Gateway of India
The capital city of Maharashtra, Mumbai is home to a number of popular tourist destinations. Ancient and contemporary structures occupy a pretty decent share of this city. The Gateway of India is one such monument. It was built during the 20th century to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in the year 1911. This structure is arch shaped and faces the expansive Arabian Sea. This place is hub of tourists in the city. One can find vendors, shops and photographers assembled in here throughout the day. Tourists from all over the world come to visit this architectural marvel.
Architectural Style of the Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style and it is in the shape of a triumphal arch. In addition to this one can also find traces of Mughal architectural styles incorporate din it. The central dome is 48 feet in diameter. It is built in yellow basalt and indissoluble concrete. The foundation stone of this monument was laid on 31 March 1911 and it got completed in the year 1924. It is 26 m in height. The architect behind the construction of this wonderful structure is George Wittet. The Gateway of India is owned by the Archaeological Survey of India. Later on this structure was used as a ceremonial gateway for the entrance to India for Viceroys and new governors of India. This monument is also called the Taj Mahal of India. There are steps constructed behind the gateway that’s leads to the Arabian Sea. An approach road was planned to be constructed in here. But due to lack of finds the road was never made and thus the Gateway of India stands at an angle leading up to it.
Historical Background of the Gateway of India
The Gateway of India was a symbol of might for the British East India Company. Prior to the construction of the Gateway of India this area was a crude jetty which was used by the fishing community.
The foundations of Gateway of India were completed in the year 1920. The Gateway was opened on December 4, 1924 by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading.
On February 28, 1948 the first battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry passed through the Gateway signaling the end of British rule in India.
What to expect when at the Gateway of India
The legendary Gateway of India gives the visitor myriad opportunities to explore not just this very structure but also other structures of importance and prominence in the vicinity.
The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel is located opposite the Gateway of India. This high profile hotel is a fair sight. The very architecture of this hotel gives off an air of antiqueness to it.
The Gateway of India serves as a ‘monumental momentum’ of British colonial rule over India.
Then on the other side of this structure stands the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He was the emperor who established the Maratha Empire in the Sahayadri mountain range in the 17th century. Another statue near the Gateway of India is that of state of Swami Vivekanada.
In addition to this there exists five jetties located around the gateway monument.
Elephanta Caves are at a 50 min boat ride. So, when in here one can go on a ride on a ferry and explore the beauty of the Elephanta Island and the famous Elephanta Caves housed in it.
A Tourist’s Guide
Gateway of India is open on all days of the week to public 24 hours a day. Entry is not ticketed here. The nearest railway station from here is Churchgate at a distance of 1.9 km from here. The nearest airport is Mumbai Airport which is at a distance of 25 km. Buses can be availed from every part of the city to reach the Gateway of India. One can find a number of accommodation options in the city of Mumbai. Mumbai is one of the major tourism hubs in India and it caters very well to the needs and demand of a traveler.
The Gateway of India is the hub of hustle and bustle in the city. The fine view to the ocean accompanied by the presence of a majestic structure makes a visit to this place an unforgettable experience. Sunset and sunrise enhances the beauty of this place. A visit to this monumental structure is an experience for a lifetime.