Maharaja Bhupinder Singh

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Maharaja Bhupinder Singh


Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (12 October 1891 - 23 March 1938) was Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938. He is perhaps the most famous Maharaja of Patiala, best known for his extravagance, and for being a cricketer.

The shortened form of his compleate name was:

Lieutenant-General H.H. Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia Sri 108 Maharadhiraj Mohinder Bahadur.

The 108 referred to the omitted 108 Sri's. Singh seems to have not been used in the official title

He was born at the Moti Bagh Palace in Patiala and educated at Aitchison College in Lahore. He succeeded as Maharaja on the death of his father, Maharaja Rajinder Singh, on 9 November 1900. A Council of Regency ruled in his name until he took partial powers shortly before his 18th birthday on 1 October 1909, and was invested with full powers by the Viceroy of India, the 4th Earl of Minto, on 3 November 1910.

He served on the General Staff in France, Belgium, Italy and Palestine in the First World War as an honorary Lieutenant Colonel, and was promoted as an honorary Major General in 1918 and honorary Lieutenant General in 1931. He represented India at the League of Nations in 1925, and was chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes for 10 years between 1926 and 1938.

He married ten times, and had 88 children by his wives and concubines. This led to the coloquial use of his name in the Punjab to refer to someone being referred to as a Romeo or Don Juan. Being busy with so many wives, concubines and children not to metion his many other other interests led to his often being referred to as "His Exhausted Highness". It is written that he used 60% of the states income on himself and his family. His royal dog kennels were equiped with 3 English trainers, was tiled and had electric lighting.

He was well known for the construction of buildings with bold architectural designs in Patiala, including Kali Temple, and Chail View Palace in the summer capital of Kandaghat. He was also known for an exceptional collection of medals, believed to be the world's largest at the time.

He was also the captain of the Indian cricket team that visited England in 1911, and played in 27 first-class cricket matches between 1915 and 1937. He donated the Ranji Trophy in honor of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, Jam Sahib of Nawanagar. He was selected as the captain of India on its first Test tour of England in 1932, but dropped out for reasons of health two weeks before departure and the Maharaja of Porbandar took over.

Two of his sons, Yuvraj of Patiala and Raja Bhalindra Singh, both played first-class cricket. Yuvraj played in one Test for India, in 1934.

Yuvraj (also known as Yadavendrasingh) became the maharaja on 23 March 1938. He was to be the last Maharaja, agreeing to the incorporation of Patiala into the newly independent India on 5 May 1948, becoming Rajpramukh of the new Indian state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union.