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9 existing Indian royal families, their source of income, and how they live their lavish lifestyles

Although the monarchy was abolished in India in 1971, some royal families still lead lives of luxury and…
9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

Although the monarchy was abolished in India in 1971, some royal families still lead lives of luxury and heritage. While many of us are familiar with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle or Queen Elizabeth II, Indian royalty often goes unnoticed. To help you learn more, here’s a brief list of some royal families. While each family is headed by a person referred to as the “king,” they no longer have kingdoms to rule. Instead, here’s what they’re up to now.


1. The Mewar Dynasty

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

The Mewar Dynasty, known for kings like Maharana Pratap, is one of India’s prominent royal families. Today, its descendants reside in Udaipur, led by His Royal Highness Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th custodian of the House of Mewar. Besides his royal title, Arvind Singh is a successful businessman. He oversees the HRH Group of Hotels, which operates over 10 hotels.

Arvind Singh and his wife, Maharani Vijayaraj, live in the Udaipur City Palace, part of which is open to tourists. The royal family still owns some properties, such as the Lake Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace, which are leased to the Taj Group of Hotels. Arvind Singh is highly respected in the tourism industry and has opened a museum in the city showcasing antique cars. Additionally, he manages his father’s collection of crystals.


2. The Wadiyar Dynasty

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

The Wadiyar Dynasty once ruled the Kingdom of Mysore, tracing their lineage back to the Yaduvanshi clan of Lord Krishna. Legend has it that Queen Alamelamma of Vijaynagar cursed the dynasty in 1612, predicting that Mysore kings would never have children. Despite later efforts by dynasty members to honor and worship her statue, the curse endured for 400 years. The current head of the dynasty is 27-year-old Yaduveer Krishnadutta Chamaraj Wadiyar. He wasn’t the direct heir; his uncle, Srikantadatta Wadiyar, passed away without children in 2013. Since he didn’t name a successor, his wife, the Rajmata, adopted Yaduveer as their son, making him king. With Mysore being a top silk producer, the family’s brand, Royal Silk of Mysore, started by Srikantadatta, has been highly successful. Despite his royal background, the new king holds an English Literature and economics degree. He married Princess Trishika Kumari Singh of Dungarpur in 2016, and they now have a two-year-old son. It’s rumored that the family possesses assets worth Rs 10,000 crore.


3. The Royal Family of Jaipur

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

Members of the Jaipur royal family have become celebrities over time. His Highness Bhawani Singh was the last titular head of Jaipur. However, as he didn’t have any sons, in his later years, Bhawani Singh adopted his daughter Diya Kumari’s son, Padmanabh Singh. In 2011, Padmanabh became the Maharaja of Jaipur. He is a national-level polo player, aiming to raise awareness of the sport.

The royal family has leased out the Rambagh Palace to Taj Hotels, and the young king has recently partnered with AirBnB. Through this collaboration, he has listed a suite in the Jaipur City Palace on the travel website, offering tourists a taste of royal life. All proceeds from this initiative will benefit the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation. The young king is also a passionate traveler and has been featured on magazine covers worldwide.


4. The Royal Family of Alsisar

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

Another royal family from Rajasthan is the Alsisar family, who once ruled the kingdom of Khetri. Today, they own grand havelis in Jaipur and Ranthambore. Their current head is HH Abhimanyu Singh. In addition to managing hotels on their properties, Abhimanyu Singh is known for co-sponsoring the annual EDM festival, Magnetic Fields. As a result, he’s often referred to as the party prince of India in popular culture.


5. The Royal Family of Jodhpur

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

The Rathore family once ruled Jodhpur, where the Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace are among the largest forts and private residences globally. Presently, Maharaja Gaj Singh resides in Umaid Bhawan Palace with his wife, two children, and their spouses.

A portion of the Palace is open for tourists, while the Taj Group of Hotels manages the rest in partnership with the family. Maharaja Gaj Singh has served as a member of the Rajya Sabha and previously held the position of Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago.


6. The Gaekwads of Baroda

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

The Gaekwads, originally from Pune, have been in power in Baroda, now Vadodara, since the early 18th century. Currently, 52-year-old Samarjitsinh Gaekwad leads the royal family of Baroda. Upon ascending the throne, he inherited property valued at over Rs 20,000 crores, including 2,000 acres of prime real estate, 600 acres of land, and the 187-room Laxmi Vilas Palace.

In addition to this wealth, Samarjitsinh inherited numerous paintings by Raja Ravi Varma and valuable assets like gold, silver, and royal jewelry. He manages temple trusts for 17 temples in Gujarat and Banaras. Furthermore, he constructed a personal 10-hole golf course within the palace grounds. Samarjitsinh is also a talented cricketer, representing his state in the Ranji Trophy. Although he briefly ventured into politics, he has been inactive since 2017. A lesser-known fact about the Gaekwads of Baroda is that they are the maternal family of the renowned Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur.


7. Bourbons of India

Meet The House Of Bourbons-Bhopal, Who Claim Their Right To The French  Throne; Know About Their Lineage With The Royal Family Of The Bourbons In  France And Their Lifestyle - Lifestyle News |

Meet the Bourbons of India, a royal family residing in Bhopal, India, who claim lineage to the ancient throne of France. Balthazar Napoleon IV de Bourbon, a lawyer and father of three, leads this family. They trace their ancestry back to Jean Philippe de Bourbon, a French noble who once served in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Some believe Jean de Bourbon may have been a nephew of France’s first Bourbon king, Henry IV, though this hasn’t been definitively proven. Nevertheless, if their claims are verified, Balthazar Bourbon would be next in line for the French throne.


8. The House of Bhonsales

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

In Maharashtra, the legacy of Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati is deeply revered. But did you know that their descendants are spread across various districts in the state? Families like Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, Mudhol, Savantwadi, and Tanjore proudly carry this heritage. Among them, Udayanraje of Satara holds the title of the 13th Chhatrapati. He’s not only a respected politician, affiliated with the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), but also declared assets worth Rs 170 crore, including cars and jewelry.

Similarly, Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, hailing from Kolhapur, also claims lineage to Shivaji Maharaj as the 13th descendant. Currently serving as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha and a member of the BJP, he continues the legacy of his ancestors.


9. Nawab of Pataudi

9 Existing Indian Royal Families, Their Source Of Income And How They Live Their Lavish Lifestyles

Bollywood’s Pataudi clan is a noteworthy addition to any list of royals. Once rulers of the Pataudi kingdom, the family’s last head was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. In addition to his royal title, he was also a former captain of the Indian Cricket Team. He married actress Sharmila Tagore and had three children. Now, their son Saif Ali Khan carries the legacy of being the Nawab of Pataudi.

Saif not only inherits the title but also possesses the majestic Pataudi Palace, valued at Rs 800 crore. According to Forbes, he earned Rs 66 crore in the past year. Currently married to Kareena Kapoor Khan, Saif has three children, Sara and Ibrahim, from his previous marriage to Amrita Singh.


Conclusion

India is home to several royal families, each with a unique source of income and lavish lifestyle. These families maintain their opulent lifestyles through various means, including inherited wealth, investments, land holdings, and business ventures. They often own palaces, luxury properties, and valuable assets, showcasing their wealth and status.

From the Mewar dynasty in Udaipur to the Wadiyar dynasty in Mysore, these royal families continue to play a significant role in Indian society, albeit in a more symbolic and cultural capacity. While some have diversified their income sources by venturing into hospitality, tourism, and cultural preservation, others rely on traditional estates, patronage, and investments to sustain their affluent lifestyles.

Despite the decline of royal authority and the abolition of princely privileges following India’s independence, these royal families still command respect and admiration domestically and internationally. Their grandiose lifestyles, marked by luxurious residences, extravagant events, and high-profile associations, serve as a reminder of India’s rich cultural heritage and royal legacy.


FAQs

Q1: What are some existing Indian royal families?

Ans: Some prominent Indian royal families include the Mewar dynasty in Udaipur, the Wadiyar dynasty in Mysore, the Gaekwad dynasty in Baroda, the Scindia dynasty in Gwalior, the Holkar dynasty in Indore, the Pataudi clan in Haryana, the Bourbons of India in Bhopal, the Chhatrapati family in Maharashtra, and the Gondal royal family in Gujarat.

Q2: How do these royal families generate income?

Ans: These royal families often generate income through various means such as inherited wealth, investments, land holdings, businesses, and royal patronage. Some have diversified into industries like hospitality, tourism, agriculture, and cultural preservation to sustain their financial status.

Q3: How do they live their lavish lifestyles?

Ans: They live lavish lifestyles in opulent palaces, luxury properties, and ancestral estates. They frequently host extravagant events, maintain fleets of luxury cars, and indulge in high-end fashion and jewelry. Additionally, they often engage in philanthropy, supporting causes related to education, healthcare, and cultural preservation.

Q4: Do these royal families still hold any official authority?

Ans: No, following India’s independence and the abolition of princely privileges, these royal families no longer hold any official authority or political power. However, they retain their titles and play ceremonial and cultural roles in society, preserving their heritage and traditions.

Q5: How are these royal families perceived in modern India?

Ans: These royal families are generally respected and admired for their contributions to Indian culture and history. While some may view them nostalgically, others appreciate their efforts in preserving heritage and promoting tourism. However, opinions may vary, and some may criticize their continued privileges in a democratic society.

Q6: Are these royal families involved in politics?

Ans: Some members of these royal families have been involved in politics, serving as elected representatives or holding influential positions in political parties. However, their political involvement varies; not all members actively pursue political careers.

Q7: What role do these royal families play in society today?

Ans: These royal families play various societal roles, including cultural preservation, philanthropy, and promoting tourism. They often participate in cultural events, festivals, and ceremonies, maintaining connections with their communities and preserving their heritage for future generations.

Q8: How do these royal families adapt to modern times?

Ans: To adapt to modern times, these royal families often engage in entrepreneurship, education, and social initiatives. They may modernize their estates, promote sustainable practices, and collaborate with businesses and government agencies to remain relevant and contribute positively to society.

Q9: How can one experience the lifestyle of these royal families?

Ans: Some royal families offer tourists opportunities to experience their lifestyles by visiting heritage properties, attending cultural events, and participating in guided tours. Additionally, luxury hospitality services and curated experiences may provide glimpses into these royal families’ opulent lifestyles.

Q10: How do these royal families contribute to tourism?

Ans: Many royal families contribute to tourism by converting their palaces and ancestral homes into luxury hotels, museums, and cultural centers. These establishments attract tourists worldwide, offering a glimpse into royal life, history, and traditions. Additionally, they host festivals, exhibitions, and cultural events that celebrate local heritage and draw visitors.


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