Gateway of India
Architect George Wittet
Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's splendid natural harbor.
The foundation stone of the Gateway of India was laid down by the then Governor of Bombay (Mumbai) on March 31st 1913. The total cost of building the arch was around 21 Lakhs. The Gateway of India is 26 meters high and is coupled with four turrets. There are beautiful and complex latticework carved on stones. The mark of Gujarati architecture can also be seen on the monument. It is said that this awesome structure is a blend of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and a Moorish palace.
In the year 1947, when the British rule came to an end, this colonial building became a symbol of the British Raj. The last British troop that left India, First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry passed through the Gateway of India on 28 February 1948. Thus, it became a notable historical monument.
You can enjoy yourself by hiring one of the little motor launches available at the gateway of India. These launches provide short cruises around the active city of Mumbai. Views from these cruises are beautiful and stunning, offering unforgettable memories that stay for a long time with you.
The Gateway of India is surrounded by some of the most reputed hotels in India like the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the most famous and luxurious hotels in India. The statues of the Maratha leader Shivaji and Swami Vivekananda, stand here adding to the appeal of this monument.