Even though a monarch no longer rules India and there are no kingdoms as there used to be once. We can still find many royal families in India living life with grandeur and richness. Some still live in palaces, while some own considerable stakes in other real estate.
In 1971, when the Indian Constitution had its 26th amendment, many privileges were lost by the royal families in India. However, even though they lost their royal titles and status, some continue to live a life of luxury to date. All thanks to the fame and fortune left beyond by their ancestors. It helped them persist in their royal identity and still have a good amount of influence and power with them.
But the things left by their ancestors won't last forever, at least not the money, and they know this. So, while still maintaining their royalty, many royal families have tried various ways to earn a livelihood. So, though they won't get their royal treasure and power back, they still have their luxury and stature to preserve.
Here we have brought you a list of 8 rich royal families in India and how they live and earn a livelihood.
Royal Families in India
Royal Family of Jodhpur
Once ruled by the Rathore family, Maharaj Gaj Singh II is now the titular head of Jodhpur. The family owns Umaid Bhawan, one of the world's largest private residences, and the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the world's largest forts.
Currently, Maharaj Gaj Singh II lives with his family in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The palace is divided into three fundamental parts, the residential part where the royal family lives, a part which is a hotel managed by the Taj Hotels with the partnership of the family, and the part with a museum in it which welcomes Tourists.
How does the Royal Family of Jodhpur make money?
- Spread across an area of 11 hectares, the Umaid Bhawan Palace has 347 rooms and four tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. This is the palace where famous Bollywood Actress Priyanka Chopra married the American singer & actor Nick Jonas. This palace serves as a significant source of income for the royal family.
- Maharaja Gaj Singh II has once served as a member of the Rajya Sabha. A few years ago, he was the Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago.
Royal Family of Jaipur
The Royal Family of Jaipur is a descendant of the Rajput clan called the Kachhwaha. Bhawani Singh, the last titular head of Jaipur, died at 79 in April 2011.
Bhawani Singh also served as lieutenant Colonel and Brigadier in the Indian army from 1951 - to 1975. With no son to appoint as his heir, Bhawani Singh decided to adopt his only daughter Diya Kumari’s son, Padmanabh Singh as his successor. Padmanabh was crowned as the Maharaja of Jaipur in 2011..
How does the Royal Family of Jaipur make money?
- Padmanabh Singh is a national-level polo player. The young man is also an enthusiastic traveler who has grabbed the attention of various magazines.
- The royal family contributed the Rambagh palace to the Taj Hotel to manage and run the place like a hotel.
- Padmanabh has recently partnered with Airbnb and has put up a suite in Jaipur. It also aids in the financial income of the family.
The revenues generated are given to Princess Dia Kumari’s foundation.
Royals of Mewar
With great kings like Maharana Pratap in its history, the kingdom of Mewar is one of the most prolific royal families in India. The descendants of Maharana Pratap still live in Udaipur. The present head of the Mewar Dynasty and the 76th custodian of the House of Mewar, Maharaja Arvind Singh Mewar, is also a successful businessman.
How does the Royal Family of Mewar make money?
- Arvind Singh is the head of the HRH Group of Hotels, which has over 10 hotels under it.
- The family also owns various heritage hotels, resorts, and charitable institutions across Rajasthan.
- Some of the royal properties, such as the Lake Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace, are given to the Taj Group of Hotels for management on lease.
- They have opened a part of the Udaipur City Palace for tourism.
How could our list be complete without mentioning Bollywood's Pataudi Clan? It's almost unlikely that anyone from India hasn't heard the name of the Bollywood Actor Saif Ali Khan. But some might not be aware that he is a descendant of the Nawabs of Pataudi.
The last titular head of the Pataudi Clan was Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi - a Nawab. He was a former captain of the Indian Cricket Team. Mansoor Ali married the Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore, and they had three children, Saif Ali Khan being one of them.
How do the Nawabs of Pataudi make money?
- Presently Saif Ali Khan holds the title of Nawab of Pataudi and is an actor, and he has outstanding earnings from Bollywood.
- Apart from being a Bollywood actor, he also owns the Pataudi Palace, worth around ₹800 crores.
- He is also married to Bollywood Actress Kareena Kapoor, which also adds income to the Pataudi Family.
The Nawab has a net worth of around ₹1100 Crores.
Alsisar Royal Family
In Rajasthan, there is another royal family, the Alsisar Royal family, which is considered from the kingdom of Khetri. Its current head is HH Abhimanyu Singh, who is also the sixteenth scion of the royal family of Alsisar.
How does the Alsisar Royal Family make money?
- The Alsisar family owns grand palaces across Jaipur and Ranthambore.
- The royal family also runs several hotels on their properties.
- Apart from running all these palaces and hotels, Abhimanyu Singh is also a co-sponsor of India's hippest annual EDM festival, Magnetic Fields. And so, Singh is called the party prince of India.
Gaekwads of Baroda
Originally from Pune, The Gaekwads have been on the throne in Vadodara since the 18th century. Samarjitsinh Gaekwad is the head of the royal family of Vadodara. When he succeeded to the throne, he owned approximately ₹20,000 crores.
How do the Gaekwads of Baroda earn money?
- It includes primarily real estate, land, and Laxmi Vilas Palace.
- He also inherited paintings by Raja Ravi Verma and gold, silver, and royal jewelry.
- One of the primary sources of his income is managing temple trusts that add up to 17 temples across Gujarat and Banaras.
- Samarjitsinh has also represented himself in the Ranji trophy of his state, being a cricketer.
- He was also engaged in politics for some time but has been inactive since 2017.
The Kingdom of Mysore was ruled by the Wadiyar Dynasty back in the day. They trace their history to the Yaduvanshi clan of Lord Krishna.
In 1612, a curse on the Wadiyar dynasty by Queen Alamelamma of Vijaynagar for capturing the throne that Mysore kings would never bear children. This curse seems to be proving true for the last 400 years.
Even now, the head of the dynasty is 27-year-old Yaduveer Krishnadutta Chamaraj Wadiyar is not the direct heir.
His uncle, Srikantadatta Wadiyar, died in 2013 and couldn't name a successor as he didn't have any children. And hence, his wife, the Rajmata, adopted Yaduveer as their son and turned him into the king.
How does the Wadiyar Dynasty of Mysore make money?
- Royal Silk of Mysore was started by Srikantadatta. Mysore as the top silk producer, the family’s brand remained a significant income source.
- The present king, Yaduuveer, holds a degree in English Literature and economics and works on tourism and heritage infrastructure development and promoter in Mysore.
- They also earn an income by renting their palace grounds in Bangalore for marriages and functions.
- It is speculated that the family has assets worth Rs 10,000 crore.
Living in India, you must have heard about Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Maratha Empire. Shivaji Maharaj was a member of the Bhonsle Maratha Dynasty. However, you might not be aware that their descendants are still scattered around various places in Maharashtra.
One of the descendants, Udayanraje Bhosale of Satara, is said to be the 13th Chhatrapati titleholder. Apart from that, he is also an Indian Politician.
How does the Bhonsale dynasty make money?
- Udayanraje Bhosale has been serving as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra since 2020 and is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- He was also an MP of Lok Sabha from the Satara Constituency from 2009 to 2019.
- Bhosale was earlier a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from 1998 to 1999.
- Politics had been a significant source of income for this family, and it has been declared to have a net worth of around 200 crores as of 2020.
India has been ruled by many great and powerful kings who had loads of money in their treasures. But after the Independence in 1947, a few kings left as a monarch happened. But soon, in 1971, their power and other privileges were taken away after the 26th Amendment of the Indian Constitution.
But even without power and being a monarch ruler, the descendants of some of the Royal families happen to lead a very luxurious life. Primarily because of the money and property left by their ancestors. Also, many of them have found other sources of income, such as converting their royal palaces into hotels, getting into business, or becoming politicians. Above is a list of a few royal families of India, their current source of income, and how they continue to live a life.
Who are the royal families in India?
Some among the Royal families in India are:
- Royal Family of Jodhpur
- Royal Family of Jaipur
- Royals of Mewar
- Pataudi Clan
- Alsisar Royal Family
- Gaekwads of Baroda
- Wadiyar Dynasty
- Bhonsale Dynasty
Who is richest royal family in India?
The Royal Family of Jodhpur are one of the richest royal families in India.
What is the major source of income or Royal families in India now?
Major source of income for Royal families in india are:
- Tourism and Hospitality Industry
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