Nawanagar State

Nawanagar was an Indian princely state in the historical Halar region, located on the southern shores of the Gulf of Kutch. It was ruled by the Jadeja Rajput dynasty and became the part of newly formed India. The city is now known as Jamnagar. It had an area of 3,791 square miles (9,820 km2) and a population estimated at 336,779 in 1901. Its rulers, who use the title of "Jam Saheb" are of the same clan as the Rao of Kutch.[1] They were entitled to a 13-gun salute. The state flag was a rectangular red flag with a white elephant, near and facing the hoist. During the British, the state was part of the Kathiawar Agency, within the Gujarat Division of Bombay Presidency.[1][2]

State of Jamnagar
Coat of arms
Motto: "Sanharancha Karothi Ya"
Determined to Destroy
Navanagar, part of Bombay Presidency, 1909
Official languagesGujarati
Recognized national languagesGujarati
Hinduism (Official)
 Battle of Mitoli
9,820 km2 (3,790 sq mi)
Succeeded by
Today part ofJamnagar, Gujarat (India)

The state had a pearl fishery and much of its wealth came from this. Nawanagar is also famous for its late ruler Jam Saheb Ranjitsinhji (died 1933), who was a famous cricket player at Cambridge in England before his accession to the throne.


Picture of Ranjitsinhji, celebrated cricketer and Maharaja of Nawanagar.

Nawanagar was founded in 1540 by Jam Sri Rawalji, a descendant of the Jadeja ruler of Kutch, and was thereafter in an almost constant state of war with its neighbours and with the Mughal Empire. Two such major wars were the Battle of Mithoi and Battle of Bhuchar Mori fought in 1591. The "Walker Treaty of 1807" brought peace to the Kathiawar states for the first time in several generations. Nawanagar came under British protection on 22 February 1812.

K. S. Ranjitsinhji was one of the world's greatest cricket players and, later, became Jam Saheb in 1907 until 1933.[3] The inclusive circle of eight players promoted excellence in cricket, both in the county and domestic games. After his death, Ranji Trophy, a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between different city and state sides, was started in 1934 by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Jam Saheb Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji remained the chancellor of the Chamber of Princes (1931–1933). After his death, in 1933, he was succeeded by his nephew Jam Saheb Shri Sir Digvijaysinhji, who became its chancellor (1937–1944) and continued to promote the octet circle in excellence in cricket, academics and welfare. In 1942 the Maharaja set up a refugee camp for Polish children in Balachadi.

Nawanagar was one of the first princely states to sign the Instrument of Accession in 1948 after Indian independence. Afterwards, the late ruler, Digvijaysinhji, served as the first Rajpramukh of Kathiawad, then represented his country at the United Nations.

In 1949, the princely states of Nawanagar and Dhrol, Jalia Dewani in Kathiawar merged into the new state of Saurashtra. On 19 June 1959, the boundaries of the district were enlarged by the inclusion of the adjoining Okhamandal, and the district was renamed Jamnagar. This district became part of the new state of Gujarat on the division of the State of Bombay on 1 May 1960.

Rulers (Jam Saheb)

Regime Rulers Born Died
1540 – 1562 Rawalji Lakhaji 1480 1562
1562 – 1569 Vibhaji Rawalji 1569
1569 – 1608 Sataji Vibhaji 1608
1608 – 1624 Jasaji Sataji 1624
1624 – 1645 Lakhaji Ajaji 1645
1645 – 1661 Ranmalji Lakhaji 1661
1661 – 1664 Raisinhji Lakhaji
1664 – 1673 Interregnum
1673 – 1690 Tamachi Rainsinhji
2 October 1690 – 13 October 1708 Lakhaji Tamachi 1708
13 October 1708 – 13 August 1711 Raisinhji Lakhaji 1711
13 August 1711 – 1743 Tamachi Raisinhji 1743
September 1743 - 2 November 1767 Lakhaji Tamachi 1743 1767
2 November 1767 – 6 August 1814 Jasaji Lakhaji 1814
6 August 1814 – 24 February 1820 Sataji II Lakhaji 1820
24 February 1820 – 22 February 1852 Ranmalji Sataji II 1852
22 February 1852 – 28 April 1895 Vibhaji II Ranmalji 1827 1895
28 April 1895 – 14 August 1906 Jashwantsinhji Vibhaji II 1882 1906
12 March 1907 – 2 April 1933 Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II 1872 1933
2 April 1933 – 15 August 1947 Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji 1895 1966
3 February 1966 – Present Shatrushalyasinhji Digvijaysinhji 1939 living

Jewellery collection

The Maharaja Jamsaheb of Nawanagar were also known for their jewellery collection; especially Ranjithsinhji, whose Emerald collection according to Jacques Cartier was "unequaled in the world, if not in quantity, then certainly in quality". The collection included an emerald and pearl necklace, an art deco emerald and diamond necklace designed by Jacques Cartier and an Emerald collar or choker also designed by Jacques Cartier.[4][5]

The 61.5 carat (12.3 g) whisky-coloured diamond, "The Eye of the Tiger", was mounted by Cartier in a turban aigrette for the JMaharaja or Maharaja of Nawanagar in 1934.[6]

See also


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