The Hotel Mughal is a two-hundred room, five star hotel accommodating visitors both to the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. Considerable pressure had been exerted by the clients who wanted a multi-storied structure overlooking the Taj. However, the architects, in a courageous rejection of this demand, arranged the rooms around three landscaped courtyards, one of which contains the swimming pool.
A Contempqrary Pleasure Garden. The hotel complex is or ganised into blocks, separated according co function. A central block houses all the public spaces and the administration. Services are grouped in an adjacent block co the west, directly accessible co the service yard. The guest rooms are arranged in two-storey quadrangles which define three garden courts. The guest wings are connected to each ocher and to the central block by enclosed pedestrian bridges which span the gardens.
The hotel is pulled back from the road, and upon entering the drive one feels at once a sense of lush sanctuary. Thickly planted banks line the approach to the complex. From the entrance canopy, the visitor is led, by bridge, across a large reflecting pool, past fountains, and on to the lobby beyond. The massing is low, fortress-like, and modest from the exteri· or, as was characteristic of Ind ian serais (travellers' rest houses). Once inside, it is light and cool, with rooms opening onto the garden courts.
Off the large lobby are a shopping arcade and an open lounge overlooking a formal garden. At the mezzanine level are a tea room and an observation area offering views of the Taj Mahal. The four restaurants are at the garden level, as are conference rooms and a ballroom, where activities can spill out onto the garden terraces. Three enclosed pedestrian bridges lead the visi tor from the lobby area to the guest wings, always with a view of the gardens below.
Structure and Construction. The hotel was designed to avoid all unnecessary dependence upon foreign technology, basing ... on the materials and skills readily available in the region at the time of construction. This meant the use of reinforced concrete and, above all. brick. Rudimentry or low technology with very high labour content was used for civil construction The only machines used on site were a small concrete mixer and marble floor polishing machines. Donkies were used for carrying bulk bricks and excavated earth.