Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur traveled to England in 1925, in search of an architect. He commissioned the London firm Lanchester and Lodge, and 15 years later, some 3000 people had built the Maharaja this spectacular sandstone palace, the Umaid Bhawan Palace .
Jodhpur 's royal residence, this splendid palace is considered the largest private residence in the world. Designed by Henry Vaughan Lanchester, it took 14 years to build and was completed in 1943, the last of India 's great palaces.
The withdrawal of titles, privileges and privy purses from the former rulers of the states, in 1971, by the Government of India, made it difficult for the princely families to maintain the palaces that were their homes. That's when the young Maharaja Gaj Singh started exploring the possibilities of turning a part of the palace into a hotel. Subsequently, the Umaid Bhawan was opened as the finest luxury hotel in India . It has 95 rooms and suites and is reputed to be amongst the finest palace hotels in the world.
The sumptuous art deco interiors have been carefully restored. The hotel has its own post office, museum, library, auditorium, underground swimming pool, tennis courts, marble-floored squash courts, a billiards room and gardens which can accommodate 6000 people. Residents can amble through the Throne Room and garages stabling vintage cars. The Hotel's kitchens are known for their Marwari and Rajasthani food.