Ticket to royalty

The late Rajmata Gayatri Devi always wanted to do a book on Rambagh Palace and author Dharmendar Kanwar fulfilled this wish by painstakingly gathering together the scattered pieces of its history, to offer a vivid picture of the many changes and successive restorations that have preserved its architectural and artistic integrity and tradition, in the book — Rambagh Palace Jaipur.

Prze catch: Maharani Gayatri Devi with a tiger she hunted and guests Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

The exquisite coffee table book also traces its many transitions — from the garden lodge to the royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, to official residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, and, to the luxury hotel it is today.

Styled in Grandeur: The grand Sukh Niwas, which is a room in the Rambagh Palace, is complete with ornate walls, period furniture and rich textured drapes.

“I had started work on this book even earlier but unfortunately, it couldn’t be done during the lifetime of Rajmata Gayatri Devi. The project was revived by the management of Rambagh Palace and I was very happy to work on the book as I had collected a lot of information on Rambagh as royal residence,” says Kanwar.

Portrait of a princess: Maharani Gayatri Devi, Rajmata of Jaipur, was the third Maharani of Jaipur (1939 to 1970) through her marriage to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. She was considered the most glamourous occupant of the Rambagh Palace

However, this book wasn’t easy to complete. The author shares that the challenges included the availability of archival material in terms of old photographs and written material and that took her longer than she had expected.

The royal bath! The marble bathtub in one of the suites of Rambagh Palace with beautiful peacock wall decorations and ornate mirrors.

“It meant meeting countless people who were connected to the hotel; unfortunately, not all of them were able to recollect their early years in Rambagh so that was a bit of a grey area,” she recalls. 

Framed for posterity: Lord and Lady Mountbatten pose for a formal photograph with visiting Maharajas and Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur during the later’s Silver Jubilee celebrations

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