THE ARMS OF THE
FORMER PRINCELEY STATES
Part 2: Limbdi - Wankaner
Limbdi was a princely state during and before the British empire, ruled by the Jhala Rajput dynasty, who also ruled neighboring princely states of Limbdi, Lakhtar, Sayla, Chuda, and Wankaner. After India's independence from British colonial rule in 1947, Limbdi was integrated into the nation with other princely states.
The arms of Limbdi show the emblem of Wankaner within a bordure. Its crest is an open hand and its supporters are a tiger and a lion.
A coat of arms was granted to Maharaja Wakhatsinhji Dalelsinhji (1867-1929) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It is:
Arms: Gules, a tiger passant proper between three tridents Or.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Or, a dexter hand appaumé ensigned with a flame proper.
Supporters: Two saras (Ibis leococephalus - Ciconiidæ) proper.
Motto: Vado Vaumsa Vaghel (The Great Race of Baghel).
Nawanagar was one of the two largest of the Kathiawar States in Western India. It covers an area of four thousand square miles. The Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar maintains as his State Forces a regiment of Lancers consisting of two squadrons and a company of Infantry. Both of these units are composed almost entirely of Rajputs, to which race he himself belongs.
At the Durbar of Delhi in 1877 Maharaja Jam Sahib Vibhhaji II Ranmalji (1859-1895) was granted a coat of arms. It is:
Arms: Parted per fess dancetty Gules and Argent, three fish naiant in chief and a galley in base counterchanged.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Gules and Argent, an antelope’s head erased proper, ensigned with a crescent.
Supporters: Two antelopes gutty d’eau.
Motto: Sri Jamo Jayati (The Glorious Jam Conquers).
The emblem of the Sate of Nawanagar is a lion rampant with a banner:
Crest: A lion rampant holding a banner and the motto nil desperandum. L.: SHRI HAZUR - NAWANAGAR STATE.
A coat of arms was granted to Diwan Mahakhan Nawab Sahib Zorawar Khan Zubdat-ul-Mulk (1854-1877) at the Durbar of Delhi of 1877. It is:
Diwan of ...
Arms: Gironny Murray and Vert, a mural crown between three flames Or.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Murrey and Vert, a falcon close.
Supporters: Two antelopes.
Motto: Ba Aql Giriftah ba Shamsher Dasht (What has been won by Reason, He Sustains by Force).
A coat of arms was granted to Rana Sahib Vitematji IV Khimaji (1831-1894) at the Durbar in Delhi of 1877. It is:
Arms: Tenné, three eastern galleys (i.e. sambuks) Argent, two and one, and an escutcheon Argent Hanuman proper.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Tenné and Argent, a bull couchant proper.
Supporters: Two bisons
Motto: Sri Vrsabhadhvajaya Namah (Honour to Him Who has the Bull in his Banner)
A later version of Maharaja Rana Sahib Shri Sir Natwarsinhji Bhansinhji Bahadur (1908-1979) shows:
Arms: Hanuman proper, in base two swords in saltire, surrounded by the legend: h.h. the maharaja rana saheb.
Crest: On a helmet affronté, lambrequined (Tenné and Argent?) a bull couchant proper.
Supporters: Two bulls proper.
Motto: 1. porbandar. 2. Sri Vrsabhadhvajaya Nama (Honour to him who has the Bull in his Banner)
A coat of arms was granted to Nawab Muhammad Bismillah Khan Jorawar Khan Bahadur Babi (1874-1895) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It is:
Arms: Paly of six Vert and Murray, a chevron rompu Argent.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Vert and Murrey, a dexter hand grasping a bow and arrow.
Supporters: Two antelopes.
Motto: Az Karam Safdar (The Merciful and Valiant Warrior).
In the time of Dharmendra Singh (1930-1947) the emblem of Rajkot State was a crescent between two tridents. In chief a running deer.
Arms: Azure, on a pale wavy betwen two galleys Argent, three cannon Gules, pointed to the sinister.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter, lambrequined Azure and Argent, a bull statant.
Supporters: Two Bhils armed with bow and arrow.
Motto: Rewah Jine Kanté.
A coat of arms was granted to Rana Pratabsinhji (1873-1896) at the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It was:
Arms: Or, a globe Sable between three flames proper.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter lambrequined Or and Sable, two wings endorsed Or.
Supporters: Two elephants.
Motto: Prthvi Paramaro Tani.
During the reigns of the first Mughal emperors, Surat rose to become the chief commercial city of India and an imperial mint was established there. At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. There still is a fortress on the banks of the river built by them in 1540.
In 1608, ships from the British East India Company started docking in Surat, using it as a trade and transit point. In 1613, the British Captain Best, followed by Captain Downton, overcame Portuguese naval supremacy and obtained an imperial firman establishing a British factory at Surat following the Battle of Swally. The city was made the seat of a presidency under the British East India Company after the success of the embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to the court of emperor Jehangir. The Dutch also founded a factory.
The prosperity of Surat received a fatal blow when Bombay was ceded to the British as part of the dowry for Catherine of Braganza's wedding to Charles II in 1662. Shortly afterwards, in 1668, the British East India company established a factory in Bombay (Mumbai) and Surat began its relative decline concurrent with the rise of British interests in Bombay.
Surat was sacked by the Maratha leader Shivaji in 1670. By 1689, the British East India Company had moved the presidency to Bombay. The British took control of Surat again in 1759, and assumed all government powers of the city in 1800.
Rulers of Surat
The port and castle of Surat, together with the immediate hinterland, were governed by two Imperial officials: The Qiladar (Castellan or Commander of the Fort), and the Mutsadi (“Clerk of the Crown” or Governor). The latter office being the senior of the two and usually held by a Mughal noble.
During the early decades of the eighteenth century, when Mughal power was in its decline, many local governors assumed nearly independent powers. In Surat this was a certain Tegh Bakht Khan. Together with his two younger brothers, he gained control of the port in 1733, making himself independent of Mughal power in all but name. Tegh assumed the title of Viceroy and Nawab, later securing formal recognition from Delhi.
His fifth successor, Nawab Mir Nasir ud-din succeeded in 1799 but made an agreement with the British to hand over full control over the administration of Surat to the Company, in the following year. In return, he received a large portion of the land revenue, recognition of his hereditary styles and titles, and retained sovereignty over his palace grounds and private properties. Although his son Afzal succeeded to the titular honours in 1821, he failed to produce a male heir and left no living recognised successor when he died in 1842.
The achievement of the last Nawab of Surat shows (about):
Arms: the motto GOD THE BEST PROTECTOR in English and Arab on an oval shield.
Crest: A lion rampant
Supporters: Two lions guardant
Trophy: Eight standads and two pennons in saltire, the pennons charged with a crescent-and star; in chief a sword per fess and a crowned target, in base a sword per bend charged with a like target.
Mantle: A mantle crowned with a turban.
The flag of the Nawab showed a white full moon between three crescents on a red field.
THE RULING PRINCES OF BARODA BORE THE TITLE OF “GAEKWAD” WHICH means “The Rescuer of the Cow”. This refers to an incident in Poona where Nandaji Rao rescued a (holy) cow from the claws of a tiger. The title “Shamsher Bahadur” has been gained by a son of Nandaji Rao who distinguished himself in the battles between the Maratha’s and the Nizam of Hyderabad.
After the collapse of Maratha power the Gaekwad remained the only representative of their former status and Baroda was reputed for its enlightened administration. In 1937 Rewa Kantha, Surat, Kaira, Nasik en Thana joined Baroda and founded the Gujarat States Agency with Baroda as its capital. In July 1947 the states joined India and became a part of the State of Bombay. With the splitting up of that state into Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960 Baroda was incorporated into Gujarat.
There are four different aschievements of the Gaekwads of Baroda known:
Arms: Gules, the words guicawar + sirkar + (Government of the Gaekwar) per bordure Argent and the words sena khas khel shum bahadur (The Valiant, The Sword of the Cavalry, The Leader) also Argent.
Crest: Two indian maces in saltire, in chief a sword per fess and in base a golden indian shield, all proper.
Garland: Flowering branches encircling the shield and in base two other branches in saltire.
Supporters: Dexter a tiger and sinister a horse saddled, both supporting a banner consisting of a double triangle Gules charged with two swords Or.
Mantle: A pear-shaped screen Gules, strewn with crosslets and circlets Or, crowned with a royal crown.
(State Museum Baroda Obj. P 7.9.: The coat of arms of old Baroda State. Foto H.P. de Vries, 1984)
Sajaji Rao III
Arms: Parted in saltire Argent and Gules, a horseman charging proper.
Crest: On a helmet guardant, lambrequined Gules and Argent, a naked arm holding a sword in bend sinister.
Supporters: Two elephants.
Motto: In base: jin ghar jin takht (The Saddle is my House, my Home and my Throne); in chief: sri mahadeva (Great Lord) both in devenagiri script.
(Taylor 1902 for the Durbar 1877, n° 7.)
On the banner of Baroda, preserved in the State Museum at Baroda, the shield is parted per saltire Argent and Purpure, the shade of purpure tending to violet.
Arms: Tenné, a horseman charging Argent.
Crest: On a wreath Argent and Or, an arm embowed armed with a sword proper.
Supporters: Two elephants proper.
Motto: jin ghar jin takht in black devenagiri script on a ribbon Tenné.
(Länderwappen, ca. 1935, n° 126)
Arms: (Tenne) a horseman charging (Argent).
Crest: A sword per fess, hilt on the sinister proper.
Crown: The crown of Baroda.
Supporters: Two elephants, in their trunks two indian maces in saltire.
Motto: In chief: sri mahadur; in base: jin ghar, jin takht.
The state of Wadhwan was founded about 1630 as an offshoot of Dharangdra. An achievement of the state of Wadhwan is known from the reign of Thakur Sahib Shri Balsinhji (1885-1910):
Arms: A sun radiant charged with the word “OM” (amen).
Crest: A trident with a pennon.
Supporters: Two lions rampant guardant.
(On a stamp, 1888)
The flag of Wadhwan shows the trident from the crest.
Arms of Wankaner
Emblem: A temple enclosing a trident entwined with a double headed snake
Crest: A white crescent and a golden sun
Supporters: Two tigers with red pennons
Motto: in god is my trust.
The flag of Wankaner shows the achievement of Wankaner in yellow on a red cloth.
Rulers of Wankaner
Founded in 1605 by a grandson of Raj Chandrasinhji, the ruler of Dhrangadra.
Source: Royal Ark.
Bandiere, Passato e Presente
Jaipur, H.H. the Maharadja of
A History of the Indian State Forces. Orient Longmans. Bombay/Calcutta/Madras/New Delhi, 1967.
Leithbridge, Sir Roper
The Golden Book of India. With an appendix for Ceylon. Sampson Low & Co.. London, 1900. XX & 366pp.
Taylor, Robert M.A. Cantab Bengal Civil Service.
The Princely Armory. Being a display of the arms of the ruling chiefs of India prepared for the Imperial Assembly held at Delhi on the 1st day of January 1877. Printed for the Government of India at the Government Central Printing Office, 8 Hastings Street, Calcutta 1902.
© Hubert de Vries 2009-08-08