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Hotel Umed Bhawan Palace

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Since olden days, the Maharaos of Kotah (as Kota was formerly called) had always lived in the medieval Fort inside the city. Wanting a modern palace for his personal use, Maharaja Umed Singh II settled for nothing but the best. He commissioned Sir Swinton Jacob, a distinguished officer of the Royal Engineers in the British Army, to design the building. As expected, Umed Bhawan came up in 1905 in the prevalent Indo-Sarcenic style. Plentiful supply of white Khimach and Pink Sandstone from nearby quarries helped, while Italian marble, among other things, had to be imported for flooring.

There was more to the impressive building apart from a peculiar clock tower Separate zenana (ladies') wing, Durbar Hall (investiture room), Edwardian Drawing Room, Library, Billiards Room, the Banquet Hall and even a cinema hall. Every visiting dignitary, including Queen Mary, who visited Kotah State in 1905, has been entertained at the Umed Bhawan Palace.

In 1930, the Umed Bhawan Palace was enlarged to provide accommodation for Maharaj Kumar Bhim Singh and his bride. George Devon, the designer, took great care to ensure that the new wing blended well with the old. This part of Umed Bhawan Palace remains a private residence while the rest is operational as a WelcomHeritage hotel.

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