It was largely due to efforts and statesmanship of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and influence of Mahatma Gandhi that most of the States of Kathiawar had agreed to join Union of India and sign Instrument of Accession. The exercise took up a lot of time of Vallabhbhai Patel to meet and convince the local princes and petty subas, totaling 222 in Saurashtra region alone.
Among these Kathiawar Agency were 14 Salute Princely State, 17 Non-Salute Princely States, 191 petty Principalities and 46 Estates. Most of the Rulers of the Kathiawar States entered into a Covenant for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar on the 24th January 1948.
The large Kathiawar peninsula consisted of some prominent Princely States of India like the Baroda State, Nawanagar State, Bhavnagar State, Wadhwan, Porbandar, Idar, Dhrangadhra State, Rajpipla, Cambay, Gondal, Morvi, Wankaner, Baria, Dharampur, Dhrol, Limbdi, Rajkot, Palitana, Sachin and many others.
Among the States of Kathiawar, Baroda State, which was third largest Princely State of India having its territories scattered over Dwarka in West of Kathiawar to Bombay in South; did not sign Covenant for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar. But instead the erstwhile Maharaja of Baroda, Pratap Singh Gaekwad declared a full responsible Government on September 4, 1948, under Jivraj Narayan Mehta, as Prime Minister of the State, as per scheme envisioned by Sardar Patel. The Baroda State later merged itself into Bombay State on May 1, 1949.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inaugurated the United State of Kathiawar on 15 February 1948. On this occasion he paid tribute to Jam Sahib and the other rulers of erstwhile Princely States of Kathiawar, saying:-
|“||But for vision, wisdom and patriotism, the happy result you are seeing today would not have fructified. It was Mahatma Gandhi's dream that Kathiawar should be united and it gladdens my heart that dream of such unification has come true.||”|
|“||It is not as if we were tired monarchs who were fanned to rest. It is not as we have been bullied into submission. We have by our own free volition pooled our sovereignties and covenanted to create this new State so that the United State of Kathiawar and unity of India may more fully be achieved||”|
Jawaharlal Nehru described the event as a great step forward and one of the most notable in contemporary Indian history. He further commended the statesmanship of Sardar Patel and further wrote in his letter to provincial chief ministers on February 20, 1948:-
|“||Six months ago it would have been considered an idle dream to think of an administrative merger of hundreds of Kathiawar states, let alone such a merger accompanied by a full responsible government. The peninsula was ridden by factions and jealousies and it was crazy patchwork of States of varying degree of sovereignty, with only one thing in common, namely, autocratic rule. On February 15 the whole of peninsula became one unit under one responsible Government. For which, Sardar Patel has deservedly won high tribute.||”|
Upon formation of United State of Kathiawar, Lord Mountbatten also congratulated Sardar Patel, saying :-
|“||It appears that you have again scored a brilliant success in your handling of Kathiawar States problem.||”|
However, it was sad that Mahatma Gandhi was not alive by that time to see his dream of whole of Kathiawar getting united under one umbrella.
Even after creation of United States of Kathiawar, there were some patches of lands in Kathiawar belonging to princely states of Junagadh, Mangrol, Manavadar and others, which did not join the convention and were lingering over joining Pakistan. It was later after integration of Junagadh in to Union of India that a referendum was held and Junagadh, Mangrol, Manavadar, Babariawad and others became a legal part of India. However, due to some technicalities, these territories even after referendum remained under an Executive Council of popular representatives of Junagadh lead by Samaldas Gandhi, for some time, who assisted the administrator appointed by Government of India in managing affairs of these states.
In November 1948, the United State of Kathiawar was renamed the United State of Saurashtra or Saurashtra State, when a supplementary covenant was negotiated and executed by the Rulers of States merged into United State of Kathiawar. Once the Saurashtra Union came into existence, a second supplementary covenant was executed in January 1949, providing the integration of Junagadh with Saurashtra. A few days later on 20 February 1949, the administration of Junagadh State and also that of Mangrol, Manavadar, Babariawad, Bantva and Sardargarh were officially handed over to Saurashtra Government.
The following persons served as Rajpramukh of the State.
- Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavsinhji, the last ruler of Bhavnagar State was acting Rajpramukh from June 1948 till December 1948.
- He was succeeded by Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, the Jam Sahib and last ruler of Nawanagar, who worked as Rajpramukh from 1948 till 1956
- Mayurdwajsinhji Meghrajji III the last ruler of Dhrangadhra State was appointed as Upa-Rajpramukh alias Deputy Rajapramukh, who served as acting Rajpramukh during absence of Rajpramukh. He worked as Uprajpramukh from 1948 till 1956.
Chief Minister 
- Rasiklal Umedchand Parikh was second and last Chief Minister of State from December 1954 till 1956.
On 1 November 1956, Saurashtra State ceased to exist as a State and became a part of Bombay State, territory of which was enlarged on that day to include Kutch State, Saurashtra State, Marathwada & Vidarbha, while a southern portion was excluded, which went to Karnataka.
The Bombay State was again dissolved on 1 May 1960 to be carved in to two separate State of Maharashtra & Gujarat created on linguistic basis. With it the area of Saurashtra State again became a geographically defined region Saurashtra within State of Gujarat.
- Indian States since 1947
- For all practical purposes, the capital continues to be in Rajkot, whereas Rajpramukh continues to live in Jamnagar
- The Rulers of the Kathiawar States including the Wadhwan State entered into a Covenant for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar on the 24th January 1948.
- The covenant, entered into by the rulers of Kathiawar States for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar.
- Political and administrative integration of princely states By S. N. Sadasivan. pp. 26, 27.
- [ Baroda' s merger into Bombay on 1-5-1949 was an event which Sardar built brick by brick...Sardar Patel, in tune with the millions, Volume 2
- India's bismarck, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel By B.Krishna. pp. 112, 113.