Umaid Bhawan Palace

Weather :

Label : Must Visit

Tags : Forts & Palaces

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 3-4 hours

Entry Fee : For Tour:- 
Indians: INR 30, Foreigners: INR 100, Children: INR 10
Tariff for the room varies according to the suites booked

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Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur Overview

Voted as the Best Hotel in the world, Umaid Bhawan Palace is also a major tourist attraction in Jodhpur. Apart from being a heritage hotel, it is a museum and the residence of the Royal Family of the present owner, Raja Gaj Singh. Because of its location on the highest point in Jodhpur, the Chittar Hill, it is also referred to as the Chittar Palace. Built-in 1943, the palace was commissioned in 1929, 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 hospitality along with heritage walks to unforgettable dining experiences. It was recently in the news for being the site of the Bollywood Superstar Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas - a renowned Pop Star from the Band - One Direction.

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 which 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 and offers the most exquisite services to its clientele. 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. To add to the beauty of the palace, there is a beautiful garden outside with lush greenery and different varieties of flowers.

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Umaid Bhavan Palace History

The main motive behind the construction of the palace was the welfare of the people. Following the prosperous rule of the Rathore rule, a saint's curse condemned Jodhpur to a drought for three consecutive years. The farmers faced extreme conditions of famine and pleaded the then ruler Umaid Singh for help. In order to help his subjects and give them employment, Umaid Singh commissioned the construction of the Umaid Palace. Architect Henry Vaughan Lanchester was assigned with the job of conceptualising the design and 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.  

Since the main motive behind building the palace was to provide employment to suffering farmers, the palace was built at a very slow pace. The actual construction began in the year 1929 but was completed only in the year 1943. It provided consistent employment to around 3000 people and was built at a cost of 11 million rupees at that time.

Architecture of Umaid Bhavan Palace

The palace was built in Beaux Arts style and has two wings. Golden yellow sandstone, Makrana marble and Burmese Teak wood were used for the intricate woodwork on the inside of the palace. The palace had 347 rooms, several courtyards, and a banquet hall with a capacity of 300 people. The palace consists of a throne chamber, an exclusive private meeting hall, a Durbar Hall to meet the public, a vaulted banquet hall, swimming pool and spa, private dining halls, two unique marble squash courts, a ball room, a library, an indoor, a billiards room, four tennis courts, and long passages. 

Gaj Singh II who succeeded his father decided in 1971 to convert a part of the palace into a hotel. The hotel has 70 guest rooms and it also includes the Maharaja and Maharani Suites. The Maharaja Suite has a black marble flooring and a curved mirror dome, while the Maharani suite has a parquet flooring and offers a great view of the garden. The banquet hall in the past is now the large restaurant in the hotel premises.

Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel

A tangible proof of flawless hospitality, the Umaid Palace Hotel will indulge you into the pleasures of the lush life like none other. The suites and rooms here offer a luxurious view of the lush gardens which will make you feel no less than royalty. There are several top-of-the-class facilities provided within the hotel premises for the convenience of the guests. The hotel has an amazing in-house restaurant that offers scrumptious continental and Indian fusion dishes. Jiva Grande Spa gives you a wide variety of experiences to choose from, which include body scrubs and wraps, Ayurvedic therapies, Yoga and meditation, beauty treatments and spa indulgences. 

Other amenities available here include indoor and outdoor and kiddie pools for some fun outdoor time, fitness centre for a quick gym session, play some billiards & pool tables, croquet facilities, cemented tennis courts, marble squash courts, golf, polo and horse riding, 24-hour on-call doctor & nurse and facilities for the disabled. The rooms here cost around INR 22,000 per night, and you can make your booking here.

The Royal Residence

Hailed as one of the largest private residences in the world, the Umaid Palace is the home of Jodhpur's Gaj Singh and the royal family. The central dome houses a sapphire inner dome, and this inner vaulted dome is a major attraction in the palace. The inner dome is situated at a height of 31 metres while the outer dome is at 13 metres of height. The entry to the palace has decorations of the Coat of arms of the Royal family and opens into a polished black granite floored lobby. The lounge area has pink sandstone and marble floors. The interior of the palace was designed by J.S. Norblin in art deco design and has a fresco - decorated throne room in the east wing. However, this section of the palace is not open to the public.

Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum

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 that 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

Best Time To Visit Umaid Bhawan Palace

Morning hours are perfect for a visit to this destination. The best season would be the Winter months of October- March.

Things to Do

There are a number of refreshing activities that you can pursue while at the Umaid Bhawan. You can visit the Jaswant Thada which is delicately carved marble. With the marvellous city of Jodhpur in the backdrop, it is dedicated to the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. This memorial is embellished with domes, portraits and a section dedicated to the peacock which is believed to have flown into the Maharaja's funeral pyre.

Another activity to pursue here would be the "Heritage walk", which is a walk straight into Jodhpur's glorious past. You can take a guided walk around the property and hear fascinating stories relating to the Rajas of Jodhpur.

How To Reach Umaid Bhawan Palace

Government buses and luxury and private buses run through every part of Jodhpur. Taxis, autorickshaws and tongas are the most convenient way fo travelling locally. The main bus stand is 3 km away from the Umaid Bhawan Palace.

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