Maharajah of Patiala, Flamboyant Lover, Statesman and Sikh Leader
The Lover Maharajah
Maharajah Bhupinder Singh of Patiala spent much of his time seducing women and selecting the most beautiful for his palace. He ascended the throne in 1900 at the age of 9 after approval was given by the Viceroy, the 4th earl of Minto. The maharajah was a colorful character who as all kings and maharajas assumed he had a divine right to rule. An interesting anecdote is quoted by K Natwar Singh, who married one of his granddaughters. Natwar Singh tells us that the maharajah during his reign as was customary appeared before his subjects totally naked except for his diamond breastplate, with his organ in glorious erection. His organ was supposed to represent the Shiva ling and this ritual was on Shivratri.
The Love Life of Bhupinder Singh
Bhupinder was an ardent lover of women. Perhaps that was his main occupation. He married 10 wives and also had a seraglio of 255 other women and sired 80 children. In fact, so intent was he in seducing and fornicating that 70% of the state revenue was spent by the Maharajah on his own welfare and that of his womenfolk.
The maharajah was a frequent visitor to Simla the summer capital of the Raj. It is rumored that he met an English girl there who eloped with the much-married Bhupinder Singh. This infuriated Lord Kitchener the Cin C Indian army who was also a resident of Simla and he banned Bhupinder Singh from entering Simla. The maharajah took this in his stride and shifted residence with his new found love to his palace at Chail, another hill station. The girl was probably the daughter of a high ranking British officer, though many opine she was a relation of Lord Kitchener.
Bhupinder Singh on a visit to the mountain state of Himachal Pradesh saw 4 sisters, who were the daughters of a local Rajah. Bhupinder Singh married all 4 sisters and there are many stories as to how he kept all the women who were his official wives including the 4 sisters happy by lavishing costly presents on them.
Other Facets of the Maharajah’s Life
Bhupinder Singh was a heavy drinker and cigar smoker. He smoked heavily though it is forbidden in the Sikh religion. Despite leading a debauched life, Bhupinder Singh was President of the Princes Chamber for 12 years (1925-37) and represented India at the Imperial War Council during World War I and also attended the First Round Table Conference in London representing the Sikhs. This colorful man passed away in 1939. He was the last of the flamboyant maharajahs