Sep 20 2015
Here is Her Highness Chimnabai, Maharani of Baroda – one of my favorite people ever in India’s history. And this is how a fabulously wealthy thirty-something wife, mother and royal public figure wears her saree and choli when out after tigers.
Her pale choli is shaped like a modern tee-shirt with a crew neck and sleeves to the elbow, the hem pulled down over the waist area of the saree. The look is surprisingly sporty and modern condsidering it was worn 109 years ago. A sheer, dark saree is wrapped kaccha style, separating the legs to make walking through the underbrush easier. Her pallu is wrapped smoothly up the body and over the head. Note that Her Highness wears a bindi and almost no jewellery, but carries a very big gun!
This is not the only photograph I have seen of the petite Chimnabai out hunting while wearing sarees. Taken in April of 1906, I believe the added caption states that the tiger measured 8′ – 9″ in length. The Maharani and her family were strong supporters of free education for their subjects in Baroda as well as rights for women, a most unusual stance at that time.