Savanur State

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Savanur State
ಸವಣೂರ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾನ
Princely State of British India


Flag of Savanur


 -  Established 1672
 -  Independence of India 1948
 -  1901 189 km2 (73 sq mi)
 -  1901 18,446 
Density 97.6 /km2  (252.8 /sq mi)
Today part of Karnataka, India
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Savanur State[1] was one of the princely states of British India. It was the only state belonging to the Dharwar Agency under the Bombay Presidency, which became later part of the Deccan States Agency. The last ruler of the state acceded to the Dominion of India on 8 March 1948.

Savanur State covered an area of 189 square kilometers and had a population of 18,446 in 1901. It was one of the former states of the Southern Maratha Country and it is currently part of Karnataka State.


Early history[edit]

Savanur State was founded in 1672 when Abdul Karim Khan, a Pathan of the Miyana tribe, in the service of the sultanat of Bijapur, was granted the jagir of Sarkar Bankapur near Bijapur in 1672.[2] His successors ruled over extensive territories almost independently for over a century. However, Savanur was located between the increasing power of the Marathas and the equally powerful Nizam of Hyderabad, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, of Kingdom of Mysore which gradually eroded away Savanur’s territory. By the second half of the eighteenth century, more than half of Savanur had been ceded to the Marathas. By the end of the century, Tipu Sultan had annexed the remainder. The occupation by the Kingdom of Mysore (Mahisur) had begun in 29 Oct 1786 and lasted until 17 December 1791.

The name Savanur is said to be the corruption of the Persian/Urdu word Shahnoor, which means 'king of light'. Few others claim that the city was established in the Hindu month of Shravan, and hence the name Savanur.[3]

British hegemony[edit]

With the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799, independence returned to Savanur with about a third of its original territory. Thereafter, Savanur slowly drifted towards British suzerainty. After the destruction of the Maratha Confederacy in 1818, Savanur accepted protection from British India and became a British protectorate.[4]

The final ruling Nawab of Savanur, Abdul Majid Khan II, succeeded as a minor at two years old, and had been carefully raised and educated by his British overseers. He traveled widely and mixed with people in all walks of life in India and abroad. He returned to assume power determined to modernize his state, engaging in a furious program of building modern schools, dispensaries, government offices, courts, palaces, jails, irrigation tanks, and roads. In the short period of thirty-five years of his active rule, this little state advanced beyond anything achieved in the previous three centuries. The advent of Indian independence in 1947 and the withdrawal of the British caused the Nawab great sadness. Once the transfer formalities were completed, he retired to his private mansion at Dharwad, never setting foot in Savanur again. After his death in 1954, local authorities, out of sincere respect for a distinguished gentleman held in high regard almost universally, buried him in his beloved Savanur.

Nawabs of Savanur[edit]

The Nawabs of Savanur were tolerant of all religions, and donated liberally to several Hindu temples and mutts. Betal leaves, jowar and cotton were the principle exports of the Savanur state. The Nawabs also had cordial relationship with Dvaita mutt associated with Sri Satyabodhatirtha.[3]

Royal Titles[edit]

Role Royal Title
The Ruling Prince Meherban Nawab (personal name) Khan Bahadur, Diler Jang, Nawab of Savanur
The Consort of the Ruling Prince Meherban Nawab (personal name) Begum Sahiba
The Heir Apparent Nawabzada (personal name) Khan, Wali Ahad Sahib
The sons of the ruling prince Nawabzada (personal name) Khan Sahib
The daughters of the ruling prince Nawabzadi (personal name) Begum Sahiba
The male descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line Sahibzada (personal name) Khan Sahib
The female descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line Sahibzadi (personal name) Begum
The more remote male descendants of the ruling prince Sardar (personal name) Khan Sahib



The rulers of Savanur State were Sunni Muslim and used the title 'Nawab'.[6]

Nawabs of Savanur[edit]

  • 1680 - 23 Jun 1720 Dalil Khan "Abdul Rauf" (b. 16.. - d. 1720)
  • Jun 1720 - Sep 1720 Abdul Fath Khan (d. 1720)
  • Sep 1720 - Feb 1721 Abdul Mahmad Khan (d. 1721)
  • Feb 1721 - 7 Apr 1726 Abdul Ghafur Khan (d. 1726)
  • 7 Apr 1726 – Oct 1755 Abdul Majid Khan I (d. 1754)
    • 7 Apr 1726 - 19 Oct 1730 Abdul Sattar Khan -Regent
  • Oct 1755 - 20 Feb 1794 Diler Abdul Hakim Khan I (d. 1794) (exiled 29 Oct 1786 – 17 Dec 1791 when the state was occupied by Mysore)
  • 20 Feb 1794 – 25 Nov 1796 Abdul Husain Khan (b. 17.. - d. 1802)
  • 25 Nov 1796 - 2 Nov 1827 Abul Khair Khan I (b. 17.. - d. 1827) (recognized by Peshwa as vassal ruler from Nov 1794 until 1818)
  • 2 Nov 1827 - 12 Jan 1828 Faiz Khan (d. 1828)
  • 8 May 1828 - 17 Aug 1834 Munawwar Khan (b. 1805 - d. 1834)
  • 17 Aug 1834 - Aug 1862 Abul Diler Khan II (b. 1807 - d. 1862)
  • Aug 1862 - 11 May 1868 Abul Khair Khan II (b. 1836 - d. 1868)
  • 11 May 1868 - 11 Aug 1884 Diler Khan (b. 1862 - d. 1884)
    • 11 May 1868 - 12 Jun 1883 Diwan Muhammad Ghaus Khan -Regent
  • 11 Aug 1884 - 26 Jul 1892 Abdul Tabriz Khan (b. 1865 - d. 1892)
  • 11 Aug 1884 – 1 May 1887 .... -Regent
  • 26 Jul 1892 - 1954 Abdul Majid Khan II (b. 1890 - d. 1954)
  • 26 Jul 1892 - 12 Nov 1912 Daud Muhammad Khan Sahib Pathan -Regent
  • 1954 - 1993 (nominal Nawab after 1973) Abdul Rashid Khan Bahadur
  • 1993 - (nominal Nawab) Abdul Majid Khan Bahadur[5]
  • benki nawab ghouse ali sultan §ghouse khan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 22, p. 155.
  2. ^ Savanur Princely State
  3. ^ a b Azer, Rahman (19 August 2014). "Nawabs and paan leaves" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Bombay Gazetteer, Karnataka Dharwad district Chapter III. ed. and publ. by James M. Campbell, 1863, pp. 58-59
  5. ^ a b Buyers, Christopher (August 2008). "Savanur: The Miyana dynasty". Royal Ark. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Rulers of Savanur State

Coordinates: 14°58′01″N 75°21′00″E / 14.967°N 75.35°E / 14.967; 75.35