Sunday, 11 October 2009

New Exhibition: Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. 

Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The word maharaja, literally ‘great king’, conjures up a vision of splendour and magnificence. The image of a turbaned, bejewelled ruler with absolute authority and immense wealth is pervasive and evocative, but it fails to do justice to his role in the cultural and political history of India. Maharaja: the splendour of India’s royal courts re-examines the world of the maharajas and their extraordinarily rich culture.

The exhibition spans the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the mid-20th century, bringing together over 250 magnificent objects, many being lent from India’s royal collections for the first time. It examines the changing role of the maharajas within a social and historical context and reveals how their patronage of the arts, both in India and Europe, resulted in splendid and beautiful objects symbolic of royal status, power and identity. 
Sikh Highlights:


There is a varied programme of events to complement the exhibition.
Book online or call +44 (0)20 7942 2211

Lunchtime Talk

  • A King in Every Saddle - The Nihang Singhs of Punjab
  • Wednesday 2 December
  • Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre
  • 13.15-14.00
Photographer Nick Fleming shares his own photographs and experience of living life in Punjab as a Nihang Singh, a nomadic Sikh warrior. These warrior ascetics were instrumental in carving out a Sikh kingdom in 18th century Punjab in the wake of Mughal and Afghan domination.
  • Free, drop-in
 For more details of the exhibtion click here

Exhibition opening times

  • Daily 10.00-17.30

    (last ticket sold 16.45, last entry 17.00)

  • Fridays 10.00-21.30

    (last ticket sold 20.45, last entry 21.00)

  • Exhibitions close 10 minutes prior to
    museum closing

    Late night opening

    The V&A is open late every Friday - take this
    opportunity to visit Maharaja: The Splendour
    of India’s Royal Courts, meet friends and have
    a drink in our café-bar.

How to reach the V&A

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7
+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • Tubes: South Kensington, Knightsbridge
  • Buses: C1, 14 and 74 stop outside the Cromwell
    Road entrance


There is full access to the galleries. We have a wide range of services for disabled visitors.
Call +44 (0)20 7942 2766 or Textphone +44 (0)20 7942 2002 for details.


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