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The Indian Groom’s Closet – Turbans and Swords discovered Maharaja Pagdi and Swords on Instagram. After seeing some of my company’s work, they asked me to do a guest post to talk about the history of some of the types of turbans I tie and swords I make.

So here I am.

Before I discuss the history of 3 turbans I personally like, I want to tell you a story of how Maharaja Turbans and Swords was created.

I got married myself in 2018 and was looking for someone to tie a turban in the traditional Rajasthani style. Although there are many Punjabi-turban tiers in Surrey, the style their style of safa tying was and is quite different from the styles I wanted. When I went to Jaipur for shopping I was there for a bit so I asked some of the turban cloth sellers to teach me and they did. After that I practiced up until my wedding and then tied my own and 20 of my groomsmen and family members. I ended up doing something similar for my own wedding sword. The swords I wanted a really nice one but nothing traditional was available at all (other than fake, bead studded butter knives 😅). So for my wedding I converted a European style sword into a wedding sword, but my heart was still set in the intricacies of Indian swords. In the end, Maharaja Pagdi and Swords is the result of the challenges I had when planning my own wedding, in addition to me being passionate about Indian history.

That’s the story behind Maharaja Turbans and Swords. Now, let’s jump into  the history of some of the types of turbans I tie and swords I make.⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

History lesson #1:

Maharaja Mahendra Sir Rudra Pratap Singh Ju Deo Bahadur of Panna (r.1870 – 1893) wearing today’s most unusual turban in a string of unusual turbans. Not only does it have the largest “fan”, it also has the largest kalgi that we’ve ever seen.

His sword is a truly refined piece, likely also bejeweled, as was the norm for ceremonial swords of the time. ⁣

History lesson #2:

Maharaja Jai Singh Prabhakar of Alwar (r.1892 – 1937) pictured here wearing a unique low-profile turban and relatively modest turban ornaments. Adorned with heavy diamond and precious stone necklaces he holds what is likely a gold sword heavily encrusted with jewels along the scabbard. ⁣

This particular Maharaja is also famous for allegedly bringing Rolls-Royce to its knees. Strolling about Bond Street in London, wearing plain clothes, he visited a Rolls-Royce showroom. It is said that he was laughed out when requesting a test drive due to the color of his skin. He later came back dressed in full royal attire and bought all 6 models on the floor, and employed them as garbage collectors. After this hurt the company’s reputation, the owners allegedly apologized to the Maharaja and sent him 6 additional cars free of charge if he agreed to stop using the first 6 as garbage collectors. ⠀⠀⠀⁣

History lesson #3:

Raja Raghubir Singh of Jind (r.1864-1887) pictured here wearing a particularly unusual style of turban bedecked with a large diamond-studded sarpech (turban ornament that wraps all the way around the turban) that matches his necklace. Holding a tiger-headed, bejeweled sword he sits upon a throne of equal opulence with lion armrests and bejeweled peacocks at either shoulder.

That is the end of this post. Let us know if you did or didn’t enjoy it, by scrolling down to the very bottom and leaving a comment!

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