Bahawalpur, Princely State of Pakistan (1947 – 1955)

ALBUM – View my Bahawalpur, Princely State of Pakistan album

Fast Facts

Region: India Area
Group: Pakistani States
Classification: Semi-autonomous state
Prior Regime: Bahawalpur, Princely state of India
Key Dates:
  1802 – Bahawalpur state founded in 1802 by Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi
  1833, Feb 22 – Bahawalpur came under British suzerainty
  1947. Oct 7 – Bahawalpur joined the newly formed Dominion of Pakistan
  1955, Oct 14 – Bahawalpur merged into the province of West Pakistan
Following Regime: West Pakistan
Scott Catalogue: (Pakistan, Bahawalpur) #1-29, O17-O28
Pick Catalogue: none
Currency: 1 Rupee = 16 Annas = 64 Piece = 192 Pie


Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi V, Nawab of Bahawalpur dedicates foundation stone of Sadiq Public School - March 04, 1953
Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi V, Nawab of Bahawalpur dedicates foundation stone of Sadiq Public School – March 04, 1953
Bahawalpur was a princely state of India and is part of the Punjab states. The state was founded in 1802 by Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi as the Durrani Empire (the last Afghan empire) began to break-up. His successor, Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi III, signed the state’s first “subsidiary alliance” with the British on 22 Feb 1833. This agreement guaranteed the internal rule of the Nawab, while the British had ultimate control over external relations. While essentially a protectorate, Bahalwapur as an Indian State was never officially a British possession, and maintained the status of a Feudatory State.

At the time of partition of India, all the princely states of the subcontinent were given a choice to join either Pakistan or India. The Nawab was wooed by India with various incentives, but in the end, Nawab Sadeq Mohammad Khan V signed an agreement on 5 Oct 1947 to become the first state to join Pakistan. The main factor was of course the shared Islamic beliefs (the majority in Bahawalpur State), and the close friendship the Nawab had with Quaid-i-Azam, the first leader of Pakistan.

IND - Bahawalpur_Map Nawab Sadeq Mohammad Khan V was very helpful and generous to the government of Pakistan. He gave seventy million rupees to the government and the salaries of all the government departments for one month drawn from the treasury of Bahawalpur state and he gifted his private property to the University of the Punjab, King Edward Medical College and the Mosque of Aitchison College in Lahore.

In 1953, the Nawab represented Pakistan at the installation of Faisal II of Iraq and at the coronation of Elizabeth II. In 1955, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad joined the province of West Pakistan, thus ending the offical role of the Nawab, although he received a year stipend and maintained the title of Nawab and protocol inside and outside Pakistan.


IND - Bahawalpur, Pakistan State StampALBUM
As an Indian State, Bahawalpur used the postage stamps of British India until 1945 when it issued a set of 16 stamps designed for official use only.

After Bahawalpur decided to join the Dominion of Pakistan, it began issuing regular issue stamps on 1st December 1947.

All Bahawalpur stamps are of high quality, finely engraved, and quite beautiful, as it is known that the Nawab was a philatelist, and had a hand in designing the stamps. Bahawalpur stamps could only be used for delivery of mail within the state. On 1 Dec 1947, the first regular (non official) stamp was issued: a commemorative for the 200th anniversary of the ruling family, depicting Mohammad Bahawal Khan I, and inscribed “BAHAWALPUR”. A series of 14 values were issued shortly thereafter on 1 Apr 1948, depicting various Nawabs and buildings.

Some 60 stamps (regular issue and official stamps) were issued, the last in Oct 1949, with a 4 stamps commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. After this, stamps of Pakistan were used, which had already been required for all mail going outside Bahawalpur.


Bahawalpur used currency and Banknotes from Pakistan.


Bahawalpur from Wikipedia
Bahawalpur Stamp Catalogue from Pakistan Philately

This entry was posted in British Colonies / Protectorates, India Area, Indian Feudatory States, Semi-autonomous states. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bahawalpur, Princely State of Pakistan (1947 – 1955)

  1. Nice stamps
    What a princely state I wonder what happened to their monarchs

    • Michael says:

      Hi Kourosh, welcome to DCStamps
      I do really like the Bahawalpur stamps, they are interesting and very attractive. The last Nawab, Sadeq Mohammad Khan V, retained an honorary title as well as a received a generous stipend after Bahawalpur was dissolved in 1955. He died in in 1966 in London.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I’ve always wondered why these Bahawalpur stamps look so beautiful?, didn’t knew that Nawab of Bahawalpur was a philatelist himself! 🙂

  3. Jasmine says:

    Just saw your Bahawalpur Album, it’s Impressive! Some very rare and beautiful collection.
    Thank you,

    • Michael says:

      Thank you for visiting DCStamps. I too have always thought that Bhawalpur issued some very beautiful stamps and really enjoy looking at them. I appreciate your kind words.

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