Maharaja Purana: Strange Facts about Indian Kings (Post No.3255)


Picture: Aswathi Thirunal Prince

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 15 October 2016


Time uploaded in London: 19-47


Post No.3255


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks. (Picture is used only for representational purpose)




Many Wives!


The last Maratha king of Thanjavur, by name Maharaja Sivaji, not being content with his three wives, and not wishing to waste his time on pre-puberty arrangements, married seventeen girls in a body. It is said that in 1907, three of his queens were still living in the palace of Thanjavur.

-P.278, The Land of the Lingam by Arthur Miles



Record has it that the horses of Clive and Stringer Lawrence were stolen by Kallans. According to tradition Vizia Ragoonada Saitooputty was so terrified of the Kallans during his reign and he slept on a bed which was suspended from the roof on heavy iron chains (history neglects to say how he got in and out of bed). The story goes that one night a Kallan slipped down one of the chains and stole Royal jewels. On the king promising a grant of land to anyone who restores the jewels, the Kallan promptly surrendered himself and claimed the rewards. The king gave him the land, but soon afterwards ordered his execution.

The kallans of Madurai are a most vindictive and quarrelsome people. They would kill anyone, except a Brahmin, without compunction, but for the restraining influence of the law.

-P.185, The Land of the Lingam by Arthur Miles


(Correct spelling of King’s Name is VIJAYA RAGUNATHA SETHUPATHY)



The Prime Ministers of the various Maharajahs are almost always Brahmins. Maharajah of Travancore applied to his priests for permission to become a Brahmin. The royal request was finally granted on condition the ruler build in gold a life-size image of a cow and publicly crawl through it. The condition was complied with, the Maharajah wriggled himself through the hollow image of the sacred animal from head to tail, and thereupon inducted by the ceremony of the triple cord into the caste whose exclusiveness he coveted. The golden cow was, of course, given to the priests as a perquisite.

Page 62 0f The Last Home of Mystery by E.Alexander Powell


Million Dollar Pearls!


India is a land of contrasts and contradictions and where are they more noticeable than at the native courts. I have seen princes as magnificently as were their ancestors who clustered about the Peacock Throne, clad in silks and velvets and brocades, loaded with pearls and jewels, and I have spent a morning with a received me in pajamas and nightcap. I have lunched with a maharajah who wore in his ears a pair of black pearls for which he had paid a quarter of a million dollars, and I have dined with another ruler whose sole item of jewellery consisted of a modest seal ring.


In Rajputana I was the guest of a prince who placed at my disposal for sight-seeing purposes an elephant caparisoned in gold and crimson, yet of his neighbouring rulers, whom I visited a few days later sent me out his dominions in a limousine. There was pointed out to me at a vice regal garden party a Maharajah who had recently flogged a valuable pony to death with his own hand because it had “let him down” in a championship polo game. I have held delightful conversations with the aged Begum of Bhopal, who recently abdicated in favor of her son,regarding her labors for child welfare and the of Indian women, and I have sat at table with a maharajah, who is credited with having shot his girl-wife dead because she refused to yield herself to another man in her husband’s presence. I am acquainted with a prince who was the greatest cricketer of his time, with another who is ranked among the world’s greatest polo players, with a whose idea of sport is to sit in red plush box and watch combats between tigers and elephants.


600 Maharajahs!

I can name at least three princes who have the right to put LL.D. after their names and another who is prouder of the M.D. he received from an English university, where he completed a course in medicine than of all his glittering decorations.


The Maharajah of Travancore,a Hindu, thought to attain salvation by constructing a golden cow and then publicly crawling through it, the Nawab of Bhopal, a Moslem, attests his faith by abstaining from all food or drink between sunrise and sunset during the fasting of Ramadan.


I know one prince whose pink palace is as large and, in its way, as beautiful as that of Versailles another whose modest residence would be scorned by many American millionaires, but who has spent millions of rupees on schools and hospitals. And so it goes. There are good and bad among the Indian princes, kind and cruel, progressive and reactionary, just as among other men. But, so far as a visitor like myself could judge, they are characterized on the whole by high standards of intelli gence and conduct. It is extremely unjust that the whole of them, nearly six hundred in number, should be judged by the widely advertised follies and iniquities of a few.

Page 84 and 85 0f The Last Home of Mystery by E.Alexander Powell




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