Junagadh State

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Junagadh State
Princely State of British India
Flag of Junagadh
Coat of arms of Junagadh
Coat of arms
Location of Junagadh State in Saurashtra,
among all princely states shown in pink
• 1921
8,643 km2 (3,337 sq mi)
• 1921
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maratha Empire
Today part ofGujarat, India

Junagadh was a princely state in Gujarat [1] ruled by the Muslim Babi or Babai dynasty in British India, until its annexation by the Indian Union in 1948.


Muhammad Sher Khan Babai was the founder of the Babi dynasty of Junagadh State in 1654. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagadh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra.

However, during the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the Babis became involved in a struggle with the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Empire over control of Gujarat during the reign of the local Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I. Mohammad Khan Bahadur Khanji I declared independence from the Mughal governor of Gujarat subah, and founded the state of Junagadh in 1730. This allowed the Babi to retain sovereignty of Junagadh and other princely states. During the reign of his heir Junagadh was a tributary to the Maratha Empire,[2] until it came under British suzerainty in 1807 under Mohammad Hamid Khanji I,[1] following the Second Anglo-Maratha War.

In 1807, the Junagadh State became a British protectorate and The East India Company took control of the state. By 1818, the Saurashtra area, along with other princely states of Kathiawar, were separately administrated under the Kathiawar Agency by British India.

In 1947, upon the independence and partition of India, the last Babi dynasty ruler of the state, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III, decided to merge Junagadh into the newly formed Pakistan. However, the Hindu citizens, who formed the majority of the population, revolted, leading to several events and also a plebiscite, resulting in the integration of Junagadh into India.[3]


The Nawabs of Junagadh belonged to Pathan Babi or Babai (Pashtun tribe). They were granted a 13 gun salute by the British authorities:[4]

  • 1730–1758 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I or Mohammad Sher Khan Babai [5]
  • 1758–1774 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I
  • 1774–1811 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji I
  • 1811–1840 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji II
  • 1840–1851 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji II
  • 1851–1882 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji II
  • 1882–1892 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji III
  • 1892–1911 : Mohammad Rasul Khanji
  • 1911–1948 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III (last ruler before the integration of Junagadh to India)
Junagadh Nawabs and state officials, 19th century
Mohammad Mahabat Khanji II, the Nawab of Junagarh, with young, Mohammad Bahadur Khanji III, 1870s
Bahadur Khanji II (r. 1882–1892), Nawab of Junagadh, and state officials, 1880s
Mohammad Rasul Khanji, Nawab of Junagadh, Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai, Wazier, Junagadh, 1890s

Integration into India[edit]

In 1947, Shah Nawaz Bhutto joined the council of ministers of Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, and in May became his dewan or prime minister.

With the independence of India in 1947, the princely states were left by the British to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan or to remain outside them. The Constitutional Advisor to the Nawab, Nabi Baksh, indicated to Lord Mountbatten that he was recommending that Junagadh should join India. However, upon the advice of Dewan Bhutto, on 15 August 1947, the Nawab announced that Junagadh had acceded to Pakistan. On 13 September, the Government of Pakistan accepted the accession.[6]

The Hindu majority of Junagadh revolted, leading to the near-collapse of the state government, and India forced its military into Junagarh to force a plebiscite that had 91% of the population voting in support of joining India in December[7]. The plebiscite overwhelmingly called for the integration of Junagadh into India.[3] Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagadh (erstwhile Babi nawab dynasty of Junagadh) left to live in Sindh, Pakistan.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Junagarh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 554–555.
  2. ^ Georg Pfeffer and Deepak Kumar Behera, Contemporary Society: Concept of tribal society, p. 198
  3. ^ a b Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. p. 292.
  4. ^ Soszynski, Henry. "JUNAGADH".
  5. ^ Nawabs of Junagadh Archived 9 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine British Library.
  6. ^ Menon, V. P. (1956). The Story of Integration of the Indian States (PDF). Orient Longman. pp. 85–87.
  7. ^ kashmirreacts (1 December 2018). "The story of partition. How India 'conquered' Junagarh, Hyderabad and Kashmir through military operations". Kashmir Reacts. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°31′N 70°28′E / 21.52°N 70.47°E / 21.52; 70.47