History of Princely State of Gwalior
It is believed that Gwalior State was born during the 10th century and was captured by the Delhi Sultanate, and Gwalior remained under their control till the year 1938. From 1528 till 1731, it again passed into the supervision of the Mughal Dynasty. Ranoji Scindia was the founder of Gwalior, who was a part of the Scindia house. Aurangzeb had granted a patent of rank to the head of the family and one of the daughters of the Mughal household was married off to Shahu, a Maratha chief. Ranoji Scindia and Malhar Rao Holkar were permitted to collect revenue or 'chauth' which represents about 25 percent of the total revenue, apart from the 'sardeshmukhi' which constitutes 10 percent over and above the chauth tax, from Malwa districts in 1726, by the Peshwa.
The remaining amount of tax or 'mokassa' could be retained by them. Jotiba, Jayappa and Dattaji were the legitimate sons of Ranoji Scindia, who had declared Ujjain as his official headquarters. Ranoji had died on 19th July, 1745. Eventually, Jayappa succeeded to the throne but was later assassinated during 1759 at Nagaur. His son Jankoji became the new ruler. However, he was captured as a prisoner and finally killed at the Third Battle of Panipat which had occurred in the year 1761. Mahadji was proclaimed as the next successor of Gwalior State. The residency of Gwalior was separated from the Central India Agency, in the year 1936 and they are answerable to the Governor General of India. Following the independence of India during 1947, the Sindhia kings became the rulers of the new Union of India and thereafter the Government of India declared Gwalior State as a portion of the state of Madhya Bharat.
Geography of Princely State of Gwalior
The total area occupied by Gwalior State measures about 64, 856 square kilometers and was differentiated into two parts namely the Malwa section and Northern or Gwalior section. Gwalior was surrounded by Jhansi and Jalaun in United Provinces in British Raj, on the southern part by Rajgarh, Bhopal, Siroj Pargana of Tonk State and Khilchipur, on the north-east, north-west and north by Chambal River, towards the west by Kotah, Jhalawar and Tonk in the Rajputana Agency and Saugor District in the Central Provinces.
Administration of Princely State of Gwalior
Malwa and Northern Gwalior are the two sub divisions of the state of Gwalior. Seven districts or 'zilas' make up Gwalior State and include Narwar, Isagarh, Tonwarghar, Bhind, Bhilsa, Sheopur and Gwalior Gird. Shajapur, Ujjain, Amjhera and Mandsaur are the four districts of the Malwa Prant. The districts are further subdivided into 'parganas' and the group of villages is arranged in circles, each under the supervision of a 'Patwari'. The Maharaja controlled the administration of the State and he was helped by the Sadr Board. Seven members compose this Board, of which the Maharaja is the president and various departments involved Post Office, Land Records and Settlement, Public Works, Customs, Revenue, Accounts and Forest etc.
District magistrates or 'subahs' oversee the districts, especially in Northern Gwalior and they could be held responsible by the Sadr Board directly. A 'Sar Subah' was entrusted the responsibility of supervising the Malwa prant in the region of Malwa, and he used to control the tasks of the four Malwa subahs. The regional rulers of this area administered the feudal estates which were under the control of Gwalior State and reigned by the local kings, and they were not included in the jurisdiction of the prants and zilas. The authority of Gwalior controlled the tiny estates or 'diwans' or 'thakurs' belonging to the Sangul Wardha Agra.
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 Marathasand was given the responsibility to collect chauth and sardeshmukhi in the Malwa districts. Gradually the Sindhia Empire developed with the headquarters in the ancient city of Ujjain. Sindhia died in 1745 and was succeeded 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 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 is an important commercial hub of the state.