The Free Press Journal

Youngest Jaipur Ma­haraja comes of age!

- PRAKASH BHAN­DARI

He is the youngest tit­u­lar Ma­haraja at 18. He is the Crown King of the Jaipur roy­alty though the roy­als lost not only their em­pire but also their privy purses fol­low­ing the merger of the princely states into the In­dian Union.

But the roy­als were still re­spected by their for­mer sub­jects even more than six decades af­ter they lost power.

This was in ev­i­dence at the Jaipur royal’s City Palace where large num­ber of peo­ple at­tired in achkan , sher­wani and colour­ful tur­ban came to wish the eigh­teen-year-old Ma­haraja Sawai Pad­man­abh Singh, the heir to Rs 20,000 crore worth of Jaipur roy­alty’s wealth. Ma­haraja Sawai Pad­man­abh Singh’s birth­day was spe­cial and it had all the el­e­ments of pomp and tra­di­tional rit­u­als and cer­e­monies at the City Palace. Brig Bhawani Singh was the last Ma­haraja, who was also a war hero and a dec­o­rated soldier and was awarded Ma­havir Chakra for show­ing val­our against Pak­istan in the 1971 War.

He be­came the Ma­haraja fol­low­ing his fa­ther Ma­haraja Sawai Man Singh’s death in 1970. Bhawani Singh had one daugh­ter Princess Diya Ku­mari and no son. Thus, Bhawani Singh adopted his daugh­ter’s son Pad­man­abh Singh as his heir. Af­ter Bhawani Singh’s death Pad­man­abh Singh was made the Ma­haraja by his adopted mother Pad­mini Devi.

In fact 86 years ago, the City palace cel­e­brated the 18th birth­day of late Sawai Man Singh who be­came a Ma­haraja at the age of 16.

Thus it was a celebratio­n that was repli­cated by the late Ma­haraja’s heir. Sawai Man Singh’s 18th birth­day was a big event as he had be­come a ma­jor. So was Pad­man­abh Singh, but there was no king­dom left to rule. The old No­bles and Ja­gir­dars who were sub­jects of the Jaipur roy­alty showed old loy­alty as they came in colour­ful Ra­jput at­tire and show­ered cur­rency notes on the young Ma­haraja as a rit­ual. In the day-long cer­e­mony, the Ma­haraja per­formed ‘Prayashitt­a Dan’, ‘Ch­haya Dan’ and ‘Gau Dan’ -all by of­fer­ing char­i­ties.

He per­formed hawan and of­fered gifts to the pri­ests . Then, he went to var­i­ous tem­ples to of­fer prayers ac­com­pa­nied by well at­tired per­sonal staff.

The Ma­haraja is a polo player and is study­ing in a Lon­don school. He has a brother and a sis­ter. The mother Diya Ku­mari is a BLP MLA.

 ??  ?? Jaipur Royal Prince Padamnabh Singh cel­e­brates his 18th birth­day with tra­di­tional rit­u­als at City Palace in Jaipur on Tues­day.
Jaipur Royal Prince Padamnabh Singh cel­e­brates his 18th birth­day with tra­di­tional rit­u­als at City Palace in Jaipur on Tues­day.

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