Built a hundred years ago, the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai has many interesting facets.
This was built by a prominent industrialist Jamshedji Tata, as he was barred from entering a 'Whites Only' Watsons Hotel in Mumbai.
There is an urban myth surrounding this hotel's architecture. The design was done at England by a renowned architect of the time called WA Stevens. According to the myth, Stevens committed suicide by jumping off its dome on seeing how the the hotel was built! The reason? it was built back-to-the-front against the design he conceived, the side that faces the Arabian Sea was actually to face Wellington Circle (now Regal Circle).
Jamsetji Tata's vision of a grand hotel, complete with electricity and modern sanitation, two of a long list of firsts in the country.
Interestingly the Watson's Hotel, now known as the Esplanade Mansion, is India's oldest surviving cast iron building. This stand in a semi dilapidated condition in the Kala Ghoda area of Mumbai.
Named after its original owner, John Watson, the building was fabricated in England and constructed on site between 1860 and 1863.
The hotel stands next to the Gateway of India in, a short walk from both CST and Churchgate stations.
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