Atop Kingfisher Tower stands a two-storey replica of the White House. Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Prestige Estates Projects

What is the White House doing on top of a skyscraper?

In 2010, Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya commissioned a replica of the White House to be built atop a skyscraper. The high-rise mansion features a garden, swimming pool, gym and even a helipad. But the one thing that remains unclear is whether it will ever have residents.



There exists a White House that seems to touch the sky. It is a replica located 121 metres high, atop a skyscraper in Bangalore, India. The two-storey private villa crowning the Kingfisher Tower belongs to Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, once known as the "king of good times" for his extravagant lifestyle. We delve into the secrets of this striking construction and why it remains a mystery whether its owner will ever be able to enjoy it.


A mansion atop a skyscraper


This 40,000 square metre mansion includes a helipad, garden, infinity pool, gym and a terrace offering a 360-degree view of the cityThe skyscraper on which it stands houses 42 luxury flats, offices, shops and a parking area. It is part of a project by United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL) and Prestige Estates Projects, the latter known for building luxury residences, proudly calling this "the most luxurious and expensive project in Bangalore".

A year ago, the mansion was almost finished, as shown in a drone-captured aerial video. "It was a challenge to construct the mansion on a huge cantilever at that height, but we have ensured that we built it exactly the way it was conceived," explained Irfan Razack, chairman of Prestige Estates Projects, in an article from October 2023. According to him, work to complete the building was underway.


The mansion has a helipad, garden, infinity pool, gym and an enormous terrace. Credit: Srihari Karanth


A tycoon on the run from justice


The construction cost $20 million and was commissioned by Mallya. But after such an outlay, there is a possibility that the Indian tycoon may never live in it. As well as being the former owner of the Force India Formula One team, Mallya is known as the "king of good times" for his lavish lifestyle complete with yachts, private jets, classic cars and mansions.

The construction of the mansion coincided with Mallya's mounting financial troublesIn 2022, he was sentenced to four months in jail for disobeying a previous court order related to the bankruptcy of his airline, Kingfisher Airlines. He is currently believed to be a fugitive in the UK and is trying to avoid possible extradition to India. “I don’t think that [Mallya] would very tamely come back to India,” said Sanjay Hegde, a senior lawyer and legal analyst not involved in the case, to the Financial Times. According to the newspaper, the tycoon has "fought very hard" to avoid extradition.

Although it is believed that Mallya is in the UK, India has been trying to extradite him from countries where he owns property and where extradition treaties are in effect. "The French offered a (extradition) proposal with some preconditions (but) India asked them to approve the proposal without any preconditions," sources told the Indian Express.


For now, the mansion will remain unoccupied due to its owner's legal troubles. Credit: Famous Luxury


It remains to be seen whether Mallya will eventually occupy his quirky villa in the sky. Over 12,000 kilometres away, in Washington D.C., sits the real White House, home and workplace of the President of the United States. The main difference between this iconic building and Mallya's residence, apart from being inhabited, is its impressive scale: the official White House has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and six floors, and it takes 570 gallons of paint to cover its vast exterior surface.


Tungsteno is a journalism laboratory to scan the essence of innovation.

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