Umaid Bhawan Palace

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2013

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I first visited Jodhpur/Umaid Bhawan Palace in 1981. Was fortunate to visit again in 2013. This time decided to click and share pics. The Palace is on a hill, has two entrances one to the Museum (open to public) and two to the Palace Hotel (entry restricted). U see the main gate to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel. It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh, is also known as Chittar Palace as local Chittar stone was used in its construction.

It is very difficult to click a view of the whole palace so sharing this model of the palace as displayed in the museum. This view is of the palace from the western-lawn facing side. This collection has pictures of palace taken between 6 to 9.30am against the rising sun and 6.30 to 8pm including when it is lit up. Palace was built between 1928-1943 to provide employment to people of Marwar during periods of draughts and famines, earlier Maharaja lived in Mehrangarh Fort. The monument was made in the fashionable Art Deco Style.

This is an overview of the Palace. Took this from pic from Mehrangarh Fort or Jaswant Thada. Part of the Palace continues to be the residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur whilst the rest is a hotel. There is a museum that houses models of planes, weapons, antique clocks, crockery and hunting trophies. Also see vintage cars.

The first eight pictures give you a quick view of the palace from east and west sides. What follows are pics of different times of day and museum. This is east facing view of entrance to the palace. Left of pic has entrance to museum. Extreme left of pic is the private residence of the Maharaja. Palace is spread over 26 acres.

This is view of the palace from the west side (about 6pm ish). The palace is a well known venue for marriages. The chairs that you see were for a wedding that was to be held the next day. Umaid Bhawan Palace was named after Air Commander His Highness Raj Rajeshwar Saramad Raja-E-Hind Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Umaid Singhji Saib Bahadur. G.C.S.I., K.C.V.O., A.D.C., LL.D. who ruled Jodhpur from 1918-1947

Earlier pic was from garden end of palace. This one went up the steps that you saw in earlier pic to give you a view of the beautifully maintained garden. The Palace is essentially a Hindu structure incorporating Hindu and Buddhist structural techniques and with the Hindu symbolism derived from Angkore Wat in Cambodia, which has been well documented by the writer Fred R Holmes in his book on Umaid Bhawan

This is the emblem of the royal family of Jodhpur. ‘Words in centre are The motto "Rana Banka Rathor" meaning "Rathor gallant in a battle" is taken from the old quatrain which in roughly translated : No host good as the Deora; No giver so generous as the Gaur; In pride none equals the Hada; In arms none surpasses the Rathore. The "Kites" or Indian "Cheels" represent the winged goddess Devi or Durga who in this form has appeared on several critical occasions to assist the State. They are, therefore, fitting "Supporters" to the State arms. The three ears of millet show the main crop of Bajra. Sher Shah''s saying that in trying to conquer Marwar he had "nearly lost the Empire of Hindustan for a handful of bajra."’ To know more about Royal Ark Click here

Overview of drive in and garden at entrance of Umaid Bhawan. Loved it. U might see number of peacocks in the gardens. I saw a couple. Peacock pic ahead.

I reached Umaid Bhawan at about 6.05 am. Like most temples, forts the palace entrance is facing the east from where the sun rises. The next six pics are this side of palace of different times in the morning and evening. Early morning with moon very visible in the sky. Palace lights still on.

Post sun rise. In hindsight wonder why I did not click any pics of the rising sun. Perhaps was too focused on the palace. Perhaps on next visit.

This pic gives you a idea of the changing colors of the rising sun. Loved the color. Surya Devata ke anekh roop.

Earlier pics do not have the full front view, this one has. Left of pic is entrance to museum. Note that the private residence of Maharaja is on extreme left of pic which you cannot see. ''Its majestic 105 foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers draw inspiration from Rajput tradition''.

This is probably taken about 8.30/9am ish. Whole area is spotlessly clean and very well maintained. Love the boungenvillas in front.

This pic was taken about 8 pm when the palace is fully lit.

One of the many peacocks which I saw in the gardens of Umaid Bhawan Palace.

The next four pics are west side view of Umaid Bhawan. There is so much of peace and serenity in the lawns around sunrise that one can meditate there. Pic is before sun rise.

This pic is post sun rise. Chairs that you see are for wedding to be held later in the day. Esamskriti has not accepted any hospitality or fees for showcasing Umaid Bhawan Palace.

This is early evening say 6ish view. Lights just come on at that point of time. Lights on the flowers look very nice.

Pic taken about 7.30 ish when the palace is lit up. The first part can be called The Moods of Umaid Bhawan Palace because it shows palace at different times of the day.

At one end of the lawn is this Baradari. Not sure but this could be the place where the wedding ceremony takes place. To know more about Palace Click here

The next 20 pics focus on individual parts of palace and museum. U see Mehrangarh Fort clicked from the western end of the palace. To see pics of fort Click here

Next six pics show close ups of the west side of the palace so u get to see design. This is extreme left part of palace.

This is a front view of extreme left side of palace. Pic taken when the lights had just come on in the evening. Love the flowers.

This is dome in centre of western side. U see steps in front, some tables at end of steps. It is sheer joy to sit there in the evening, have tea and pakodas together with a view of Jodhpur.

This is front view of extreme right of palace. Beyond this on right is the private residence of the Maharaja.

Close up of the dome in all its majesty. Loved it. Pic taken when lights had just come on in the evening.

Same dome but taken about 7.30 ish. About 35 kms from Jodhpur is village Salawas where you get excellent dhurries. They accept payment by credit card n deliver by courier worldwide. To see pics of dhurries Click here

U see Kalbeliya dance performance by a member of Kalunath Jogi''s group at Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Lady in centre is a Hungarian. Loved this dance. In English they call it Gypsy dance. The dance is associated with snake charmers. Ladies wear traditional black skirt. To know about Kalbeliya Dance, see Videos Click here

A side view of the east facing main entrance side of Umaid Bhawan. Lawns very well maintained. To see pics of Lake Palace Udaipur Click here

On right of pic is main entrance, top is dome. Purpose of pic is to give you a close up of design front side. To know more about the city of Jodhpur Click here

This is central cupola 150 feet high. Different and amazing colors of the rising sun. Right you see the royal flag. ‘The colours - salmon-pink, white, red, yellow and green are those "Panchranga" or five-coloured State flag. The first colour "Tenne''" rarely used in heraldry, is intended for the sacred Hindu colour "Bhagwa."

You see Mansi Singh Panwar at Jailsamer Desert Festival. She dances with all that you see on her head. Does it with such ease. Danced on broken glass also. Amazingly graceful. She is super. To see her on You Tube Click here

Side view of the east side entrance. Extreme left you see open door that is entrance to the museum. To see pics of Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) 2009 Click here

Next 7 pics are of the museum i.e. in the palace. This tells you about the designs, interiors, art and deco of the palace. Note the Rathors claim to be descendants of Lord Ram. To see pics of Nagaur Fort that is also managed by the Maharaja of Jodhpur trust Click here

Fully laid-out dining table on display. Museum is very well maintained and staff very courteous. To see pics of the only temple in the world where rats are worshipped, Karni Mata Mandir off Bikaner Click here

This has information about Architecture of the palace. Key info - it is deeply imbued in Rajput tradition, lay out allows ladies to watch ceremonies, durbars etc, central cupola is 150 feet high, has 347 rooms, a Throne room, a Durbar Hall etc. I had permission to click pics of only the external parts of the palace so could not click many things referred to in this board. To see a few pics of inside part of palace Click here

Many antique time-clocks in the museum. This is one of them. To see pics of Lallgarh Palace Bikaner Click here

Board tells you about Jodhpur Polo. To see pictures of Junagarh Fort Bikaner Click here

Area inside museum called Inner Court. Semi circular part in centre of pic takes you to main palace i.e. hotel today. Purpose of pic is to give you idea of design. To see pics of Jodhpur RIFF 2011 Click here

Another clock inside museum. Friends do visit Marwar - it is one of most colorful, beautiful and full of history places not only in Rajasthan but in the whole of India. To see pics of People of Marwar Click here