5 Most Bizarre Purchases of the Indian Royalty that Defy Belief (Credit - IndiaTimes)
The regal families of India once ranked among the wealthiest clans globally, boasting magnificent palaces and opulent vehicles. The existing palaces stand as enduring symbols of that golden era. Remarkably, their descendants continue to bask in this lavish lifestyle. If you've ever pondered how these nobles spent their immense fortunes, the answer lies in their penchant for the unique and extravagantly pricey. Dive in to discover more.
A Diamond Desk Accessory
Mir Osman Ali Khan, the final Nizam of Hyderabad, was among the wealthiest individuals of his era, holding ownership over the Golconda Mines, a major global diamond supplier in the 18th century. Astonishingly, he utilized the 185-carat Jacob diamond, valued at millions, merely as a paperweight. Indeed, it's hard to believe! Post-independence, the Indian Government confiscated his vast assets.
The Four-Century Legacy of Queen Alamelamma's Curse
In 1612, the Wadiyars launched an assault on the kingdom of Mysore, dethroning the weakened Tirumalaraja. After seizing the palace, they confiscated all the royal jewellery from Queen Alamelamma. In her despair, she rushed to a cliff overlooking the Kaveri river. Before taking her own life, she uttered a curse, wishing for Talakadu to turn barren, Malangi to become a whirlpool, and the Mysore kings to remain childless. To counteract this curse, the Wadiyars erected an idol in honour of the Queen, though its effects seem to persist. Currently, the Wadiyar Royal family is headed by Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, a distant relative of the former King Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, who passed away without any heirs.
Stroll Through Stardom
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala was not only a passionate collector of extravagant jewels from renowned makers like Cartier but also led a flamboyant personal life. With ten wives, numerous consorts, and a staggering 88 children, his life was truly larger than life.
In the renowned book ‘Freedom at Midnight’ by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, there's a curious detail about the Maharaja’s unique tradition: “to appear once a year before his subjects naked except for his diamond breastplate, his organ in full and glorious erection.” Additionally, the tome highlights the local belief in the supposed mystical prowess of his organ, which was thought to repel malevolent spirits from the kingdom.
A Dog Lover
Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, the Maharaja of Junagadh, had an astonishing collection of 800 dogs, with each having its own dedicated room and attendant. Astonishingly, when any of these dogs fell ill, they were sent to a British veterinarian for treatment. Such was the Maharaja's fondness for his canine companions that the demise of any dog led to an official day of mourning in the state. Moreover, he reportedly splurged close to Rs 20 lakh on a grand wedding ceremony for two of his dogs, even extending an invitation to the Viceroy for the occasion.
His Water Travels With Him
The erstwhile King of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, secured a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for purchasing two immense sterling silver containers, intended for transporting sacred Ganges water to England. Crafted by melting down 14,000 silver coins, these colossal vessels have since become a focal point for tourists.