(Last Updated on : 17/09/2014)
History of Gujjar community
suggests that the early Maratha party consisted of five Kshatriya families and they are Yadav, Panwar, Sindey, Gurjar and Maura. It is said that a community using the surnames Gujjar and Gurjarpadhye used to reside in the coastal Konkan region of the state of Maharashtra. They also lived in Pangre, Hasol, and several other villages in Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. It is estimated that the Gujjar community have been residing in the Konkan region for near about three centuries. There is no clue how they settled down in this coastal region. Basically they are Brahmins and not Kshatriyas. According to the local priests, the Gujjars in Maharasthra are fundamentally a priestly community.
Gujjars in Maharashtra
were considered as the brave people who had always ten to twenty thousand cavaliers in their own army. 'Bargujjar' is considered as one of the main clans among the Marathas. Pratap Rao Gurjar was the third royal commander-in-chief of the army of Maratha ruler Chatrapati Shivaji. Moreover, Sidhoji Bargujar was also a noteworthy admiral in Shivaji's navy. In 1666 CE when Chatrapati Shivaji went to Delhi to see the emperor of safety given to him by Mirza Raja Jai Singh Amber (Jaipur) he had formed an Executive Council to work under him; Pratap Rao Gurjar was one of its members. When Shivaji was arrested at Delhi by the emperor, Pratap Rao took the field in Maharashtra and protected the country against aggression. In 1672 CE, Salher Fort was besieged by the Mughal forces; Pratap Rao Gurjar reached the place and defeated the besiegers in an open fight. He then conquered Surat and Khandesh. He was again sent to Balgan where Mughal Army was destroyed; he also defeated the Bijapur army at Panhal Khoti. Agian, Singh Gadh Fort was conquered by another Gurjar commander namely Kartoji. The Gujjars in Maharashtra were the right hand of Shivaji in his liberation movement in each fight. Against Afzal Khan, Shaista Khan and Prince Moazzam they led their armies in the fore-front.
In Maharashtra, the Khandesh region has a sizable population of the Gujjars. The main sub-castes of the Gujjar community here are Dode Gujjar, Leva Gujjar, Bargujjar, etc. Moreover, they are also found in several clans of Kshatriya Dhangar. In the state of Maharasthra, Dode and Dore Gujjars are scheduled as separate caste and they are included in the state OBC list. Further, there is another distinct Gujjar caste in Maharashtra that is known as 'Reve Gujjars'. They speak Gurjari language.