Empires fall only to rise again. This adage is as true of the Suryavanshi Gohil Rajput dynasty as it is of any other. Bardic tales and genealogical records suggest that the Gohil Rajput clan ruled over Saurashtra (Kathiawar) in present day Gujarat, India, in ancient times. The clan regenerated out of strife, out of the ruins of the destroyed kingdom of Vallabhi in Saurashtra, when a little baby came into this world in the year 542 A.D. at a time when all his kinsmen had been killed in battle and the women committed sati. He was named Muhideosur Gohadit, or Guhil, derived from ‘guhu’, which means cave, where he was born. Growing up among the Bhil adivasi tribe, 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. His descendants were also known as Guhilputra (sons of Guhil), and in time the dynasty came to be known as Gohil, which in the following fifteen centuries was to wage valiant battles to preserve its principalities spread over vast tracts of western and central India, with traces in the Deccan and the far north too.
Guhil’s descendant Bappa Rawal or Kalbhoj captured Chittor Fort and established the Gohil kingdom of Mewar in 734 A.D. 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”.
Salivahan, son of Narvahan, King of Mewar, and 11th in descent to Bappa Rawal, migrated with part of the Gohil clan to Marwar in 973 A.D., leaving behind his son Shaktikumar with the rest of the clan in Chittor. The Gohils under King Salivahan settled at Juna Khergarh (present-day Bhalotra near Jodhpur), which they made their capital in Marwar, on the Luni River.
The Gohils ruled Marwar for 20 generations till the early years of the 13th century. There is still a village there called ‘Gohilon ki Dhani’. Following the invasion of Muhammad Ghori and the establishment of the Slave dynasty in Delhi, the Rathores, who were driven out of Kannauj (in modern Uttar Pradesh). They travelled towards Bikaner and then headed for Marwar. The Gohil chief then was Maheshdasji. Clashes began with the Rathores, which escalated during the rule of his son Jhanjharsinh. During one such skirmish around the middle of the 13th century, Jhanjharsinh Gohil and the Rathore chief Siyaji got killed. The Rathores then began ruling Marwar, which later came to be known as Jodhpur. Thus for about 275 years the Gohil Rajput dynasty had ruled Mewar as well as Marwar.
Under their chief Sejakji, the Gohil clan then marched back to Saurashtra after more than 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.
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.”
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.
To the Gohil-Sisodias of Mewar were born valiant warriors like Maharana Sangram Singh (Sanga) and Maharana Pratap Singh, the rulers of Mewar. The kingdoms that stemmed from this branch of the clan were Dungarpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh and Shahpura in Rajasthan, and Barwani in Madhya Pradesh.
Back in Saurashtra in the 13th century, 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 as 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 before he 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.
Mulraj, brother of Somraj, was governor of Sorath. He died in 1290, by when had also carved out an independent principality Ghoga, 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 Ghoga and slain by Muslim invaders in 1309.
Mokhdaji succeeded his father Ranoji and conquered Umrala from the Kolis, and wrested back Piram (Ghoga) 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 of Ghoga, and later his descendant Bhavsinhji founded the capital city of Bhavnagar in 1723, (ii) Parmar princess of Rajpipla, daughter of Chokrana, ruler of Junaraj (Old Rajpipla) 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 Arjunsinhji.
The Gohil dynasty retained a tenuous hold on the hill tracts of the Satpuras for six centuries with the help of the adivasi Bhils, 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 of Baroda.
For six centuries there was thus an unbroken line of Gohil rulers of Rajpipla :
(1) MIDDLE OF 14TH CENTURY…… – Maharana Arjunsinhji.
The first Gohil Rajput ruler of the kingdom of Rajpipla around the middle of the 14th century. He ascended the gadi (throne) at the old fort of Junaraj, atop the Devastra Hill deep in the forests of the Satpuras. The Gohil clan of Rajpipla, though, continued to worship the deity of the Parmars, Shri Harsiddhi Mataji.
(2) Maharana Bhansinhji.
During this time the stirring tale of Hamirji Gohil, the 16-year-old newly-married chieftain of Lathi, who sacrificed his life in 1401 defending the Somnath temple from the attack of Muzaffar Shah, Sultan of Gujarat, became part of folklore. Hamirji Gohil’s cenotaph still stands at the entrance to the temple.
(3) 1403-1421 – Maharana Gomelsinhji.
In 1403, Rajpipla under Maharana Gomelsinhji was overrun by Sultan Muhammad I of Gujarat. He was forced to flee his capital. In 1416, there was defeat again at Modasa at the hands of Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat. Sultan Hoshang Shah of Malwa had invaded Gujarat on the invitation of Rana Gomelsinhji, who had allied himself with the rulers of Idar and Champaner against Ahmad Shah. He died in 1421.
(4) 1421….. – Maharana Vijaypalji.
(5) …..1463 – Maharana Harisinhji.
In 1431, Rajpipla was attacked again by Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat. Maharana Harisinhji was also forced to flee his capital, but he was a brave ruler and he reconquered the principality in 1443, in alliance with Sultan Hoshang Shah of Malwa, despite being in exile for 12 years. This was at a time when Sultan Ahmad Shah’s successor, Sultan Muhammad Shah II of Gujarat, was occupied in fighting against Mewar and Champaner. Maharana Harisinhji died 1463.
For nearly a century-and-a-half after the reconquering its territories, the principality of Rajpipla State appears to have held a very independent position. At this time the territory seemed to have been confined to the wilder and more hilly parts of Rajpipla and western Khandesh, Nandod (modern Rajpipla town), and probably including districts along both sides of the Narmada, and south to near the Tapti.
(6) …..1526 – Maharana Bhimdev.
Maharana Bhim Dev helped Prince Latif Khan, half brother of Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. In the ensuing battle in 1526, Maharana Bhim Dev was killed.
(7) 1526-1543 – Maharana Raisinhji.
To avenge the killing of his father, Maharana Raisinhji plundered Dahod. A punitive expedition sent to Rajpipla ravaged the area for several months without much success. Next year Bahadur Shah himself led the field and secured Rajpipla’s submission. The submission seems to have been token as Rajpipla mercenaries (Bhil and Koli feudatories) attacked Bahadur Shah’s troops, unaware that this army was taking Sultan Mahmud Shah Khilji of Malwa in captivity to Champaner after the capture of Mandu on 25 May 1531. In this attack, Sultan Mahmud Shah and his sons were also killed. Maharana Raisinhji died 1543.
(8) 1543….. – Maharana Karanbaji.
(9) Maharana Abhayraj ji.
(10) Maharana Sujansinhji.
(11) Maharana Bhairavsinhji.
It is said that after the fall of Chittor in 1567, Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar sought and received shelter in Rajpipla for some time during the reign of Maharana Bhairavsinhji. Reference to this can be found in ‘Veer Vinod’.
(12) 1583-1593 – Maharana Pruthuraj ji.
Maharana Pruthurajji gave refuge to the last Sultan of Gujarat, Muzaffar Shah, and incurred the wrath of Emperor Akbar. The Imperial troops led by Mirza Khan Khas took Gujarat in 1584. Akbar then levied a tribute of Rupees 35,556 on Rajpipla, along with a contingent of 1,000 men to be furnished to the Mughal army. The district of Nandod was granted by Emperor Akbar to Haider Kuli Khan. (This arrangement continued till the last years of Emperor Aurangzeb’s reign when the payments by the Rajpipla rulers not only became irregular but were altogether evaded when possible). Maharana Pruthurajji died in 1593.
(13) 1593….. – Maharana Deepsinhji.
(14) Maharana Durgshahji.
(15) Maharana Mohraj ji.
(16) Maharana Raishalji.
(17) Maharana Chandrasinhji.
(18) Maharana Gambhirsinhji I.
(19) Maharana Subheraj ji.
(20) Maharana Jaisinhji.
(21) Maharana Malraj.
He was younger son of Maharana Jaisinhji. For some reason his elder brother Mugatraj ji did not accede to the gadi.
(22) Maharana Surmalji.
He succeeded to the gadi on the death of his uncle Maharana Malraj.
(23) Maharana Udekaranji.
(24) Maharana Chandrabha.
He was also known as Chandrabaji.
(25) MAHARANA Chhatrasalji.
Meanwhile, a part of the Gohil-Sisodia clan of Mewar, having migrated to Maharashtra, assumed the name Bhonsle and founded kingdoms like Satara, Kolhapur, Nagpur, and Sawantwadi, and produced the legendary Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who refused to bow to the might of the Mughals, just as Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap had done earlier. In the south the clan founded the kingdom of Thanjavur. Another branch of the Sisodias migrated north and became the powerful Rana prime ministers of Nepal.
(26) 1705-1715 – Maharana Verisalji I.
With the weakening of the Mughal Empire, Maharana Verisalji I asserted his independence and in 1705 laid waste south Gujarat. A force sent by Aurangzeb was defeated in alliance with Maratha Damaji Jadhav at Ratanpur.
(27) 1715-173X – MAHARANA SHRI JEETSINHJI.
Maharana Jeetsinhji forged a treaty with Maharaja Peelaji Rao Gaekwar and succeeded in wresting Nandod Taluka from the Mughals. He transferred the capital to Nandod town (New Rajpipla) in the plains on the banks of the river Karjan, now modern town of Rajpipla in 1730. Died 173X.
(28) 173x-1754 – MAHARANA SHRI GOMALSINHJI.
Eldest son of Maharana Jeetsinhji. Had no son, only a daughter Chandrabai Kunverba who was espoused to Maharaja Damaji Rao Gaekwar of Baroda.
(29) 1754-1764 – MAHARANA SHRI PRATAPSINHJI.
Second and eldest surviving son of Maharana Jeetsinhji. The Marathas under Damaji Rao Gaekwar overran Rajpipla and exacted tribute. Died 1764.
(30) 1764-1786 – Maharana Raisinhji.
In 1764, a neice of young Maharana Raisinhji was espoused to Damaji Rao Gaekwar, who renounced part of the tribute. Died at the Fort, Junaraj in 1786.
(31) 1786-1803 (Dethroned 1793) – Maharana Ajabsinhji.
He was younger brother of Maharana Raisinhji, who died without male issue. Umed Vasava, the Bhil Chief of Sagbara revolted and the Gaekwar raised the tribute. Internal power struggles led to interference and arbitration by the Gaekwars. With the intervention of British Agent Willoughby, Maharana Ajabsinhji’s third (and second surviving) son, Naharsinhji was appointed Regent in 1793. Maharana Ajabsinhji died at the Fort, Junaraj, on 15th January 1803.
(32) 1803-1810 – Maharana Ramsinhji.
He was the second and eldest surviving son of Maharana Ajabsinhji. Following differences with his father, Maharana Ajabsinhji, he moved to Mandwa. Then with the help of the Chief of Mandwa, he attacked Rajpipla but was defeated. He fled to Mandwa. On a promise of pardon, Ramsinhji returned to Rajpipla but was imprisoned at the Fort. His younger brother Naharsinhji was then appointed Regent in 1793. On the death of his father Maharana Ajabsinhji on 15th January 1803, the soldiers refused to accept as ruler the younger brother Naharsinhji, who was the Regent. Ramsinhji ascended the gadi on 30th January 1803 at the Fort, Junaraj. He died on 10th May 1810.
(33) 1810-1821 Dethroned – Maharana Naharsinhji.
He was born at Nandod in 1780. and appointed Regent by the British in 1793 after his father Maharana Ajabsinhji was found to be a weak ruler. After Maharana Ajabsinhji’s death on 15th January 1803, Naharsinhji’s elder brother, Ramsinhji succeeded to the gadi. When Maharana Ramsinhji died on 10th May 1810, Naharsinhji once again asserted his claim. A period of family intrigue followed. Maharana Ramsinhji’s widow Rani Surat Kunverba, daughter of the Chief of Mandwa, tried to place their putative son Pratapsinhji on the gadi. Meanwhile Naharsinhji, who had contracted smallpox in the epidemic of 1803, resulting in blindness, making him ineligible to rule, according to ancient Rajput tradition. Seizing the opportunity, Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda raised the tribute payable by Rajpipla and took over the administration of the State. The Gaekwar was in no hurry to settle the dispute and his officers mismanaged the affairs of the State. Ultimately the British authorities intervened again, and after a detailed enquiry decided that Pratapsinhji was not Maharana Ramsinhji’s son. They ensured that Naharsinhji’s son Verisalji succeeded to the gadi on 9th August 1821.
(34) 1821-1860 Abdicated – H.H. Maharana Verisalji II, Raja of Rajpipla.
He was born at Nandod in 1808 and educated privately. He succeeded to the gadi as a minor at the age of 13, and was installed as ruler on 15th November 1821 at the Fort, Junaraj. In October 1821 he entered into an engagement with the British, binding himself and his successors to act in conformity with the advice of the British government. The Gaekwar gave up his claim. By 1825 a final settlement was made of the amount due to the Gaekwar. It was decided that the sum payable to the Gaekwar would be Rs.7,30,000 (₤ 73,000), and would be disbursed by 1833-34. Verisalji II inherited a troubled legacy. His rule began in the backdrop of the great flood in the Narmada in September 1821. Further, during the last few years of the 18th century and the early decades of the 19th century, the power of the rulers of Rajpipla had declined considerably. At this time some of the Bhils had been a source of great trouble. In 1793, they had revolted under Umed Vasava, Chief of Sagbara. Again in 1821, a general uprising of the Bhils took place under the Chieftain of Sagbara, Rai Sinh of Rahooba, and Baiji Damia of Tilakwada. This was contained in 1823. Soon there was an uprising in Khandesh, which was quelled. During the Mutiny of 1857, Rajpipla under Maharana Verisalji II rebelled and was out of the control of the British for several months. This rebellion of the entire area, which also comprised Godhra and Dahod, was co-ordinated by Tantia Tope who, it is believed, made bombs in Rajpipla to be used during the mutiny. After the mutiny was quelled, the British executed the Dewan of Rajpipla. The Bhils of Sagbara rebelled yet again in 1859, and were finally suppressed in 1860. The authority of the State restored, Verisalji II abdicated in favour of his son Gambhirsinhji on 17th November 1860. He died at Nandod in 1868.
(35) 1860-1897 – H.H. Maharana Gambhirsinhji II, Raja of Rajpipla.
He was born at Nandod in December 1846 and educated privately. He succeeded to the gadi when his father Verisalji II abdicated in his favour on 17th November 1860. He reigned under a Council of Superintendence until he came of age and was invested with full ruling powers in 1863. Was granted a permanent salute of 11 guns in 1860 and a sanad (patent) of adoption on 11th March 1862. He was the only Rewakantha chief with first class jurisdiction, that is, power to try for capital offences all persons except British subjects. Unhappy with the financial management, the British placed the State under the joint management of its own officer along with State officials in 1884. A sole British administrator assumed charge of affairs in 1887. Maharana Gambhirsinhji was one of the Indian princes present at the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi on 1st January 1887, which was held to celebrate the assumption of Queen Victoria as Empress of India. On this date the revenue of the State was Rs.6,00,000 (₤ 60,000) annually, the population being around 1,20,000. During his reign there was an improvement in the police and a postal system was set up. Gambhirsinhji built schools, a dispensary and a jail, and spent Rs.2,00,000 (₤ 20,000) on a road 34½ miles long from Nandod (New Rajpipla) to Ankleshwar railway station.
(36) 1897-1915 – H.H. Maharana Sir Chhatrasinhji, Raja of Rajpipla, KCIE (12.12.1911).
He was born at Juni Haveli, Nandod on 18th December 1862, and educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot. He trained as a magistrate and revenue officer before his accession. Succeeded on the death of his father, 10th January 1897 and installed on the gadi at the Fort, Junaraj, 20th May 1897, with full ruling powers. Like his father, he was entitled to a salute of 11-guns, and held a sanad authorising adoption. He vowed never to allow his State administration to be taken over again by the British. Immediately set about instituting a programme of reform and development. Instrumental in saving thousands of lives during the epic famines of 1899-1902, granting famine relief during this period amounting to Rupees 9,00,000. Built the 40-mile Ankleshwar-Rajpipla railway line, which he initiated in the very first year of his reign in 1897. Travelled widely in India and Europe. Was one of the ruling Indian princes who attended the coronation of King George V in London in 1910. He also also attended the Durbar at Delhi in 1911. In that year the revenue of the State was Rupees 10,50,000 (₤ 105,000). He died on 26th September 1915 at Poona.
(37) 1915-1951 (merger 1948) – H.H. Maharana Sir Vijaysinhji, Maharaja of Rajpipla, GBE (1.1.1945), KCSI (1.1.1925).
He was born at Chhatra Vilas Palace, Nandod, 30th January 1890. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot (Head Boy 1908), and Imperial Cadet Corps., Dehra Dun. Honorary Captain Indian Army 14.10.1919, and Honorary Officer 27th Light Cavalry, promoted to Honorary Major 8.9.1932, and Honorary Lt. Colonel 10.9.1943. Succeeded on the death of his father, 26th September 1915, and invested with full ruling powers at the Fort, Junaraj, 10th December 1915. Granted the hereditary title of Maharaja and a permanent salute of 13-guns, in recognition of war services, 1st January 1921. He introduced free primary, affordable secondary education and scholarships of Rs.6,000 per annum for technical and collegiate education, He set up a widow fund. The gigantic and stately high school was constructed on a small hillock opposite the main bazaar in the early 1930s. He began construction of a modern civil hospital in the very first year of his reign, which was inaugurated in 1919 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda, and also built a maternity home, five regional dispensaries, and a veterinary hospital. Agriculture and animal husbandry improved substantially through the implementation of drought and flood relief programmes. In the scarcity year 1918-19, the Maharaja granted liberal remissions and suspensions amounting to Rs.3,00,000. Another Rs.4,00,000 were spent on relief works and gratuitous doles. Farm yields grew with modern farming methods, introduction of new varieties of seeds and improved quality control. He improved the quality of cotton, grains and fruits. Short-stapled Ghoghari cotton was eliminated, and long-stapled 1027 A.L.F. (Farm Cotton) introduced. As a consequence, the reputation of Rajpipla Cotton was built in Bombay and other cotton markets. The land revenue system was regularised. He constructed a power house supplying electricity and water to the town, and was planning to build a dam across the Narmada to generate electricity, supply drinking water and for irrigation. He was in the process of raising finances for the project but the State was merged before this dream could be realized. But it was a precursor to the modern Sardar Sarovar Dam, which has become a lifeline for the people of Gujarat and south Rajasthan. The Maharaja extended the railway line from the old station to the new station by building a magnificent bridge over the river Karjan, which was inaugurated by Governor of Bombay Presidency Lord Willingdon in 1917. He set up a 19-kilometre railway line between the Narmada bank near Jhagadia – on the Rajpipla-Ankleshwar line – and Netrang, which was completed by the year 1932, increasing the network to 94 kilometres. He constructed a 19-mile steam railroad, and a tramway connecting the towns along the river Narmada with villages in the interior. He oversaw the construction of an extensive network of good motorable roads, and put up an airstrip on which small planes started landing in the early 1930s. He had plans to convert this into a 150-acre aerodrome on the banks of the Karjan, south of the town of Rajpipla. The civil and criminal justice systems were reformed, and a salaried civil service was introduced, together with a system of retirement pensions, which did much to eradicate corruption. Salaries of the army and police were increased. During the First World War, Rajpipla State supplied many recruits. The Maharaja donated Rs. 2,00,000 for mechanical ambulances, subscribed to many war charities, and took war loans amounting to Rs. 8,00,000. In the Second World War he presented two Spitfire fighter aircrafts named “Rajpipla” and “Windsor Lad”, which did good work for the Allied forces in France. He introduced town planning methods, built a modern bazaar with a wide central avenue, town hall, public garden and guest house. Sports were promoted and made compulsory for students in Rajpipla State. The dhaba ground hosted several sports like cricket, football and hockey. He built a gymkhana, named Rajpipla Club, which was inaugurated on 26th February 1917 by Lord Willingdon, with tennis and indoor badminton courts, facilities for table tennis, and a polo ground. Had his own family polo team comprising himself and three of his sons Yuvraj Rajendra Singhji, Maharajkumar Pramod Singhji and Maharajkumar Indrajeet Singhji. Maharaja Vijaysinhji was one of the most famous race horse owners in the world, being the only Indian owner ever to win the coveted English Epsom Derby, and earlier clinching the Indian Derby and Irish Derby, thereby completing a rare hat-trick. Despite reduction in the level of taxation, state revenues had exceeded Rupees 46,27,000 when the State was merged with Bombay in 1948, as against Rupees 13,00,000 at the time of his accession in 1915. Even though allied to the British crown through his reign, sensing the march of the forces of Indian democracy, the Maharaja lent support to a nationalist movement in his State in the 1940s. He handed over the administration to the Praja Mandal in the last few months, and was one of the first rulers to merge his State with the Indian Union along with a sum of Rupees 28,00,000 that was lying in deposit in the State treasury. He signed the instrument of accession on 19th March 1948, and merged Rajpipla State with the Union of India on 10th June 1948. He died at his estate The Manor, Old Windsor, Berkshire, England, on 29th April 1951, and was cremated at Rampura, Rajpipla, on the banks of the holy Narmada. A bronze statue of Maharaja Vijaysinhji on horseback adorns the main square of Rajpipla town. The reign of Maharana Vijaysinhji was the pinnacle of the rule of the Gohil Rajput clan over the kingdom of Rajpipla, and it brought down the curtain on a valiant struggle and set the area on the path of modernisation.
The quest of the descendants of the Gohil Rajput dynasty of Rajpipla in the 21st century is not to defend territories, but to preserve their rich culture and heritage, record their history and maintain traditions while blending with the national mainstream.
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(Indra Vikram Singh, Prince of Rajpipla and descendant of the Gohil Rajput dynasty, can be contacted on email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org).