"His Supreme Highness, guardian of Rajput tradition, the Maharajah of Pankot, Zalim Singh."―Chattar Lal introducing the Maharajah
"That's the Maharajah? That kid?"―Willie Scott
Zalim Singh was born in 1922. He was educated by an English tutor in preparation for his reign as Maharajah of Pankot Province. While still a child, Singh ascended to the throne following the death of his father Premjit in 1930.
Singh was secretly controlled by his devious prime minister Chattar Lal who was a member of the Thuggee cult. In 1935, at the urging of his prime minister, Singh hosted the Guardian of Tradition Dinner at Pankot Palace to raise the status of Pankot among its neighboring principalities, and many dignitaries and merchants were invited. Several unexpected guests arrived and were also brought to the banquet: Captain Blumburtt and Indiana Jones. At dinner, both of these men discussed the possibility of a Thuggee revival, and Singh spoke up to proclaim that the Thuggee were a thing of the past, insisting to his subjects that his kingdom would never grant asylum to the cult. However, he was unaware that Lal had been drugging his drinks to make him a participant in the rituals that occurred at the Kali temple hidden beneath his palace.
Later, Singh was responsible for torturing Indiana Jones (Indy) by piercing a kryta doll in his likeness with a pin while the archaeologist was foiling the chief Thuggee guard. When Short Round (Shorty), Indy's sidekick, noticed Singh disabling Jones with the doll, he climbed up to Singh's vantage point and wrestled the Maharajah. Restraining Singh, Shorty reached for the doll and removed the pin from the doll, allowing Jones to continue fighting the guard (who ultimately was crushed to death by the rock crusher). Shorty delivered several blows onto Singh, but the Maharajah shoved Shorty off him and pulled out his sword, preparing to stab him. Shorty grabbed a nearby torch and thrusted it onto the Maharajah. Singh let out a scream of extreme pain as he was burned and freed from his enslavement by Shorty (just like how Shorty had freed Indy earlier from the same trance). Shortly thereafter, Indy yelled out to Shorty to get down in the cart. Before Shorty left to rejoin Indy, Singh, grateful to Shorty for liberating him from the Black Sleep of the Kali Ma, but ashamed of himself at the same time, gave directions for escaping the mines to Shorty. Anxious to further redeem himself for his actions, Singh made his own escape from the mines, contacted Captain Blumburtt and his men, and led them to the bridge (which Indy has destroyed during a confrontation with the Thuggee) where the rest of the Thuggee were attempting to kill Indiana Jones. After the cultists were dealt with, Singh bowed to Shorty in thanks for liberating him, which was returned with a wave of Shorty's cap.
Behind the scenes
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom novel
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom comic
- LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Illustrated Screenplay
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Sourcebook
- Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide