It’s no wonder that India have got some phenomenal and unique architectural monuments. And indeed, Gateway of India is one of those prominent structures erected in Mumbai city. Also has been known as The Taj Mahal of Mumbai , the colossal structure is located at the tip of Apollo Bunder near south Mumbai and engulfed by Arabian sea in the colaba district. Built in 1924, this remarkable piece of structure was a symbol of power and majesty of British colonised India and soon later it has become a major source of attraction for the tourists and the visitors who arrive in India for the first time. Gateway of India almost took thirteen years to be completed and a total construction cost approximately 25 lakhs which was solely borne by Government of India due to lack of funds.
Today The Gateway of India is hailed as National pride and a symbol of monumental memento but it was built in commemoration of king George and his arrival in India as the letters conspicuously carved at the apex “Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their imperial majesties king George 5 and Queen Mary..” .The foundation stone of the monument was laid down on 31 march ,1911 in presence of sir George Sydenham Clarke, who was then the governor of Bombay. The entire project took almost thirteen years to be completed and on 4 December, 1924 this enormous structure was inaugurated by the viceroy of India, the Earl of Reading with a grande ceremony.
The structural design of Gateway of India is a unique blend of Indo-saracenic architecture that accentuated with gothic like flamboyance and was designed by architect George wittet. One can also find the traces of Muslim architectural styles heavily incorporated in the structural design of the edifice. The structure is predominantly built from yellow Basalt stones and indissoluble concrete. The central dome of the monument is about 48 feet in diameter and a total height of 83 feet from the ground. This intricate structure has four turrets which is a distinguished feature of the entire the Gateway of India. The architecture is built with large halls on its both sides which can hold as much as 600 people.
This historical edifice has witnessed many significant events since its inception. The Gateway of India once represented the power and prosperity of British empire and a symbol of colonization and subjugation by the British over the republic of India. The monument solely witnessed the last British troops The First Battalion of the Somerset light Infantry leaving India on 28 February, 1948 followed after the independence. Since then the Gateway of India has been a pivotal destination for visitors exploring India and inducted into national heritage. Now it’s a favorite spot of gathering for the locals, street vendors and photographers.
Despite having trouble with recent terrorist attacks and insurgent outbreaks , The Tajmahal of Mumbai Gateway of India still manages to lure the million visitors and remains one of the favourite tourist destinations in India. A major step to boost the tourist attraction had taken by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation in 2012 , when Elephanta Festival of Music and Dance was moved to Gateway of India from its original location. Apart from the monument, there are other places too near the Gateway of India and worth to visit. Elephant caves are close proximateto the Gateway of India and on the other side of the gateway statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj , a symbol of Maratha pride and courage and Swami Vivekananda are installed. Ocean blue charters, popli Art Gallery and Cathedral of Holy Name are also worth to see.
One can visit the Gateway of India anytime during day but the best time to visit the monument is after the monsoon during the months October to February as there is a little possibility of rainfall and the weather remains calm and idyllic.
People especially from outside the Maharashtra can reach the destination without any trouble as couple of seamless connections make it easy. The location is 2.5 km away from the nearest train station Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal and from the there buses / taxies are available.