Mayo College, in the city of Ajmer, has often been described as the “Eton of the East”. It was founded in 1875 by Lord Mayo, the British Viceroy and modelled closely on England’s public schools. Its role was to prepare the young Princes for their royal duties, in a mould that would fit them comfortably into the British Empire.
Given the futures for which the pupils were destined, subjects like shooting and riding inevitably loomed larger in the curriculum than more conventional academic priorities. However the emphasis began to change after Independence when many members of the aristocracy were forced to consider the necessity of gainful employment. Indeed, the intake began to change as well – with a willingness to admit pupils from the Brahmin and business classes alongside the Rajput core – as long as their parents could afford the fees. In the college’s heyday, however, many of the princely pupils lived in the most exclusive of lives. Their families built them lavishly appointed mini palaces and staffed them with huge retinues of servants. The first pupil, the Maharaja of Alwar arrived with an entourage of horses, camels and elephants and a fanfare of trumpets and drums.
A very far cry from the austerity of the English dormitory! One of the most striking features of the Mayo College photographs is the “maturity” of the students. Indeed, when Nahar Singh started teaching there in 1956, at the age of 24, he reprimanded one of the boys, who coolly replied, “I don’t think you should do that – I’m older than you”! Shatrunjai and Bhavna's sons Mahadhriti
( 2010-2106 ) and Bhagyaditya ( 2010-2018 ) were the fifth generation from the Deogarh family to be admitted to Mayo College. Both were boarded at Ajmer House(which was also their father's house during his years at the school). Mahadhriti went on to represent the school in Squash at Chennai and Delhi and various National events and Bhagyaditya made Polo and Horses his sport of choice and went on to become the School's Polo Captain for the year 2016-17.