Maharaja of Patiala
The Maharaja of Patiala was a maharaja in India and the ruler of the princely state of Patiala in Punjab. The first Maharaja of Patiala was Baba Ala Singh (1695–1765), who was granted the title by Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan in 1764.
The Maharajas of Patiala were awarded 17-gun salutes.
Following is the list of Maharajas of Patiala in order of their accession to the throne:
- Baba Ala Singh
- Maharaja Amar Singh
- Maharaja Sahib Singh
- Maharaja Karam Singh
- Maharaja Narendra Singh
- Maharaja Mahendra Singh
- Maharaja Rajinder Singh
- Maharaja Bhupinder Singh
- Maharaja Yadavindra Singh
- [Maharaja] Amarinder Singh
The most famous Maharaja of Patiala was Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (12 October 1891 – 23 March 1938). He is perhaps best known for his extravagance, and for being a cricketer. His polo and cricket teams were among the best in India. Two of his sons, Maharajadhiraj Yadavindra Singh and Raja Bhalindra Singh, both played first-class cricket. Yuvraj played in one Test for India, in 1934.
Maharaja of Patiala was also known as the owner of the highest cricket ground in Chail and the first Indian to own a car and an aircraft. He is said to own an aircraft in 1911, the Wright brothers' model-B craft.
Maharaja of Patiala was also considered as leader of the Sikhs and masses of Punjab before independence. When during rainy season a seasonal river bordering the city of Patiala overflows, the incumbent Maharaja offers a traditional Nath, an ornament worn by women in their nose and thick kangans to the river following prayers made by priests. This was last practised in 1993 when the river developed a breach and flooded Patiala.
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.
- Delhi School (c.1817). "Nine courtiers and servants of the Raja Patiala".
- Patiala House Courts Complex housed in the former palace of the Maharaja