Gohad

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Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क
Gohad (गोहद), also Gohud, is a town of historical importance of Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh in India.

According to Alexander Cunningham and William Cook, Bamraulia gotra Jats from village Bamrauli Katara (near Agra) in 1505 founded the city Gohad near Gwalior. Later it developed into an important Jat state. The Jat rulers of Gohad were awarded the title of Rana.

Book on the History of Jats of Gohad
सुजस प्रबंध (गोहद के राणा शासकों की वीर गाथा) - नथन कवि

Contents

Early history

Not much is known about the early history of Bamraulia Jat rulers of Gohad. According to their bard[1], These Jats founded a village called Bamrauli Kheda in Yudhisthir samvat 192 on the banks of Chenab River in Punjab, where Raja Brahmdev was the ruler. Later Roop Chand ruled in Jattali province, Hari Chandra in Rudrakot (Taxak Kot), Prithvidev in Kankhal, Shaldev in Marwar, and Jaydev in Haridwar. Raja Jait Singh ruled Garh Bairath and Birandev in Tuhingarh. Sinhandev I ruled in Pachokhara. Later Jats made Gohad as their permanent capital in year 1368.[2][3]

According to Rajputana Gazetteer Raja Jait Singh ruled Garh Bairath near Alwar in Rajasthan and Birandev in Tuhingarh as Jagirs offered by Tomar rulers of Delhi during eleventh century. Raja Chaharpal Dev Tomar died in battle of Tarain in 1192 and their rule at Delhi vanished, the Jat rulers left the plains and moved to remote areas in search of new grounds. The Jat rulers first settled at Bamrauli village near Agra and later moved to Pachokhara in year 1367 due to differences with Mugal subedar Muneer Muhammad. [4] When they were inhabiting at village Barthara near Gohad, they established marital relations with Jat Bisati thakurs. In the fifth generation of Ratanpal, Raja Man Singh Tomar awarded them the zamindari of Gohad and the title of Rana in 1505 AD.[5][6]

In 1523 AD Ibrahim Lodi defeated Vikramaditya Tomar and captured Gwalior Fort. After the fall of Tomars at Gwalior, the Jats declared themselves independent. [7]

The Ranas were zamindars or Landholders of Gohad, then a small village 28 miles north east of the fortress of Gwalior. They belonged to the Jat caste, they were industrious and of a very warlike disposition. [8]

Maharaja Bhim Singh Chhatri at Gwalior Fort

By the exercise of these qualities the family brought themselves between the years 1725 and 1740 to the prominent notice of the Peshwa, Bajirao, and amid the lawlessness and disruptions of the times, managed to assume a quasi independence as lords of Gohad under suzerainty of Marathas. The chief, (Bhim Singh Rana), who accomplished this feat died about the middle of the 18th century, and was succeeded by his nephew. He, (Chhatra Singh Rana), being likewise a clear headed man, contrived to enlarge his borders. With a wise prescience he held aloof from the great struggle for empire between the Marhatas and the warriors from the north, and when the fatal day of Panipat (1761) had completely overwhelmed the former, he showed his sense of the importance of the defeat by proclaiming himself Rana of Gohad, and seizing the fortress of Gwalior. [9][10]

Pachaira War

The ancestor of Bamraulis Jagdeo Singh had come from Agra and stayed at Bhind which was ruled by Aniruddh Singh Bhadauria with their capital at Ater. There was war between Bamraulias and Bhadauria rulers at place called Pach'hara in which Bhadauria was defeated. This war was fought on bhado sudi 10 Friday vikram samvat 1794 (1737 AD). 12000 soldiers of Bhadaurias and 7000 soldiers of Jats took part in this war. Bhim Singh captured 11 elephants, nishans of nagaras, big canons and kept them at Chitora, Karwas, Gohad etc places in his state.[11] In 1739 AD Peshwa accepted the rights of Rana rulers on Gohad. [12][13]

The Ranas kept their capital at Pach'hara for some time and later shifted the capital to Gohad. The brother of Gohad ruler Jagdeo Singh constructed a fort here in samvat 1680 (1623 AD). [14]

After the Pachaira war there was no powerful ruler left on the south of Chambal River who could compete with Raja Bhim Singh.[15]

Gohad zamindar helps Aurangzeb

One incident has been mentioned by Ishwar Das is that when Prince Aurangzeb, on his way to oppose Dara, came to the fords of Chambal, he found them barred by the opposite entrenchment. He was ignorant about other ferries, while the waters were deep. This perturbed Aurangzeb. At this critical juncture Hathi Singh Jat, a zamindar of Gohad, came forward to lead his troops to a neglected ford (Kanira), where from Aurangzeb crossed the Chambal. Though by itself a small incident, it in one stroke turned the scales against Dara. He had to hurry up for the Capital, leaving heavy artillery behind, which greatly weakened his position. [16] [17]

Chronology of Jat rulers of Gohad

Singhandev was the first Jat ruler of Gohad state. As per their bard[18], and The chronology of Jat Ranas of Gohad as per their genealogy [19] has 17 names including above:

Chhatri of Gohad ruler Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana at Gwalior Fort

Historically important rulers among above Jat rulers were Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana (1717-1756) and Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana (1757-1785).[20]

Gohad Jat rulers occupied Gwalior fort

They also occupied the Gwalior fort many times,

First Occupation - 1740 to 1756 by Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana [21],

Second Occupation - 1761 to 1767 by Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana[22], [23] [24]

Third Occupation - 1780 to 1783 by Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana[25]. [26]

During this period they constructed historical monuments in the Gwalior Fort -The Chhatri of Maharaja Bhim Singh and Bhimtal. Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad Gwalior organizes Mela here on Ram Navami every year.

Bhim Singh Rana had increased his powers and was planning to expand his territories. He marched to Malwa in 1736 but came back and targeted the Gwalior Fort. Marathas were also in race to win the Gwalior Fort. The weak and easy-going Mughal satrap Alikhan, looking to the power of Jats, surrendered the fort to Bhim Singh Rana. Meanwhile there was a severe fight between Marathas and Jats to win the Gwalior Fort but Jats won and the Gwalior fort came under Jats.

Bhim Singh Rana occupied the Gwalior fort from 1740-1756. [27]


In 1756 Marathas attacked the Gwalior Fort under the leadership of Great Warrior Mahadji Rao Sahev Shinde, Yammaji Rahalkar and Motiram Bani with a huge army. There was a severe war between the Jat Army and the Maratha Army down below the fort. At one time Bhim Singh Rana was not riding horse at that time Maratha Atrao attacked Rana with sword. Bhim Singh Rana was wounded and carried out of the war site by his soldiers. He died after three days on Chaitra sudi nawami (Ram nawami) in 1756. His queen Roshani became sati. The fort came in occupation of Marathas.[28]

Chhatar Singh ascended to the throne of Gohad in 1757. Chhatar Singh had planned to recapture the Gwalior fort. He sent his trusted satrap Brajraj Singh to attack Gwalior fort. There was a war between Brajraj Singh and Maratha army under the leadership of Raghunath Rao on the banks of the Swarn Rekha River. Brajraj Singh was killed in the war but Chhatar Singh succeeded in recapturing the Gwalior fort on 4 August 1780 after defeating Marathas. After winning over the Gwalior fort he performed Yajna and gifted 4000 cows. He took number of steps of welfare of people. He constructed Chhatri of Bhim Singh in his memory near Bhim-tal on the Gwalior fort.[29]

He handed over the administration of Gwalior fort to his younger queen and came back to Gohad.

Col. G.B. Malleson[30] Madhaji therefore used all his efforts to negotiate a peace with Goddard. But Goddard was as far-sighted as Madhaji. It was necessary, he felt, to disarm so powerful an enemy with as little delay as possible. With this view, he attempted, April 3, 1780, to surprise him at Barodah. But though actually taken by surprise, Madhaji drew off his forces with consummate skill and little loss. A second attempt, made on the 19th of the same month, was even less successful, Madhaji skilfully avoiding an action. By this line of conduct he effectually gained his end — the prolongation of hostilities until after the commencement of the rainy season. He lost, however, almost immediately afterwards, the fortress of Gwaliar, then reputed impregnable, but which succumbed to the skill and daring of Captain Popham in August of that year.

Col. G.B. Malleson[31] further writes that A few months later, Madhaji, perceiving that he had everything to lose from a contest carried on within his own territory, concluded a treaty with Colonel Muir, by which he bound himself to neutrality, agreed to exercise his good offices to bring about a general peace, recovered all his territory except the fortress of Gwaliar, and obtained from the English a promise to recross the Jumna. ....That fortress the English had made over, after its capture, to the Rana of Gohad, to be by him held solely on the condition of good behaviour.

And when, towards the close of 1782, he (Madhaji) received from Warren Hastings an assurance that the English would not interfere with his plans on Delhi, he made up his mind, and at once put in action the means he had so plentifully at his command. Whilst these intrigues were pending, he made himself, in the first instance, secure in his own acknowledged dominions. To protect them the more effectually, he contrived a quarrel with the Rana of Gohad, and forced him to surrender Gwalior. [32]

Alijah Srinath Mahadji Shinde attacked the Gohad fort in the end of 1784. After a war of 2 months Alijah Srinath Mahadji occupied the Gohad fort on 27 February 1785. Rana chhatar Singh escaped to Karauli where his friend Nihal Singh Rana was a ruler. The elder brother of Nihal Singh Manikpal’s conspiracy lead to the arrest of Chhatar Singh. He was brought to Gwalior and killed here by Mahadji Sindhia through poisoning in 1785. Thus Gohad Jat kingdom was won by Marathas through conspiracy and not by bravery. [33]

After the death of Rana Chhatar Singh in 1785 entire Gohad area became a symbol of anarchy, plundering and killing for 18 years. The Jat rebels could be controlled neither by the Marathas nor by British troops. In 1789 Daulat Rao Scindia attempted to capture Gohad but could not do so. The revolutionary Jats unanimously declared Kirat Singh son of samant Tarachand of village Neerpur in 1803. Samant Tarachand was cousin brother of Rana Chhatar Singh. The coronation ceremony of Kirat Singh took place at ‘Bagathara fortress’, situated at a distance of 12 miles from Gohad, as Gohad and Gwalior were in possession of Sindhia.[34]


Later the British concluded a treaty with Jats and with their help defeated Marathas and won back Gwalior and Gohad from them. The British kept Gwalior with them and handed over Gohad to Jats in 1804.[35]

Second Anglo-Maratha War

In Second Anglo-Maratha War between Britishers and Marathas at Laswari on 1 November 1803, Lord Lake defeated Sindhia and vanished his reputation.[36] [37]In this war the Jats helped Britishers. The British army officers had affection for Jats.[38]

The treaty of Surji-Anjangaon

The War between the English and Sindhia was brought to an end by the treaty of Surji-Anjangaon, which was signed on 30th December 1803 AD. Under the terms of this treaty, the English Government obtained from Sindhia possession of the regions that had been taken from the French in the Doab, together with certain territories in central Rajasthan, and to the west, none of which is pertinent here. Mahadji Sindhia was to retain possession of all those districts ‘to the south of Gohad, of which the revenues had been collected by him in person or through some officer, nominated on his behalf, or land which was held by him for defraying the expenses of his army.

The treaty of Surji-Anjangaon gave vast powers to English in the territories of Marathas. The treaty signed by Ambaji Ingle was also implemented. Gwalior and Gohad had come to English. English signed a treaty with the successor of Gohad, Rana Kirat Singh, under which English handed over the erstwhile Gohad territory to Kirat Singh Rana in early 1804 AD.[39] [40] Kirat Singh Rana accepted Gohad and left the right on Gwalior fort in favour of English.[41]

Subsequently, a dispute arose with Sindhia concerning a clause in the treaty of Surji-Anjangaon by which he had agreed to renounce all claims on his subsidiaries with whom the English Government had made treaties. Sindhia now insisted that the Rana of Gohad could not be included under this clause, because the pretensions of that family had been extinct and their territories had been in Sindhia’s possession for the past 30 years. This was incontrovertible, and the English gave way to Sindhia’s legal argument and abandoned Gwalior and Gohad to him. In the wake of the war, the English had land north of the Chambal to resettle.

Treaty of 22 November 1805

To compensate the Rana for his loss of Gohad, and in consideration of the fact that the failure in the relevant stipulation of the treaty had arisen through no fault of his, On 22 November 1805 AD, they revised Surji-Anjangaon treaty of 30th December 1803 AD and offered to grant him the pargana of Dholpur, along with Bari and Rajakhera, north of the Chambal River. [42] [43] Immediately after this treaty Daulat Rao took possession of Gwalior fort.[44][45]

Kirat Singh Rana reluctantly agreed to relinquish his claim on Gohad, and accept the offer of Dholpur, and thus the former Rana of Gohad became the Rana of Dholpur, and was installed in 1806 AD.

Sindhias could take over Gohad on 27 February 1806 with the help of Britisher Army. Thus the Rana Jat rulers of Bamraulia gotra ruled Gohad for 300 years from 1505-1805. [46]

Attack on Gohad fort

Gwalior was handed over to Sindhia but to hand over Gohad to him was not easy task.[47] The followers of Rana Kirat Singh such as Rajendra, Mir Babar Ali, K. Jalim Singh etc refused to leave Gohad and expressed quite dissatisfaction over this action of Governor General.[48] [49] About 5000 people gathered at Gohad fort and started repairs of each fort of the state and appointed horse-riders and demanded Rana Kirat Singh to bring back to Gohad. They also sent a team oh horse riders to Dholpur for this purpose.[50] [51] The English officers tried to pacify the rebellions. There continued correspondence between English and the Gohad rebels for a long time. The rebels could not be prepared to leave the fort. The rebels complained that, inspite of their services ren dered to English, this unexpected behavior of snatching their ancestral zamindari without any offence was not justified.[52] [53] After all attempts of compromise failed, English started attack on Gohad fort on 19 February 1806. English forces bombarded the wall of fort on the night of 21 and 22 February. This led to a crack in the wall. This attack was commanded by K. Maclord. [54] [55] He was helped with 750 grenadiers along with 7 companies. They entered through the cracks in the wall and destroyed about half a mile of area. Inside the fort there were rebels equiped with guns. The english Lt. Maquity who had led the soldiers on 21 Febraury night attack was killed. Lt. Gill was serioussly injured, who died later on, and Lt. Drice Dat and Grant were also injured. In addition 23 English soldiers were also killed.[56] [57]

Daulatrao Sindhia agreed to fulfill the wishes of rebel chieftains and promised to appoint thm in his services. Gohad fort was handed over to the person appointed by Sindhia on 27 Febraury 1806.[58] [59]

Anglo-Jats treaty 2 December 1779

Note - the content of this section is based on The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 09 (of 12) eBook [60] under the heading XIV.—Ranna of Gohud.

That on the 2d of December, 1779, the Governor-General and Council of Fort William, at the special recommendation and instance of Warren Hastings, Esquire, then Governor-General, and contrary to the declared opinion and protest of three of the members of the Council, viz., Philip Francis and Edward Wheler, Esquires, who were present, and of Sir Eyre Coote, who was absent, (by whose absence the casting voice of the said Warren Hastings, Esquire, prevailed,) did conclude a treaty of perpetual friendship and alliance, offensive and defensive, with a Hindoo prince, called the Ranna of Gohud, for the express purpose of using the forces of the said Ranna in opposition to the Mahrattas.

That, among other articles, it was stipulated with the said Ranna by the said Warren Hastings, “that, whenever peace should be concluded between the Company and the Mahratta state, the Maha Rajah should be included as a party in the treaty which should be made for that purpose, and his present possessions, together with the fort of Gualior, which of old belonged to the family of the Maha Rajah, if it should be then in his possession, and such countries as he should have acquired in the course of war, and which it should then be stipulated to leave in his hands, should be guarantied to him by such treaty.”

That, in the late war against the Mahrattas, the said Ranna of Gohud did actually join the British army under the command of Colonel Muir with two battalions of infantry and twelve hundred cavalry, and did then serve in person against the Mahrattas, thereby affording material assistance, and rendering essential service to the Company.

That, in conformity to the above-mentioned treaty, in the fourth article of the treaty of peace concluded on the 13th of October, 1781, between Colonel Muir, on the part of the English Company, and Mahdajee Sindia, the Mahratta general, the said Ranna of Gohud was expressly included.

That, notwithstanding the said express provision and agreement, Mahdajee Sindia proceeded to attack the forts and lay waste the territories of the said Ranna, and did undertake and prosecute a war against him for the space of two years, in the course of which the Ranna and his family were reduced to extreme distress, and in the end he was deprived of his forts, and the whole not only of his acquired possessions, but of his original dominions, so specially guarantied to him by the British government in both the above-mentioned treaties.

That the said Warren Hastings was duly and regularly informed of the progress of the war against the Ranna, and of every event thereof; notwithstanding which, he not only neglected in any manner to interfere therein in favor of the said Ranna, or to use any endeavors to prevent the infraction of the treaty, but gave considerable countenance and encouragement to Mahdajee Sindia in his violation of it, both by the residence of the British minister in the Mahratta camp, and by the approbation shown by the said Warren Hastings to the promises made by his agent of observing the strictest neutrality, notwithstanding he was in justice bound, and stood pledged by the most solemn and sacred engagements, to protect and preserve the said Ranna from those enemies, whose resentment he had provoked only by his adherence to the interests of the British nation.

That, in the only attempt made to sound the disposition of Mahdajee Sindia relative to a pacification between him and the Ranna of Gohud, on the 14th of May, 1783, Mr. Anderson, in obedience to the orders he had received, did clearly and explicitly declare to Bhow Bucksey, the minister of Mahdajee Sindia, the sentiments of the said Warren Hastings in the words following:

“That it was so far from your [the said Hastings’s] meaning to intercede in his [the said Ranna’s] favor, that I only desired him to sound Sindia’s sentiments, and, in case he was desirous of peace, to mention what I had said; but if he seemed to prefer carrying on the war, I begged that he would not mention a syllable of what had passed, but let the matter drop entirely.”

That it afterwards appeared, in a minute of the said Hastings in Council at Fort William, on the 22d of September, 1783, that he promised, at the instance of a member of the Council, to write to Lieutenant James Anderson in favor of the Ranna of Gohud, and lay his letter before the board.

That, nevertheless, the said Hastings, professing not to recollect his said promise, did neglect to write a formal letter to Lieutenant Anderson in favor of the said Ranna of Gohud, and that the private letter, the extract of which the said Hastings did lay before the board on the 21st of October, 1783, so far from directing any effectual interference in favor of the said Ranna, or commanding his agent, the said James Anderson, to interpose the mediation of the British government to procure “honorable terms” for the said Ranna, or even “safety to his person and family,” contains the bitterest invectives against him, and is expressive of the satisfaction which the said Hastings acknowledges himself to have enjoyed in the distresses of the said Ranna, the ally of the Company.

That the measures therein recommended appear rather to have been designed to satisfy Mahdajee Sindia, and to justify the conduct of the British government in not having taken a more active and a more hostile part against the said Ranna, than an intercession on his behalf.

That, though no consideration of good faith or observance of treaties could induce the said Hastings to incur the hazard of any hostile exertion of the British force for the defence or the relief of the allies of the Company, yet in the said private letter he directed, that, in case his mediation should be accepted, it should be made a specific condition, that, if the said Ranna should take advantage of Sindia’s absence to renew his hostilities, we ought, in that case, on requisition, to invade the dominions of the Ranna.

That no beneficial effects could have been procured to the said Ranna by an offer of mediation delayed till Sindia no longer wanted “our assistance to crush so fallen an enemy,” at the same time that no reason was given to Sindia to apprehend the danger of drawing upon himself the resentment of the British government by a disregard of their proposal and the destruction of their ally.

That it was a gross and scandalous mockery in the said Hastings to defer an application to obtain honorable terms for the Ranna, and safety for his person and family, till he had been deprived of his principal fort, in defence of which his uncle lost his life, and on the capture of which, his wife, to avoid the dishonor consequent upon falling into the hands of her enemies, had destroyed herself by an explosion of gunpowder.

That, however, it does not appear that any offer of mediation was ever actually made, or any influence exerted, either for the safety of the Ranna’s person and family or in mitigation of the rigorous intentions supposed by Lieutenant Anderson[4] to have been entertained against him by Mahdajee Sindia after his surrender.

That the said Hastings, in the instructions[5] given by him to Mr. David Anderson for his conduct in negotiating the treaty of peace with the Mahrattas, expressed his determination to desert the Ranna of Gohud in the following words.

“You will of course be attentive to any engagements subsisting between us and other powers, in settling the terms of peace and alliance with the Mahrattas. I except from this the Ranna of Gohud.... Leave him to settle his own affairs with the Mahrattas.”

That the said Anderson appears very assiduously to have sought for grounds to justify the execution of this part of his instructions, to which, however, he was at all events obliged to conform.

That, even after his application for that purpose to the Mahrattas, whose testimony was much to be suspected, because it was their interest to accuse and their determined object to destroy the said Ranna, no satisfactory proof was obtained of his defection from the engagements he had entered into with the Company.

That, moreover, if all the charges which have been pretended against the Ranna, and have been alleged by the said Hastings in justification of his conduct, had been well founded and proved to be true, the subject-matter of those accusations and the proofs by which they wore to be supported were known to Colonel Muir before the conclusion of the treaty he entered into with Mahdajee Sindia; and therefore, whatever suspicions may have been entertained or whatever degree of criminality may have been proved against the said Ranna previous to the said treaty, from the time he was so provided for and included in the said treaty he was fully and justly entitled to the security stipulated for him by the Company, and had a right to demand and receive the protection of the British government.

That these considerations were urged by Mr. Anderson to the said Warren Hastings, in his letter of the 24th of June, 1781, and were enforced by this additional argument,—

“that, in point of policy, I believe, it ought not to be our wish that the Mahrattas should ever recover the fortress of Gualior. It forms an important barrier to our own possessions. In the hands of the Ranna it can be of no prejudice to us; and notwithstanding the present prospect of a permanent peace betwixt us and the Mahrattas, it seems highly expedient that there should always remain some strong barrier to separate us, on this side of India, from that warlike and powerful nation.”

That the said Warren Hastings was highly culpable in abandoning the said Ranna to the fury of his enemies, thereby forfeiting the honor and injuring the credit of the British nation in India, notwithstanding the said Hastings was fully convinced, and had professed, “that the most sacred observance of treaties, justice, and good faith were necessary to the existence of the national interests in that country,” and though the said Hastings has complained of the insufficiency of the laws of this kingdom to enforce this doctrine “by the punishment of persons in the possession of power, who may be impelled by the provocation of ambition, avarice, or vengeance, stronger than the restrictions of integrity and honor, to the violation of this just and wise maxim.”

That the said Hastings, in thus departing from these his own principles, with a full and just sense of the guilt he would thereby incur, and in sacrificing the allies of this country “to the provocations of ambition, avarice, or vengeance,” in violation of the national faith and justice, did commit a gross and wilful breach of his duty, and was thereby guilty of an high crime and misdemeanor.

Administration of Gohad state

The State of Gohad at its peak was quite extensively spread between two important rivers Asan and Sindh. Their territories touched that of Bhadaurias and Kachhawahas in the east and the fort of Narwar in the west. The management of such an extensive area for many centuries was possible only through proper administration.

Various Jat clans had an important role in running the administration. The supreme power of the state vested in the King but the senior chieftains from Jat clans in-charge of various forts in the state used to keep a balance. For example Rao Baljoo of Neerpura was awarded with Jagir. The forts nearby Gohad such as Chitaura, Karwas, Madhaina, Itayli, Pipahad etc were managed by chieftains of Bamraulia clan. Deogarh and Girjura were managed by Hanselia clan of Jats. Pichhore fort was managed by Dauderia clan Jats. All the Jat clan chieftains had united to oppose the north India expedition of Marathas. [61]

The chieftains of various forts were the advisers and assistants of the Raja. Rao Baljoo had taken part in various expeditions of the Raja of Gohad. It was the tact of Rao Baljoo that helped to regain the lost state from Bhadaurias.

The chief of the state was always selected from Jat clans. The new chief of the state was appointed with the advice of these seniors. After the death of Rana Chhatar Singh, the new chief Rana Kirat Singh was appointed at a meeting in Bagthara and made the Raja of Gohad state. [62]

The other advisers to the King were appointed irrespective of caste and religion. Modi family from Jains was appointed the treasurer of the state. [63] The ambassadors appointed to communicate with other states were from Kayasthas and Muslims also. [64], [65]

Military

Jats were not the original inhabitants of Gohad or its nearby area. So they needed a strong army to run the affairs of the state. The state army was regularly at work to protect the state. At the same time army it self was looked after through a well developed network of forts. There were about 360 big and small forts in the state. These forts served the purpose of protecting the people from dacoits during peace time. During wars these forts served as shelters for the army to take the positions. During the golden period of Jat Rana rulers the Marathas, the main enemies of Jats, had to fight for months together to take the possession of these forts. This shows the level of defence of these Jat forts. These forts were equipped with arms and ammunitions for the army. Army was not stationed at one place but at various places like Gohad, Gwalior, Salwai, Pachaira etc. There were about 15000 soldiers in the army of Gohad Ranas. [66]

Army had people from all religions. Muslims and purabiyas (Biha) were also there in the army of Gohad rulers. There is mention of these Purabias leaving army of Ranas during attack on Gwalior fort. [67] [68]

State Revenue

The source of revenue of the state was collected in the form part of the agricultural produce and no cash taxes were levied. The food grain so collected was stored in warehouses constructed by the rulers. This stored food grain was used to meet the expenses of the army and served to protect the public from starving during famines. [69]

State took steps to increase the agricultural production by constructing ponds in the villages and developing irrigation facilities. The army of the state constituted of the local people who worked in the fields during peace time.[70]

There were other sources of revenue also. There is a place called ‘Manak Chauk’ in the eastern corner of the Gohad Fort. Local tradition reveals that there were 140 shops of jewelers who traded in gold and silver in this market. The town had a well developed system of textile industry. This is proved by the fact that large stores of ‘geru’ are found in excavations. Geru was used in printing and dying of the clothes.[71]

State had its own mint to caste the coins. This fact is proved by the existence of “Taksaria Bag” (garden of mint) outside the rampart of the Gohad Fort. The prevalence of coins of Gohad Rana has been recorded in jangnama by Col. Kamek. [72]

Architecture

Chhatr Palace Behat
Chhatr Palace Behat
Modi ki Haveli at Gohad

The Jat rulers of Gohad had constructed forts, palaces, temples, wells, gardens etc., which are of archaeological importance and historical monuments. To mention some of them are:

  • Gohad Fort,
  • Navin Mahal
  • Itayali Darwaja,
  • Chhatra Mahal,
  • Shish Mahal,
  • Laxman-tal,
  • Rani-guru temple,
  • Laxman temple,
  • Modi-ki-Haveli etc.
  • Khās Mahal,
  • Sāt-Bhānwar,
  • Deoghar,
  • Khās Darbār,
  • Ām Darbār,
  • Bhandār Grih
  • Rāni Bāgh.


Gohad fort has following important buildings inside the fort:

  • ‘Navin Mahal’, constructed by Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana, is the most attracting building used now as government offices. This has got Diwane Ām, Diwane Khās and other offices needed at that time. The architectural peculiarity of this building was that the King could reach the top storey riding on horse through a gently sloped rounded ramp.

There are temples of Rāma Jānaki, Laxman, Rādhā Krirshna, Shiva and Markandeshwar. There are also ponds namely Rāmsāgar, Bhimsāgar, Laxmantāl etc.

Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana had also constructed a palace, called Chhatrapur, on the hill top at Behat village which was used as a summer capital by the Gohad rana rulers. Behat is believed to be the birth place of famous singer Tansen. It was a marvelous site surrounded by forests.

Jat Forts in Gohad state

Gohad state of Bamraulia Gotra Jats, called Ranas, was situated in Gwalior region in north west Madhya Pradesh. The districts included in this region are Gwalior, Murena, Sheopur, Bhind, Datia, Shivpuri and Guna. Gohad tehsil and part of Lahar tehsil in Bhind district; Murar block, Bhitarwar Block and Dabra tehsil of Gwalior district, Indergargh area of Datia district are consodered as a Jat belt. This area in known as Jatwara. The Ranas of Gohad state are well known in this area. The Jat rulers of Pichhore and Magrora were also very brave. There are 360 forts and fortresses of Jat rulers and jagirdars in this Jat belt. We discuss here some important forts.

Gohad Fort

see main article - Gohad Fort
Gohad Fort

Gohad Fort (गोहद का किला) is situated at Gohad city in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located at 26° 25' 34N and 78° 26' 41E. The town is situated at a distance of 45 km from Gwalior.

According to Alexander Cunningham and William Cook, people of the Jat caste from village Bamrauli (near Agra) settled the town of Gohad in 1505. This later developed into an important Jat stronghold. The Jat rulers of Gohad were awarded the title of rana. The Rana Jat ruler Singhandev II founded Gohad fort and the Gohad state in 1505. Gohad state had 360 forts and fortresses all around for the protection of their people. Out of these Gohad fort is most important and unique example architecture of Jat rulers. It had the same style of architecture as used by the Jat rulers in Bharatpur Fort.

The site of Gohad fort was selected strategically on the Vaisali River where it takes a circular turn. The Gohad fort is in circular shape. It is protected by the rampart constructed around the fort in a length of 5 km. The river was dug and flow of river was extended up to the fort to take a semi circular shape.

The fort has 7 gates named after the villages to which they face and the way they lead to. These are Itayli (in south), Barthara (in west), Gohadi (in northwest), Birkhari (in northeast), Kathwan (in east), Kharaua (in southeast) and Saraswati.

The fort was protected with four lines of defence. Constructing an outer rampart of 10-metre height surrounded with a trench created the first line of defence. Depositing the soil dug out from the trench inside the outer rampart created the second line of defence. Constructing a pucca trench with higher wall created the third line of defence. This wall 1 km in length, was safeguarded by Laxman Tal (pond) and deep Vaisali River. This wall had two gates namely ‘Hathai paur’ (east) and Sankal gate (west). Constructing a very high and the strongest wall half km long created the fourth line of defence. This was for the personal safety of the King and his places. Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana inside this wall except ‘Navin Mahal’ constructed all the important buildings.

The building material used for the construction of fort was locally available stone, the lime mortar and bricks. Rana Singhandev II had founded Gohad fort but Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana, Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana and Kirat Singh Rana did the major construction works.

Behat

Behat (बेहट) is a village in Gwalior district at a distance of 50 km from Gwalior, in east direction, near the border of Bhind district. It was the summer capital of Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana who had also constructed a palace, called Chhatrapur, on the hill top at Behat village which was used as a summer capital. It is a marvelous site surrounded by deep forests. [73]

Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana was a great warrior, protector of his public, great lover of art and culture. There is a deep and big Bawdi for regular supply of water in the palace. Diwann-e-Khas is constructed below the palace. The palace is a good example of the architectural skills of Rana rulers. The site is now a protected monument by Archaeological Survey of India. [74]

Behat is believed to be the birth place of famous singer Tansen. Tan Sen(Ram Rattan 1520-1589), was born in Behat near Gwalior in a Brahmin family, but them ,converse to Islam when he knows the Saint Sufi and singer Mohammad Ghaus of Gwalior and go to live with him, he was his first Master.

Karwas

Karwas (करवास) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. It was the site of an important fort of Gohad Rana rulers. The ancestor of Bamraulis Jagdeo Singh had come from Agra and stayed at Bhind which was ruled by Aniruddh Singh Bhadauria. There was war between Bamraulias and Bhadauria rulers at place called Pach'hara in which Bhadauria was defeated. The Ranas kept their capital at Pach'hara for some time and later shifted the capital to Gohad. The brother of Gohad ruler Jagdeo Singh constructed a fort here in samvat 1680 (1623 AD). [75]

This place had played an important role in the defeat of Rana rulers of Gohad at Gwalior fort. The chieftain of Karwas fort along with Motumal aligned with Sindia and planned a conspiracy to kill Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana. The Karwas chieftain had demanded a separate free state for him which was refused by Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana. The Gohad ruler got angry over his demand and reduced his status. The Karwas chieftain conspired and signed a secret treaty with Sindia. As an award of which he was made the commander of Maratha army during Panipat war for one day. The Marathas were victorious that day. It was here a strategy was made that Marathas armies would attack Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana from three sides at regular intervals . They first occupied Bilhati fort and the secondly attacked Gwalior fort. The gates were opened from inside and Maharaja was killed by conspiracy of Karwas chieftain. [76]

At present there are only the ruins of the fort at Karwas. The descendants at present living in Karwas include 8 families of Bamraulia Rana rulers and 5 families of Descendants of Jagdeo Singh. The genealogy of Bamraulia descendants in this village is as under: Aman Singh, his son Acharaj Singh, his son Thakur Das, his son, Tamir Singh, his son Jaswant Singh, His son Ganesh Singh, His son Govind Singh. [77]

Guhisar

Guhisar ki Garhi

Guhisar (IAST:Guhīsar, Hindi: गुहीसर) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. Guhisar is located at a distance of 30 km from Gwalior city in east direction on Bilara Road. Guhīsar is geographically located at Latitude and Longitute 26° 14' 28" North, 78° 32' 43" East.[78]

There is a small fort in Guhisar known as Guhisar ki Garhi. The fort was constructed by Gohad ruler Maharaja Chhatar Singh. The fort is situated on a hillock and surrounded by deep ditch to protect it. One can enter it through a small entrance and can reach the palace. The palace is surrounded by four double storied burj. There is a secret tunnel believed to connect this fort with Gohad and Karwas forts. The defence strategy of the fort is exemplary. The fort could be conquered only in case of an internal conspiracy or the chieftain himself surrenders.[79]

Utila

Utila ki Garhi

Utila (IAST: Utīlā, Hindi: उटीला) is a village and a fort in Gwalior district in Madhya Pradesh. Utila is located at a distance of 20 km from Gwalior city in east direction on GwaliorHastinapur-Behat Road.

There is a small fort in Utila known as ‘Ranaon ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad ruler Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana around 1740. The fort is situated on a hillock and surrounded by deep ditch to protect it. The Jat rulers of Gohad had constructed this fort for the central defence of Gohad Fort. The soldiers posted at this fort used to send light signals to Singhpur fort from where these were transmitted to Gohad and Behat forts. The jat rulers were in regular warfare with Sindhias so these forts were of immense importance to them. The palace is surrounded by four high burj. The defence strategy of the fort is example of architectural skills of the Gohad Jat rulers. [80]

Bilheti

Bilheti ki Garhi

Bilheti (Hindi:बिल्हेटी) is a village in Gwalior district in Madhya Pradesh. Bilheti is located at a distance of 20 km from Gwalior city in east direction on Gwalior-Chitaura Road. [81]

There is a small fort in Bilheti known as ‘Rana Ranjit Singh ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad ruler Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana. The fort is situated on a hillock and surrounded by deep ditch to protect it. The fort has three tyre defence system. One can enter it through a small but very illusive entrance. As one enters after passage of a gallery there is a big gate which leads to the underground building which was probably used for defence in emergencies. Inside compound there is the palace. The palace is surrounded by a ditch. [82]

There is a Shiva temple inside the palace which shows that the Gohad Rana Rulers were the followers of Shiva.[83]

The defence strategy of the fort is exemplary. The fort could be conquered only in case of an internal conspiracy or the chieftain himself surrenders.[84]

Makhori

Makhori ki Garhi

Makhori (मखोरी) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. Makhori is located at a distance of 2 km from Guhisar in east direction on Gwalior-Baragaon-Bilara Road. [85]

There is a small fort in Makhori known as ‘Ranaon ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad ruler Maharaja Chhatar Singh. The fort is situated on a hillock and surrounded by deep ditch to protect it. One can enter it through a small entrance gate. The fort is made of stones rich in iron content which protects it from canon attacks. There is a secret tunnel believed to connect this fort with other forts. The defence strategy of the fort is exemplary. At one time this fort was owned by Jagjit Singh Rana. At present there is no Jat family in Makhori. The chieftain of this fort moved to Dhaulpur along with the Gohad ruler.[86]

Nibrol

Site of Nibrol fort and Shiva temple

Nibrol (निबरोल ) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. Nibrol is located at a distance of 3 km from Chitaura in north direction on Bhind-Mau-Chitaura Road. [87]

There is a small fort in Nibrol known as ‘Ranaon ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad rulers. There are present only the ruins of the fort. On the east side of this fort is a Shiva temple where villagers worship regularly. [88]

Bandholi

Bandholi ki Garhi

Bandholi (बन्धोली) is a village in Gwalior district situated situated at a distance of 6 km from Murar on Gwalior-Behat road.

There is a small fort in Bandholi known as ‘Jat Raja ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad rulers. The fort is situated on a hillock. The Jat rulers of Gohad had constructed this fort for the defence of Gohad Fort. As per bards[89] This fort belonged to Rana Raj Singh who was Bilokhara gotra Jat. This fort was a regional centre of Gohad Jat rulers. There was collection of taxes from 22 villages. this fort fell in the war between Sindhias and Ranas of Gohad. [90]

The Jat rulers constructed a Shiva temple at the fort. There is organized an annual fair on this temple on krishna chaturdasi of hindi month magh every year. This religious festival was started by the Jat rulers. [91]

Ujhawal

Ujhawal ki Garhi.jpg

Ujhawal (उझावल ) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. Ujhawal is located at a distance of 2-3 km from Guhisar and Makhori garhis in north direction on a a hill top.[92]

There is a small fort in Ujhawal known as ‘Jat Ranaon ki Garhi’. The fort was constructed by Gohad rulers. There are present only the ruins of the fort. This garhi at present is in possession of a pandit who has built a Radha-Krishna temple where villagers worship regularly. [93]

Chitora

Chitora (चितोरा) or Chitaura (चितोरा) is a village in Bhind district in Madhya Pradesh. It is situated at a distance of about 15 km from Gohad in south-west on Gohad-Mau Road. This was the site of fort of Bamraulia Rana Jats of Gohad, along with the forts nearby Gohad such as Karwas, Madhaina, Itayli, Pipahad etc were managed by chieftains of Bamraulia clan.[94]

Other forts

Other forts (garhi) under Jats were: Bhilsa, Padawli, Badera, Bahadurpura, Kaitha, Amayan, Umri, Indurakhi,Nandurakhi, Madhaina, Itayli, Pipahad, Bagathara, Neerpura, Sadh, Dadrua, Bhagwaso, Jandara, Ikona, Kaithoda, Pachgaon, Adhupura, Nimrol, Nirpura, Rajpura, Pipahad, Deogarh, Girjura

See also

External links

References

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  4. Sovaran Singh Chahar, Jat-Veer Smarika, Agra, 1992, p. 41
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  7. Dr. Ajay Kumar Agnihotri (1985) : Gohad ke Jaton ka Itihas (Hindi), p. 16
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Further reading


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