Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur


Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur

{|align=right
Infobox_Monarch
name = Sawai Man Singh II
title = Maharaja of Jaipur


image size = 200px
caption = The Maharaja inspecting Jaipur State forces during World War II
reign = 1911–1948
coronation = 18 September 1911
predecessor =
successor =
consort = Maharani Gayatri Devi
issue = 4 sons and a daughter
royal house = Maharaja of Jaipur
royal anthem =
father = Mor Mukut Singh
mother =
date of birth = August 21, 1911
place of birth =
date of death = June 24, 1970 (age 58)
place of death =
place of burial= |

Sawai Man Singh II (Mor Mukut Singh; August 21, 1911–June 24, 1970) was the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur. He ruled the princely state between 1922 and 1949, when the state acceded unto the Dominion of India. Thereafter, he held office as Rajpramukh of Rajasthan between 1949 to 1956 [http://rajassembly.nic.in/govphoto.htm] . In later life, he served as Ambassador of India to Spain. He was also a notable sportsman and celebrated polo player.

Early life

Sawai Man Singh II (also known in Jaipur as "SMS") was born Mor Mukut Singh, the second son of Thakur Sawai Singh of Isarda by his wife Sugan Kunwar. His father was a nobleman belonging to the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. Mor Mukut grew up in the dusty, walled township of Isarda, a chief Thikana of the Rajawat sub-clan which lies between the towns of Sawai Madhopur and Jaipur in present-day Rajasthan. His family was connected to the ruling house of Jaipur and Kotah (where his father's sister was married). The then Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Madho Singh II, had been born the son of a former Thakur of Isarda and had been adopted into the ruling family of Jaipur. After giving him up for adoption, Madho Singh's actual father had in turn lacked for an heir. He adopted the son of a distant kinsman and was succeeded by that lad as Thakur of Isarda. That lad was Sawai Singh, father of Mor Mukut Singh. In this manner, Mor Mukut could be reckoned near kin to Maharaja Madho Singh II of Jaipur.

After being adopted to become Maharaja of Jaipur, Madho Singh II had numerous (no less than 65) children by various concubines, but the highly superstitious Maharaja was warned by a sage against having legitimate heirs and thus took great care not to impregnate his five wives. On March 24, 1921, Madho Singh II adopted Mor Mukut to be his son and heir. The boy was given the name "Man Singh" upon his adoption. Madho Singh II died on September 7, 1922 and was succeeded by Man Singh as Maharaja of Jaipur and head of the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. The new Maharaja was eleven years old.

Maharaja of Jaipur

Upon his ascension in 1922, Man Singh embarked on a program of modernization, creating infrastructure and founding numerous public institutions that would later result in Jaipur being selected the capital of Rajasthan. In 1958, Man Singh was also among the ruler to realize the potential of tourism in Rajasthan, turning Rambagh Palace into a luxury hotel. Under his rule various laws of land reform were first introduced in his state,like Jaipur Tenancy Act. Later in 1956, the 'Jagidari' (feudal) form of political administration were abolished during the government of the Congress Party in India. In 1965, the Indian Government appointed Sawai Man Singh, Indian Ambassador to Spain. Utilising his various contacts in Europe, he spent much of his time in Europe to ensue new military technology and arms-deal for the Indian army(Crewe). He was especially noted as an enthusiastic (10-Goal) polo player, winning among other trophies the World Cup in 1933. During the 1950s, Man Singh owned Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, West Sussex. [ [http://www.sainthillmanor.org.uk/manor.html About Saint Hill manor] ]

Death

In 1970, Man Singh suffered an accident while playing polo in Cirencester, England. He died later the same day. He was survived by his third wife Gayatri Devi and by four sons. He was succeeded as titular Maharaja of Jaipur and head of the Kachwaha clan by his eldest son, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur. Following his death Indira Gandhi was finally able to repress the power of India's former Rulers in democratic India as they formed a large bulk of her opposition party, the Swatantra party.

The statue of Sawai Man Singh has been installed at the Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur, the statue was unveiled at a grand function on 30th March 2005 [http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar312005/n17.asp] .

Marriages

His initial marriages were to suitable brides chosen from the royal family of Jodhpur, whose Rajput heritage and social ranking were similar to his own. His first wife was Maharani Marudhar Kanwar, sister of Sumer Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur. His second wife was Maharani Kishore Kanwar, niece of his first wife and daughter of Sumer Singh. His most famous relationship, however, was his courtship and subsequent espousal of the legendary beauty, Gayatri Devi of Cooch Behar, daughter of Jitendra of Cooch Behar and Indira of Baroda.

Children

Maharaja Man Singh had several children; his daughter married the Maharaol of Baria, while his younger sons married princesses from Jubbal, Tripura, and Lunawada. He was succeeded on the throne by his eldest son, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur. His second son was created Raja of Jhalai, third son, Maharaj Prithviraj, while the youngest son, Prince Jagat Singh was created Raja of Isarda, named for the erstwhile fief of Man Singh's father.

Present members in the Jaipur Royal Family:-

Maharaja Bhawani Singh (Current Maharaja of Jaipur)Wife - Maharani Padmini; Daughter - Rajkumari Diya Kumari >Rajmata Gayatri Devi> Grandchildren; Rajkumari Lalitya Kumari, Maharaj Devraj Singh.

Maharaj Jai Singh. Wife - Rani Vidya Devi; Son - Rajkumar Ajay Singh >Maharaj Prithviraj-Rani Devika Devi(divorced); Son - Rajkumar Vijit Singh.

Full name and titles from birth to death

*Mor Mukut Singh of Isarda
*"His Highness" the Yuvaraja of Jaipur
*"His Highness" the Maharaja of Jaipur
*"His Highness" the Rajpramukh of Rajasthan, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur
*Lt. General "His Highness" Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Shri Maharajadhiraj Sir Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur

Honours

*Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India
*Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire

References

*Allen C, Dwivedi S (1984), Lives of the Indian Princes, Century Publishing, London
*Atal A (1947), His Highness The Maharaa of Jaipur, a brief sketch (1922-1947), Silver Jubilee Publication, Jaipur
*Crewe Q (1985) The Last Maharaja, A Biography of Sawai Man Singh II, Michael Joseph, London
*Gayatri Devi (1995) A Princess Remembers, Rupa&Co, India

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