The Free Press Journal
Youngest Jaipur Maharaja comes of age!
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.