There are many theories and legendary stories about the history of Kadva Patidars (Kurmis, Kanabis). According to the most believable theory, based on the historical records and credible evidences, Kadva Patidars roots go all the way to the origin of Hindus.
According to the same theory, Hindus came to India from Pamir region on Ayu River in the central Asia (in Azerbaijan) via the Caucasus Mountain and Afghanistan (see Figure 1). At that time they were called Aryans (not Hindus) and they worshiped life sustaining elements like sun, wind, fire, and rain, etc. They believed in one God "BRAHAMAN". Their religion was known as Aryan Dharma, Sanatan Dharma, or Vedic Dharma, but not Hindu Dharma.
Figure 1: Kadva Patidar Migration Route Azerbaijan to Saurashtra
When the Aryans came to India they settled in the plains of a big river that they named as Sindhu (means big like an ocean). With passage of time, the Aryans got integrated, socially, culturally, vocationally, and religiously, with the natives living there. Together, they established a well organized and developed settlement that became known as Sindhu Valley Civilization, also known as Indus Valley or Harappa Civilization.
Sindhu Valley civilization is the mother civilization of Hindus and Kadva Patidars (and most of the North Indians). It was established between BC7000 and BC2000 and started shrinking in BC1600. It covered 1.2 million square kilometers (400,000 square miles) from Kashmir in north to Godavari River in south and from Delhi in east to Arabian Sea in west. It was a most advanced civilization with farming, commerce, and social amenities. Its inhabitants had established standards, based on decimal system, for weight, length, area, and volume measurements. They had engineering and technical skills for transportation, farming equipment, metal working, and town planning. They had a language with 26 readable and writable characters. It was written from left to right. They were followers of Shiva.
Figure 2: Hierarchy of Kadva Patidar Ancestors from Aryans to Patel
1. Brahmins: Provided education and religious services
2. Kshatriya: Protected (during wars) and ruled the society
3. Vaishya: Conducted businesses and commerce
4. Shudra: Did manual work and served the other three groups
While in Punjab, those Kurmis lived in Karad area of the Punjab (Gujranwala) were known as Karad Kurmi and those who lived in Leu area were known as Leu Kurmi With time and migration to the south, the "Karad" word got distorted to "Kadva" and the "Kurmi" word got distorted to "Kanabi". Thus Karad Kurmi became Kadva Kanabi and Leu Kurmi became Leuva Kanabi. While settled in North Gujarat, Kadva Kanabis made Unza as the center of the community and established a Temple of Umiya Mataji, their family goddess.
In 17th Century, the Kanabi community requested to call them Patidars, which means managing leased land (mostly from kings). This changed Kadva Kanabi to Kadva Patidar. When Gujarat was taken over by Muslim kings, they started torturing the public.