Jaora Statewas founded by 'Abdu'l Ghafur Muhammad Khan, a Muslim of Afghan descent. He was a cavalry officer serving the Pashtun leader Muhammad Amir Khan. He later served the Holkar maharaja of Indore, subduing Rajput territories in northern Malwa and annexing their lands. In return for his services, he was granted the title of Nawab in 1808. The state was confirmed by the British government in 1818 by the Treaty of Mandsaur.
The total area of the princely state, with the dependencies of Piploda and Panth-Piploda, was 1,471 km2 (568 sq mi). Jaora state was divided into four tehsils, Jaora, Barauda, Tal, and Barkhera. The chief crops were millets, cotton, maize and opium.
Nawab Muhammad Ismail (ruled 1865-1895) was an honorary major in the British Army. During the reign of Nawab Muhammad Iftikhar Ali Khan (ruled 1895-1947), Piploda became a separate state in 1924, and Panth-Piploda became a province of British India in 1942. Nawab Muhammad Usman 'Ali Khan (ruled 1947-1948) acceded to the Government of India on 15 June 1948.
Nawabs of Jaora
- 1817 - 1825 Ghafur Khan (b. ... - d. 1825)
- 1825 - 1865 Ghows Mohammad Khan (b. ... - d. 1865)
- 1865 - 1895 Ehtesam al-Dowla Mohammad Isra´il Khan aka Nawab Muhammad Khan (b. 1854 - d. 1895)
- 1895 - 15 Aug 1947 Fakhr al-Dowla Mohammad Eftekhar `Ali Khan (b. 1883 - d. 1947)