The Raja of Nabha
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Sir Hira Singh, the Raja of Nabha, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. This full-length portrait shows the Raja seated on a gilded throne with his right leg raised on a footstool. He is dressed in royal regalia including medals and holding a jewel-encrusted sword. The arms of the throne are formed by carved lions. The Raja (1843-1911) ruled the princely state of Nabha in Punjab from 1871 until his death. A Sikh, he was a member of the Phulkian Dynasty descended from the Sidhu Jats. Families of the dynasty ruled Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Bahadur and other Punjab states. Nabha was one of three states collectively known as the Phulkian States, the others being Jind and Patiala. It became a separate state in 1763 and came under British control as a Native State in 1808-09. Under the rule of the British Empire the Raja, who had sent troops to fight in most of the frontier campaigns, was rewarded and created a Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India and entitled to a 15 gun-salute. The image is one of several prints recording the visit of Lord Elgin to Nabha and Patiala, in an album mainly devoted to his Burma tour of November to December 1898. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849-1917), ninth Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, served as Viceroy of India between 1894 and 1899.