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Subproject B5

Court Rituals in the Princely State of Jaipur and their Current Revival

Department and Research Field: Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures (Modern Indology)

Subproject Management

apl. Prof. Dr. Jörg Gengnagel (Head of subproject as of July 1, 2009)

Prof. Dr. Monika Boehm-Tettelbach (Consulting, Head of subproject until June 30, 2009)

Dept. Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures (Modern Indology)
Im Neuenheimer Feld 330

Phone: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 89 26
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 - 54 48 81


Kerstin Sobkowiak M.A.

Project Program

Subproject B5 researches the court ritual in the princely state of Jaipur (Rajasthan/India), from the 18th century until the dissolution of the state and its accession unto the Dominion of India in 1949, as well as the current performance of the mutated ritual. Its focal point is the function of the ritual as well as the reasons for its change, the characteristics of the change processes and its actors. Our work is based on the assumption that the court ritual is a structure-providing part of the ruling system, conveying the legitimateness of ruling and assuring loyalty towards the sovereign.

We will extend our investigation of the legitimation of sovereignty in the princely state of Jaipur to include the aspect of external legitimation by researching the design of ceremonies involving foreigners, such as European envoys, Jesuit priests and the British residents in 18th and early 19th century. Furthermore, we will take a look at the yearly celebrations in Jaipur which affirm the royal power (daśaharā, vijayadaśamī) to then analyze the possible transfer of royal rituals from Vijayanagara to Rajasthan. To reflect the immediate present, we will select celebrations activating the court ceremonial and religious rituals and investigate their ritual dynamics. We will also document the voices of the actors who are involved in these dynamics with different interests and views. In this context, we will explore the intended function of the ritual after the dissolution of its initial objective, i.e. the princely state.

Main Topics

1. Court rituals in Jaipur: The royal consecration of Mahārājā Pratāp Singh (reign: 1778–1803); (Researcher: apl. Prof. Dr. Jörg Gengnagel)  

2. Legitimation of sovereignty, Daśaharā und Vijayadaśamī (Researcher: Kerstin Sobkowiak)


Data Archive

This subproject has archived data in the course of their research and is making them available online.

Archive page of the subproject >>>