Jamsetji Tata, the founder of Tata Group, is regarded as the “Father of Indian Industry”. He started a textile mill in Central India with just ₹21,000 back in 1868 and built an empire with it.
The three main focuses of Jamsetji Tata were to establish an iron and steel company, generate hydroelectric power, and create a world-class educational institution in the country – the three pillars that would shape the future of the country.
Whatever Jamsetji Tata did was for the welfare of the country, well, almost everything. The story of how India’s one of the most famous landmarks – The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai – came to be is one born out of revenge as well.
Back when India was under British Rule, Indians were not allowed to visit a lot of places. There even used to be boards stating “Dogs and Indians not allowed.” The story goes that a foreign friend of Jamsetji Tata invited him to the Watson Hotel which was the finest hotel in Mumbai at that time. However, Jamsetji was denied permission to enter the hotel by the English manager on account of being an Indian.
Jamsetji Tata took this as an insult to every Indian and decided to build a hotel where everyone was invited – Indians and foreigners alike. And that’s how the ‘Diamond by the sea’ – The Taj Mahal Palace was born.
The foundation of the Taj was laid in 1898 and the doors of the hotel opened for the first time on December 16, 1902. Fun fact? The Taj Palace was founded even before the Gateway of India.
Post its foundation, The Taj Mahal Palace served as India’s first harbour landmark, which helped the ship to reach the coast of Mumbai easily. 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 services of English butlers.
And that’s the story of how Jamsetji Tata built the Taj in revenge, proving you shouldn’t mess with the Tatas.