Back in 2011, when we’d gone to India we had visited the beautiful city of Udaipur and Jodhpur and on our way back home we’d stopped over in Thailand. The common factors between the cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Bangkok was that we bumped into the royalty of these cities.
The State of Rajasthan has an active Royal presence to this day. Both, Maharajas of these cities, have allowed either half or a section of their Palaces to be a tourist attraction. Needless to say, when going to these cities, visiting the Palaces is a must do.
One fine day, in the white city of Udaipur we decided to do the tour of the City Palace. There were life size paintings of the members of the Royal family. From the past as well as the present. After an entire day’s outing we finally head back to our hotel. As we enter our hotel, we see a gentleman exiting. We had a quizzical look on our face as he looked very familiar but we couldn’t quite place where we’d seen or met him. He also had a quizzical look on his face, as he wasn’t sure why we were staring at him. Once he left, my mother went to the reception and asked a staff member who that person was. He was the person, whose house we’d visited during the day and had seen life size paintings of. He was the Maharaja of Udaipur.
A few days later, we had gone to Jodhpur, the blue city. And again, on one fine day we decided to go to the Palace known as the Umaid Bhawan Palace. I remember clearly it was Christmas Eve, as I remember reading a notice that the Palace would be closed the next two days. It would be closed on the 25th as it was Christmas, and it would be closed on the 26th, as it was the Maharaja’s birthday. By the time we had finished visiting the Palace, it was late afternoon. As we were exiting the Palace and heading towards our car, we notice that the Maharaja was also leaving the Palace in his car, on his way out. This was our second Royal encounter on this trip.
As they say, third time’s a charm. Our Indian leg of the trip had come to an end, and we were on our way back to New Zealand, stopping in Thailand for a week. We’d visited Phuket and Bangkok. We were staying at the St. Regis in Bangkok. That is one amazing hotel! On one of the days during our stay, the hotel was hosting a fashion show. The King and Queen of Thailand were the guests of honour at this show. However at the time, the King was not keeping very well due to ill health and so he’d sent his daughter to the event instead. We’d gone to the mall and were on our way back, and the Thai cops right outside our hotel had asked us to wait. We were confused as to what was going on. But when we went upstairs to the reception area, the hotel manager had explained to us that the Princess was here for the event. We saw her and all the photographers getting photos of her.
I hope you enjoyed this travel anecdote.
Until next time,