9 Richest Royal Families in India and Their Source of Lavish Livelihood

9 Richest Royal Families in India and Their Source of Lavish Livelihood
Richest Royal Families in India

Even though a monarch no longer rules India 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 behind 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.

List of 9 Richest Royal Families in India With Their Net Worth

Royal Families Net Worth (Approx)
Royal Family of Jodhpur ₹22,000 Crores
Royal Family of Jaipur ₹20,000 Crores
Gaekwads of Baroda ₹20,000 Crores
Royals of Mewar ₹10,000 Crores
Wadiyar Dynasty ₹10,000 Crores
Alsisar Royal Family ₹3,000 Crores
Royal House of Bourbon ₹1,900 Crores
The Nawabs of Pataudi ₹800 Crores
Bhonsale Dynasty ₹500 Crores

Royal Family of Jodhpur

Primary Source of Income: Hospitality Industry

Royal Family of Jodhpur - Richest Royal Family in India
Richest Royal Family in India - Royal Family of Jodhpur

The Royal Family of Jodhpur, led by Maharaj Gaj Singh II, represents a fascinating blend of regal heritage and modern entrepreneurship. This family, ruling from the iconic Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the world's largest private residences, showcases a successful transition from traditional royalty to contemporary business magnates.

Currently, Maharaj Gaj Singh II lives with his family in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. It is speculated that the Royal Family of Jodhpur has a net worth of INR 224 billion.

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.

Historical and Economic Significance

The Rathore family, with Maharaj Gaj Singh II at the helm, has a storied past that dates back centuries. The family's wealth stems from owning significant historical properties like the Mehrangarh Fort and the Umaid Bhawan Palace. These landmarks are not only cultural treasures but also substantial income sources due to their transformation into tourist destinations and luxury accommodations.

Umaid Bhawan Palace: An Absolute Marvel

Umaid Bhawan Palace - Richest Royal Family in India
Umaid Bhawan Palace - Richest Royal Family in India

The Umaid Bhawan Palace, a majestic structure sprawling over 11 hectares, is ingeniously divided into three parts. The royal family resides in one segment, while another is operated as a luxury hotel by the Taj Hotels, reflecting a strategic partnership that enhances their financial stability. The third part serves as a museum, attracting tourists worldwide and adding to the family's revenue streams. This palace gained additional fame as the venue for high-profile events, including the wedding of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

Banking Upon Heritage for Modern Business

In the 1970s, facing financial difficulties, Gaj Singh II, affectionately known as Bapji, returned from England determined to revitalize his family's fortunes. He transformed ancestral palaces into museums and luxury hotels, a move that not only preserved the family's heritage but also established a sustainable income source. This strategic shift mirrored successful models adopted by other royal families in Rajasthan, ensuring both the preservation of cultural heritage and financial viability.

Chanwa Fort: A Transformation Story

Chanwa Fort
Chanwa Fort

The narrative of Chanwa Fort, under Maharaja Dalip Singhji, exemplifies the adaptive reuse of royal properties. Initially a financial drain, the fort's conversion into a heritage hotel in 1992 turned it into a profitable venture. This transformation was timely, coinciding with a boom in tourism in Rajasthan, which helped secure the fort's status as a desirable destination for international and domestic visitors.

Collaboration and Restoration

The royal family's active involvement in the restoration and management of their estates is crucial. Working closely with restoration artists, they ensure that renovations respect the historical integrity of the properties while providing modern luxuries to guests. This collaborative approach helps maintain the authenticity of the royal residences, upscaling guest experiences and ensuring the family's continued relevance in the heritage tourism sector.

The Royal Family of Jodhpur exemplifies how traditional dynasties can hover through the challenges of modernity by making the most out of their historical assets, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovative business strategies. Their journey from rulers of a princely state to influential players in the global hospitality industry highlights their adaptability and emphasis on prosperity as a whole.

Royal Family of Jaipur

Primary Source of Income: Hospitality Industry

The Royal Family of Jaipur - Richest Royal Family in India
Richest Royal Family in India - The Royal Family of Jaipur

Nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, the Royal Family of Jaipur, also known as the Kachwaha dynasty, continues to embody the regal heritage and cultural splendor of the region. 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. One of the richest Indian royal family, Bhawani Singh's lineage continues through Padmanabh Singh, who now holds the title of Maharaja of Jaipur. Maharaja Padmanabh has played a pivotal role in both preserving and modernizing the family's legacy. With an estimated net worth between $697 million and $855 million, the Royal family of Jaipur's wealth is not only steeped in history but also a variety of modern entrepreneurial ventures.

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.

Historical Significance and Wealth Sources

The Jaipur royal family's wealth historically stems from vast land holdings, palaces, and valuable possessions passed down through generations. Additionally, their financial portfolio is diversified with investments in businesses and real estate. Despite the formal abolition of princely titles in 1971, the family's influence and wealth continue to make them a significant entity in India.

Modern Ventures and Cultural Contributions

Taj Hotel's Rambagh Palace - Richest Royal Family in India
Taj Hotel's Rambagh Palace - Richest Royal Family in India

In the 1990s, the Jaipur royal family, along with other Rajasthani royals, began transforming their palaces into heritage hotels. This initiative not only preserved the architectural legacy but also revitalized the local economy by boosting tourism and creating jobs. The family's Rambagh Palace, managed by the Taj Hotel, exemplifies this successful blend of heritage preservation and luxury hospitality.

Culinary Heritage and Innovations

The royal family has also ventured into the culinary world, using ancestral recipes to attract tourists. These traditional dishes, served in their heritage hotels, offer guests a taste of royal life. The initiative to serve heritage food has not only preserved traditional cuisine but has also become a unique selling point for their hospitality business.

Philanthropy and Social Contributions

Proceeds from various ventures, especially those from partnerships like the one with Airbnb, support charitable causes. Princess Diya Kumari's foundation benefits from these revenues, focusing on social and educational projects that aid the local community.

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Royals of Mewar

Primary Source of Income: Tourism & Hospitality Industry

Royals of Mewar - Richest Royal Family in India
Richest Royal Family in India - Royals of Mewar

The Mewar dynasty, one of India's most storied royal lineages, traces its origins back to the 7th century with notable figures like Maharana Pratap, symbolizing strength and resistance. Today, the dynasty is led by Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th Custodian, who resides in Udaipur and oversees the operations of the HRH Group of Hotels. This group is renowned for its exclusive chain of heritage palace hotels and resorts, marking a significant evolution from traditional rulers to modern-day entrepreneurs.

How Does the Royal Family of Mewar Make Money?

  • Arvind Singh is the head of the HRH Group of Hotels, which has over ten 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 lease management.
  • They have opened a part of the Udaipur City Palace for tourism.

Historical and Economic Significance

The Mewar dynasty has historically been a powerhouse of wealth and influence, with its roots deeply embedded in the golden soil of India's history. The family's wealth is largely derived from extensive land holdings, which historically included vast tracts of agricultural land that provided a steady income through produce, rents, and other related activities. Over the centuries, the dynasty has accumulated significant assets through trade, taxation, and tributes from vassal states.

Heritage and Tourism

City Palace Udaipur - Richest Royal Family in India
Richest Royal Family in India - City Palace Udaipur

The royal family of Mewar owns several heritage properties, including iconic palaces and forts, which have been transformed into major tourist attractions. These include the famed City Palace in Udaipur, which now houses museums and luxury hotels, contributing substantially to the family's income. The strategic leasing of properties like the Lake Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace to the Taj Group of Hotels has also bolstered their financial portfolio, blending historical preservation with modern hospitality.

Diversified Investments and Ventures

Beyond real estate and hospitality, the Mewar family has diversified its investments across various sectors. This includes involvement in educational and charitable institutions, which not only enhance their societal contributions but also solidify their financial base. The family's engagement in cultural patronage and support of the arts further enriches their role in India's cultural significance, maintaining their status as influential figures in both economic and social spheres.

The Nawabs of Pataudi

Primary Source of Income: Arts

The Nawabs of Pataudi - Richest Royal Family in India
Richest Royal Family in India - The Nawabs of Pataudi

How could our list be complete without mentioning Bollywood's Pataudi Clan, one of the richest royal families in India? The Nawabs of Pataudi, with their illustrious lineage rooted in the princely state established in 1804, represent a fascinating blend of historical depth and modern allure. 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.

This royal family, currently led by Saif Ali Khan, has adeptly hovered through the circles of both heritage and contemporary enterprise. Saif, an acclaimed actor in the Indian film industry, has been able to successfully leverage his royal background and personal achievements to sustain and grow the family's influence and wealth.

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.

Historical and Cultural Legacy

The Pataudi family's origins trace back to the 16th century, with their ancestry linked to the Afghan Muslim Pashtuns of the Barech tribe. The family's prominence rose with Faiz Talab Khan, who was made the first Nawab by the British East India Company for his assistance during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Over the generations, members such as Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi added to their legacy, the latter being a celebrated captain of the Indian cricket team.

Pataudi Palace: A Symbol of Royal Grandeur

Richest Royal Family in India - Pataudi Palace
Richest Royal Family in India - Pataudi Palace

The Pataudi Palace, conceptualized in 1939 and inherited by Saif Ali Khan in 2014, stands as an ode to the family's regal past and their ongoing influence. This grand estate, also known as Ibrahim Kothi, sprawls over 10 acres and features 150 rooms, each adorned with unique memorabilia. Beyond serving as a private residence, the palace boosts the family's income through film shoots and events, hosting movies like Rang De Basanti and Animal, which showcase its architectural beauty.

Diversification of Income Sources

Saif Ali Khan in the Pataudi Palace
Saif Ali Khan in the Pataudi Palace

The family's financial portfolio is robust, encompassing real estate, tourism, and Saif Ali Khan's career in Bollywood. Saif's roles in films such as Dil Chahta Hai and Sacred Games have not only cemented his status as a leading actor but also contributed significantly to his wealth. Additionally, the Pataudi Palace operates as a luxury hotel, adding a substantial revenue stream. This blend of historical assets and modern entrepreneurial ventures illustrates the family's dynamic approach to wealth management.

Modern Adaptations and Challenges

The Nawabs of Pataudi have faced their share of challenges, particularly with the legal complexities surrounding properties classified as 'enemy properties.' Despite these hurdles, they have maintained their estate's legacy while adapting to contemporary economic changes and evolutions. Saif Ali Khan's strategic decisions, such as repurchasing the ancestral palace and investing in diverse sectors, reflect a modern interpretation of his royal heritage, ensuring the family's relevance and prosperity in today's world.

Alsisar Royal Family

Primary Source of Income: Hospitality Industry & Events

Richest Royal Family in India -Alsisar Royal Family
Richest Royal Family in India -Alsisar Royal Family

In the beautiful state of Rajasthan, the Royal Family of Alsisar stands as a prominent example of how traditional royalty has adapted to the modern world. The family, which originates from the historic kingdom of Khetri, is currently led by HH Abhimanyu Singh, the sixteenth scion. This lineage not only boasts a rich history but also a powerful presence in today's cultural and economic spheres.

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. Singh is called the party prince of India.

Historical and Economic Significance

The Alsisar family's roots trace back to the 18th century with Maharaja Shekhawat Pratap Singh, known for his might and contributions to Rajasthan's cultural heritage. Over the centuries, the family has played a significant role in defending their legacy and preserving the rich Rajput traditions. Today, their wealth is largely derived from ancestral properties and investments in various sectors, including heritage tourism and hospitality.

Architectural Heritage and Tourism

The Alsisar family owns several grand palaces in Jaipur and Ranthambore, which have been transformed into major tourist attractions. Iconic landmarks like the Alsisar Mahal highlight their architectural grandeur and cultural significance. These properties, converted into heritage hotels, draw visitors from around the globe, providing a substantial income stream while allowing the family to maintain their historical estates.

Diversification of Income Sources

Under the leadership of Abhimanyu Singh, the family has diversified their income sources beyond traditional property management. They are actively involved in the hospitality industry, running several successful hotels on their properties. Moreover, Abhimanyu Singh is known as the party prince of India due to his role as a co-sponsor of the popular annual EDM festival, Magnetic Fields, which blends modern entertainment with royal hospitality.

Cultural and Social Contributions

The Royal Family of Alsisar is deeply engaged in promoting the cultural heritage of Rajasthan. They manage heritage properties and museums that attract tourists and scholars, enhancing the cultural understanding of the region. Additionally, the family participates in philanthropic activities, supporting education, healthcare, and community development, which showcases their relentless focus on social responsibility.

Gaekwads of Baroda

Primary Source of Income: Politics & Real Estate Business

Royal Gaekwads of Baroda - Richest Royal Family in India
Royal Gaekwads of Baroda - Richest Royal Family in India

The Gaekwad Dynasty, a prominent Maratha clan, has been a significant part of India's royal history, with its roots stretching back to the early 18th century when Pilaji Rao Gaekwad established their rule by conquering the city of Baroda from the Mughal Empire. The dynasty was officially granted the city as a jagir by Chhatrapati Shahu I, marking the beginning of their long-standing influence in the region. 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 as a cricketer.
  • He was also engaged in politics for some time but has been inactive since 2017.

Historical and Economic Significance

The Gaekwads initially served under the Dabhade family, the Maratha chiefs of Gujarat. However, after a series of power shifts and allegiance changes, notably during and after the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, they emerged as significant rulers within the Maratha Confederacy. Their autonomy was later recognized by the British through the Treaty of Cambey in 1802, which acknowledged their rule in exchange for a strategic alliance.

Modernisation and Philanthropy

Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, who reigned from 1875 to 1939, was particularly noted for his progressive reforms and efforts to modernize Baroda. He introduced compulsory primary education, a library system, and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, significantly contributing to the region's development. His initiatives also extended to the economic realm, where he promoted the establishment of textile mills, laying the foundation for Baroda's textile industry.

Cultural and Architectural Contributions

Laxmi Vilas Palace
Laxmi Vilas Palace

The Gaekwads were also patrons of the arts and culture, which is evident from their extensive support of music, literature, and fine arts. The Laxmi Vilas Palace, an architectural marvel and one of their most significant legacies, stands as a fitting tribute to their refined aesthetic sensibilities and royal grandeur. This palace not only serves as a residence but has also been a venue for various cultural and social events, further highlighting the dynasty's role in promoting cultural heritage.

Current Status and Legacy

Today, the head of the family, Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, continues to manage the vast estate which includes the iconic Laxmi Vilas Palace and numerous other properties. His inheritance includes an impressive collection of artifacts and paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, alongside managing temple trusts across Gujarat and Banaras. Despite the formal abolition of the monarchy, the Gaekwads of Baroda are still held in high regard and play an active role in regional and cultural affairs, embodying a blend of royal tradition and modern entrepreneurship. The Gaekwad Dynasty's journey from feudal lords to modern-day cultural custodians and entrepreneurs illustrates a unique adaptation to changing times while maintaining their regal stature and commitment to public welfare.

Wadiyar Dynasty

Primary Source of Income: Hospitality Industry & Silk Business

Wadiyar Dynasty - Richest Royal Family in India
Wadiyar Dynasty - Richest Royal Family in India

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 for the royal family of India.

Even now, the head of the dynasty is 27-year-old Yaduveer Krishnadutta. Chamaraj Wadiyar is not the direct heir whose net worth is approximately INR 10,000 crores.

His uncle, Srikantadatta Wadiyar, died in 2013, and couldn't name a successor as he had no children. And hence, his wife, the Rajmata, adopted Yaduveer as their son and turned him into the king.

The Wadiyar Dynasty, historically known as the royal family of Mysore, has played a significant role in shaping the economic and cultural scenario of Southern Karnataka. Their lineage has been pivotal in the region's history, especially noted for their rule over the Kingdom of Mysore until Indian independence in 1947.

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, Yaduveer, 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.

Historical Wealth and Sources of Income

The Wadiyar family's wealth historically stemmed from extensive land holdings, royal privileges, and astute investments. They owned vast tracts of land around the Kingdom of Mysore, which were a major source of income through agricultural produce, rents, and other related activities. Additionally, as rulers, they had the right to collect taxes from the residents of their kingdom, further bolstering their economic strength.

Investments and Economic Challenges

Over the years, the Wadiyar family expanded their economic base through investments in real estate, stocks, and various business ventures. Despite these efforts, the abolition of the privy purse in 1971 posed significant financial challenges, leading to a period of economic instability. The family faced numerous legal battles and bureaucratic hurdles, particularly with the Income Tax authorities and the Government of Karnataka, which strained their financial resources.

Tourism and Cultural Contributions

The Mysore Palace
The Mysore Palace

The Mysore Palace, a stunning symbol of their architectural patronage, serves as a major tourist attraction, drawing revenue from ticket sales, guided tours, and souvenir shops. The palace's maintenance and operations became a joint effort with the government, ensuring its preservation and accessibility to the public. This partnership, although fraught with challenges, has helped maintain the palace as a key cultural and historical site.

Modern Ventures and Legacy

In more recent times, the Wadiyars have ventured into modern business with initiatives like The Royal Silk of Mysore, a silk brand that has gained renown both nationally and internationally. Following the passing of Srikantadatta Wadiyar in 2013, the dynasty saw a significant transition when Yaduveer Krishnadutta Chamaraj Wadiyar was adopted and bestowed with the royal title, marking a new era for the family.

The Wadiyar Dynasty's journey through India's history speaks volumes about their resilience and adaptability. From ruling monarchs to modern entrepreneurs, they have managed to sustain their legacy while contributing significantly to the region's economy and culture. Their story is not just one of wealth and royalty but also of overcoming adversities and evolving with the times.

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Bhonsale Dynasty

Primary Source of Income: Politics

Uday Singh of Bhonsle Dynasty - Richest Royal Family in India
Uday Singh of Bhonsle Dynasty - Richest Royal Family in India

Living in India, you must have heard about Chhatrapati 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, continuing the legacy of one of the prominent royal families of India.

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.

The House of Bhonsales, a prominent Marathi royal house, is renowned for its significant historical and cultural influence in India. Originating from the Kunbi Marathas and claiming descent from the Rajput Sisodia dynasty, the Bhonsales have been key figures in the Maratha region since the late 16th century.

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 has been a significant source of income for this family, and it has been declared to have a net worth of around INR 500 crores as of 2020.

Founding and Expansion

The dynasty was established by Maloji Bhosale in 1577, a prominent general under Malik Ambar of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Maloji was honored with the title of Raja by Bahadur Nizam Shah in 1595 or 1599, marking the beginning of the Bhonsale's rise to power. Alongside his wife Uma Bai, Maloji had two sons, Shahaji and Sharifji, who were integral to the dynasty's expansion.

Establishment of the Maratha Empire

The Maratha Empire, founded by Shivaji I, grandson of Maloji, in 1674, was a stronghold against invasions from the Mughal Empire and the Bijapur Sultanate. Shivaji's vision of Hindavi Swarajya emphasized a government for and by the people, reducing the power of elites and increasing the representation of the common populace.

Prominent States and Modern Descendants

The Bhonsale dynasty ruled over several significant states including Satara, Kolhapur, Thanjavur, Nagpur, Akkalkot, Sawantwadi, and Barshi. These regions flourished under their governance, contributing to the dynasty's wealth and legacy. In the present day, descendants such as Chatrapati Udayan Raje Bhosale and Yuvraj Pratapsinh Raje Bhosale continue to uphold the family's esteemed heritage.

Cultural and Social Contributions

The Bhonsales have been staunch patrons of the arts and culture, significantly influencing Marathi culture and politics. Their support extended to various social reforms and the promotion of education, which have left a lasting impact on the regions they governed.

Royal House of Bourbon

Primary Source of Income: Hospitality Industry

Royal House of Bourbon - Richest Royal Family in India
Royal House of Bourbon - Richest Royal Family in India

Did you know about the existence of an Indian royal family claiming lineage to the extinct throne of the Kingdom of France? Meet the Bourbons of India, now based in Bhopal. At the helm is Balthazar Napoleon IV de Bourbon, a legal professional and a parent of three children. Their ancestry asserts a legitimate descent from the House of Bourbon, tracing back to Jean Philippe de Bourbon, a French noble who sought refuge in Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court. Notably, Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark suggests in his book that Jean de Bourbon might have been a nephew of Henry IV, the first Bourbon king of France, although this remains unverified.

If authenticated, Balthazar Bourbon would be the primary heir to the French throne. Furthermore, the Bourbons of India have endeavored to preserve their heritage and promote cultural exchange, engaging in philanthropic activities and fostering ties with both Indian and European communities. Their story presents a fascinating intersection of history and modern identity, bridging continents and centuries through their unique lineage.

The Bourbons of India, also known as the House of Bourbon-Bhopal, present a unique narrative in the annals of Indian royalty. Their story is a fascinating blend of European lineage intertwined with Indian royal dynamics, centered in the historically rich city of Bhopal.

How Does the Royal House of Bourbon Make Money?

  • The family earns income through renting out properties they own, including residential and commercial spaces.
  • They generate revenue by hosting cultural events, guided tours of their residence, and exhibitions showcasing their heritage.
  • They sell artifacts, memorabilia, and souvenirs related to their royal lineage, either through on-site shops or online platforms.
  • Members of the family provide consultancy services in areas such as history, culture, or heritage management, leveraging their expertise and lineage.

Historical Roots and Royal Connections

The Bourbon Palace - Richest Royal Family in India

Jean Philippe de Bourbon, compelled to leave France after a duel, arrived in India around 1560. His journey led him to the court of Emperor Akbar, who, impressed by Jean's lineage and demeanor, offered him a high position and arranged his marriage to Lady Juliana, a relative of the Emperor’s Christian wife. This union not only integrated Jean into the Mughal elite but also began the Bourbon lineage in India, with Jean being appointed as the Raja of Shergar.

Cultural Integration and Influence

Over the centuries, the Bourbons of India became deeply embedded in the fabric of Bhopal’s royal court. They adopted local customs and Muslim names, yet they retained their distinct European heritage, as evidenced by their continued practice of Christianity. The family's prominence peaked with members like Balthazar of Bourbon, who served as the Prime Minister of Bhopal in the early 19th century. His contributions to the city included the construction of the Shaukat Mahal and the Catholic Church of Bhopal, architectural gems that blend European and Indian styles.

Decline and Modern Identity

The abolition of royal entitlements and titles by the Indian government in the mid-20th century stripped the Bourbons of their privileges, transforming them from rulers to citizens. Today, they are remembered for their unique historical role and contributions to the cultural and architectural heritage of Bhopal. Despite their reduced status, the Bourbons of India remain an example of the rich, intertwined histories of Europe and India, and their legacy continues to be a point of interest for historians and tourists alike.

Through their journey from French nobility to Indian royalty, the Bourbons of India exemplify the complex interplay of culture, power, and identity. Their story is not just about the rise and fall of a royal family but also about the enduring connections that can transcend continents and masses.


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 monarchs. 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.

As custodians of immense historical value and architectural grandeur, these families continue to wield significant influence in the spheres of culture, economy, and philanthropy, bridging the gap between the pages of history books and the realities of the 21st-century marketplace. Their stories enrich our understanding of India's multifaceted identity, offering lessons in resilience, stewardship, and the art of reinvention.

Like reading more of such decodings from India's rich history and economy? Keep heading onto StartupTalky for more of such content. We are always up to something antique yet new! Coming back to the topic, the remarkable ability of these royal families to adapt and thrive among commoners and democracy, serves as inspiration, highlighting the very fact that legacy is not just preserved in stone and mortar but lived daily through the innovative spirit and cultural contributions of each generation.


Who are the richest royal families in India?

Some of the Richest 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
  • House of Bourbon

Who is richest royal family in India?

The Royal Family of Jodhpur is one of the richest royal families in India.

What is the net worth of The Royal Family of Jodhpur?

The Royal Family of Jodhpur has a net worth of INR 22,000 crores.

What is the major source of income for Royal families in India now?

Major sources of income for Royal families in India are:

  • Tourism Industry
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Politics
  • Business
  • Arts

What is the net worth of The Nawabs of Pataudi?

The Nawabs of Pataudi have a net worth of around INR 800 Crores.

What is Gaj Singh's net worth?

Gaj Singh, the successor of the Jodhpur royal family, possesses a net worth of ₹22,000 crores.

What is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar's net worth?

Chamaraja Wadiyar, the successor of the Wadiyar Dynasty, possesses a net worth of ₹10,000 crores.

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