Ajmer-Merwara (also Ajmere-Merwara) is a former province of British India in the historical Ajmer region. The territory was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia by a treaty on June 25, 1818. From the date of partition and independence in 1947 until 1950, Ajmer-Merwara remained a province of the new Dominion of India. In 1950 it became the state of Ajmer. On November 1, 1956, it was merged into the state of Rajasthan
The province consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwara, which were physically separated from the rest of British India by the many princely states of Rajputana. Unlike these states, which were ruled by local nobles who acknowledged British suzerainty, Ajmer-Merwara was administered directly by the British, until 1858 by the East India Company and after 1858 by a chief commissioner who was subordinate to the Governor-General of India's agent for the Rajputana Agency.
Extent and geography
The area of the province was 2,710 square miles (7,000 km2). The plateau, on whose centre stands the town of Ajmer, may be considered as the highest point in the plains of North India; from the circle of hills which hem it in, the country slopes away on every side - towards river valleys on the east, south, west and towards the Thar Desert region on the north.
The Aravalli Range is the distinguishing feature of the district. The range of hills which runs between Ajmer and Nasirabad marks the watershed of the continent of India. The rain which falls on the southeastern slopes drains into the Chambal, and so into the Bay of Bengal; that which falls on the northwest side into the Luni River, which discharges itself into the Rann of Kutch.
The province is on the border of what may be called the arid zone; it is the debatable land between the north-eastern and south-western monsoons, and beyond the influence of either. The south-west monsoon sweeps up the Narmada valley from Bombay and crossing the tableland at Neemuch gives copious supplies to Malwa, Jhalawar and Kota and the countries which lie in the course of the Chambal River.
The clouds which strike Kathiawar and Kutch are deprived of a great deal of their moisture by the hills in those countries (now the majority of this region is in Gujarat state within independent India), and the greater part of the remainder is deposited on Mount Abu and the higher slopes of the Aravalli Range, leaving but little for Merwara, where the hills are lower, and still less for Ajmer. It is only when the monsoon is in considerable force that Merwara gets a plentiful supply from it. The north-eastern monsoon sweeps up the valley of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal and waters the northern part of Rajasthan, but hardly penetrates farther west than the longitude of Ajmer.
On the varying strength of these two monsoons the rainfall of the district depends. The agriculturist of Ajmer-Merwara could never rely upon two good harvests in succession.
In ancient times, the Mair Gurjars were the dominant inhabitants. They were defeated by the Chauhan Kings Rao Anoop and Rao Anhal, whose descendents the Rawat-Thakurs and Cheeta-Kathat were the dominant group here. These castes continue to have influence on the politics of the region.
Before the arrival of the British, Rajputs, Jats, the Kathats, Cheetas and Rawat Rajputs were land-holders, as well as cultivators. "Thakur" was the title of the Rajputs and Rawat-Rajputs, 11 prominent rajput chieftains were Bhinai, Pisangan, Kharwa, Masuda, Bandanwara, Para, Kairot, Junia,Baghera, Tanoti, and Bagsuri.These were prominent Rajput Thikanas of the Mertia/Jodha clan, while "Khan" was the title of Merat Rajputs, such as the Khan of Athun, a major Thikana of the Kathat clan, Thakur of Diver, a major Thikana of Rawats. "Chaudhry" was the title used by the Jats as village chieftains.
Part of the Ajmer region, the territory of the future province was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia as part of a treaty dated June 25, 1818. Thereafter Ajmer-Merwara was administered directly by the British East India Company. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, in 1858 the powers of the Company were transferred to the British Crown and the Governor-General of India. His administration of Ajmer-Merwara was controlled by a chief commissioner who was subordinate to the British agent for the Rajputana Agency.
The Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952 was the landmark in the legal history of land reforms in Rajasthan which was followed by Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 that became applicable to the whole of Rajasthan. The overriding effect of this Act provided relief to the existing tenants and the rights accrued to tenants accordingly. Now the Jats are major land holders in the region.
- Rawat Rajputs
- The Mers are a Hindu caste from the Gujarat and Central India who originally immigrated hundred of years ago from Ajmer-Merwara and the surrounding regions of Rajputana.
- Mair Rajputs of Punjab are a Hindu caste who originally immigrated hundreds of years ago to Punjab from Ajmer-Merwara and the surrounding regions of Rajputana.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ajmere-Merwara". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press