Flag of Janjira State 1489 AD/CE to 1948 AD/CE

Continent: Asia

Janjira 1896 (1).jpg

Established: 1489 AD/CE

Disestablished: 1948 AD/CE


According to one legend, in the year 1489 the Ahmadnagar Sultanate sent its Admiral Piram Khan (of Ethiopian descent) with orders to capture the Murud-Janjira castle from Ram Patil. Owing to the castle's fortifications, the Admiral could not attack conventionally.

He and his team disguised themselves as merchants and asked Ram Patil to safeguard their three hundred large boxes containing silks and wines from Surat. As thanks, Piram Khan threw a party with wine. Once Ram Patil and his soldiers were intoxicated, Piram Khan opened the boxes, which contained his soldiers, and used the opportunity to capture the castle and the island on which it stands.

In the century that followed the rulers put themselves under the overlordship of the Sultanate of Bijapur. During the seventeenth and eighteenth century Janjira successfully resisted the repeated attacks of the Maratha Empire.

According to Ottoman records, a combined force from the Ottomans and Janjira routed a Portuguese fleet in 1587 at Yemen. From this moment onwards Janjira played an important role in resisting Portuguese influence in the region.

There's further record of Cooperation with the Ottoman Empire when the Ottoman fleet first arrived in Aceh prior to Ottoman expedition to Aceh has included 200 Malabar sailors from Janjira State to aid the region Batak and the Maritime Southeast Asia in 1539.

According to one records at one time Sultan Aurangzeb supplied the Siddis of Janjira state with 2,000 men, provisions, ammunitions along with two Frigates and two large Man-of-war battleships. The ship arrived at Bombay harbor under the commands of Siddi Kasim and Siddi Sambal at 1677. The largest Mughal ship named Ganj-I-Sawai Which equipped with 800 guns and 400 musketeer type soldiers also stationed in the port of Surat.

Another record from East India Company factory which written 1673 has reported the Siddis fleet which wintered from Bombay has five Frigates and two Man-of-wars beside of fifteen grabs vessels. It is because the formidable naval warfare skills of Siddis in Janjira that Aurangzeb granting annual payment of 400.000 Rupee for the maintenance of their fleet.

The main competitor of the Sidis was the Angrias, a Maratha Koli family with sea forts and ships, based in southern Konkan.

In 1733, Peshwa Bajirao of the Maratha Empire launched a campaign against the Siddis of Janjira. Bajirao's forces, however, did not take Janjira fort, though they captured much of the surrounding area; a favorable treaty gave the Marathas indirect control over virtually all of the Sidi's lands.

When the British came to the Konkan area, the repeated attacks of the Marathas against Janjira ceased. Janjira State was administered as part of the Deccan States Agency of the Bombay Presidency, founded in 1799. In the nineteenth century the rulers maintained a military force of 123 men.

Following the independence of India in 1947, the state was merged with India.