(Last Updated on : 31-10-2014)
The Bundelkhand Agency was a collection of sanad states of India during the rule of British Empire in India
. These states were organized into the Agency in the year 1811 after a Resident of Britsh India
, also known as political agent, was appointed to the Governor General of India and headquartered at Banda. The Maratha rulers ceded parts of Bundelkhand to the British administration in the year 1802 by the Treaty of Bassein. It was later identified as the British Bundelkhand. Since 1802, various native rulers of the princely states granted deeds and leases, known as Sanads, by the British government of India
. After 1802, many of the local rulers were granted sanads (leases) by the British, which provided them permission to the lands which they controlled after the death of Ali Bahadur. The Indian princes had to sign a written bond of allegiance or Ikrarnama to the British, in return.
History of Bundelkhand Agency
The British resident or political officer, associated with the British forces in Bundelkhand region, managed the relations of the British with the rulers of the sanad states. In the year 1806, the Maratha ruler of Jhansi
was assured the support and protection of the British administration and later the hereditary rights of the ruler to Jhansi state was recognized by the British in 1817. The next year, the rights of the Peshwa in Pune was ceded by him, over Bundelkhand to the British East India Company
, at the end of the Third Anglo Maratha War in 1818. In the year 1811, the sanad states were organized into the Bundelkhand Agency after the Bbritish resident to the Governor General of India was appointed and headquartered at Banda.
The British resident operated under the supervision of the Lieutenant Governor of the NorthWestern Provinces in 1835, which was headquartered in Agra. Later in 1849, the management of administration of Bundelkhand Agency was briefly placed under the Commissioner for the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, who appointed a political assistant at Jhansi. Afterwards, the authority over Bundelkhand came under the Resident at Gwalior
state. Moreover the headquarters of the political assistant was shifted to Nowgong until 1947. In the year 1853, the ruler of Jhansi lacked an heir and after his death the state was annexed to British Bundelkhand. The state of Jhansi and the districts of Jalaun and Chanderi were then formed into superintendency. The Bundelkhand Agency was resassigned under the control of the newly formed Central India Agency, which had its headquarters in Indore state.
Rani Lakshmi Bai
, the widow of the ruler of Jhansi state, protested the annexation as she was not permitted to adopt an heir. Moreover the slaughter of cattle was also allowed in the territory of Jhansi after the annexation. The great revolt of 1857 eventually found its base in Jhansi state as well. Later a troop of the 12th native infantry captured the fort which consisted of the treasure and magazine and executed the British officers of the garrison. Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi led the rebel group and they seized various princely states, which were allied to the British and the adjoining British districts as well. She died in 1858 at Gwalior
in a battle. Jhansi later came under the British dominion in the year 1858.
The Maharaja of Gwalior was given the territory of Jhansi after the great revolt, but it came under the rule of British Empire in India in 1886 as it was exchanged for Gwalior fort. In 1865 the political assistant was replaced with a resident of Britsh India or Political Agent. The eastern region of the Bundelkhand Agency was separated to create the Bagelkhand Agency in the year 1871. The state of Khaniadhana was reassigned to the administration of the Gwalior Resident later in 1888. Further more, in 1896 Baraunda, Jaso and the Chaube Jagirs were also transferred to the Bagelkhand agency. In 1901, the region consisted of nine states, thirteen estates and the pargana of Alampur, which belonged to the princely state of Indore. It covered a total area of 25,510 sq km. According the Census of India the total population of Bundelkhand Agency in the year 1901 was 1,308,326. The population decreased by 13% during the period 1891 and 1901, as the area was severely affected by famine.
The most prominent and significant princely states included in the Agency were Ajaigarh, Bijawar, Datia, Chhatarpur, Charkhari, Samthar, Panna and Orchha. During the British rule, deforestation increased in the territory. The entire Bagelkhand Agency, except the princely state of Rewa, was merged with the Bundelkhand Agency in the year 1931.
Princely States of Bundelkhand Agency
The Bundelkhand Agency was bordered by Bagelkand in the east, Lalitpur District in the west, and the United Provinces in the north and the Central Provinces in the south. The agency of Bagelkhand was segregated from the Bundelkhand agency in the year 1871. The Bundelkhand Agency consisted of several Indian princely states which included Tori Fatehpur, Sarila, Samthar, Panna, Orchha, Naigawan Rebai, Lugasi, Jigni, Gaurihar, Garrauli, Dhurwai, Datia, Bilheri Jagir, Chhatarpur, Charkhari, Bijna, Bijawar, Bihat, Beri, Baoni, Banka Pahari, Alipura and Ajaigarh.
Later in the year 1931, all of the Baghelkhand Agency, except the princely state of Rewa, was reassigned to Bundelkhand Agency.