MUMBAI'S TAJ MAHAL PALACE HOTEL-THEN AND NOW
History Of The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai,India was the subject of many newscasts since November 26,2008.The terrorist attacks not only killed and wounded many,but also caused major damage to the iconic hotel.Tata,a pioneer industrialist and philanthropist,conceived the idea of building a hotel in the wake of the bubonic plague which had devastated Bombay in the late 1890s.Tata's sole wish was to attract people to India,and incidentally to improve Bombay.
A little-known Indian architect, Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya, was employed in its construction but he died before the building was finished.Tata's architect friend WA Chambers completed the building, retaining nearly all Vaidya's original features while extending the central dome, and inevitably got the credit.
This historical hotel built in 1903 is an architectural marvel bringing together Moorish, Oriental, and Florentine styles and offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.The Gateway of India is opposite this gracious landmark where maharajas, princes, various kings, presidents, CEOs, and entertainers have stayed. Genuine artifacts and antiques lined the corridors and the rooms were decorated with original paintings and period furniture that exude an aura of old-world charm and elegance.Restaurants and bars were the finest and fine dining was an experience at the Taj Mahal Hotel.The historical Harbor Bar was India’s first licensed bar and played host to society’s crème de la crème.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
The Terrorist Attack
Indian commandos killed the last Islamist gunmen barricaded in Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel, ending a three-day battle that has left at least 195 people dead and wrecked landmarks across the city.
Heavy gunfire was heard and flames leapt from the windows of the historic waterfront hotel as troops from India's crack Black Cats unit engaged in a running battle with the remaining terrorists through rooms and corridors.
Shortly afterwards, the Mumbai police chief, Hasan Gafoor, said his force had regained control of the hotel, where the terrorists were believed to have used hostages as human shields.
Taj Then And Now
The Future Of Taj
The severely damaged hotel has to be rebuilt.The sixth floor is gutted,and many of its restaurants,including the famous Wasabi,burnt and the splendid dome is shaken because of the many explosions.The antique chandeliers and priceless artwork are all lost forever.
But the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower stands as an icon of the city of Mumbai, a symbol of both independence and dignity. It will also stand in the future as a representation of the indomitable human spirit of the people of Mumbai displayed in the face of the greatest adversity.