At the western end of the Parco delle Cascine stands a monument to a man whose only connection with Florence was that he happened to die there.
On November 29th, 1870, Rajaram Chuttraputti, the Maharajah of Kohlapur, arrived in Florence. Chuttraputti had been staying in London and was on his way back to India. However, fate had determined that he would never see his homeland again. No sooner had the twenty-one year old Maharajah checked into his hotel, than he was suddenly taken ill and died!
Chuttraputti was a Maratha and, according to the rites of his caste, his body had to be cremated at the confluence of two rivers. The only convenient site in the city was at the point where the Mugnone flows into the Arno. Six years later a monument, which was designed by Major Charles Mant, was erected in his memory on the site of the cremation. The bust was carved by Charles Francis Fuller, an English sculptor, who was resident in Florence.
A century after his death the Maharajah gained a sort of fame when a bridge was built (1972-78) across the Arno very near to his memorial. The bridge is known as the Ponte all' Indiano.
Blogging about Florence: