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Umaid Bhawan Palace

The residence of Jodhpur’s Royal Family, mere sight of which sends you to a different world. It is a mammoth and you get the idea about that after seeing the model of the palace kept in its museum; the only part of the palace, open for common public.

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The museum exhibits many royal articles, photographs of regal kith and kin and their life style. There’s a huge collection of clocks in myriad shapes and sizes which makes you wonder at the love and value of time among the royalty. The vast assembly of crockery from all over the world is suitably and beautifully exhibited. Good thing is, you feel for a moment the touch of bygone Royal era but bad news is that you have to remain content in this much only. If you want to taste some more, you got to stay in the Palace-turned-Luxury-Hotel part which is undoubtedly a pricey affair ranging from some 40000 to around 80000 Rs per night depending upon the type of room you chose (as told).

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Well, right now, this is beyond my budget, but if anyone can afford, I would say this is a must-do! Reason- Umaid Bhawan is one of the largest private residences in the world and the kind of benevolent welcome that I witnessed them giving to their guests, is way too ROYAL.

The palace has its personal ‘helipad’. The moment you are at the main gate, two parallel rows of traditionally decorated camels, are there, to welcome you.

Jan 2016 198As you cross the gate, again, many horse-riders in two rows enthusiastically salute you along the rhythm of gigantic drums beaten by man in red. Commoner like me come out from wherever they are, to witness this great show of pomp.

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The guests are once again given a special treatment at the entry of the Palace where beautiful girls wearing Rajasthani dresses and ornaments, shower you with rosy petals and do an ‘Aarti’ with holy lamp and put a kumkum ‘tika’ on your forehead, ultimately showing you the flower laden path to the paradise – well this is my limit, I don’t know what they offer inside.

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Common Public is restricted to a museum and a small part in front, housing the vintage cars. And you thank them later because this is the place which offers a magnificent front view of the palace.

Interesting points:

  • This palace took 15 years to be completed.

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  • Initially it was started as a project to provide employment to the farmers affected badly by a famine in 1920s.
  • Luxury Hotel is run by Taj Group of Hotels.



  • Sha'Tara

    Difficult to know how to respond to these kinds of things. On one hand, beautiful, on the other, ostentatious and pretentious. Reading about the “reason” for building, surely there are better, more permanent and meaningful ways to employ people caught in a famine than building another altar to the super rich? Why is it “man” always ends up getting it backward, then justifying massive mistakes made from total lack of compassion? Thanks for presenting it in a way that leaves the reader the freedom to respond either way. Well done.

    • Mann Kaundal

      Thanks Sha’Tara. When I see your name in the comments, I know for sure that someone has actually spared time in reading every single word I have written which is great. 🙂
      I know, there could have been something better to employ already miserable people but I have also read that HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE WINNING SIDE and here the winning side is the well to do side. They did what they thought best according to them.
      You know what, every common man would feel so ‘small’ while moving through this huge mansion but again as they say “Might is right.”

      • Sha'Tara

        I hit “like” then I thought, I don’t really do “like” – too easy. Good response. Yes they did what they thought best… for themselves, that is. It doesn’t take anything away from the beauty though, maybe even makes it more poignant and sad. Sad that such lovely things aren’t sought after now, let alone built, in our nose-on-screen-see-nothing-unless-on-facebook tech. age. I just read that Kongo Gumi, the oldest temple construction company in the world located in Japan recently collapsed under a load of debt and was absorbed by another company as a subsidiary. In had been in non-stop operation for over 1400 years. I’m not big on architecture but I find modern architecture tasteless, bland, copy-cat with a fixation about building the highest “tower of Babel.” And we know what happened to that effort! 🙂

      • galtz

        The King of Bavaria caused a number of castles to be built in his name by taxing the people excessively. He was contemporary with Richard Wagner, who used to write to the King asking for money. Wagner built Bayreuth and the people eventually did away with Ludivicus. The castle I mentioned is the one in Germany that the castle in Disneyland ( Anaheim, CA ) was built to replicate.

  • mopana

    Wow, Mann! Sounds like a fairytale with kings, queens, princes and princesses. Anyway, this place is not for mortals. Too expensive to be touch, but beautiful to be seen. Thanks for sharing, Mann

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