Docu-Reality TV Series
Adventure & Travel
After “Mysterious Powers of Man”, aired on ABC Network,
and the “Explore” series seen in the U.S. on PBS and The Discovery Channel,
and around the world,
award-winning explorer filmmaker Douchan Gersi is back with:
from World Living Heritage to Legacy
An inside Look into the Amazing Lives of Monarchs ™
He who rules is not always a King,
But still a King who does not rule shall always remain a King.
A Visual Investigation of the last Monarchies
still existing throughout the world,
whose existence conjures images of absolute power
and great palaces filled with fabulous treasures.
What would be a country without palaces, museums and monuments to visit; shelters for Art and Culture, places for the meeting of Minds and Philosophies, centers for visitors from every country to celebrate Music and the Visual Arts, from architecture to painting? They often are legacies left behind by ruling monarchies; sovereigns who made History and have given us their Vision as Heritage, for Arts are paradigm for Peace.
Follow awards-winning explorer filmmaker Douchan Gersi,
as he explores the world in search of The Last Sovereigns
who still honor their dynastic traditions.
"Maharaja" and "Nawab"
conjure images of lavish lives,
unbelievable wealth, priceless jewels, adventurous tiger hunts,
and fabulous palaces with walls in gold and precious stones.
And from one dynastic tradition to another,
a Maharaja can be called, Maharawal, Maharao, Maharana or Maharawat.
They are Hindu sovereigns, and Rajputs which mean Sons of Kings.
A vanishing breed of royalty, they descend from kingdoms created by Aryans,
those Indo-Europeans who invade Northern India, 3500 years ago,
bringing along their language which becomes the Sanskrit,
the Vedas that give birth to Hinduism, and the caste system.
Later, to theirs mixes the blood from Central Asia nomadic warriors.
Emperors of divine right since the Vedic times
("maha" means "greater", "raja" means "king": greater than king)
they patronize Arts without financial limit,
and welcome Marco Polo and Vasco de Gama in their palaces.
They fight back the armies of Alexander The Great, Attila, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane,
and the never-ending Muslim attacks coming from Afghanistan, Persia and Turkey.
But then they are reduced to the level of kings
by the successors of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane,
who found the Muslim dynasty of the Great Mughals
and rule over India from the 16th Century.
Nawab or Nizâm are titles given by these Moughals
to their most qualified royal subjects,
along with territories to manage as suzerains governors,
but which later they will keep for themselves.
By the 18th Century, Maharajas & Nawabs are further demoted
by the British Crown to the status of princes.
During the British occupation their 565 independent kingdoms are called “princely States”, with territories larger than Great Britain, to small kingdoms of just a few acres—that cover 40% of today’s India—but whose total wealth was estimated by the Indian government in 1947 as equivalent to $6 billion US—which today would be over $200 billion.
Their love of art, with no financial limit, studs the whole subcontinent of India with priceless masterpieces, from music to painting, sculpture and architecture, that attract millions of tourists a year—the Taj Mahal is but one example.
Maharajas & Nawabs dazzle the Western world with their legendary treasures that have been accumulated over centuries, generation after generation. Thrones weighing over a ton of pure gold or silver. Ropes of pearls and emeralds of almost 500 carats. Rubies, diamonds, and still others, as large as a hen’s egg.
But what also caught the bemused eye of the world is the number of luxurious and expensive cars that Maharajas & Nawabs are bringing back to their faraway Indias. Like Bugattis, that a Maharaja replaces as the ashtrays are filled up, and buries them one by one in his royal park. Rolls Royces, in gold or silver, for their personal comfort, and others converted into garbage trucks for their states or safari trucks to carry their honored guests for adventurous tiger hunts.
These eccentricities were, in fact, silent ways to mock the English who manipulated their vanity, letting jealousy to tear them apart. They create, for instance, numerous titles and decorations and shower them with honors, like the 3 to 21-gun salute on all official occasions, according to the importance of the state and the behavior of the sovereign.
In 1947, the Indian Government takes their kingdoms away,
but they keep their titles and privileges, land, palaces and wealth, if any,
and receive the Privy Purse (the equivalent to 10% of their state income) for eternity.
In 1972, despite a constitutional amendment, they loose their titles, privileges and Privy Purses,
they keep their lands, palaces and wealth,
but becoming normal citizens they are subject to wealth taxes.
With one exception however: the Prince of Arcot.
So, follow explorer filmmaker Douchan Gersi as he explores India
in search of Maharajas & Nawabs, who still honor the traditions of their royal dynasty,
to fulfill their family obligations, and at the request of their people.
13 Maharajas and 2 Nawabs belong to these criteria and have let him share their social, religious, and family life.
So, follow him throughout their past, and get into the intimacy of their present lives.
Hosted and Narrated by Douchan Gersi
10 episodes of 52’
or 10 x 45’ (+ 6 Com.Breaks)
Nawab of Carnatic, Prince of Arcot (#1)
South and North India
Nawab of Balasinor & Maharana of Santrampur (#2)
Maharaja of Karauli & Maharana of Danta (#3)
Rajasthan and Gujarat
Maharaja of Bikaner (#4)
Maharawal of Dungarpur & Maharawal of Banswara (#5)
Maharaja of Jaipur (#6)
Maharana of Udaipur (#7)
Maharawal of Jaisalmer & Maharaja of Kishangarh (#8)
Maharao of Kotha & Maharao of Sirohi (#9)
Maharaja of Jodhpur (#10)
(production completed; in final stage post-production)
Hosted and Narrated by Douchan Gersi
10 episodes of 52’
or 10 x 45’ (+6 Com.Breaks)
Kingdoms of Bali (#1)
(production completed - in post-production