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Maharaja of erstwhile Kutch state dies of COVID-19 complications


PTI, May 30, 2021, 2:56 PM IST

Ahmedabad: The Maharaja of Kutch, Maharrao Pragmalji III, the titular ruler of the Jadeja dynasty of the erstwhile Kutch state, died of complications related to COVID-19, sources in the royal family said on Sunday.

The Maharaja, 85, had no children and with his death, the throne of the ruler of the erstwhile state remains vacant as he did not name an heir apparent, they said.

Pragmalji III died on Friday and his last rites were conducted at Chhaterdi in Bhuj, the royal resting place, with COVID-19 guidelines, the sources said.

He is survived by his wife, Maharani Priti Devi, the princess of the erstwhile state of Tripura, as well as a brother and a sister.

His wife had also tested positive for COVID-19 and she underwent treatment at a private hospital in Bhuj. She is now out of the hospital and recovering, the sources said.

Born as Prithvirajji on May 3, 1936, Pragmalji III was the eldest son of the erstwhile ruler of Kutch, Maharao Madansinhji.

He was anointed as Maharrao and renamed Pragmalji III at a ceremony on October 17, 1991, after his father’s death.

He spent his early years in Mumbai and London before settling down in Bhuj, where he remained actively connected with the development of people in the region.

He was in favour of a separate state status for Kutch, the largest district in Gujarat which had suffered massive damage during the 2001 earthquake.

The royal family owned several palaces like the Prag Mahal, Ranjit Vilas Palace, Aina Mahal and Vijay Vilas Palace.

The Vijay Vilas Palace became popular after the Bollywood movie ”Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” was shot here.

The ruler of the Kutch state had ceded power to the Indian Union in May 1948.

In a tweet on Friday in the Kutchi language, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the demise of the Maharaja and prayed for the peace of his soul.

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