5 Books About Indian Queens
- July 2, 2021
By Krithika Nair
Most of our history talks about valiant kings and wise rulers, but very little is known of their other halves. The royal women lived highly guarded lives, always surrounded by maidens and living behind curtains, becoming voiceless in the larger narrative of Indian history. However, after years, curiosity got the best of our minds and many accounts, both fictional and factual, were written about these elusive yet powerful women. Here are some of our favourite books about Indian queens:
A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur by Gayatri Devi and Santha Rama Rau
Gayatri Devi was the daughter of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, who went on to become the Rajmata of Jaipur. The memoir gives us a peek into the life of a royal who witnessed the change in status of royalty in India, as the autonomy was stripped away from them when India became a democracy. The autobiography takes us through the opulence and grandeur of the queen’s life as a princess, and then as the third queen of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The narration is interspersed with anecdotes, introspections and descriptions of the unspoken rules that India’s royalty lived by.
Taj Mahal Trilogy by Indu Sundaresan
The Taj Mahal Trilogy comprises three books – The Twentieth Wife, The Feast of Roses and Shadow Princess. The first book chronicles the life of Mehrunnisa, the daughter of a nobleman, who goes on to become the twentieth, yet most remembered, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The second book deals with her life as an empress and the brewing romance between her husband’s son Khurram and her niece Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The third book...