(Last Updated on : 30-07-2012)
The Princely State of Bhowal, also known as Bhawal, was one of the former princely states of India that existed 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 region was managed by native rulers under the supervision of the British authorities. The state comprised a total population of 1,138 in the year 1941. The princely state of Bhowal was incorporated as a part of the states of Khasi kingdom in Meghalaya
, which was situated in northeastern India, south of Bhutan, which was under the rule of the British Province of Assam
. The territory of Bhowal lied towards the southern region of the Eastern Khasi
Location of Princely State of Bhowal
The native state of Bhawal or Bhowal was bounded by the princely state of Maharam
in the north; by the princely state of Mawsynram
in the northeast; by the princely state of Malai Sohmat
in the east, by the princely state of Langrin in the west; and by the British Province of Assam
in the south. The Princely State of Bhowal was under the administrative control of the States of Assam Agency.
History of Princely State of Bhowal
The territory came under the protection of the British East India Company
in the year 1832. The native ruler of the princely state of Bhowal held the title of Syiem. There were 2 major branches of the ruling family of the Syiem, namely the Black Syiems and the White Syiems. During the 19th century, members of both the families were elected rulers and asserted the right to alternate in the reign among the 2 branches.
The native ruler or Syiem of Bhowal was succeeded by his eldest brother, failing which, by the ruler's eldest nephews, grand nephews, or cousins, in no particular order, but at all times in the female line. As a result of the failing male heirs, the native ruler was succeeded by the eldest of the previous ruler's sisters, nieces, female first cousins, grand nieces and distant female cousins, in that order and always in the female line. A female syiem was succeeded by her eldest son, nephew and so on, in the stated order. In case a female Syiem does not rule the princely state, her husband and the husbands of other females in the ruling family were permitted to administer the state with the support of the State Darbar. The husbands held the style of Kongors.
However this system did not provide total claim to succession, as the heirs might have been disqualified from the succession by the electoral college due to several reasons under Khasi custom and religion. The syiems of Bhowal were nominated by the chiefs of the 8 major ruling families. Only the members of the Electoral College decided the nomination of the syiem of Bhowal and neither the people of the state nor the members of the ruling family had any voice in the nomination process. In case the electors could not agree upon the election of the native ruler, all the adult males of the princely state elected the syiem.
Accession of Princely State of Bhowal
After the departure of the British Government of India
and the Partition of India
in the year 1947, the erstwhile princely state of Bhowal was acceded to the newly independent Union of India
, which also known as the Dominion of India, by the Syiem of Bhowal or Bhawal state. At present the region is included as a part of the Indian state of Meghalaya.