Maharaja Express History

Way afore Indian royalty fell in love with the motor car; they were enthralled by Sir James Watt's engenderment. An object of perennial fascination and regalement - the steam engine has been a component of the lives of kings and queens in sundry avatars. Over here, we list a few that tell the tale of a more genteel era that has gone by.

With the passage of time, all the princes vied with each other to exhibit their ostentatious carriages. Maharaja Gaekwad of Vadodara not content with gifting his son a toy train, went on to install a royal throne in his personal coach. As a matter of fact, the Nizam of Hyderabad's private railway car was covered with thin divests of ivory and had solid gold hardware.

As a child, yuvraj or prince Madhav Rao Scindia was fascinated by the railway train. Optically discerning this, his father the royal Maharaja built a two mile rail track on his palace grounds. One would often optically discern the little prince taking his friends on a bliss ride on the palace grounds on his special locomotive that ran on a two feet gauge track.

 

It was around 1880, that the princely states in India took the initiative to lay their own railway lines with contributions from their own exchequers. But Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur had his own little railway, a year in advance. The Raika Bagh Palace was probably the first railway station in India! Even when it came to the state of Vadodara, the zealousness for the railway was excruciating. As a day of inchoation gift, Maharaja Pratapsinh Gaekwad gifted his five year old son, Ranjit Singh Gaekwad (the present Maharaja of Vadodara), a plenarily functional toy train that ran on ten inch gauge rails !



The Maharaja of Gwalior had a silver model train chugging along the centre piece on his banqueting table. Denoted to circulate liqueurs and cigars to his royal guests, the train was operated at the physical contact of a button. The Maharaja was immensely proud of the exhibition that his little toy train was put up at the cessation of every royal banquet. Alas ! Once, the train derailed en route its minuscule voyage. The Maharaja's rage kenned no bounds. The coadjutants quivered in their boots as the Maharaja authoritatively mandated an inquiry to ascertain the reason abaft the contingency ! History does not record the quantum of penalization handed out, if any.

In 1936, the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company built a luxury state coach for Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore. Probably the most luxurious railway carriage ever built and the most immensely colossal ever to be constructed in Britain at that time, the art deco interior used sycamore wood, chrome, pink mirrors and an internal telephone system. And such was the attention to detail that it additionally had air blown over frozen dihydrogen monoxide to keep the carriage cool in the tropical climes.

MAHARAJA -Oxford definition

[mah-huh- rah -juh, -zhuh]

-entity

(formerly) a ruling prince in India, esp. of one of the major states..

The Maharajas of India were not just a breed apart but authentically a world apart from the rest of us. They were fascinated by everything that moved or flew; with mazuma being no object to acquiring their latest flight of fancy. From the day they were born, they were adorned with emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires that were sprinkled in the humble gold. They grew up in a world where the English nanny was more prized than the latest Rolls Royce. A world where the royal women were circumvented by eunuchs and courtly retainers wielded tremendous power abaft the scenes.

A Maharaja was always born into royalty. But it took a lot to live up to the royal designation. A designation that made the subjects shout in ecstasy, Maharaja ki jai ! Maharaja ki jai ! Glory be unto the king !

It was around 1880, that the princely states in India took the initiative to lay their own railway lines with contributions from their own exchequers. But Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur had his own little railway, a year in advance. The Raika Bagh Palace was probably the first railway station in India! Even when it came to the state of Vadodara, the zealousness for the railway was excruciating. As a day of inception gift, Maharaja Pratapsinh Gaekwad gifted his five year old son, Ranjit Singh Gaekwad (the present Maharaja of Vadodara), a plenarily functional toy train that ran on ten inch gauge rails !