Lieutenant-Colonel Bhavani Singh was proclaimed the 40th Maharajah of Jaipur during a colourful ceremony on Tuesday (July 7).
Lieutenant-Colonel Bhavani Singh was proclaimed the 40th Maharajah of Jaipur during a colourful ceremony on Tuesday (July 7). The 38-year-old Indian Army officer succeeded his father, Maharajah Sawai man Singh, who died in England last month after ruling the Rajasthan State for 39 years.
The new Maharajah is a member of the Rajput dynasty of the Kachwaha clan who have ruled Jaipur for more than two centuries as direct descendants of Kush, the second son of Lord Rama.
The traditional installation of Maharajah Bhavani Singh had all the pomp and colour of the centuries-old ceremony. Attended by his brothers, sisters and courtiers, the Maharajah wore pure white--a sign of mourning for his father.
A feature of the ceremony is the "Nazar" or offerings to the new Maharajah--first by his brothers and then by Sirdars and Jagirdars. Among the gifts were gold sovereigns, silver coins and currency notes.
The culmination of the ceremony came when the Raj applied a red tilak on the forehead of the Maharajah--signifying the end of the 12-day period of mourning and the beginning of the period of colour.
The Maharajah was born in Jaipur on October 22, 1931, and educated in Britain at Doon School and Harrow. On returning to India in 1952 he joined the Third Cavalry Regiment and later served on the President's bodyguard and on the front lines during the 1962 conflict with China. He has trained and served as a Commando and paratrooper and has been Commander of the No. 10 Paratroop Commando Battalion for two years.
In 1966 he married the Princess Padmini Devi, daughter of the late Maharajah of Sirmur. He is a keen sportsman and adept polo-player, shot and pilot.