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Godwar

Godwar

Historical Region of North India
Godwar
image needed
Location southern Rajastan
Flag of 19th c.
State established: early 10th c.
Language Godwari
Dynasties Paramaras(till 1197)
Deoras (1315-1949)
Historical capitals Chandravati, Sirohi

Godwar (also called Godwad, in different periods also was called Chandravati Kingdom, Sirohi State), is a region of Rajasthan state in western India. Abu Road and Sirohi are the chief towns in the region.

It lies in the south-west Rajasthan and borders Gujarat. On the north there is Marwar region. Godwar is situated on the western side of the Aravalli Range, which runs through Rajasthan from southwest to northeast. Mount Abu, the highest peak of the Aravallis, is in the region. The region comprises Jalore, Sirohi and the southern portion of Pali districts of Rajasthan.

Geography

Most of the region is drained by the Sukri River and its tributaries, which flow west to join the Luni River before it empties into the Rann of Kutch. The southeastern portion of the region is drained by the West Banas River.

Except for Sirohi District, which receives decent rainfall because of being nestled in the Aravalli mountains, the rest of the region has an arid semi-desert climate, and is part of the Northwestern thorn scrub forests ecoregion. The western portion of Jalore District lies in the Thar Desert, and has a desert landscape complete with sand dunes.

History

From the early tenth century the region was ruled by the Paramaras of Abu from the capital Chandravati. The first Paramar ruler of the area was Sindhuraja.

In 1024, Chandravati Kingdom was attacked and plundered by Mahmud Ghazni,when he passed through Rajasthan to attack Anahilavada. After defeating Prithviraj III in 1192, the Muslim Army also attacked Chandravati. In 1197 Qutubuddin’ general Khusrav defeated its king Dharavarsha near the foot of Mount Abu.

In about 1315 the region passed into hands of Deoras, a branch of the Chauhan clan of Rajputs. Deoraj, founder of the dynasty, claimed descent from Prithviraj III, the last Hindu ruler of Delhi. In 1405, Rao Sobhaji (6th in descent from Rao Deoraj) founded the town of Shivpuri on the western slope of Siranwa Hill. Shivpuri today lies in ruins. In 1425, his son and successor, Sehastramal (or Sahastramal, Sehastramal), founded a fortress on the eastern slope of the same hill, which became his capital and grew into the present-day town of Sirohi. The capital was shifted to Sirohi around 1450.

During the early years of the 19th century, Sirohi Kingdom suffered much from wars with Jodhpur and the Meena hill tribes of the area. The protection of the British was sought in 1817; the pretensions of Jodhpur to suzerainty over Sirohi were disallowed, and in 1823 a treaty was concluded with the British government. Sirohi became a self-governing princely state within British India, and part of the Rajputana Agency.

For services rendered during the Revolt of 1857, the Rao received a remission of half his tribute. The state was traversed by the Rajputana Railway in the 19th century, and a station was built at Abu Road, 28 miles south of the town of Sirohi. Rao Keshri Singh (ruled 1875-1920) and his successors were granted the title Maharao (equivalent to Maharaja) in 1889.

The area of the state was 5087 km² (1964 square miles) and its population in 1901 was 154,544. The population of the town of Sirohi that year was 5651. These figures represented a decrease of 17% from the figures that obtained in the previous census of 1891; this was presumably the result of the famine that stalked the land for much of that decade.

The state manufactured sword-blades and other weapons, but little else. In 1901 the gross revenue of the state was approximately Rs 28,000, and the tribute to the British Raj was set at a mere Rs 450. The Crosthwaite Hospital was opened by Sir Robert Crosthwaite in December 1897.

The Sirohi state joined India after the independence.

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