What are the income sources of India's richest royal families?

Richest Royal Indian Families Lavish Lifestyle and Income Sources

Indian culture and royal dynasties that controlled diverse regions for ages are fascinating. India used to have kingdoms and monarchs, but those days are gone. After India's Independence, many royal families continued to survive, conserving their traditions and finding new ways to live lavishly. 

The 26th Amendment to the Indian Constitution, adopted in 1971, stripped royal families of privileges. Despite losing their royal titles and prestige, some still live lavishly. They are famous and wealthy because of their forebears. The amendment preserved their royal status and power. 

Their predecessors' legacies, especially financial ones, have a limited duration, and they know this. Let's explore the Indian royal families' lavish lives and sources of revenue.

Key Highlights

  • While maintaining their regal status, several royal families have found other ways to support themselves.

  • They maintain a lavish lifestyle and prestige despite losing their royal treasure and power.

  • These families showcase India's royal past through their palaces and enterprises.

List of Richest Royal Indian Families

Dive into the world of India's richest royal families and learn about their money-making endeavours.

Royal Family of Jodhpur

After the Rathore dynasty controlled Jodhpur, Maharaj Gaj Singh II became the richest king in India. The family owns the Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhawan, one of the world's largest private mansions.

Maharaj Gaj Singh II lives with his family in Umaid Bhawan Palace. The palace has three main parts: the royal family's residence area, a Taj Hotels-managed hotel, and a tourist museum. The Jodhpur Royal Family may be valued at INR 224 Billion.

How Does It Make Money?

The 11-hectare Umaid Bhawan Palace has 347 rooms, four tennis courts, and swimming pools. A beautiful palace was the setting for Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' wedding. This palace is an essential source of money for the royal family. Maharaja Gaj Singh II was a Rajya Sabha member. He was Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad & Tobago.

Royal Family of Jaipur

Jaipur's royal family descends from the Kachhwaha Rajput tribe. Bhawani Singh, the last Jaipur ruler, died at 79 in April 2011. Lieutenant Colonel and Brigadier Bhawani Singh was a notable Indian army officer from 1951 to 1975. 

Since he had no son, Bhawani Singh adopted his grandson Padmanabh Singh as his heir. Padmanabh became Jaipur Maharaja in 2011. Padmanabh Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur, continues the Bhawani Singh lineage, the wealthiest Indian royal family.

How Does It Make Money?

Padmanabh Singh is a nationally recognized polo player. Numerous magazines have covered the young man's exploring passion. The royal family willingly gave the Taj Hotel Rambagh Palace to run and develop into a luxury hotel. Padmanabh posted a Jaipur suite on Airbnb. It also helps the family financially. The money goes to Princess Dia Kumari's foundation.

Royals of Mewar

One of India's most revered royal lineages, Mewar has a rich history that includes Maharana Pratap. Maharana Pratap descendants live in Udaipur. Maharaja Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th custodian of the House of Mewar and current Mewar Dynasty leader, has also succeeded in business.

How Does It Make Money?

Arvind Singh runs the HRH Group of properties with over ten properties. In addition to their spectacular heritage hotels, resorts, and philanthropic institutions, the family is present throughout Rajasthan. The Taj Group of Hotels leases royal palaces, including Lake Palace and Fateh Prakash Palace. A part of the Udaipur City Palace is now open to tourists.

Pataudi Clan

The Pataudi Clan, an influential and wealthy Bollywood royal bloodline, must be included in any list. Indians are likely familiar with Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. It may surprise some that he descends from the Nawabs of Pataudi. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the last Pataudi Clan chief, was Nawab. Former Indian cricket captain. Mansoor Ali married Sharmila Tagore and had three children, including Saif Ali Khan.

How Does It Make Money?

Currently, Saif Ali Khan is known as the Nawab of Pataudi. He is a highly successful actor with a remarkable income from his work in Bollywood. In addition to his career as a Bollywood actor, he is the proud owner of the magnificent Pataudi Palace, valued at approximately ₹800 crores. In addition to his marriage to Bollywood Actress Kareena Kapoor, this also contributes to the Pataudi Family's income.

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Alsisar Royal Family

In Rajasthan, another esteemed royal family, known as the Alsisar Royal family, hails from the kingdom of Khetri, exists. The current head of the organization is HH Abhimanyu Singh, who also happens to be the sixteenth scion of the Alsisar royal family.

How Does It Make Money?

The Alsisar family is the proud owner of magnificent palaces scattered throughout Jaipur and Ranthambore. In addition to their other ventures, the royal family also operates several hotels on their expansive properties. 

In addition to managing these palaces and hotels, Abhimanyu Singh is also a co-sponsor of India's trendiest annual EDM festival, Magnetic Fields. Singh is known for his vibrant and lively personality, making him a popular figure in India's party scene.

Gaekwads of Baroda

Hailing from Pune, the Gaekwads have reigned in Vadodara for centuries, showcasing their rich heritage. Samarjitsinh Gaekwad holds the prestigious position of leading the royal family of Vadodara. Upon ascending to the throne, he possessed a staggering fortune of ₹20,000 crores.

How Does It Make Money?

It features a variety of properties, including real estate, land, and the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace. In addition to that, he also received a collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, as well as a variety of exquisite gold, silver, and royal jewellery. 

He derives a significant portion of his earnings from overseeing the administration of 17 temples located in Gujarat and Banaras. Samarjitsinh has also showcased his talents in the Ranji trophy of his state as a cricketer. He dabbled in politics for a while but has been out of the game since 2017.

Wadiyar Dynasty

Historically, the Wadiyar Dynasty ruled Mysore. They descend from the Yaduvanshi clan, which has a long association with Lord Krishna.

Queen Alamelamma of Vijaynagar cursed the Wadiyar dynasty in 1612 for capturing the kingdom. The curse prevented Mysore kings from having children. The curse has plagued India's royal family for 400 years.

The 27-year-old Yaduveer Krishnadutta leads the dynasty. Chamaraj Wadiyar is without a direct heir. His uncle, Srikantadatta Wadiyar, died in 2013 without an heir because he had no children. His wife, the Rajmata, adopted Yaduveer as their son, making him king.

How Does It Make Money?

Srikantadatta founded Mysore Royal Silk. The family's brand remained profitable since Mysore was the largest silk producer. The current king, Yaduveer, studied English literature and economics. He promotes Mysore tourism and heritage infrastructure. In addition to their usual income, they rent their Bangalore palace grounds for weddings and gatherings. The family's projected Rs 10,000 crore wealth is rumoured.

Bhonsale Dynasty

If you have been to India, you've heard about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Maratha Empire. Shivaji Maharaj was Bhonsle Maratha. Surprisingly, their descendants live across Maharashtra, continuing one of India's royal families' legacy. Historical records suggest Satara's Udayanraje Bhosale is the 13th Chhatrapati. He is an Indian politician and politician.

How Does It Make Money?

Bharatiya Janata Party member Udayanraje Bhosale has represented Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha since 2020. He represented Satara in Lok Sabha from 2009 till 2019. Bharatiya Janata Party member Bhosale served in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from 1998 to 1999. Political income has made this family worth around INR 500 crores as of 2020.

Royal House of Bourbon

Did you know that an Indian royal family claims descent from the extinct French throne? Meet the Bhopal-based Indian Bourbons. Balthazar Napoleon IV de Bourbon, a lawyer and father of three, leads. 

They claim genealogy from Jean Philippe de Bourbon, a French lord who fled to Akbar's court. Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark asserts in his book that Jean de Bourbon was a nephew of Henry IV, the first Bourbon monarch of France, although this is unconfirmed.

Balthazar Bourbon would be the French heir if confirmed. Philanthropy and relationships with Indian and European groups have helped the Bourbons of India preserve their legacy and promote cultural interchange. Their unique lineage connects continents and centuries, creating a fascinating history-modern identity story.

How Does It Make Money?

Rentals of their residential and commercial assets generate money for the family. Cultural events, house tours, and heritage exhibitions generate cash. They sell royal relics, memorabilia, and souvenirs on-site or in online shops. The family consults on history, culture, and heritage management using their experience and ancestry.

Final Words

India has been ruled by several powerful rulers with large treasuries. Only a few kings ruled as monarchs after Independence in 1947. Their power and privileges were taken away in 1971 with the 26th Amendment to the Indian Constitution.

However, the riches and properties passed down by select royal families allow their descendants to live in grandeur even without power and royal authority. Many have also turned their royal residences into hotels, started businesses, or entered politics. The list includes numerous Indian royal families and their current money sources and lifestyles.

FAQs

Which Indian royal family is the richest?

Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mewar, Pataudi Clan, Alsisar Royal Family, Gaekwads of Baroda, Wadiyar Dynasty, Bhonsale Dynasty, and Royal House of Bourbon are among India's wealthiest royal dynasties.

How do royal families make money now?

Many royal families lease their palaces to luxury hotels and resort corporations. Others have tried silk manufacturing, real estate, and tourism. Some members have used their royal pedigree and reputation in politics, athletics, and entertainment.

What are these royal families' most famous properties?

Some of these royal dynasties' most famous properties are the Umaid Bhawan Palace (Jodhpur), Rambagh Palace (Jaipur), City Palace (Udaipur), Pataudi Palace, Laxmi Vilas Palace (Baroda), and the Wadiyar Dynasty's Mysore palaces.

How have these royal families modernized while keeping their heritage?

Royal families have modernized while conserving their culture through various measures. They promote their rich history and customs through heritage tours, cultural events, and exhibitions. Some have founded foundations and trusts to help charity, education, art, and conservation.

What is the significance of the Bourbon Royal House in India?

The Indian Royal House of Bourbon claims genealogy from the extinct French throne through Jean Philippe de Bourbon, who fled to Akbar in the 16th century. If their claims were proven, they could inherit the French monarchy, establishing a fascinating link between Indian and European royalty.

How have these royal families promoted Indian tourism and culture?

These royal families have promoted tourism and preserved India's culture by turning their palaces into heritage hotels and museums. They have also sponsored efforts to restore and preserve historical sites, art, and artefacts to preserve India's rich cultural heritage.

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16 Apr, 2024

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