, who have intermarried with Kolis. Among them some families are Solankis, some Chohans, some Vaghelas, and some Parmars.
The largest and most estate is Thara, whose chiefs are Vaghela Kolis, originally of Sardhara Vaghela tribe. It is worthy of remark that these Vaghelas, though at one time degraded, have, by marrying into Rajput houses and refusing to eat with their brethren the Vaghela Kolis, been re-admitted into the class. Some chiefs of unblemished descent might refuse to eat with them. But they have a better tribal position than the Jadejas, and find no difficulty in getting in marriage the daughters of Rajputs.
There is much sameness in the history of these estates. Khamboi may be taken as a representative. In 1400 (S. 1456-57) an army under Prince Ahmed Shah I, the founder of Ahmedabad, marched against the Solanki chieftains of Kalrigad, two to three miles north-east of Becharaji. The fight was long and hard, but in the end the Solanki chieftains Tejmalji, Sarangji, and Vejroji were slain and the fortress stormed. On the victor's side, forty-two nobles among them Moghal Ali Khan, 1300 men, and seventeen elephants were slain. The descendants of the Kalrigad Solankis settled in different places. They went to different places such as Khemat, Virpur, Rupavatinagari, Sagvada and Dharampur. When Vejroji fell his wife Anopbai, a Devri Rajput of the Sirohi stock, being pregnant, fled with 125 horse and many followers, of whom the chief were, Sukhra Virchand the minister, Harivalab a goldsmith, Vasram a barber, Vela a potter, and Dudo the family priest. They fled to the Oghar forest, which stretched for miles round where Oghar Thali now stands, and there founded a village, calling it Dudosan after Dudo, the family priest. Sukhra Virchand the minister built a well, and to the east of the village a temple of Mahadev. Rani Anopbai also built a well and gave birth to a son called Venidas, who, when he grew up, gathered 300 horsemen, and, under the name of Mohologi, took to a life of plunder. When he had laid waste some forty-two villages, the village headmen, with lighted stoves on their heads in token of submission, besought Ahmad Shah, who was now on the throne, for aid. Ahmad Shah sent an army to Dudosan, where, with their hands bound in token of submission, Sukhra Virchand, Dudo, Agra the headman, and others came to meet them. Ahmad Shah ordered them to produce Venidas and they did so, but to hide his origin passed him off as a Koli Thakor. Ahmad Shah forced him to marry Ratanbai, daughter of a Koli Thakor of Tervada, and then gave him the twelve villages of Dudosan, Rakhol, Kharu, Sangla, Akhin, Mahasan, Lodhi, Jalia, Charada, Kalodhi, Vadiu, and Valodu. Ahmad Shah granted these villages in gift, and a copper plate deed and a writing, in the bard Anchla's book, were drawn up.
Venidas had three sons by his Koli bride, Vajarajji, Jesoji, and Nanoji. Jesoji left Dudosan and came to Khamboi, where he built four wells. His descendants are called Khamboias. Nanoji served Ahmad Shah and was exceedingly useful to him in settling the Kankrej and Chunval, and received from him Arnivada, and twelve villages. His descendants are called Arnivadias. Jesoji of Khamboi had three sons, Bhimoji, Khemoji, and Khadalji. Bhimoji and Khemoji having plundered Chunval, Ahmedabad troops were sent against them and thoy were forced to submit. Bhimoji had one son, Sundarji, and his brother Khemoji had four, Udayraj, Udoji, Bharmalji, and Kanarji. Udoji leaving Khamboi founded Arduvada. Sundarji had three sons, Bharmoji, Napoji, and Mepaji. The descendants of Napoji were called Vasmanis and those of Mepaji, Khokhanis.
Kankrej chiefs agreed with British in 1819-20 to become protectorate and came under Mahi Kantha Agency. It continued part of the Mahi Kantha till, in 1844, on account of its nearness to Palanpur, it was transferred to the Palanpur Superintendency.
Kankrej was under Palanpur Agency of Bombay Presidency, which in 1925 became the Banas Kantha Agency. After Independence of India in 1947, Bombay Presidency was reorganized in Bombay State. When Gujarat state was formed in 1960 from Bombay State, it fell under Banaskantha district of Gujarat.
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.
- Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kantha. Government Central Press. 1880. pp. 331–332.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kankrej". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kantha. Government Central Press. 1880. pp. 329–331.