Indian royal families have always been ‘living life king size’. All of us have witnessed their standard of living, whims and fancies through literature, movies and other media. Every royal family had its own uniqueness and charm. Here are 11 facts about Indian royalties that will more than surprise you.
- Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqi was thelast Nizam of the Princely State of Hyderabad who was declared as the world’s richest Indian ever in 1940s. During that time he was a billionaire owning 2 billion dollars (almost 2% of the US economy in those times). He used this money to buy the largest diamond in the world, the Jacob Diamond, which is worth $200 million and used it as a paperweight
- The Wodeyar family took over the Mysore Empire after killing its king. However, the queen managed to escape and was captured after a few days. But the queen committed suicide in Cauvery River and cursed Wodeyar family to an heirless future. After her suicide, the family installed her statue and worshipped her. Her statue is worshipped as a deity to date, in the palace.
- The last heir of Wodeyar family, Srikantadatta, died childless leaving no successor to the throne.
- A dog lover in the truest sense, the Nawab of Junagarh, Mahabat Khan Rasul Khan owned 800 dogs and each dog had a personal attendant. He was probably the only king who would get his dogs married and throw magnificent galas. On one such occasion, he even invited the Viceroy of India – Lord Irwin. However the invitation was declined politely.
- King Ashoka was famous as ‘Chandal Ashok’ which means brutal. He got this name after killing his 99 brothers for the throne. However, he spared Tissa (one of the 100 brothers) and made him his deputy king.
- Bodhidharma, a prince of the Pallava dynasty went to China and began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Kung Fu.
- Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is the only known royal person from India to reveal that he is gay. He was unfortunately disowned by his own family for ruining their name and lineage.
- King Jai Singh of Alwar, after being insulted by a salesman of Rolls Royce in London, used their cars to pick the city’s waste. He kept doing so until the company apologized for their behaviour.
- Maharani Gayatri Devi, also known as Rajmata of Jaipur, was included in ‘The Ten Most Beautiful Women Of The World’ list by the Vogue Magazine in 1960s.
- Maharani Indira Devi, mother of Gayatri Devi, was a fashion connoisseur. The Queen of Cooch Behar ordered 100 pairs of shoes from Salvatore Ferrogamo (one of the most famous designers of 20th century). Some of those shoes were studded with diamonds.
- The royal ladies in Indian Mughal harems changed their garments several times in a day and wouldn’t wear them again. They used to give those garments away to their servants.
Source: times of India 24 July 2015