The first half of the twentieth century had witnessed major changes in every aspect of Indian social fabric, due to the influence of both Victorian and Elizabethan influence. Though it was meagre in the areas of common man’s life, Royal life during these age was under high influence of foreign rulers. In India, this was more evident in some of the small dynasties in the northern part of the country. We are considering some princely state in the region due to its high influence to Western tradition of ornaments.
A princely state in the Marwar region, Jodhpur State of Marwar belonged to a dynasty established in the 8th century. The largest state under the Rajputana agency, it came under the rule of the Mughals during Emperor Akbar’s reign. The state remained free of British interference till 1830s. After India’s independence, the last maharaja Hanwant Singh delayed signing the Instrument of Accession, considering Pakistan instead before finally deciding on India again.
Patiala state was established Jat Sikh Baba Ala Singh in 1763. Forty years of struggle for power ensued with the Afghan Durrani Empire, Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire of Lahore. In 1808, the Raja of Patiala collaborated with the British against the ruler of Lahore. Patiala’s rulers were treated with respect by the British. The city plan has a heavy influence of temple architecture. A princely Phulkian state, Patiala was self-governed till its accession to India.
A former princely state of Punjab, Kapurthala State was ruled by the Ahluwalia dynasty, founded in 1772. According to a 1901 consesus, it had a population of 314, 341, two towns and 167 villages. Kapurthala became part of the Punjab States Agency in 1930 and in 1947, acceded to the Union of India.
A Hindu Maratha clan, the Gaekwad dynasty ruled the princely state of Baroda from the 18the century. The ruling prince was known as the Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda. The Baroda Residency managed its relations with the British. Cotton, rice, wheat and sugar production proved to be lucrative forms of business making it one of the wealthiest princely states.
Wedding traditions vary from princely state to princely state during these age. Intra and inter royal family marriages were normal during these ages. Also, as a large number of royal family members had foreign connections, marriages with foreigners, especially British, was also a regular system during this time.