5 Portraits Of Princesses That Capture India's Rich History

  • 03 Oct 2019

Did anything deter you from admiring the princesses you grew up hearing about in a fairy tale?

Whether it’s their indelible grace, their immaculate sartorial choices or their envious lifestyles and love stories, you can never get enough!

Upon research, Astro Ulagam found real life princesses that capture India’s Rich History! These royal and ravishing Indian princesses have left a mark in the history of India with their charm and chutzpah.

1) Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur

A keen hunter in her youth and shot her first panther at the age of 13. She’s fond of fast cars and was credited for importing the first Mercedes-Benz W126 to India. She established several schools for girls, and her promotion of traditional Rajasthani blue is credited with revitalizing the arts and crafts of the region.

2) Maharani Chimnabai of Baroda

A keen tennis player who was also famous for roller-skating through the royal palace of Baroda, leaving behind ripples of her sari and a delicate trail of perfume. A woman of impeccable style.

3) Indira Devi of Kapurthala

An intelligent young woman who left India for Britain in her early 20's to become a movie star. After the outbreak of WWII, this feisty young princess successfully passed the St. John Ambulance examination and drove ambulances during air raids! She became famous for hosting 'The Debate Continues'- a weekly broadcast to India. For this programme, she reported from the House of Commons, where she was the only woman in the entire press gallery!

4) Rani Sita Devi of Kapurthala

An adorable legendary for her beauty and style,  She was labeled as ‘Secular Goddess’ by Vogue magazine, and known as ‘The Pearl of India’, when she took Europe’s fashion houses by storm, dripping in silk and diamonds. She met noted fashion designer of the day Elsa Schiaparelli, a contemporary and archrival of Coco Chanel and inspired the design of her entire 1935 collection of gowns as saris! These vintage garments have since been coined ‘sari-robes’.

5) Nawab Shah Jehan Begum of Bhopal

Widely regarded as a popular ruler for more than 3 decades. She remained a significant patron of the arts, and much of Bhopal’s cultural and literary life owed a great deal to her.

Resource: Maharanis: Women of Royal India, edited by Abhishek Poddar and Nathaniel Gaskell, and published by Mapin Publishing,

Picture credit: Tasveer and The Museum of Art and Photography, Bangalore & Nakarajan