Guj: કાઠીયાવાડ kāṭhīyāvāḍa

‘Land of the Kathis’ -Region/Peninsula, Gujarat

From Kathi and Guj/Hin: vāṛā/vāḍā, ‘place (belonging to)’, ‘colony’, ‘settlement’.

The 61,000 km2 Kathiawar/Saurashtra peninsula (the names are roughly equivalent), reaching out into the Arabian Sea,  has been a trading centre for centuries.

The Kathis, a tribe of ‘grazers and incipient plunderers with a marked ability to fight’, migrated here in the 15thC and  have dominated central Saurashtra since: 

Accounts of the early career of the Kathias in Saurashtra contain references to them as ‘free-booters’, ‘predatory’ , ‘ferocious’, but at the same time they have also been referred to as ‘brave’, ‘gallant’ and ‘hospitable’ …The knowledge of horse – breeding can be counted as perhaps the most important contribution of the Kathis to Kathiawar and to this day the Kathi States have been reputed for their famous stables’ [Singhji (1994) p53]

217 princely states of Kathiawar were merged to form the state of Saurashtra on 15 February 1948 thanks to the sterling efforts of Vallabhbhai Patel (see Kheda).


Kathiawar/Saurashtra Peninsula     w:User:Miljoshi