Gateway of India is a triumph arch located in the Mumbai City of Maharashtra, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. This monument is among the most visited and prominent places of Mumbai and seems to be the crown of Mumbai. It appears as a gateway to Mumbai and Maharashtra to the people who visit here by the sea. This place has various historical relations, architectural wonders and much more interesting information to know about.
Let’s have a look at the details of the monument-
History of the Gateway of India-
This marvelous monument located on the shores of the Arabian Sea is a mammoth gateway that was constructed to mark the arrival of the first British Monarch who visit India, King-Emperor George-V and Queen-Empress Mary. On the day of 2 December 1911, they landed at Apollo Bunder in the Colaba area of Bombay, and later in 1924, this monument was erected.
But, when they arrived at Bombay, the gateway was not built and they were made to see a model of the Gateway made of cardboard, as the construction for the actual monument began in the year 1915 on the area that was a fishing ground for the local people.
Sir George Sydenham Clarke, the then Governor of Bombay, laid the foundation stone for this amazing monument on 31 March 1913 and later in the year 1914 the finalized plan and design of the structure by Scottish Architect George Wittet was approved and the work initiated in 1915.
Rufus Issacs, the then viceroy inaugurated the Gateway of India for the visit of people and tourists on the date of 4 December 1924, after the construction got completed in 1924, four years after the foundation work got accomplished in the year 1920.
The end of the colonial British rule in India, after Indian independence, was marked with a 21-gun salute to the Somerset Light Infantry’s First Battalion on 28 February 1948. This group passed from the Gateway of India as the last British group to leave India and the ceremony marked the Indian independence from Britishers.
The architecture of the gateway-
The Gateway of India is a type of a Victory or Triumph Arch, which is made up in Indo-Saracenic Architectural Design. This design combines indigenous architectural elements with elements of Islamic Architecture.
This huge gateway reaches up to a height of 26 meters and has a special feature of its central dome. This dome has a circular base of diameter about 15 meters. On each side of the arch, there are huge halls with the capacity to hold around 600 people at a time.
The Gateway of India is made up of Yellow Basalt and Reinforced Concrete. The stones used in the construction were bought locally and the perforated screens were brought in from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
Some other architectural features are the four turrets or small towers present on the top of the Gate and the presence of intricate stone latticework (Jali Work).
The cost of the construction of the monument was around 2.1 million or 21 lac rupees at that time, and this was borne by the then government. The architecture firm of the gateway was Gammon India and the chief architect was George Wittet.
In the close vicinity of the gateway, a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is situated, which was unveiled on 26 January 1961 on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. This statue replaced a bronze statue of King George V which stood at its place.
How to Reach Gateway of India-
ADDRESS- Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra
- From Mumbai International Airport in Vile Parle, the distance of the place is around 30 km and can be covered within 1 hr 15 mins through taxi.
- From Mumbai Central Railway Station, the Gateway of India is around 7 km and can be covered within half an hour due to traffic problems in the city. From Bandra Terminus, the place is about 1 hr away having a distance of 25.5 km. The destination is located nearest to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, about 3 km only, that can be covered within 20 minutes only.
- Three local buses of BEST having numbers as 111,112, and 108 arrive at Gateway of India from different parts of the city.
Timings of the Monument-
The monument is open for the public’s visit from 7 am to 5:30 pm on all days of a week. One can visit there depending upon his time availability. It takes around 1-2 hours to explore the place.
There is no Entry Fee taken from the visitors. The other services there may cost you money.
Traveling in local trains from airports to reach Gateway of India should be avoided if one travels with family and luggage along with. It is a very hectic journey to switch between the trains and BEST buses. The best time to visit there is during the dusk or dawn hours to avoid the congestion due to heavy crowds at the peak mid-day hours. Also, visiting during peak summer months of May and June is less preferable as compared to the other months. The night view of the place is very charming. Gateway of India along with the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel spread their lights in the Arabian Sea. It’s a do visit place in Mumbai with family and friends.
Location On Map-
Image Source- wikimedia.org