Monday, March 30, 2015

Invasion of Rajpipla by Emperor Akbar, and re-capture of its territories by the rulers of Rajpipla 121 years later

The 12th Gohil Rajput ruler of Rajpipla Maharana Prithuraj ji, who ruled from 1583 to 1593, gave refuge to the last Sultan of Gujarat Muzaffar Shah, thus incurring the wrath of Emperor Akbar. The Imperial troops led by Mirza Khan Khas took Gujarat in 1584. Akbar then levied a tribute of Rs.35,556 on Rajpipla, along with a contingent of 1,000 men to be furnished to the Mughal army. The district of Nandod (the area comprising the plains of the principality of Rajpipla) was granted by Akbar to Haider Kuli Khan.

With the Mughal empire at its zenith, the writ of the next thirteen rulers of Rajpipla was confined to the forests of the western Satpuras, seat of power being at the Fort at Junaraj (Old Rajpipla).

Maharana Verisalji I, the 26th Gohil Rajput ruler of Rajpipla ascended the gadi in 1705. With the Mughal Empire weakening, Maharana Verisalji I asserted his independence the same year and laid waste south Gujarat. A force sent by Emperor Aurangzeb was defeated in alliance with Maratha Damaji Jadhav at Ratanpur. The tribute and troops furnished by Rajpipla to the Mughals since the invasion of Akbar became irregular and were soon discontinued completely. Maharana Verisalji I died in 1715.

His son Maharana Jeetsinhji forged a treaty with Maharaja Peelaji Rao Gaekwar and succeeded in wresting Nandod (New Rajpipla in the plains on the banks of the river Karjan, now modern town of Rajpipla) in 1730 and transferred the capital there. He is said to have brought an incarnation of Harsiddhi Mataji, the Kul Devi, or family deity of the Gohil Rajput clan of Rajpipla from Ujjain and established her temple at Nandod.  Maharana Jeetsinhji died at the Fort, Junaraj in 1754, having recaptured lost territories and restored the glory of the kingdom of Rajpipla.