Origin of the Gohil Suryavanshi Rajput Dynasty of the Rajpipla Kingdom


Alexander Kinloch Forbes wrote in his Ras-Mala, “The Gohil Rajputs of the solar race to which belonged Ramchandra and the Vallabhi dynasty, migrated to Mewar after the destruction of Vallabhi (in Kathiawar)”. They were also known as Guhilputra, the name being derived from ‘guhu’, which means cave. The founder of the Gohil or Guhilot clan, Muhideosur Gohadit (Guhil) was born in a cave in 542 A.D. after the fall of Vallabhi, and so the dynasty came to be known as Gohil. He became chief of a hilly tract of forests near modern Idar in north Gujarat in 556 A.D., and held sway till he died around 603 A.D., leaving behind a dynasty that, in the centuries to come, gave rise to kingdoms in Rajputana, Saurashtra and Gujarat, Central India and the Deccan, and from which also emanated the Ranas of Nepal. 

Guhil’s main descendants were:

Bappa Rawal or Kalbhoj, who captured Chittor Fort and founded the kingdom of  Mewar in 734 A.D.

Salivahan, son of Narvahan, King of Mewar, and 11th in descent to Bappa Rawal, who migrated with part of the Gohil clan from Mewar in 973 A.D., leaving behind his son Shakti Kumar with the rest of the clan. They settled at Juna Khergarh, which they made their capital on the Luni River (present-day Bhalotra near Jodhpur) in Marwar. There is still a village there called ‘Gohilon ki Dhani’. For two and a quarter centuries, the Gohil thus ruled Mewar as well as Marwar.

The Gohils of Mewar were attacked by Ala-ud-din Khilji’s army in 1303 in which all the women committed Jauhar and the men were killed in battle. Thereafter Hamir Singh Gohil, a descendant 13 generations apart, was brought from Mount Sisoda where he lived, and installed in Chittor. The Gohils of Mewar then assumed the name Sisodia. They shifted their capital to Udaipur in 1559.

The Gohils ruled Marwar for 20 generations till the early years of the 13th century. They were displaced by the Rathores, who were driven out of Kannauj (in modern Uttar Pradesh) following the invasion of Muhammad Ghori and the establishment of the Slave dynasty. In 1211, the Rathores founded the kingdom of Marwar, which later came to be known as Jodhpur.

The Gohils under their chief Sejakji then marched back to Saurashtra after nearly five hundred years, to the court of the great Chalukya ruler Sidhraj Singh. They were granted a jagir in modern Gohilwar, thus becoming governors of the Chalukyas. Bardic tales and genealogical records suggest that the Gohil Rajput clan thereafter ruled over the southern part of Saurashtra (Kathiawar) in  Gujarat, an area that has since come to be known as Gohilwar.

The ‘Ruling Princes and Chiefs of India’ published by The Times of India in 1930 states that: “No single portion of the vast and vulnerable land of Ind is wrapt deeper in the fascinating glamour of immemorial legend, tradition and romance than is Kathiawar, the ancient territory of the Vallabhi kings. To Kathiawar journeyed the mighty Gohils, that historic Rajput tribe whose very name signifies ‘the strength of the earth’, centuries before Norman William fought Saxon Harold at Senlac. Originally, as it would seem, vassals of the Vallabhi kings, the Gohils, by degrees conquered the greater portion of Kathiawar, until they permanently rooted themselves in the soil of Saurashtra. They were fighters ever, these men – warriors to the bone and marrow. Sejakji – Ranoji – Mokhdaji – what memories of raid and foray, of pitched battle, of fierce siege do these names not recall! It was Mokhdaji, it may be remembered, who took Gogha from its Mohamedan defenders and made of Perim a royal capital. Mighty in physical stature as he was in deeds of derring do, he died fighting against Muhammad Tughlaq on Gogha soil, leaving behind him a name never to be forgotten in the annals of Saurashtra.”

To the Gohils were born valiant warriors like Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap, the rulers of Mewar who by then had assumed the name Sisodia, and the legendary Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, all of whom refused to bow to the might of the Mughals. The kingdoms that stemmed from the Sisodias of Mewar were Dungarpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh and Shahpura in Rajasthan, Dharampur in Gujarat, and Barwani in Madhya Pradesh. In Maharashtra the Sisodias assumed the name Bhonsle and founded kingdoms like Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, and Sawantwadi. In the south they founded the kingdom of Thanjavur. A branch of the Sisodias also migrated north and became the powerful Rana prime ministers of Nepal.  

Back in Saurashtra, Sejakji (Sahajigji) was twenty-third in descent to Salivahan. He was chief of the Gohil clan from 1240, governor, commanding officer of King Kumarpal’s army and right-hand man of the Solankis, a branch of the Chalukyas. Sejakji befriended Rah (Rao) Mahipal, King of Saurashtra, whose capital was Junagarh, and married his daughter Valumkunverba (Amarkunvari) to Khengar (Kawat), the heir apparent (Jayamal) of Saurashtra. Sejakji received Shahpur along with 24 villages in jagir, in the midst of which he founded a capital in 1250, naming it Sejakpur after himself. He added 40 villages by force of arms, and died in 1254.

Somraj succeded as chief after the death of Sejakji, whose other two sons Shahji and Sarangji received jagirs in Mandvi and Arthilla, which later became the kingdoms of Palitana and Lathi. Part of folklore is the stirring tale of Hamirji Gohil, a 16-year-old and newly-married chieftain of Lathi, who sacrificed his life in 1401 defending the Somnath temple from the attack of Muzaffar Shah. Hamirji Gohil’s cenotaph still stands at the entrance to the temple.

Mulraj, brother of Somraj, was governor of Sorath. He died in 1290, by when had also carved out an independent principality Ghogha, with capital at Piram (or Pirambet), an island in the Gulf of Cambay, near present day Bhavnagar.

Ranoji became Gohil chief in 1290. He established a new Gohil capital at Ranpur but was expelled from there and slain by Muslim invaders in 1309.

Mokhdaji succeeded his father Ranoji and conquered Umrala from the Kolis, and wrested back Piram from the Muslims. He succumbed to sword wounds inflicted in battle by the army of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1347.

Mokhdaji married (i) Sarviya princess of Hathasani in Kathiawar. Their son Dungarsinhji succeeded as chief, and later his descendant Bhavsinhji founded the capital city of Bhavnagar in 1723, (ii) Parmar princess of Rajpipla, daughter of Chokrana, ruler of Rajpipla at Devchhatra in the western Satpuras, which was earlier part of the Imperial kingdom of Ujjain. The son of Mokhdaji Gohil and the Parmar princess, Samarsinhji, succeeded to the gadi of Rajpipla on the death of his maternal grandfather Chokrana, who had no male issue. Samarsinhji assumed the name of Arjunsinhji.

Arjunsinhji became the first Gohil Rajput ruler of Rajpipla State around 1340. The Gohils of Rajpipla continued to worship the deity of the Parmars, Shri Harsiddhi Mataji. 

The Gohil dynasty managed to retain a tenuous hold on the hill tracts of the Satpuras with the help of the Bhils, the local tribals, through diplomacy, grit, courage and, at times, submission. Whenever the opportunity arose, the rulers allied themselves with other Hindu chiefs to expand their territory. Through all the turbulent years the Gohil kingdom of Rajpipla survived despite being hemmed in by such powerful Muslim kingdoms as Gujarat, Malwa and Khandesh, and the Bahamani Kingdom, and later the Gaekwars. The Gohil clan ruled over Rajpipla for six centuries until merger with the Indian Union in 1948.

86 thoughts on “Origin of the Gohil Suryavanshi Rajput Dynasty of the Rajpipla Kingdom

  1. Very interesting. I am compiling a similar set of information, but would like to add information about other clans of Kathiawar as well. Just beginning work on this, and hope to build it as and when I find time. Hope to eventually publish brief historical outline, heroes, heroines, Kul-Devs and Devis, places of worship etc for each of the Rajput clans of Kathiawar. http://sites.google.com/site/rajputsproject/

  2. Mr. Singh:Thank you for your comments. I have migrated the content from my site that I had shared with you earlier, onto my larger Rajput project site, which I would like to develop with information and resources about the Rajput clans of Kathiawar. The site is in a rudimentary state at this point, but you may view it at http://www.yponder.com, and please do share any comments or suggestions about the same. Also, if you would like to contribute some information on the early history of the Gohils, please let me know. I am also looking for older photographs, postcards, imagery, etc (I would just need digital copies), for the site. I have put some on under the section on Gohils in the site.


    • Dear Atul, I am very happy to read your comments. Maharaja Rajendra Singhji’s father was my grandfather Maharaja Vijaysinhji, the last ruler of Rajpipla. He was a benevolent ruler who had the welfare of the people in his heart. My nephew Manvendra is also a wonderful person and very down-to-earth. I look forward to meeting you on my next visit to Rajpipla, hopefully soon.

  4. jay mataji bhai.first of all i would like to say thank you for giving information on our brave history.this will keep alive in our mind the bravery of mokhdaji,hamirji and ranaji who fought bravely against the strong muslim emperor.but there is one question confusing me is weather we are suryavanshi or chandravanshi.in your blog you have writeen that we are suryavanshi but in bhavnagar everybody says that we are chandravanshi.some people also make research in rajasthan and says that gohil are different from gehlot and guhil of rajasthan.because they found marriage relation between gohils and guhil and gehlots which is not possible if we are from the same gautra the other reason they give is that we are sons of pandavs.pandavs were chandravanshi.so pls reply me giving me a good explaination so that we can put a clear history of our clan.this is not for critising you.pls reply jay mataji

    • In all my research about our clan, the Gohils, which I have listed, I have found that we are Suryavanshis. We migrated from Saurashtra to Mewar, then on to Marwar, and back to Saurashtra and Gujarat. Perhaps the confusion arises from a reference in a coronation supplement of 1937 that mentions the Gohil rulers of Bhavnagar as Chandravanshis, which is incorrect.






  7. Nice article on the Gohil clan, but the clans history is perhaps more interesting during the Vallabhi period when it was attacked by the Parthians and they had to flee. Vallabhi was the next Taxila where the learned and scholars settled mainly of Buddhist faith, it is assumed by many historians that the rulers too followed Buddhism. Guha born in a cave near Idar was entrusted to a Brahamin woman after his mother’s death and therefore he was raised as a Hindu.
    James Tod in his book ‘Annals and Antiquities of Central And Western Rajpoot States’ states that the rulers of Vallabhi migrated from Scythia to Saurashtra and were descendants of the King Rama.
    More research in the clans history before Vallabhi is required which may reveal interesting facts.
    Sanjay Mistry (Gohel)

  8. khamaghani hokam…
    this is great hokam and i also want that al of janta know about our clan nd vansh..because most of people in rajasthan they think that gohil , gehlot they are not a rajputs… so pls broadcaste this clan m ready for do anything about my clan nd vansh…!!!
    so itz possible than its too great for our clan..


  9. Hi everybody,

    It’s very nice to see comments from different parts of the state(s) of India. I would like to say that I also borne & bought up in Gopalpura village (7-8 kms away from Rajpipla) where all Rajput families & distant relatives of the then rules of Rajpipla state are still staying.

    As such, Rajpipla has got rich heritage & as somebody (Singhiv) from the royal family rightly said that Hon. Vijay Singhji, Gambhir Singhji & Rajendra Singhji were very noble & royal rulers. It’s 100% true.

    I am fortunate enough to acquire quality & rich cultural education upto 12th std. in ‘The Maharaja Rajendra Singhji Vidyalaya’, Rajpipla (upto March, 1979). Thereafter I shifted to Baroda for further study. I am local resident of Mumbai but presently in Karnataka state. But the fact is that, VATAN NI KHUSBU KOI PAN SANJOGO MA NAA BHULAY, KHUB YAAD AAVE CHHE. If I get a chance to go to my native place Gopalpura/Rajpipla, I will certainly pay visit to Rajvant palace & attempt to meet some of the Royal Family members & offer my gratitude & thanks.

    Jai matadi

  10. Ghanikhamma bhayu ne..
    Dear bro m really very impressed with your work, u did a really great job, we al r heartly thank ful to u bt if u no anyting than plz let me know weather a Sisodia is brothers of Gohils ? Y in some stater gohils r keeping a title of Raol or Raol is a difrnt Rajput cast or exactly wt..? thnk you nd vl b thank for ur help..Jay mataji

  11. hello sir,
    I m santosh gohil & I proud 2 b GOHIL.I wan 2 know more abt gohil history & also like 2 see old photos of gohil rulers.if u hve pls.mail me.
    Thank u,
    santosh gohil.

      • Dear Vikram Singh ji, very happy to read comments & articles on Rajputs/Gohils clan of Rajpipla. My roots r with this historical old state & my birth place Gopalpura & hence I feel proud of it. I desire to meet u in person if God & time permits.

        Nisharg Rajvant from Karnataka.
        Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

      • Dear Nisharg, I went to Gopalpura recently. Wonderful banana export units have come up close to it, first place in India to export bananas. If you are on Facebook you could join the page Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla. Look forward to meeting you soon. Regards, Indra Vikram Singh.

      • Respected Vikram Singh ji,

        I m honoured to receive such touchy mail/ reply. I’ll come on face book & also try to see u in Rajvant Palace, if possible. I want to offer ‘sincere’ thanks to royal family in whose school I developed “cultural” values & carrying it everywhere, forever till the end of my life.

        With sincere regards,
        Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

      • Respected Indra Vikram Singh ji.

        I apologize for writing a wrong name. I m xtremely sorry. I realized grave error later-on.


  12. hello sir,
    thank u 4 ur reply,I wan 2 ask u differnt type of questions.as per my information all gohils are frm rajasthan,bt in gujarat there is so many different caste people are also using GOHIL surname.like kumbhar,lohar,sutar etc.& backward class peoples r also gohils.so all these communities are real GOHILS?,all these people r part of one branch of GOHIL TREE? or there is different type of history these questions r making me confused.so kindly reply me.
    Thank u
    santosh gohil.

  13. Hallo maru name gajendrasinh gohil che hu angadh gam ma darbargadh no thakor sha chu hu tamne vinnti karu chu ke hame royal bhavnagri rajput che pan hamru name ane detais aa website par kam nathi ..maro mobile no:8347652851che mane jarur contect karjo.jay mataji

  14. hello sir,
    how r u?I m santosh gohil,thank u 4 ur valuable reply wen i cntct u 1st time.bt sir i posted a question on the date of sep. 12 2012.i don’t get any reply frm u.Dear sir, I lke 2 cntct.every GOHILS bt i m not getting that much time.pls. try 2 reply me wenever u bcome free.thank u.

    • Sir,

      I am feeling good to receive msgs addressed to your space.

      I m honored to receive such comments. I wish I could see u soon on the soil of our motherland Rajpipla.

      I would like to share some of the important research works relating to history of Gohils of ruled over Rajpipla (of course, u must be knowing better than any one else), my belief on Dynasty, glory of past capital ‘Hampi’ of Vijayanagara of Karnataka (where I m presently staying) & my future planning of my son’s marriage (presently who is in Canada) in your historical ‘Rajvant Palace’ @ Rajpipla etc.

      Grateful if u could respond/revert.

      Best Regards,
      Nisarg Rajvant.
      Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

  15. Dear Nisharg,

    Nice to hear from you again. I keep travelling to Rajpipla now and then, and will henceforth spend a lot of time there. I look forward to meeting you.

    All good wishes,

    Indra Vikram Singh

    • Dear Sir,

      Thanx for ur desire to meet in Rajpipla.

      Certainly we will meet in near future. My planning to come back to Mumbai/Rajpipla would depend upon my son’s visit in India, probably in May/June, 13.

      Thanx a lot for good wishes. I too wish u a very Happy & prosperous life.

      With kind regards, …..nisarg
      Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

    • Dear Sh. Indra Vikram Singh ji,

      What a co-incidence! Y’day(26/x/13), I was reading WIKIPEDIA/Encyclopedia thru i-net reg. Gohil Clan of Rajpipla wherein reference has been made of “Chokrana” – a Parmar Rajput Prince originally belonged to Ujjain in Malwa (today’s Madhya Pradesh). This Prince in early part of 14th Century was ruling over principality of Rajpipla with his capital at Juna Raj OR old Rajpipla.

      For kind inf., I hv been continuously reading History of your mighty ancestors, their migration & expanding fragrance of good governance in & surrounding Rajpipla area specifically from your Great Grand-pa Maharaja “Chhatrasinhji” who saw dream of Sardar Sarovar in 19th century, Airport & also set-up railway line & dreams hv been converted into reality (except Airodram). Hats off to such great & noble rulers!!!

      My constant efforts r to know my ancestors’ roots which make me slightly nervous (Its purely my personal issue) but at the same time I must say that I’m proud of my powerful motherland, mighty soil where I took birth in the golden & Royal historical place. Wherever I go/stay, I just can’t forget my birth-place ‘Gopalpura’. As I said, I hv determined to perform my elder son’s marriage in ‘Rajvant Palace’ in 2014-15 (unless unavoidable /unpredictable circumstances do not permit me!) when he will come from Canada, that’s it for NOW.

      If u r available in Rajpipla during this Diwali & if u hv a time, I may try to meet u bcoz I’m planning to visit Bharuch, Baroda via Rajpipla from my present stay at Karnatak from 2nd to 4th Nov.13.

      See u sir, take care & God bless u & to your family.
      Nisarg…… (28/10/13).

      Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

      • Dear Nisarg,

        The Gohils have a glorious history. We have struggled, survived, time and again lost our kingdoms and won them back. This has gone on for centuries. Like our ancestors, the last two rulers of Rajpipla, Maharana Chhatrasinhji and Maharaja Vijaysinhji carried out a huge amount of development work over 51 years of their benevolent reign.

        This Diwali I will be in Delhi but look forward to meeting you soon. I went to Gopalpura some time ago and saw the wonderful banana plantations and export packing units close by.

        Wish you and your family A Very Happy Diwali, and may the Almighty shower His choicest blessings upon all of you.

        Yours sincerely,

        Indra Vikram Singh

    • Dear Indra Vikram Singh ji,

      Jai Mataji,

      I hv been trying to reach u via ur space on i-net & Rajvant palace hotel reception (Rajpipla) but till date I did not get response.

      As I said that I’m planning wedding ceremony of my elder son who will come from Toronto (Canada), in Rajvant palace most probably in Feb 2015. I hv a choice to keep marriage place either at Vijayanagar at Karnataka (presently I’m working as General Manager) OR Mumbai (where I hv my house) OR Baroda (where my family members stay presently) but I prefer Rajpipla bcoz our roots are in Gopalpura/Rajpipla. I wanted take blessings of my ancestors. Girl’s side is in Ahmedabad, we hv to take Barat at Ahmedabad only.

      Sir ji, time is passing very fast, Feb.15 is not far, I need to take a decision asap due making other arrangements/preparations i.e. booking of hall, calling of guests etc.

      May I expect as response from u at your earliest, pl?

      Kindly revert & regards,
      Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

      • Dear Nisharg ji,

        I have not received any communication from you earlier regarding your son’s wedding.

        For bookings in Rajvant Palace, please contact Mr. Shrikant on mobile no. 9429556123.

        Best wishes,

        Indra Vikram Singh

      • Dear Sir,

        I’m very much obliged to receive ur reply so quickly!

        My wish to meet u in person remains dream only, GOD knows when it will happen. Can I hv ur cell No., I want to make a courtesy call, pl.

        If u don’t mind, can I hv ur personal email ID pl.

        Thanks a lot & best regards,
        My Cell No.9449879047(Karnatak),
        Sent from BSNL with my BlackBerry® smartphone

  16. Nice to knowing about our clan
    But some sites shows that gohil are chandravanshi(WORLD RAJPUT ORGANIZATION). If I want to know that we are chandravanshi or suryaavanshi how can I?
    If you don’t mine can you give me some evidences or help me to overcome from this confusion
    Stay in contact Sir,

    • All my research tells me that the Gohil Rajput clan is Survanshi. If there is a contrary view, they might have some information I am not aware of.

      Best wushes.

    • Most welcome.

      The Gohil-Sisodia clan and its off-shoots, the Bhonsle and Rana clans ruled over vast tracts in present-day Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, even Tamil Nadu (Thanjavur), and Nepal, for 1500 years. Always bouncing back from defeat and decimation, it was impossible for invaders to wipe out our clan. Many Muslim rulers attacked us, the Khiljis, Tughlags, Sultans of Ahmedabad, Mughals, but we eventually won back our territories. The Gaekwars and the British dominated us but most of our kingdoms held firm, with the welfare of our peoples always being paramount in the hearts of the rulers.

      It is no wonder that our clan produced valiant warriors like our founder Muhideosur Gohadit (Guhil), Bappa Rawal, Salivahan, Sejakji, Mokhdaji, Hamirji Lathi, Maharana Sanga, Maharana Pratap and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, to name a few.

  17. my. delgado umeshsinhji gohil. from anand i would’ like to join our webside. i am stay in anand in last 20 gonretion some onther rajput call u r not real gohil. bit our barot said se will migret from bhavnagr ny cell no is 8980152003 pls info. given on my mail id

  18. Worth reading.
    Thanks for such a nice compilation.
    I need one more favour from you that the suffix SINH originated from where and why. Because early ancestor were not using this but now it’s compulsory.

  19. गारियाधार के बारे में कुछ भी इतिहास की जानकारी मिल जाती है तो अच्छा है

  20. I am Alpesh Gohil from sunrendranagar
    I m belong to Nadoda Rajput Community
    Can you give the information about Nadoda Rajput n Kardiya Rajput?
    My whats app no is 7874702007

  21. Jay mataji
    I want to know origin of my surname n my kuldevi name. My surname is Bharthania. If anybody know any barot who know about our vans haJ so please send me him details. Aur contact number.

  22. नरेन्द्र सिंह गोहिल
    ठी. बाकरोल स्टेट
    ता. कालोल
    जी. पंचमहाल
    जय राजपुताना
    जय महाकाल
    जय माताजी

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