Former princely states of Madhya Pradesh & Zamindari’s


Former princely states of Madhya Pradesh & Zamindari’s

Major Princely State of Odisha

Bhopal State

  • Bhopal State(pronounced was a tributary state in 18th century India, a princely salute state with 19 gun salute in a subsidiary alliance with British India from 1818 to 1947, & as an autonomous state from 1947 to 1949.
  • Islamnagar was founded & served as the State’s first capital, which was later changed to the city of Bhopal.
  • The state was founded in 1707 CE by Dost Mohammad Khan, an Pashtun soldier in the Mughal army, who became a mercenary after the Emperor Aurangzeb’s death & annexed several territories.
  • It came under the suzerainty of the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1723 shortly after its foundation.
  • In 1737, Marathas defeated the Mughals & the Nawab of Bhopal in the Battle of Bhopal, & started collecting tribute from the state.
  • After the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Bhopal became a British princely state in 1818. Bhopal State was the second biggest state in pre-independence India, with a Muslim leadership, first being Hyderabad State.
  • The state was merged into the Union of India in 1949 as Bhopal.

Alirajpur State 

  • Alirajpur Statewas previously a princely state of India, administratively under the Bhopawar Agency subdivision of the Central India Agency.
  • The state covered an area of 2165 square kms, with a population of 50,185 in 1901 & its capital at Alirajpur.
  • The principality was founded in 1437 by Anand Deo, a Rajput of the Rathore, starting the Deo dynasty.
  • The last ruler of Ali Rajpur was Surendra Singh, who subsequently served as the Ambassador of India to Spain in the 1980s.
  • After Indian independence in 1947, Alirajpur acceded to the India, & the principality was incorporated into the new state of Madhya Bharat, which subsequently became Madhya Pradesh state on 1 November 1956.
  • The state flag consisted of 12 red & white horizontal stripes.
  • The Raja had a personal flag with five stripes of different colors

Gwalior State 

  • Gwalior Statewas an Indian kingdom & princely state during the British Raj. It was ruled as subsidiary alliance with the British by the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas & was entitled to a 21-gun salute.
  • The state called its name from the old town of Gwalior, which, although never the actual capital, was an important place because of its strategic location & the strength of its fort.
  • The state was founded in the early 18th century by Ranoji Sindhia, as part of the Maratha Confederacy.
  • Under Mahadji Sindhia (1761–1794) Gwalior State became a principal power in northern India, & dominated the affairs of the confederacy.
  • The Anglo-Maratha Wars brought Gwalior State under British suzerainty, so that it became a princely state of the British Indian Empire.
  • Gwalior was the biggest state in the Central India Agency, under the political regulation of a Resident at Gwalior.
  • In 1936, the Gwalior residency was separated from the Central India Agency, & made answerable directly to the Governor-General of India.
  • After Indian Independence in 1947, the Sindhia rulers acceded to the new Union of India, & Gwalior state was absorbed into the new Indian state of Madhya Bharat


Rewa State

  • Rewa State was a princely state of India, surrounding its eponymous capital, the town of Rewa.
  • With an area of about 34,000 km2, Rewa was the biggest princely state in the Bagelkhand Agency & the second biggest in Central India Agency.
  • The British political agent for Bagelkhand resided at Satna, on the East Indian railway.
  • The Bagelkhand Agency was dissolved in 1933 & Rewa was placed under the authority of the Indore Residency.
  • Rewa was the first princely state in India to declare Hindi as a national language, in the times of Maharaja Gulab Singh.
  • He is also credited for declaring the first responsible government in modern India, providing citizens of Rewa state a right to question their monarch’s decisions.
  • The state came under British paramountcy in 1812 & remained a princely state within the British Raj until India’s independence in 1947.

Tori Fatehpur State

  • Tori Fatehpur, also known as Tori, was a princely state in India during the British Raj. It was one of the Hasht-Bhaiya Jagirs, under the Bundelkh& Agency of British India.
  • Today it is part of Jhansi District in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Tori Fatehpur State was founded in the Bundelkh& region in 1812 by a descendant of the royal family of Orchha Diwan Rai Singh of Baragaon near Jhansi.
  • He had eight sons who were granted Jagirs, including Dhurwai, Bijna, & Tori Fatehpur.
  • Tori Fatehpur is on a hill near Gursarai, about 100 km from Jhansi.
  • The fort on the hill is more than 300 years old.
  • After Indian independence, on 1 January 1950, Tori Fatehpur acceded to the Indian Union & was merged into the Indian state of Vindhya Pradesh.
  • Rulers-The rulers of Tori Fatehpur were from the Bundela dynasty of Rajputs.
  • They were titled Diwan Saheb. Diwan Saheb Brijendra Singh Ju Deo, born on 11 May 1928, was the last ruling monarch

Indore State

  • Indore State, also recognized as Holkar State, was a Maratha princely state in India during the British Raj.
  • Its rulers belonged to the Holkar dynasty & the state was under the Central India Agency.
  • Indore was a 19 Gun Salute (21 locally) princely state (a extraordinary high rank).
  • Indore princely state was located in the present-day Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The capital of the state was the city of Indore.
  • The state had an area of 24,605 km² & a population of 1,325,089 inhabitants in 1931.
  • By 1720, the headquarters of the local pargana were transferred from Kampel to Indore, because of the increasing commercial activity in the city.
  • On 18 May 1724, the Nizam accepted the rights of the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao I to collect chauth (taxes) from the area.
  • In 1733, the Peshwa assumed the full control of Malwa, & appointed his comm&er Malhar Rao Holkar as the Subhedar (Governor) of the province..
  • On 29 July 1732, Bajirao Peshwa-I granted Holkar State by merging 28 & half parganas to Malhar Rao Holkar, the founder ruler of Holkar dynasty.
  • His daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar changed the state’s capital to Maheshwar in 1767, but Indore remained an important commercial & military centre.
  • After the defeat of the Holkar rulers in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, an agreement was signed on 6 January 1818 with the British & Indore State became a British protectorate.
  • The Holkar dynasty was able to continue to rule Indore as a princely state mainly owing to the efforts of their Dewan Tatya Jog.
  • The capital was moved from Maheshwar to Indore on 3 November 1818 & the Indore Residency, a political residency with a British resident was established in the city.
  • Later Indore would be established as the headquarters of the British Central India Agency..
  • During the period of Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar II (1852–86) efforts were made for the planned development & industrial development of Indore.
  • During the reigns of Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar, Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar III & Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar business in Indore flourished thanks to the railways that had been started in the state in 1875.
  • In 1926, Maharaja Tukoji Rao III Holkar XIII abdicated after being implicated in a murder case involving a court dancer & her love

Barwani State

  • Barwani Statewas a princely state in India. The seat was at Barwani.
  • The state was founded in the 9th century, at which time it was known as Avasgarh.
  • Although the state lost most of its territory during the Maratha domination in the 17th century, it never became tributary to any Maratha chief.
  • During the British Raj, Barwani was a state of the Bhopawar Agency, a division of the Central India Agency.
  • The state lay in the Satpura Range south of the Narmada River.
  • After India’s independence in 1948, the Rana of Barwani acceded to India, & Barwani became part of the Nimar District of Madhya Bharat state of India.
  • Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 1956.

Dewas State

  • Dewas Statewas a territory within Western India, which was the seat of two Maharatha princely states under the British Raj:
  1. ‘Dewas Junior’ – Jivaji Rao (‘Dada Saheb’)
  2. Dewas Senior – Tukoji Rao (‘Baba Saheb’).
  • On 12 December 1818 Dewas State became a British protectorate.
  • Maharaja Shrimant Vikram Singh Rao II Puar is present titular head of the Kshatriya Maratha-Rajput Puar dynasty.
  • The seats were established in 1728 by two brothers from the Puar clan, who advanced into Malwa with the Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao, & divided the territory among themselves after the Maratha conquest.
  • The two Rajas heading Dewas states both lived in disconnect residences in the town of Dewas, & ruled over separate areas.
  • Both Dewas states were in the Malwa Agency of the Central India Agency.
  • After India’s independence in 1947, the Maharajas of Dewas acceded to India, & their states were integrated into Madhya Bharat, which became a state of India in 1950.
  • In 1956, Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh state of India.

Khilchipur State 

  • Khilchipur Statewas a princely state in India.
  • The seat was in Khilchipur.
  • It had an area of 710 square kilometres, & a population of 31,143 in 1901. Its estimated revenue in 1911 was 70000 rupees, & it paid a yearly tribute to the Maharaja Scindiaof Gwalior of 700 rupees.
  • Founded in 1544 by Dewan Ugra Sen, a Khichi Rajput, a section of the great Chauhan clan, who was forced by family dissensions to migrate from the Khichi capital of Gagraun.
  • A grant of l& was consequently made to him by the Mughal Emperor, which included the adjoining Zirapur & Machalpur parganas, later a part of Indore State, & Shujalpur, later in Gwalior State.
  • Khilchipur was formerly the capital of this princely state, under the Bhopal Agency of British India’s Central India Agency.
  • Its rulers were Khichi Rajputs of the Chauhan clan. The rulers acceded to the Government of India after India’s independence in 1947, & the Khilchipur became part of the new state of Madhya Bharat.
  • Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 1956

Ratlam State

  • Ratlam State was a princely state in India, part of the Malwa Agency of Central India under the British Raj.
  • The state’s capital was Ratlam town in modern Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ratlam was initially a huge state, but the then ruler Ratan Singh opposed Auranzeb in the Battle of Dharmatpur & was killed after a brave fight.
  • The state was then reduced & the title of Maharaja was eventually stripped away; the title was later restored by the British during Maharaja Sajjan Singh’s rule.
  • On 5 January 1819 Ratlam State became a British protectorate.
  • The state was founded in 1652.Former princely states of Madhya Pradesh & Zamindari’s
  • The first Ruler was Maharaja Ratan Singh who married 12 wives, among them Maharani Sukhroopde Kanwar Shekhawat Ji Sahiba, daughter of Kunwar Purshottam Das of Jhajhar (Shekhawati) in Rajasthan.
  • She committed sati in 1658 Still shree ji maharaj natwar singh of ratlam from his family living in jaipur.
  • Ratlam was initially held by its chiefs in vassalage to the Sindhia rulers of Gwalior State, but on 5 January 1819 it became a British protectorate, following which an arrangement was made by which the Sindhia engaged never to send any troops into the country or to interfere with the internal administration.
  • In 1861 the tribute was assigned to the British government in part as payment of the Gwalior contingent.
  • The state’s last ruler signed the instrument of accession to the Indian Union on 15 June 1948

Makrai State

  • Makrai Statewas a princely state in India during the British Raj.
  • In 1892 the state covered an area of 401 square kilometers forming an enclave surrounded by the British territory of the Nerbudda Division of the Central Provinces.
  • Makrai State had a population of 16,784, which was reduced by famine to 13,025 by 1901. The state’s rulers were of Rajput lineage & bore the title Maharaja.
  • According to tradition the ruling family originally held the talukaof Kalibhit in Hoshangabad district.
  • According to legend Makrai princely state was established in 1663 century by Raj Gond Raja Karkat Rai who hailed from a family that owned l& in Harda tehsil.
  • In the 18th century the Scindia & the Peshwa warriors took over the forested areas of Kalibhit & Charwa from Makrai. In December 1890 the British government took over Makrai State under the doctrine of lapse owing to bad administration.
  • Power was restored to the native ruler in 1893 under the condition that he appoint a Diwan duly approved by the British Head Commissioner.
  • Makrai State was under the administrative authority of the Central India Agency until 1933, when it was transferred to the Bhopal Agency subdivision of the Central India Agency in 1933 from the Central Provinces & Berar.

Dhurwai State

  • Dhurwaiwas a princely state in India during the British Raj. It was one of the Hasht-Bhaiya Jagirs, under the Bundelkh& Agencyof British India. Its capital was the town of Dhurwai, with a population of 777 in 1901.
  • Today it is part of Jhansi District, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Dhurwai was administered by the native ruler, who was addressed as Indian Prince by the British authoritie
  • Dhurwai State was founded in the Bundelkh& region in 1812 by a descendant of the royal family of Orchha Diwan Rai Singh of Baragaon near Jhansi.
  • He had 8 sons who were granted Jagirs, including Dhurwai, Bijna, & Tori Fatehpur.
  • The state was located on the eastern part of Jhansi Province, bounded by the British United Provinces of Agra & Oudh on all sides except on the east where it shared a border with the states of Bijna & Tori Fatehpur.
  • In 1823 Diwan Budh Singh was granted a sanad by the British authorities. About a century later the Diwan of Dhurwai was one of the original constituents of the Chamber of Princes, an institution established in 1920.
  • After Indian independence, on 1 January 1950, Dhurwai acceded to the Indian Union& was merged into the Indian state of Vindhya Pradesh with the other Hasht-Bhaiya Jagirs.

Narsinghgarh State

  • Narsinghgarh State is a former princely state of the British Raj in India.
  • It formed an enclave within Rajgarh State & was placed governmentally under the Bhopal Agency subdivision of the Central India Agency.
  • The state covered an area of 1920 km² & had a population of 38,052 in 1901.
  • The capital of state was town of the same name Narsinghgarh
  • The principality was founded in 1681 by a Hindu dynasty whose rulers belonged to the Kshatriya – Parmar clan of Rajputs & claimed descent from Umat, son of Raja Bhoj.
  • The estate was earlier part of Rajgarh State, whose rulers also share same ancestry & from which it was carved as a new estate.
  • The state was a feudatory Jagir to the Holkar rulers of Indore State, but in 1872 Narsinghgarh estate recognized as a state.
  • After Indian independence in 1947, the rulers of Narsingarh acceded to the Union of India, & the principality was incorporated into the new state of Madhya Bharat in 1948, which consequently became Madhya Pradesh state on 1 November 1956.


Zamindari System during British India

  • Tax from the land was a main source of revenue for the kings and emperors from ancient times.
  • But the ownership pattern of land had witnessed changes over centuries.
  • During Kingship, land was divided into Jagirs, Jagirs were alloted to Jagirdars, these Jagirdars split the land they got and allocated to sub-ordinate Zamindars.
  • Zamindars made peasants cultivate the land, in-return collected part of their revenue as tax.

The main features of the Permanent Settlement were as follows:

  • Zamindari System was introduced by Cornwallis in 1793 through Permanent Settlement Act.
  • It was introduced in provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Varanasi.
  • Also known as Permanent Settlement System.
  • The zamindar was recognized as the owners of land as long as they paid the revenue to the East India Company frequently.
  • The amount of revenue that the zamindar had to pay to the Company was firmly fixed and would not be raised under any circumstances.
  • In other words the Government of the East India Company got 89% leaving the rest to the zamindars.
  1. The realized amount would be divided into 11 parts. 1/11 of the share belongs to Zamindars and 10/11 of the share belongs to East India Company.
  2. The ryots became tenants since they were considered the tillers of the soil.
  3. This settlement took away the administrative and judicial functions of the zamindars.
  • The Permanent Settlement of Cornwallis was bitterly criticised on the point that it was adopted with ‘undue haste’. The flagrant defect of this arrangement was that no attempt was made ever either to survey the lands or to assess their value. The assessment was made roughly on the basis of accounts of previous collections and it was done in an irregular manner.
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