Shrimant Jayajirao Scindia (1835, r.1843-1886)
Maharaja of Gwalior
Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)
Inscription: HH Scindiah of Gwalior
Jayajirao was born as Bhagirath Shinde on 19th January 1835 to Hanwant Rao. However, Jankojirao II, the ruler of Gwalior died in 1843 without an heir. His widow, Tara Bai, adopted Shinde, who further adopted the name of Jayajirao Sindhia on 22 February 1843. Jayajirao held several titles during his reign.
During the Indian War of Independence 1857, Scindia supported the British Government, even though his ancestors fought against them and were defeated. Many people called him a traitor and coward for safeguarding his own interest at the cost of Swaraj and Swadharma. In 1858 he led his forces to fight a rebel army led by Tatya Tope, Rani Lakshmibai and Rao Saheb, but was defeated. He then fled the battlefield till he reached Agra. In 1886, the Gwalior fort, Morar cantonment and few other villages that were held by the British forces from 1858, were exchanged for the city of Jhansi. Scindia died in the year 1886 at Gwalior. Madhorao Scindia, his
son from his fourth wife, ascended the throne of Gwalior as the new ruler.
In this image we see Scindia sitting on a Victorian chair, wearing a grim expression. His attire comprises of a loose robe, a necklace and a headpiece. He carried a long moustache that makes him look fearsome and warrior-like.