If you are visiting Gateway of India in Mumbai, you cannot miss the iconic building of hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Hotel.
Located next to the Gateway of India in the Colaba region of Mumbai, this architectural marvel was built by Jamsetji Tata in 1903. It is said that Jamsetji Tata built this hotel as he was not allowed entry in one of the Mumbai’s grand hotels at that time, Watson’s Hotel.
The Taj Mahal Tower, an additional wing of the hotel, was opened in 1973. It was designed by Melton Bekker and Swiss designer Dale Keller did the interiors.
Some interesting things to know:
- The 5 star hotel is a “Heritage Grand” class.
- It was built in 1903, 21 years before the Gateway of India.
- Architecture: Taj Mahal Palace has a rich blend of European and Islamic-style architecture. It was originally designed by Indian architects DN Mirza and Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya. The project was completed by the British architect and engineer WA Chambers.
- During World War I the hotel was converted into a hospital with 600 beds.
- When the hotel opened on December 16, 1903, it was one of the most expensive hotels of that time. It charged Rs 10 for a single room and Rs 13 for rooms with fans and attached bathrooms. Full board was available for Rs 20.
- The hotel housed freedom-fighters free of cost during the struggle for India’s independence.
- During November 2008 terrorists attacks, the hotel was damaged and was reopened after extensive repairs on independence day i.e. 15 August 2010,.
- On 6, November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama became the first foreign head of state to stay at the hotel after the attacks.
- The hotel has many firsts to it’s credit:
- first in India to have electricity, American fans and German elevators.
- first hotel in India to employ women
- Mumbai’s first licensed bar,
- India’s first all-day restaurant, and
- the India’s first discotheque
- first Indian hotel to use a steam elevator