Umaid Bhawan Palace is a palace located at Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. Umaid Bhawan Palace exudes an aura distinctly its own. The Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel subtly blends Rajput and Victorian architecture. Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India was originally called Chittar Palace during construction, due to its location on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur. Ground for the foundations of the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India was broken on 18 November 1929 by Maharaja Umed Singh, it was unfinished until 1944. Umaid Bhawan was one of the last royal constructions (and India's last Palace), built to provide work and drought relief for the poor. Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur, when it was built, was the world's largest private residence, with 347 rooms. The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India is dramatically illuminated at night causing some controversy in a city that continues to endure daily multi-hour power cuts. The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India now is a five star deluxe palace hotel. The museum of the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur is highly recommended for its display of weapons, an array of stuffed leopards, a huge banner presented by Queen Victoria and an incredible collection of clocks.
History and Architecture of Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India
Jodhpur, once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar, is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort, and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan; the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur.
The foundation stone of HV Lanchester's (a renowned Edwardian architect) Umaid Bhawan was laid on 18 November 1929 by the Maharaja himself on rocky Chittar Hill south-east of the city. Five thousand men and women worked on Chittar Hill for fifteen years; the supervising architect, Goldstraw, receiving a thousand rupees a month while unskilled workers took home fifty paise a day. The contractor was Indian, as were the engineers. A pink-tinged, cream coloured stone was used which came from quarries ten miles away and the marble came from Makrana. A special train brought up the massive blocks of stone after skilled workers below had chiselled them into shape, for each piece had its assigned place in the drawings. The building does not use mortar or cement to bind stones together; all of its pieces are carved stones joined together by a system of carved interlocking positive and negative pieces. Some blocks proved too heavy for the cranes to position with precision so they were places first on even larger blocks of ice and positioned with mortar. The entire project cost Maharaja Umaid Singh Rupees 94,51,565.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur, when it was built, was the world's largest private residence, with 347 rooms. The building's prominent central dome is 110 feet high. The palace grounds cover 26 acres (105,000 m²), out of which constructed area is 3.5 acres (14,000 m²) and 15 acres (61,000 m²) are devoted to lawns. The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India has the most expensive hotel at Jodhpur and is one of the largest private houses in India. The interiors were designed by Maples of London in the Art Deco style that was then the height of fashion in Europe and America. But the ship carrying them to Bombay in 1942 was sunk by the Germans. Frantic efforts were then made in Jodhpur to manufacture the interiors in the style required. Fortunately Umaid Singh discovered in Stefan Norblin, a well known Polish artist who had fled war-torn Europe, an amateur interior designer well-acquainted with Art Deco.
Norblin's murals superbly complement his decoration. Both the paintings and the decorations are well preserved and the palace remains a unique museum of the style. The last of India's great palaces, Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India is one of the largest in the world. Set in twenty-six acres, of which fifteen are gardens, its central cupola a hundred and five feet Durbar Hall for public audience, a banquet hall, an auditorium, a ballroom, a library, an indoor swimming pool, a billiards room, four tennis courts, two unique marble squash courts, a marble pavilion, a nursery and garages for twenty motor cars, Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India is unabashedly magnificent.
Magnificence of Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India
Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India exudes an aura distinctly its own. The Palace hotel subtly blends Rajput and Victorian architecture. Lush lawns and courtyards, picturesque ceilings, marble corridors, treasure troves, hunting trophies of yesteryears and exquisite royal heirlooms complete the regal picture. Since olden days, the Maharaos of Kotah (as Kota was formerly called) had always lived in the medieval Fort inside the city. Wanting a modern palace for his personal use, Maharaja Umed Singh II settled for nothing but the best.
There was more to the impressive building apart from a peculiar clock tower –Separate zenana (ladies') wing, Durbar Hall (investiture room), Edwardian Drawing Room, Library, Billiards Room, the Banquet Hall and even a cinema hall. Every visiting dignitary, including Queen Mary, who visited Kotah State in 1905, has been entertained at the Umed Bhawan. In 1930, the Palace was enlarged to provide accommodation for Maharaj Kumar Bhim Singh and his bride. George Devon, the designer, took great care to ensure that the new wing blended well with the old. This part of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India remains a private residence while the rest is operational as a Welcome Heritage hotel
Occidental in its symmetrical planning and an integration of many Indian architectural styles, the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India is deeply embedded in Rajput tradition. Befitting the residence of Rajput ruler, it occupies the highest point in the city; only its uninhabited ancestor Mehrangarh looms above. As the home of the Suryavanshi or solar descended Rathores, Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India greets the rising sun. And like medieval Rajput palaces, it is divided into the Mardana, the male section, and the Zenana, the ladies section, both with separate entrances, the latter with an enclosed garden and a private passage to the swimming pool. Like their predecessors the ladies may watch ceremonies, durbars and parties unobserved; the public rooms of the palace have galleries on the first floor where gauze screens were draped for the zenana Someone once said," Umaid Bhawan home to big cats and small dogs.” The tigers and leopards, many of them shot in southern Marwar, are everywhere to seen.
A Courtyard very much in the Rajput palace tradition but covered and on the upper floor of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India. The Palace houses a fine collection of shikar trophies and the fountain is made of Baccarat crystal. The cascading water strikes a different and compatible, musical note at each fall.
The Trophy Bar in Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India has Elephant feet stools with tiger skin cushions, gazelles from Africa and bears from Kashmir, astonishinly large wild boar tushes, binoculars from idyllic afternoons on the Serengeti and a collection of fishing gear from patient morninings on the crystal streams of Scotland.
The Billiards Room in The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India with portraits of outstanding Victorian and Edwardian race-horses, and oils of horses from Maharaja Sardar Singh's race stable at the turn of century are outstanding. Sardar Singh's colours, the Panchranga - the five colours, the Flag - flashed victorious past many a finishing post during those years, as the show-cases of silver cups in the Palace.
The sub-terranean swimming pool below the central Rotunda forms a part of the Umaid Bhawan's Zodiac Club, which includes, besides the billiards room, a gymnasium, a sauna, two unique marble squash courts, four tennis courts and croquet lawns to sunbathe on
The towers and walls and parapets of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India have been lavished with interesting and exquisitely crafted carvings, each one painstakingly sketched by the architect himself. Elephants and peacocks recall the majesty of the Rathores while the gargoyles are suitably intimidating. Horses, in the home of the equestrian Rathores, are everywhere to be seen but pride of place goes to Umaid Singh's imperial medals on the rear facade. Elsewhere stylized aeroplanes celebrate his passion for flying. Towers, big and small, of different shapes and designs, complement the central cupola. Some are purely aesthetic and symmetrical components; others are disguised water tanks.
Present status of Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India
The present owner is His Highness Gaj Singh, The Maharaja of Jodhpur. He has divided the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India into three functional parts, one having a five-star hotel (in existence since 1972), one is the residence of the royal family and one has been opened to public where a small museum displays pictures, arms, swords, and other items relating to Jodhpur's royal heritage. The opening times of this museum are 10 AM to 4 PM, and it is closed on Sundays.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India
Converted to a hotel in 1972, the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India was thrown open to the public at large as a residential hotel. Since 1978, the hotel has been associated with one of India's premier hotel chains-ITC Hotels. Today Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India is the flagship of the welcome Heritage Chain, which runs charming heritage hotels, spread across Rajasthan and its adjoining states. Guests and residents of the Palace experience aspects of royal living, with period furniture, priceless antiques and artefacts adorning the public areas as well as the rooms in which the hotel section is situated Classified as a 5 Star Deluxe property by the Government of India, the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India has every modern convenience to cater to today's traveller and several unique features.
The Central Dome soars 110 feet overhead, and provides spectacular centerpiece - a focal point for all the visitors to the property .The Trophy Bar, the Risala Restaurant ,the Marwar Hall, the Pillars restaurant and the Kebab Konner from the backbone of the hotels Food & Beverage activities, providing residents and guests a choice of dining options and cuisines.
The view from the Pillars, especially at sunset, is spectacular. Landscaped gardens adorn the exteriors of the building and the spacious lawns at the rear of the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India create an ambience which is at once serene, restful and yet spectacularly royal. Deep inn the heart of the building, the Zodiac Swimming Pool is a cool blue retreat. Located indoors, it is in fact under the main plinth of the building, tucked away in the basement, which makes it private an accessible only to residents of the hotel.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India has in the past few years become increasingly popular as a conference destination and venue with meeting spaces available for small and large numbers contained within the building. A visit to Jodhpur cannot be complete without the experience of staying at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which is rated as perhaps the world's finest palace hotel
Museum of Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India
The private museum attached to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India contains a small but exquisite set of display section, exhibiting arms, furniture, antique clocks and priceless China vases that formed a part of the private collection of Maharajas of Jodhpur. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is equipped to cater to all segments of travelers, be they visitors on business or leisure to the city of Jodhpur.
Location and Transport of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace is located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India which lies near the geographic center of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.
Jodhpur is well connected to all the major cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jaipur, Udaipur.
Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Delhi (Bikaner House, Nr. India Gate) to Jodhpur. The roads are very good, and it takes around 8-9 hrs from Jodhpur. You can also come by taxi. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station.
Jodhpur is on the Broad Gauge and hence connected to all the metro cities of India. There are daily trains from Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata. Jodhpur has two railway stations, City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city.
Getting around Jodhpur
In the city you can travel by un-metered auto-rickshaws, buses, cycle-rickshaws or you can also use car cabs and car-taxi. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation operates of Jodhpur from 8.30 to 1.00 pm and 2 to 6 pm. The tour starts from the Tourist Bungalow.
Distance of important cities from Jodhpur
Jaipur : 343 Km
Jaisalmer : 295 kms
Mount Abu : 264 kms
Udaipur : 275 kms
Ajmer : 205kms
Agra : 577 kms.
Delhi : 602 kms