Rewa (princely state)

Rewa (princely state)

Rewa was a princely state of India, surrounding its eponymous capital, the town of Rewa.


With an area of about 13,000 mi², Rewa was the largest princely state in the Bagelkhand Agency and the second largest in Central India Agency. The British political agent for Bagelkhand resided at Satna, on the East Indian railway. The Bagelkhand Agency was dissolved in 1933 and Rewa was placed under the authority of the Indore Residency.

Rewa was bordered to the north by the United Provinces, to the east by Bengal and to the south by the Central Provinces. On the west, it met other princely states of Bagelkhand, namely Maihar, Nagod, Sohawal, Kothi Baghelan and Panna. The south of the state was crossed by the Bengal-Nagpur railway, (the branch between Bilaspur and Katni) which taps the Umaria coal-field.


The Rajas of Rewa were Rajputs of the Baghela branch of the Solanki or Chalukya clan, and claimed descent from the founder of the Anhilwara (Patan) dynasty in Gujarat.They ruled from Bandhavgarh under the first ruler Raja Vyaghradev. The state came under British paramountcy in 1812 and remained a princely state within the Raj until India's independence in 1947.

In 1901, the population of the state was 1,327,385, showing a decrease of 12% over a decade; the population of the town that year was 24,608. Many of the inhabitants of the hilly tracts were Gonds and Kols. The estimated revenue of the state was Rs.200,000/- p.a. The staple crops were rice, millets and wheat. More than one-third of the area was covered with forests, yielding timber and lac. The state suffered from famine in 1896-1897 and again (to a lesser extent) in 1899-1900.

During the long minority of Raja Venkat Raman Singh (b.1876, ruled 1880-1918), the administration of the state was reformed. In 1901 the town boasted a high school, a "model jail" and two hospitals: the Victoria hospital and the Zenana hospital. However, it was still adjudged among the most backward areas of the country by V.P. Menon, after he visited the state in 1947.

Post-independence: Upon India's independence in 1947, the maharaja of Rewa acceded unto the dominion of India. Rewa later merged with the Union of India and became part of Vindhya Pradesh, which was formed by the merger of the former princely states of the Bagelkhand and Bundelkhand agencies. Rewa served as the capital of the new state.

In 1956, Vindhya Pradesh was merged with other nearby political entities to form the Indian constitutive state of Madhya Pradesh. The Maharaja's "Raj" [i.e. colonial] -era palace has now been converted into a museum.

Bagheli is local language of Rewa.

External links

* [ Official website of Maharaja, Rewa (M.P.)]

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