26 Nov 2016


26 Nov 2016

Live like a Royal

On my last trip to India I returned to one of my favourite hotels to experience once again the grandeur of a maharaja’s palace. I stayed at the splendid Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

This grand art deco building is the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh. Since 2006 however the Taj Group of Hotels has leased a wing with 64 rooms and suites to give a taste of indulgent exoticism to well heeled travellers. Fit for a king and his guests, Umaid Bhawan does not disappoint. Every room, nook and cranny reveals fascinating anecdotes from its rich and privileged history

The Luxurious grounds of Umaid Bhawan

Photography by Tony Sernack

Prince Charles, played in its billiard room, Mick Jagger was the celebrity attraction at a recent Indian wedding in the Palace’s vast gardens and Angelina Jolie has taken a plunge in the magnificent pool while Brad Pitt enjoyed the trophy tigers’ heads and the plush surroundings of the reading room.

Everything here reminds me of the opulence and power of a bygone era found in Rudyard Kipling’s amazing accounts of life at the time of the Raj. You and I can have a taste of it, just by spending a couple of days here while visiting one of the most memorable cities in India.

“Now India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously – the midday sun always excepted.”

Rudyard Kipling

Since ancient times India has been driven by great ideas and by the search for knowledge and truth. How to live life sharing the planet with other people, how to find happiness and how to seek enlightenment through peace and non violence. These ideas have shaped the art and culture of this great nation making it profoundly colourful, rich, vibrant and sophisticated since the 5th century BC when great empires rose and ruled the land until the arrival of the British. Their legacy is still present in today’s India making a journey through the subcontinent  a truly rewarding experience.

I have been visiting India since 1988 and over the years I have been able to discover its fascinating charm and allure, its unbridled exuberance, opulence and depth as well as its more troubled side of endemic poverty and apparent chaos. Yet I continue to be drawn to it and would like to share with you the best of it, so you can also fall in love with it.

Let me design for you a wonderful tailor-made journey across a world like no other.

Lucia O’Connell

Walking in Jodhpur – Photography Tony Sernack

Celebrating Holi on the streets of India

Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur, one of the most beautiful in India

Every late afternoon in India, the world is enveloped in a wonderful golden glow as the sun sets.

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