Perhaps the most iconic of all monuments in Mumbai, the Gateway of India overlooks the Arabian Sea. It is situated on the waterfront near the Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai. The Gateway of India is basically a basalt arch, 26 metres (85 feet) high.
The Gateway is the top tourist attraction in Mumbai. No wonder it is called the Taj Mahal of India.
The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder in 1911. Since the construction hadn’t started then, they could only see a cardboard copy of what would eventually become the symbol of Mumbai. The construction was completed in 1924. Afterwards it served as the ceremonial entrance to India.
Design and structure
The Gateway was designed by the Scottish architect George Wittet. It has a design inspired by Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. The arch, for example, shows the influence of Muslim architecture. The decorations bear the influence of traditional Indian architecture. The monument is built from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.
The Gateway of India is a monumental memento of the British rule over India. It was the symbol of the majesty of the British Empire. Today, it is one of the most widely recognized monuments in the world. A statue of the Maratha King Shivaji stands opposite the Gateway. This statue was unveiled on 26 January 1961. It symbolizes Maratha pride and coverage.
Things to do at the Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is the most popular tourist attraction in Mumbai. At any time of the day, you will find thousands of tourists around this iconic monument. They include both Indians and foreign nationals.
Boating is the most popular tourist activity in and around the Gateway. The Gateway has five jetties. The second and the third jetties are used for commercial ferry operations. Most tourists who visit this monument also go for a boat side. The famous Elephanta Caves is a 50-minute boat ride from the Gateway. If you don’t want to venture that far into the sea, there are shorter rides that give tourists an opportunity to see Mumbai from the sea. There are also ferry rides to Alibaug and Mandwa from the Gateway.