History of Gateway of India
26 meters high archway is the first landmark welcome to any visitors coming
to the industrial capital city of Mumbai. The Gateway was designed by
Writtet in Gujarati style in the 16th century to commemorate the visit of
King George V and Queen Mary in India. The picturesque archway has till now
welcomed many viceroys, governors and civil servants and it can be seen
standing tall from the sea as one lands from the steamers. The statue of
Chhatrapati Shivaji and Swami Vivekananda have been installed on the gateway
as a tribute.
Architecture & Significance
The Gateway is built from concrete and yellow basalt. The central dome is
48 feet in diameter and 83 feet above ground at its elevated position. The
construction was completed by the year 1924 and was opened to the public by
the viceroy, Earl of Reading. The archway comes complete with four turrets
and lattice works that are wonder works till today. On the archway, there
are steps leading downwards to the waters where one can go to the motor
launches for a smooth water ride. The first battalion of the Somerset light
Infantry last passed through the gate with a final see off ceremony in the
year 1948. From then onwards it is just an epitaph preserving the old honour
it once had.
Built in Indo -Saracenic style, it was one of the finest example of
colonial architectural heritage of the Britishers in India. Though it was
designed by the colonial rulers, it was funded by the Government of India
and not from Britain. With the end of the British rule it remained a
memorial and today is one of the major tourist attraction .
Other Attractions of Mumbai
» Hanging Gardens in Mumbai -
Mehta Gardens or the Hanging Gardens were built in the year 1880 and
renovated in 1921. Famous as hanging gardens because of their position and
location on the slopy hills, the gardens are extraordinarily beautiful. The
terrace view of the garden from south of Malabar hill towards Colaba offers
an exquisite view of the breath taking landscape of the marvellous city at
sunset. The gardens are built over three reservoirs which can store up to 30
millions gallons of water before being supplied to the town.
» Afgan Church-
The church was dedicated to the soldiers of the
British army who laid their lives in the Singh and Afgan campaign from 1838
till 1843. The Church better known as St Church was built in the year 1847.
» Jehangir Art Gallery -
The Jehangir gallery is
close to the Prince of Wales Museum and a place for showcasing the
contemporary art. The displays inside the museum change regularly. Outside
the museum is the Artist's Plaza with more paintings on display. From here
one can select and buy .
» Juhu Beach -
The beach is popular for the
celebrations of Ganesh Chatturthi with lot of triumph. The beach is a hub of
various activities and is filled with small kiosks selling snacks for the
young and the old strolling the sides of the beach with their loved ones. To
add to the taste of the passerby, all kinds of little things are found
including the Bhelpuri, Kulfi, alochat and pav bhaji. Also professional
masseurs, shooting galleries, balloon sellers and flower- girls with flowers
of different shades makes the place colourful. The statues of freedom
fighters like Lokmanya Tilak, Vallab Bhai Patel are installed there as a
symbol of struggle for independence.
» Elephanta Island -
Just10 km from the Mumbai
harbour lies the small Elephanta cave island. The island contains clusters
of fine rock cut caves belonging to the 6th to 8th century. Among the
interesting sculptures is the statue of Mahesmurthy or Trimurthi consisting
of a 5 meter high three headed bust cut out from a single rock. The three
busts symbolize the three avatars of Shiva, namely the creator, the
preserver and the destroyer.