The famine had struck the arid and barren land of Jodhpur and farmers were dying of hunger as their lands yielded nothing and they had no money to buy food. It was then, when like a judicious king, Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur undertook the construction of this magnificent building as a famine relief project to provide employment and a regular source of income to his subjects.
However, he didn't start the building in a slip-shod hurried manner. He
took a voyage to England in 1925, in search of an architect and
commissioned the London firm Lanchester and Lodge. It took 16 years and
hard work of over 3000 artisans to complete this spectacular sandstone
palace, named after its maker as the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The royal
residence of Jodhpur, this splendid palace has the distinction of being
the largest private residence in the world and one million square feet
of the finest marble was consumed in its construction. The palace
stretches across 26 acres of land out of which 15 acres have been
occupied by the gardens. The palace has aristocratic European interiors
and latest facilities.
Designed by Henry Vaughan Lanchester, it was completed in 1943. The
upheaval in the political systems pushed royalty to take the back seat
and the reign came into the hands of Government of India. By 1971, the
privileges, titles and privy purses from the former rulers of the states
were withdrawn and it became difficult for the princely families to
maintain their residential palaces. However, the young and bright
Maharaja Gaj Singh came up with a new idea and converted a part of his
palace into the finest luxury hotel in India and even the world in 1977.
The extravagant art deco interiors have been carefully restored for
public viewing. This sand stone façade building now boasts of
housing the erstwhile ruler of Jodhpur, a Five Star Deluxe Hotel and a
Read about the famous Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.