Location: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The last of the greatest palaces built in India, The Umaid Bhawan Palace is located in the heritage city, Jodhpur. Built in the year 1944, it derives its name from the then Maharaja of Jodhpur, Raja Umaid Singh. The palace, which has been the residence of the Maharaja and his successors, was actually conceptualized as a drought relief measure to provide employment to the people affected. Because of its location on the Chittar hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, the palace was initially known as the Chittar Palace. Today, the palace is considered to be one of the largest private residences in the world.
Spreading over 26 acres of land, the palace was built with the local yellow sandstone. The architecture of this palace is a phenomenal example of the Art-Deco and the Indo-colonial style of the 30s. A unique feature in the construction of the palace is that mortar has not been used for binding, instead the sandstone blocks have been put together in a special arrangement of inter-locking. With a total number of 347 rooms in the building, the palace has been divided into three parts – One owned by the Taj Palace hotels since 1978, one part serves as a museum for the public for showcasing artefacts, anitiques and other historical evidences and the third part provides residence to the royal family of Jodhpur.
The hotel section has been classified as a five star Deluxe property by the Indian Government. It has commodious air-conditioned rooms and suites, exquisitely designed for the royalty. All the rooms are equipped with LCDs, DVD players, Spa-bath treatments, a mini-bar, Jacuzzis and Molton Brown toiletries. A yoga studio, a gym, tennis-courts and swimming pools have also been provided for the health freaks. An extensive variety of cuisines is served at the palace ranging from the continental, Indian Fusion, Rajasthani food as well as some grills and barbecues that can be enjoyed outdoors.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace has become one of the most sought after hotels in Jodhpur. The ethereal ambience and the warm hospitality of the palace imparts a royal feel to the visitor. Beautiful gardens with lush greenery and colourful flowers embellish the palace with serenity and delight. The magnanimity and the brilliance of the palace will leave you awe-struck in the first glimpse! Indeed, a blissfully royal experience worth every penny!
Entry fees for the museum:
Indians: Rs.15; Foreigners: Rs.50
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm