Sandafayre
Welcome to our site! Advanced Search

Whatever Happened To The Indian Native States?

The Indian Native States (or Princely States) were nominally sovereign monarchies with their own ruler under the protection of the British Government. Though the history of the princely states dates from at least the classical period of Indian history, the predominant usage of the term princely state specifically refers to a semi-sovereign principality during British Rule under a form of indirect rule similar to political entities which existed in the Arabian Gulf area including Oman, Zanzibar and the Trucial States.

At the time of Independence in August 1947 there were a staggering 565 Princely States in the Indian subcontinent, the most prominent among those - roughly a quarter of the total - had the status of a “salute state”, one whose ruler was honoured by receiving a set number of gun salutes on ceremonial occasions, ranging from 9 to 21. Rulers of salute states entitled to a gun salute of 11 guns and above received the style of Highness; the Nizam of Hyderabad had the unique style of Exalted Highness.

The princely states varied greatly in status, size and wealth; the premier 21-gun salute states of Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir were each over 200,000 km2 in size, or slightly larger than the whole of Great Britain. In 1941, Hyderabad had a population of over 16 million, while Jammu and Kashmir had a population of slightly over 4 million, and at the other end of the scale, the non-salute principality of Lawa covered an area of 49 km2, with a population of just below 3,000.

The era of the princely states effectively ended with Indian independence in 1947. By 1950, almost all of the principalities had acceded to either India or Pakistan – nine to Pakistan and the rest to India. The accession process was largely peaceful except in the cases of Jammu & Kashmir (whose king decided to accede to India, but only after an invasion by Pakistan-based tribal militia) and Hyderabad, whose ruler opted for total independence in 1947, resulting in the forced annexation of the state to India.

As per the terms of accession, the Indian Princes received privy purses and were initially allowed to retain their statuses, privileges and autonomy in internal matters during a transitional period which lasted until 1956. During this time, the former princely states were amalgamated into federations; each federation was headed by a former ruling prince with the title of Rajpramukh (ruling chief), equivalent to a state governor. In 1956, the position of Rajpramukh was abolished and the federations dissolved, the former principalities becoming part of Indian states. The states which acceded to Pakistan retained their status until 1956, when they became part of the province of West Pakistan. The Indian Government formally abolished the status of the princely families in 1971, followed by the Government of Pakistan in 1972.

Many of the larger States issued their own stamps, frequently featuring portraits of their rulers and you can meet several of them in our Sandafayre 15th December Sale including Maharajah Yeshwant Rao Holkar II of Indore and Maharajah Madan Singh of Kishangarh, whose own journeys from exhalted Princes to Private Citizens adds another fascinating dimension to collecting this area.

   

30 item(s) found

Sort By:
Items Per Page:

Lot Number: 696
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 24 - 28
  • Currency guide (USD): 32 - 37
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2458
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 500 - 600
  • Currency guide (USD): 660 - 792
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2459
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 106 - 132
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2461
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 190 - 220
  • Currency guide (USD): 251 - 290
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2460
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 110 - 130
  • Currency guide (USD): 145 - 172
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6519
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 1400 - 1600
  • Currency guide (USD): 1848 - 2112
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6520
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 350 - 400
  • Currency guide (USD): 462 - 528
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2462
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 280 - 320
  • Currency guide (USD): 370 - 422
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6521
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 90 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 119 - 132
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6522
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 210 - 230
  • Currency guide (USD): 277 - 304
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2463
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 350 - 400
  • Currency guide (USD): 462 - 528
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2464
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 220 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 290 - 330
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6523
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 130 - 150
  • Currency guide (USD): 172 - 198
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2465
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 120 - 150
  • Currency guide (USD): 158 - 198
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2466
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 700 - 800
  • Currency guide (USD): 924 - 1056
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6524
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 80 - 100
  • Currency guide (USD): 106 - 132
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2467
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 160 - 180
  • Currency guide (USD): 211 - 238
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6525
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 1500 - 1800
  • Currency guide (USD): 1980 - 2376
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2468
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 40 - 50
  • Currency guide (USD): 53 - 66
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6526
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 40 - 50
  • Currency guide (USD): 53 - 66
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2469
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 950 - 1100
  • Currency guide (USD): 1254 - 1452
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 6527
Closing: 23 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 300 - 320
  • Currency guide (USD): 396 - 422
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2470
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 300 - 350
  • Currency guide (USD): 396 - 462
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2471
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 220 - 250
  • Currency guide (USD): 290 - 330
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Lot Number: 2472
Closing: 30 October 2018

  • Guide price (GBP): 550 - 650
  • Currency guide (USD): 726 - 858
Go to item details...
Add to Wishlist/Bid Later

GBP

Stamp Talk!

Stamp Talk is published every fortnight and contains interesting stamp articles and latest auction news. Enter your email below to sign up!


Current Stamp Auctions

Highlights


    We offer thousands of items for sale, here are just a few of our favourites...

  • RUSSIA - 1937 40k indigo blue, Lenin, variety

    RUSSIA - 1937 40k indigo blue, Lenin, variety "imperf", Mi 579U, very fine marginal mint pair.

    Go to item details...

  • GRENADA - 1906 - 1911 Badge of the Colony set complete incl 2½d ultramarine, SG 77/88, 80a, very fine and fresh mint. (12 stamps)

    GRENADA - 1906 - 1911 Badge of the Colony set complete incl 2½d ultramarine, SG 77/88, 80a, very fine and fresh mint. (12 stamps)

    Go to item details...