Monday, May 4, 2020


There is no way to learn about the history of Porwad gnati till 12th Century. After that Shrimal Puran and some books on Jainism give some details about our gnati. But these highlight many dissimilarities about the gnati. There are many stories about the gnati's origin. The historians believe as also logically speaking, the details given in Shrimal Puran and Vimal Prabandh are most believable. 

The question is when did Porwads come to Shrimal. Shirmal (currently known as Bhinnamal) is situated 50 miles from Abu Road in Marwad. It seems porwads stayed in Shrimal during Vanraj Chawda's period (720 AD-780 AD). Shrimali Brahmins and banias (including porwads) came to Bhinnamal (also known as Shrimal) along with Kanishk who was a Kshatrap. Porwads reportedly came to Shrimal in the Second Century. 

There is no clear evidence about the place from which porwads came to Shrimal. One belief is, porwads came from Kashmir with King Kanishk. Kshatraps originally stayed in Kashmir. But researcher Shri Manilal Bakorbhai Vyas has used the word 'Khambhnagar' meaning 'Khambhat'nagar in Vimal Prabandh and has said that porwads came to Shrimal from Khambhat. According to the history of Gujarat, porwads did not come to Gujarat directly from kashmir. They came from some city on the east of Shrimal. 

They came to India from the north-west in the time of Kanishka (78 AD - 108 AD). They stayed in Sindhupradesh, went to Mathura and in times of Guptas (300 AD) went to Rajputana and came to Gujarat via Kota and Malwa to Gujarat through Mandesar. 

The word porwad seems to have come from pur (city) and vaat (direction). It could also ahve originated from the word 'pragvat'. 

Shrimal Puran describes porwads as vaishya but Vimal Prabandh describes them as kshatriyas. In Rajsthan porwads were kshatriyas. A census published in 1891 describe porwads as descendants of rulers of Rajputs from Anhilwad of Patan. Thus, porwads seem to be descendants of Solanki Rajputs. Solankis are treated as Gujjars in the history of Gujarat. These Gujjars were not pure Kshatriyas but foreigner nomads. They were farmers and also fought wars. There is no doubt that Solankis were kshatriyas among Gujjars. A large population of Gujjars came and settled in Gujarat and Marwad and because of various occupations were divided into various gnatis. Their main occupations were farming, animal husbandry and trading. Because they were traders, they were called banias. The men of our gnati are known for their valour and devotion to the State. There are strong reasons to believe that Vastupal and Tejpal - the two brothers who built the famous Jain temples in Abu were porwads. Vimal - the leader of Gurjareshwar Bhim's army too was a porwad. Porwads are also known for their charity. The grand temples built near Ambaji were built by porwads from Chandrawati. 

By 13th Century, Porwads got divided into Dashas and Vishas. Religion also made further factions among them - Shravak (Jain) porwads and Kanthibandha (vaishnav) porwad. After coming to Shrimal they followed religion as per Vedas. Then a large part of them adopted Jain religion. Thus, during 1500 AD, there were two large factions of Porwads - Jains and Vaishnavs. Vaishnavs largely follow Vallabh sampraday. Some are even Swaminaranyani and Aryasamaji. Aryasamajis wear janoi instead of kanthi. Vasihnavs wear Tulsi ni kanthi. Thats why they are known as kanthibandha. Dasha Porwads are mostly Vaishnavs and Vishas are Jains. 

There is also a third faction called Pancha according to Kathiawad Sarva Sangrah. But there is no information available about when did this faction come about. Perhaps they behaved against Shastras or tradition and therefore they were boycotted from the caste. Now there are factions also like Surti, Khambhati, Kapadwanji, Amdavadi, Mangroli and Bhavnagari. 

Porwad population resides in Saurashtra, Katch, Gujarat, Daman, Marwad, Khandesh, Nandurbar, Warad, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Dahanu, Mumbai, Chinchan, Tarapore, Burhanpur, Kashi, Muradabad and Calcutta. 

Our Kuldevi is Mahalaxmi and Kulgors are Shirmali brahmins. 

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