Remembering Late H.H. Rajmata Saheb Gayatri Devi of Jaipur: India’s iconic royal legend

We explore the life of H.H. Rajmata Saheb Gayatri Devi on her 13th death anniversary, the 3rd Maharani hukum of the state of Jaipur who was criticized for a “modern woman” but lived through her iconic serenity. Read all about it below.

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On the 13th death anniversary of Rajmata Maharani Saheb Gayatri Devi, let’s take a look at the early life of not only one of the most beautiful women in the world. But one of the most progressive women of her time who changed the Indian society and its orthodox mindset for good.

Rajmata Saheb Gayatri Devi was one of the most fashionable royal woman in the world. Who insisted she was ordinary but lives even today in the nation’s heart a legend forever.  Her late Highness was one of India’s most beautiful, independent, and contemporary Maharanis. She was born on May 23, 1919, in London.

Gayatri Devi of Jaipur: the girl Ayesha who became Queen

Maharani Gayatri Devi was a member of several other former royal Indian families. She was the daughter of Maharaja Jitendra Narayan and Maharani Indira Raje, who in turn were the daughters of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and Maharani Chimnabai of the Gaekwad dynasty of the Marathas and not a member of the Rajput community.

To her friends and family, Gayatri Devi was most generally referred to as Ayesha. She claimed that while her mother was reading a Rider Haggard book. She made the decision to give her daughter the name Ayesha in honor of the main character. Ayesha is a Muslim name, Indira Devi’s Muslim friend informed her a few days after Gayatri Devi was born. Since her family had previously given her the name Ayesha, it was kept as a nickname.

Ayesha, as she was affectionately known by her family and friends, was incredibly graceful and lovely. Like her mother Indira Devi, she became a global fashion star thanks to her distinctive sense of style. She was stunning, yes, but what truly set her apart was her passion for helping those around her.

Gayatri Devi was born to a family which had many iconic female figures – both her grandmothers Suniti Devi of Coochbehar and Chimnabai II of Baroda were pathbreaking in their own way. And broke stereotypes of Indian Maharanis in those days. Both had worked in their own ways to promote the upliftment of women. Suniti Devi was instrumental in modernising the Coochbehar state – many modern-day administrative and educational institutions in the state were instituted due to her influence!

Gayatri Devi & Jaipur Riyasat

Her life was permanently altered by her love for Jai Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur. On May 9, 1940, the Rajkumari of Coochbehar got married to Sawai Man Singh II Bahadur and became the third Maharani consort of Jaipur from 1940 to 1949. Later, she was known as Maharani Gayatri Devi, The Rajmata of Jaipur, following her husband’s consent allowing the Jaipur State to join the Union of India and her step-son’s assumption of the title in 1970. 

Prince Jagat Singh, Raja of Isarda, was the only child of Gayatri Devi. He received the fief of Isarda, his paternal uncle’s fief, as a secondary title. On May 10, 1978, Jagat Singh wed Mom Rajawongse Priyanandana Rangsit, a Thai princess, daughter of Thai prince Piyarangsit Rangsit. Two kids were born to the married pair.

Today, they are her only surviving descendants, and as such, have claimed to be heirs of their paternal grandmother. Maharaj Jagat Singh was, thus, half-brother to Bhawani Singh of Jaipur. Who was the eldest son of the late Maharaja by his first wife, a Jodhpur princess.

Rajmata was known to be very humble. She was a very special person in the sense that despite being from the royal family, she was grounded, very down-to-earth and easily accessible. Anybody could meet and talk to her which is not very common for a lot of royalty and that in a way made her stand out.

It is said that Maharani Gayatri Devi was an extraordinary woman. Apart from being beautiful, she was also very intelligent. The name of Maharani Gayatri Devi was included in the list of the 10 most beautiful women in Vogue magazine.

She was renowned for having a charismatic personality. Her existence consisted of driving her own automobile, participating in male-dominated activities, and dressing however she pleased. It was her larger-than-life personality which always surprised people back in the vintage era. She was really fond of cars and is known for importing the first Mercedes-Benz W126 to India, which was later shipped to Malaysia. She also owned several Rolls-Royce and an aircraft.