Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur is a marvel built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of Rathore Dynasty. The youngest palace of India is an architectural splendor, marvelous heritage hotel of Jodhpur and a true royal experience. Built on sprawling grounds of 26 acres, the royal residence is perched high above the Blue City of Rajasthan. Only 4 kilometers from the Jodhpur Airport and 5 kilometers from the Jodhpur Railway Station, the royal home is a magnificent crown of the desert city. Also known as Chittar Palace, interesting stories are hidden in the premises of the golden-yellow monument. The glorious heritage and hospitality is kept alive by the Taj Hotels Group who own a part of the palace pampering guests with exquisite delights. The imperial palace is no doubt breathtaking but would you not like to know some lesser known secrets?
Check out 5 Interesting Facts about Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur.
1. Last Royal Palace built in India before Independence.
Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last royal palace built before the Independence of India. Its foundations were laid in 1929 and completed in 1943. Four years after the palace’s completion, the country became a free sovereignty. Independent India had no royal kingdoms, only their lavish homes remained. Maharaja Gaj Singh, the descendant of Maharaja Umaid Singh still resides here. Wouldn’t you love to meet a Maharaja and his family?
2. One of the largest private residences in the World.
Maharaja Umaid Singh had a vision to create the largest private residence in the world. For the luxury home, the Maharaja hired the British engineer, H.V. Lancaster, contemporary of Sir Edward Lutyens who planned the buildings of the New Delhi government complex. The Chittar Sandstone has been used for the outer structure. The inner architecture is a combination of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles designed in Makrana marble and Burmese teak wood. The exotic frescoes of the palace are painted by Polish artist, J.S. Norblin.
Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace is spread over 26 acres of lush grounds including 15 acres of well-kept lush gardens. The royal residence has 347 rooms, an exquisite throne chamber, an exclusive private meeting hall, a Durbar Hall to meet the public, a vaulted banquet hall, private dining halls, a ball room, a library, an indoor swimming pool and spa, a billiards room, four tennis courts, two unique marble squash courts and long passages. The gardens of the beautiful property have peacocks freely roaming around. Views of Mehrangarh Fort and other attractions of Jodhpur can also be seen.
Don’t lose your way while exploring. It’s a maze of history, heritage and memories. Every corner has numerous stories to narrate.
3. Part Palace, part hotel and part museum.
The Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur is part palace, part hotel and part museum.
Royal Residence: The Chittar Sandstone monument has two major wings. One wing is entirely the home of the Rathore Dynasty of Jodhpur. They live their imperial lifestyle away from prying eyes. Maharaja Gaj Singh, grandson of Maharaja Umaid Singh till date resides here with family.
Taj Hotel: The Taj Hotel Group owns and maintains the other wing of the palace. They have under their dominion, 64 accommodations compromising of 25 rooms and 39 suites. The rooms/ suites are categorized as Maharani Suite, Maharaja Suite, Royal Suite, Regal Suite and Deluxe Rooms. The ostentatious rooms have retained the historic charm. Many family portraits, leopard skins and stuffed animal heads are seen. The hotel rooms are blessed with picturesque scene of gardens where magnificent peacocks stroll around. The hotel indulges guests with elegant dining. Indian fares, multi cuisine la carte options and gourmet drinks of fine wines from various countries are available. Spa and yoga studio pamper guests with rejuvenating sessions. The hotel is a luxury experience in the modern times with glories of the regal era.
Museum: The grand property houses a museum. Open for all, here are some marvelous specimens. The museum has exhibits of glass, porcelain wares, memorabilia, and information on the building of the palace. The unique allures are the stuffed leopards, an enormous symbolic flag gifted to Maharaja Jaswant Singh by Queen Victoria in 1877, an impressive collection of clocks in interesting windmill and light house shapes, and photographs of the graceful art-deco interior of the palace. The classic cars of the Maharajas are also on display. A part of the museum, Darbar Hall, has elegant murals, miniature paintings, armors and a rare collection of expensive household paraphernalia of 1930s.
4. Built for a noble cause rather than luxury.
The building of Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace has an interesting tale behind it. Once in the 1920s, famine struck Jodhpur then known as Marwar. The troubled people came for help to Maharaja Umaid Singh. His Royal Highness (the grandfather of the present Maharaja) generously commissioned a new palace to give employment to the people. The expensive venture employing the needy was not only a beautiful private residence but a symbol of hope and the new icon of Jodhpur replacing the Mehrangarh Fort. The venture was constructed from 1928 and 1943 giving the hard working people enough to survive the bad times.
5. The Grandest Hotel Experience.
Umaid Bhawan Palace became a part of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in 2005 January. Taj having its legacy of hospitality, was the perfect choice to uphold the royal tradition of the luxurious Umaid Bhawan Palace and extend its indulgent hotel experience.
The 64 accommodation allotted to the property are no short of royal pleasure. From the modern facilities, the old world charm and the mesmeric views, the hospitality in unparalleled. The hotel pampers guest with lavish dining, spa & wellness and leisure. For the royal dining, ‘Risala’ a la carte restaurant serves wide range of cuisine from across the regions. ‘Sunset Pavilion” is an old charm hangout to savor the royal barbeque and drinks. It is the highest point to enjoy a drink in Jodhpur. ‘The Pillars’ is a comfy coffee shop with delicious pastries, sandwiches and sweets. Relish a steaming cup of hot coffee while enjoying a spectacular view of the Jodhpur city.
‘The Trophy Bar’ is a well-stocked bar serving wide range of exotic drinks. To pamper your senses, Taj Hotels offers the pampering services of Jiva Spa. The spa and wellness centre specializes in Indian beauty and Ayurvedic treatments. Rejuvenating body massages and therapies in the serene ambiance of the spa is available for all guests. The in-house yoga studio provides classes with a yoga master who has studied with legendary Deepak Chopra. The ostentatious hotel experience of royalty can be relished in the magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace.