5 Untold stories of Indian Royalty that’ll blow your mind!

  1. The ‘Cursed’ Wodeyar Family of Mysore
    1. A curse was believed to be cast on the Wadiyars in 1612 by Alamelamma, wife of King Tirumalaraja, who ruled the Vijayanagar Empire. It is believed that when her jewels were being taken under the orders of the Wodeyar ruler, she ran over to a cliff overlooking the Kaveri river and cursed before jumping to death — “May Talakadu become a barren land, Malangi turn into a whirlpool and may Mysore kings never beget children”. 400 years since, the Wadiyar dynasty never had any children for alternate generations. Hence the adopted child becomes the king. Even till date, most parts of Talakadu (Talakad) lie under sand, and Malangi village in present Mysore district is slowly eroding due to whirlpools. The last heir of Wodeyar family, Srikantadatta, died childless leaving no successor to the throne.

  2. The ‘Gay Prince’ – Manvendra Singh Gohil
    1. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is an Indian prince who is the son and probable heir of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat. He is the only known royal person from India to reveal that he is gay.
    2. “It was difficult to be gay in my family. The villagers worship us and we are role models for them. My family didn’t allow us to mix with ordinary or low-caste people. Our exposure to the liberal world was minimal. Only when I was hospitalized after my nervous breakdown in 2002 did my doctor inform my parents about my sexuality. All these years I was hiding my sexuality from my parents, family and people. I never liked it and I wanted to face the reality. When I came out in the open and gave an interview to a friendly journalist, my life was transformed. Now, people accept me.”
  3. Nawab of Junagarh – Mahabat Khanji’s Love for Animals
    1. Mahabat Khanji was known for his love of animals, particularly dogs. At one point, he owned over 300 of them and is known to have spent several thousand rupees on grand birthday and ‘marriage’ parties of his favourite dogs.
    2. The Nawab preserved vast tracts of the Gir forest in order to provide the lions with a stable habitat who faced imminent extinction.
    3. The Nawab was also interested in animal husbandry, and his efforts in the field served to greatly improve the breeding stock of the local Kathiawari stallions and of the Gir cows.
  4. The ‘Womanizer’ – Bhupinder Singh of Patiala
    1. Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh was the ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938.
    2. He married 5 times and had numerous consorts. From those unions, he sired an estimated 88 children of whom at least 53 survived him. Of his five married wives, Maharani Vimla Kaur of Patiala, his 3rd Dowager Maharani from Ubbewal was his favorite wife. She attended all the ceremonies with him and travelled abroad.
  5. The ‘highly talented’ – Nawab of Awadh
    1. Wajid Ali Shah was the tenth and last Nawab of Awadh, holding the position for 9 years, from 13 February 1847 to 11 February 1856. He was a very enthusiastic patron of dance and music. He was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. In Satyajit Ray’s film Shatranj Ke Khilari, when it is revealed that the British are about to annex his throne, his chief-minister breaks down, but he himself maintains his calm because, according to him “only music and poetry can bring a real man to tears”. The role was played by Amjad Khan.

 

 

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