The Sodhar sindhis are said to be descended from Paramara Sodhar, are supposed to have come into this part of Sindh from Ujjain about 1226, when they quickly displaced the rulers of the country. Other authorities, however, state that they did not conquer the country from the Sumras, the dominant race, before the beginning of the sixteenth century. The Sodhas, in their turn, succumbed to the Kalhoras about 1750.

Rana Prasad, a Hindu Sodha Rajput ruler of Amarkot, gave refuge to the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Sodha controlled Umarkot Fort was where the great Mughal EmperorAkbar was born in Umerkot, when his father Humayun fled from military defeat at the hands of Sher Shah Suri.

Rana Chandra Singh belonged to the Sodha Rajput clan, and was the Rana (chieftain) of the Amarkot (Umerkotjagir, a Rajput state in Pakistan, and Pakistani Hindu Sodha Thakur Rajput. His father was Rana Arjun Singh and his mother was Dev Kumari. Arjun Singh was Rana of Umarkot in 1947 when the state became part of Pakistan.

Sodha Rajput migrations to Kutch started in 1971 after the Indo-Pak war. Originating from Thar Parkar in east Sindh, Pakistan they had relatives in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Kutch, hence, they settled here and have led a contended life in Kutch. There are 32 Sodha villages in Kutch about 25,000 members of the group with 4,000 artisans among them.

Sodha Rajput who moved from Sindh, Pakistan, to Kutch lives in the Jhura Camp that is well laid out, neat and spotlessly clean. Sodha women are secluded in this village, nestled into a small mountain chain, north of Bhuj.

The Sodhas lead a simple life with no luxuries. Some are not even addicted to beverages like tea and some men usually have only lunch and dinner prepared at home. Fluent in Kutchi, Gujarati, Hindi, they blend well with the local people. They also know Marwari and Thari Sodha language of their earlier homeland. Some even write poetry in Gujarat.

Sodha culture has been preserved through the circular ‘Bhungas’ that the community still uses. They are mostly vegetarian. Their staple diet is bajra or Gheo Chaptis and Khichadi. The women are pure vegetarians but some of the men have now started taking non-vegetarian food outside the house. The ‘Otara’ where the men sit together for meetings or to entertain guests is where they are allowed to eat non-vegetarian food, not inside the house.

Sodha Rajput brides cover their faces and visit sacred spots in their new village on the day after the wedding. A cloth is tied to the turbaned groom who precedes her. The handmade embroidery items in her trousseau are her calling card in her new home. Sodha women and other communities on festivals such as Diwali or Gokulashtmi prepare Gariyu Alekh drawings in the center of the village. Old plaster is removed from the walls and a fresh coat is laid on. When dried, Alekh is done on the walls in colorful designs of Torans and decorations in wall recesses.

Sodha believe in Pithora Pir, a saint whose temple can be seen in all Sodha villages, and hold an annual festival in his honour, and also in Satya Mataji. They celebrate Diwali, Holi, Satam Atam and other Hindu festivals. The victory of good over evil is symbolically expressed in celebration of Dussera (also spelt as Dusshera) and is celebrated by Brahmin, Kshatirya, Vaishya and Shudra Hindus. Earlier a festival of the farming community, it has subsequently turned into a Kshatriya festival.

Agricultural and artisan communities worship Lord Rama, Krishna, Sachiya Mataji or Mother Goddess in her numerous forms. The Sodha Rajput caste blends Hindu and Muslim cultures and some religious practices.


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