Umaid Bhawan Palace: All you need to know about the historic landmark
Umaid Bhawan Palace is a palace in Jodhpur which was owned by the royal family of Jodhpur. Here’s all you need to know about the grand residence of the royal
Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is considered to be an architectural marvel that is almost 75 years old. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residences in the world, with about 347 rooms. The palace housed the royal family of Jodhpur in olden times, however, it is now converted into a private luxury hotel. The palace is a perfect blend of western and eastern architectural styles and was built in the Beaux-Arts style. The place has its own garden and a museum built inside the historic landmark.
ALSO READ: Tourist Places In India For Winter
It is reported that the foundation of the place was laid in 1929 by the 37th King of the Rathore dynasty- Umaid Singh. He decided to build the lavish palace in order to provide employment opportunities to the farmers as his kingdom was affected by famine. The palace was not open for residence as there were a lot of deaths in the royal family during the time. However, the palace was opened for official residence in 1943. It is said that the king, Umaid Singh only resided in the palace for four years before he passed away in 1947. His son also passed away a few years later while returning to the palace after winning the general elections. Umaid Singh's grandson Gaj Singh in 1971 gave away a part of his royal residence for the hotel.
What to see'
Umaid Bhawan Palace is spread across 26 acres of land. The lobby has a granite flooring at the entrance, while the rest of the area is covered by sandstone flooring. The palace has many interesting rooms like the throne room, the ballroom, private meeting hall and dining hall, library, spa, indoor swimming pool, royal sauna, as well as marble squash court and tennis court, and much more. The lobby is decorated with western dÃ©cor as well as in classical revival style. The dome on the inside of the palace is one of the main attractions of the palace. It also houses a hotel that has 64 guest rooms, including the king and queen suites with one of its kind marble bathtubs. Umaid Bhawan Palace is the only place in the world where you find these bathtubs. The restaurant of the hotel is a banquet hall that can hold almost 300 people. The museum located inside the palace has a collection of royal artefacts and the king's personal collection of vintage items.
Timings and entry fee
The museum as well as the palace are open throughout the week and even on weekends. They open at 9 am and close at 5 pm. The entry fee for the Umaid Bhawan Palace is ' 25, per head for Indians, and ' 50 per head for foreigners. For the museum, the entry fee for a person from Indian origin is ' 30 per head for adults and ' 10 per head for kids from ages 5 to 11. However, the museum entry fee for a foreigner is ' 100 per head.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is known for housing a royal palace, a luxurious hotel as well as a museum all under one roof. It is located in the Cantt Area of Jodhpur on Circuit House Road. As the palace is surrounded by the garden, the best time to visit is in the month of October to March. Jodhpur is really close to the Thar desert, and hence the summers can be brutal. Hot and humid summers are very common in Jodhpur. The rainy season is sure to restrict your stroll through the garden. It also becomes very difficult to travel around during the season. You should normally budget about 2 to 3 hours for the visit as the Umaid Bhawan Palace is a huge place. However, if you are travelling with children or elderly you should not worry as the place is reported to be disabled-friendly. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is located only 4 kilometres from the Jodhpur Airport and 5 kilometres from the Jodhpur Railway Station. Travel by an autorickshaw, a taxi or a tonga to the palace. You can also travel by private buses, Volvo buses as well as the state transport buses, however, the nearest bus stand is three kilometres away from the palace.
ALSO READ: Best Tourist Places In India
You might want to visit the Jain Mahavira Temple is about 1.9 kilometres away from the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The Blue city walls of Jodhpur is just 2.5 kilometres away from the palace. Many beautiful places like Phool Mahal, Toorji Ka Jhalra, Jaswant Thada and Mehrangarh Fort are less than four kilometres away from the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
To stay and eat
Karni Bhawan Heritage Hotel is closest to the place at a distance of about 0.5 kilometres. However, many good hotels like Hotel Niky International, Sandhu Palace Hotel, Devi Bhawan, Park Plaza, Ranbanka Palace and The Fern Residency Jodhpur are all less than 2 kilometres away from the royal place of Jodhpur. Pillars and Risala, Umaid Bhawan Palace are the restaurants located in the Umaid Palace Bhawan. There are many good restaurants near the palace as well. Eateries like On The Rocks, Geoffrey's - The Pub, Jodhpur Cafe The Ajit Bhawan are less than two kilometres away from the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
The palace was made for a noble cause rather than a luxury. In 1920s Jodhpur was affected by famine and the king decided to build the lavish palace in order to provide employment opportunities to the farmers and the people in his kingdom.
The Royal Palace of Jodhpur is the last palace built in India before independence. Hence, it is considered to be the youngest palace. After the independence, the monarchy was abolished in India making it the last royal palace built in the nation.