Maharao Raja Ram Singh

Maharao Raja Ram Singh (1811, r.1821-1889)
Maharaja of Bundi

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 Bhoondee

Raja Ram Singh, the 21st Maharao of Bundi, was born in 1811 and succeeded to the throne in 1821. He married three times, first to Maharani Gulab Kanwar, then to Maharani Chandrabhan Kunwari and lastly to a Maharani from Nagod.

He grew up to be a much-respected ruler who initiated economic and administrative reforms, and established schools for teaching of Sanskrit. He ruled the throne for 68 years and was described as a grand specimen of the Rajput gentleman and “The most conservative prince in conservative Rajputana.” His rule was popular and beneficial. During the mutiny of 1857 his attitude was equivocal, yet he continued to enjoy the confidence of the British.

He died in 1889 and was succeeded by his adopted son Raghubir Singh.

In this image, the Maharaja is seated cross-legged on a heavily embroidered sheet along with patterned backrest and cushions on his either side, and is looking towards his left. Here he is wearing the traditional attire with his sword and shield resting on his lap. His turban is decorated with jewels and stones and alongwith his necklaces.