Siddh Shri Fateh Singh, the 73rd Maharana of Udaipur and Mewar from 1884 until his death in 1930, was born in 1849.
Born to the Shivrati branch, the descendants of Maharaj Arjun Singh, the fourth son of Maharana Sangram Singh II; Maharana Fateh Singh was first adopted by his brother, Maharaj Gaj Singh, but was later adopted by Maharana Sajjan Singh and succeeded there as Maharana of Udaipur and Mewar. He was a kind, pious, intelligent, deliberative, proud, hospitable and generous Rajput ruler of the old school who took an all-round interest in matters affecting the welfare of his subjects.
He used to get up very early in the morning and pray for an hour. At noon, he used to eat his lunch with at least 100 men, and 200 poor people, including children and widows, were fed before he began.
He was the essence of Rajput kinship. He was a ruler in the true sense of the word and was notable for his independent political views. British residents or political agents would consider him to be a very difficult person to deal with as he would do whatever he considered right for his state. Lady Vere Birdwood called him the “Pope of the Hindus.” And Sir George Ogilvie, the Political Agent of Rajputana, the only Englishman who came close to the Maharana, called him a “Demi-God.”
He was the only Indian Ruler who did not attend the Delhi Durbars of 1903 and 1911. This left him at odds with the British, thereafter, in July 1921 when His former Majesty King Edward VII, visited Udaipur, he refused to receive him, citing illness and instead sent his son. He was told to abdicate in favour of his heir-apparent, Bhopal Singh, but he declined the proposal. But later, most of his powers were curtailed—but he was allowed to retain his title and remained nominal head of his state for another nine years.