The Umaid Bhawan Palace, situated in Jodhpur, the Sun city of Rajasthan, is one of India’s largest private residences. Housing around 347 rooms, the palace serves as a private residence for the Royal family of Jodhpur. Christened thus after late Maharaja Umaid Singh ji, a part of the palace is managed by the Taj group of hotels.
A little into the history…this architectural masterpiece was previously called the Chittar Palace, during its construction, after the name of the chittar stone used to build it. Maharaja Umaid singh ji, built the palace with the motive of providing relief and employment to the thousands of people affected by the famine caused by a drought.
About the family.. Former Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji the second, was born on the 13th of January 1948, and was the only son of Maharaja Hanwant Singh ji of Jodhpur by his wife erstwhile Maharani Krishna Kumari of Dhrangadhra. Gaj Singh ji belongs to the suryavanshi family of the Rajputs. He was installed on the throne after the sudden death of his father in a plane crash. At the age of eight, Gaj singh ji was first sent to Cothill house, a primary school in Oxfordshire, England and then to Eton College and Christ church, Oxford, where he received a degree in Philosophy, Politics and economics. In 1963, he married Hemlata Rajye, daughter of Raja of Poonch and his wife Nalini Rajye Lakshmi Devi of Nepal. They have two children Yuvraj Shivraj singh and Yuvrani Shivranjini Singh.
Shivraj singh was born on the 30th of September 1975, in Dehradun. He was educated in Mayo College of Ajmer, then moving to Eton College. After leaving Eton, Shivraj studied at Oxford Brookes University, where he received a degree in Business Administration. Shivraj is an avid polo player and a popular face in the Delhi high society. He got married to Gayatri Kumari Pal, from the former royal family of Askot, in Uttaranchal and has a daughter.
This palatial piece of beauty finally materialized in 1943.The type of architecture employed to build the palace is Indo Art Deco style. Geometric angular forms, exotic materials and linear decorations, characterize the Art Deco style. The look is strong and bold, with no hint of romance anywhere in sight. The palace was later renamed after the late Maharaja Umaid singh ji and has since served as a residence to the Maharaja and his successors.
Today, the Palace is bifurcated into three functional parts- a splendid Taj palace hotel, the residence of the royal family and the palace museum .
The palace converted into a hotel in 1972, opened its doors to the public, as an exquisite residential hotel. State of art living, peppered with royalty, accompanied by precious antiques, period furniture and priceless artefacts, adorning the public areas and the private hotel rooms, defines the experience of the guests and the residents. This palatial paradise has been recognised as a 5 star deluxe property by the Government of India. Armed with every modern convenience, the palace caters to the needs of today’s travellers.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel has numerous unique features which makes it one of a kind..
- The central dome skyrocketing 110 feet overhead, provides a splendid centrepiece- a focal point for all the visitors to the property.
The Trophy Bar-
Experience a royal nightlife at the trophy bar with soothing lounge music and an ambience full of artefacts, wildlife trophies, accumulated by Maharajas during their reign. Decorated with Tiger skin cushions, Gazelles, bears, tusks of wild boars, binoculars and an exclusive fishing gear, the bar gives one a glimpse of the sporting lives of the Maharajas.The drinks menu at the trophy bar is a melange of a selection of Whiskeys, cognacs, tequilas, martinis, Bellinis, liqeuers and cuban cigars.
The Risala Restraunt-
Large dinning tables with comfortable chairs, walls holding portraits of the great Maharajas, warm dim lighting topped with finger licking cuisines from all around the world, describe the Risala at Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel. The Risala makes one feel as if one is dinning with the actual royalty.
The Marwar Hall-
if you are planning to hold Conferences, presentations, seminars or any other kind of meeting event, you need not exit the palace as it provides you with the Marwar Hall, which is your conference hall away from office !
The Pillars –
the sunset view from the pillars is an absolute treat to the eyes, one can see the landscaped gardens and spacious lawns, that create an ambience which is at once serene, restful and yet spectacularly royal.
The Kebab Konner-
serves mouth watering varieties of kebabs with delicious chutneys and cocktails. In the winters, the place is warmed with lamps, which give the little corner a fairy land look.
The Zodiac Swimming Pool-
built in the heart of the building, is a cool blue respite from the scorching heat of the city, it is accessible only to the residents, as it is tucked away in the basement of the hotel. The pool has hot and cold water settings which meet everyone’s needs and makes it unique.
In the past few years Umaid Bhawan Palace hotel has garnered the reputation of being one of the finest holiday and conference destinations in the world, since the building contains various small and large meeting places within its boundaries. If you are visiting Jodhpur, the Umaid Bhawan should be at the top of your Must-visit list…it is an absolute value for money, time and energy !