Junagadh State

Junagarh or Junagadh was a princely state in Gujarat[1] ruled by the Muslim Babi dynasty in British India, until its integration into the Union of India in 1948.

Junagadh State
Princely State of British India
Coat of arms

Location of Junagarh,
among all districts shown in green
8,643 km2 (3,337 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maratha Empire
Dominion of India
Today part ofGujarat, India
Modern state of Gujarat, shown within modern borders of India


Muhammad Sher Khan Babai was the founder of the Babi Pashtun dynasty of Junagarh in 1654. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagarh, 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 Junagarh in 1730. This allowed the Babi to retain sovereignty of Junagarh and other princely states. During the reign of his heir Junagarh 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, Junagarh 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 Junagarh into the newly formed Pakistan.


The Nawabs of Junagarh belonged to Pathan Babi or Babai (Pashtun tribe). They were granted a 13 gun salute by the British authorities:[3]

  • 1730–1758 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I or Mohammad Sher Khan Babai[4]
  • 1758–1774: Mohammad Mahabat Khan I
  • 1774–1811: Mohammad Hamid Khan I
  • 1811–1840: Mohammad Bahadur Khan II
  • 1840–1851: Mohammad Hamid Khan II
  • 1851–1882: Mohammad Mahabat Khan II
  • 1882–1892: Mohammad Bahadur Khan III
  • 1892–1911: Mohammad Rasul Khan
  • 1911–1948: Mohammad Mahabat Khan III (last ruler before the integration of Junagarh to India)


A coat of arms was granted to Muhammed Mahabat Khanji II at the Durbar in Delhi of 1877, used until 1947.

Koli rebellion in Junagarh raised by Mansa Khant during time of Nawab Sher Khan the first ruler of Junagarh. He was against Mughal Rule, Made Uparkot Fort his centre. He made a series of raids in surrounding villages and cities. Nawab was unsuccessful to control the rebellion. Mansa Khant occupied the Uparkot for thirteen months and carried out numerous raids mostly in countryside. Nawab started campaign against Khant. Nawab was assisted by king of Gondal State Thakur Sahib Haloji Jadeja and Arab Jamadar Sheikh Abdullah Zubeidi. The combined forces defeated the Khant and captured Uparkot and burnt down the rebellion.[5][6]

Annexation by India

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 independent. The Constitutional Advisor to the Nawab, Nabi Baksh, indicated to Lord Mountbatten that he was recommending that Junagarh should join India. However, upon the advice of Dewan Bhutto, on 15 August 1947, the Nawab announced that Junagarh had acceded to Pakistan. On 16 September, the Government of Pakistan accepted the accession.[7]

India sent its military into Junagarh while the Nawab of Junagarh was in Pakistan and captured the state of junagarh overthrowing Nawab and the rights of princely states. The Annexation of Junagarh into India led the[8] Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagarh (erstwhile Babi Nawab dynasty of Junagarh) left to live in Sindh, Pakistan.[9]

Pakistan's claim

Pakistan's government has maintained its territorial claim on Junagadh, along with Manavadar and Sir Creek in Gujarat, on its official political maps.[10][11][12]

See also


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Junagarh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 554–555.
  2. Georg Pfeffer; Deepak Kumar Behera (1997), Contemporary Society: Concept of tribal society, p. 198, ISBN 9788170229834
  3. Soszynski, Henry. "JUNAGADH".
  4. Nawabs of Junagarh Archived 9 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine British Library.
  5. Williams, Raymond Brady; Trivedi, Yogi (12 May 2016). Swaminarayan Hinduism: Tradition, Adaptation, and Identity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199089598.
  6. shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in (PDF) http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/59303/8/08_chapter%20iv.pdf. Retrieved 1 January 2019. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. Menon, V. P. (1956). The Story of Integration of the Indian States (PDF). Orient Longman. pp. 85–87.
  8. Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. p. 292.
  9. "Welcome to Junagadh Municipal Corporation". Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  10. Devirupa Mitra, Pakistan Objects to India's Map Bill But its Own 2014 Law Regulates Geospatial Data Too, The Wire, 18 May 2016.
  11. Philip Jagessar, Pakistan, India and mapping the contested accession of South Asia’s princely states, University of Nottingham, 3 October 2019.
  12. "After Nepal, Pakistan unveils new political map; Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh claimed, India retorts". The Himalayan Times. 4 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.

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