The Gateway of India is a monument and a famous landmark of Mumbai. The monument is situated at Apollo Bunder, on the waterfront in South Mumbai. The Gateway is the first thing the visitors would see, who reach Mumbai by sea. It Gateway consists of a central hall with great archways, and side halls which can accommodate around 600 people. The Gateway was built during British rule to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. They visited Bombay, before visiting the Darbar in Delhi in December 1911. The Governer of Bombay laid the foundation stone on 31st March 1913, while George Wittet’s final design was sanctioned in August 1914. In the year 1920 the foundation works were completed and in 1924 the construction was finished. On December 4, 1924 the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading opened the Gateway of India. The last British troops to leave India, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed via the gateway in a ceremony on February 28, 1948.
The Gateway built in Indo-Saracenic style, is a basalt arch measuring 26 metres high. Apart from Indo-Saracenic architectural style, the elements of Muslim architectural styles of 16th century Gujarat have also been used. It is build of Kharodi basalt and reinforced concrete. The central dome is 48 feet in diameter, while the highest point above the ground is 83 feet. he construction cost of the Gateway was Rs. 21 lakhs, the Government of India borne the construction cost. An approach road to the gateway was also planned, but it was not completed due to lack of funds.
Attractions around Gateway:
» Boat Trips – On the back side of the gateway, there are steps that leading down to the sea water. One can buy ticket and get onto the little motor boats, for a journey through Mumbai’s beautiful natural harbour. From there one can also visit the locations such as Elephanta Island.
» Taj Mahal Hotel – The hotel located very close to the Gateway is one of the most popular hotels in India. The hotel was built by Jamshedji Tata, to compete with the Watson’s hotel, then the city’s postheat hotel.
» Statues of Shivaji and Vivekananda – Near the Gateway the statues Swami Vivekananda and of the Maratha leader Shivaji astride his horse are major attraction. The statues add more charm to this monument.
As Gateway of India is located in Mumbai, so it is easily accessible from any part of the city.
» Air – The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is located around 28 Kms away from Gateway.
» Rail – Churchgate Railway (Western Railway) is around 3 Kms away, while Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is around 5 kms. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the major rail head near the gateway.
» Road – Regular buses are available from all parts of the city. The taxi services are also available.
There are plenty of accommodation choices in Mumbai ranging from Star deluxe hotels to budget hotels. Taj Mahal hotel (5 Star) is the nearest hotel from the Gateway of India.
Best Time to Visit :
The monsoon season extends from June to August. The climate remain extremely humid and sticky during May and October months. The best time to visit the Mumbai is November to March.