|RR,Indian ruler. customized for luxury tiger hunting!maginelifestyles.com|
In the later part of colonial days, the British introduced luxury cars to the status - conscious Indian rulers for fun, relaxation and travel in regal style. Under the British Raj, the Indian rulers, who lost much of their affluence, became materialistic, however, had enough dough to spend lavishly for their families' extravagant living such as costly jewelry, diamonds, valuable gem stones, etc. Their passion for literary work, arts, etc., took a severe beating and saw a decline. As far luxury cars in the late 1920s and 1930s, they were a novelty for the Indian rulers. No other car had ignited the curiosity of rich Indians more than the Rolls Royce cars of England. The RR car's majesty and stunning look added zest to its aura which is irresistible. When it zips past us, it never fails to leave its opulent trail of elegance. RR cars were synonymous with royalty and aristocracy, so they were tagged as the symbol of status and regal power. Obviously, RR had a special place among the elite who simply loved this car which had been the marque of choice.
Maharajahs and Nawabs were impressed by their sturdy and stately look, engineering excellence, luxurious interiors, and decor, and bought them for ready cash, not a single
|Rolls-Royce built in 1934 for the Maharaja of Rajkot iThe Telegrap|
The following are the gripping facts about Indian Maharajahs' quirks and their passion for Rolls Royce cars:
01. The very first Rolls-Royce bought by a "native Indian prince" was the "Pearl of the East". Quite satisfied with its performance in various terrains it was purchased by the Maharajah of Gwalior after its record breaking trans-India runs in 1908. He himself drove the car. Soon the Indian rulers began to follow him and ordered exotic versions.
02. According to writer Murad Ali Baig, who wrote a book "Rolls Royce and the Indian princes" more than 20,000 Rolls-Royce cars were built before the First World War and about 20 per cent of them were for India; it has been estimated that, on average, each maharajah had 3·5 Rollers". French Author Lapierre in his book 'Freedom at Midnight' pointed out the same figure - on an average an Indian Maharajah owned 3.5 Rolls Royce cars.
03. There were about 230 ruling maharajahs (excluding the minor ones), that meant they owned about 900 cars between 1908 and 1939.
|100 yr old,RR Silver Ghost, VI -2 Nizam,India luxurylaunches.com|
|1912 Silver Ghost Throne car, Nizam's car 2040-parts.com|
|RR for tiger hunting, used by Indian rulers. Narthaki|
|Bhupendar Singh driving Edward VIII,in.pinterest.com|
Above image: Maharajah of Patiala, Bhupendar Singh driving Edward VIII, Prince of Wales in his Rolls-Royce during the 1922 Patiala Visit ............
05. Among the Indian rulers, the Maharajah of Patiala Bhupinder Singh (1900-1938) whose craze for women was well-known (some one mentioned that he outshone the God of lust - Cupid) was the most famous patron of RR and owned nearly 27 of these luxury cars.
|Owned by the Maharajah of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh|
06. The Patiala ruler also had a German car Maybach that was donated to him by Adolph Hitler himself when the Punjab ruler was on a visit to Germany in the early 1930s. When there was a royal outing, the RR cars would follow the ruler in a procession with pomp and show, carrying his ten wives in grand style. It is believed that, besides, ten wives had as many as 200 concubines and eighty-eight children!!
07. This princely state in Punjab lost the Kohinoor diamond and the world's largest red ruby to the British Crown when the latter took over the control of the state under the doctrine of subsidiary alliance. It was billed as an unjust move by the colonial power by the media as the ruler was a minor then. .
08. Here is yet another scoop about the flamboyant Maharajah of Patiala. Once he had 27 RR besides other cars in hundreds. Unlike other rulers, he had to have extra security guards on duty while his RR-swent for tune-up or overhauling because they were decorated with (hold your breath!!) precious stones and diamonds.
09. The credit goes to the Maharajah of Baroda who was the first one to take delivery the first RR car came out of the assembly line after WWII.
10. The Maharajah of Mysore, then the 2nd richest man in the world, when placing orders for RR opted for multiples of 7 or 14 and even 28 at a time. From this, one can understand his vast wealth and money power of rulers like Mysore Maharajah. “Doing a Mysore” became the RR company's jargon meaning burying in bulk.
11. The Maharajah of Kashmir also owned a special gold plated car that took him around the capital city Srinagar.
12. Believe it or not, Indian Nobel laureate
Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet and philosopher owned RR; the car is now kept in the Calcutta Museum.