Maharaja Raghuraj Singh Judev

Maharaja Raghuraj Singh Judev (1823, r.1854-1880)
Maharaja of Rewa

Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)

Inscription: HH the Maharajah of Rewah

Maharaja Raghuraj Singh of Rewa was born in 1823 and led a very jovial and spirited life. He was entrusted with the administration of the state in 1843 by his father Bishnath Singh.

It is said that he helped the British in quelling the uprisings in the neighbouring Mandla and Jabalpur district in the mutiny of 1857, and in Nagod which is now a part of Satna district. This ensured that the Maharaja was in the good books of the British. He was rewarded by restoring him the Sohagpur (Shahdol) and Amarkantak parganas which were seized by the Marathas in the beginning of the century. Raghuraj suffered from leprosy and is known to have worn gloves to help hide the condition. He died on 5th February 1880.

In this picture, the Maharaja is sitting on a chair with ornate edges. His right gloved hand rests on a draped table and his one foot on a cushion in front of him. His sword stands in front like a loyal companion. He is dressed in opulent clothes and elaborate jewellery, and completes his look by wearing a long cape which is adorned with the motif of the sun. His turban is made of precious stones and metals and has a small feather on the top complimenting the big mark/tilak on his forehead, which could be religious or specific to his clan.