Amb State

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Amb State
Small huts by river side Tanawal.jpg
Coordinates: 34.100581°N 72.726003°E
Present Day Details
Place Name:
State/Province: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, old NWFP
Country: Pakistan
Transport links

Amb State (approx 532 sq kms)attached to Hazara district of British India, was a small frontier state, that was originally known as Mulq i Tanawal (Land/Country of Tanawal); and was largely inhabited by the non-Pashtun/Pathan, 'Tanwali' or 'Tanoli' tribe. A part of this state was also given over to the smaller state (or Jagir estate) of Phulra (approx 82 sq kms).

History and origins

Amb (and its smaller vassal Phulra) were formally recognised as princely states in the late 19th century. Earlier, this area was called Mulq i Tanwal, the land/country of the Tanawalis or Tanolis, and several rival chiefs had their spheres of influence here. This changed in the 1830s when one chief, Painda Khan, obtained paramountcy and subjugated the area.

Painda Khan died in 1843 and was succeeded by his son Mir Jehandad Khan, who sided with the British HEIC against the Sikhs in the Second Sikh War of 1848-1849; and later after the Punjab and Punjab Frontier were annexed, he was given the title of 'Nawab'. This title and the princely state status of Amb were fully recognised after Jehandad Khan's support to the British in the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58. His uncle was also confirmed as 'Khan of Phulra' although its exact status remained disputed.

The state of Amb acceded to Pakistan in 1947 but remained a distinct entity until 1972, when it was absorbed into the present Mansehra district of Hazara division, NWFP/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The title and dignities of the last Nawab, Muhammad Saeed Khan, were also abolished at the same time. However, the head of the ex-Amb family remains titular head/chief of the Tanoli tribe.

The rulers of the Tanwal area and later Amb state were:


  • Mir Haibat Khan
  • Mir Nuab Khan
  • Mir Painda Khan (died 1843)
  • Mir (later Nawab) Jehandad Khan (1843-1858)


  • Nawab Jehandad Khan (1858-1868)
  • Nawab Sir Muhammad Akram Khan (1868-1907)
  • Nawab Sir Khan i Zaman Khan (1907-1936)
  • Nawab Sir Muhammad Farid Khan (1936-1971)
  • Nawab Muhammad Saeed Khan (1971-1972)--State abolished
  • Nawabzada Salahuddin Saeed Khan remains Chief of Tanoli tribe (1972 onwards)


  • Darband (submerged now)
  • Shergarh (summer)

Present Day

Much of the State's area was submerged by the reservoir of the Tarbela Dam (1974), the world's largest earth filled dam. However, those parts of Shergarh, 'new' Darband, Lassan and Phulra that survived, are now part of Oghi tehsil/subdivision of Mansehra district, of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (ex North-West Frontier Province) of Pakistan, since 2010.

The Nawabzada Salahuddin Saeed Khan, son of the last Nawab, and titular head of the Tanoli tribe, still spends part of the year at his surviving residence at Shergarh Fort.

External Links

Wikipedia - Amb Princely State

Wikipedia - Tanoli tribe

Official page of the former ruling family of Amb state