Oct 17, 2009

Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur on board the Royal barge in the Lake Pichchola - 1905

Photograph from the 'Curzon Collection: Album of views of Udaipur and Chittaurgarh', of Maharana Fateh Singh on board the royal barge at Udaipur in Rajasthan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s. Udaipur was founded by Udai Singh (ruled 1567-72) of the Sisodia Rajputs in the mid-16th century as the fourth and last capital of the Mewar state. It lies in a valley containing three lakes, the Pichola, the Fateh Sagar and the Umaid Sagar. The City Palace stands on the east bank of Lake Pichola. This view shows two barges moored together on the lakeside next to a ghat as part of a royal ceremony. The ghat and decks of the barges are crowded with state officials and court functionaries. Fateh Singh (ruled 1884-1930) was a highly-regarded monarch who enjoyed a long and successful reign. He was the head of the most ancient surviving Rajput dynasty, the House of Mewar, and attempted to remain aloof from British rule in India. He is shown sitting under a canopy on a raised platform on the barge furthest from the ghat. Another print of this image is described as the ‘Gangore Festival’; the Gangaur festival is an important Rajput festival held in honour of Shiva’s consort Parvati and celebrated in late spring.