MUMBAI — An iconic five-star hotel in Mumbai severely damaged in the 2008 terror attacks fully reopened yesterday with hundreds of people thronging its renovated lobbies and restaurants.
The 107-year-old Taj Mahal hotel was one of the main targets of the three-day rampage across India’s financial capital by 10 men armed with assault rifles and grenades. Its famous dome was singed by flames, and its walls and windows were shattered and pocked with gunfire.
The 60-hour siege, which also targeted another luxury hotel, a Jewish center, a popular restaurant, and the city’s crowded main train station, left 166 people dead, 31 of them at the Taj Hotel.
Repairs to the hotel’s heritage wing took more than 22 months to complete and cost nearly $37 million. A newer wing of the hotel opened for business just three weeks after the attacks.
“Nearly two years ago, our world was torn apart,’’ Raymond Bickson, the managing director of the Indian Hotels Co. that runs the Taj Group of hotels, said last week. “We were not defeated. We resolved to be better than ever.’’
Bickson said the hotel had revamped security arrangements to ensure the safety of guests and staff.
India blames the attacks on the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and has called on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists thought to be operating from that country.