Malerkotla State

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Malerkotla State

ਮਲੇਰਕੋਟਲਾ ਰਿਆਸਤ
مالیرکوٹلہ رِیاست
Coat of arms of Malerkotla
Coat of arms
Motto: Heaven's Light Our Guide[1]
1909 Malerkotla State Located in the Punjab Agency bordered by Patiala and Ludhiana
1909 Malerkotla State Located in the Punjab Agency bordered by Patiala and Ludhiana
CapitalMalerkotla City
Common languagesUrdu, English, Punjabi
GovernmentAbsolute Monarchy
Nawab of Malerkotla 
• 1672 - 1712
'Sher Muhammad Khan Bahadur (First)
• 1712 - 1717
Ghulam Husain Khan
• 1717 - 1762
Jamal Khan
• 1762 - 1763/64
Bhikan Khan
• 23 Aug 1908 – 15 Aug 1947
Ahmad Ali Khan (Last)
• Established
15 August 1948
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mughal Empire

The State of Malerkotla or Maler Kotla was a princely state in the Punjab region during the era of British India. The last ruler of Maler Kotla signed the accession to join the Indian Union on 20 August 1948. Its rulers belonged to a Pathan dynasty, and its capital was in Malerkotla. The state belonged to the Punjab States Agency.

During the partition of India, The last Nawab Iftkhar Ali Khan remained in Maler Kotla & died in the year 1982. He is buried at Shahi graveyard situated at Sirhandi gate. However a part of the ruling family of Malerkotla State migrated to Pakistan and their members are living mostly in Model Town, Lahore, as well as in Muzaffargarh and Khangarh.[2]


The predecessor state was founded in 1454 A.D. by Sheikh Sadruddin-i-Jahan, a pious man of the Sherwani tribe of Afghanistan area, and was ruled by his descendants.[3]

Local tradition says that Behlol Lodhi (1451–1517), the Afghan king who had most of western India under his control, desired to rule Delhi and on his way, he was caught in a sand drift.[4] In the darkness the King spotted a dim light of a lamp still burning in the wind. It was the hut of Sheikh Sadruddin and when the king found out he came to the hut to show his respect and asked the holy man to pray for him to bear a son and have victory.[4] During 1451 and 1452, the king married off his daughter Taj Murassa to Shaikh Sadruddin after being enthroned in Delhi, and also gave him the area of Malerkotla as a jagir.[4]

The descendants of Shaikh Sadruddin branched into two groups. One started ruling the state and were given the title of Nawab when the Mughal Empire arose.[4] The other branch lived around the Shrine of Shaikh Sadruddin, controlling its revenue from pilgrims.[4]

The State of Malerkotla was established in 1657 by Bayazid Khan. After saving the life of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in a tiger attack, Bayazid Khan was granted the privilege to build a fort, which he named Malerkotla and eventually gave its name to the state. On 3 May 1809 Maler Kotla became a British protectorate and was made part of the Cis-Sutlej states until 1862. Malerkotla ranked 12th in the Punjab Darbar in 1890. It is noteworthy that during the 1947 riots when Punjab was in flames, the State of Malerkotla did not witness a single incident of violence; through it all, it remained a lone island of peace.[3][5]

The roots of communal harmony in the area date back to 1705, when Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, 9- and 7-year-old sons of 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, were ordered to be bricked alive by the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan. His close relative, Sher Mohammed Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla, who was present in the court, lodged a vehement protest against this inhuman act and said it was against Islam. Wazir Khan nevertheless had the Sahibzadas tortured and bricked into a section of wall while still alive. At this, the Nawab of Malerkotla walked out of the court in protest. Guru Gobind Singh on learning this kind and humanitarian approach profusely thanked the Nawab of Malerkotla and blessed him with his Hukamnama, Kirpan, etc. In recognition of this act, the State of Malerkotla did not witness a single incident of violence during partition.[3] Many local people attribute this peaceful strain to the presence of the shrine of 'Baba Haidar Sheikh', the Sufi saint, who founded the town of Malerkotla more than 500 years ago.[6][7]

Nawab Sher Mohammed Khan married a lady of Guru Gobind Singh's family who converted to Islam, hence all the succeeding Nawabs descend in the female line from Guru Hargobind Singh.[8]

Following Indian independence and the signing of the instrument of accession to the Indian Union in 1948, Maler Kotla joined the newly established state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) until its merger with Punjab in 1956.


The rulers were titled 'Nawab'. They had the right to an 11 gun salute.[9]

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
1 Sher Muhammad Khan Bahadur(b. 1640 - d. 1712) 1672 1712
2 Ghulam Husain Khan (d. 1734) 1712 1717
3 Jamal Khan (d. 1762) 1717 1762
4 Bhikan Khan (d. 1763/64) 1762 1763/64
Khan Sahib Khan Bahadur Khan (d. 1766) - Regent 1764 1766
5 Khan Sahib Umar Khan (d. 1780) 1766 1 Nov 1780
6 Khan Sahib Asadullah Khan (d. 1784) 1 Nov 1780 Apr 1784
7 Khan Ataullah Khan (d. 1809) Apr 1784 14 Aug 1809
8 Muhammad Wazir `Ali Khan (b. 17.. - d. 1821) 14 Aug 1809 4 Sep 1821
9 Amir `Ali Khan Bahadur (d. 1846) 4 Sep 1821 8 Apr 1846
10 Mahbub `Ali Khan Bahadur (d. 1857) "Sube Khan" 8 Apr 1846 25 Nov 1857
11 Eskandar `Ali Khan Bahadur (d. 1871) 25 Nov 1857 16 Jul 1871
12 Mohammad Ebrahim `Ali Khan (b. 1857 - d. 1908) 16 Jul 1871 23 Aug 1908
Sir Ahmad `Ali Khan Regent 1 Feb 1905 23 Aug 1908
13 Ahmad Ali Khan(b. 1881 - d. 1947) – Acceded to India 23 Aug 1908 15 Aug 1947

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The motto of the Order of the Star of India
  2. ^ Malerkotla Muslims Archived 2 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine The India Express, 14 August 1997.
  3. ^ a b c Goyal, Sushil (19 August 2006). "'Malerkotla has Guru's blessings'". The Tribune. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Study of the Pathan Communities in four States of India". Khyber. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
  5. ^ A people's gratitude Archived 14 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Sikh Review, Issue No. 14, November 2003
  6. ^ The Legend of Malerkotla: A Tale from the Punjab (2004) 48 min, DVD, ISBN 978-0-8026-0761-4.
  7. ^ Bigelow, Anna B (2 December 2000). "Malerkotla: A heritage going to seed". The Tribune. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  8. ^ Buyers, Cristopher. "malerk6".
  9. ^ States before 1947 K-Z

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Maler Kotla". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 487.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°32′N 75°59′E / 30.533°N 75.983°E / 30.533; 75.983