Umaid Bhawan Palace, largest private residence in the world , Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Umaid Bhavan palace, Jodhpur,

Umaid Bhavan

Numerous exotic, massive Indian palaces at lots of  places in India are remainders of past legacy and by-gone era of prosperity and plenty of the royal families. It shows how Indian Maharajas and Nawobs had lived lavishly and built elegant buildings of architectural beauty and workmanship. The colonial rulers were very much impressed by their affluence and easy way of life and the hoards of rich treasures they had in their secret vault. The British sahibs at last took over their rich, prosperous kingdoms using various pretexts.  
Umaid Bhavan palace-lounge. credit:

 Umaid Bhawan Palace Rajasthan, India, is  world's  second largest private residence – a palatial place. Named after Maharajah Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owners of the palace, this monument has 347 rooms and once served as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. Also called Chittar Palace due to its location atop a hill and use of stones commonly known as Chittar (pink  sand stones) in the building.   It has a total of 347 rooms with a beautifully ornamented 110 feet high inspiring central dome.   The art deco fa├žade incorporates traditional Indian accents, while the interiors showcase incredible Polish frescoes, marble and an immense central dome. The palm court marble (as in the Taj) stores are carefully used  to give accent to to its majesty.

 Presently the palace has three functional parts – royal museum, residence of the present royal family of Raja Umaid Singh and a luxury hotel - Taj Palace hotel (operating since 1972).

Umaid Bhavan palace  cars owned by the royal family

Umaid Bhavan palace, Jodhpur. esamskititi. com

The architect of the palace was   Henry Vaughan Lanchester (1863–1953).  An astonishing feature of the palace is that no mortar or cement was used in its construction. Rather, carved stones were used and joined together by a system of interlocking positive and negative pieces - something like dove-tailing. It is said that about 5000 men were employed by the ruler in the construction of the Umaid  Bhawan Palace during the time of famine. The Maharajah was humane and kind and helped his subjects who had faced  starvation. He kept them alive in return for work when building the palace. 

Work began on the 18th November of 1929 and completed in 1943, four years before India's independence. At that time the cost of construction came to somewhere around a whooping sum - one crore (ten million) rupees.