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AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
It’s a bird, it’s a plane—well it’s supposed to look like a bird.

Here’s a look at Mumbai’s swanky new airport terminal, inspired by a dancing peacock

By Mark Byrnes

After countless delays and cost overruns, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport finally opened its new terminal. The four-story “T2” was scheduled to open in 2010. It was inaugurated on Jan. 10 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Unimpressed with initial renderings for the expansion in 2007, airport managing director Sanjay Reddy brought architects from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill on a 15-day tour of the country for inspiration. The tours were given by a local art curator and a fashion designer.

The result is a 4.4 million sq. ft., $2 billion terminal inspired by a “dancing peacock.” Its nearly two miles of its walls are decorated with thousands of artifacts and artworks.

Chhatrapati Shivaji‘s newest terminal will handle 40 million passengers a year. Though it was built to relieve overcrowding, that’ll likely still be a problem. As the Economic Times points out, Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 in Singapore takes up 3.8 million sq. ft. of space and 20 million passengers a year while Heathrow’s Terminal 5 in London is 4.1 million sq. ft., handling 26 million passengers annually.

Before the crowds rush in, here’s a look at Mumbai’s snazzy, new travel digs:

Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) lights a traditional Indian oil lamp during the inauguration ceremony of the newly constructed Terminal 2 on Jan. 10.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Workers clean a wall of the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Jan. 8.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Workers put final touches on glass walls at the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Jan. 8.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Workers are silhouetted at the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Jan. 8
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Security guards stand inside the new airport terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on Jan. 8.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Developers hope the new terminal will be a showcase success in a country struggling to modernize inadequate infrastructure that is holding back economic growth.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
A worker in the new terminal of Mumbai airport.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Workers put final touches at the parking zone of the new airport terminal.
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Paintings of Bollywood stars displayed on the wall of the new airport terminal.