Abhishek, Aishwarya to marry in Jodhpur?
The post-wedding bashes of Hollywood actress Liz Hurley and India-born businessman Arun Nayar next week are certainly the talk of town, but now Rajasthan is rolling out the red carpet for the marriage of none other than actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
Umaid Bhavan Palace may be the ceremony venue for Aishwarya and Abhishek, usually well informed sources say. Amitabh Bachchan has sent a couple of his close friends to Jodhpur to finalise the hotel bookings.
Besides Umaid Bhavan, as many as four other hotels are to be booked in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer for the marriage ceremonies. The Bachchans want these hotels booked for a period of three days from March 18. The marriage is expected to take place March 19, these sources said.
However, March being tourism season in Rajasthan, they are finding it difficult to get the required number of rooms in both the cities, the sources said.
Close friends of the Bachchans who are camping in Jodhpur for the last couple of days have started to look for other hotels nearby, the sources said. These include Khimsar Fort, Balsamand Palace and Rohet Fort.
Earlier, the marriage ceremony was slated to take place in Jaipur's City Palace premises but later the Bachchans decided that Jodhpur it would be.
Sources, however, said so far nothing has been finalised. As directed by astrologers, the Bachchan family is interested in tying the knot as soon as possible.
Before that though, Umaid Bhavan will play host to the much talked about post-wedding parties of Hurley and Nayar. The two will marry in London Saturday after which they will hold celebrations in Mumbai and Jodhpur.
Preparations for the party are reportedly in full swing in Jodhpur where the couple have booked the hotel from March 7-10.
The couple will hold two more parties at the imposing Mehrangarh Fort on March 9 and the pretty red sandstone structure, Balsamand Palace, 5 km from Jodhpur, March 10.
It is, of course, Umaid Bhavan Palace, that is the most sought after. Perched high above Jodhpur, it is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the world - set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens.
This golden-yellow sandstone monument was conceived on the grandest possible scale, in the fashionable Art Deco style of that time. After 15 years of construction, the 347-room palace was finally completed in 1943 - and has served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family since.
Designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, the palace is a blend of Eastern and Western architectural influences. A part of the palace is still the residence of the royal family and another section house a museum displaying a range of antiques from the royal past. The hotel portion has 64 rooms, including 40 suites, and is now a part of Taj group of hotels.
Hollywood star couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had also stayed there during their recent India visit.