Map of the partition of British India

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Document: India's plan for uniting and merging Indian States, 1948. Catalogue Ref: DO 142/484 (1)

Description: This map illustrates the new borders that resulted from the partition of British India.

The partition of British India happened in August 1947 when the British government withdrew after almost two hundred years of British rule. It is called 'partition' because this withdrawal resulted in two new independent nations: India and Pakistan. The borders of these new countries were based on religious majorities and went straight through existing provinces.

Many people living in the regions affected by partition felt scared and uncertain about their future – not wanting to end up on the ‘wrong side’ of the border. In the months around August 1947 over 15 million people are thought to have migrated across the new borders, accompanied by brutal violence.

Learn more about the partition of British India with our new online resource 'Partition of British India', which includes an 11-minute video and lesson plan:

Our 'Indian Independence' themed collection also provides a range of documents that can be used to teach partition:

Learn more about our Maps collection in our recent video:


Owner: The National Archives UK
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 53385
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    • 03/Aug/2022 09:44:23

    Love these old maps, esp since I visited quite a few places on this one

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    • 03/Aug/2022 20:17:35

    Great map. Of course it wasn't quite a final event in August 1947. Hyderabad wanted independence (from India) but was invaded about a month after the British left. Pondicherry was transferred to India in 1954. Goa was invaded and annexed in 1967. Kashmir, alas, remains in dispute.

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