In 1929 things were not good in the local economy. As a relief project the Maharaja started a project to build a new palace which would end up employing 3,000 workers for more than fourteen years. The result would be one of the world’s last great palaces ever built, and one of the largest.
Today, the palace is divided into an ultra-luxury hotel, the residence of the current royal family, and a small museum, which is the part Ben and I visited. While small, it had some interesting things to be seen. Starting with the mustache on the door guard.
Most of what was on display was the story of the Maharaja and the building. He lived an interesting life, was an avid aviation enthusiast, chief scout, philanthropist, etc. Although we had been led to believe there was a room of arms and armory, in fact there was not. But there were several galleries of the art deco designs for the building, patterns and samples of the glassware, dinner service, furniture and other custom designed elements of the palace.
I think Ben and I most enjoyed the collection of watches and clocks, which was small, but superb, such as this example with miniature painting. Another one we really liked was a realistic model of a train.
Just for yucks, we tried to get into the hotel afterwards to have a look around. Usually we’re able to do this by asking to see the restaurant and its menu. Obviously this property highly values the privacy of the guests and politely informed us that the minimum charge for lunch or dinner was the equivalent of US$40 per person. Without batting an eyelid, I asked to see the menu, which they produced at the gate. Beluga caviar starters, etc. etc.
I later checked the rates for rooms, which range from US$350 to $1,500 per night. Perhaps if Kelly and I come back, this can be our treat to ourselves. Would sure beat dealing with erratic a/c, wi-fi, and power!