|Sawai Bhawani Singh
सवाई भवानी सिंह
|Maharaja of Jaipur
Head of the House of Kachwaha
|Maharaja of Jaipur|
|Reign||24 June 1970 – 17 April 2011 (titular)|
|Predecessor||Sawai Man Singh II|
|Successor||Sawai Padmanabh Singh|
22 October 1931|
Jaipur, Jaipur State, British India
|Died||17 April 2011
Gurgaon, Haryana, India
|Spouse||Maharani Padmini Devi|
|Issue||Princess Diya Kumari|
|Rajasthani dialect of Hindi||भवानी सिंह|
|Father||Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur|
|Mother||Maharani Marudhar Kanwar|
|Years of service||1951–1972|
|Unit||Presidents Bodyguards, 50th Parachute Brigade, 10th Parachute Regiment|
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1971|
|Awards||Maha Vir Chakra|
Brig. Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur MVC (22 October 1931 – 17 April 2011) was the titular Maharaja of Jaipur from 24 June 1970, when all titles, privileges, and privy purses associated with princely states in India were abolished by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India. He died at age 79 due to multi-organ failure.
Born to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his first wife, Marudhar Kanwar of Jodhpur, Bhawani Singh was educated at Sheshbagh School, Srinagar, The Doon School, Dehradun, and later Harrow School in the United Kingdom. As the first male heir born to a reigning maharaja of Jaipur for generations (all others, including his father, who was originally a minor noble, were adopted), his birth was a celebrated event in Jaipur. It is said that so much champagne flowed in celebration of his birth that the new heir was nicknamed "Bubbles".
In 1970 Bhawani Singh helped train Mukti Bahini before the commencement of the Bangladesh Liberation War. Later next year, Bhawani Singh commanded Para Commandos of the 10th Parachute Regiment in the 1971 war against Pakistan and was responsible for the capture of Chachro in Sindh.
While the Indian Army was in action in Sri Lanka under Operation Pawan, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi requested him to go to Sri Lanka and boost the low morale of his old unit (10 Para). He was successful in this venture and, for this, the President bestowed upon him the rank of Brigadier in 1974. This is a rare honour when an army personnel has been given a promotion in rank after retirement.
Sawai Bhawani Singh ascended the throne of Jaipur on 24 June 1970 following the death of his father, and held the title of Maharaja until the abolition of the princely order, his Privy Purse and other royal entitlements by Indira Gandhi in 1971, although he remained generally honoured like most other erstwhile rulers.
He married Princess Padmini Devi of Sirmur on 10 March 1966 in a ceremony held at Delhi. She was the daughter of his father's polo-playing friend HH Maharaja Rajendra Prakash of Sirmur by his wife Maharani Indira Devi. The royal couple have one daughter, Princess Diya Kumari (b. 30 January 1971).
Having half-brothers but no son, in November 2002 he adopted his daughter's elder son Padmanabh, who succeeded him as titular Maharaja of Jaipur upon his death.
In the same vein as his father, the first hotelier prince in India, Sawai Bhawani Singh ran many palaces as hotels, including the Rambagh Palace, Raj Mahal Palace, or other former royal residences. He was the first Indian prince to turn his Rambagh Palace in to luxury hotel in year 1958. He conducted certain ceremonies and customs from the traditional seat of royal power, the sprawling City Palace, Jaipur, part of which remains under the control of his family. Among his friends were Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger. He became one of the richest of India's maharajas of post-independent India.
He was also involved in local politics, as was his late stepmother, Gayatri Devi, his father's third wife. In 1975 he was arrested and imprisoned for a short period during The Emergency by Congress government at center, due to political vendetta along-with Gayatri Devi but was released after protests from various people including Indian Army and Lord Mountbatten, who spoke to Indira Gandhi.
He then retired from active politics and devoted his time to his family and the protection and continuation of Jaipur's traditional arts and heritage.
Ashok Gehlot, then Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced three days of state mourning. His body was flown to Jaipur and kept at the City Palace for people to pay their last respect before being cremated.
- "Twenty Sixth Amendment". Indiacode.nic.in. 28 December 1971. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Maharaja of Jaipur Bhawani Singh passes away". The Times of India. 17 April 2011.
- Maharaja of Jaipur Bhawani Singh passes away
- "Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 April 2011.
- Royal vignettes: Jaipur: In touch with reality The Hindu – 20 October 2002
- "Bubbles, the 'king' who tasted life in the trenches". The Telegraph, Calcutta. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "A decorated soldier of the 1971 Indo-Pak war". Times of Indiatoi. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "Heroes. The Parachute Regiment, Indian Army". The Parachute Regiment, Indian Army. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- "Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh". The Telegraph, London. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Date and place of marriage taken from two pages "Bhawani Singh" and "Padmini Devi" on the Durga Diya website. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
- Maharani Padmini Devi, from the Durga Diya website. Retrieved 23 November 2009
- "Maharaja of Jaipur Bhawani Singh passes away". The Times of India. 17 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Maharaja of Jaipur Bhawani Singh cremated". Times of India. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
Bhawani SinghBorn: 22 October 1931 Died: 17 April 2011
|Titles in pretence|
title held not in pretence
|— TITULAR —
Maharaja of Jaipur
24 June 1970 – 28 December 1971
Reason for succession failure:
Title abolished by Republic of India