Pusapati Vijayarama Gajapati Raju III (1826, r.1845-1879)
Maharaja of Vizianagram
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 Vizianagram
Pusapati Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju III laid the basic structure for the cultural edifice of Vizianagaram which was later expanded by his son. Vijayarama has been credited to transforming Vizianagaram into an Educational Centre. Vizianagaram is named after him and is spelled with a ‘Z’ to differentiate it from the Vijayanagar Dynasty in Hampi.
Vijayarama’s reign also experienced various developmental works like roadways, schools etc in Vizianagaram. It is observed that ‘he was a prince’, handsome in mien and enlightened in mind, a poet and a scholar, an athlete and man-of-letters, a musician, a virtuoso. The Duke of Buckingham addressed him as ‘Prince Charming’ which was a just testimony to his physical beauty. He and his illustrious son- Ananda Gajapati, had a distinction of being the only father and son to be the members of viceroy council at the same time.
In this image we can see the Maharaja standing in an upright position and looking towards his right. His right hand is rested on his belt and left hand clasping a sword. He is wearing an embroidered coat with leggings, hunting boots and a hat with feather. The background has a backdrop curtain, a pedestal pillar with a sculpture and on the right, there is a hint of a chair.