In 1971, the monarchy may have been abolished in the world, but in the 21st century, some royal families of India still managed to continue living king-size life. These families still earn the same reverence from individuals, they are famous, and the royal life is still very much alive. Today their lives are like the families in modern times. These Indian royal families have also managed to survive the tides of time and have managed to maintain their opulence even today. Here are seven of India’s richest royal families, who have converted their ancestral properties and riches into flourishing enterprises.
1. The Mewar Dynasty
The prominent Mewar Dynasty is renowned for kings of great stature like Maharana Pratap. Today, his descendants live in Udaipur. His Royal Highness Arvind Singh Mewar is at the head of this Family. He is the 76th custodian of Mewar’s Building. Arvind Singh is not only a nominal king but also a very prosperous businessman.
He is the head of the HRH Hotels Group, which has over 10 hotels under its management. He and his wife Maharani Vijayaraj live in the City Palace of Udaipur, a part of which is also available to visitors to see and experience. He also rented out several palaces that still belong to the royal family, namely the Lake Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace to the Taj Group of Hotels to Man, among others.
He has been revered as one of the most affluent minds in the tourism and travel industry. He has also opened a vintage automobile museum in the city and maintains his father’s collection of crystals. They are amongst India’s richest royal families.
2. The Wadiyar Dynasty
The Wadiyar Family traces its history back to Lord Krishna’s Yaduvanshi tribe. Their throne still rests in the magnificent Palace of Mysore. At present, the dynasty leader is Yaduveer Krishnadutta Chamaraj Wadiyar, a 27-year-old. He was not the immediate successor, though. His uncle, Wadiyar Srikantadatta, died childless in 2013 and did not name a successor.
And hence, his wife, the Rajmata adopted Yaduveer as their son and turned him into a king. With Mysore as the company’s top silk manufacturer, Royal Silk of Mysore, initiated by Srikantadatta, has remained a big success for the family brand.
However, the current king possesses a degree in English Literature and economics. In 2016, he tied the knot to Dungarpur princess Trishika Kumari Singh. Now the pair are parents to a two-year-old son.
3. The Royal Family of Jaipur
As far as royal families go, Jaipur’s blue blood has now slowly but steadily gained the reputation of celebrity. The last titular head of Jaipur was His Highness, Bhawani Singh. However, Bhawani Singh adopted his daughter, Diya Kumari’s baby, Padmanabh Singh, in his old age, due to not having any sons. In 2011, Padmanabh, the young prince, became the Maharaja of Jaipur.
He is a polo player at the national level and is working today to bring more exposure to the sport. Not only has the royal family handing out the Rambagh Palace to operate Taj Hotels, but the young king himself has also recently collaborated with Airbnb. He set up a suite in the Jaipur City Palace under this new initiative on the travel website where visitors can come, linger and get a glimpse of the royal life. All the proceeds from that will go to the Kumari Princess Diya Charity.
Also, the young king is an enthusiastic traveler and has appeared all over the world on magazine covers. Times of India estimates this family’s net worth is over $2.8 billion.
4. The Rathores of Jodhpur
The Rathore family once ruled Jodhpur, the descendants of whom now live there. It is home to the Fort of Mehrangarh and the Palace of Umaid Bhawan, both of which are among the world’s largest forts and the largest private residences. Maharaja Gaj Singh is currently living in Umaid Bhawan Palace with his wife, two daughters, and their spouses.
Some of the Palace is open to visitors and the rest is operated by the Taj Hotels Company, which operates the place in cooperation with the family. It’s among the country’s most sought after destination wedding sites.
In reality, in this gorgeous property itself, Priyanka Chopra tied the knot to Nick Jonas. In addition to serving a term as a member of the Rajya Sabha, Maharaja Gaj Singh also served as the Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago a few years ago.
5. The Gaekwads of Baroda
Since the early 18th century, the Gaekwads, who originally came from Pune, have retained influence in Baroda (now Vadodara). The 52-year-old Samarjitsinh Gaekwad is officially the head of Baroda’s royal family. He also inherited possessions worth over Rs 20,000 crores as he ascended the throne. Of all India’s royal families, the Laxmi Vilas Palace is owned by the Gaekwads of Baroda, the largest private residence in the world.
If that was not enough, Samarjitsinh also inherited many Raja Ravi Varma paintings as well as countless riches such as gold and silver jewelry. He also administers 17 temple trusts in Gujarat and Banaras. He also built a private 10-hole golf course in the palace on top of that. Samarjitsinh himself, who represented his state in the Ranji Trophy, is also a top-notch cricketer. He tried to dabble in politics but has remained inactive since 2017.
6. The House of Bhonsales
If you live in Maharashtra, you are well aware that Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati’s are significant. What not many people know, however, is that royal families of the great Swarajya King have now been dispersed across numerous districts in the state such as Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, Mudhol, Savantwadi, and Tanjore. Any significant heads of the family are dispersed between these districts. Udayanraje of Satara is said to be the 13th Chhatrapati titleholder.
He is a known politician and presently a member of the Janta Party of Bhartiya (BJP). He recently announced properties worth Rs 170 crore, including five cars and numerous jewels. We also have Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, who comes from Kolhapur, as opposed to him, and also appears to be Shivaji Maharaj’s 13th descendant. He is now a Rajya Sabha MP and is also a member of the Rajya Sabha and BJP government.
7. The Nawabs of Pataudi
How will there be a full list of royal families without including Bollywood’s very own Pataudi clan? The Nawabs controlled the kingdom of Pataudi back in the day, with the last titular head being Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. His Royal Highness was the former captain of the Indian Cricket Team, as well as becoming a Nawab. He married Sharmila Tagore, an actress, and the couple had three children.
Thus, Saif Ali Khan also owns the Palace of Pataudi. Currently, the actor is married to Kareena Kapoor Khan, with whom he is going to have his second after Taimur. His other two daughters, Sara Ali Khan, the actress, and Ibrahim, are from Amrita Singh’s former marriage.