21 months on, Taj heritage wing reopens
The Taj Mahal Palace, which became the symbol of the 26/11 terror attacks with its red, burning dome, reopened fully on Sunday, with its 107-year-old heritage wing being thrown open to guests.mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2010 01:36 IST
The Taj Mahal Palace, which became the symbol of the 26/11 terror attacks with its red, burning dome, reopened fully on Sunday, with its 107-year-old heritage wing being thrown open to guests.
Scores of people thronged its newly restored lobbies and restaurants, which reopened nearly 21 months after it suffered extensive damages.
The five-star hotel’s management chose the Independence Day for the opening, and an official confirmed that the hotel had got bookings in the heritage wing.
Of the 166 people who died across the city during the carnage that began on the night of November 26,2008, 31 were at the Taj, 12 of whom were staffers.
The Taj’s modern Tower wing reopened within a month of the attacks.
A total of Rs 175 crore has been spent repairing, restoring and upgrading the heritage wing, said Anil Goel, executive director of finance, Indian Hotels Company, which owns the Taj.
There are 285 rooms, of which 19 are themed suites in the heritage section. Additions include the new Ravi Shankar Suite, where the classical Indian musician taught The Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison how to play the sitar for the group’s 1967 album ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, Raymond Bickson, MD and CEO, Indian Hotels Company, said.
“They distributed champagne to everyone sitting in the lobby on Saturday evening because of the reopening,” French tourist Aurelie Megard said. “It was very nice.”