Saif Ali Khan has often been referred to as royalty and 'Chhote Nawab'. His father, Mansoor Ali Khan, was the ninth Nawab of Pataudi and was also the former captain of the Indian cricket team. In 1971. However, he disowned his title (Pataudi) after the government abolished princely titles. The Pataudi Palace though has been associated with their family, and we've often seen Saif along with his wife Kareena Kapoor Khan and son Taimur ring in their birthdays and spend quality time at the palace.
Various reports state that Saif Ali Khan has bought back the Pataudi palace with the money he made from his films.
However, Saif Ali Khan dismisses reports of him buying back Pataudi Palace, calls Rs 800 crore price tag 'a massive exaggeration.'
Saif Ali Khan denies buying back his own property
The actor, who recently returned to Mumbai after a quick visit to Pataudi, told Mumbai Mirror:
The estimated worth is 'a massive exaggeration; a miscommunication really. It's impossible to put a value to it in monetary terms because emotionally, the property is priceless. My grandparents and father are buried there, there are security, serenity and a spiritual connection there for me. The land goes back by a few centuries, but the palace that my grandfather built for my grandmother is around a hundred years old. He was the ruling monarch then, but since then, privy purses and titles have been abolished. These are different times which is why my father leased it out and Francis (Wacziarg) and Aman (Nath), who ran a hotel in the palace, took good care of the property and were like family. My mother (Sharmila Tagore) has a cottage there and she was always comfortable.
The property was leased to Neemrana hotels
Saif said that the property was leased to Neemrana Hotels, but he felt a desire to have it back in the family after his father's death.
When I was offered the chance, I wrapped up the lease that was left, paid up and took possession of our home again. It was a fair financial arrangement and contrary to reports, I did not have to buy it back because I already owned it. In my teenage years, I was the black sheep, so, it feels nice now to do this for the family and our heritage.
The actor further said that he rents out certain portions of the property for film shoots so that it can sustain itself.
How did it start?
Previously, in an interview to Mid-Day, Saif said,
People have a certain fixed notion. For that matter, even [with] Pataudi [palace], when my father died, it got rented to Neemrana Hotels. Aman [Nath] and Francis [Wacziarg] used to run [the hotel]. Francis passed away. He'd said that if I wanted (the palace) back, I could let him know. I said: 'I want it back'. They held a conference, and said, 'okay, you have to give us lots of money!' Which I then consequently earned."
So, even 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.
Kareena and Saif celebrated their 8th anniversary at Pataudi.
Today, the Pataudi Palace is considered a prime property, valued at 800 crores and Saif and his family enjoy paying a visit to their royal abode. On the occasion of their 8th wedding anniversary this week, Kareena took to Instagram to share a special post on occasion.
She wrote, "Once upon a time, there was a girl named Beboo and a boy named Saifu. They both loved spaghetti and wine... and lived happily ever after. Now you guys know the key to a happy marriage. On that note, happy anniversary SAKP... here's to eternity and beyond."
Pataudi Palace has also been a shoot location for Hollywood and Bollywood films, including Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts, and Mangal Pandey starring Aamir Khan. It was also the venue for his son Taimur Ali Khan's very first birthday celebration.