26th November 2008 was a grim day in Indian history as it was the day when one of India’s leading metros Mumbai fell prey to terrorist attacks. The armed terrorists created havoc in the city when after a shooting spree they occupied Mumbai’s famous hotels, the Taj Mahal hotel and the Oberoi hotel. The Taj Mahal Hotel suffered extensive damage in this terror siege that lasted over 60 hours and took over 166 lives. The hotel which has since been under renovation to restore it back to its previous glory will finally open its doors to public on this 15th august, which is also India’s Independence Day. Staff members cheered and tossed rose petals in the air after Chairman Ratan Tata garlanded a bust of the founder of the Tata Group, ahead of the scheduled opening.
Mr. Tata, who had vowed to “rebuild every inch” of the iconic hotel, founded in 1903, was emotional when he said, “This flagship property, this venerable Old Lady, is going to reopen in the same glory, the same splendor of more than 100 years,”. So after 21 months of grueling work by architects and artisans not just from India but all over the world, the hotel will open its doors to the public.
The renovated hotel will surely live up to its image and offer every bit of that majestic splendor that it is so well known for. The hotel’s ballroom is now redone in tones of gold, and the entire restoration work reportedly cost the company around 1.8 billion rupees ($38 million).
The Taj hotel, which is known for depicting Oriental, Florentine, and Moorish architectural styles in its ceilings, archways, and marble floorings, has retained its priceless Belgian chandeliers, antique chests, and sacred icons. Still, it has refurbished all its luxurious suites, including the Ravi Shankar suite.