Umaid Bhawan Palace, located in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, is one of the largest private residences in the world. A part of the palace is managed by Taj Hotels. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owner Gaj Singh. The palace has 347 rooms and is the principal residence of the former royal family of Jodhpur. A part of the palace is a museum.
In this article, we will learn all the facts about this palace including its history and different parts of the palace.
The ground for the foundation of the building was demolished by Maharaja Umaid Singh on 18 November 1929 and the construction work was completed in 1943.
Recently, Umaid Bhawan Palace was honoured as the best hotel in the world at the Travelers’ Choice Awards.
History Of The Palace
Although this palace is very different from the rest of the palaces and forts like Shergarh Fort and Mehrangarh Fort, but still it has the same charm as these palaces. In this section, you will know all about the history of this palace.
Why This Palace Was Built?
The history of the construction of the Umaid Bhawan Palace is associated with a curse by a saint who said that the period of drought would follow the good rule of the Rathore dynasty. Thus, after the end of Pratap Singh’s nearly 50-year reign, Jodhpur faced a severe drought and famine in the 1920s for a period of three consecutive years.
Faced with this difficulty, the peasants of the region enlisted the help of the then Maharaja, Ummed Singh, the 37th Rathore ruler of Marwar in Jodhpur, to provide them some employment so that they could survive. Harsh conditions. The Maharaja decided to build a grand palace to help the peasants. He commissioned Henry von Lanchester as architect to prepare plans for the palace; Lanchester was a contemporary of Edwin Lutyens, who planned the buildings on the premises of the New Delhi government.
Lanchester adopted the theme of domes and pillars, building the Umaid Palace on the lines of the New Delhi building complex. The palace was designed as a mixture of Western technology and Indian architectural features.
Main Purpose Of Building Umaid Bhawan Palace
The palace was constructed at a slow pace as its initial objective was to provide employment to farmers suffering famine in the area. Its foundation stone was laid in 1929. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people were employed in its construction.
The possession of the palace by the Maharaja was completed in 1943, and came to a close with the period of Indian independence. There was some criticism for starting an expensive project but it served the main objective of helping the citizens of Jodhpur to face the situation of famine. The estimated cost of construction of the palace was Rs 11 million. When it opened in 1943, it was considered one of the largest royal residences in the world.
How This Palace Was Built?
The site chosen for the palace was on a hill known as Chittar hill in the outer boundary of Jodhpur, after which the palace is also known, where there was no water supply available nearby and hardly as hill slopes. Any vegetation grows. Were rocky The need for building materials was not due to the sandstone quarries being very close.
Since the Maharaja had the foresight to bring his project, he constructed a railway line for the quarry site to transport construction materials. The donkey was covered in haul soil at the site. The sandstone transported by rail was dressed in large blocks on site with interlocking joints to allow them to be laid without the use of mortar.
Architecture Of The Palace
The palace was built of “Dun-Colored” (golden – yellow) sandstone with two wings. Makrana marble has also been used, and Burmese teak wood has been used for interior woodwork. Upon completion the palace had 347 rooms, several courtyards and a large banquet hall that could seat 300 people.
Architectural style is considered a representation of the then prevalent Beaux Arts style, also known as the Indo-Deco style. However, for many years the palace did not fully function after tragic events in the royal family. Umaid Singh, who stayed at this place for only four years, died in 1947. Hanwant Singh who succeeded him also died at an early age; He had only won the 1952 general elections and was returning home after this victory when his plane crashed and died. In 1971, Gaj Singh II, who succeeded his father, decided to convert a part of the palace into a hotel.
Specialities Of The Palace
The palace is divided into three functional parts – the residence of the royal family, a luxury Taj Palace hotel, and a museum focused on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur royal family.
The palace complex is set up in an area of 26 acres (11 hectares) with gardens of 15 acres (6.1 hectares). The palace has a throne room, a private meeting hall, a court hall to meet the public, a vaulted banquet hall, private dining room, a ballroom, a library, an indoor swimming pool and spa, a billiards room, four tennis courts , Two marble squash courts, and long passages.
The hotel wing of the palace is run by the Taj Group of Hotels and is called ‘Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur‘. Famous Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra married Nick Jonas in 2018.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is a very beautiful palace. It is also one of the largest palaces of India. Palace lovers must travel this one and enjoy this place.