Shrimant Anandrao Puar III (1844, r.1864-1898)
Maharaja of Dhar
Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)
Inscription: HH the Rajah of Dhar
Anandrao Puar III was born 8th April 1844 and became the 9th Raja of Dhar. He succeeded to the throne by adoption and his investiture was held on 21st November 1864. He married twice, as his first wife had died. His second wife also died prematurely, following which he adopted a son. He died in 1898.
Anandrao Puar III adopted Shrimant Udajirao Sambajirao Puar, the youngest son of his half-brother, Shrimant Sambajirao Puar. However, Udajirao was only 12 years when Anandrao III died. As a result, the ruling was under the regency council from 1898 to 1904, till Udajirao came of age to assume his duties as a Maharaja.
In this image of the Maharaja, he is sitting on a chair, holding a sword in his right hand that appears longer than his lower body, which might have been the cause of probable achondroplasia. He is resting one of his feet on a stool kept in front of him. He is resting his other hand on a pile of books kept on the table beside him, which is decorated with a flower vase. The Maharaja is adorned with the jewelled, traditional head gear and multiple necklaces with varying lengths. This is one of the few portraits where the subject is looking directly at the camera and smiling.