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Tonk State
टोंक रियासत/ ریاستِ ٹونک
Princely State of British India
Flag of Tonk
Coat of arms of Tonk
Coat of arms

Tonk State in the Imperial Gazetteer of India
• 1931
6,512 km2 (2,514 sq mi)
• 1931
 • Motto'"Nasr min Allah"
(Victory from God)
• Established
Succeeded by
Republic of India
Today part ofRajasthan (India)

Tonk was a princely state of India at the time of the British Raj. The town of Tonk, which was the capital of the state, had a population of 273,201 in 1901. The town was surrounded by a wall and had a mud fort. It had a high school, the Walter hospital for women, under a matron, and a separate hospital for men. It has a bridge on the river Banas.

Muhammad Amir Khan was originally enlisted by the Holkar dynasty in 1806. Tonk and the surrounding regions were captured from Jaipur State and rewarded to Amir Khan for his services. In 1817, the British acknowledged Amir Khan as the ruler of Tonk on the condition that he disbanded his army, which consisted of 52 battalions of infantry, 15,000 Pashtun cavalry and 150 artillery. he surrendered on the condition that the British enlist his men and buy his artillery. Rampura and Aligarh[clarification needed] were presented as gift by the British to Amir Khan for his co-operation.[1] It was the only princely state of Rajasthan with a Muslim ruling dynasty.


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The state was formed of several enclaves located in an area covered by the alluvium of the Bands, and from this, a few rocky hills composed of schists of the Aravalli Range protrude, together with scattered outliers of the Alwar quartzites. Nimbahera is for the most part covered by shales, limestone and sandstone belonging to the Lower Vindhyan group, while the Central India districts lie in the Deccan trap area, and present all the features common to that formation.

Besides the usual small game, antelope or ravine deer, and nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) used to be common in the plains, and leopards, sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) and wild hog were found in many of the hills. Formerly, an occasional tiger was met in the south-east of Aligarh, the north-east of Nimbahera and parts of Pirawa and Sironj.

The total area of the princely state was 2,553 square miles (6,610 km2) with a population in 1901 of 273,201.

By treaty Tonk became a British protectorate in 1817. Following the Independence of India, Tonk acceded to the newly independent dominion of India on 7 April 1949. It was located in the region bordering present-day Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states that are now the Tonk district.[citation needed]


The founder of the state was Nawab Muhammad Amir Khan (1769–1834), an adventurer and military leader of Pashtun descent. He rose to be a military commander in the service of Yashwantrao Holkar of the Maratha Empire in 1798. In 1806, Khan received the state of Tonk from Yashwantrao Holkar.[2] In 1817, after the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Amir Khan submitted to the British British East India Company. As a result, he kept his territory of Tonk and received the title of Nawab. While retaining internal autonomy and remaining outside British India, the state came under the supervision of the Rajputana Agency and consisted of six isolated districts. Three of these were under the Rajputana Agency, namely, Tonk, Aligarh (formerly Rampura) and Nimbahera. The other three, Chhabra, Pirawa and Sironj, were in the Central India Agency. The Haraoti-Tonk Agency, with headquarters at Deoli, dealt with the states of Tonk and Bundi, as well as with the state of Shahpura.[3]

A former minister of Tonk state, Sahibzada Obeidullah Khan, was deputed on political duty to Peshawar during the Tirah campaign of 1897.[4]

In 1899–1900, the state suffered much distress due to drought. The princely state enjoyed an estimated revenue of £128,546 in 1883–84;[1] but no tribute was payable to the government of British India. Grain, cotton, opium and hides were the chief products and exports of the state. Two of the outlying tracts of the state were served by two different railways.

Nawab Sir Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan GCIE (ruled 1867–1930) was one of few chiefs to attend both Lord Lytton's Durbar in 1877 and the Delhi Durbar of 1903 as ruler.[4]

In 1947, on the Partition of India whereby India and Pakistan gained independence, the Nawab of Tonk decided to join India. Subsequently, most of the area of the state of Tonk was integrated into Rajasthan state, while some of its eastern enclaves became part of Madhya Pradesh.

The foundation of the principality of Tonk led to the creation of a large Rajasthani Pathan community.


The rulers of the state, the Salarzai Nawabs of Tonk, belonged to a Pashtun Tarkani tribe. They were entitled to a 17-gun salute by the British authorities.[citation needed] The last ruler before Indian independence, Nawab Muhammad Ismail Ali Khan, had no issue.


See also


  1. ^ a b Hunter, Sir William Wilson (1887). The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Trübner & Company.
  2. ^ Lethbridge, Sir Roper (27 May 2005). The Golden Book of India: A Genealogical and Biographical Dictionary of the Ruling Princes, Chiefs, Nobles, and Other Personages, Titled Or Decorated of the Indian Empire. Aakar Books. ISBN 9788187879541 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV (1907), The Indian Empire, Administrative, Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Pp. xxx, 1 map, 552
  4. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tonk". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 10.

26°10′N 75°47′E / 26.17°N 75.78°E / 26.17; 75.78