Chawara (चावड़ा) Chawra (चावड़ा) Chawda (चावड़ा) Chaora (चावड़ा) is clan of Jats in Uttar Pradesh. Char or Chawara clan is found in Afghanistan. It is mainly found in Rajputs. James Tod places it in the list of Thirty Six Royal Races. Chawara is a Gotra of the Anjana Jats in Gujarat.
Char or Chawara: H. W. Bellew writes that The next tribe of the Sharkhbun branch of the Sarbani Afghan is the Shirani, called also Char (Chawara or Chaora Rajput). The Chaora, according to Colonel Tod (Annals of Rajasthan), was once a renowned tribe in the history of India, though its name, he says, is now scarcely known, and its origin is veiled in obscurity. It belongs neither to the Solar race nor the Lunar race, and is probably of Skythic descent. The name is unknown in Hindustan, and is confined, with many others originating beyond the Indus, to the peninsula of Saurashtra. If foreign to India proper, continues Tod, its establishment must have been at a remote period, as individuals of the tribe intermarried with the Surajbansi ancestry of the present princes of Mewar, when this family were the lords of Balabhi. The capital of the Chaora was the insular Deobandar, on the coast of Saurashtra, and the temple of Somnath, with many others on this coast, dedicated to Balnath, is attributed to this tribe of the Saura or worshippers of the sun. It was Vena Raja or Banraj, prince of Deo, who, 746, A.D., laid the foundation of Anhalwara, which his dynasty ruled for one hundred and eighty-four years, when Bhojraj, the seventh from the founder and the last of the Chaora, was deposed, 931 A.D., by his own daughter's son, Mulraj of the Solanki tribe. Mulraj ruled Anhalwara for fifty-eight years. During the reign of his son and successor, Chawand or Chaond Rae, called Jamand by Muhammadan historians, Mahmud of Ghazni invaded the kingdom of Anhalwara, and drained it of its immense riches, for Anhalwara was at that time the entrepot of the productions of the eastern and the western hemispheres.
James Tod on Chawaras
James Tod is a pioneer historian on Jats who thoroughly scrutinized the bardic records of Rajasthan and Gujarat and also brought to light over a dozen inscriptions on the Jats. We reproduce the Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races from Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920, p. 112-115:
This tribe was once renowned in the history of India, though its name is now scarcely known, or only in the chronicles of the bard. Of its origin we are in ignorance. It belongs neither to the Solar nor Lunar race, and consequently we may presume it to be of Scythic origin. The name is unknown in Hindustan, and is confined, with many others originating from beyond the Indus, to the peninsula of Saurashtra. If foreign to India proper, its establishment must have been at a remote period, as we find individuals of it intermarrying with the Suryavansa ancestry of the present princes of Mewar, when this family were the lords of Valabhi.
The capital of the Chawaras was the insular Deobandar, on the coast of Saurashtra, and the celebrated temple of Somnath, with many others on this coast, dedicated to Balnath, or the sun, is attributed to this tribe of the Sauras, or worshippers of the sun ; most probably the generic name of the tribe as well as of the peninsula.
By a natural catastrophe, or as the Hindu superstitious chroniclers will have it, as a punishment for the piracies of the prince of Deo, the element whose privilege he abused rose and overwhelmed his capital. As all this coast is very low, such an occurrence is not improbable ; though the abandonment of Deo might have been compelled by the irruptions of the Arabians, who at this period carried on a trade with these parts, and the plunder of some of their vessels may have brought this punisliment on the Chawaras. That it was owing to some such political
[p.122]: catastrophe, we have additional grounds for belief from the [[annals of Mewar]], which state that its princes inducted the Chawaras into the seats of the power they abandoned on the continent and peninsula of Saurashtra.
At all events, the prince of Deo laid the foundation of Anhilwara Patan in S. 802 (A.D. 746), which henceforth became the capital city of this portion of India, in lieu of Valabhipura, which gave the title of Balakaraes to its princes, the Balhara of the earlier Arabian travellers, and following them, the geographers of Europe.
Vana Raja (or, in the dialects, Banraj) was this founder, and his dynasty ruled for one hundred and eighty-four years, when, as related in the sketch of the Solanki tribe, Bhojraj, the seventh from the founder, was deposed by his nephew. It was during this dynasty that the Arabian travellers  visited this court, of which they have left but a confused picture. We are not, how-ever, altogether in darkness regarding the Chawara race, as in the Khuman Raesa, one of the chronicles of Mewar, mention is made of the auxiliaries under a leader named Chatansi, in the defence of Chitor against the first attack on record of the Muhammadans.
When Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Saurashtra and captured its capital, Anhilwara, he deposed its prince, and placed upon the throne, according to Ferishta, a prince of the former dynasty, renowned for his ancient line and purity of blood, and who is styled Dabichalima ; a name which has puzzled all European commentators. Now the Dabhi was a celebrated tribe, said by some to be a branch of the  Chawara, and this therefore may be a compound of Dabhi Chawara, or the Chaurasima, by some called a branch of the ancient Yadus.The true form of this puzzling term seems to be Dabshalim, whose story is told in Elliot-Dowson (ii. 500 ff., iv. 183). Much of the account is mere tradition, but it has been plausibly suggested that when Bhima I., the Chaulukya king of Anhilwara was defeated by Mahmud of Ghazni.
[p.123]: This ancient connexion between the Suryavansi chiefs and the Chawaras, or Sauras, of Saurashtra, is still maintained after a lapse of more than one thousand years ; for although an alliance with the Rana's family is deemed the highest honour that a Hindu prince can obtain, as being the first in rank in Rajasthan, yet is the humble Chawara sought out, even at the foot of fortune's ladder, whence to carry on the blood of Rama. The present heir-apparent of a line of ' one hundred kings,' the prince Jawan Singh [1828-38], is the offspring of a Chawara mother, the daughter of a petty chieftain of Gujarat.
It were vain to give any account of the present stale of the families bearing this name. They must depend upon the fame of past days ; to this we leave them.
- An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.165
- James Todd, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I,: Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races, pp. 121-123
- An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, H. W. Bellew, p.165
- The Σvpoι of the Greek writers on Bactria, the boundary of the Bactrian kingdom under Apollodotus. On this see the paper on Grecian medals in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i.
- The Balhara of Arab travellers of the tenth century were the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Malkhed, Balhara being a corruption of Vallabha-raja, Vallabha being the royal title (BG, i. Part ii. 209).
- Vanaraja reigned from a.d. 765 to 780, and the dynasty is said to have lasted 196 years, but the evidence is still incomplete. The name of Bhojraj does not appear in the most recent lists [BG, i. Part i. 152 ff.).
- Relations anciennes des Voyageurs, par Renaudot.
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