Umaid Bhawan Palace, located in Jodhpur, is one of the world’s largest private residences. Umaid Bhawan Palace was built in 1943. It is a wonderful amalgamation of a fascinating past and a luxurious present. It is, at the same time – a heritage hotel, a museum and the residence of the Royal Family of the present owner, Raja Gaj Singh. In addition to being of a historical landmark, the palace was commissioned in 1929. It was built in order to provide employment to the drought and grief-stricken farmers of the area and thus took longer to complete. Umaid Bhavan Palace offers amazing encounters ranging from heritage walks to unforgettable dining experiences. The award-winning hotel is well-known and loved for its hospitality and a feel of the luxurious living.
At present, the 347 – room palace has been divided into three parts. One part is the residence of the royal family, where the tourists are not allowed to enter. The second houses a museum. Museum displays a rich collection of photographs, arms, clocks, stuffed animals and many other possessions of the royal family. The third part of the palace has been converted into a five-star hotel. This hotel offers the most exquisite services to its client. It is one of the most popular hotels in Jodhpur. Perched atop the mighty Chittar Hill, this palace is often referred to as the Chittar Palace too. It is made of Jodhpuri chittar (stone), one of the reason it is called Chittar Palace. To add to the beauty of the palace, there is a beautiful garden outside with lush greenery and different varieties of flowers.
History Of Umaid Bhawan Palace:
The main motive behind the construction of the palace was the welfare of the people. A saint’s curse condemned Jodhpur to a drought for three consecutive years. The farmers faced extreme conditions of famine. And they pleaded the then ruler Umaid Singh for help. Umaid Singh commissioned the construction of the Umaid Palace which help his subjects and give them employment. Architect Henry Vaughan Lanchester was assigned with the job of conceptualising the design. He designed the palace along the lines of New Delhi’s government complex. The palace was designed such that it incorporated western technology as well as classical Indian architectural features.It provided consistent employment to around 3000 people and was built at a cost of 11 million rupees at that time.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is a lavish spread of never before seen artefacts and luxuries. The museum has stuffed leopards, glass and porcelain ware and memorabilia such as a symbolic flag which was gifted to King Jaswant Singh by Queen Victoria herself. The museum also houses a huge collection of clocks and photographs. It illustrate the interior of the Palace in its most fine form. The garden in front of the museum also has the Maharajas’ classic cars on display. The Darbar house which is a part of the museum has kaleidoscopic murals and paintings, armours and household knick knacks from the 1930s on display as well.
October to March, during winter season, are the best months to visit the palace and the museum.