Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

1 - Umaid Bhawan

Umaid Bhawan Palace, viewed form the extensive lawns.

Nothing prepares the Grand Tourist for his or her arrival at the Umaid Bhawan Palace. It is quite simply the most fairytale of fairytale palaces, and the most GRAND of Grand Hotels I have had the chance to stay at in these past 7 years of Grand Tour-ing.

The Palace was named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, and it was built between 1928 and 1943, in an exuberant and self-conscious Art Deco style.  It is so big, and so beautiful and stupendous, that it rivals the Taj Mahal itself, and recalls the ancient temple-mountain of Angkor.

The architects were British – Henry Vaughan Lanchester – and Indian – Budhmal Raj.  The entire building blends elements of European (Neo-classical, Art Deco and Indo-Saracenic) as well as Hindu architecture, and is a work of art in its own right.

Speaking of art, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is also known for another, unique collection of murals. I refer to the work of Polish artist, Stefan Norblin, who painted the splendiferous murals of scenes from the Mahabharata in the Umaid Bhawan Palace’s thoroughly modern Throne Room.

But I’m gushing.

The Palace continues to be the Royal Residence today, though part of it is managed by the Taj Group as a luxury heritage hotel.  It was, without any overstatement whatsoever, the most wonderful dream of an experience I’ve had. =)

2 - Arrival

Front view of Umaid Bhawan Palace.

3 - Creepy Corridor

The almost-Gothic ante-lobby of the Hotel.

4 - Centre Hallway

The gorgeous Rotunda.

5 - Dome

The underside of the Dome.

6 - To the Room

Corridors en route to the Suite.

7 - Deer head

Again… an almost-creepy hint of Gothic.

8 - The room

The luxuriously appointed Historical Suite.

9 - View from the Room

View from the balcony of the Suite to the Palace Gardens, and Mehrangarh Fort in the distance.

10 - PAvilion

Marble baradari on the grounds.

11 - Walking the Grounds

View of the Palace from the grounds…

12 - Swimming Pool

The palace from the pool…

13 - Close-up

Close-up of the central core of the palace, with its stupa-like dome.

14- High Tea

The Rotunda aisle, where High Tea is served every afternoon…

15 - Dancing Girls

…accompanied by a performance.

16 Museum Tour

17 - Royal Throne Room

The Royal Throne Room, with murals by Stefan Norblin.

18 - Stefan Norblin - The Triumphant REturn of Rama Sita Lakshmana and Hanuman to Ayodhya from Lanka

The Triumphant Return of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanoman to Ayodhya from Lanka. Stefan Norblin. Royal Throne Room.

19 - Stefan Norblin - Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva. Stefan Norblin. Royal Throne Room.

20 - Lounge

The Gentleman’s Lounge.

21 - Ballroom

22 - Backview

Umaid Bhawan Palace and its baradari.

23 - The Dome

The dome…

24 - The Turrets

Pagoda-topped towers.

25 - The Towers

The side towers

26 - Coat of Arms

Window and balcony…

27 - Peacock

Animal motifs at Umaid Bhawan – a peacock.

28 - Eagle

The kite is the symbol of the Marwar’s guardian spirit.

29 - PEacock

Peacock

30 - Fox

Lion

31 - Boar

Boar

32 - Griffins

Winged lions.

33 - Dinner venue

The sweeping view up the stairs to the ground floor patio restaurant, Pillars, where breakfast and dinner are served.

34 - Dinner

Dinner at Pillars is one of the most romantic experiences in the world. Pity I was alone.

35 - To the Gardens

Gates to the Grounds.

36 - Umaid

Goodbye Umaid Bhawan Palace! Goodbye Jodhpur! Goodbye Rajasthan! Goodbye India!

REFERENCE: Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan – The Maharaja of Palaces.  By Aman Nath, Fred R Holmes and Newton Holmes. 

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, India, Landmarks & History, Museums, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

  1. Pictures are really great. I have never been to jodhpur but i have heard of Umaid bhawan many times. Nice place to visit

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