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).

For related place names see Indian Place names and Gujarat place names.


Kathiawar/Saurashtra Peninsula     w:User:Miljoshi