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The Dholpur connection: From Vasundhara Raje to Begum Noorjahaan

New Delhi: Not many are aware of the fact that Delhi's Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) building (Dholpur House) and Dholpur's Rajniwas Palace have something in common: both were the properties of King Hemant Singh,

India TV News Desk [ Updated: July 01, 2015 16:09 IST ]
know more about dholpur palace
know more about dholpur palace

New Delhi: Not many are aware of the fact that Delhi's Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) building (Dholpur House) and Dholpur's Rajniwas Palace have something in common: both were the properties of King Hemant Singh, who is ex-husband of Rajashthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and father of MP Dushyant Singh.

The red sandstone mansion with sprawling lawns also known as Raj Niwas Palace acquired the status of a heritage hotel. The hotel is now being run by Niyant Heritage Hotels Pvt Ltd, owned by Dushyant Singh, son of Vasundhara.

Also Dushyant's wife Niharika, his mother Vasundhara, and their family friend Lalit Modi have some shares in the firm.

Modi reportedly paid a whopping Rs 96,180 for each share that was initially priced at Rs 10.

Dholpur has an interesting history of its own and it has witnessed bitter family conflicts since time of Mughal era.

Dholpur was known for its natural beauty, dense forests and ample games that attracted the royal princes regularly visiting this region during Mughal period.  

The beauty of Dholpur fascinated Akbar so much that he constructed the palaces at Khanpur on the banks of Talab-shahi near Bari.  

Once, Dholpur became a matter of dispute between Shahjahan and Nur Jahan. Shahjahan requested Emperor Jehangir to give him the pargana of Dholpur. Shahjahan, taking it for granted that the Emperor would give his consent, sent his faithful officer to Dholpur.

On the other hand, Nur Jahan had already acquired the Paragana of Dholpur for prince Shahryar.

It was followed by a bloody battle between the two sides that took nine lives. This invited Jahangir's wrath and prince Shahjahan to a distant place. Dholpur also invoked the interest of Marathas and Peshawas during their era.

Spread across 13 acre of land, the Dholpur Palace was built to welcome Albert Edward during his visit to India in 1876. It is located in Dholpur town in the eastern part of Rajasthan near the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

King Udaybhan was the last king of Dholpur state who died after 43 years of reign at the age of 61. Hemant Singh was the son of Maharaj Pratap Singh. After the demise of Udaybhan, his wife adopted Hemant Singh who became the titular Maharaja of Dholpur 1954�1971, after which the royal titles and privy purses were abolished in Republic of India.

Hemant Singh was married to the third daughter of King of Gwalior Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia in 1972. But the marriage didn't last long and the couple divorced. When Vashundhara was divorced, she was pregnant. Vasundhara's mother and veteran BJP leader Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia dragged Hemant Singh to court.

Raje's estranged husband Hemant Singh and son Dushyant Singh were involved in an ugly battle over the possession of Dholpur battle.

After almost three decades, the father-son duo reportedly struck a compromise formula in 2007, according to which, Hemant Singh acquired the rights of  properties in Delhi that includes a mansion at the Panchsheel Mag. Dushyant got the ownership of the palace in question, a mansion in Shimla, a dozen vintage cars and jewels from Dholpur's treasure.

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