A Palace that saved lives
Lifestyle | Pleasure
The cause, beauty and elegance of the Umaid Bhawan
When we talk about palaces, it is almost perpetual to think of a prince’s or a king’s residence. But it is rare to
explore that a masterpiece in the blue city of Jodhpur stands tall as a result of what was necessary to save the city
from a curse.
Maharaja Umaid Singh, who was the 37th Rathore to reign at Marwar of Jodhpur witnessed the hardship of the farmers of
the area who had been dealing with a severe drought followed by famine in the 1920s. It is believed till date that a
curse by a saint had affected the city. According to the locals the saint said, “a period of drought would follow the
good rule of the Rathore Dynasty”. And the similar happened soon after the end of the 50 year reign of Pratap Singh.
Therefore, in order to help the depleting lives of the farmers and people, the Maharaja decided to build the beautiful
Umaid Bhawan. He proposed that the plan would generate employment for the people and they would be able to survive
through the hard times. The Maharaja then commissioned Henry Vaughan Lanchester who is popularly known as the
contemporary version of Edwin Lutyens who designed the buildings of the New Delhi Government complex. Lanchester as the
architect prepared the plans of the palace. The unavoidable dome of the Umaid Palace was patterned on the lines of the
Lutyens design. The themes of the domes and the columns were much more adopted. But what makes Umaid Palace stand out is
its design which was blended finely with western technology and Indian architectural features.