Deshalji II, officially known as His Highness Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Shri Deshalji II Sahib Bahadur, was the ruler or Maharao of the princely state of Cutch, which is currently known as Kutch
district in the state of Gujarat
in western India. He ruled over the territory from the year 1819 to 1860, when he died. He ascended the royal throne of Cutch (now Kutch), after Maharao Bharmulji II, his father, was deposed by the British East India Company
. As the ruler was still a minor at the rime of his ascension, thus Deshalji II ruled under a Council of Regency which was led by Captain Mac Murdo and composed of chiefs of the Jadeja clan. In the year 1834, Maharao Deshalji II of Cutch attained the age of majority attained the age of majority and he took over the management of law of the territory.
Early Life of Deshalji II
Maharao Shri Deshalji II Sahib Bahadur was born in the year 1814 to father Bharmulji II and belonged to the Jadeja dynasty of Rajputs
. In the year 1815 his father Rao Bharmulji II was overpowered by both the British Government and the Gaekwad army. Thus the state of Cutch (Kutch) accepted suzerainty of the British East India Company in 1818. The princely state was forced to accept a British Resident at the court of Bharmulji II in Bhuj. Later in the year 1819, Deshalji II ascended the throne at the request of the British administration and other critics of the Jadeja dynasty.
Rule of Deshalji II
During the reign of Deshalji II, Maharao of the princely state of Cutch, the territory experienced severe earthquake in the year 1819. In the following period, the region further suffered from famine in the years 1823, 1825 and 1832. Moreover, the princely state of Cutch (Kutch) was attacked by raiding army from Sindh
. The Maharao, along with his Dewan Devkaran, increased their strength with the support their brothers. They defeated the Muslim pillaging army of Sher Bulandkhan and Kesarkhan. The army of Deshalji II also ruined the devastating schemes of Nagarparkar of Sindh.
During his rule, trading relations significantly improved with Africa, particularly Zanzibar. But gradually the industrialization in the princely state suffered to some extent. Maharao Deshalji II of the princely state of Cutch took several efforts to develop the condition of his subjects and the society. Due to his reformative efforts, infanticide was restrained. Further more, the trade of slaves and practice of Sati was also abolished under his regime. The state of the educational system was also developed with the establishment of many schools through pout the state.
Personal Life of Deshalji II
Deshalji II was married a total of eight times and had many children. His son Pragmalji II was proclaimed Yuvraj by the Maharao of Cutch. As the prominent suffered from severe illnessin his later life, thus he transferred his ruling powers to Pragmalji II, his son and heir, in the year 1859. He died in the year 1860 and Pragmalji II
ascended the throne as the Maharao of the princely state of Cutch in the same year.