Maharaja of Patiala
The Maharaja of Patiala was a maharaja in India and the ruler of the princely state of Patiala. The first Maharaja of Patiala was Baba Ala Singh (1695–1765), who was granted the title by Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan in 1764.
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 Narinder Singh
- Maharaja Mohinder Singh
- Maharaja Rajinder Singh
- Maharaja Bhupinder Singh
- Maharaja Yadavindra 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.
The 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 was said to own an aircraft in 1911, the Wright brothers' model-B craft.
The Maharaja of Patiala was also considered as leader of the Sikhs and masses of Punjab before the Partition of India. When during rainy season a seasonal river bordering the city of Patiala overflows, the incumbent Maharaja offers the river a traditional Nath, an ornament worn by women in their nose, and also thick kangans, following prayers made by priests. This was last practised in 1993, when the river breached the river defences and flooded Patiala.
Yadavindra Singh became the maharaja on 23 March 1938. He was the last independent maharaja, agreeing to the accession of Patiala State into the newly independent Union of India in 1947. On 5 May 1948 he became Rajpramukh of the new Indian state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union.
The present head of the royal family, the heir of Yadavindra Singh, is Captain Amarinder Singh, currently Chief Minister of Punjab and a politician of the Indian National Congress. His son is Raninder Singh.
- Patiala House Courts Complex housed in the former palace of the Maharaja
- Delhi School (c. 1817). "Nine courtiers and servants of the Raja Patiala".
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