Q. 74.0( 1 Vote )

What was meant by princely states? How many princely states were there in India at the time of independence?

Answer :

Princely state was a vassal state under a local or indigenous or regional ruler in a subsidiary alliance with the British Raj. It is also called native state, feudatory state or Indian state. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (India’s first deputy prime minister and the home minister) with the assistance of V.P menon (the secretary of the Ministry of the States) was given the formidable task of integrating the princely states. Princely states are those where they had indirect control, ruled by the local kings, their powers are limited.

565 princely states were officially recognised in the Indian subcontinent, apart from thousands of zamindari estates and jagirs at the time of the British withdrawal. Princely states varied greatly in status, size and wealth.


In 1947, princely states covered 40% of area of pre-independence India and constituted 23% of its population. Out of 565 princely states during 1947, 13 princely states decided to join Pakistan.


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