''Pearl carpet of Baroda''- most expensive in the world made by Maharajah Khande Rao Gaekwad!!

Pearl-Carpet-of-Baroda, Gujarat state. India  in.pinterest.com

Pearl Carpet of  Baroda, Gujarat state. India reddit.com/

Above image:  ''Pearl carpet of Baroda'', Gujarat State, India - extraordinarily embellished, it is the most expensive carpet  in the globe ever made,  containing  whooping 1, 400,000 gems including roughly 1.2 million natural pearls. Commissioned in 1865 by Maharajah of Baroda  (colonial India) Khande Rao Gaekwad. ,......................

 In 1880, George M. Birdwood wrote,  ''The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is an extraordinary work of art that is a true testament to the wealth, sophistication, and grandeur of the legendary courts of the maharajas as well as an extant example of the fabled riches of India.  Embroidered with as many as one and a half million of the fabled 'Basra' pearls, which were harvested in the southern Gulf region and along the coasts of Qatar and  Bahrain, and embellished with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, this piece has been known throughout the past 150 years as the Pearl Carpet of Baroda.  Named after its patron, the lot offered here was commissioned circa 1865 by Gaekwar Khande Rao, the Maharaja of Baroda (r.1856 – 1870); reputedly originally intended as a gift for the tomb of Mohammed at Medina'' (http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2009/the-pearl-carpet-of-baroda-d09005.html)

Most of us may be  aware  of an important socio-historical fact related to India's past rich rulers - Maharajahs who were known for their  most expensive fleet of cars, palatial palaces, vast collection of expensive gold and gem-crusted jewelry, etc. Invariably most of them, ruled their kingdom well in the midst of wallowing in luxury and won the admiration of the people.  We may not be aware of one fascinating fact related to the ruler of the princely state of Baroda  (now Vadodara in Gujarat state).  It is about the most expensive  and stunningly captivating  carpet in the world ever  made more than 155 years ago in 1865  by  Maharajah Khande Rao Gaekwad, the  popular ruler of  the princely state  and a well-known connoisseur and collector  of  jewelry and gemstones. He had  a  captivating and expensive pearl studded carpet commissioned   not for his personal use,  being a secular ruler and admirer of Islam, he wanted  to gift it  to adorn the Prophet's Tomb in Medina.. As ill-luck would have it,  before he could fulfil his desire, the ruler  died  unexpectedly  in 1870. After his demise, the pearl carpet remained with his family for some time. 

India princely states,alchetron.com

Above map: Some princely states not yet joined the Indian Union in 1947 after independence; later they joined it................. 

The rectangular-shaped pearl carpet has a  dimension of  2.64 meters (8 ft. 8 ins) in length  and1.73 meters (5ft. 8 ins.)  wide  and is made of a combination of silk and deer hide. Closely embroidered, with its design marked out in colored glass beads, the spaces  between them are filled entirely with an estimated 1.5 to 2.0 million natural  Pearls. seed pearls, known as "Basra Pearls"  Valued at Rs. 6,000,000  about 155 years ago ($120,000 USD in 1865). Also included in the intricate design work are hundreds of   rubies, sapphires, diamonds and sapphires. The unusually expensive and peal-studded carpet was on display in public for the first time  in the year 1902 to 1903 when the king of England George V and his queen, the Empress of India came to India in 1903 to attend the most important and dazzling event called the Delhi Durbar that was hosted by Viceroy Lord Curzon who invited countless Maharajahs and Nawabs as special guests. At that point of time the pearl carpet was in the possession of the ruler of Baroda and the Gaekwad royal family had not parted with it. The last Gaekwad royal  member to own it was Sita Devi who took it with her to Monaco in 1946. The unexpected death of the ruler impacted the royal family  and an air  of gloom  and despondency descended on them. So, the royal family made up their mind  to keep it and did not cherish the idea of gifting it to Medina, Saudi Arabia. 

Pearl-Carpet-of-Baroda, Gujarat state. India.rugrag.com

The most distinctive feature about this  extraordinarily jeweled ''Baroda pearl carpet is it is studded with natural seed pearls called  "Basra Pearls" that were specially procured from the middle eastern countries. In 2009, it was sold at an auction for 5.5 million USD.