(Last Updated on : 30-03-2012)
Maharaja Sir Rajinder Singh was the ruler of the princely state of Patiala
, currently in south east Punjab
, north India. He reigned over the territory from the year 1876 to 1900, when Singh died due to an accident. He was honoured with the Grand Cross of the Star of India by the British East India Company
for his courage and valour, in the year 1897. Rajinder Singh implemented various reformative and progressive steps for the advancement of the princely state, such as making donations for a women's hospital, establishment of orphanages and providing better training facilities to troops. He was the Indian to own an aircraft and a motor vehicle in 1892.
Rajinder Singh was one of the most well known polo players in the country during that period. He had also attained expertise in many other sports as well, like cricket, billiards, field hockey etc. The Maharaja of Patiala had three hundred and sixty five wives. Later he married an Irish woman, who was the daughter of his horse master. He defied the British administration and his subjects and persuaded his wife to embrace Sikhism
Maharaja Sir Rajinder Singh died on 9th November 1900, due to a riding accident and was succeeded by his son Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh
, who ascended the throne at the age of nine years.
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