The Golden Wealth of the erstwhile Indian Maharajas
Indian maharajas seems to have possessed huge quantities of gold, silver, pearls and diamonds as was evident from the revelations regarding SreePadmanabhaswamy Temple in the South Indian state of Kerala.
Picture Courtesy: Victoria and Albert Museum
The news about the two daughters of former Maharaja of Faridkot, Harinder Singh Brar, getting their rightful claim on his assets after a two decade old legal fight over a forged will, have hogged the news headlines in Indian newspapers this week.
The Maharaja has left behind a rich legacy of property and assets valued at $4.4 bn (Rs 20,000 cr) and that includes �a palatial Faridkot House on New Delhi's Copernicus Marg, a royal palace complex and a fort in Faridkot, a fort in Mani Majra area of Chandigarh, vintage cars (including a Rolls Royce), an aerodrome in Faridkot spread over 200 acres, properties in Hyderabad and Delhi and gold and Jewellery worth nearly Rs 1000 cr with Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai to name a few.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh had a golden throne for state ocassions although he used to sit on the floor otherwhise. He owned some of the most fabulous jewels of the Mughal emperors,
Indian maharajas even like to have custom made jewellery designed by European gold smiths. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala gave opulence a new definition with his brocaded coat full of diamonds. The younger generation who inherited the rich legacy of the former rules continue to hold to those prized possessions.