World Heritage Day: History and its royal signature can be found not only in a country’s glorious past but sometimes it is also found in the restoration work of many buildings that stand as a true testimony to India’s royal roots. In this context of heritage restoration of India’s finest palaces, Taj Palaces is a name that needs no introduction.
Highlighting the role of IHCL as a true custodian of Indian hospitality and a proud proponent of traditional arts and culture, Rohit Khosla, Executive Vice President – Operations, North & West India, Indian Hotel Company Limited (IHCL) tells Financial Express Online, “IHCL is the largest operator of authentic palaces. Our palaces are renowned iconic destinations for travellers around the world. They hold a much deeper importance not just for the royal families – some of whom still live in the palaces and call them home – but also for the surrounding communities where buildings act both as a cultural and historical landmark. IHCL has restored them, incorporating that heritage and emotion.”
World Heritage Day: Udaipur’s iconic palaces
From Udaipur’s historic Fateh Prakash Palace where one is surrounded by the Aravalli Hills and the Jagmandir palace, the House of Mewar being one of the oldest dynasties in the world that traces its origins to over 1300 years ago to the ethereal vision of its Taj Lake Palace in the still waters of Lake Pichola, preserving heritage has been a cornerstone of the vision and passion driving the Taj Palaces.
As many travellers would vouch and the Taj Palaces also states, the four acre marble vision of Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur is the second most photographed property in India after the Taj Mahal. Meticulously preserved, guests can soak in the grandeur of heritage vibes when a meticulously preserved palace is made accessible to them.
World Heritage Day: Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai
Among many striking examples of Taj Palaces across the country, there is also the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai that even predates the Gateway of India, with its 117 year legacy and was the first hotel in the country to have electricity and where independent India’s first speech to the history was made. It also set historic benchmarks as the first hotel in the country to host first ladies, the first man on the man and the first African American US President.
According to the Taj Palaces press releases, Lord Mountbatten also announced India’s independence from the steps of the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai.
Interestingly, it has a massive 240-feet high central dome to this day which serves as an official daytime triangulation point for ships of the Indian Navy and which fix their positions by taking bearings on Middle Ground (the old naval battery sited on a tiny island opposite the Taj) and the dome of the Taj.
Another striking facet is its 0-foot long panel of filigree stone in the tower wing lobby is made up of square jaali panels. This is believed to have been cut by Agra’s stoneworkers, whose forefathers had worked on the original Taj Mahal.
World Heritage Day: Significance of specially curated palace experiences
According to Rohit Khosla, IHCL’s Executive Vice President – Operations, North & West India, “Specially curated palace experiences like the ceremonial and ritual welcome rooted in the local culture, the art and architecture in the palace, the cuisine of the royal families, heritage walks, royal baths and more ensure that the guests are made to feel like Maharajas and Maharanis. Colleagues across generations have worked passionately and brought alive the Royal experiences. All these elements including Taj’s legendary service make a stay at any of the palaces truly memorable.”