The Leuva Patidar community of Surat, Navsari, Tapi, Bharuch and Valsad districts of southern part of Gujarat has a history, which goes back to several centuries. These Patidars and their descendants residing all over the world and especially in United States of America are compassionate, hardworking, and very resourceful people. These Patidars are involved in various enterprises including but not limited to Lodging, Engineering, Medicine, Science, and service-related industries in major metropolitan cities as well as small towns of America. In spite of being relocated in this foreign country we have not forgotten our roots, culture and the rich heritage, hence we have been actively involved in local and national organizations which promote cultural, religious, sports, important festivals and other functions.
We all know that we have come from the state of Gujarat in India, but now let us check into the History of Leuva Patidars. Who are we? Where did our forefathers come from? These are some of the questions our children may ask. The burden of responsibility falls on us to provide all the information to our children to fulfill their curiosity about the Leuva Patidar identity, culture, and history. The following data is compiled from several sources and in certain places its accuracy may be questionable, but overall, the data is accurate enough to log this information for the future generations.
The Leuva Patidar also known as the Leuva Patel of Gujarat is the descendant of the Aryan Race. It is, therefore, safe to assume that the history of Aryans is in fact.
The history of the Leuva Patidars of Gujarat
The Aryan Race of central Asia were the ranchers and farmers in the Highland region of Pamir. The migration of these Aryan people of Pamir began approximately four thousand years ago when some of them moved westward towards Europe and Iran, whereas the group migrated to the southern part of Asia. The latter group entered Punjab, India through Afghanistan and settled in the new country. These settlers were mainly involved in cattle rearing and farming. These Aryans being hard working and resourceful people became prosperous and culturally advanced.
The RIG VEDS describes "Purush-Sukta" the four classes, which was necessary to delegate the responsibilities to run an efficient community for these very advanced thinking people. The four categories of workers were BRAHMINS, KSHATRIYAS, VAISHYAS and SUDRAS. It was a common practice for a Sudra to become Brahmin, the Vaishya to become Kshatriya and so on. In simple terms the system was not as rigid as it became later, when the people were stereotyped, belonging only to one caste. The system was supposed to utilize the labour according to one’s capabilities and adequacies of successfully working at a function or a task. In the Rig-Veda there is mention of Kshatriya girls marrying Brahmin, as was the example of King Saryata’s daughter Sukanya marrying Cyarana. It seems the caste system played no role in percentage of psyche of a particular person, the only criteria required in order to belong to a particular class was the know-how, the capability and willingness to perform a particular task efficiently. It seems each man’s worth was weighed by his virtue. In true form this was a highly organized culturally advanced society.
Brahmins were the advisers, educators, or teachers; Kshatriyas were the defenders of an area, a region or kingdom. Vaishyas were the tradesmen, shopkeepers or landowners and the Sudras were farmers, helpers, or involved in menial type of work. During the peace times, it was common for certain Kshatriyas to work the fields or rear chattels. These Kshatriyas were known as KURMI KSHATRIYA. As the time passed the word KURMI changed to KUNBI and later to KANBI. This KURMI (KUNBI) KSHATRIYA population grew in Punjab to a point when several families did not possess enough land to cultivate and this was one of the reasons for the migration. Another reason for this exodus from the Punjab area was the atrocities, mistreatment and loss of family members encountered during the attack by the King Sairas of Iran in 600 B.C., King Dairas of Iran in 518 B.C and Alexander the Great of Greece in 300 B.C. These families called the KURMI KSHATRIYAS having endured losses of family members and setbacks in life progression started emigrating either eastbound or southbound towards Rajasthan, then to Binmal in Gujarat, their plight from Punjab, it seems was for survival as well as making a better life for their families.
When the Kurmi Kshatriyas came to Gujarat, they first came to Saurastra, then to Vadnagar, later to Vadodara & Baruch. During A.D 1820’s, the Kurmis, by that time known as Kanbis, moved to Surat Districts and then to Valsad Districts. In addition to being known as Kanbis, they were also known as KADVAS and LEVAS. It took nearly 5000 years for some of the original Aryans descendents to have reached Surat and Valsad, the southern part of Gujarat State.
Before we look into the emigration of Leuva Patidar outside of Indian subcontinent, let us look at the different terms the Leuva Patidars is recognized by with their origin. The ones living in Leya part were known as Leys-Kurmi, and those living in Karad part were known as Karad-Kurmi. Later on, the Leya- Kurmi came to be known as Leuva -Kanbi and the Karad-Kurmi became Kadva-Kanbi.
The surname Patel is the most widely used name today. Originally the Kurmis of Punjab, after having settled in Gujarat around 1400 A.D. were allocated the uncultivated land in Petlad Taluka by the Solankis, the rulers of Gujarat at the time. The Solanki ruler allocated land equivalent to one village to each family for cultivation. The Kanbi family being highly motivated and hard working to succeed cultivated the land and prospered. The King has an agreement with Kanbis and had appointed a headman, whose responsibility was to keep the records of the crops on a PAT. The person keeping the record was known as PATLIK, and was shortened to PATAL, and eventually to PATEL. Prior to the introduction of the name Patel in Gujarat, they were known as Kanbis. Patel is not a cast, but a surname adopted by the most of original Kanbis.
Patidar means "owner of land". ‘PATI’ means land and ‘DAR’ means the person who owns it. In Mehamdavad, Kheda district, around 1700.A.D., the ruler of Gujarat, Mohammed Begdo, selected the best farmer from each village and gave them land for cultivation. In return, the Patidar would pay the ruler a fixed income for a certain period, after which, the Patidar would acquire the ownership of the land. The Patidars would hire a hardworking and knowledgeable work force to cultivate the land and in due course of time, they would become the owners of the land. These Patidars were from then onwards identified as Patel Patidars.
"Gujarat na Patidaro" It has mentions Vir Vasandas, who lived in a village near Piplao (Kheda District), and was a collector of revenues from Dhoka, Matar and Petlad Talukas. Vir Vasandas called a convention to honour the King Bhadurshah (son of mogul king Aurangzeb, the ruler of India during Mogul domination) and invited all Kanbis of Gujarat. At the convention, Vasandas introduced all Kanbis to the King as PATIDARS, and the King entered Patidars in the government records as those who are proprietors of land having to pay fixed revenue to the governing authorities.