Maharaja Of Travancore’s Elephants & Sunbeam Car, 1921

A March 5, 1921 page from the London Illustrated News showing the Maharaja of Travancore’s elephants and Sunbeam car. The photo shows a Sunbeam car and four huge elephants with their trained mahouts and helpers. The captioned photo reads- Indian Royal vehicles old and new: A Sunbeam car and the state elephants, belonging to the Maharaja of Travancore.

Travancore was one of the most advanced and literate princely states in British India. It merged with Cochin State and Malabar to form today’s Kerala State after independence. Both the Cochin and Travancore Maharajas were focused on developing their respective states into highly developed and literate states.

In fact, these two states were much more advanced when India got independence compared to all other princely states. Shown here is a Sunbeam motor car which was prolifically used in the British India era. It was the same with the case of Wolseley and Standard motor cars. The higher-end cars like the Daimler, Chrysler, Rolls Royce, etc were no less competent. See also an interesting advertisement for Wolseley cars with their branch depot at Sandhurst Bridge Road, Bombay (now Mumbai). Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know- Travancore Maharaja’s vintage Mercedes Benz car was gifted to Kerala billionaire Yusuf Ali by his family. Despite the Mercedes company in Germany offering two new top-end cars in lieu, although the offer was rejected by the family. 

From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma Paintings Depicted In Postcards., Electric Tram & Madras Central Railway Station – Old Photo., View of Bombay From Chowpatty, postcard 1900., Dead Monarch And The New, Glimpse of British India In 1910.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.