The Gateway of India is a monument in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). It is situated on the waterfront in Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai. It was a formerly a crude jetty used by fisher folks and was later renovated and used as a landing place for British governors and other distinguished personages. In earlier times, the gate was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city of Mumbai.
It was built for commemorating the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai (then called Bombay). They came prior to the Delhi Durbar, in December 1911. The Governor of Bombay Sir George Sydenham Clarke laid the foundation stone on 31 March 1911. In August 1914 the final design of George Wittet was sanctioned. Between 1915 and 1919 work proceeded about reclamations at Apollo Bundar for the land on which the gateway and the new sea wall would be built. The foundations were completed in 1920, and total construction was finished in 1924. The Gateway was opened on 4th December 1924, by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading.
The Gateway is a basalt arch. Its design is a combination of both Hindu as well as Muslim architectural styles. The decorations are in Hindu style while the arch is in Muslim style. The Gateway is built from yellow basalt and reinforced by concrete. The stones for building were locally obtained. The perforated screens were brought from Madhya Pradesh state's Gwalior city.
The arch is of 26 Meters in height while the central dome is 15 meters in diameter and is 26 meters above ground at its highest point. The realignment of whole harbor front was made in order to come in line with a planned esplanade. The cost of the construction was Rs. 21 lakhs (2,100,000) which was whooping that time. Due to lack of funds, the proposed approaching road was never built. For the reason it may seem that the Gateway is standing at an angle to the road leading up to it.
The gate has witnessed many historical incidents like the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, the last British troops to leave India etc. The last troop passed through the Gateway in a ceremony on 28th February 1948. Now days many cultural events are organized at this place. From Gateway launch service to Elephanta caves, Mandva bundar etc many functions have taken place here. Also sea cruise tours are available here.
To view sunset in an endless sea through Gateway is an amazing experience to cherish throughout your life.
- You are in the most cream crowd and richest area of Mumbai and to be precise in India. The hotel rates here are sky high as only 3 star, 5 star hotel options are available nearby. Just across the road to the Gateway you can find the historic Taj Mahal Hotel.
- If you are looking for some cheaper option, you can go to suburbs of the Mumbai, where number of lodging options are available.
- Airways: International and domestic airports are around 25 kms away from Gateway.
- Railways: An effective option of local trains is available for you. You have to get down at Chuchgate station of western railway.
- Road ways: The gateway is very well connected by road. From many parts of the city , public transport buses will get you here.
The Gateway of India is a must place to visit when you are exploring Mumbai. A place to give a perfect ending to a perfect day with your loved once while tasting some Desi Chat items.