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.
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).
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.
As 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.
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.
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.
- This palace took 15 years to be completed.
- 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.