(Last Updated on : 04/05/2012)
The Bhopawar Agency was a former political office of the British Empire in India
that administered a group of princely states of India. Bhopawar Agency was formed in the year 1882 and was created from a number of princely states of India
in the Southern Malwa and Western Nimar regions of Central India, which were controlled by native rulers and Indian princes
. Bhopawar was primarily a sub-agency of the Central India Agency under the authority of the British administration. It was headquartered at the town of Bhopawar, from which the name of the agency was derived. The agency was managed by a resident of British India
, also known as political agent, who officially served as a diplomat but was also responsible for keeping the ruler to maintain the association and alliance with the British administration. The British Resident was a government official who took up residence in a princely state and conducted several official diplomatic functions that aided in the British indirect rule.
During its formation, the Bhopawar Agency covered a total area of 19,900 sq km and the total population of the region was 547,546 in the year 1901. Later in 1904, certain districts were reassigned to the Indore Residency, formed in 1899, from this agency. As a result the total area of Bhopawar was reduced by 8,500 sq km. Bhopawar Agency was merged with the Malwa Agency in the year 1925 and the agency was renamed the Malwa Bhopawar States Agency in 1927. Later in the year 1934, it was again renamed as the Malwa Agency
After India became independent in 1947, the native rulers or Indian princes of the princely states within Malwa Bhopawar States Agency acceded to the Dominio of India, also known as the Union of India
. The region was incorporated as part of the newly formed Indian state of Madhya Bharat. On 1st November 1956, it was merged into Madhya Pradesh
Princely States under the Deccan States Agency
The various princely states of India that were included in the Bhopawar Agency are mentioned below-
The princely state of Dhar
included several other petty states, such as Rajgadh, Nimkhera, Kali Baori and Jamnia, which became independent states in future. These and some other states were under the administrative control of princely state of Dhar, also known as Bhumiaite Estates, during that period. The territory also included the British guaranteed Jagirs or Fiefdoms of Dhotria, Bakhatgarh, Kachhi Baroda and Multhan. These always remained under complete suzerainty of Dhar Durbar, which was also known as Feudatory Estates.
During the Great Revolt of 1857, Baktawar Singh Rathore, the last ruler or Raja of the princely state of Amjhera revolted against the British East India Company
. As a result he was detained and blown off by the cannon in Dhar. The commander of his army was also detained and hanged by the neck in Indore
. The territories of the princely state of Amjhera that were captured were relocated as gift to Gwalior
Durbar as a measure of benevolence and support for their dedicated commitment to the British Government of India during the revolution thereafter. Thus the entire state of Amjhera became the territory of the state of Gwalior.
The princely state of Jhabua included 17 Jagirdars or Feudal lords who paid nazarana or tribute, also known as khillat, directly to the Indore Durbar.
The princely state of Alirajpur included the extinct Phulmaal State which was included into the state earlier as well as Jagirs or fiefs of Sondhwa and Ondhwa.
The princely state of Ratanmaal was included as a part of the Bhopawar Agency and was merged with the state of Baria (Devgadh) in Bombay Province. This was done a few years before the British withdrawal and the partition of India in the year 1947.
Other princely states like Barwani State, Kathiwara State, Mathwar State and the princely state of Jobat was also included in the Bhopawar Agency in British India. The agency also incorporated few enclaves, namely, Dahi Jagir, Petlawad Tehsil and others that were under the Indore State Territory.
Apart from these, there were other major towns in this territory such as Sardargarh, Manawar, Kukshi and Badnawar.