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During Valabhi and Chálukya ascendancy a small Gurjar kingdom flourished in and about Broach. As has been noticed in the Valabhi chapter the Gurjars were a foreign tribe who came to Gujarát from Northern India. All the available information regarding the Broach Gurjars comes from nine copperplates,1 three of them forged, all obtained from South Gujarát. These plates limit the regular Gurjar territory to the Broach district between the Mahí and the Narbadá, though at times their power extended north to Kheḍá and south to the Tápti. Like the grants of the contemporary Gujarát Chálukyas all the genuine copperplates are dated in the Traikúṭaka era which begins in a.d. 249–50.2 The Gurjar capital seems to have been Nándípurí or Nándor,3 the modern Nándod the capital of Rájpipla in Rewa Kántha about thirty-four miles east of Broach. Two of their grants issue Nándípurítaḥ4 that is ‘from Nándípurí’ like the Valabhítaḥ or ‘from Valabhi’ of the Valabhi copperplates, a phrase which in both cases seems to show the place named was the capital since in other Gurjar grants the word vásaka or camp occurs.

Though the Gurjars held a considerable territory in South Gujarát their plates seem to show they were not independent rulers. The general titles are either Samadhigata-panchamaháśabada ‘He who has attained the five great titles,’ or Sámanta Feudatory. In one instance Jayabhaṭa III. who was probably a powerful ruler is called Sámantádhipati6 Lord of Feudatories. It is hard to say to what suzerain these Broach Gurjars acknowledged fealty. Latterly they seem to have accepted the Chálukyas on the south as their overlords. But during the greater part of their existence they may have been feudatories of the Valabhi dynasty, who, as mentioned above were probably Gurjars who passed from Málwa to South Gujarát and thence by sea to Valabhi leaving a branch in South Gujarát.

The facts that in a.d. 649 (Valabhi 330) a Valabhi king had a ‘camp of victory’ at Broach where Raṇagraha’s plate7 shows the Gurjars were then ruling and that the Gurjar king Dadda II. gave shelter to a Valabhi king establish a close connection between Valabhi and the Nándod Gurjars.

Their copperplates and seals closely resemble the plates and seals of the Gujarát Chálukyas. The characters of all but the forged grants are like those of Gujarát Chálukya grants and belong to the Gujarát variety of the Southern India style. At the same time it is to be noted that the royal signature at the end of the plates is of the northern type, proving that the Gurjars were originally northerners. The language of most of the grants is Sanskrit prose as in Valabhi plates in a style curiously like the style of the contemporary author Báṇa in his great works the Kádambarí and Harshacharita. From this it may be inferred that Báṇa’s style was not peculiar to himself but was the style in general use in India at that time.

Territory of Gurjar Kingdoms of Bharuch

These copperplates limit the regular Gurjara territory to the Bharuch district between the Mahi and the Narmada rivers, though at times their power extended north to Kheḍā and south to the Tāpti river.[2]

Though the Gurjaras held a considerable territory in South Gujarat their plates seem to show they were not independent rulers. The general titles are either Samadhigata-panchamahāśabada ‘He who has attained the five great titles,’ or Sāmanta Feudatory. In one instance Jayabhaṭa III who was probably a powerful ruler is called Sāmantādhipati Lord of Feudatories. It is hard to say to what suzerain these Broach Gurjaras acknowledged fealty. Latterly they seem to have accepted the Chalukyas on the south as their overlords. But during the greater part of their existence they may have been feudatory of the Maitraka dynasty.

Early history
A grant made by Nirihullaka, the chieftain of a forest tribe in the lower valley of the Narmada, shows that towards the end of the sixth century CE that region was occupied by forest tribes who acknowledged the supremacy of the Kalachuri dynasty; a fact which accounts for the use of the Chedi or Traikúṭaka era in South Gujarāt. Nirihullaka names with respect a king Śaṅkaraṇa, identified with Śaṅkaragaṇa (r. c. 575-600 CE) of Kalachuri dynasty and the Gurjara conquest must be subsequent to this date. Another grant,[5] which is only a fragment and contains no king’s name, but which on the ground of date (Samvat 346 = 594–5 CE) and style may be safely attributed to the Gurjara dynasty, shows that the Gurjaras were established in the country within a few years of Śaṅkaragaṇa’s probable date.[2]
A still nearer approximation to the date of the Gurjara conquest is suggested by the change in the titles of Dharasena I of Maitraka dynasty, who in his grants of Saṃvat 252[6] (571 CE) calls himself Mahārāja, while in his grants of 269 and 270[7] (588 and 589 CE), he adds the title of Mahāsāmanta, which points to subjection by some foreign power between 571 and 588 CE. It seems highly probable that this power was that of the Gurjaras of Bhīnmāl; and that their successes therefore took place between 580 and 588 CE or about 585 CE.

Dadda I
The above-mentioned anonymous grant of the year 346 (CE 594–95) from Sankheda is ascribed with great probability to Dadda I. who is known from the two Kheḍā grants of his grandson Dadda II. (C. 620–650 CE)[8] to have “uprooted the Nāga” who may be the same as the forest tribes ruled by Nirihullaka (possibly later represented by the Nāikdās of the Panchmahāls and the Talabdas or Locals of Bharuch).
The northern limit of Dadda’s kingdom seems to have been the Vindhya, as the grant of 380 (CE 628–29) says that the lands lying around the feet of the Vindhya were for his pleasure. At the same time it appears that part at least of Northern Gujarāt was ruled by the Mahāsāmanta Dharasena of Maitraka dynasty, who in Val. 270 (589–90 CE) granted a village in the āhāra (province) of Kheṭaka (Kheḍā). Dadda is always spoken of as the Sāmanta, which shows that while he lived his territory remained a part of the Gurjara kingdom of Bhīnmāl. Subsequently, North Gujarāt fell into the hands of the Mālava kings, to whom it belonged in Hiuen Tsiang’s time (c. 640 CE). In Tsiang’s accounts, Po-lu-ka-cha-po (Bharigukacchapa or Bhrigukaccha, i.e., Bharuch) is mentioned. Dadda I. is mentioned in the two Kheḍā grants of his grandson as a worshipper of the sun: the fragmentary grant of 346 (594–95 CE) which is attributed to him gives no historical details.

Jayabhata I
Dadda I was succeeded by his son Jayabhaṭa I who is mentioned in the Kheḍā grants as a victorious and virtuous ruler, and appears from his title of Vītarāga the Passionless to have been a religious prince.[2]

Dadda II
Jayabhaṭa I. was succeeded by his son Dadda II who bore the title of Praśāntarāga, the Passion-calmed. Dadda was the donor of the two Kheḍā grants of 380 (628–29 CE) and 385 (633–34 CE), and a part of a grant made by his brother Raṇagraha in the year 391 (639–40 CE) has been recorded.[12] Both of the Kheḍā grants relate to the gift of the village of Sirīshapadraka (Sisodra) in the Akrúreśvara (Ankleshwar) vishaya to certain Brāhmans of Jambusar and Bharuch. In Raṇagraha’s grant the name of the village is lost.
Dadda II’s own grants describe him as having attained the five great titles, and praise him in general terms: and both he and his brother Raṇagraha sign their grants as devout worshipers of the sun. Dadda II heads the genealogy in the later grant of 456 (704–5 CE), which states that he protected “the lord of Valabhi [Dhruvasena II] who had been defeated by the great lord the illustrious Harshadeva.” The event referred to must have been some expedition of Harsha of Kanauj (Vardhana dynasty) (607–648 CE), perhaps the campaign in which Harsha was defeated on the Narmada by Pulakeshin II of Chalukya dynasty (which took place before 634 CE). The protection given to the Valabhi king is perhaps referred to in the Kheḍā grants in the mention of “strangers and suppliants and people in distress.” If this is the case the defeat of Valabhi took place before 628–29 CE, the date of the earlier of the Kheḍā grants. On the other hand, the phrase quoted is by no means decisive, and the fact that in Hiuen Tsiang’s time Dhruvasena II of Valabhi was son-in-law of Harsha’s son, makes it unlikely that Harsha should have been at war with him. It follows that the expedition referred to may have taken place in the reign of Dharasena IV who may have been the son of Dhruvasena by another wife than Harsha’s granddaughter.
To Dadda II’s reign belongs Hiuen Tsiang’s notice of the kingdom of Bharuch (C. 640 CE). He says “all their profit is from the sea” and describes the country as salt and barren, which is still true of large tracts in the west and twelve hundred years ago was probably the condition of a much larger area than at present. Hiuen Tsiang does not say that Broach was subject to any other kingdom, but it is clear from the fact that Dadda bore the five great titles that he was a mere feudatory. At this period the valuable port of Bharuch, from which all their profit was made, was a prize fought for by all the neighbouring powers. With the surrounding country of Lāṭa, Bharuch submitted to Pulakeśin II. (610–640 CE), it may afterwards have fallen to the Mālawa kings, to whom in Hiuen Tsiang’s time (640 CE) both Kheḍā (K’i.e.-ch’a) and Ánandapura (Vadnagar) belonged; later it was subject to Valabhi, as Dharasena IV made a grant at Bharuch in VS 330 (649–50 CE).
The knowledge of the later Gurjaras is derived exclusively from two grants of Jayabhaṭa III dated respectively 456 (704–5 CE) and 486 (734–5 CE).[19] The later of these two grants is imperfect, only the last plate having been preserved. The earlier grant of 456 (704–5 CE) shows that during the half century following the reign of Dadda II the dynasty had ceased to call themselves Gurjaras, and had adopted a Purāṇic pedigree traced from Karna of Mahabharata. It also shows that from Dadda III onward the family were Śaivas instead of sun-worshipers.[2]

Jayabhata II
The successor of Dadda II was his son Jayabhaṭa II who is described as a warlike prince, but of whom no historical details are recorded.

Dadda III
Jayabhaṭa’s son, Dadda III Bāhusahāya is described as waging wars with the great kings of the east and of the west (probably Mālava and Valabhi). He had received title of Bāhusahāya to for showing valour of his arms in fights with suzerain of east and west. He was Śaiva. Like his predecessors, Dadda III was not an independent ruler. He could claim only the five great titles, though no hint is given who was his suzerain. His immediate superior may have been Jayasimhavarma, who received the province of Lāṭa from his brother Vikramaditya I of Chalukya dynasty.[20][2][21] During his rule Jayasimhavarma had defeated Vajjada between Mahi and Narmada rivers. Vajjada may be another name of Dadda III or another king of that name had invaded his state and was defeated by Jayasimhavarma.[11][16]

Jayabhata III
The son and successor of Dadda III was Jayabhaṭa III whose two grants of 456 (704–5 CE) and 486 (734–5 CE)[22] must belong respectively to the beginning and the end of his reign. He attained the five great titles, and was therefore a feudatory, probably of the Chālukyas: but his title of Mahāsāmantādhipati implies that he was a chief of importance. He is praised in vague terms, but the only historical event mentioned in his grants is a defeat of a Maitraka ruler of Valabhi, noted in the grant of 486 (734–5 CE). The Maitraka king referred to must be Śīlāditya IV (691 CE).

Jayabhata III was succeeded by Ahirole. He ruled till c. 720 CE.

Jayabhata IV
Ahirole’s son Jayabhata IV’s copperplate states that he defeated the Arabs fighting for the Ummayad Caliphate at Valabhi, the capital of his probable overlords, the Maitrakas, in the year 735-36 CE. He assumed title of Mahasamanradhipati. He must be feudatory of Maitraka ruler Shiladitya IV or Shiladitya V as he had helped his suzerain Maitrakas in battle. Majumdar had suggested that he may have helped as a feudatory of Chalukyas. Bharuch may have finally destroyed by the Arabs and the Gurjara principality overtaken by them. The Arab were severely defeated and repulsed by Chalukya governor Avanijanashraya Pulakeshin in 738-39 at Navsari. He may have annexed the Gurjara kingdom to the Chalukya territory after evicting the Arabs. Alternatively, the state may have been absorbed under Dantidurga of Rashtrakuta dynasty.

Ráshṭrakúṭa conquest of Gujarát begins with Dantidurga’s conquest of Láṭa, that is South Gujarát between the Mahí and the Narbadá, from the Gurjjara king Jayabhaṭa whose latest known date is a.d. 736 or seventeen years before the known date of Dantidurga. The Gurjjaras probably retired to the Rájpipla hills and further east on the confines of Málwa where they may have held a lingering sway. Later references to Gurjjaras in Ráshṭrakúṭa times refer to the Gurjjaras of Bhínmál not to the Gurjjaras of Broach, who, about the time of Dadda III. (C. 675–700 a.d.), ceased to call themselves Gurjjaras.

A few words must be said regarding the three grants from Iláo, Umetá, and Bagumrá (Ind. Ant. XIII. 116, VII. 61, and XVII. 183) as their genuineness has been assumed by Dr. Bühler in his recent paper on the Mahábhárata, in spite of Mr. Fleet’s proof (Ind. Ant. XVIII. 19) that their dates do not work out correctly.

Dr. Bhagvánlál’s (Ind. Ant. XIII. 70) chief grounds for holding that the Umetá and Iláo grants (the Bagumrá grant was unknown to him) were forgeries were:

(1) Their close resemblance in palæography to one another and to the forged grant of Dharasena II. of Valabhi dated Śaka 400;

(2) That though they purport to belong to the fifth century they bear the same writer’s name as the Kheḍá grants of the seventh century.

Further Mr. Fleet (Ind. Ant. XIII. 116) pointed out:

(3) That the description of Dadda I. in the Iláo and Umetá grants agrees almost literally with that of Dadda II. in the Kheḍá grants, and that where it differs the Kheḍá grants have the better readings.

To these arguments Dr. Bühler has replied (Ind. Ant. XVII. 183):

(1) That though there is a resemblance between these grants and that of Dharasena II., still it does not prove more than that the forger of Dharasena’s grant had one of the other grants before him;

(2) That, as the father’s name of the writer is not given in the Kheḍá grants, it cannot be assumed that he was the same person as the writer of the Iláo and Umetá grants; and[118]

(3) That genuine grants sometimes show that a description written for one king is afterwards applied to another, and that good or bad readings are no test of the age of a grant.

It may be admitted that Dr. Bühler has made it probable that the suspected grants and the grant of Dharasena were not all written by the same hand, and also that the coincidence in the writer’s name is not of much importance in itself. But the palæographical resemblance between Dharasena’s grant on the one hand and the doubtful Gurjjara grants on the other is so close that they must have been written at about the same time. As to the third point, the verbal agreement between the doubtful grants on the one hand and the Kheḍá grants on the other implies the existence of a continuous tradition in the record office of the dynasty from the end of the fifth till near the middle of the seventh century. But the Saṅkheḍá grant of Nirihullaka (Ep. Ind. II. 21) shows that towards the end of the sixth century the lower Narbadá valley was occupied by jungle tribes who acknowledged the supremacy of the Kalachuris. Is it reasonable to suppose that after the first Gurjjara line was thus displaced, the restorers of the dynasty should have had any memory of the forms in which the first line drew up their grants? At any rate, if they had, they would also have retained their original seal, which, as the analogy of the Valabhi plates teaches us, would bear the founder’s name. But we find that the seal of the Kheḍá plates bears the name “Sámanta Dadda,” who can be no other than the “Sámanta Dadda” who ruled from C. 585–605 a.d. It follows that the Gurjjaras of the seventh century themselves traced back their history in Broach no further than a.d. 585. Again, it has been pointed out in the text that a passage in the description of Dadda II. (a.d. 620–650) in the Kheḍá grants seems to refer to his protection of the Valabhi king, so that the description must have been written for him and not for the fifth century Dadda as Dr. Bühler’s theory requires.

These points coupled with Mr. Fleet’s proof (Ind. Ant. XVIII. 91) that the Śaka dates do not work out correctly, may perhaps be enough to show that none of these three grants can be relied upon as genuine.

The rulers till Dadda III were worshipers of Surya (sun) but after Dadda III they are identified as Shaiva.[2] Jayabhata I and Dadda II, are given the epithets ‘Vitarāga’ and ‘Prasāntarāga’ in their grants—words which indicate that they may have patronized Jainism though they themselves were not converts.