India’s modern maharajah takes his heritage worldwide


A unique collection of rare and colourful designs from India’s royal Maharajah heritage has started on a world tour. The rich ornate costumes once worn by Indian royal families dating back to the 8th Century are currently on show in Mexico and Bahrain.

The textile revivalist and designer Umang Hutheesing, whose own descendants were from the royal family of Gujarat,  is the curator of the exhibition Magnificent Maharajahs: Splendour of Indian Royal Costumes.

Umang’s collection aims to promote India’s history through the display of luxurious textiles, exquisite costumes and elaborate garments, much of which is the property of the prestigious Hutheesing family.

The collection has hundreds of fine and luxury silk robes.

The exhibition was opened in December at the Bahrain National Museum in the capital Manama,  by Queen Sabika Al Khalifa of Bahrain. The royal Bahraini seal of approval was secured after the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquity selected Umang’s collection as part of a themed project to highlight the historic ties between India and the Emirate of Bahrain.

The exhibition was an integral part of Bahrain National Day celebrations and the “Little India in Bahrain” opening festival, which documents the Indian community’s contribution to the history of Bahrain and highlights the ancient relationship between the two nations. The textile show will be open in Manama until May.

Last month the show also travelled to Mexico to the historic old colonial city of Puebla, 140 kms from Mexico City. Umang’s collection is the first-ever visiting exhibition in the world heritage city’s brand new Baroque International Museum.

Apart from his broad philantropic work, like the curation of this exhibition, Umang Hutheesing also manages the family business, Hutheesing Design Company (HDC), which creates high standard solutions, from textiles to furniture, for an international privileged clientele. HDC employs local artisans in India and uses Umang’s deep knowledge of his 250-year-old family history and his country’s cultural heritage.






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