Bhagyashree On Perks Of Being A Real-Life Princess: 1st Pet Elephant To Began Donning Sarees At 13

Real-life princess, Bhagyashree belonged to the royal family of Sangli, Maharashtra. And in many interviews, she revealed various anecdotes of her childhood which are simply unmissable!


By Oindrila Muhuri Last Updated:


Bhagyashree On Perks Of Being A Real-Life Princess: 1st Pet Elephant To Began Donning Sarees At 13

Veteran actress, Bhagyashree whose full name is Bhagyashree Patwardhan, became an overnight sensation with her iconic role of 'Suman' in Salman Khan's Maine Pyar Kiya. She won millions of hearts with the portrayal of a shy girl in the film. But would you believe that in reality, she also belonged to a similar conservative family? Yes! You read that right. She is the real-life princess of the Marathi royal family of Sangli in Maharashtra. She was born to the fourth and last Raja of Sangli, Maharaja Vijaysinghraje Patwardhan and his wife, Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati Rani Rajyalakshmi Patwardhan. She also has two sisters, Madhuvanti Patwardhan and Purnima Patwardhan.

Later, Bhagyashree eloped with the love of her life, Himalay Dassani, and tied the knot in 1990. They were blessed with two beautiful kids, a son, Abhimanyu Dassani and a daughter, Avantika Dassani. However, Bhagyashree being a real-life princess, keeps sharing cutesy anecdotes about her royal life in several interviews. Here is a sneak peek into her royal life through her various throwback interviews.

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When Bhagyashree opened up about her conservative royal family

In an interview with, Bhagyashree had once opened up about how women in the royal family of Sangli were insisted for marriage after a certain age, and they didn't had the choice to remain unmarried afterwards. However, she felt privileged to be sent to a convent school. Elaborating it, she had said:

"I come from the conservative royal family of Sangli in Maharashtra and I am the oldest of three sisters. In our family, the women are expected to get married and have children at a particular age. But she was sent to a convent school and 'never really had to speak in chaste Hindi before Maine Pyar Kiya."

Grand Ganpati festival in Bhagyashree's hometown, Sangli

In the same conversation, Bhagyashree also shared about the grand Ganapati festival, which occurs in her hometown, Sangli. She mentioned that their family temple in the Haveli is the most important structure. During Ganesh Chaturthi, a huge procession for Ganesh Visarjan of Maharaja Vijaysingh Patwardhan of Sangli occurs at this place, and indeed this is a sight to behold. From dhol, two-and-a-half miles long rangoli, dance, cavalry, elephant and camels, everything is seen over there, and the ritual is celebrated lavishly. She added:

"Our haveli in Sangli is modern. But the most important structure there is the family temple. It’s deeply revered and has a huge following. During Ganpati, almost six lakhs people gather there."

When Bhagyashree revealed that she had to wear sarees since the age of thirteen

In an interview with Masala, Bhagyashree also spoke about how she and her sisters had to maintain a certain decorum when they visited their Sangli Haveli. Recalling her childhood memories, Bhagyashree mentioned that she was thirteen at standard eight when she began wearing sarees. However, over time, the saree became one of the most favourite attires of the actress, and she loves flaunting it. She shared:

"In a way, we led dual lives. I was born and brought up in Mumbai. Here, we (including her sisters, Madhuvanti and Purnima) were as normal as other children. In Sangli the protocol as set by my dad was different. There were do’s and don’ts. When I was around 13 and in standard eight, I began wearing sarees. There was decorum of behavior to be followed in the way we dressed, walked, talked, sat and met people. We couldn’t mingle with the kids there. In a lighthearted way, the advantage was that we had our own horses and elephants. To learn horse riding in Mumbai one would have to join clubs."

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When Bhagyashree talked about her first pet

In an interview with Pinkvilla, Bhagyashree was asked about her experience of growing up in a royal family. To this, Bhagyashree immediately compared her royal life jokingly with ordinary people. Then, she mentioned that her first pet was an elephant. However, she also mentioned the respect and decorum that she and her sisters maintained when they used to visit Sangli at different intervals of the year. In her words:

"Well in one word, while people were getting dogs as pets, my first pet was an elephant. So when we are talking about that let me put it in a different perspective I was born and brought up in Bombay, so life in Bombay was very different from when we went to our hometown which was on regular intervals during the year but we didn't stay there so when we would go back there a lot of respect a lot of decorum was maintained- how people spoke to us, how we had to speak to people, how we would dress like. I don't remember after the age of 13 that I wore jeans or skirts or anything apart than a saree when I would go to Sangli."

Picture: Bhagyashree and her hubby, Himalaya with Sangli's beloved Bablu, the only "Gajraj" of India.

When Bhagyashree shared how she was like a son to her father

Further, in the same conversation, Bhagyashree being the eldest child, made a revelation that every first child of their parents can easily relate to. She shared that whenever they visited the royal home, people used to come with their complaints and issues to share with them for a solution. And her father, Maharaja Vijaysinghraje Patwardhan used to make her sit with him and treat Bhagyashree like his son, while discussing such matters. She explained:

"There was the kind of decorum that we had to maintain over there also we would have loads of people come to meet us we had to give them enough time. It was like actually being involved with people around us, their families, taking care of their need, requirements, they would come and complain to us for assistance and need to hear their stories and discuss and do as much as we could do to help them. So whether it was monetary whether it was just a shoulder to cry on whether it was solving issues between 2 families and 2 brothers we've done all that. That's what dad used to do essentially and I always had to be seated next to him because I don't have a brother. And he always said 'you are the son I never had'. So he would treat me like that."

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When Bhagyashree mentioned her difficulty in balancing her royal life with the one in Mumbai

In the same conversation, Bhagyashree was also heard quoting that she found it quite difficult while balancing her life in Mumbai and Sangli. She mentioned that since the two worlds were completely different and she wasn't allowed to do or follow the same decorum in both houses, she sometimes felt like going through a state of constant contrast. However, later, when she married a Marwari family man, Himalaya, her childhood practices helped her married life better. She elaborated:

"It was difficult to manage both because as a child I think it does get difficult when you're slipping from one place to another and not understanding exactly where you stand because you come to Bombai and life over here is very different than when you go back. When you go there, you want to do the things that you're doing in Bombay which you can't. So you're in the state of constant contrast. But I think that really helped me when I had Maine Pyaar Kiya behind me and then I got married into a household which had nothing to do with films. Literally when I was working, the moment I would step foot into the house, my life would change."

Bhagyashree's closeness with the late legendary singer, Lata Mangeshkar

Just like Bhagyashree, the late legendary singer, Lata Mangeshkar too spent her growing up years in Sangli in Maharashtra. Moreover, their families were extremely close to each other. Thus, Bhagyashree shared a beautiful bond with her, much earlier than when the legendary singer gave her voice in the actress' debut film, Maine Pyaar Kiya's song, Dil Deewana. In an interview with Mid-day, Bhagyashree spoke about the same and explained how her relationship with Lata Mangeshkar was much before her entrance into the film industry. She mentioned:

"When we speak about a melodious voice, the first person we think of is Lataji. It's not just the film industry, but every person out there who will feel that loss. Knowing that she was in a critical condition, I’m relieved that she didn’t have to suffer for a long time. "

Bhagyashree also revealed that it is a blessing for any newcomer in the entertainment industry to have such a melodious voice-over to portray in their debut film. She was quoted as saying:

"My favourite song of hers is of course ‘Dil Deewana’ (Maine Pyaar Kiya). It’s a blessing for any newcomer to have Lataji lend her voice to them. The song that touched all of India is ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’, which has become sacred in its own way. She hailed from Sangli, so my bond with her was not limited to the fact that she sang for my movie; we go back in time as she was also close to my parents."

We are already stunned to know about Bhagyashree's stories related to her royal background. What about you? Let us know!

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