Malabar royals to claim Rs 5,000 crore[1 BILLION DOLLAR] from Saudi govt

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Malabar royals to claim Rs 5,000 crore from Saudi govt
The coronation ceremony of the Sultan ( of Arakkal royal family in September 2006.Ali Raja Sultana Zainaba Aysha Beevi (2006-present)
MALAPPURAM: Forty-five descendants of the Arakkal family, erstwhile rulers of the Malabar coast, will jointly stake a claim for Rs 5,000 crore due to them as compensation from the sultanate of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government had stipulated a compensation amount of Rs 400 crore in 1971 after demolishing a bungalow built by Mayin Kutty Keyi, married to Arakkal Beevi of the Arakkal family, in Mecca to provide shelter to Hajis from Kerala.

Keyi Rubath was constructed at Haram Sherief near Ka'aba in 1848. It was demolished by Saudi government in 1971 as part of the Haram extension. The government had fixed 1.4 million Saudi riyal as compensation but the amount was not released since the Saudi government was not convinced about the claimants.

Till the successors were traced, the government decided to invest it in Auqaf department. A main reason that delayed the disbursal was the row between the Arakkal and Keyi families. Both families approached the Saudi government several times claiming to be Keyi's real heirs but all their applications were rejected.

The Keyi family, citing that Mayin Kutty Keyi had no relation with the Arakkal family when he had purchased the property, claimed that they were the real inheritors. But the Arakkal family argued that Mayankutty Keyi, subsequent to his marriage with Arakkal Beevi, had accepted the title 'Ilaya' and hence they were the legal heirs. The Arakkal family also cited 'History of Keyis in Malabar' written by A P Ummer Kutty Ilaya in 1938, which stated that Mayin Kutty Keyi and Arakkal Muthubeevi had five children. In a memorandum submitted to Saudi officials, they pointed out that the Shariah follows only the marumakkathaya (matriarchal) system. Both families had pressurized successive Kerala governments to press claims on their behalf. Later, the Keyi family withdrew their claim.

The Indian consulate in Saudi Arabia has now asked Arakkal family to appoint a legal advisor to submit a list of legal claimants. The direction follows a detailed examination of documents submitted by the Arakkal family. A list of 45 people who are the successors of the Arakkal Beevi will be submitted to Saudi government through a representative to be appointed with the help of the Indian consulate.

A consulate letter advised the nomination of a "Mutawalli (legal advisor) in India. Thereafter the Mutawalli should select a suitable Saudi national as Nazir (representative). The Nazir thus selected will be authorized to pursue the case and claim the amount from Auqaf department."

Arakkal kingdom

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Sultanate of Lakshadweep and Cannanore
Arakkal Kingdom
[[Kolathunad|]] 1545–1819

Capital Kannur
Government Monarchy
 -  Established 1545
 -  Disestablished 1819
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Flag of Arakkal from 18th century onwards
Arakkal kingdom (Kingdom of Cannanore, Sultanate of Lakshadweep and Cannanore) was a former city-state on the Malabar Coast, ruled by dynasty of the same name. The ruling King was called Ali Raja ("the Sea Ruler") and the ruling queen was called Arakkal Beevi.[1] Arakkal kingdom included little more than the Cannanore town and the southern Laccadive Islands (Agatti, Kavaratti, Androth, Kalpeni and Minicoy), originally leased from the Kolattiri. The royal family is said to be originally a branch of the Kolattiri, descended from a princess of that family who converted to Islam. They owed allegiance to the Kolattiri rulers, whose ministers they had been at one time. The rulers followed the a particular law of inheritance general among the Hindus of Malabar under which the succession is always to the offspring of its female members only. As the only Muslim rulers in Malabar, they saw the rise of Hyder Ali as the opportunity to increase their own power at the expense of Chirakkal, and invited him to invade Malabar. Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II and his successor, Arakkal Bibi Junumabe II, were among Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan's staunchest allies during the Mysore occupation.[citation needed]
The Bibi received no special treatment after the treaties of Sringapatam, and settlement negotiations were long and difficult but she finally signed an agreement in 1796 that guaranteed continued possession of the city of Cannanore and the Laccadive Islands, but deprived her of any claim to sovereignty. Yet, as late as 1864, the Bibi of Cannanore was included in an official list of "native sovereigns and chiefs" as being entitled to a seven-gun salute, the only Malabar prince so listed. Because of the outbreak of the war with France shortly after the 1796 agreement, as well as other considerations, the Laccadive Islands remained unnoticed and the Bibi continued to rule them with no restrictions. The islands were misgoverned throughout the 19th century, and the British Government had to assume their administration at least twice, in 1854-1861, and again (permanently as it turned out) in 1875. In 1905, in exchange for the remission of overdue tribute, the payment of an annual pension to the head of the family, and the title of Sultan, the Ali Raja at last agreed to cede all rights, whether as sovereign or tenant, to the Laccadive Islands, including Minicoy, which the family claimed as their private property.
The king's palace, which he purchased from the Dutch in 1663, was named Arakkal Palace after the ruling dynasty.



Mappila Bay with the old Arakkal kingdom in the distance
There is a consensus among scholars that the Arakkal family had Nair origins.[2][3][4]
In the 17th century, one of the Padanairs (generals) of Kolathiri, Arayankulangara Nair, converted to Islam and adopted the name Muhammad Ali.[5] His wife was the daughter of Kolathiri, and they later came to be known as Arakkal.[5] Muhammad Ali continued in the service of the Kolathiris even after his conversion, and his successors known as the Mammali Kidavus were the hereditary Padanairs of the Kolathiri.[5] Around this time, many Muslim merchant families became financially influential in the Malabar region. When the Arakkal family took control of Laccadives, they achieved near-royal status.
As per another legend the daughter of Chirakkal Raja began to drown while bathing in the Chirakkal kulam (pond). Her friends cried and shouted but were unable to rescue her. A passing Muslim boy heard the shouting and came to find out what was wrong. He recognized the girl drowning in the pond as the princess, but was hesitant about saving her because of untouchability and if a lower-caste person touched an upper-caste person it was considered a sin, possibly punishable by death. However, the boy rescued her and gave her his mundu (shirt) to cover herself. When the news reached the Chirakkal Raja, he called his daughter and the Muslim boy to him. At that time, if a man gave a pudava (a long cloth used for covering the body) to an unmarried woman, they were considered married. The scholars of the court told the Raja that since his daughter was touched by a Muslim, she was no longer allowed to enter the palace. However, the boy had given her his pudava so she was married to him as well. As per the custom the Raja had no other choice but to give his daughter to the Muslim boy. The Raja was unhappy to give his daughter to a poor family, so he made the boy ruler of a part of his dominion. The area given to the boy was known as Arakkal and his family was called the Arakkal family.


The palace is three kilometers from Kannur, Kerala, India, in what is now called Kannur town. The Arakkal family was the only Muslim royal family of Kerala to control parts of the coast and Lakshadweep.

Ali Rajas and Arakkal Beevis

Ruler Sultana Aysha Aliraja.
The Arakkal family followed a matriarchal system of descent: the eldest member of the family, whether male or female, became its head and ruler. While male rulers were called Ali Rajah, female rulers were known as Arakkal Beevis.
Sultana Aysha Aliraja was the ruler until her death on the morning of 27 September 2006.


Muslims of Kerala believe their origins can be traced back to the 7th century CE when the religion originated in Arabia. The history of Muslims in Kerala is closely intertwined with the history of Muslims in the nearby Laccadives islands. Kerala's only Muslim kingdom was Kannur's Arakkal family. Historians however, disagree about the time period of Arakkal rulers. They see the Arakkal kings come to power in the 16th or 17th century.
By 1909, Arakkal rulers had lost Kannur and the Cannanore Cantonment. By 1911, there was a further decline with the loss of chenkol and udaval (sword). They allied and clashed with the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British. The British played the biggest part in removing all vestiges of titles and power from the Arakkal rulers. One of the last kings, Arakkal Abdu Rahiman Ali Raja (1881–1946), was active in helping his subjects. The last ruler was Ali Raja Mariumma Beevi Thangal. After her rule, the family broke up.
During the time of the Samuthiries the Muslims of Malabar played a major role in the local army and navy, as well as acting as ambassadors to Arabia and China. They forged alliances with the Moslil rulers of Gujarat and Bijapur.Even before this period they had settlements in Perumathura, Thakkala, Thengapattanam, Poovar and Thiruvankottu in southern Travancore Muslims from Pandi Desham migrated to trade with Erattupetta, Kanjirappalli, Mundakayam, Peruvanthanam, Muvattupuzha and Vandiperiyar in and around Kottayam district of Kerala. In the 17th century, trade links were established with places like Kayamkulam and Aleppy in the west. It was during the time of Samuthiris that the title of Marakkar was created. Muslim influence reached its peak at the time of Kunjali Marakkar, the fourth in the line. After Kunjali Marakkar and Samuthiri parted company, Muslim influence declined.
During the Dutch period, a prominent Muslim trader named Moosakoi spearheaded the development of trade centers in Chenganacherri, Pandalam, Kayamkulam and Alappuza.

Relations with the Mughal Empire

Ali Raja Ali II is known to have deployed his Mappila forces on behalf of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb during the Child's War. the only Islamic kingdom from kerala.[citation needed]

Relations with the Sultanate of Mysore

During the time of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan there was a revival amongst the Muslims of Malabar.
When Hyder Ali overthrew Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II declared that "God is powerful, and his fruits shall ripen"[citation needed], he immediately entered the service of Hyder Ali. Samathuri followed up with his own treaty with Hyder Ali. After being appointed the Naval Chief of Hyder Ali's army, Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II's first course of action was to capture the unfortunate Sultan of the Maldives Hasan 'Izz ud-din and present him to Hyder Ali after having gouged out his eyes, he had also defeated Sultan Muhammad Imaduddin III of the Maldives, who died in captivity.[6]

Foreign relations of the Arakkal

In the year 1777 a letter was sent to the Ottomans by Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II, a dedicated ally of Hyder Ali of the Sultanate of Mysore and mentioned how the region received Ottoman assistance two hundred and forty years ago by Hadim Suleiman Pasha. Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II also stated that the dynasty had been fighting for its authority for the last forty years against various hostile forces and also requested assistance against the British East India Company, two years later in 1780 another letter was sent by his sister Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe II requesting urgent assistance against Portuguese and British encroachments during the Second Anglo-Mysore War.[7]

Arakkal Museum

Arakkal Museum
The Durbar Hall section of the Arakkalkettu (Arakkal Palace) has been converted into a museum housing artifacts from the times of the Arakkal dynasty. The work was carried out by the Government of Kerala at a cost of Rs. 9,000,000. The museum opened in July 2005.
The Arakkalkettu is owned by the Arakkal Trust,which includes the some members Arakkal royal family. The government had taken a keen interest in preserving the heritage of the Arakkal Family, which had played a prominent role in the history of Malabar. A nominal entry fee is charged by the Arakkal Trust.

Arakkal dynasty

Reigning rajas and beebis

  • Ali Raja Ali (1545–1591)
  • Ali Raja Abubakar I (1591–1607)
  • Ali Raja Abubakar II (1607–1610)
  • Ali Raja Muhammad Ali I (1610–1647)
  • Ali Raja Muhammad Ali II (1647–1655)
  • Ali Raja Kamal (1655–1656)
  • Ali Raja Muhammad Ali III (1656–1691)
  • Ali Raja Ali II (1691–1704)
  • Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa I (1704–1720)
  • Ali Raja Muhammad Ali IV (1720–1728)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Harrabichi Kadavube (1728–1732)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe I (1732–1745)
  • Ali Raja Kunhi Amsa II (1745–1777)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Junumabe II (1777–1819)

    Heads of the Arakkal dynasty since 1819

  • Ali Raja Bibi Mariambe (1819 - 1838)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Hayashabe (1838 - 1852)
  • Ali Raja Abdul Rahman I (1852 - 1870)
  • Ali Raja Musa Ali (1870 - 1899)
  • Ali Raja Muhammad Ali V (1899 - 1907)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Imbichi (1907 - 1911)
  • Ali Raja Ahmad Ali (1911 - 1921)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Ayesha (1921 - 1931)
  • Ali Raja Abdul Rahman II (1931 - 1946)
  • Ali Raja Bibi Arakkal Mariumma (1946 - 1947)
  • Ali Raja Sultan Hamza (1947-?)
  • Ali Raja Sultana Aysha (?-2006)
  • Ali Raja Sultana Zainaba Aysha Beevi (2006-present)
                                home page of Roopesh Arakkal :_!

To know more about please log on to and more description found at


File:Furniture at Arakkal Palace.JPG

Arakkal family Royal mantle stick.


Aadhara petti (document box) at Arakkal Palace Museum.
Copies of the Holy Qur'an from Arakkal Museum.
Traditional lamps at Arakkal Museum
Furniture at Arakkal Palace.
A pathayam at Arakkal palace.
Arakkal Family Seal.
An ancient telephone at Arakkal museum
Ancient telephones used at Arakkal Palace.
A pillar at Arakkal Palace
File:Arakkal sword & dagger.JPG

Hopes raised for Saudi relief for Tonk royals

JAIPUR: The Rs 5,000-crore compensation which the erstwhile royals of Malappuram is likely to get from the Saudi government has revived hopes for a similar relief to the ex-royal family of Tonk. Unlike, the Malappuram royals, who sought financial compensation, the Tonk family are pursuing for new buildings for the demolished ones to provide free accommodation to hajis of Rajasthan. 

The Tonk family owned seven buildings - two inMecca and five in Medina. The buildings in Mecca were razed in 2010 and in Medina also these will be demolished as per the expansion plan. These buildings are known as 'Rubaths.' 

The then nawab of Tonk, Ibrahim Ali Khan, had constructed seven buildings between 1927 and 1932 in Mecca and Medina for personal stay and to provide housing facilities to pilgrims. However, in 1984 these buildings were demolished for expanding the area of holy sites. 

"The government offered a compensation of Rs 150 crore in 1984 through the ministry of external affairs to my father nawab Masoom Ali Khan. However, he humbly refused and asked the Saudi government to construct buildings in the same cities and for the same purpose," said Nawabzada Hamid Khan, grandson on the Tonk nawab.

Every year, pilgrims from poor families make a beeline get approval letters from the Tonk ex-royals to allow them free stay at Mecca and Medina during the pilgrimage period of 35 to 40 days. The free stay gives every pilgrim a relief of about Rs 60,000 to Rs80 thousand on total Haj fees. "Since 2010, we are not able to provide free stay to hajis in Mecca," said Hamid Ali Khan, adding, "Our family has never intended to draw money from the buildings." 

Before exploration of oil, the Saudi peninsula was plagued with poverty and civil wars. The then regime had allowed rich Muslims across the globe to construct buildings or Rubaths on their land for stay during pilgrimage. The move encouraged nawabs, peshwas, feudal and land lords from the Indian sub-continent to fund buildings. 

The nawab of Tonk was among the most prosperous in the region had sent a delegation of 100 people, including his three wives to the Saudi peninsula, for constructing Rubaths in 1927. They signed an agreement with the then Saudi government of not utilizing the land for profit. They family was allotted land around the holy sites. By 1932, they constructed around nine buildings with a total capacity of 1,200 pilgrims at a time. 

For next four decades, Rubaths continues to serve hajis. In the late seventies, the Saudi government began to extend the boundaries of Khana-e-Kabba in Mecca and Masjid-e-Munawwarra in Medina. The Rubaths of Tonk, Mallapuram, Hyderabad, Rampur, Arcot, Lucknow, Lahore and Peshawar, to name a few, came in the way of master plan. 

The Saudi government did construct Rubaths, a little far from the holy sites. Things ran smooth till 2010 when Saudi government came with another extension plan and razed three buildings in Mecca. It is most unlikely that the haj pilgrims from Rajasthan will have a free stay in Mecca during their pilgrimage in 2013.

Tonk (princely state)

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Princely flag of Tonk
Tonk was a Princely State of India which by treaty in 1817 accepted British suzerainty. Following the Partition of India in 1947, Tonk acceded to the newly independent Union of India. It was located in the region that is now the Tonk district.



The founder of the state was Muhammad Amir Khan (1768-1834), an adventurer and military leader of Afghan descent. In 1817, upon submitting to the British East India Company, he received the territory of Tonk and the title of Nawab. While retaining internal autonomy and remaining outside British India, the state came under the supervision of the Rajputana Agency and consisted of six isolated districts. Three of these were under the Rajputana Agency, namely, Tonk, Aligarh (formerly Rampura) and Nimbahera. The other three, Chhabra, Pirawa and Sironj were in the Central India Agency.
The total area of the princely state was 2553 sq. mi, with a total population in 1901 of 273,201. The town of Tonk, capital of the state, had a population of 38,759 in that year. The town was surrounded by a wall and boasted a mud fort. It had a high school, the Walter hospital for women, under a matron, and a separate hospital for men.
The princely state enjoyed an estimated revenue of £77,000; however, no tribute was payable to the government of British India. Grain, cotton, opium and hides were the chief products and exports of the state. Two of the outlying tracts of the state were served by two different railways.
A former minister of Tonk state, Sahibzada Obeidullah Khan, was deputed on political duty to Peshawar during the Tirah campaign of 1897.
In 1899-1900, the state suffered much distress due to drought.
Nawab Sir Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan GCIE (ruled 1867-1930) was one of few chiefs to attend both Lord Lytton's Durbar in 1877 and the Delhi Durbar of 1903 as ruler.
In 1947, on the Partition of India whereby India and Pakistan gained independence, the Nawab of Tonk decided to accede to the Union of India. Subsequently, most of the area of the state of Tonk was integrated into the Rajasthan state, while some of its eastern enclaves became part of Madhya Pradesh.
The foundation of the principality of Tonk led to the creation of a large Rajasthani Pathan community.

The Salarzai rulers of Tonk

  • Muhammad Amir Khan 1798 - 1834
  • Muhammad Wazir Khan 1834 - 1864
  • Muhammad Ali Khan 1864 - 1867
  • Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan 1867 - June 23, 1930
  • Muhammad Sa'adat Ali Khan June 23, 1930 - May 31, 1947
  • Muhammad Faruq Ali Khan 1947 - 1948
  • Muhammad Ismail Ali Khan 1948 - 1974
  • Muhammad Masoom Ali Khan 1974 - Sept 4, 1994
  • Muhammad Aftab Ali Khan Sept 4, 1994 onwards

See also

Tonk Tourism - A City of Gripping Legands

Tonk is a town, situated on the banks of the River Banas in the Tonk district of Rajasthan. Once a princely state, the town was ruled by various dynasties until the time of Indian independence. It is located at a distance of 95 km from the city of Jaipur.
Tonk photos, Hathi Bhata - Carved out of a single stone
Image source:
There is much to marvel in Tonk! - Tourist places in and around Tonk
The town of Tonk describes an anecdote of the bygone era through several historical monuments present in the area. There are several tourist attractions in and around the town. Sunehri Kothi or the ‘Mansion of Gold’ is the most visited tourist attraction in the area. Constructed by Nawab Mohammed Ibrahim Ali Khan for music, dance and poetry recitals, the building also showcases some fantastic glass paintings. It is located near Bada Kuwa on Najar Bagh Road and is also called the Sheesh Mahal. Walls of the building are polished in gold, and the halls present a pretty picture with enamelled mirrors.
Apart from Sunehri Kothi, there are several other historical monuments which exhibit the rich history of the town. Rasiya Ke Tekri is one such tourist attraction which has an interesting fable behind its name. According to locals, this place was named after a Kayasth lover, who used to spend most of his time in the place singing love songs. The historical Ghanta Ghar and the Jama Masjid are some other historical monuments present in the area. The Jama Masjid of Tonk is one of the biggest mosques in India and several devotees travel to the town to visit this Islamic shrine.
Designed in accordance with Mysore Gardens and Hiran Magari Park, Shivaji Garden is an excellent tourist destination. Tourists can also visit Hathi Bhata to witness the exceptional creativity of the artist, who carved a single stone into an elephant. Both these places are located in the proximity of the town, at a distance of 30 and 22 km respectively.
Reaching Tonk - How to reach Tonk
Tonk does not have its own airport and railway station; however the town is well connected by road. The nearest airport is the Jaipur International Airport which is 100 km away from the town of Tonk. Several flights from various locations across the country and even from international destinations fly to the Jaipur Airport. Banasthali-Newai is the nearest railway station which operates a few trains from different places in the country. There are regular bus services from several major cities and neighbouring towns, for the convenience of the people visiting Tonk. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (R.S.R.T.C) and several private carriers operate buses from different nearby locations.
Tonk weather
Tonk experiences hot semi-arid climate and the main seasons of the region are summer, monsoon and winter. The best time to visit this town is between the months of October and February when the weather is cool and pleasant. Tourists can also visit this historically rich town during the monsoon season, which is characterised by moderate temperature and slight rainfall.


Tonk, also known as the "Lucknow of Rajasthan" due to its elegance, is a beautiful town which is bounded by Jaipur in the North, Sawai Madhopur in the East, Ajmer in the West and Bundi in the South. It has a very old history and is said to have connections with Bairath culture and civilization. This historic city formed a part of Harsha Vardhan’s empire during which the Chinese traveler Fa-Hien visited India. It is popular among tourists for its magnificent mosques, mansions and havelis and boasts of the architecture prevalent in Mughal era.
The founder of Tonk was Nawab Mohammad Aamir Khan. This former princely state, founded in the year 1824, was originally the seat of the Bairath civilization. The area was also ruled by the Mauryas and then by Harsha Vardhana. The place was part of the Bairath State. It was ruled by famous Rajput dynasties like the Chauhans, Sisodias. Holkars, Solankis and others. In the year 1950, the region was converted into a district and it became a part of Rajasthan.
By Air: The closest airport is located in the town of Jaipur and this is situated around 82 km from the town.
By Rail: Few trains pass through the Tonk Railway Station, and this railway station is located along the Mumbai to Delhi route and most of the trains along this route stop here.
By Road: Tonk is located along National Highway 12 and it is connected to places such as Jaipur and Jablapur by road.
STD Code: 
Summer 32-40°C, Winter 10-23°C
Best time to visit: 
September to March
Famous For: 
Ancient Mansions and Mosques