Ancient India, Hindu Art
At the time of the British withdrawal, 565 princely states were officially recognised in the Indian subcontinent, apart from thousands of regional and local chiefs including taluqars, zamindaris and jagirs. In 1947, princely states numbering 555 covered 48% of area of pre-Independent India and constituted 28% of its population.
The most important states had their own British Political Residencies:
Hyderabad, Mysore and Travancore in the South followed by Jammu & Kashmir and Sikkim in the Himalayas, and Indore in Central India. Gun-salutes were often given for personal distinctions of the ruler rather than the importance of the state and varied from time to time. The most prominent among those – roughly a quarter of the total – had the status of a salute state, one whose ruler was honoured by receiving a set number of
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