The Saffron Turban

The turban that the swami always wore was worn at the suggestion of Ajit Singh [the Maharaja of Khetri].

Swami Vivekananda being a Bengali did not wear a turban, or any headgear, and in the first of his photographs, which was taken at Jaipur at the request of his Alwar friends in 1891, before he met the Maharaja of Khetri, we find him without his now inseparable turban.

It was after his meeting with the Maharaja and his visit to Khetri that we find him with his characteristic turban. When Swami Vivekananda visited Khetri as Vividishananda for the first time, it was summer and the loo, or hot winds of Rajasthan, during this period are well?known. Besides, from Swamiji’s letters, we find that he was mortally afraid of the loo.

When the Maharaja saw his discomfort, he advised him to wear a turban, just as he himself and all the people of the locality wore, to save himself from the loo, a suggestion which the swami readily accepted. The Maharaja in fact himself taught him how to wind the turban.”