Raja Wazir Singh

Raja Wazir Singh (1828, r.1849-1874)
Raja of Faridkot

Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1870
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)

Inscription: HH the Rajah of Fareedkote

Wazir Singh succeeded his father Raja Pahar Singh in 1849 to the throne of Faridkot, Located in Punjab, Faridkot was controlled by the descendants of the Barar Jat tribe of Sikhs and they became independent Chiefs of Faridkot in 1782.

A devout Sikh, Wazir Singh had received the rites of initiation at Gurdwara Sri Hazur Saheb, Nanded, sacred to Guru Gobind Singh. He founded new villages and introduced several reforms in the land revenue system. He also introduced a system of written plaints and himself held court.

Wazir Singh served the British in the Uprising of 1857 by guarding the Sutlej ferries and attacking a notorious rebel. He was rewarded with additional titles and honours for this act. Wazir Singh died at Kurukshetra on 21 April 1874 after a reign of 25 years and was succeeded by his son, Bikram Singh.

In this photograph we see the Raja standing and looking to his left. In his right hand is a sword and his left hand rests on a book kept on a table beside him. The Raja is clothed in a long robe with leggings, and has jewels in his neck and a waistband. His simple cloth turban is without any embellishments and he is wearing armbands near his elbows.