Princely States during British Raj
- A princely state, sometimes known as a native or Indian state, was a nominally sovereign part of the British Indian Empire.
- It was subject to a subsidiary alliance, the authority of the British crown, and an Indian monarch under an indirect system.
- When India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947, there were technically 565 princely kingdoms, but the vast majority had agreements with the ruler to handle public services and tax collection.
- Only four of the actual 21 states had sizable state governments (Hyderabad State, Mysore State, Jammu and Kashmir State, and Baroda State).
- Between 1947 and 1949, they joined one of the two newly independent countries.
- Except for Hyderabad, Jammu, and Kashmir, which became bitterly divided between India and Pakistan, the accession process was mainly calm.
- At some point, every prince received a pension.
What were princely states?
Princely states, also known as native states or feudatory states, were ruled by a local or regional king in a secondary alliance with the British Raj. There were roughly 565 princely republics at the time of Indian independence in 1947; Sardar Vallabhai Patel campaigned to reunite 562 of them with India.