Tuesday 15 March 2016

Muslim Princely States Of India

British created the largest empire in history of the world. It was spread over all continents of the world. But India was the largest colony and was considered the Jewel in the Crown. This vast country was divided into eleven provinces directly ruled and administered by the British. However, a large part of India was only indirectly ruled by India and was under the control of local rulers, considered princes, working under the umbrella of a paramount power.

The above maps shows that almost a quarter of Indians lived in princely states, which occupied over a third of the land mass of the Indian sub continent. Number of these states was about 565 (I saw a list of 638 states or estates), but most of them were very small. About 200 of those had an area less than 25 kms square.

Of these states about 45 were significant for Muslims in many ways. Some of them were ruled by Muslims or had a population in which Muslims were in a majority. I have divided them into three groups.
First:       States With Muslim Rulers & Muslim Majority Population
Second:   States With Muslim Rulers & Non Muslim Majority Population
Third:     States With Non Muslim Rulers & Muslim Majority Population

Of these 14 states and tribal areas joined Pakistan after the independence. While parts of State of Jammu & Kashmir also joined Pakistan. The following map shows the location of some of these states in northern India, while the other states can be seen in the main map given above.

Punjab also had many princely states and five of these were ruled by Muslim rulers. But only Bahawalpur joined Pakistan. Other four states Maler Kotla, Loharu, Dujana and Pataudi were non contiguous to Pakistan so could not join it in 1947. Moreover, most of the population was non Muslims. Kapurthala was unique in the sense that in eastern Punjab it was the only state which had a majority of Muslims, but was ruled by a Sikh ruler. It was contiguous to Muslim majority areas of Ferozepore, Jullundur, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, but when these areas were unfairly granted to India, the state of Kapurthala itself fell into India.

Another group of 11 Muslim princely states was in the western India, in the province of Bombay. These all states were predominantly Hindu. Junagadh was the biggest of all these states and at the time of independence tried to accede to Pakistan. But later on India intervened and annexed it. 

Central India also had a cluster of 8 Muslim princely states. Bhopal was the most important of all these states. After Hyderabad and Bahawalpur it was the third biggest princely state ruled by a Muslim family.

The following map shows two Muslim princely states of Janjira and Savanur in the Maratha heartland in western India. 

Bigger states like Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir and the states of Baluchistan can be seen in the main map.

I have not written the history of these states or details of their rulers. My only purpose was to give their accurate maps and location. However, readers are welcome to add or correct any information about these Muslim princely states. 

Tariq AmirMarch 15, 2016.Doha - Qatar .


  1. Dear sir. I really appreciate your efforts and research in giving accurate maps and location of princely states of British India. Great work.

    1. Dear Sir,

      Thank you for your encouraging remarks. Regards.

    2. Can your share Sub-Continent complete map?

    3. https://pakgeotagging.blogspot.com/2014/12/muslim-population-of-india-according-to.html

  2. Please also add that how hindu majority area such as amarkot,tharparkar, capital city karachi,mirpurkhas and many other in west pakistan and and some other in East Pakistan went to Pakistan.

    1. Dear Aman,

      Please visit the following links and see by yourself that how many Hindu majority areas were given to Pakistan. In Punjab not even an inch of such an area was given to Pakistan, although seven Muslim majority tehsils, contiguous to Pakistan were given to India. For details see the link below:


      Sindh was not divided and just three Hind majority teshils went to Pakistan, non of them contiguous to Indian. See the link below:


      For the details of East Pakistan / Bangladesh, see the link below and decide by yourself that which party suffered more:



  3. Assalamu Alaikum Tariq Bhai,

    I keep visiting your blogs for autheintic informations. Your work is unique. No one worked the way you did, particularly your detailed maps.

    Regarding this article, I would like to bring your attention that....

    Area of British Provinces = 2241505 km²
    Area of Princely States and Agencies = 1854347 km²
    Hence, total area of British India = 4095852 km²

    Source :- Census of India 1941 (Tables)

    Link :- http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/ideologie/data/CensusIndia/CensusIndia1941/Census%20of%20India%201941.pdf

    Please look at this. And also visit PAGE NO. 128 of this pdf file to get area and religion-wise population of each princely state and agency.

    --- Atif
    From India

    1. Dear Atif,

      وعلیکم السلام۔. Thank you for sharing this information. I shall go through it. Where are you from India? Regards.

  4. And I detected a typo error in the list of Muslim princely states. You wrongly typed the Area of Palanpur as 1766 km². The correct area is 4646 km².
    And you didn't mention areas of some Princely States while areas of all princely states you mentioned is available on internet in pdf form. For more detailed info, you may download census results of concerned states in Report and Tables form, in pdf.

    There is some space for improvement in this article utilizing the authentic census. Hope you will do it for us.

    Wishing you good health. Allah Nigehban

    1. Thank you for pointing out some mistakes. I shall check the area of Palanpur. Regarding other states I appreciate if you could share more information. Regards.

  5. Please go through this pdf file to get the areas of Hunza, Nagar and Gilgit on Page no. 377


    Areas of Chitral, Dir and Swat are not given separately in British census. However, we can accurately get the area of Chitral state because the map of Chitral state is exactly same as the map of present day Chitral District of Pakistan. Areas of Dir and Swat Princely states are given on wikipedia without any citation.

    Area of Amb state is exaggerated (if we consider the map of Amb given in the Princely state map true). I couldn't find area of Amb state from credible source. On wikipedia, area of Amb state shows as 555 km² in 1901 CE which seems compatible with the Amb state map to an extent.

  6. A very encouraging and hard work has been put into pen by you when this chapter is almost forgotten. Had there not been the case of Jammu and Kashmir alive as a conflicting issue between Pakistan and India, this chapter of history would have sunk into the dustbin of history.
    I would request to please write the names of the states ruled by Muslim nawabs on the maps also. At some this is missing, however, at last the list in pic form has cleared the sky well.

  7. Thank you so so very much. This is very valuable and useful information. I really was searching for such maps and you solved my problem. Jazakallah Khair.