THE SPORT OF SHIKAR, AT YOUR SERVICE YOUR HIGHNESS!

http://crankhandleblog.comIf you heave read the previous ‘Maharaja’ articles, you may have noticed the term shikar several times. Before Independence in 1947, the Indian Royalty had an exclusive privilege for hunting, known as the sport of shikar. As a vegan quite sad to write about those shikar expeditions where many of those beautiful and now very rare (Bengal) tigers were killed. Anyhow, some very fine shikar vehicles were involved with this ‘sport’! It was a way of sharpening the senses, keeping the reflexes up to date and being active. The Maharajas needed to be prepared for war at all times… Continue reading

PURDAH CARS, THE HISTORY OF TINTED CAR WINDOWS

http://crankhandleblog.comTinted car windows are not a hype of the 21st century, they were already used since the 11th century for the purdah, which means the seclusion of women. Purdah found its way thru India by the conquest of the Islam. The Royal Muslim as well as Hindu Maharanis lived quite unseen. Outside of their zenana (secluded women’s apartments) they were moved around in different kinds of vehicles like palanquins and (animal dawn) carriages, that were shuttered with heavy curtains. And of course later also cars with blinded windows… that we still use today!

Traveling in purdah wasn’t very easy… Continue reading

THE ART DECO LOVING DANDY MAHARAJA YESHWANTRAO HOLKAR II OF INDORE – PART 2

http://crankhandleblog.comYeshwantrao had a deep understanding of the automobile. He knew exactly which car to buy, how the car’s lines should flow and how the body was to be fabricated. Unlike his dad he was a true patrol head who knew almost how to build a car by himself.

Every car that Yeshwantrao owned had the ‘Holkar Hallmark’ – an outstanding sense of design and proportion with individually designed interiors. Attention was paid to every single detail of the car and even the door handles were specially designed with Art Deco motifs. Correction, a true perfectionist patrol head!

His cars were all painted in sunglow and black and had black ebony dashboards with orange dials and white lettering. The cars were famed by… Continue reading

BIG SPENDER HIS HIGHNESS SIR JAI SINGH THE MAHARAJA OF ALWAR

Colonel HH Raj Rishi Shri Sawai Maharaja Sir Jai Singhji Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur of Alwar, was quite a striking Maharaja with some really crazy stories (the one of the Rolls garbage vans is the most bizarre story I have ever heard)! If you have read the previous articles you already know something about this brilliant and eccentric Indian Prince.

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Jai Singh (1882-1937) succeeded his father in 1892 and ruled Alwar until 1933. He came on the throne of Alwar when he was quite young, only 10 years old! Initially he reigned the 3,213 square mile state of Alwar in Rajasthan under the control of a Regency, until he was able to carry the full ruling powers in 1903.

There were quite some rumors around Maharaja Jai Singh, some had a hint of truth, others were mere figments of the imagination… Continue reading

THE NICKEL AND SILVER PLATED STAR OF INDIA

Sadly no great adventures to be found about this special Daimler, but the photos have enough to tell! WOW, what a car! I think the Maharaja of Rewa must have been quite a frivolous man that he needed a mirror this big!http://crankhandleblog.com

The Barker-bodied all-weather tourer weighed a whopping six tons with all its nickel and silver! The maharaja of Rewa used the car for shikar (hunting, especially tigers) expeditions. The very rare Daimler has (present time, because the car still exists, although not in India anymore) a custom nickel and silver plated body with cobra-shaped horns and a massive hood ornament. One of the… Continue reading

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD TOO MUCH MONEY IN THE BANK?

This week we dive into a world full of decadence and madness with the new theme ‘Maharaja automobiles’! Get ready for some real crazy stories where money is immaterial! It is all about the Indian Princes, many of whom were Maharajas, but also other titles, about which you can read below.

http://crankhandleblog.comWith this introduction article I will attempt to briefly explain the culture of this ‘princely’ world. Until Independence in 1947 (when India was freed of British governance), two-fifths of the Indian sub-continent comprised over 565 Princely States, ruled by Maharajas, Rajas, Ranas, Jams, Nawabs, Mirs and one Nizam. This Nizam was once considered… Continue reading