TIL Jamsetji Tata built the iconic Taj Mahal hotel out of revenge. Here is the story

Jamsetji Tata, the founder of Tata Group, is considered the “father of Indian industry”. He started a textile factory in central India with just ₹21,000 in 1868 and built an empire with it.

Jamsetji Tata’s three main goals were to establish a steel company, generate hydroelectric power, and create a world-class educational institution in the country – the three pillars that would shape the country’s future.

Whatever Jamsetji Tata did was for the welfare of the country, well, almost everything. The story of the birth of one of India’s most famous landmarks – the Taj Mahal palace in Mumbai – was also born out of revenge.

Back when India was under British rule, Indians were not allowed to visit many places. There were even signs saying “No dogs and Indians”. The story goes that a foreign friend of Jamsetji Tata invited him to the Watson hotel which was the best hotel in Mumbai at that time. However, Jamsetji was refused permission to enter the hotel by the English manager on the grounds that he was Indian.

Jamsetji Tata took this as an insult to all Indians and decided to build a hotel where everyone was invited – Indians and foreigners. And so the “Diamond by the Sea” – The Taj Mahal Palace was born.

Indian old photos

The Taj’s foundation was laid in 1898 and the hotel’s doors first opened on December 16, 1902. Fun fact? The Taj Palace was founded even before the India Gate.

After its foundation, the Taj Mahal Palace served as India’s first port landmark, which helped the ship reach the coast of Mumbai with ease. It was also the first electrified building in Mumbai. It was the first hotel in the country with American fans, German elevators, Turkish baths and English butler services.

And this is the story of how Jamsetji Tata built the Taj for revenge, proving that Tatas should not be messed with.

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