(Last Updated on : 01/01/2013)
Gwalior was a significant place in Madhya Pradesh
because of its location and is a commanding fort. Gwalior state was named after the old town of Gwalior and was ruled by the Ranoji Sindhia
, a part of the Maratha Confederacy, laid the foundation of this Indian kingdom in the early 18th century. During the reign of Mahadji Sindhia
(1761-1794) the state became a powerful kingdom in North India.
It was the successive Anglo - Maratha Wars that brought Gwalior State under the British administration. In the colonial period, it became a princely state and was the largest princely state in the Central India Agency. The Central India Agency was under the political control of the Gwalior residency.
It was in the year 1936 that Gwalior Residency was detached from the Central India Agency and was made accountable to the Governor General of India. After India`s independence in 1947, the Gwalior State was included in the new Indian state of Madhya Bharat.
The State of Gwalior was surrounded by the British districts of Jalaun and Jhansi
of the United Provinces and the Saugor District of the Central Provinces in the east, the states of Bhopal
, Princely State of Khilchipur
and Rajgarh Districts
in the south and the states of Princely State of Jhalawar
, tonk and Kota
of the Rajputana Agency in the west.Occupying an area of 64,856 sq. km. (25,041sq. miles.) the state was divided into two parts, the Gwalior or the Northern section and the Malwa section. The northern section spanned over an area of 44,082 sq. km. and was surrounded on the north, northeast and northwest by the Chambal River
.This section comprised of seven zilas or districts, which were Gwalior Gird, Bhind
, Sheopur, Tonwarghar, Isagarh, Bhilsa and Narwar. The second part or the Malwa section was spread over an area of 20,774 sq. km. The city of Ujjaini
came under the Malwa section. This section consisted of four zilas Ujjain, Mandsaur District
, Shajapur District
and Amjhera. The zilas were under the control of the subahs or district magistrates that were further divided into parganas. Under one pargana, several villages were agained grouped under a patwari.
Ranoji Sindhia, the founder of the Sindhia kingdom was an ordinary attendant of Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao
. With his courage and determination, he became a trusted member of the Marathas and was given the responsibility to collect chauth and sardeshmukhi in the Malwa districts. Gradully the Sindhia Empire developed with the headquarters in the ancient city of Ujjain. Sindhia died in 1745 and was succeded by his son Jayapa. His son Jankoji who was put to death after he became a prisoner of war in the Third Battle of Panipat followed him. Mahadji Sindhia who ruled from 1761 to 1794 succeeded him. Mahadji left no successors and after him Daulat Rao, grandson of Mahadji`s brother Tukaji became the ruler of the kingdom. When Daulat Rao died in 1827, Jankojirao II Sindhia who was not his own son but a legitimate and distant member of the family succeeded him. Jankojirao died in 1843 and was succeeded by Jayajirao Sindhia. Jayajirao died in 1886 and was succeeded by his son Madhav Rao Sindhia. George Jivajirao Sindhia ruled the state of Gwalior as for a short time after which India attained her independence.
The Maharaja who received the assistance of the Board controlled the total administration of the state. This Board comprised of seven members with the Maharaja being the President and the others were given the charge of various departments. The numerous local estates were kept outside the administration of the zilas and prants. Presently Gwalior is the capital city of Madhya Pradesh and ian important commercial hub of the Madhya Pradesh