Artistic Adventure – India Part 1: The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai
This past December, I and my family returned to our roots with a trip to India. Having spent summers in Mumbai with my family and given that my husband is from Ahemdabad – they were two major cities visited on our trip – spending time with family we don’t get to see often always brings a sense of reconnection and familial bonding. It was also the first time many members of our family met our children which made for many very memorable moments.
Aside from that – we spent time in Goa and Rajasthan, including Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. There are so many photographs and so much inspiration from this trip, it’s impossible to talk about it all in one blog. So, for this one – I am going to focus on my time in Mumbai, including our stay at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.
Taj Properties throughout India are known for their elegance, service and tributes to the Indian Heritage. In fact, the Taj manages many Heritage Properties throughout India (that would take up many blogs). One theory is that the Mumbai hotel was originally built as a response to an incident of racial discrimination at another hotel in Mumbai. Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Taj Mahal Hotel, was denied entry at a hotel that only accepted entry of European citizens. This was British India and it wasn’t uncommon for “European only” hotels, clubs, establishments to exist. Another theory is simpler. Mr. Tata wanted to attract people to India and improve Mumbai. Apparently, Mr. Tata had travelled to Europe and bought interior pieces for his hotel from London, Paris, Berlin and Dusseldorf. This was the beginning of the Artistic History of the Taj. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Hotels
Today, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai is home to an art collection that – to put. Works from MF Hussein, VS Gaitonde, Laxman Shresththa, Ram Kumar and Jehangir Sabavala – Indian artists whose work represents best of Indian art – and ones that capture hundreds of thousands of dollars at sale. The Taj Art Gallery was created with the intention of showcasing Indian artists.
Aside from the Gallery, the Palace Wing of the hotel also displays prominent artworks. There are 5 floors of rooms, each floor is like walking in a museum. Works range from the contemporary to the traditional. In fact, upon checking into the hotel, there is a MF Hussein painting right behind reception to greet guests – an immediate warm introduction to the vibrancy of India’s culture and the spirit of its heritage.
As I walked the floors of the Palace Wing – there were so many pieces that caught my eye. It was like I was staying in a museum. Each morning, I was greeted by inspiring colors and each night, I was put to bed with relaxing village scenes and landscapes. What more could an artist ask for?
For more information regarding the Art Collection at this hotel: http://www.forbesindia.com/article/recliner/tajs-collection-of-paintings-will-leave-you-speechless/38895/1
Stay tuned for my next blog – where I talk about the Inspiration of Rajasthan!
With Love in all things Artful,