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State of Junagadh
Flag of Junagadh State
Coat of arms of Junagadh State
Coat of arms
Location of Junagarh, among all districts shown in green
Location of Junagarh,
among all districts shown in green
StatusState Within the Maratha Confederacy (1731–1807)
Protectorate of the East India Company (1807–1857)
Princely State of the British Raj (1857–1947)
State of the Dominion of India (1947–1948)
• 1730– 1758 (first)
Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I
• 1911–1948 (last)
Muhammad Mahabat Khan III
• founded
19218,643 km2 (3,337 sq mi)
• 1921
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maratha Empire
State of Saurashtra
Today part ofGujarat, India
Modern state of Gujarat, shown within modern borders of India

Junagarh or Junagadh was a princely state in Gujarat[1] ruled by the Muslim Babi dynasty in India, which acceded to the Dominion of Pakistan[2] after the Partition of British India. Subsequently, the Union of India annexed Junagadh in 1948, legitimized through a plebiscite held the same year.[3][4]

Pakistan claims sovereignty over the erstwhile princely state to this day.[5][6]

Two magnificent monuments in Janugadh


Janugadh Museum

Muhammad Sher Khan Babai was the founder of the Babi Pashtun dynasty of Junagarh in 1654. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagarh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra.

However, during the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the Babis became involved in a struggle with the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Empire over control of Gujarat during the reign of the local Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I. Mohammad Khan Bahadur Khanji I declared independence from the Mughal governor of Gujarat subah, and founded the state of Junagarh in 1730. This allowed the Babi to retain sovereignty of Junagarh and other princely states. During the reign of his heir Junagarh was a tributary to the Maratha Empire,[7] until it came under British suzerainty in 1807 under Mohammad Hamid Khanji I,[1] following the Second Anglo-Maratha War.

In 1807, Junagarh became a British protectorate and the East India Company took control of the state. By 1818, the Saurashtra area, along with other princely states of Kathiawar, were separately administered under the Kathiawar Agency by British India.

In 1947, during the partition of India, the last Babi dynasty ruler of the state, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III, decided to accede to the Dominion of Pakistan but Junagarh was annexed by India which was followed by a plebiscite in which the locals voted to stay with India.


Main article: Nawab of Junagarh

Tomb of Mahabat Khan

The Nawabs of Junagarh belonged to Pathan Babi or Babai (Pashtun tribe). They were granted a 13 gun salute by the British authorities:[8]

Koli Rebellion

A coat of arms was granted to Muhammed Mahabat Khanji II at the Durbar in Delhi of 1877, used until 1947.

There was a Koli rebellion in Junagarh by Mansa Khant during the reign of Nawab Sher Khan the first ruler of Junagarh. He was against Mughal Rule. Uparkot Fort was his centre. He made a series of raids into the surrounding villages and cities. Nawab Sher Khan was unsuccessful in suppressing the rebellion. Mansa Khant occupied Uparkot for 13 months and continued to carry out numerous raids mostly in the countryside. Nawab was assisted by the King of Gondal State Thakur Sahib Haloji Jadeja and Arab Jamadar Sheikh Abdullah Zubeidi in his campaign against the rebellion. The combined forces defeated the Khant and captured Uparkot and burnt down the rebellion.[10][11]

Annexation by India

Main article: Annexation of Junagarh

In 1947, Shah Nawaz Bhutto joined the council of ministers of Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, and in May became his dewan or prime minister.

With the partition of India in 1947, the princely states were left by the British to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent Union of India or Dominion of Pakistan, or become a separate country.[12]

The Constitutional Advisor to the Nawab, Nabi Baksh, indicated to Lord Mountbatten that he was recommending that Junagarh should join India. However, upon the advice of Dewan Bhutto, on 15 August 1947, the Nawab announced that Junagarh had acceded to Pakistan. On 16 September, the Government of Pakistan accepted the accession.[2]

India sent its military into Junagarh while the Nawab of Junagarh was in Pakistan and captured the State of Junagarh. The Annexation of Junagarh by India led the[13] Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagarh (of the erstwhile Babi Nawab dynasty of Junagarh) to continue to live in Sindh, Pakistan.[14]

Pakistan's claim

Pakistan's government has maintained its territorial claim on Junagadh, along with Manavadar and Sir Creek in Gujarat, on its official political maps.[15][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Junagarh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 554–555.
  2. ^ a b Menon, V. P. (1956). The Story of Integration of the Indian States (PDF). Orient Longman. pp. 85–87.
  3. ^ Collins, Larry (2011). Freedom at Midnight (Seventh ed.). Vikas Publishing House. pp. 556–557. ISBN 978-8125931867.
  4. ^ "Explained: When Junagadh voted to join India, and Pakistan got just 91 votes". The Indian Express. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2023.
  5. ^ a b Philip Jagessar, Pakistan, India and mapping the contested accession of South Asia’s princely states, University of Nottingham, 3 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b "After Nepal, Pakistan unveils new political map; Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh claimed, India retorts". The Himalayan Times. 4 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  7. ^ Georg Pfeffer; Deepak Kumar Behera (1997), Contemporary Society: Concept of tribal society, Concept Publishing Company, p. 198, ISBN 9788170229834
  8. ^ Soszynski, Henry. "JUNAGADH". Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  9. ^ Nawabs of Junagarh Archived 9 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine British Library.
  10. ^ Williams, Raymond Brady; Trivedi, Yogi (12 May 2016). Swaminarayan Hinduism: Tradition, Adaptation, and Identity. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199089598.
  11. ^ "KOLIS: A FRINGE CATEGORY" (PDF). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  12. ^ Copland, Ian (1991). "The Princely States, the Muslim League, and the Partition of India in 1947". The International History Review. 13 (1): 38–69. doi:10.1080/07075332.1991.9640572. ISSN 0707-5332. JSTOR 40106322.
  13. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. p. 292.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Junagadh Municipal Corporation". Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  15. ^ Devirupa Mitra, Pakistan Objects to India's Map Bill But its Own 2014 Law Regulates Geospatial Data Too, The Wire, 18 May 2016.

21°31′N 70°28′E / 21.52°N 70.47°E / 21.52; 70.47