The House of Jaipur

The Inside Story of India's Most Glamorous Royal Family

July 2021 9781787385566 288pp
16pp colour illus


Today, Jaipur is synonymous with the romance and valour of princely India. This book shares the extraordinary life of Gayatri Devi and Man Singh, the royal couple at the heart of Jaipur’s story in the twentieth century.

Jai and Ayesha, as they were known in their own circles, entertained their Western friends as lavishly in London, New York and Paris as in their magnificent palaces, forts and hunting lodges in Rajasthan. Jaipur was not India’s foremost princely state, but it was the most evocative, the most romantic, the most glamorous. ‘There is no other place quite like it,’ wrote Rosita Forbes in the 1930s.

Life and Vogue ranked Ayesha one of the world’s most beautiful women, ‘a dream in sari and jewels’. She and Jai were the only Indians invited to Truman Capote’s 1966 Black & White Ball at New York’s Plaza Hotel—and Ayesha was the only woman allowed to break the dress code, arriving in a gold sari and a necklace of emeralds. Her friends among the guests included the Duke of Windsor and Frank Sinatra.

The Jaipurs were India’s mid-century golden couple; its answer to the Kennedys, or Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. This is their story.


John Zubrzycki has worked in India as a diplomat, consultant, tour guide, and correspondent for The Australian. His background is in South Asian history and Hindi, and his doctoral thesis (University of New South Wales) concerned historical links between Indian and Western stage magicians. John’s previous books include The Last Nizam and The Mysterious Mr Jacob.

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