The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur is one of the oldest palaces in India to enjoy actual royal company. This grand yellow sandstone palace (the same sandstone used in the Taj Mahal) is set over 26 acres of lush gardens. Built in between 1928 and 1943, this palace is the youngest marvel of its kind in India. It was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of the Rathore Dynasty. The royal home, a source of significant pride for the desert city of Jodhpur is placed upon a hillock overlooking the Blue City of India. The heritage and hospitality of the palace is now kept alive by the Taj Group of Hotels, one of the biggest luxury hotel chains in the country holding quite a reputation among nationals and foreigners alike. However, only a part of the palace is held by Taj. Maharaja Gaj Singh, a direct descendent of Maharaja Umaid Singh still resides in the palace.
The stunning edifice is part palace, part hotel and part museum. The museum is open to all. It houses some truly unique artefacts and specimens, most of which are quite priceless. The sandstone monument consists of two distinct wings, one of which is entirely dedicated as the residence to the descendants of the Rathore Dynasty. They pursue their indulgent, lavish and imperial lifestyle away from prying eyes. The second is of course the hotel.