Trip to Jodhpur India, Jan-Feb. 2012- A Trip to the Palace
The Palace was built, between 1928 and 1943, for H.H. Maharaja Umaid Singh ji, Grand Father of the present Maharaja, who had benevolently commissioned a new palace in 1923 to replace Mehrangarh Fort as the symbol of a new Jodhpur and to give employment to the people of Marwar during the period's great droughts and famines.
Perched high above the desert capital of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest private residences in the world - set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens.
Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present Maharaja of Jodhpur, this golden - yellow sandstone monument was conceived on the grandest possible scale, in the fashionable Art Deco Style of that time. After 15 years in construction, the 347 - room palace was finally completed in 1943 - and has served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family since.
Designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, the palace is a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. Its majestic 105 - foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers draw inspiration from Rajput tradition. The lavish interiors with gilt furniture and elegant artwork follow the Art Deco style, complemented by the exotic murals of the self-exiled Polish artist Stefan Norblin.
The Maharaja and his family are currently down to 100 rooms and the hotel has 67 guest rooms and suites as well as a fabulous indoor pool, squash courts, billiard room and several restaurants. A museum occupies one small wing of the building.