Tanawal

Amb
Capital     Darband    (Submerged under Tarbela Dam)
Shergarh         (summer residence)
Area             585 km²
Languages         Hindko, Pashto
Established          19th century
Abolished         28 July 1969

Amb was a princely state of the former British Indian Empire. In 1947, by the Indian Independence Act 1947, the British abandoned their supremacy, and following the Partition of India Amb's Nawab decided to give up his state's independence by acceding to the new country of Pakistan. However, Amb continued as a distinct state within Pakistan until 1969, when it was incorporated into the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa). In 1972, the royal status of the Nawab was abolished by the Government of Pakistan.

History

Amb and surrounding areas have a long history which can be traced to the time of the invasion of the region by Alexander the Great. Arrian, Alexander's historian, did not indicate the exact location of Embolina, but since it is known that Aoronos was on the right bank of the River Indus, the town chosen to serve as Alexander's base of supplies may with good reason be also looked for there. The mention in Ptolemy's Geography of Embolina as a town of Indo-Scythia situated on the Indus supports this theory.

In 1854 General James Abbott, the British frontier officer from whom Abbottabad, administrative centre of Hazara, takes its name, discussed the location of Aornos on the Mahaban range south of Buner. He proposed, as M. Court, one of Ranjit Singh's French generals had done before him in 1839, to recognize Embolina in the village of Amb situated on the right bank of the Indus.This is the place from which the Nawabs of Amb took their title.

Amb State was once known as Mulk e Tanawal (Country/area of Tanawal). The word 'Tanawal' is derived from Taniwal, with Amb as its capital, and was the tribal homeland of the Tanoli people. The early history of the region goes back to the centuries before the Mughal Empire, when in the early fourteenth century the Tanoli tribe under its chieftains arrived here from Central Asia, via Afghanistan, and conquered it and settled here on the banks of the river Indus and a wide area around it, which thus came to be known as Tanawal.

From early on, the Tanawal area by and large managed to remain free from the influence of the Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and British; and beyond paying occasional simple taxes to central authorities, the people of Tanawal had little or no contact with the outside world for long. At most times, they would resist such authority, preferring to be ruled by their own chiefs at a local level. Initially, uptil the late-18th or early-19th centuries, Tanawal itself was not one consolidated state but an area where several important Tanoli chiefs each exterted his powers within a zone of influence, although the Hindwal section chiefs remained comparatively stronger and one of them, Mir Painda Khan, was finally able to bring the whole area under his sway.

Descent and Ruling Dynasty

The Hindwal Tanoli dynasty, rulers of Amb, are descendants of the Ameer Khan Pahtun Tribe, related to the Afghan. This has been mentioned in many historical books, for instance The Royal Asiatic Journal and the Monthly Register for British and Foreign India, China, and Australia (1841), in the following words; "There is one chief who, though not a Eusofzye, yet from his position in the midst of, and intimate connection with, the Eusofzyes, and his singular history and character, must not be omitted in a description of the Eusofzye country. Paieendah Khan, of Tanawul, is a Mogul of the Birlas tribe, the same from which the Ameer Timoor was descended. All record of the first settlement in Tanawul of his family is lost, and it has long ago broken off all connection with the other branches of the Birlas, which are still to be found in Turkestan."

The Imperial Gazetteer of India also confirms this line of descent; it states, "Its (Tanawul's) real rulers, however, were the Tanawalis, a tribe of Mughal descent divided into two septs, the Pul-al and Hando-al or Hind-wal."
The Sikh records of the region also confirm this line of descent of the Tanolis. They state, "The family of Paeendah Khan is a branch of the Birlas, a Mogul House, well known in history. All record of its first settlement in Tanawul is lost. It may perhaps have been left there by the Emperor Baber. Among the list of whose nobles, the name Birlas is found


Tenure                 Rulers of Amb (Tanawal)
unknown date - 1803           Mir Haibat Khan
1803–1809                          Mir Hashim Ali Khan  (son of Mir Haibat Khan)
1809–1818                          Mir Nawab Khan
1818–1844                          Mir Painda Khan
1844–1868                          Nawab Jahandad Khan
1868–1907                          Nawab Muhammad Akram Khan
1907 - 26 February 1936     Nawab Khanizaman Khan
26 February 1936 - 1971     Nawab Muhammad Farid Khan
1971–1973                          Nawab Muhammad Saeed Khan (Amb state formally incorporated into Pakistan in 1972)
1973                             Nawabzada Salahuddin Saeed Khan, (titular head of the Tanoli tribe and elder son of the last Nawab), remained a Member to the National Assembly of Pakistan from the former Tanawal/Amb state area.

Kashmir Conflict
Nawab Muhammad Farid Khan sent an army of 1500 Amb State soldiers under the leadership of Subedar Major Shah Zaman Khan to take part in the Kashmir Liberation Movement from 1947 to 1948 (Kashmir Conflict). The Amb State force carried its own artillery to the battle. They fought bravely alongside other frontier tribesmen and came under fire by the Indian airforce just three kilometers from Baramulla sector. Around 200 Amb State soldiers lost their lives in the battle.
Amb State Postal Service

British India had hundreds of Princely States, some 565[17] in all, but most of them did not issue postage stamps. Only around 40 such States issued their own postage stamps and Amb State was one of them, having its own Postal Service. The rest used All India Postal Service postage stamps.
Amb State postal stamps

Present Geography

Amb State consisted of the following present day Union Councils of Mansehra and Haripur Districts:

Mansehra District:

    Shungli Bandi
    Shergarh
    Karori
    Nika Pani
    Darband
    Dara Shanaya
    Sawan Miara
    Lassan Nawab Sahib
    Parhena
    Phulra (later granted by Mir Painda Khan to his brother Maddad Khan; and considered a separate Khanate)

Haripur District:

    Bait Gali
    Narra Amazai
    Lalogali Darya Doga from Union Council Ladarmang
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