Geographical Aepects Of Junagadh State
Junagadh was a First class 15 gun salute State, situated in the western Indian State agency (Kathiawar). The area of Junagadh State consisted upon 3,336 sq. miles of rich and fertile land, it lies on the south west portion of the Kathiawar peninsular. It was bounded on the south by the Arabian Sea. The State commanded a sea coast of 84 miles possessing delightful golden sandy beaches. It had 16 ports of which the principal was VeraVal. The total number of cities and towns numbered up to 999. The capital of Junagadh State was a city also called Junagadh, which is situated on the slopes of the Girnar and Dathar hills and is one of the most picturesque in India; lying aprox:70 miles from the coast line.The Uper Kot or the old Citadel contains interesting caves. The famous Ashoka inscriptions are carved out on a big bolster of black granite stone. At the foot of Girnar Hill range to the South-East, lies the extensive forest of the Gir comprising of 494 sq. miles and 823 acres, unique as it is the strong hold of the Junagadh State wild life, particularly the Asiatic Lion. Where the climate is healthy, with the annual rainfall of State up to 30 to 35 inches.
The Illustrious Babi Daynasty
There was a Gentleman named Abdur Rashid, who was in the service of the Prophet HAZRAT MUHAMMAD (peace be upon him.). As he had more than once done great deeds, the Prophet (peace be upon him.) blessed him, saying that his descendants would render considerable help to the religion of Islam. This prophecy was subsequently proved true. ABDUR RASHID has three sons, one of whom was named ISMAIL. One of the sons of the latter was called BABI.Who was the founder of the BABI DYNASTY. This dynasty was named after him. One OSMAN KHAN, ninth in descent from Babi came to India from AFGHANISTAN, with HUMAYUN, Emperor of India. Osmankhan’s son name was BAHADURKHAN. He held a high office at the Emperor’s court. As a reward for his faithful services he received two villages in GUJARAT, as Jagir, from Mughal Emperor SHAH JAHAN. One of the sons of Bahdurkhan named SHER KHAN was highly applauded by Mughal Emperor AURANGZEB ALAMGIR for good services done in Gujarat.When in 1672 A.D. Kutbuddin Foujdar (Governor) of Sorath led an invasion against Jamnagar, SHER KHAN was appointed to help him. Sherkhan bravely conquered JAMNGAR. For this service he obtained the offices of DIWAN of GUJARAT and FOUJDAR of BARODA and in addition the town of PIRAN PATAN as a Jagir. He died at SIDHPUR but his remains were carried to AHMEDABAD, where they were interred near the Idgah.Sherkhan had four sons of these ZAFAR KHAN was the ablest and most enterprising. His services were appreciated at the Imperial Court and the title of SAFDAR KHAN was bestowed upon him. When in 1705 A.D. The Marathas invaded Gujrat, Safdarkhan led an army to appose them. In 1724 A.D. he died and was buried in his family grave-yard near Idgah at Ahmedabad. He was blessed with a long life, during which he served five Emperor of India, all of whom were pleased with his services. In the Babi dynasty, he was the only one to earn for the family the respect and admiration of the proudest nobles of the time. He twice acted as the SUBEDAR of GUJARAT. He was so very peace-loving that he suppressed all mischief at the root. If any dissension arose among the nobles he always settled it amicable and induced the quarrelling parties to come to terms again. Safdarkhan Babi had nine sons. All his sons and grandsons were appointed to high offices during his life time. Among his sons, SHER KHAN was the bravest and the most enterprising. The Jagirdar of RANPUR, who is now under the Nawab Sahib of Junagadh State, is a descendant of his. Among the sons of Safdarkhan, SALABAT KHAN and JAWANMARD KHAN became very famous. The descendants of the former won the Kingdoms of JUNAGADH and WADASINOR, while those of the latter that of RADHANPUR.In 1715 A.D. when disorder prevailed in GOHILWAD, a general of Salabatkhan’s caliber was ordered to restore peace and order. In 1728 A.D. the Foujdar of Junagadh died and Salabatkhan’s son BAHADUR KHAN was appointed Nawab at JUNAGADH STATE in his father’s place. In 1730 A.D. Salabatkhan died at PATODI on his way to Viramgam from Ahmedabad. His remains were taken to Ahmedabad and enterred in his family grave-yard. He discharged his duties in Kathiawar with perfect loyalty to the Imperial Goverment. He had great influence with the people, so much so that his words carried more weight than those of the Suba (Governor) himself. He was a lover of peace and during his regime the people were happy and prosperous.He was a man of great learning. The suburb of SALABATPUR named after him near AHMEDABAD on the other side of the river was founded by him. He also built a fort near WADASINOR, which he got as Jagir from Emperor AURANGZEB, and named it SALABAT NAGAR. He had three sons, named BAHADUR KHAN, DILER KHAN and SHERZAMAN KHAN.
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