¤ Place Amidst The Royal Garden
The garden in which the Palace lies was earlier known as Kesar
Badaran ka Bagh or the Garden of Kesar Badaran. The garden lay just
outside the city walls and belonged to Kesar Badaran, the chief maid
of Chandravatji and the governess of her son Sawai Ram Singh. Ram
Singhs father, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh III died in 1835 under
mysterious circumstances at the age of 16 when his son and heir was
only 15 months old. According to the Rajput court laws the prince wasnt
allowed to leave the zenana or the womens quarters. He would be
permitted to go out of female influence only when he came of age. This
became a problem for the East India Company who couldnt control
the mind of the young prince. Later, the Rajput elders decided that
the zenana wasnt an appropriate environment for the prince to be
brought up. The British suggested that the prince should have a palace
built for him away from the dominance of the zenana. Ram Singh was
often made to visit the garden of Kesar Badaran and this was where the
first structures an enclosure and a four-room pavilion
came up on the grounds of the garden.
¤ The Royal Construction Begins
When Kesar died without an heir the garden automatically became the
property of the state and Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-1880)
became the owner. The garden came to be known as Ram Bagh and became
the favourite retreat of the maharaja. It was used as a hunting lodge,
a rest house and as an official guesthouse. Ram Singhs son Madho
Singh (1880-1922) added more rooms in 1887 to accommodate his guests
and turned the Ram Bagh into a lavish 26-room manor. The mansion was
further expanded to the plans of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the Chief
Engineer and Director of Public Works Department from 1867 to 1902.
The extension of the building included 10 additional bedroom suites, a
dining room and a reading room along with one reception in each of the
palaces three wings and verandahs. Ram Bagh was extravagantly
decorated with hand carved marble jalis (latticework in the windows),
sandstone balustrades, cupolas and chattris (cenotaphs). A squash
court, a tennis court, indoor swimming pool complete with trapeze and
a polo field were also added to the palace.
¤ The Royal Layout of The Palace
Sawai Man Singh died in 1922 and left the State of Jaipur to his 11
year old adopted son Sawai Man Singh II. History again repeated itself
and Sawai Man Singhs guardian, Sir James Roberts decided that
the prince must be given a proper education away from the zenana. A
month after the Maharajas death Sir James converted Ram Bagh
Palace into a school for the growing prince.
and eventually just like Ram Singh, Man Singh developed a fondness
for the place. Even before he attained majority, Man Singh declared
Ram Bagh as his official residence and on 20 January 1925, the
garden-cum-manor-cum-guest house-cum school became a royal palace.
Sumptuous amount of money were spent on the palace to convert it into
a befitting residence of the maharaja. The interiors were furnished by
Hammonds of London that included a magnificent red and gold Chinese
room, chandeliers, crystal, fountains, and illuminated dining tables
all of Lalique. The palace gardens were once feature in Peter Coats
the Most Beautiful Gardens of the World. It is also the only residence
in the world that has a polo field attached to it.
Ram Bagh Palace converted into Residence of Rajpramukh.
After Independence the state of Jaipur was merged with Jodhpur,
Jaisalmer, and Bikaner to become the Greater Rajasthan Union in 1949.
As the ruler of the largest, richest, and most powerful of Rajput
states, Man Singh was honoured with the title of Rajpramukh or Head of
State of the Union for life, with Jaipur as the capital. Ram Bagh
Palace thus became the official government residence of the
¤ Palace Converted into Luxurious Hotel
However, in 1956 his office was suddenly terminated and in order to
reduce expenses due to the loss of wealth and privilege, Man Singh
decided to convert his beloved home into the states first luxury
hotel. and on 8 December 1957 the Ram Bagh Palace Hotel was formally
opened and the Maharaja of Jaipur became the first active princely
hotelier in India. The palace was later expanded from 26 rooms to 80
in 1968, and in 1972 the Taj Group of Hotels took over its management.
The most expensive rooms in the palace hotel are the Maharaja Suite,
the Maharani Suite and the Mountbatten Suite and are always in demand
by the foreign tourists. The hotel has also retained the original
dining room, Suvarna Mahal, built in the 18th century French style and
has huge crystal chandeliers. The Polo Bar still has on display some
of the trophies and memorabilia of the Jaipur polo team at its