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Freed

Maharajah of Patiala

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Bhupinder Singh - The Maharajah of Patiala has always fascinated me - He like me, was a Singh of the XXL lardy variety so he has always been a role model !!

These Pictures are fascinating - The first shows The Maharajah with the Prince of Wales (of Wallis Simpson / Abdication Fame) and Capt. Metcalfe after "a morning at the pigs"

pat13cm.png

*taken from The Maharajahs - John Lord - Random House 1971

This Photograph is extremely rare - it shows the Maharajah in an informal pose without his turban, glasses perched on his head - surrounded by his daughters. This is rare as the Maharajah was famed for his style and his perfect turban - the Patiala Shahi Turban.It is said that he took around 2 hours to fix his beard and tie his turban and had special valets for his beard and turban.- This explains why you rarely see him in a photo having a "Bad Turban Day".

I have yet to find a Singh or Singhni - who is not very particular about their Turban - ALL of us are peacocks when it comes to our Dastars - but having special valets explains the perfect turban ! - Talking about 'bad turban days' reminds me of the UK Sikh comedian Sody Singh Kahlon - who relates the story of the turban with a life of its own - you can NEVER tie a good turban when you need to- for that important meeting (usually a cha & samosa meeting with your future wife at some Aunties house) and the exact same turban that was 'too short' will on the next tying be 'too long' -- SO TRUE !

pat22gk.png

*taken from The Unforgettable Maharajas - 150 years of Photography - Roli Books- 2003

This last picture shows Capt Amarinder Singh on his wedding day - The Current Maharaja of Patiala - or like Indian writers like to say the 'erstwhile Maharaja'.He is the current Chief Minister of Punjab and his wife an MP.

L to R Maharajah Yadvinder Singh, Amarinder Singh, Malvinder Singh

(wife of)Natwar Singh, Preneet Kaur, MahaRani and Rupinder Kumari

pat30du.png

*taken from The Illustrated History of the Sikhs 1947-78 - Gur Rattan Pal Singh 1979

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Another Excellent post. The lady on the bottom right of the last pic is the wife og K Natwar Singh, now India's External Affairs MInister and an expert on the Pataial Royal family. He wrote a really good bio of the M titled The Magnificetn maharajah (Harper Collins). More recently there was a book by an Australian writer Corallie Younger calle Wicked Women of the Raj which explored some of the sexual exploits taht Indian princes had with Western Women - Pataial loomed large !

aman

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this guy used to be a maha rikhi in one of his previous janams and he used to do bhakti along with Baba Mahaharnam Singh ji (previous janam ). some day when he ws doing bhakti a furna of vishe vikaar came in his mind and that's y he had to be born as a king and burn in fires of lust .

that's y Baba Nand Singh Ji upon the hukam of his Guru Baba Mahaharnam Singh ji went to patiala to do kalyan of raja.

but before baba ji went there , 301 paths of Sri Akhand Path sahib were done for purification of the place .

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i am from patiala too . and i know if its just a story or not .

i have been to sheesh mahal ( palace)in patiala a lot of times . and the historians there used to tell that he had about 300 wives and there was a separate palace for these ranis . whenever he saw a beautiful lady even if she was married before he used to marry her.

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The K. Natwar Singh biography debunks lots of myths about Bhupinder Singh - It is very good - unlike a lot of Indian biogs it shows the real face behind all the jewels - all their human traits and insecurities

( Amandeep - our resident Distinguished published author has also recommended this book so it must be good !!! --- Just a little joke - Bhaaji - no offence !)

My favourite myth is the "Jewels and Glorious erection " one - I'll say no more - if you've read the book you'll know - that one is hilarious !!

it's on page 3 (quite appropriately !!) of The Magnificent Maharaja- K. Natwar Singh - Harper Collins -1998

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If he had 360 wives it explains why in his pictures he's not smiling very much, must be tired from all that excercise

Maharajah Patiala, SIGNED PHOTO 1917

<a href=%7Boption%7Dhttp://img143.echo.cx/img143/3494/maharajahpatialasignedphoto191.th.jpg' alt='maharajahpatialasignedphoto191.th.jpg'>

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Yes, the story about parading through Pataila wearing nothing but a jewelled Breastplate in an excited state is another great story that Indian folk historians love to tell. The 365 wives thing comes from the fact that the Shish Mahal has 365 windows in the quarters thought to be the Zenana. This is not an indication of 365 wives, but an old architectural convention which was used from the time of the Mughals.

In fact during the tenure of Yadvinder Singh and whilst Chandigarh was being built he rehoused the wives of his father (18 in all I think) from the old palace in Pataial to new kothis in a single sector in Chandigarh. Some are still around and have wonderful tales to tell.

Indians seem pre-occupied with the sexual exploits of Maharajahs. I forget the name ofthe book but there was something published from the 1970s that was the recollections of one of Bhupinder Singh's valets/secretaries and this seems to have originated most of the sexual myths abuot him.

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The Maharajas gave generously to Darbar sahib , Panja Sahib and many gurdwaras esp Dukh Nivaran & Moti Bagh in Patiala - They were great benefactors to Khalsa College Amritsar - they built schools and colleges eg Mohindar college Patiala - Then the only college between Lahore and Delhi. M .Mohindar Singh is known to have donated 10 lakh rupees for famine relief in Bengal 1873 - He also started the Sirhind Canal project which brought water to the fields of the then dry and relatively unproductive Malwa.

The Patiala Gharana of classical music is also famous - a place where musicians went after the collapse of the Mughal empire.

Patiala was a centre for sports - polo cricket etc -(The Polo team allegedly gave rise to the Patiala Peg -but thats another story !!)

These are just some things I can think of off the top of my head - will add more if you like !

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He also gave hs London residence (79 Sinclair Road, Sheperds Bush) to the emerging sikh community in the UK which became britains first sikh gurdwara. He also donated generously to the Indian soliders who were wounded in the Great War and were hospitalised in the UK - a memorial gate to the Indian soldiers built by Bhupinder is in the Brighton Pavilion.

Finally he single handedly rescued Cartier from almost certain business failure by sending the patiala jewles to paris to be re-set at great expense. In recognition of this Cartier made a jewelled Cigar lighter in his honour

aman

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Wow thats some good info any more ?

Heres a pciture of the Maharaja, Getting into his Silver Ghost Rolls Royce that I believe, was donated by Rolls Rpyce to him as a gift, please correct if I'm wrong

silverghostformaharajaofpatial.th.jpg

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Amandeep Singh is it true Patiala still owns large amounts of land around West London- I vaguely remember hearing that the 'Gymkhana Club' and grounds Near Osterley are owned by them amongst other plots. - I don't have any real pressing 'need to know' - just thought of it when you mentioned Sinclair Rd !

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Freed, I have no idea about that I hadnt heard that at all. As far as I know the Patiala family (today) are not particularly wealthy (hence the sale of numerous art works and jewelery on the auction market) although their fortunes have changed recently since Amrinder Singh is now CM.

Incedentally I have heard that the house that the Patiala king gave to the sikh community was actually in Putney but taht was sold and the sinclair road house bought as a result - but I have never really confirmed taht

aman

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Yes, the story about parading through Pataila wearing nothing but a jewelled Breastplate in an excited state is another great story that Indian folk historians love to tell. The 365 wives thing comes from the fact that the Shish Mahal has 365 windows in the quarters thought to be the Zenana. This is not an indication of 365 wives, but an old architectural convention which was used from the time of the Mughals.

In fact during the tenure of Yadvinder Singh and whilst Chandigarh was being built he rehoused the wives of his father (18 in all I think) from the old palace in Pataial to new kothis in a single sector in Chandigarh. Some are still around and have wonderful tales to tell.

Indians seem pre-occupied with the sexual exploits of Maharajahs. I forget the name ofthe book but there was something published from the 1970s that was the recollections of one of Bhupinder Singh's valets/secretaries and this seems to have originated most of the sexual myths abuot him.

The book was : Maharaja, Lives & Loves & Intrigues Of Indian Princes by Diwan Jarmani Dass who during his career served both Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala. He wrote the book at the request the Congress party. He even staked claim to Kapurthala House in Delhi claiming he paid Maharaja Jagjit Singh RS1.5 Lakh for it in 1950. The supreme court rejected the claim in September 2004.

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On 6/6/2005 at 11:40 PM, karmjeet said:

Do you guys know that Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had about 360 wives ?

If Akbar had so many, why not HH.

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