The world’s most expensive home is lying unused and abandoned because its billionaire owners believe moving in will bring them bad luck.
The 27-storey, billion-dollar tower in Mumbai, called Antilia, is said to have fallen foul of vastu shastra – an obscure Hindu version of feng shui.
Built for India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani – ranked by Forbes as the ninth wealthiest person in the world with a fortune of $27billion – Antilia has dominated the Mumbai skyline since being completed last year.
But speculation has grown as to why Mr Ambani, his wife Nita and their two children have not moved into their extravagant new home.
Certainly the property – which has three helipads, six floors of parking and a series of floating gardens – is comfortable enough.
According to reports, the Ambani family is concerned the building fails to conform with the ancient Indian architectural principles of vastu shastra, and has refused to move in for fear the home will curse them with bad luck.
Film screenings have been staged in its state-of-the-art theatre and dinners held in its grand ballroom, served by staff trained by the luxury Oberoi hotel chain.
But its owners return at the end of each party to their former ancestral home, never staying the night.
Vastu, a philosophy that guides Hindu temple architecture, emphasises the importance of facing the rising sun – and despite the staggering sum spent on Antilia the building’s eastern side does not have enough windows or other openings to let residents receive sufficient morning light.
Instead of moving into their dream home, the Ambanis continue to stay in the more modest, 14-storey apartment tower at the south end of the city that they share, on different floors, with the rest of their extended family.
Tushar Pania, a spokesman for Mr Ambani’s company Reliance Industries, dismissed questions about whether the family was reluctant to live at Antilia as idle gossip.
Last year, as it was nearing completion, many Mumbai residents criticised the building as an ostentatious display of wealth in a country where most people live on less than $2 a day.
Half a mile from Mr Ambani’s 27-storey tower, a competing skyscraper is making its way into Mumbai’s skyline.
The building is being constructed by the Singhania family, which controls Indian suit maker the Raymond Group.
Seen at a distance, the two buildings are strikingly similar, with soaring columns, large sea-facing windows and a nearly identical jigsaw puzzle facade.