|Province of British India|
Rajputana Agency and Ajmer-Merwara province, 1909
|7,021 km2 (2,711 sq mi)|
• Ceded to the British
• Merger of the Central Provinces and Berar Province
Ajmer-Merwara, also known as Ajmir Province and as Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri, is a former province of British India in the historical Ajmer region. The territory was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia by a treaty on 25 June 1818. It was under the Bengal Presidency until 1836 when it became part of the North-Western Provinces comissionat el 1842. Finally on 1 April 1871 it became a separate province as Ajmer-Merwara-Kekri. It became a part of independent India on 15 August 1947 when the British left India.
The province consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwar, which were physically separated from the rest of British India forming an enclave amidst the many princely states of Rajputana. Unlike these states, which were ruled by local nobles who acknowledged British suzerainty, Ajmer-Merwara was administered directly by the British.
In 1842 the two districts were under a single commissioner, then they were separated in 1856 and were administered by the East India Company. Finally, after 1858, by a chief commissioner who was subordinate to the Governor-General of India's agent for the Rajputana Agency.
The area of the province was 2,710 square miles (7,000 km2). The plateau, on whose centre stands the town of Ajmer, may be considered as the highest point in the plains of North India; from the circle of hills which hem it in, the country slopes away on every side - towards river valleys on the east, south, west and towards the Thar Desert region on the north. The Aravalli Range is the distinguishing feature of the district. The range of hills which runs between Ajmer and Nasirabad marks the watershed of the continent of India. The rain which falls on the southeastern slopes drains into the Chambal, and so into the Bay of Bengal; that which falls on the northwest side into the Luni River, which discharges itself into the Rann of Kutch.
The province is on the border of what may be called the arid zone; it is the debatable land between the north-eastern and south-western monsoons, and beyond the influence of either. The south-west monsoon sweeps up the Narmada valley from Bombay and crossing the tableland at Neemuch gives copious supplies to Malwa, Jhalawar and Kota and the countries which lie in the course of the Chambal River.
The clouds which strike Kathiawar and Kutch are deprived of a great deal of their moisture by the hills in those countries (now the majority of this region is in Gujarat state within independent India), and the greater part of the remainder is deposited on Mount Abu and the higher slopes of the Aravalli Range, leaving but little for Merwara, where the hills are lower, and still less for Ajmer. It is only when the monsoon is in considerable force that Merwara gets a plentiful supply from it. The north-eastern monsoon sweeps up the valley of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal and waters the northern part of Rajasthan, but hardly penetrates farther west than the longitude of Ajmer. The rainfall of the district depends on the varying strength of these two monsoons. The agriculturist of Ajmer-Merwara could never rely upon two good harvests in succession.
In ancient times, the Mair Gurjars were the dominant inhabitants. They were defeated by the Chauhan Kings Rao Anoop and Rao Anhal, whose descendants the Chauhan Rajputs were the dominant group here. The rajputs continued to have influence on the politics of the region.
Before the arrival of the British, Chauhan Rajputs were land-holders, as well as cultivators. "Thakur" was the title of the Rajputs, 11 prominent Rajput chieftains were Bhinai, Pisangan, Kharwa, Masuda, Bandanwara, Para, Kairot, Junia, Baghera, Tanoti, and Bagsuri.These were prominent Rajput Thikanas of the Mertia/Jodha clan. Prominent chieftains of the Mehrats were the lords of Athoon, Chaang, Shyamgarh, Borwa etc. "Chauhan" was the title of Mehrat Rajputs, such as the Chauhahan of Athun, a major Thikana of the Rajput clan, The two major thikanas of Chauhan Rajputs are Bhim ruled by the sujawat clan and Diver, ruled by the Varaat clan .Thakur is the title used by the Chauhan Rajputs and many Mehrats who refer each other as Thaakar in general conversation.
Part of the Ajmer region, the territory of the future province was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior State as part of a treaty dated 25 June 1818. Then in May 1823 the Merwara (Mewar) part was ceded to Britain by Udaipur State. Thereafter Ajmer-Merwara was administered directly by the British East India Company. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, in 1858 the powers of the Company were transferred to the British Crown and the Governor-General of India. His administration of Ajmer-Merwara was controlled by a chief commissioner who was subordinate to the British agent for the Rajputana Agency.
From the date of partition and independence in 1947 until 1950, Ajmer-Merwara remained a province of the new Dominion of India. In 1950 it became Ajmer State, which on 1 November 1956, was merged into the state of Rajasthan.
The Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952 was the landmark in the legal history of land reforms in Rajasthan which was followed by Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 that became applicable to the whole of Rajasthan. The overriding effect of this Act provided relief to the existing tenants and the rights accrued to tenants accordingly. Now the Jats are major land holders in the region.