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Indian Princely State

Last modified: 2013-07-20 by ian macdonald
Keywords: indian princely state | janjira | fort | red ensign |
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[Janjira] by Blas Delgado Ortiz

Source: Ziggiotto (1998).

Source: Neubecker (1992)  It is noted as a correction that the tower in the badge of Janjira might be absent, leaving the badge only to white crescent and star.
Željko Heimer, 26 April 2002

[Janjira] by Blas Delgado Ortiz

See also:

Janjira is one of the Native States, a Protectorate of India, located on the west coast of India, south of Bombay.
David Prothero, 26 April 2002

From the World statesmen website:

Jafarabad (Jafrabad) and Janjira
c.1650 Jafarabad state founded.
1702 Janjira state founded.
1762 Jafarabad and Janjira states enter into personal union.

May I suppose that the tower-less red ensign was used in Jafarabad-and-Janjira for the Jafarabadian part only of this union ? But there is then another question : was the ensign beautifully drawn and sent by Blas Delgado Ortiz used for the whole state (both parts) or only for Janjira?
Olivier Touzeau, 26 April 2002

[Janjira] by Jorge Candeias

Source: Neubecker (1992) and description by Ziggioto (1998)

Ziggioto (1998) doesn't mention Jafrabad - for Janjira he writes:
"The first state flag (probably standard of the Nawab) of Janjira was red with white crescent and star, like the Turkish flag. The merchant flag consisted of the Red Ensign with in the <battente> a tower (principal item of the coat of arms) in black and the above named symbols (white crescent and star) of the State banner. The ensign was also used in an (unofficial) variant without tower and with the symbols in bigger dimensions".
Jarig Bakker, 26 April 2002

On this webpage, I have located some information about Janjira and Jafrabad:

"Janjira's history is exotic. Among the different races that have ruled in India, were the Africans. One of the places they ruled was Janjira. Of 16th century vintage, Janjira is Maharashtra's most majestic and commanding fort. Its 36-feet-high walls were impregnable to everyone. Shivaji tried to take this capital of the Siddis by sea and failed. His son Sambhaji even attempted to tunnel his way through.

Africans came to India as slaves, brought along by Europeans for labour. Locally called Habshi, derived from the Arabic Habashi, meaning Abyssinian (Ethiopian), these slaves went on to be employed by the chiefs of Muslim India, especially the Deccan. They were known for their strength and lack of personal ties, which ensured loyalty. While some managed to flee to freedom, thanks to a complicated mosaic of boundaries and forest cover, others rose to high office and soon declared independence. The most famous being Ambar of Ahmadnagar, who challenged the Mughals for years. In west India the Habshi - known as Siddis - were independent chiefs and commanded the fleet of the sultan of Bijapur. They took on the Marathas and transferred their allegiance to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Later, the Siddis accepted British supremacy and ruled Janjira right until 1948, when it was integrated with the Bombay state of the new India. Seen in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Siddis speak local languages and practice local religions. But physically, they still retain traces of their ancient African bloodline."

At present the fort of Murud-Janjira, in Maharashtra state, Raigadh district, south of Bombay, is still a tourist attraction. In an old geographical dictionary I found "Janjeera" as being south of Abessinia, possibly a link (?)

Jafrabad or Jafarabad lies inland, same state, district Aurangabad, NE of that city. There is also a Jafarabad in the peninsula of Kutch. I couldn't find it on Joaquín de Salas' map of the Indian Princely States < >
Jarig Bakker, 26 April 2002

I just found another map of Joaquin where on Kutch Peninsula there is space for Janjira at what my atlases gave as Jafarabad (just east of the former Portuguese settlement of Diu). Assuming that that is correct, it explains why there are two different Red Ensigns for Janjira: Janjira and Jaf(a)rabad are c. 200 km apart, while the Janjira state had only 835 sq kms.
Jarig Bakker, 26 April 2002