I read up on Murud-Janjira, a fort off the coast of mainland India. It appears that the Siddis managed to hold onto the fort despite Dutch, Maratha, and British East India Company attacks. In the Wikipedia article (no citation):

... Janjira remained unconquered until it became part of Indian territory after independence from the British in 1947.


  1. Was this fort really independent from the European powers (in particular, the British Raj)?
  2. If so, how did it manage to be independent for so long? Surely aircraft, naval, artillery, and mechanized infantry technology would have been advanced enough in the first half of the 20th century to capture the fort.
  3. Why did it join India?
  • 5
    I'm not very familiar with Indian history, but Janjira was apparently counted among the many "princely states", which were never formally conquered but only subjected to indirect rule. I suspect Janjira may be unexceptional in this respect.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 19:33
  • WRT point #2, was there any particular reason for the British to have wanted to take it?
    – jamesqf
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 3:34

1 Answer 1



  1. Murud-Janjira is a famous fort in Janjira State. Janjira State was a princely state in India during the British Raj. Through it's ruled by Sidi dynasty who are descendant of Habesha people but the state was under the suzerainty of the Bombay Presidency.
  2. From the early 18th century Marathas consistently attacked Jinjira. In 1733, Maratha forces captured much of the surrounding area of Murud-Janjira fort. Through they did not take Janjira fort but a favorable treaty gave the them indirect control over virtually all of the Janjira's land. When British come to the region, constant raid of Marathas in sidi's land is stopped. And maybe for protection from the Maratha or fearing of losing with British the nawab of Janjira agreed to administered as part of the Bombay Presidency as a princely state.
  3. This is quite unclear. Many princely state was resistant to joining India. But, no resistance from Janjira state was seen in integration with India. May be the join willingly or they join for diplomatic pressure from Indian politician.

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