The Princely State of Gangpur was one of the prominent princely states of India that were administered by native rulers or Indian princes under the indirect control of the British Government of India. The state covered a total area of 2,492 sq miles and comprised of a total population of 399,297 in the year 1941. The population was primarily Oriya speaking. The territory included as a part of the newly independent India on 1st January 1948. At present, Gangpur is located in Sundargarh in the modern Indian state of Orissa. The princely state of Gangpur was a rather large state. It was bounded by the British Province of Bihar in the east and north; by Bonai in the southeast; by the British district of Sambalpur (Province of Orissa) in the south; by Jashpur in the northwest; and by Raigarh in west. Gangpur state was incorporated as a part of the Orissa States Agency, which was under the administrative control of Eastern States Agency.
History of Princely State of Gangpur
The Sikhar family Kshatriyas of Sikharpur in Manbhum was the ruling family of Gangpur. It was under the suzerainty of Sambalpur which was a part of the Maratha state of Nagpur. The territory was ceded to the British East India Company in the year 1826. The overlordship of the princely state was canceled by the British administration and in the year 1827 a sanad was issued by the British to the native ruler of the princely state of Gangpur. In 1899, after revised sanads were issued, the 5 princely states of the Surguja group, namely Changbhakar, Korea, Jashpur, Udaipur and Surguja, including Seraikela, Gangpur and Bonai, were officially recognized as them as feudatory states and parts of British dominated India. This also defined their association with the British Government of India.
The native ruler of the state, who held the title of Raja, exercised the powers of a ruling chief but his jurisdiction was more limited than that implemented by all other rulers of Orissa states, excluding Bonai. There are several Bhuiyan estates in Gangpur. The territory was one of the original constituent members of the Chamber of Princes, a number of smaller states indirectly represented by 12 princes who were elected periodically by them. In the year 1940, the Raja of Gangpur state was admitted to the Chamber in his own right.
After the independence of India in the year 1947, the erstwhile princely state was acceded to the newly formed Union of India, also known as Dominion of India.
Rulers of Princely State of Gangpur
The chronology of the native rulers of the princely state of Gangpur is mentioned below-
* Parsharam Shekhar Deo (1827)
* Raghunath Shekhar Deo (1858- 1874)
* Raghunath Shekhar Deo (1874- 1917)
* Raja Bhawani Shankar Shekhar Deo (1917- 1930)
* Raja Bir Mitra Pratap Shekhar Deo (1930- 1947)
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