Magdaline Bourbon was a descendant of Jean Philippe de Bourbon, who arrived in India in the 1560s and was appointed a senior official by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, at his court in Delhi. Regarded as a son of the Bourbon royal family of France, Jean Philippe de Bourbon was known as the Raja of Shergarh and established a dynasty in India. In the late 1700s the family moved to Bhopal and played a crucial role in supporting the ruling Begums of the state.
The Bourbons’ bravery, administrative acumen and sound advice helped in the development of Bhopal, where their deeds are still remembered. The harmonious coexistence of different communities in Bhopal during the rule of the Begums, is also a valuable historical memory worth remembering.
In this historical account with a personal flavour, Indira Iyengar, the daughter of Magdaline Bourbon, records her mother’s memories, traces the fascinating history of the Bourbons of Bhopal and reminds us of life in a romantic and swashbuckling time.