The Palanpur Agency was an erstwhile political unit of the British Empire in India
, which was established in the year 1819. The agency administered and managed a number of princely states of India
that were located in the present northern Gujarat
. The Palanpur Agency was under the political control and an administrative division of the Bombay Presidency
, until 10 October 1924. Later the region was merged with the Western India States Agency
and came under the political control of the British Government of India
. In the year 1925, the designation of Palanpur Agency was transferred to Banas Kantha Agency. In 1933, the princely state of Palanpur was reassigned to the Rajputana Agency and the rest of the Banas Kantha Agency; it was later amalgamated with the Mahi Kantha Agency in order to create the Sabar Kantha Agency, which was subsidiary to the Western India States Agency (WISA).
The Western India States Agency was merged with the Gujarat
States Agency on 11th November 1944. After the country became independent from the British dominion in the year 1947, the entire region was incorporated as a part of the Bombay State
, which was later segregated into the Indian states of Maharashtra
and Gujarat in 1960. The Palanpur Agency was next in importance to Kathiawar in the Northern Division of the Bombay Presidency. It had political control and administration of 4 Indian princely states, namely Wao, Tharad, princely state of Radhanpur
and the princely state of Palanpur
. Apart from these, the region also included 5 petty estates, 343 non-jurisdictional Talukas and villages grouped under 5 thana circles each in charge of a Thandar.
The Palanpur Agency covered a total area of 6,393 sq miles in the year 1901 and comprised of a total population of 467,271, according to the 1901 Census of India. The political agency was headquartered at the town of Palanpur. Deesa and Radhanpur were the other major towns in the region. Deesa included a large British cantonment. Muslim chiefs reigned over most of the Agency, particularly in Palanpur and Radhanpur; the petty chiefs ruled in the Warahi thana and the Tervada chiefs managed Deodar thana. The rest of the estates were administered by Brahmins
, Kolis and Rajputs
like, Jadejas, Vaghelas and Chauhans.
The territory was managed by a Resident of British India
, also known as political agent, of the Governor General of the British. The British Resident acted as Sessions Judge for the entire Palanpur Agency, excluding the princely state of Palanpur and the princely state of Radhanpur. Moreover, the political agent implemented the powers and authority of a District Judge and District Magistrate in all the petty jurisdictional estates. He also served as District Officer of general supervision of the administration of the various states. The Assistant British Resident or Political Agent served as ex-officio Superintendent of the Palanpur Imperial Police and controlled the force employed in the Headquarters and Thana circles.
Princely State of Palanpur Agency
The princely states that were incorporated in the Palanpur Agency are discussed as follows-
The most essential princely state in the Agency was the Palanpur state, which covered a total area of 4,650 sq km, comprising a total population of 222,627 in the year 1901. The Lohani dynasty of Afghan descent was the ruling family of the state and established its rule over Deesa and Palanpur around 1597. In the year 1910, the Diwan of the princely state was honoured with the style of His Highness, the title of Nawab and a personal salute of 13 guns.
The Princely State of Radhanpur was founded in the year 1693 by Khan Jahan, the founder of the Babi dynasty. The capital of the princely state of Radhanpur was at Radhanpur city and was under the Palanpur Agency of Bombay Presidency. The region was a fortified town renowned for its export trade in cotton, grain and rapeseed. The state came under the authority of the British East India Company
in the year 1813. The state covered a total area of 1,150 sq miles, but after states were attached, the area covered was 2,016 sq miles. The population of the Radhanpur state was 67,691 in the year 1941. Later the population became 100,644, including the states attached after 1943.
The princely state of Tharad covered a total area of 3,270 sq km and was ranked as a 3rd class state. The total population of the state in the year 1901 was 16,403. It included 51 villages. The Vaghela Rajputs ruled over the region and in 1508 obtained possession of Mervada. In the year 1759, the Nawab of Radhanpur granted the region of Tharad to the rulers of the Vaghela Rajputs dynasty.
The princely state of Wao was regarded as a 4th class state and the total population of the region in the year 1901 was 8,286. The territory included 26 villages. The Chauhan Rajputs, styled as Rana, were ruling family of Wao, who established themselves in the state around 1244. From the year 1884 to 1924, Chandrasinhji Umedsinhji ruled as 20th rana of the princely state of Wao.
Thanas of Palanpur Agency
The system of the Thanas was introduced as the estates were small and the authority of the rulers was insignificant. The thana circles of Wao, Kankrej and Varahi were founded in the year 1874, and that of Deodar and Santalpur were established in 1875. In the 5 thana circles, the Thandar exercised jurisdictional power, as he was the officer invested with the powers of a 2nd Class Magistrate in Criminal matters. Criminal courts were also established in the Thanas by Government Resolution on 18 July 1889. Around five principal Jagirdars in the region of the thanas were had been granted limited jurisdiction within their own undivided villages, such as Bhorol in Tharad thana, Suigam in Wao thana and Terwada in Deodar thana.
In the year 1874, a 6th thana circle was established, including jurisdiction over specific villages that paid tribute to the thakur of Tharad. However, the Tharad thana was abolished on 14th September 1904. In the year 1917, the jurisdiction over 28 Bhayadi villages of the princely state of Wao that were under the Wao thana, came under the jurisdiction of the Wao State. The rest of the villages under the thana circle came under the jurisdiction of the Suigam taluka. It was later granted jurisdiction and the Wao thana was abolished.