Queen Savantevadi. Last monarch India
Kings and queens, princes and princesses seem to be fabulous characters and people who have long gone in past epochs. Tales Andersen and Brothers Grimm, Dumas and Fairy Tales 1000 and 1 Night – Somewhere Kings and Queen live there. Yes, except for the United Kingdom in his conservatism still praying to the queen and asks God to keep her forever.
But a huge and mysterious India, it turns out, also still protects his queen. 78-year-old Queen-mother Rani Satvashiladevi Bhonsle (Rajmata), the last government of the Kingdom of Marathov lives in Maharashtra. She, like the British Queen, "reigns, but not rules," but from this respect for it from the people does not decrease at all. Queen lives in his childbirth palace on the shores of a beautiful lake in the former capital of the Kingdom – in the city of Savantevadi.
The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Sawantwadi, which were ruled by representatives of the royal name Bhonsle clan Marathov. Up to 18th century, the Kingdom of Sawantwadi included most of today’s Northern Goa (areas of Pedne, Bicholim and Sattari) and part of South Maharagshtra. It was the kings of the Savatvada who belonged to the control of the River therakol, at the mouth of which the found of the same name was built.
The name of the city of Sawantwadi appeared due to the similarity of the old name of the city and the name of the ruling monarchs, which sounded like Sawants. The main architectural details of the city were erected by kings about 300 years ago. KHEMSAWANT III built his palace at the end of the 18th century (construction period 1755-1803) in the city. And in front of the palace in 1874, the deep lake Moti-Talao was dyed (Talao-Lake). In 1947, the Kingdom of Savadad was united with the Republic of India. But this union was quite painfully accepted by the population of the autonomous region. There were several options for dividing the Savatan and the consolidation of former Marathovsky lands with neighboring. As a result, part of the administrative division lands passed to the state of Goa, part divided between Taluki Maharashtra. Interestingly, even after the announcement of India independence, the last ruler of the province of Savutan King Shivaji Raje Bhonsale kept political independence for another 8 years.
The kings of the Savanteady lead their own from King Khem Sawant, which has ruled from 1627 to 1640. Since then, they have been the All-Fivy ruler of the extensive territory on the coast of the Arabian Sea, controlled trade routes, collected tribute to the people and fought with neighbors and conquerors. With the arrival of Great Britain to India, the kings of Savante moved to the service of the British crown, but at the same time actually retained their independence. The kings began to serve officers of the British army, received education in Europe, worn European clothes, received British awards. Nevertheless, they remained faithful to their traditions and customs of the ancestors. Britain respected by the Principality of Savantevy, understanding his strength at the local level. British governors led to the kings diplomatic flirting, ensuring a faithful ally in India.
For example, an interesting fact is that one of the last kings of Savantevadi, Major H.H. Bahadhur Khemsawant V had Sir’s title and was a very respected military official in Britain. He passed officer training in Cambridge, served in the Great War in Mesopotamia and Palestine. The King of Savantevadi even attended the funeral of King George V in London in 1936. And this is a very serious indicator of respect from Britain.
When, on August 15, 1947, India became an independent republic, freed from the British influence, the kings of Savantevadi were also forced to adapt to a new political order. In 1948, the Principality united with the Republic of India.
Now Healthy Queen Rani Satvas Hiladevi Bhonsle comes from a noble kind of princes of Baroda from Gujara. She threatened with the kings of the Savantevy after marriage. After the 16-year-old Rani Satvas married HH Shivram Sawant Bhonsle lieutenant colonel, she became a princess of Sawantwadi.
The formation of a young princess Satvashiladevi was engaged in two Swiss governess, training her etiquette and English. From the young age, the princess was fond of embroidery and painting, retaining this passion so far.
In 1972, the Royal Family decided to seriously take the revival of the traditional art of the Savanadi terrain – the manufacture of Ganjifa playing cards. Ganjifa playing cards – a common desktop game in India, who came here from Persia. Each of India has its own set of cards. In Sawantwadi, such cards were round and accounted for 120 cards depicting 10 of the 10 embodiments of God Vishnu. The set has 120 cards and box. Carpenters make boxes, and artisans painted on a box and maps drawings. Each card is individual and has no analogues in the world, since it is made in a single copy.
Now there are no more than 5-7 people in the world with the art of manufacturing and drawing cards. These masters work now in the main hall of the Savantead Palace. The store of souvenirs also works in the palace, where you can buy these unique works of traditional art. This, indeed, unique souvenirs whose analogs in the world are not. Also masters of the Savantevada make unique wooden layouts of vegetables and fruits. This is another raisin of this area.
Now everyone can see the Queen Palace, familiarize himself with the art of manufacturing Ganjifa playing cards and acquire them. The people of Queen themselves, naturally, tourists are not allowed, but allowed accompanied by the butler to walk around the territory. Tourists show the main hall of the receptions of the kings of Savantevadi, the courtyard, the rooms, which presents the exposure, which tells about the history of the Royal and Development of Art Ganjifa. The cost of the entrance ticket to the palace – 200 rupees. There are not many tourists here, but still local Indian travel agencies sometimes bring whole buses of sightseurs. European tourists are not frequent here. Although the royal family seriously thinks about providing several palace rooms as an elite historic hotel for tourists.
If the Queen is not busy with the decision of his royal questions, then it is quite possible to talk and find out more about her life, her ancestors and national art of Savantevadi. In one of our first visitors to the queen, along the way from the Amboli waterfall, we saw the Queen sitting in their yard. Take a picture without permission it failed. Queen, seeing the camera, threw us a royal finger! And after having arrived next time, they were slightly disappointed, learning that her majesty had left for several days in Mumbai. Never managed to talk with the queen personally.
In the Palace hanging photos of the wedding of the grandson of the Queen – Crown Prince. A few years ago, he met an ordinary girl – a chef of one of the restaurants Mumbai. And the cook has become a princess! Modern Tale of Cinderella "Indian"!
But without communicating with the queen in the palace, you can see a lot of interesting things. The main hall of the receptions immediately amazes its dissimilarity to the decoration of ordinary Indian houses. There is a mixture of oriental luxury and European sophisticated gloss. The pictures of the great kings and Raja Savanteady hang on the walls, and behind the throne in niches are marble vases and the marble bust of the British Queen Victoria Alexandrina, as a symbol of respect for the British Empire.
In the corner of the hall under the glass of the scarecrow, a black panther (although it seems that this typical leopard), killed by one of Maharaj Savantevadi in 1933. And under the ceiling hanging a typical European huge crystal chandelier. Indian saber on the wall alternates with the English military helmet. Such a mixture of cultures in one royal throne room.
Here in the hall work wizards, painting Ganjifa cards. Two young girls and an elderly master creative beauty, trying to revive the traditional art of their ancestors.
Several palace rooms are assigned to the exhibition that tells about the history of the family. There are many vintage photos depicting family members on vacation, at the moments of coronation, meetings, with great people (for example, with India’s Prime Minister Javaharlal Nehru). There is also a children’s cradle in which future monarchs grew up, household and art, religious adaptations – all that used the rulers of Savantevadi. It is quite interesting for a tourist who is fond of history, but boring and not spectacular for a simple manual.
On the second floor there is a small shop where you can purchase items made by masters in the royal workshops. Boxes, chess, stands for books – all exclusive, colorfully and not cheap.
After walking around the rooms of the Palace, we recommend walking around the yard and park. Park, of course, launched, but mil and unusual for India. The remains of a large amphitheater for celebrations, tracks, electric lights and monograms of kings are visible. Little guns on wooden wheels looking out of bushes, as a reminder of the faithful power and military prowess of the park owners. Cannons look out of the garment tower and at the gate of the main entrance to the palace.
Journey to Her Majesty Queen Rani Satvas Hiladevi Bhonsle in Savanwood can be a new interesting excursion route from Goa for connoisseurs of history and culture of India.