List of princely states of India

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British administered India in red and the princely states coloured green

Before the Partition of India in 1947, 562 of Princely States, also called Native States, existed in India which were not part of British India. These were the parts of the Indian subcontinent which had not been conquered or annexed by the British but were subject to subsidiary alliances.

Things moved quickly after the partition of British India in 1947. By the end of 1949, all of the states except Sikkim had chosen to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan or else had been conquered and annexed.

Outline[edit]

For details of precedence between the states, see Salute state.

In principle, the princely states had internal autonomy, while by treaty the British Crown had suzerainty and was responsible for the states' external affairs. In practice, while the states were indeed ruled by potentates with a variety of titles, such as Chhatrapati, Maharaja, Raja, Raje, Deshmukh, Nawab, Baig, Khan, Nizam or Mirza the British had considerable influence.

By the time of the departure of the British in 1947, only four of the largest of the states still had their own British Resident, a diplomatic title for advisors present in the states' capitals, while most of the others were grouped together into Agencies, such as the Central India Agency, the Deccan States Agency, and the Rajputana Agency.

From 1920, the states were represented in the Chamber of Princes, which held its meetings in New Delhi.

The most important states were ranked among the salute states.

By the Indian Independence Act 1947, the British gave up their suzerainty of the states and left each of them free to choose whether to join one of the newly independent countries of India and Pakistan or to remain outside them. For a short time, some of the rulers explored the possibility of a federation of the states separate from either, but this came to nothing. Most of the states then decided to accede to India or to Pakistan, while others which held out for remaining independent were later invaded by India, such as Junagadh (1947–1948), Hyderabad on 18 September 1948, Bilaspur on 12 October 1948, and Bhopal on 1 May 1949. Travancore also chose to remain an independent country.

In Jammu and Kashmir, a state with a Muslim majority but a Hindu ruler, the Maharaja hoped to remain independent but acceded to India on 27 October 1947 at the outset of the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan — leading to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

On 31 March 1948, Kalat acceded to Pakistan, although the brother of the Khan led a rebellion against this decision.

The last remaining independent state, Sikkim, was incorporated into India on 16 May 1975, following a referendum in which the people of Sikkim overwhelmingly voted for this.

Indian Princely States at the time of independence on 15 August 1947[edit]

Individual residencies[edit]

Name of state British Resident Now part of Last or present ruler
In hyder1900a.png Hyderabad Individual residency India Telangana, Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, India Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII
Jammu-Kashmir-flag-1936-1953.gif Jammu and Kashmir Individual residency India Jammu and Kashmir, India;

Pakistan Azad Kashmir, Pakistan;
Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan;
China Two prefectures of Xinjiang, China

Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Sri Sir Hari Singh Indar Mahindar Bahadur, Sipar-i-Sultanat, Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir
Flag of Mysore.svg Mysore Individual residency India Karnataka, India Shri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Sikkim Individual residency India Sikkim, India Chogyal Wangchuk Namgyal
 Travancore Travancore Individual residency (individual residency status under Madras Presidency) India Kerala and 5 taluks(Kanyakumari dist.) of Tamil Nadu, India Shri Padmanabha Dasa Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma Vanchi Pala Maharaja Martanda Varma V Shri Uthradom Thirunal Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung, Maharaja of Travancore

Baluchistan Agency[edit]

Princely States of the Baluchistan Agency.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
KalatFlag.gif Kalat Princely State Balochistan, Pakistan Beglar Begi Mir Agha Suleiman Jan, Khan of Kalat
State of Kharan Kharan Princely State Balochistan, Pakistan Habibullah Khan
Flag of the State of Las Bela.svg Las Bela Princely State Balochistan, Pakistan Mir Muhammad Yusuf Khan, The Amir and Jam of Las Bela
State of Makran Makran Princely State Balochistan, Pakistan Bai Khan Baloch Gikchi

Deccan States Agency and Kolhapur Residency (Maratha)[edit]

Princely States of Deccan States Agency and Kolhapur Residency (Maratha).

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Akalkot flag.svg Akalkot Princely State Maharashtra, India Shrimant Rani Sumitra Bai Raje Bhonsle, Rani Saheb of Akalkot
Aundh flag.svg Aundh Princely State Maharashtra, India Meherban Shrimant Bhagwant Rao Shripat Rao, Pant Pratinidhi Of Aundh
Bhor historical flag.png Bhor Princely State Maharashtra, India Raja Shrimant Sir Raghunathrao Shankarrao Babasaheb Pandit Pant Sachiv
Mudhol flag.svg Jamkhandi Princely State Karnataka, India Raja Saheb Shrimant Raja Pranay Rao Parshuram Rao Patwardhan
Janjira.svg Janjira Princely State Maharashtra, India Nawab Sidi Muhammed Khan II Sidi Ahmad Khan, Nawab of Janjira
Jath flag.svg Jath Princely State Maharashtra, India Lt. Shrimant Raja Vijaysinghrao Ramrao Babasaheb Dafle
Kolhapur flag.svg Kolhapur Princely State Maharashtra, India Shrimant Rajashri Shahu II Bhonsle Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kolhapur
Red flag.svg Kurundvad Senior Princely State Maharashtra, India Raja Shrimant Bhalchandrarao Chintamanrao Patwardhan, Raja of Kurundwad Sr.
KIurundwadjr flag.svg Kurundvad Junior Princely State Maharashtra, India Raja Shrimant Hariharrao Raghunathrao [Bapusaheb] Patwardhan, Raja of Kurundwad Jr.
Mudhol flag.svg Mudhol Princely State Karnataka, India Shrimant Raja Bhairavsinhrao Malojirao Ghorpade II
Phaltan flag.svg Phaltan Princely State Maharashtra, India Major Raja Bahadur Shrimant Ram raje Naik Nimbalkar
Sangli flag.svg Sangli Princely State Maharashtra, India Capt. Shrimant Raja Saheb Sir Chintamanrao II Dhundirajrao Appasaheb Patwardhan
Savanur Princely State Karnataka, India Nawab of Savanur, Abdul Majid Khan II
Sawantvadi Princely State Maharashtra, India Bhonsale clan

Gwalior Residency (Maratha)[edit]

Princely States of the Gwalior Residency.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Gwalior flag.svg Gwalior Princely State Madhya Pradesh, India Maharaja Jivaji Rao Scindia
Garha Princely State Madhya Pradesh, India
Khaniyadhana Princely State Madhya Pradesh, India
Rajgarh Princely State Madhya Pradesh, India Shushila Singh Rudrani
Rampur flag.svg Rampur Princely State Uttar Pradesh, India Nawab Syed Muhammad Kazim 'Ali Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Rampur

Madras Presidency[edit]

Princely States of the Madras Presidency.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Drapeau Banganapalle.png Banganapalle Princely State Andhra Pradesh, India Nawab Sayyid Fazl-i-'Ali Khan IV Bahadur, Nawab of Banganapalle
Flag of the Kingdom of Cochin.svg Cochin Princely State Kerala, India Kerala Varma
Pudukkottai flag.svg Pudukkottai Princely State Tamil Nadu, India Rajagopala Tondaiman, Maharaja of Pudukkottai
Sandur flag.svg Sandur Princely State Karnataka, India Shrimant Maharaj Shri Murarrao Yeshwantrao Ghorpade, Hindurao, Mamlukatmadar Senapati, Raja of Sandur

North-west Frontier States Agency[edit]

Princely States of the North-West Frontier States Agency. Agencies included the Dir Swat and Chitral Agency and the Deputy Commissioner of Hazara acting as the Political Agent for Amb and Phulra.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Amb Princely State Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Nawab Muhammad Saeed Khan
Chitral State Flag.jpg Chitral Princely State Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Mehtar Saif-ul-Mulk Nasir
State of Dir Dir Princely State Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Muhammad Shah Khosru Khan
Phulra Princely State Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Khan Ata Muhammed Khan
Swat Princely State Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Miangul Abdul-Haqq Jahanzib

Gilgit Agency[edit]

The States of Hunza and Nagar and many feudal Jagirs (Puniyal, Shigar, etc.) in the Gilgit Agency were tributary to the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Hunza Gilgit Agency Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan Mohammad Jamal Khan
Nagar Gilgit Agency Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan Showkat `Ali Khan

Province of Sind[edit]

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Khayrpur Flag.svg Khairpur Princely State Sindh, Pakistan George Ali Murad Khan

Punjab state agency[edit]

States of the Punjab States Agency (Punjab).

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Bahawalpur (princely state) Bahawalpur Princely State Punjab, Pakistan Nawab Sadeq Mohammad Khan V
Bilaspur flag.svg Bilaspur Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India Raja Kirti Chand, Raja of Bilaspur
Faridkot flag.svg Faridkot Princely State Punjab, India Colonel H.H. Farzand-i-Saadat-i-Nishan-i-Hazrat-i-Kaiser-i-Hind Raja Sir Harinder Singh Brar Bans Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Faridkot
Jind Princely State Punjab and Haryana, India Maharaja Satbir Singh ["Prince Sunny"], Maharaja of Jind
Kalsia. The capital of Kalsia state was Chhachhrauli Princely State Haryana, India Raja Himmat Sher Singh Sahib Bahadur
Kangra Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India Raja Aditya Dev Chand Katoch
Kapurthala flag.svg Kapurthala Princely State Punjab, India Brig. Maharaja Sri Sukhjit Singh Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kapurthala
Loharu State Princely State Haryana, India Nawab Mirza Alauddin Ahmad Khan II (alias Parvez Mirza), Nawab of Loharu
Malerkotla Princely State Punjab, India
Mandi flag.svg Mandi Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India
Patiala flag.svg Patiala Princely State Punjab, India Maharajadhiraj Sir Yadavindra Singh Mahendra Bahadur
Siba Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India Raja Ashok K.Thakur
Sidhowal Princely State Punjab, India Raja Bhai Babar Jung Singh
Sirmur Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India Lt. Maharaja Rajendra Prakash Bahadur
Suket flag.svg Suket/ Surendernagar Princely State Himachal Pradesh, India Raja Hari Sen, Raja of Suket"
Tehga.svg Tehri Garhwal Princely State (Zamindari) Uttarakhand, India Maharaja Manujendra Shah Sahib Bahadur

States of the Rajasthan Agency[edit]

States of the Rajputana Agency.

Name of state British Resident or Agent Now part of Last or present ruler
Alwar flag.svg Alwar Princely State Rajasthan, India Raj Rishi Shri Sawai Maharaja Jitendra Pratap Singhji Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur Jitendra Singh, Maharaja of Alwar.
Banswara flag.svg Banswara Princely State Rajasthan, India Rai Rayan Mahimahendra Maharajadhiraj Maharawalji Sahib Shri Jagmalji II Sahib Bahadur, Naresh Rajya, Maharawal of Banswara.
Bharatpur Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharaja Suraj Mal, Jawahar Singh, Maharaja Randhir Singh, Maharaja Baldeo Singh, Maharaja Balwant Singh, Maharaja Jaswant Singh, Maharaja Ram Singh, Maharaja Kishan Singh.
Bikaner.svg Bikaner Princely State Rajasthan, India Sri Raj Rajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Narendra Sawai Maharaja Shiromani Ravi Raj Singhji Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner and Head of the Royal House of Bikaner.
Bundi.svg Bundi Princely State Rajasthan, India Col. Maharao Raja Shri Bahadur Singhji Bahadur
Dholpur flag.svg Dholpur Princely State Rajasthan, India Rana Kirat Singh, Rana Pohap Singh, Rana Bhagwant Singh, Rana Nihal Singh, Rana Ram Singh, Rana Udaybhanu Singh.
Dungarpur Princely State Rajasthan, India Rai-i-Rayan, Mahimahendra, Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Shri Mahipal Singhji II Sahib Bahadur, Maharawal of Dungarpur.
Flag of Jaipur.svg Jaipur Princely State Rajasthan, India HH Saramad-i-Rajahai Hindustan Raj Rajendra Shri Maharajadhiraj Sir Sawai Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II
Jaisalmer.svg Jaisalmer Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Sir Jawahir Singh Bahadur
Jhalawar.svg Jhalawar Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharajadhiraj Maharaj Rana Shri Chandrajit Singh Dev Bahadur, Maharaj Rana of Jhalawar.
Jodhpur.svg Jodhpur Princely State Rajasthan, India Raj Rajeshwar Saramad-i-Rajha-i-Hindustan Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Shri Gaj Singhji II Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Jodhpur.
Karauli.PNG Karauli Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharaja Shri Ganesh Pal Deo Bahadur Yadakul Chandra Bhal
Kishangarh.svg Kishangarh Princely State Rajasthan, India Umdae Rajhae Buland Makan Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Sumer Singhji Bahadur
Kotah.svg Kotah Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharao Shri Bhim Singh II Bahadur
Kushalgarh Princely State Rajasthan, India Rao Harendra Singh
Lawa Sardargarh Princely State Rajasthan, India
Mewar.svg Mewar Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharana Sir Bhupal Singh
Flag of Jaipur.svg Patan - Torawati Princely State Rajasthan, India Rao Bir Bikram Singh Tanwar
Partabgarh.svg Pratabgarh Princely State Rajasthan, India Raja Ajit Pratap Singh
Shahpura.svg Shahpura Princely State Rajasthan, India Rajadhiraj Sudershan Singh
Sirohi.svg Sirohi Princely State Rajasthan, India Maharao Raghubir Singh
Tonk.svg Tonk Princely State Rajasthan, India Nawab Muhammad Faruq Ali Khan

Gujarat States Agency and Baroda Residency[edit]

The Majestic Laxmi Vilas Palace of Baroda, built by the Maratha Maharaja H. H. Sayajirao Gaekwad III

States of Central India Agency (Maratha and Rajput)[edit]

Subhash Marg, Indore
Bhil tribe girls in Jhabua
Orchha Palace, Madhya Pradesh

States of the Eastern States Agency[edit]

Faiz Mahal, Khairpur
Palace in Cooch Behar
Girivilas Palace in Sarangarh

Orissa States Agency[edit]

Chhattisgarh States Agency[edit]

Bengal States Agency[edit]

States of the Mahi Kantha Agency[edit]

Indian Princely States annexed by the British Raj[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Sources
Further reading
  • The Relationship Between the Indian Princely States and the Indian Central Government, 1921-1933, by Harry Dunseth Wood. Published by University of Chicago, 1951.
  • The Paramount Power and the Princely States of India, 1858-1881, by Ajit K. Neogy. Published by K. P. Bagchi, 1974.
  • Rajahs and Prajas: An Indian Princely State, Then and Now, by S. Devadas Pillai. Published by Popular Prakashan, 1976.
  • Princely States and the Paramount Power, 1858-1876: A Study on the Nature of Political Relationship Between the British Government and the Indian State, by Mihir Kumar Ray. Rajesh Publications, 1981.
  • Documents and Speeches on the Indian Princely States, by Adrian Sever. Published by B.R. Pub. Corp., 1985.
  • The Late Pre-colonial Background to the Indian Princely States, by Richard B Barnett. Published by Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Punjab, 1988.
  • Indian Princely Medals: A Record of the Orders, Decorations, and Medals of the Indian Princely States, by Tony McClenaghan. Published by Spantech & Lancer, 1996. ISBN 1-897829-19-1.
  • British Policy Towards Princely States of India: Seminar Entitled "British Policy Towards North Indian Princely States" : Selected Papers, by R P Vyas. Published by Rajasthan-Vidya Prakashan, 1992.
  • The Princely States of India: A Chronological Checklist of Their Rulers, by David P. Henige. Published by Borgo Press, 1997. ISBN 0-89370-325-7.
  • Constitutional Development in the Indian Princely States, by Ranjana Kaul. Published by UBS Publishers Distributors, 1998. ISBN 81-259-0511-1.
  • The Maharaja & the Princely States of India, by Sharada Dwivedi. Published by Lustre Press, 1999. ISBN 81-7436-081-6.
  • Illustrated Encyclopaedia & Who's who of Princely States in Indian Sub-continent, by J. C. Dua. Published by Kaveri Books, 2000. ISBN 81-7479-036-5.
  • The Golden Book of India: A Genealogical and Biographical Dictionary of the Ruling Princes, Chiefs, Nobles, and Other Personages, Titled or Decorated, of the Indian Empire, by Sir Roper Lethbridge. Adamant Media Corporation, 2001. ISBN 1-4021-9328-9.
  • True Tales of British India & the Princely States: & The Princely States, by Michael Wise. Published by In Print, 1993. ISBN 1-873047-06-1.
  • Princely States of India: A Guide to Chronology and Rulers, by David P. Henige. Published by Orchid Press, 2006. ISBN 974-524-049-4.
  • India's Princely States: People, Princes and Colonialism, by Waltraud Ernst, Biswamoy Pati. Published by Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0-415-41541-1.