Saturday, December 26, 2020

Shinde Shahi Pagdi

Shinde Shahi Pagdi   

The Scindias are a royal Maratha Kunbi clan in India that belong to the state of Madhya Pradesh. This clan comprised of the rulers of the state of Gwalior during the 18th and 19th centuries who later went on to collaborate with the British Rulers between 19-20th century till the time of independence.

Origin and History

Gwalior has been ruled by the Scindia clan and also has the distinction of having been one of the most developed states of India. Gwalior has a very old and magnificent history as its name is derived from the erstwhile town of Gwalior also known and Gawalier. Gwalior has been ruled by many Rajput dynasties and also by the Mughals. The Scindia dynasty was founded by Ranoji Scindia. However, the association of the Scindias with Gwalior commenced at a time when the Mughals started to lose their prominence due to the rise of the Marathas under the leadership of raje Shivaji maharaj. However, Shivaji’ maharaj untimely death passed the power on to the Peshwas which was later grasped by Mahadji Scindia, who was a great statesman and a general. He opposed the English, but later initiated an alliance with them, which brought about a lot of advantages to him in terms of his career and power.


The essential traditional royal garb of the Scindias has been the trademark head dress that has always been donned on special occasions by the royal members of the Scindia family, particularly during festivals, religious occasions and marriages. The menfolk usually dressed up in traditional finery ranging from the ‘Anga’ which is a long coat that appears like a kurta made up of Silk and Brocade with the ‘Pagadi’ and a sheathed sword. This was the traditional attire worn during the 16th and 17th centuries, be it for a religious ceremony or a formal dinner.

In India it is easy to distinguish a male royal figure of one state from another by the way they wear the turban or pagadi. This head gear is considered to be an indication of respect, honour, brotherhood and chivalry and was an absolute essential. The material for the pagadi could be anything from fine muslin to chanderi and brocade. The Maharaja of Gwalior had a very unique pagri that was in the shape of a boat called the ‘Shindeshahi pagri’ which gave the clan its unique identity.

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