Bhupinder Singh of Patiala

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Bhupinder Singh
Maharaja of Patiala
Bhupendra Singh Patiala.jpg
Bhupinder Singh in 1911
Reign 1900–1938
Spouse Bakhtawar Kaur
Dynasty Phulkian
Father Maharaja Rajinder Singh
Born (1891-10-12)12 October 1891
Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala
Died 23 March 1938(1938-03-23) (aged 46)
Patiala

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE (Punjabi: ਭੁਪਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ; 12 October 1891 – 23 March 1938 ) was the ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938.[1]

Biography[edit]

Bhupinder Singh was born at the Moti Bagh Palace, Patiala[2] and educated at Aitchison College. At age 9, he succeeded as maharaja of Patiala state upon death of his father, Maharaja Rajinder Singh, on 9 November 1900. A Council of Regency ruled in his name until he took partial powers shortly before his 18th birthday on 1 October 1909 and was invested with full powers by the Viceroy of India, the 4th Earl of Minto, on 3 November 1910.

Inspecting a BL 12-inch Railway Howitzer in France, August 1918

He served on the General Staff in France, Belgium, Italy and Palestine in the First World War as an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, and was promoted Honorary Major-General in 1918 and Honorary Lieutenant-General in 1931. He represented India at the League of Nations in 1925, and was chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes for 10 years between 1926 and 1938, also being a representative at the Round Table Conference. He married many times and had many children by his wives and concubines.

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was the first man in India to own an aircraft, which he bought from the United Kingdom in the first decade of the twentieth century. For his aircraft he had an airstrip at Patiala built.

He was well known for the construction of buildings with bold architectural designs in Patiala, including Kali Temple, Patiala, and Chail View Palace in the summer retreat of Kandaghat along with Chail Palace and Oak Over and Cedar Lodge in Shimla which now houses the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab State Guest House respectively.[3] He was known as a sportsman and built the world's highest cricket pitch at 2443 m in 1893 at Chail.[citation needed] He was also known for an exceptional collection of medals, believed to be the world's largest at the time.[4] According to legend, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh would be driven in a motorcade of 20 Rolls Royce cars. He got a unique monorail system built in Patiala known as Patiala State Monorail Trainways.

He is perhaps the most famous Maharaja of Patiala, best known for his extravagance and for being a cricketer. His cricket and polo teams – Patiala XI and Patiala Tigers – were among the best of India. He was a great patron of sports.

He was captain of the Indian cricket team that visited England in 1911 and played in 27 first-class cricket matches between 1915 and 1937. For season of 1926/27, he played as member of Marylebone Cricket Club [2]. He donated the Ranji Trophy in honour of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, Jam Sahib of Nawanagar. He was selected as the captain of India on its first Test tour of England in 1932, but dropped out for reasons of health two weeks before departure and the Maharaja of Porbandar took over. The cricket ground at Chail was made by Maharaja Patiala in 1893. It is the highest cricket ground in the world. Most of the buildings of Chail Military School were donated by Maharaja of Patiala to the government of India.

Sir Bhupinder Singh founded the State Bank of Patiala in 1917.

He served as the Chancellor of Chamber of Princes from 1926 to 1931. He worked tirelessly for his subjects' betterment and introduced many social reforms in Patiala.

His elder son, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh and younger son Raja Bhalindra Singh both played first-class cricket, Yuvraj also played in one Test for India, in 1934. Raja Bhalindra Singh, later served as President of Indian Olympic Association.

Yuvraj Yadavindra Singh became the Maharaja on 23 March 1938. He was to be the first Maharaja, agreeing to the incorporation of Patiala into the newly independent India on 5 May 1948, becoming Rajpramukh of the new Indian state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union.

Bhupinder Singh's grandson Captain Amarinder Singh is a politician in India and served as Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007.

Personal life[edit]

Bhupinder Singh was born in a Sikh family and married at least 10 times and had numerous consorts. From those unions, he sired an estimated 88 children of whom at least 53 survived him.[citation needed] He was the proud owner of the world famous "Patiala Necklace" manufactured by the famous brand Cartier SA. His wife Maharani Bakhtawar Kaur presented Queen Mary with a magnificent necklace on behalf of the Ladies of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911 to mark the first visit to India by any Queen Empress.[5]

On 23 March 1938 Bhupinder Singh died.

Wives and consorts[edit]

  • Maharani Sri Bakhtawar Kaur Sahiba (1892–1960). Daughter of Sardar Gurnam Singh, Sardar Bahadur of Sangrur, OBI. Married Bhupinder Singh 1908.

Of the 10 wives (as opposed to the numerous concubines) the most notable were the four princesses from a Himalayan kingdom who were sisters and were said to be his favourite Ranis. It was Bakhtawar Kaur Sahiba, however, who took part in the official ceremonies as the Maharani.

Titles[edit]

  • 1891–1900: Sri Yuvaraja Sahib Bhupinder Singhji
  • 1900–1911: His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala
  • 1911–1914: His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCIE
  • 1914–1918: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCIE
  • 1918–1921: Major-General His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCIE, GBE
  • 1921–1922: Major-General His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCSI, GCIE, GBE
  • 1922–1931: Major-General His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE
  • 1931–1935: Lieutenant-General His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE
  • 1935–1938: Lieutenant-General His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Mansur-i-Zaman, Amir ul-Umara, Maharajadhiraja Raj Rajeshwar, 108 Sri Maharaja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh, Mahendra Bahadur, Yadu Vansha Vatans Bhatti Kul Bushan, Maharaja of Patiala, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, GBE, GCSG

Honours[edit]

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh

(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

Ord.Stella.India.jpg Order of the Indian Empire Ribbon.svg Royal Victorian Order ribbon sm.jpg

Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png India General Service Medal 1909 BAR.svg 1914 Star BAR.svg

British War Medal BAR.svg Victory Medal MID ribbon bar.svg Med.DelhiDurbar1903.png King George V Coronation Medal ribbon.png

GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png Cavaliere di Gran Croce OCI Kingdom BAR.svg EGY Order of the Nile - Grand Cordon BAR.png

Grand Crest Ordre de Leopold.png GRE Order Redeemer 1Class.png ESP Charles III Order GC.svg TCH Rad Bileho Lva 1 tridy (pre1990) BAR.svg

Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Cavaliere di gran Croce Regno SSML BAR.svg Order of St. Gregory the Great.png DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png

[6]

British[edit]

Foreign[edit]

Other[edit]

  • A Unani College, namely 'Bhupinder Tibbi College' was after his name at Patiala

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]

Bhupinder Singh of Patiala
Born: October 12 1891 Died: March 23 1938
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Rajinder Singh
Maharaja of Patiala
1900–1938
Succeeded by
Yadavindra Singh