General Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner was one of those royals of Rajasthan who have their name written in history for their unprecedented achievements. Known for his modern reformist vision, the ruler of Bikaner was the only non-white person to be a member of British Imperial War Cabinet during WWI. Though these are the two most known facts about the aristocrat, these are by no means his only accomplishments.
1. The Indian famine of 1899-1990, killing over a million people, was one of the worst epidemics the nation has ever faced. In the princely state of Bikaner, however, situations were uite under the control. All thanks to the ruling Maharajah Ganga Singh, who despite being only 18 years of age, personally managed all the relief and prevention operations, establishing the proof of his unparalleled administrative skills.
2. After famine this humble protector of his subjects ensured that no such epidemics should ever affect them by establishing an effective irrigation system in his princely state.
3. Ganga Singh was not just a person of intellect, but a true Kshatriya (belonging to warrior class) as well. He was only Indian prince to go oversees under the British flag and win the China medal and the honor of K.C.I.E. There are many other instances including that of being in the British Imperial War Cabinet, where the aristocrat demonstrated his war skills, which also had earned him the rank of a full General.
4. He was one of the imperial signatories to sign the historic document of peace treaty of Versailles.
5. The Maharaja of Bikaner had also made a lot of contributions too to the architecture and infrastructure of the state. He restored the fort of Bikaner (Junagarh), built the Lallgarh Palace, The Sadul museum, Gajner palace, the Public Park of the city, and many other public building including multiple educational institutes, especially the ones for women.
6. The credit of the building of great Gang Canal of Satluj river, that expanded the settlement area in the region also goes to the great Maharaja.
7. He had also built the grand temple of the local folk deity Ramdev Pir in the village Ramdevra, and had donated two beautifully designed silver gates to the temple of main goddess of the state- Karni Mata (the temple is situated at Deshnok)
8. He established the city of Shri Ganganagar, turning the surrounding area in to one of the most fertile land of Rajasthan.
9. The Maharaja is also accredited for bringing the railways and electricity network to the state.
10. He introduced many reforms in the area for land, prison, industrialization and irrigation, and is also known for establishing the foundation of internal democracy in the state.
11. Leading such a highly accomplished life has earned the Maharaja various honors Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India or GCSI, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire or GCIE, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB), and Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St. John (GCStJ)