The Taj Mahal Palace in all its glory
A balcony to remember
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/6s f/3.2 ISO 100)
(Panasonic Lumix FZ50 at 1/10s, f/3.2 ISO 100)
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is a prestigious luxury hotel located in the Colaba region of Mumbai, India, next to the Gateway of India. Part of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, this iconic 105-year old heritage building retains its stature as the flagship property of the group and contains 565 rooms. The hotel has hosted a long list of notable guests including Mick Jagger, Jacques Chirac, The Duke & Duchess of Kent, Joan Collins, The King & Queen of Norway, Marianne Faithfull, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Beatles, Bill Clinton and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and also caters to professional cricket teams on tour.
From an historical and architectural point of view, The Taj Mahal Palace and the Tower are two distinct buildings, built at different times and in different architectural designs.The Taj Mahal Palace hotel resort was commissioned by Tata and first opened its doors to guests on December 16, 1903. It is widely believed that Tata decided to build the luxurious hotel after he was refused entry to one of the city's grand hotels of the time, Watson's Hotel, as it was restricted to 'whites only'.
The cost of construction was £250000 (£127 million today). During World War I, the hotel was converted into a 600-bed hospital. The dome of the hotel is made from the same steel as used in the Eiffel Tower. Jamsedji Tata imported the same steel during that time. The hotel was the first in India to install and operate a steam elevator.