Jaisalmer State

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Jaisalmer State
Kingdom 1156–1818
Princely State 1818–1947

Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Jaisalmer
Map of Jaisalmer State with important Rawlot duchies.
 •  Established 1156
 •  Independence of India 1947
 •  1931 41,600 km2 (16,062 sq mi)
 •  1931 76,255 
Density 1.8 /km2  (4.7 /sq mi)
Today part of Rajasthan, India
Coat of arms based on The Princely Armory. Publ. by The Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. Calcutta. 1877
Flag of Jaisalmer over Royal Palace

Jaisalmer State was a kingdom established in the area of present-day Rajasthan, India. In 1156 Rawal Jaisal moved the capital from Ludarva to Jaisalmer because the old capital Ludarva was vulnerable to invasions from the Turko-Afghan and Baloch tribes. The rulers continued to rule Jaisalmer absolutely until 1818, when a treaty of subsidiary alliance with the British Empire made it a Princely State, a British Protectorate still running its own internal affairs, with a ruler entitled to a 15-gun salute.[1]

Early History[edit]

The royal dynasty of Jaisalmer claims to be descended from the deified hero Krishna. The Bhatti rulers originally ruled parts of Afghanistan, one of their ancestors called Rawal Gaj founded the city of Gajni. According to James Tod this city is the present day Ghazni in Afghanistan while Cunningham identifies it as modern day Rawalpindi. Rawal Gaj was killed in battle while fighting the Persian king of Khorasan and his descendants were forced to migrate to Punjab. Rawal Salivahan founded the city of Sialkot and made it his new capital. Salivahan defeated the Saka Scythians in 78 AD. at Kahror and assumed the title of Sakari (foe of the Sakas). Salivahans grandson Rawal Bhatti conquered several regions and it was from him, his descendants named their clan Bhatti.[2]

History of Jaisalmer[edit]

The state of Jaisalmer had its foundations in what remains of the Empire ruled by the Bhati dynasty. Early Bhati rulers ruled over large empire stretching from Ghazni[3] in modern-day Afghanistan to Sialkot, Lahore and Rawalpindi in modern-day Pakistan[4] to Bhatinda and Hanumangarh in Modern day India.[5] The empire crumbled over time because of continuous invasions from the central Asia. According to Satish Chandra, the Hindu Shahis of Afghanistan made an alliance with the Bhatti rulers of Multhan, because they wanted to end the slave raids made by the Turkic ruler of Ghazni, however the alliance was defeated by Alp Tigin in 977 AD.[6] Bhati dominions continued to be shifted towards the South as they ruled Multan, then finally got pushed into Cholistan and Jaisalmer where Rawal Devaraja built Dera Rawal / Derawar.[7] Jaisalmer was the new capital founded in 1156 by Maharawal Jaisal Singh and the state took its name from the capital. On 11 December 1818 Jaisalmer became a British protectorate.[8][7]

Traditionally, in the Middle Ages, the main source of income for the kingdom was levies on caravans, but the economy was heavily affected when Bombay emerged as a major port and sea trade replaced the traditional land routes. Maharawals Ranjit Singh and Bairi Sal Singh attempted to turn around the economic decline but the dramatic reduction in trade impoverished the kingdom. A severe drought and the resulting famine from 1895 to 1900, during the reign of Maharawal Salivahan Singh, only made matters worse by causing widespread loss of the livestock that the increasingly agriculturally based kingdom relied upon.

The attempts of Maharawal Jawahir Singh (1914–49) at modernization also failed to turn the kingdom’s economy around, and it remained isolated and backward compared with other areas of Rajasthan.

After the departure of the British from India in 1947, the Maharawal signed an Instrument of Accession to the new Union of India, while retaining some internal autonomy until the 1950s.




Dewans (prime ministers)[edit]

  • c.1885 – 1891: Mohata Nathmal
  • c.1890 – 1903: Mehta Jagjiwan
  • 189. – 1900: Thakur Kushal Singh (acting)
  • 1900: Rawatmal Purohit Khetrapaliya (acting)
  • c.1909: Lakshmi Das Sapat
  • 1911 – Jun 1912: Mohammed Niyaz Ali Kazi Hapiri (b. 1866 – d. 19..)
  • Jun 1912 – 21 Mar 1930: Murarji Rooji (Moraji Rao) Sapat
  • c.1892 – 1902: HH Shri Panna Lal Ji Soni Nathani
  • c.1930 – 1932: HH Shri Umedmal Ji Soni Nathani (acting)
  • 19.. – 19..: M.L. Khosala
  • 19.. – 19..: Pandit Jamana Lal
  • 19.. – 19..: Munshi Nand Kishore
  • 19.. – 19..: Lala Rakhpat Raj
  • 19.. – 19..: P.K. Shurugula
  • 19.. – 19..: Brij Mohan Nath Zutshi
  • 19.. – 19..: Anand Swaroop
  • 19.. – 19..: Onkar Singh
  • c.1940 – c.1942: Lakhpat Rai Sikund[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 24, p. 386.
  2. ^ https://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/pager.html?objectid=DS405.1.I34_V14_008.gif
  3. ^ "Rajasthan or the Central and Western Rajpoot States, Volume 2, page 197-198". Higginbotham And Co. Madras. 14 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Imperial Gazetter of India, Volume 21, page 272 - Imperial Gazetteer of India - Digital South Asia Library". Dsal.uchicago.edu. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Bhatinda Government: District at A glance- Origin". Bhatinda Government. 14 August 2018.
  6. ^ Medieval India 1206-1526 part one, pg.17 by Satish Chandra
  7. ^ a b "Provinical Gazetteers Of India: Rajputana". Government of India. 14 August 2018.
  8. ^ Princely States of India

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°55′N 70°54′E / 26.92°N 70.9°E / 26.92; 70.9