Umaid Bhawan Palace is reportedly one of the largest private residences in the world. The humongous palace has a total number of 347 rooms and is still in use by the royal family of Jodhpur. The
palace takes its name after the former ruler Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is partly managed by Taj Hotels and a part of it has been transformed into a museum.
Umaid Bhawan Palace was constructed by stones brought down from the Chittar hill. Hence, the palace is also known as the Chittar Palace. According to the myth, the construction of the palace is linked to a curse. It is said that the Rathor dynasty was cursed upon by a saint who said that there will be a period of drought following the good tiding of the Rathors. And indeed, the state faced three consecutive years of drought after the reign of Pratap Singh.
Maharaja Umaid Singh who was the 37th ruler of Marwar, was approached by the farmers to seek a way of sustenance. At that time, Umaid Singh came
up with the idea of building this lavish palace so that the people of the state could earn their living. The benevolence of the king was immortalized by naming the palace after him.
The palace was designed by Henry Vaughan Lanchester who was hired as the architect. Lancaster designed the palace in the lines of the New Delhi government complex. The palace exhibits similarity with New Delhi buildings featuring domes and columns. The design is an amalgamation of western patterns that merges well with Indian architecture.
The construction of the palace is said to have served its purpose as it employed a total number of 2000 to 3000 people. The construction of the
palace costed nearly Rs. 11 million. It opened in the year 1943.
The palace is mounted atop Chittar Hill and is rich with architectural excellence. The lavish construction work was aided by a railway track that was laid by Maharaja Umaid Singh. The palace features yellow color sandstone and Makrana marble. It was great visiting the royal abode.