The Princely States of Hindustan
Land of Tigers -The Rajputs
“India is a place beyond all others” said one of the 19th century’s most famous poets and native of India, Rudyard Kipling. From antiquity to present has India been a place of unfathomable wealth, a land of maharajas, nizams, sultans, and warrior princes, a crucible of faith and empire which had often attracted both the commerce and conquest of foreign powers such as the Mughals, Timurids, French, and English. At the heart of this wealth and struggle for political order were the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh rulers, who descending from age old dynasties were among the most opulent and extravagant rulers in history. They built palaces of heavenly beauty, hosted the grandest of processions such as the Delhi Durbar, and were noted for their fortunes that would make even the gods envious. Thus when one sees a photo or listens to a story about them it is hard not to be struck with awe, yet their legacy today is also one of great controversy, for to secure their power often did they submit to and aid in the foreign occupation of India. For this when India achieved independence in 1947, within a decade did everyone of these centuries old monarchies crumble.