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Taj Rambagh Palace – Jaipur

Walk from room to room amongst rich textures, opulent furnishings and exquisite objects d’art. Step out into expansive, ornamental gardens arranged in brilliant symmetry. Retire to rooms that were once the sanctuaries of kings, princes and their guests. Rambagh Palace exudes an unmistakable sense of history. It’s an architectural masterpiece that transcends time.

Request the legendary Peacock suite, which overlooks the Mughal Terrace and the garden where the Maharaja used to celebrate “Holi,” the festival of color and lights. Stage an evening of high romance in a private tent, illuminated only by torchlight. Indulge in a stately dining at the gilded Suvarna Mahal, formerly the palace ballroom. Enjoy a royal, feast and lounging under a star-speckled sky. Play Polo as the kings played it, or at a more leisurely pace on elephant back. Wind up the day’s activities in the sophisticated charm of the legendary Polo Bar. Rambagh Palace allows guest to partake of a wealth of experiences that resound with the memories, luxuries and extravagances of a bygone era that luckily, has not entirely disappeared.

The guests find themselves quickly immersed in the beauty of this refined and thoughtfully restored palace. Each richly renovated room has opulent interiors with unique themes, hand painted motif work on the walls, regal four-poster beds, walk-in wardrobes and luxurious bathrooms to provide a distinct experience befitting royalty.

Impressive bathroom fixtures are accompanied by lavish personal care essentials. Wi-fi and dual line phones keep guests easily connected to the world outside, while a private bar, satellite TV and DVD offer endless entertainment on the spot. Extensive in-room dining menu allows guests to feast in the privacy their own quarters. Every aspect of your stay will be as warm and regal as your surroundings.

A bit of history…

From the home of the queen’s favourite handmaiden, to royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, and later as the residence of the Maharaja, this ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ has stepped gracefully through many royal transitions. The finest traditions of Rajput hospitality pour out of its every brick and cornice. Its elegant rooms, marbled corridors and majestic gardens echo with history, and every corner has a story to tell.

Rambagh Palace is a living legend in Jaipur. Built in 1835 on a modest scale for the queen’s favourite handmaiden Kesar Badaran, and later refurbished as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, the mansion was renamed Rambagh, after the then reigning Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II.

His grandson, prince Sawai Man Singh II, was brought here on his accession in 1910. In those years princely living entailed having a school for the prince within the premises, so a private school was set up for a few chosen sons of aristocracy, to escape the confines of the city palace.

Sawai Man Singh II later went to England to finish his studies. While at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in England, he often dreamt of making Rambagh his official residence. On his return he began actualizing his dream by converting Rambagh into the magnificent palace it is today, drawing inspiration from Mughal and Rajasthani styles of architecture. His majestic expansions transformed the palace into its glory of today. In 1925, Rambagh Palace became the permanent residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The pride of the palace was the sprawling garden that featured in Peter Coat’s ‘Most Beautiful Gardens of the World’.

In 1931, the Imperial Government conferred upon the maharaja his full powers. After two heirless generations, the maharaja’s two wives sent the kingdom into ecstasy when they gave birth to two sons and a daughter between them. After becoming the toast of English high society with his good looks, charm, wealth, polo prowess and beautiful family, the charismatic maharaja returned to India in 1933 and took up residence with his family in Rambagh. The palace was transformed into a beehive of fun, life laughter and vibrant activity. All presided over by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and run smoothly by his right hand men. “The thirties were undoubtedly the glorious, golden years of Rambagh”, reminisces Rajmata Gayatri Devi, the Mahara’s ethereal wife, named the most beautiful woman in the world by Vogue magazine in 1940. As the war loomed and many officers were called away on duty, she took over the running of the household. With her gracious hospitality, she entertained Viceroys, Lords, Ladies, polo players, officers and artists.

In 1947, India declared her independence, the princely states were merged with the Union of India and the Maharaja of Jaipur was appointed the Rajpramukh of the state of Rajasthan. Rambagh Palace became the Raj Bhavan or Government House. The next year, the state celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the Maharaja’s reign. The fact that he was no longer the ruler stopped nobody from celebrating with great gusto. The palace was flooded with visiting dignitaries, including the Mountbattens and fourteen maharajas and their families. The last of the India’s princely celebrations was held when the only daughter of the family wedded the heir-apparent of Baria. The two-week extravaganza still stands in the Guinness Book of Records today as the world’s most expensive wedding. But the grand Rambagh Palace still had more celebrating to do. Maharani Gayatri Devi gave birth to Maharajkumar Jagat Singh in 1949 to complete the family. A public holiday was declared and well wishers from all walks of life, as well as more distinguished guests poured into the palace.

Rambagh remained the home of Jaipur’s Royalty until 1957, when it was first converted into an upscale hotel that they continued to manage. In 1972, with its legacy of hospitality, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces was the perfect choice to carry on the royal tradition of the luxurious Rambagh Palace. Over the years Rambagh has played gracious host to several illustrious guests, such as Lord Louis Mountbatten, (who gave his name to a suite), Prince Charles, Jacqueline Kennedy and many other luminaries.