The princely state of Malerkotla or Maler Kotla was under the political control of the Jalandhar Commissioner Division Punjab during the British rule. It was bounded by the District of Ludhiana on the north and by Patiala territory elsewhere, except a few miles on the western border where it marched with some Nabha villages. The Nawabs of Maler Kotla were of Afghan descent and originally held portions of trust in the Sirhind province under the Mughal emperors. As the empire sank into decay during the 18th century, the local chiefs gradually became independent.
The last ruler of Maler Kotla signed the accession to join the Indian Union on 20 August 1948. During the partition of India, The last Nawab Iftkhar Ali Khan remained in Maler Kotla and died in the year 1982. However a part of the ruling family of Malerkotla State migrated to Pakistan and their members are living mostly in Model Town, Lahore, as well as in Muzaffargarh and Khangarh. Presently Maler Kotla is a part of Indian State of Punjab.
In 1732 the chief of Maler Kotla, Jamal Khan joined the commander of the imperial troops stationed in the Jullundur Doab in an unsuccessful stack on Raja Ala Singh, the Sikh chief of Patiala. Again in 1761 Jamal Khan afforded valuable aid against his Sikh neighbor to the lietenent whom Ahmad Shah, the Durrani conqueror had left in charge of Sirhind. The consequence of this was a long-continued feud with the adjacent Sikh States especially with Patiala.
After the death of Jamal Khan, who was killed in a battle, dissensions ensued among his sons Bhikan Khan ultimately becoming Nawab. Soon after Ahmad Shah had left India for the last time, Raja Amar Singh of Patiala determined to take revenge on Bhikan Khan. He attacked him and seized some of his villages till at last the Maler Kotla chief found that he was unable to resist so powerful an enemy, and a treaty was negotiated which secured peace for many years between these neighboring states. During this peace the forces of Maler Kotla on several occasions assisted the Patiala Raja when in difficulties. In 1787 Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala returned these kindnesses by aiding Maler Kotla against the powerful chief of Bhagaur who had seized some of the Nawab’s villages.