Built during the British Raj, mainly to commemorate the visit of their majesties, King George V and Queen Mary, in 1911, the Gateway of India is rightly termed the Taj Mahal of Mumbai. The monument in Mumbai is 16 meters high and was renovated as a landing place for British Governors and other important people. The Gateway of India also served as an entry point to India. This is one of the most popular attractions in Mumbai and India; many tourists, vendors, and photographers are found around this monument. The famous Elephanta Festival of Music and Dance is celebrated at the Gateway of India. The festival’s former venue was in Elephanta Caves, but as the number of visitors increased, it had to be shifted to a more prominent place.
Why is it called the Gateway of India?
At the Apollo Bunder, the Gateway of India in Mumbai is situated on the waterfront at a foothold. The monument acted as an entrance to India for British Viceroys. They came to India through the sea, and hence the name "Gateway of India" came into existence.
Who built the Gateway of India?
The British architect George Wittet designed the Gateway of India in 1911. After the initial designs, the monument's construction did not begin for 3 years. Finally, in 1914, the foundation was laid by the then Governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke. Gammon India Limited undertook the construction process. The Gateway of India was finished in 1924, and the Viceroy of India did the inauguration.
Design and architecture of the Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is built with yellow basalt stones. The monument's design is an amalgamation of the Gothic, Victorian, Hindu, and Islamic architectural styles and is also known as the Indo-Saracenic style.
The structure of the Gateway of India consists of a 26-meter-high arch. A dome of 48 feet connects these arches in diameter and 83 feet in height. The halls on each side of the arches are decorated with carved stone screens. The four turrets, designed with intricate latticework, are prominent features of the tower. The steps laid out behind the Gateway lead to the Arabian Sea. It is designed in such a way that the visitor can witness the meeting of the blue sea with the sky. Moreover, the structure is illuminated at night, which makes the whole area come alive.
Events at the Gateway of India
The Annual Festival of Sails Regatta is a significant event at the Gateway of India. During the event, numerous sailboat races are held. Different programs are designed for kids from 8 to 16 years of age. Sailing is also taught at the annual Regatta.
The landmarks of Mumbai get lit up on different occasions. Fireworks, lasers, and cultural programs are organized during the new year. Also, on December 4, a Beating Retreat ceremony is held annually to celebrate Indian Navy Day. The Navy's Western Command performs fantastic drills during the event. A lot of fun and enthusiasm can be observed on the day. In addition, Independence Day and many other Indian festivals are celebrated here.
Gateway of India Timings
Visitors can come to the monument at 7:00 AM. The Gateway of India closes at 5:00 PM. The perfect time to visit the memorial is early morning or late evening to see sunrise and sunset. Visitors can enter the premises free of charge.
Gateway of India Mumbai boat ride
Gateway of India Short Ride
Tourists can enjoy a boat ride on the sea. A ferry from the Gateway of India will take you to the Arabian Sea at a short distance. It is perfect for capturing the beautiful sea views, Taj Palace Hotel, docks, and harbor. The boat ride begins and ends at the Gateway of India.
- Timings: Rides start at 9:00 AM.
- Ticket Fare: INR 70 for 30 minutes.
Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves
Longer boat rides are also available to the Elephanta Caves. They are a group of 7 caves with religious carvings. The boat ride begins from the Gateway of India, passes through Elephanta Caves, and returns to the starting point. The scenic beauty of the sea is unparalleled, as witnessed on a cruise. People hire a luxury cruise to celebrate their special occasions as well.
From the Gateway of India: Boating begins at 9:00 AM. Boats leave at 30-minute intervals. The last boat departs at 2:30 PM.
From Elephanta Caves: The first return boat leaves at noon, and the last departs at 5:30 PM.
- Economy boat-INR 120 per adult, INR 85 per child.
- Luxury boat-INR 150 per adult, INR 100 per child.
Note:Boating to Elephanta Caves is closed on Monday. During monsoons, all boating services are closed. Only short boat rides are available from the Gateway of India.
Places for shopping near Gateway of India
- Colaba Causeway
The Colaba Causeway is the one-stop destination for shoppers in Mumbai. The place's old colonial vibe attracts many tourists and is perfect for understanding the culture. The charming market in Colaba is famous for clothes, antiques, jewelry, electronics, furniture, perfumes, accessories, and decor. It is a bargainer's heaven. Get your favorite outfits at throw-away prices.
- The Bombay Store
People who wish to shop for exquisite artifacts, authentic pashminas, and souvenirs should visit the Bombay Paperie. The store has a wide range of products that reflect India's freedom struggle.
Interesting Facts about Gateway of India
- The Government of India constructed the present-day structure.
- The structure of the Gateway of India resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
- The last ship of the Britishers left the Gateway of India in 1947.
- Gateway of India is close to India's most luxurious hotel - The Taj Palace.
- The construction finished in 1924, and the completion cost was about INR 24 lakh.
Best hotels near Gateway of India
There are many accommodation options for people with every kind of budget.
- The Fern Residency, Mumbai, Chembur
- The Taj Mahal Palace
- Taj Mahal Tower, Mumbai
- The Gordon House Hotel
Where to Eat near Gateway of India
The best way to learn about a place is to try its food. If you feel hungry after the Gateway of India tour, go for local street food. It is available in every nook and corner of Mumbai. The city is famous for its local chaat, Vada Pav, and Misal Pao. In addition, several vendors around the monument offer delicious snacks like Chana Jorgaram.
Restaurants near Gateway of India
People looking for a fine dining experience can find multiple restaurants and food outlets in Mumbai.
- Wasabi by Morimoto
- Masala Kraft
- Sea Lounge
- Pizza Express
Places to visit near Gateway of India Mumbai
There are many places one can visit. Some of them are
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
- Walkeshwar Temple
- Nehru Science Center
- Indian Museum Ship (Vikrant)
- Nariman Point
If you are planning to visit Gateway of India, then you must check out our Mumbai tour packages.