Ajmer-Merwara

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Ajmer-Merwara (also Ajmere-Merwara) is a former province of British India in the historical Ajmer region. The territory of the province was ceded to the British by Daulat Rao Sindhia by a treaty on June 25, 1818.

The province consisted of the districts of Ajmer and Merwara, which were physically separated by the territory of Rajputana Agency. Ajmer-Merwara was administered directly by the British Raj, by a chief commissioner who was subordinate to the governor-general's agent for Rajputana. Rajputana was made up of princely states, ruled by local nobles who acknowledged British sovereignty (now the majority of this region is in Rajasthan state within independent India). Ajmer-Merwara remained a province of India from independence in 1947 to 1950, when it became the state of Ajmer. Ajmer state was merged into Rajputana on November 1, 1956.

The area of the province was 2,710 square miles (7,000 km2). The plateau, on whose centre stands the town of Ajmer, may be considered as the highest point in the plains of North India; from the circle of hills which hem it in, the country slopes away on every side - towards river valleys on the east, south, west and towards the Thar Desert region on the north.

The Aravalli Range is the distinguishing feature of the district. The range of hills which runs between Ajmer and Nasirabad marks the watershed of the continent of India. The rain which falls on the southeastern slopes drains into the Chambal, and so into the Bay of Bengal; that which falls on the northwest side into the Luni River, which discharges itself into the Rann of Kutch.

The province is on the border of what may be called the arid zone; it is the debatable land between the north-eastern and south-western monsoons, and beyond the influence of either. The south-west monsoon sweeps up the Narmada valley from Bombay and crossing the tableland at Neemuch gives copious supplies to Malwa, Jhalawar and Kota and the countries which lie in the course of the Chambal River.

The clouds which strike Kathiawar and Kutch are deprived of a great deal of their moisture by the hills in those countries (now the majority of this region is in Gujarat state within independent India), and the greater part of the remainder is deposited on Mount Abu and the higher slopes of the Aravalli Range, leaving but little for Merwara, where the hills are lower, and still less for Ajmer. It is only when the monsoon is in considerable force that Merwara gets a plentiful supply from it. The north-eastern monsoon sweeps up the valley of the Ganges from the Bay of Bengal and waters the northern part of Rajasthan, but hardly penetrates farther west than the longitude of Ajmer.

On the varying strength of these two monsoons the rainfall of the district depends. The agriculturist of Ajmer-Merwara could never rely upon two good harvests in succession.

Before Indian independence, the Dangi, Dangi Patel and Dangi Rajputs were land-holders, and the Jats and Gujaratis were cultivators or the tenants. The Rajasthan Land Reforms and Resumption of Jagirs Act, 1952 was the landmarks in the legal history of land reforms in Rajasthan which was followed by Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 that became applicable to the whole of Rajasthan. The overriding effect of this Act provided relief to the existing tenants and the rights accrued to tenants accordingly. Now the Jats are major land holders in the region. The Jains are traders and money-lenders. The aboriginal tribe of Mers are divided between Hindus and followers of Islam. Trading centers include Beawar and Kekri.

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