Maharaja Sir Ganga Singhji was an avid lover of grand architectural feats as he had an incisive understanding of ancient Hindu, the Mogul and the British architectural styles. Most of the buildings ordained by him present a delicate blend of multiple architectural patterns while strongly emphasizing the Indian element.
The foundation of Sadul Club came in the wake of the turn of the century and the sad demise of Queen Victoria, Empress of India in 1901. The idea of establishing a grand club had been in the mind of Maharaja Ganga Singhji for some time and he found it befitting to dedicate the club as his tribute to the memory of Queen Victoria. The decisive meeting for the establishment of the club was held on 5th February 1901 and on the following day the Private Secretary to His Highness (H.H.) issued orders for the building of the club exclusively as a private building and not as a state building (See the copy of this historical document and that of the club meeting held on 8th January 1901 in our archives section).
His Highness Ganga Singhji availed the services of the renowned architect Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob, who had also designed the structure of the Lallgarh palace, for the building of the club. 500 acres of land was provided for the purpose by His Majesty. The most interesting aspect of this enterprise was that the total incurring cost of the club Rs. 1,02,366.00 was raised entirely through public subscription and H.H.'s prowess in handling finances surfaced in the manner in which he coerced almost all the state departments and private entrepreneurs to make donations for the club (Some letters to this effect and the lists of contributors can be viewed in our archives section).
Once completed Victoria Memorial Club became a fascinating treat to the eyes of all the beholders. In its original form the club included – two beautiful polo grounds, two tennis courts, two racquet squash courts, skating rink, an indoor swimming pool, a combined football and cricket ground with an amazing pavilion, a horse galloping track, gymkhana stands, gymkhana and an 18 hole golf course. The gardens around the club captivated the visitors with their unmatched beauty and splendid charm.
The club was formally opened by Lord Curzon, the then viceroy of India on 24th Nov 1902 A.D. The club is one of the oldest and renowned clubs of the world with historical importance attached to it. The club's stature can be gauged by the royal and other famous dignitaries visiting the club: The Duke of Connaught, the Second Son of Queen Victoria and the Great Duke of Hesse, attended the function of Prize distribution of Walter Nobles High School along with Maharajah Ganga Singhji on 17th Feb1903 A.D. In addition to the above the following military review parades were held at Victoria Memorial Club Grounds in the Honour of visiting dignitaries viz.
- H.H.Madho Rao Scindia of Gwalior 9 Nov 1903
- H.H.Krishna Raj of Mysore, 7 April 1904
- Prince of Wales, George later King George the V, 24 Nov 1905
- Lord Minto then Viceroy of India, 21 Nov 1906
- Lord Hardinge the then Viceroy of India, 26 Nov 1912
- Lord Chelmsford the then Viceroy of India, 29 Nov 1920
- Prince of Wales Edward later on King Edward the VIII, 2 Dec 1921
- Lord Reading the then Viceroy of India, 18 Nov 1922
- Lord Irwin, 29 Jan 1928
- Lord Linlithgow 4 Nov 1937
- Lord Mountbatten the last Viceroy of India. 16 Jan 1948
The Victoria Memorial Club was formally renamed SADUL CLUB in January 1949 after the then H.H.Maharaja Sadul Singhji who brought it in modern shape being a fond lover of modern buildings. Even in the post independence era the club achieved great attention by virtue of the Shooting exploits of the patron of the Club Maharaja Dr. Karni Singhji son of Sh. Sadul Singhji. He won numerable trophies for the country in various shooting competitions at World level.
One of the greatest defining moments in the history of the club came in the form of the unanimous election of Sh. Devi Singhji Bhati as the club's president in the year 2006. Minister of state and MLA from Sri Kolayat (Bikaner) for the last 30 years Sh. Devi Singhji's name brings a special resonance of warmth, love and true leadership for the people of Rajasthan. A passionate believer in the cultural heritage of Rajasthan Sh. Devi Singhji's tenure as the president of the club has initiated the dream era in the revival of the old glory of the club.