The Umaid Bhavan Palace is situated in the royal city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 5 kms. From Jodhpur airport and 6 kms. from Jodhpur Rly station. Umaid Palace is one the world's biggest palaces built in twentieth century. The palaces of yesteryears have now been converted into luxury and grand luxury hotels. A portion of this palace now comprises of a hotel and a museum.
Through the pages of history:
Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur commissioned the London firm Lanchester and Lodge to build the royal abode and 15 years later the Maharaja got this spectacular sandstone palace, the Umaid Bhawan Palace.The Palace was started as project to provide employment to famine stricken farmers. The palace stands on 26 acres of land out which 15 acres is gardens.
The majestic umaid palace:
The Umaid Bhavan Palace renowned for the sandstone used in its construction, is also referred to as the Chhittar Palace owing to the fact that the Chhittar sandstone was used in its construction. This majestic palace is now segmented into the royal residence, the Heritage Hotel and the museum. The architecture speaks volume of the intricacy and detailed work done by the craftsmen. The palace has European interiors and most modern facilities. The style of construction reflects the Rajput taste with beautiful balconies, well laid courtyards and wonderful terraces. The Palace recreates for you a unique experience of princely lifestyle.
Mysore Palace or the Maharajah's Palace located in the heart of the city at Mirza Road, about one km from the bus Stand, about 3 kms from city railway station. It is the most attractive monument in Mysore.
One of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas, was the residence of the Wodeyar Mahararaja's of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897 and was rebuilt for the twenty fourth Wodeyar Raja in 1912. Designed in Indo-Saracenic style by the well-known British architect, Henry Irwin, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world.
The architecture of the palace boasts of the Indo-Saracenic style with arches and colonnades. The royal structure is an aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. The three storeyed building, 245 feet in length and 156 in breadth has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. Spread across the palace are a series of galleries which contain a vast and impressive array of memorabilia- from huge paintings to imposing sculptures, weaponry to old costumes and jewellery. On Sundays, government holidays and festivals, the entire palace is illuminated with all of 50,000 light bulbs- a spectacle which is truly magnificent. The entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. The Kalyan Mandapa or the royal wedding hall, are lined with elaborately detailed oil paintings, illustrating the great Mysore Dussehra Festival of 1930.
The grandeur and magnificence of Hawa Mahal can captivate any onlloker who passes by the main streets of Jaipur. Also known as 'The Palace of the Winds', it is Jaipur's most acclaimed attraction. This five-storey majestic palace is built in pink sandstone and possess hundreds of screened windows and small balconies.
Hawa Mahal was built with some specific purpose in mind. Maharaja Sawraj Pratap Singh, in 1799, built the Palace of Wind. It was built for women in the royal family to view the ceremonial processions on the street, behind delicate stone-carved jali, while seated behind the small windows. The windows were built in such a way that the women were not visible to anybody.
Hawa Mahal is a major landmark and a famous tourist attraction of Jaipur. The Palace offers a beautiful sight to behold. The splendid Rajputana achitecture of Hawa Mahal, still speaks the glory of the royal family. However, one can also find a glimpse of Mughal architecture, which is blended perfectly to make it different from others. The literal meaning of Hawa Mahal is Palace of Winds. Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799.
Hawa Mahal is a pyramid-shaped facade with five stories. It has 953 small windows decorated with tiny lattice work. These pink sandstone windows commonly known as "Jharokhas" are constructed in such a style, that it looks like a giant honeycomb. The air circulation through windows represents the marvelous touch of Mughal designing, which keeps the Palace always cool. The small screened balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices enhance the beauty of the Palace. The Pyramidal outline and replication of pattern makes it more attractive in appearance.
As a matter of fact, Hawa Mahal is believed to build for the women of the Royal Families, since they had to observe strict "purdah" (cover). The small windows and screened balconies serve the women to watch processions and different activities taking place on the streets. In this manner, the women could enjoy a sense of freedom without showing themselves.
Early morning is considered as the best time to visit the Palace, when it is drenched in the golden light of the Sun. At this time, Hawa Mahal appears incredible. One cannot possibly describe the beauty of the Palace in words. The golden light of the early morning sun floats beautifully through the windows of this palace creating a wonderful sight for one and all. The palace has to be visited to experience the true beauty.