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This man owned Rs 248 crore necklace, first Indian to buy airplane, was wealthier than Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata...

The Maharaja was also a professional cricketer who captained the Indian cricket team that toured England in 1911.

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This man owned Rs 248 crore necklace, first Indian to buy airplane, was wealthier than Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata...
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Erstwhile Indian Maharajas, Maharanis, Nawabs and Nizams were known for their opulent lifestyle. These monarchs epitomised the phrase 'live life king size' with their glittering palaces, imported luxury cars and precious jewels. Among them, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala is a unique example.

In 1928, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh arrived in Paris with 40 servants and trunks filled with rubies, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds. His mission was to commission one of the most ambitious jewelry orders ever. He chose the historic Boucheron Maison, which selected 7,571 diamonds, 1,432 emeralds, and other gemstones to create a 149-piece masterpiece. However, it was his collaboration with the French luxury house Cartier that became legendary. Louis Cartier transformed the Maharaja's jewels into the Patiala Necklace, featuring the De Beers yellow diamond (the seventh largest polished diamond in the world) and 2,900 other diamonds arranged in five rows of platinum chains.

The necklace was last seen in 1948 when worn by Bhupinder Singh’s son, Yadavindra Singh, before it disappeared from the royal treasury. Decades later, it resurfaced missing many stones and the main diamond choker. Cartier has since reacquired it and replaced the missing parts with substitute stones. Today, the Patiala Necklace would be valued at approximately $30 million (Rs 248 crore).

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh also had a penchant for luxury cars and his garage housed a fleet of Rolls Royce cars, with estimates ranging from 27 to 44. 

He was also the first Indian to buy an airplane. After French aviation pioneer Louis Blériot successfully crossed the English Channel in 1909, Bhupinder Singh sent his chief engineer to Europe. He purchased two Henry Farman biplanes and a Blériot XI monoplane from the United Kingdom. 

The Maharaja was also a professional cricketer who captained the Indian cricket team that toured England in 1911. Under his patronage, Patiala XI (cricket) and Patiala Tigers (polo) became two of India’s premier sports teams. He also completed the Chail Cricket Ground in Himachal Pradesh, the highest cricket ground in the world. If his wealth were to estimated in today's time, he would stand to wealthier than billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata.

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