(Last Updated on : 14-05-2012)
The Princely State of Surguja was amongst main states during the rule of the British Empire in India
. During the early 19th century, the region was appointed as one of the princely states of India
under the indirect rule of the British administration. The state covered a total area of 6,055 sq miles and comprised of a total population of 551,307 in the year 1941. Presently, the district of Surguja is located in the northern region of the Chattisgarh state, India. Ambikapur serves as the headquarters of the district. The district is bounded by the modern states of Jharkhand
and Uttar Pradesh
and overlies the south eastern region of the Vindhyachal Baghelkhand region of peninsular India.
The Princely State of Surguja was a part of the Chhattisgarh
States Agency in the Eastern States Agency
. It was the largest state in the Eastern States Agency and was bordered by the erstwhile British United Provinces of Agra
and Oudh in the north; by the British Province of Bihar in the north-east; by Jashpur
in the south-east; by Udaipur
in the south; by the British district of Bilaspur
(Central Provinces and Berar) in the south-west; by Korea in the west and by Rewa in the north-west.
History of Princely State of Surguja
The Princely State of Surguja came under the protection of the British Government of India
in the year 1818, after the Third Anglo Maratha War
. It is considered that Surguja state operated as the overlord of the current states of Jashpur
. The 5 states of the Surguja group, along with Gangpur, Bonai, Kharsawan and Seraikela, were previously known as the Tributary Mahals of Chhota Nagpur. In the year 1891, the British administration decided that these territories were not included as a part of British India and revised sanads were officially issued in 1899. This recognized these regions as feudatory states and defined their associations and links with the British Empire in India
The hereditary title of the native ruler of the princely state of Surguja was Maharaja, who exercised full administrative and jurisdictional powers and authority. An advisory committee consisting of 3 members was established in the year 1944 on the initiative of the ruler. The state 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 1940, the Maharaja of Surguja was admitted to the Chamber in his own right.