Havelis, heritage and hotels

Havelis, heritage and hotels
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First Published: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 44 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 44 AM IST
Can you create art through corporate films? In most cases the answer would be no, but not if the person making the film is Zafar Hai. His latest work Jewels and Marble Palaces goes beyond being an ode to the Taj group-maintained palace hotels and actually connects us with a part of our heritage.
(To watch the video story click below)
Asked to forsake their kingdoms and along with that, their power, after India gained independence in 1947, the maharajas and maharanis of India had to give up their lives filled with excesses.
In 1971, the generous annual payments they were receiving from the government and that were guaranteed by law were also withdrawn. Many held on to their possessions, their jewellery, Rolls Royce’s, and palaces. But soon, these former kings were running out of cash to maintain their lavish lifestyles, and the former rulers now faced bankruptcy and ruin.
Royal palaces, many of them having several hundred rooms and acres and acres of property, became difficult to maintain. Some Maharajas sold their property to sustain themselves, others were forced to abandon their palaces. But those with a little business savvy ensured their financial prosperity through their palaces, till this day.
Zafar Hai’s visual exploration of four palaces, The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, The Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, the Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur, and Falaknuma Palace in Hyderbad, evokes memories of a time gone by.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 25 2008. 12 44 AM IST