This picture is taken with an extreme long shot by Sony Cybershot 16x zoom digital camera in night time mode.
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is a five star hotel located in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, next to the Gateway of India. Part of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, this building is considered the flagship property of the group and contains 565 rooms. From a historical and architectural point of view, the two buildings that make up the hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and the Tower are two distinct buildings, built at different times and in different architectural designs.
The hotel has hosted notable guests such as The Beatles, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, The King & Queen of Norway, The Duke & Duchess of Kent, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Deep Purple, Michael Palin, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey, as well as professional cricket teams on tour.
The Taj Mahal Hotel was commissioned in Indo-Saracenic style by Tata and first opened its doors to guests on 16 December 1903.
It is widely believed that Jamsedji Tata decided to build the 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". However, this story has been challenged by some commentators that suggest that Tata was unlikely to have been concerned with 'revenge' against his British adversaries. Instead they suggest that the Taj was built at the urging of editor of The Times of India who felt a hotel "worthy of Bombay" was needed.
The original Indian architects were Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya and D. N. Mirza, and the project was completed by an English engineer, W. A. Chambers. The builder was Khansaheb Sorabji Ruttonji Contractor who also designed and built its famous central floating staircase. The cost of construction was £250,000 (£127 million today). During World War I, the hotel was converted into a 600-bed hospital. The dome of the hotel is made from 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. The hotel imported American fans, German elevators, Turkish baths and English butlers, for the first time in India.
The side of the hotel seen from the harbour is actually its rear. The front faces away to the west. There is a widespread misconception that the architects building plans were confused by the builder so that he built it facing away from the harbor. This is not true, as the hotel was deliberately built facing inland, possibly because the horse carriages in which guests came to the hotel could more easily approach the hotel from the city. The carriages were then taken to Wellington Mews. 40 years ago, the old front was closed off, and since then, access has been made through the harbor-side entrance. Wellington Mews has now been converted into luxury service apartments operated and owned by the Taj group.
On the site where the tower wing now stands used to be a hotel called Green's Hotel at the Apollo Bunder, which was purchased by the Taj Mahal Hotel. Green's was popular among sailors due to its low cost and was notorious for its wild parties. In 1973, Green's hotel was demolished and the present Tower wing was constructed in its place.
Mr. Jamshyd D. F. Lam (Retd. Sr. Vice President IHCL) of the Taj Group was the General Manager from 1980 to 1985, during which time the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower was ranked as the fifth best hotel in the world for two consecutive years. The hotel was ranked 20th in Asia in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards of 2010.