Mukesh Ambani is considered one of the world’s richest men, with an estimated fortune of £17bn (about US $2 billion). His new 27-story Mumbai residence, which is named Antilla, after a mythical Atlantic Island, has been described as “the Taj Mahal of the 21st Century.”

Ambani and his wife and three children moved into the home last month and he hosted a lavish house-warming last week that was attended by more than 80 people, including: Indian novelist, Shobhaa De, Bollywood stars, Preity Zinta and Aamir Khan, and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla.

Said to be India’s richest man, Ambani is chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, one of the largest conglomerates in the world. He is also the owner of the Mumbai Indians, India’s Premiere League team.

The house, which overlooks a sprawling network of Mumbai slums, has sparked considerable controversy among anti-poverty campaigners. They understandably argue that the acute contrast between Ambani’s luxurious mansion and the plight of those 18 million people who live below is devastating.

The mansion has a temple on the ground floor and a library on the top. It has its own cinema, swimming pools and helicopter pad. It was designed according to Vaastu principles, which are similar to the Chinese concept of feng shui

Ambani’s skyscraper, estimated to have cost $US 1 billion, requires 600 staff members to maintain it, and according to local newspapers, the first month’s electricity bill was more than $US 153,000!

In his defense, there are those who argue that Ambani supports the economy and provides many jobs for Mumbai’s very poor population.

Ambani’s brother, Anil, in an effort to not be outdone, held a “parallel party” at the 14-storey residence, which houses the rest of the family.

The brothers are estranged due to a dispute over the division of their late father’s property, who died in 2002 without a will.

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MDeeDubroff

MDeeDubroff

M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.