Raj Ratna

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Raj Ratna / Raj Ratan / Rajya Ratna (literally Gem of the Raj), was a highest title of honor or civilian award, which was prevalent in Princely India during British Raj.[1][2][3]


Raj Ratna awards were given by rulers of mostly Hindu Princely States of India to distinguished citizens of their kingdom. The title was bestowed upon with a Gold coin medallion.[1][2][3][4][5]

Another, title or civilian award, second in order, was Raj Bhushan (literally Ornament of the Raj) was also prevalent, which was given with a Silver coin medallion.[1]

The title and awards of Raj Ratna & Raj Bhushan came to an end mostly by the end of year 1949 with the amalgamation of almost all Princely States in to India and formation of the Republic of India


However, the legacy, spirit and essence of these awards are being carried forward in independent India, by similar other prestigious awards like Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awarded by Government of India.

Names of some persons awarded title Raj Ratna[edit]

Ramchandra Keshav Ranadive (Deshpande) was awarded Raj Ratna Gold by HH Sir Sayajirao, a medal weighing 10 Tola (Over 100 gms). He served three kings of Baroda state, HH Sir Sayajirao III, HH Sir Pratapsinh and HH Fatehsinh. As the head of Legal & Political Affairs, he was the key person on whom the Kings relied during the days of merger of the states. He drafted the merger documentation and presented the same to the British Parliament. He is known for his book on the legal and political issues involved in merger of states. He is a descendant of "Baji Prabhu Deshpande" the most trusted general of Chatrapati Shivaji.

See also[edit]