From a news article from the contemporary accounts. The photo is from a different source though.
The Maharaja of Manipur, over whose little state, tucked away in the hills of north-eastern India, bordering on Burma, so many bitter battles have been fought recently, was crowned on Friday, reports The Times correspondent at Imphal, capital of the state.
His Highness Bodh Chandra Singh, now 36, succeeded his father in September, 1941, but the coronation had perforce to be postponed because of hostilities. At last, however, the war receded, and the Palace astrologers and pundits, having taken all the omens and consulted the sacred books, decreed that the time was auspicious.
It was essentially a religious ceremony, according to ancient Manipuri rites, and not an investiture such as can be performed only by the Viceroy of India. The last investiture took place in 1905, with Lord Curzon officiating.
A picturesque procession left the Palace soon after noon on Friday, with His Highness clad in gorgeous Manipuri robes, mounted on an elephant. His Highness was smoking his favourite brand of cigarettes Wild Woodbine. Ahead of him went wrestlers, with spears, heralds blowing on shells, dancers, standard bearers, and guards with shields and scimitars. After them came wise women, tinkling bells, soothsayers, two more elephants, men mounted on stocky little mountain ponies, and musicians playing Manipuri fiddles.
Headed by the Manipur state police band, it moved slowly to the site of the old Palace, arriving to the strains of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”
Here, in a hole in the ground, “at the very bottom of the world,” lives the divine golden serpent, the mythological ancestor of the royal clan. The serpent was propitiated with offerings of fruit and vegetables, and passages were read from the sacred books.
One of the wise women became possessed, and another performed a sacred dance.
The Maharaja, with impassive countenance, continued his chain-smoking.
After some three hours the procession returned to the Palace, where His Highness performed the rites of purification in the Palace temple. After dark there was an entertainment, attended by Lieut-General Slim, GOC, British 14th Army, other senior British officers, and His Highness’s political advisers, watched from a distance by a motley throng of Manipuris and British and Indian troops.
There was wrestling on the lawn by the light of lamps, and then followed, in the State Durbar Hall, a superb display of Manipuri dancing, for which the state is renowned throughout all India. Four young men, with magnificent torsos, and one famous girl dancer, all strikingly and beautifully dressed, went through the immemorial measures of their race to the throbbing strains of the Palace orchestra, in which there were drums, flutes, cymbals, and zithers.
No women, except the soothsayers, attended the ceremonies.
The present Maharaja has had three official consorts. The first was found murdered in the Palace in mysterious circumstances some years ago. The second, a princess of Nepal, who is the present Maharani, sought safety at her father’s Himalayan home after the first of last year’s Japanese air raids, and has not yet returned. The third, a beautiful Manipuri, was delivered of a daughter five days ago.