Tonk (princely state)

Tonk (princely state)
Princely flag of Tonk

Tonk was a Princely State of India which by treaty in 1817 accepted British suzerainty. Following the Partition of India in 1947, Tonk acceded to the newly independent Union of India. It was located in the region that is now the Tonk district.



The founder of the state was Muhammad Amir Khan (1768-1834), an adventurer and military leader of Afghan descent. In 1817, upon submitting to the British East India Company, he received the territory of Tonk and 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 total area of the princely state was 2553 sq. mi, with a total population in 1901 of 273,201. The town of Tonk, capital of the state, had a population of 38,759 in that year. The town was surrounded by a wall and boasted a mud fort. It had a high school, the Walter hospital for women, under a matron, and a separate hospital for men.

The princely state enjoyed an estimated revenue of £77,000; however, 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.

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

In 1899-1900, the state suffered much distress due to drought.

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.

In 1947, on the Partition of India whereby India and Pakistan gained independence, the Nawab of Tonk decided to accede to the Union of India. Subsequently, most of the area of the state of Tonk was integrated into the 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 Salarzai rulers of Tonk

  • Muhammad Amir Khan 1798 - 1834
  • Muhammad Wazir Khan 1834 - 1864
  • Muhammad Ali Khan 1864 - 1867
  • Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan 1867 - June 23, 1930
  • Muhammad Sa'adat Ali Khan June 23, 1930 - May 31, 1947
  • Muhammad Faruq Ali Khan 1947 - 1948
  • Muhammad Ismail Ali Khan 1948 - [1974]
  • Muhammad Masoom Ali Khan 1974-1994
  • Muhammad Aftab Ali Khan 1994-

See also

  • Pathans of Rajasthan
  • List of Sunni Muslim dynasties

External links

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