The history of the
Faridkot District pertaining to the ancient period has been
traced to the Indus Valley Civilization. A few sites explored in
the Moga Tehsil (now a separate District) link it with Indus
Valley Civilization sites explored in the Rupnagar District. A
vast area, including the present area of Faridkot District was
under the influence of Indus Valley Civilization.
The state was captured in 1803 by Ranjit
Singh, but was one of the districts that came under British
influence after the 1809. The last Ruler of Faridkot was LL.
Raja Sir Harindar Singh Brar Bans Bahadur. Before partition
there was a majority Muslim population in Faridkot. There are
many mosques in Faridkot which are taken care of by Sikh
Brar himself was a boy-king who grew up amid
the final gasps of India's royal families. He was crowned
maharajah of the tiny kingdom of Faridkot in western Punjab -
the last maharajah it would turn out - at the age of three, upon
his father's death.
Maharaja Harinder Singh, crowned at the age of
three in 1918, was the last ruler of the Faridkot estate and was
married to Narinder Kaur. The royal couple had three daughters,
Amrit Kaur, Deepinder Kaur and Maheepinder Kaur and one son,
Tikka Harmohinder Singh. Tikka Harmohinder Singh died in a road
accident in 1981. One of his daughters, Maheepinder Kaur, died.
Amrit and Deepinder are in their 80s.
After India won independence from Britain in
1947, Faridkot and hundreds of other small kingdoms were
absorbed into the country, royal titles and power were abolished
and the royal families were given a fixed salary from the Indian
government. That payment, the 'privy purse', was abolished in
1971. Some royals slipped into penury, while some converted
their former palaces into luxury hotels to provide them an
A few, like Brar, held onto their enormously
profitable real estate and continued to live a rarefied life.
The Faridkot riches were legend in India's Punjab state. The
estate includes a 350-year-old fort, palaces and forests lands
in Faridkot, a mansion surrounded by acres of land in the heart
of India's capital New Delhi and similar properties spread
across four states.
Indian maharajah, Brar crowned as a toddler and rich beyond
imagination falls into a deep depression in old age after losing
his only son. After his own death a few months later, his
daughters, the princesses, don't get the palaces, gold and vast
lands they claim as their birthright. Instead, they are given a
few dollars a month from palace officials they accuse of
scheming to usurp the royal billions with a forged will. The
fight rages for decades. Chief judicial magistrate Rajnish Kumar
Sharma, in the northern city of Chandigarh, finally gave his
ruling on the case filed by the maharaja's eldest daughter,
Amrit Kaur, in 1992. On 26 July 2013, an Indian court brought
this chapter to a close, ruling that the will of Maharajah
Harinder Singh Brar of Faridkot was fabricated. His daughters
will now inherit the estimated ¬£2.6 billion estate, instead of a
trust run by his former servants and palace officials.