Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Where is the Umaid Bhawan Palace?
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is located at Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India. It was one of the last royal constructions, built to provide work for the poor villagers of the region.
How will you gain access?
Jodhpur (597 km from Delhi) is connected by air to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Udaipur. The airport lies at a distance of 5 km from the city center. The city lies on the Broad Gauge and therefore connected to all the major metropolises of the country. There are daily trains from Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The Rajasthan Roadways runs deluxe and air-conditioned buses from Delhi (Bikaner House, near India Gate). from Delhi, it takes 8-9 hours to reach Jodhpur by road.
Is the palace a Heritage hotel now?
Today, the palace has three functional parts. One of the parts is a fantastic five-star hotel. The residence of the royal family and the museum are the other two parts of the palace.
What are the timings and the entry charges?
The Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is open from 10-00 hours to 16-00 hours. It is closed on Sundays. The entry fee for Indians is Rs 15, while for foreign nationals it is Rs 50.
What does the past say?
Among the local public, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is popular by the name of Chittar Palace. It was Maharaja Umaid Singh who laid the foundation of this magnificent piece of architecture on 18th November 1929. The palace rests on the Chittar Hills in the southeastern part of the city. The palace took 16 years to complete and an amount of one crore and twenty-one lakh rupees was involved.
What goes behind the architecture?
Built with a view to providing work for the poor villagers, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is among the last royal constructions. Set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens, the palace is also one of the largest residences in the world. The palace was designed by the renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester. It symbolizes a wonderful blend of eastern and western architectural influences. The splendid 105-foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers represent the Rajput tradition. The interiors are lavishly decorated with gilt furniture and elegant artwork following the Art Deco style and complemented by the commendable and exotic wall paintings by the Polish artist Stefan Norblin.
What are the nearby attractions?
The foundation of the Mehrangarh Fort was laid by Rathore Rajputs in the 15th century. It was built when the Rathore Rajputs moved their capital from nearby Mandore to Jodhpur.
The Jaswant Thada is the traditional burial ground of the Jodhpur rulers. It is located halfway up the road that climbs onwards to the fort. Royal portraits and other possessions can be seen inside the main hall. The white-marble memorial to Jaswant Singh II was built in 1899. It is the most spectacular of all.
Mandore lies at a distance of 9 km north of Jodhpur. It was the erstwhile capital of Marwar before the foundation of Jodhpur. Founded in the 6th century, today it has the extensive Mandore Gardens with the cenotaphs of the Rathod rulers as the chief attraction.