Most celebrity homes make the rounds on social media every now and then — few end up serving as part of a royal legacy and even fewer serve as a prominent filming location. Pataudi Palace, as a result, serves as something of an outlier when it comes to Bollywood residences.
Also known as Ibrahim Kothi, the palace — which sprawls over 10 acres — has been home to various members of the Pataudi dynasty, exclusive travellers and dignitaries from across the globe, and now, actor and 10th Nawab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan.
Here are some exciting details about the Palace’s history, estimated worth, and more.
The conception of Pataudi Palace goes two generations down the Pataudi bloodline, back to Saif Ali Khan’s paternal grandfather, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi. As the 8th Nawab of Pataudi, the prince and ex-captain of India’s cricket team was set to marry Begum Sajida Sultan of Bhopal in 1939, he began to express doubts about welcoming her into the existing family estate, which was getting on in years.
As a result, he sought the skills of New Delhi colonial architect Robert Tor Russell and Austrian architect Karl Malte von Heinz, both of whom oversaw the design and construction of the palace.
After the 8th Nawab died in 1952, the property traded hands to his son, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi — who not only carried on the family legacy, but also went on to become India’s cricket captain. During his later years, the property was leased out to Francis Wacziarg and Aman Nath, owners of the Neemrana Hotels network of “non-hotel” hotels. Between 2005 – 2014, the residence was converted into the Pataudi Palace Hotel, and by the time Mansoor Ali passed away in 2011, the property no longer belonged to the Pataudi family.
It was in 2014 that Saif Ali Khan was offered the chance to buy back the property, which he readily agreed to.
“The house I’m supposed to have inherited has been earned back through money from films. You can’t live off the past. At least we can’t in our family, because there was nothing. There is history, culture, beautiful photographs; and, of course, some land. It has been a privileged upbringing. But there’s been no inheritance,” the actor once shared in an interview.
After Khan took ownership of the palace once more, he decided to renovate the residence — feeling that the hotel owners had a much more opulent design in mind. While the palace still showcases massive vintage chandeliers and the likes, Khan aimed to introduce a more understated, lived-in style to the property, and recruited interior designer Darshini Shah to carry out the project, after approving of her previous work on his and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Mumbai residence.
The result is Pataudi Palace as it stands today — 150 rooms, each featuring a unique set of furniture applications, colour palettes, and memorabilia collected by several family members.
A few particular highlights include a massive 22-seat dining table, and an airy, well-appointed ‘royal study’.
The property also features seven bedrooms, seven dressing rooms, multiple drawing rooms and dining rooms, and seven more lounges, complete with billiards tables and more.
While Khan’s dues to the Neemrana Hotels network remain unknown, recent estimates place the property value of Pataudi Palace at a whopping Rs 800 Crores — making it one of the most expensive private residences in the world.
Apart from housing generations of film stars — ranging from Saif’s mother Sharmila Tagore to the Kapoor and Khan khandaan who spend occasional holidays at the palace, the property has also served as a film location for many Bollywood and even a few Hollywood film crews.
Veer Zaara, Mangal Pandey, Julia Roberts’ Eat Pray Love, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, and Saif’s 2020 series Tandav were all filmed at Pataudi Palace, with the latter being the only project to be shot indoors.
(Featured Image Credits: Architectural Digest)