Sunday, January 26, 2014
Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur
Sriji Arvind Singh Mewar (born 13 December 1944) is the 76th custodian of the Mewar dynasty. The Maharanas are considered not rulers but custodians of the kingdom on behalf of Sri Eklingji (Lord Siva). He is the second son of Bhagwat Singh Mewar and younger brother of Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar. Upon the death of his father Bhagwat Singh Mewar in 1984, he became the head of his branch of the family as elder brother Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar voluntarily split from family, but retained the title of Maharana.
A graduate of the Mayo College, Ajmer he did a hotel management course in the UK and then went on to Chicago, USA where he learnt the job thoroughly which reportedly included washing dishes, changing linen and serving the guests. He has a wonderful crystal collection in the palace as well as its fantastic fleet of antique cars opened to the public for a considerable fee. The Maharajah has a collection of Mercedes Benz cars comprising a Mercedes 180, Mercedes 190, Mercedes Fintail and a rare Mercedes W116 Special edition Saloon built by Maybach. The collection also includes many rolls Royce cars including a 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II.
Married to Princess Vijayaraj of Kutch, Gujarat, they have three children: Princess Bhargavi Mewar, Princess Padmaja Mewar and Prince Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar.
Arvind Singh Mewar is Managing Trustee for the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation and Chairman and Managing Director of the HRH Group of Hotels. Both these organisations were established by his father Bhagwat Singh Mewar. After the independence of India in 1947, Bhagwat Singh Mewar started focusing on the preservation of Palaces, tradition of House of Mewar and earning money through these palaces by converting them to Heritage Hotels.
The tourism industry Bhagwat Singh Mewar began with a single royal residence (the Lake Palace) turned into a hotel in 1963 is now the Historic Resort Hotels (HRH) Group which includes the Kumbhalgarh Fort, with the second longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and numerous palaces. The Shiv Niwas palace of Udaipur received the Heritage Award for Excellence in January 1999 from the Prime Minister. Today the HRH Group of Hotels have many palaces throughout Rajasthan converted into luxury heritage hotels. Staff totals over 1200 personnel employed in the family's heritage hotels, resorts and charitable institutions.