Gateway of India Mumbai, History, Timings, Ticket, Ferry, Architecture, Significance, How to Reach, Best time to visit, Accommodations. Gateway of India Mumbai, History of Gateway of India, Timings of Gateway of India, Ticket at Gateway of India, Ferry at Gateway of India, Architecture of Gateway of India, Significance of Gateway of India, How to Reach Gateway of India, Best time to visit Gateway of India, Accommodations at Gateway of India.
About Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is one of India’s most unique landmarks situated in the city of Mumbai. The colossal structure was constructed in 1924. Located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, the gateway overlooks the Mumbai harbor, bordered by the Arabian Sea in the Colaba district. The Gateway of India is a monument that marks India’s chief ports and is a major tourist attraction for visitors who arrive in India for the first time. At one point of time, this monument represented the grandeur of the British Raj in India. The total construction cost of this monument was approximately 21 lakhs and the whole expense was borne by the Indian government. A favourite spot for tourists, nowadays, this monument attracts vendors, food stalls and photographers. The passing of the ‘First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry’ was recorded as the first main event that took place at the Gateway of India. This ceremony was conducted on February 28, 1948, when the last set of British troops and divisions left India, post-independence.
Construction Started : 31 March, 1913
Construction Completed : 1924
Inaugurated : 4 December, 1924
Cost of Construction : 2.1 million Rupees in 1913
Maintained By : Archeological Survey of India
Where is it Located : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Why was it Built : To commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George Vand Queen Mary to Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay)
The land on which the Gateway now stands once belonged to a jetty that was primarily used by the fishing community of the area. Seeing its viability as a landing area, it was renovated to serve as a pier for British governors. Soon enough, it was decided that a grand gateway will be built here to welcome King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai, and the foundation of the same was laid down March 31, 1913, by the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke. However, the final design of the Gateway was only sanctioned on March 31, 1914, by George Wittet. The constructions formally began in 1920 and it took almost four years to complete the construction of the monument. On 4 December 1924, the Gateway of India was inaugurated by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading.
A unique experience offered here at the Gateway is that of ferry rides, through which you can enjoy the view of this monument right from the sea. These boat rides are short leisure rides and take you on a voyage of all the attractions nearby including Hotel Taj Palace and Mumbai harbour. The first boat from here leaves at 9 a.m. and can cost anywhere between INR 55 to INR 110 per head, with both the starting and end point being the Gateway of India. A number of ferry rides to other popular attractions such as Elephanta caves and Alibaug are also available:-
1. Elephanta Caves
Departure of the first boat: 9:00 a.m. after which regular boats are available every thirty minutes.
Departure of the last boat: 2.30 p.m.
Charges per head: INR 120.00 per person, INR 10 extra for going to the top of the ferry deck
A number of operators provide this service and are detailed as follows:-
Departure timings: 8:10, 10:10, 12:10, 14:10, 16:10, 18:30
Charges per head: INR 150
Departure timings: 6:15, 7:15, 9:15, 10:00, 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 17:30
Charges per head: INR 85 (Main Deck)
Departure timings: 8:45, 11:45, 13:45, 15:45, 16:00
Charges per head: INR 135 (Main Deck), INR 135 (Upper Deck)
Design, Architecture & Structure
The Gateway of India was designed by Scottish architect, George Wittet and the construction work was carried out by Gammon India Limited, the only construction company in India boasting an ISO 9001: 1994 accredited certification in all fields of civil engineering at that time. The structure was built with yellow basalt stones enmeshed with reinforced concrete at the foundations. The stone was sourced locally. The perforated screens were brought from Gwalior. The structure cuts an angle to the road leading to it and stands facing out to the Mumbai Harbor from the tip of Apollo Bunder.
The structure is basically a Triumphal Arch, built predominantly in an Indo-Saracenic architectural style with some Muslim elements incorporated. This style of architecture was introduced by the British during their rule in India and it combines diverse elements of the Hindu and Muslim architecture with Gothic cusped arches, domes, spires, tracery, minarets and stained glass, in a uniquely playful style.
The rectangular structure consists of three sections. The central arches of the structure are 85 feet high. The central block houses a dome which is 48 feet in diameter and 83 feet in height. On each side of the arch, there are large halls with arches that are covered with intricately carved stone screens and can hold 600 people each. The central dome is joined by 4 turrets and is decorated with intricate latticework, the most prominent features of the entire structure of the Gateway of India. Steps from behind the arch of the Gateway lead directly into the Arabian Sea. The arch frames an impressive view of an expanse of Arabian Sea dotted with fishing boats as well as luxury yachts. The structure is illuminated after nightfall presenting a breathtaking view in combination with the adjacent Taj Mahal Palace hotel and tower.
A statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was inaugurated on 26 January 1961, opposite the gateway as a symbol of Maratha pride and glory. Another statue of Swami Vivekananda is also present in the vicinity to celebrate his journey from Mumbai to Chicago for the Parliament of World Religions.
The Gateway of India, although built to commemorate the coronation celebration of King George V, became the entry point of British viceroys and governors. Ironically, it is also the site of the symbolic exit of the British from India, signaled by the passing of the first Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry on 28 February 1948.
A favored tourist spot, the Gateway of India was the target of twin bombing along with the crowded Zaveri Bazar on 25 August, 2003. The incident killed 54 and injured 244 people.
The Gateway was also associated with the 26 November, 2008 terrorist attacks organized by 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic militant organization based in Pakistan. The militants disembarked from boats in two groups at the Gateway of India and proceeded to carry out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks in and around south Mumbai, killing more than 150 Indian and foreign nationals.
Best time to visit
Morning and evening hours are the most pleasant time to visit this destination. Other than monsoons, this destination can be visited during any time of the year.
How to Reach
The Gateway of India is located near the southern tip of the city. It’s easily reachable from most of South Mumbai through taxis or buses. Getting here from the suburbs requires a lot more effort and should ideally be clubbed with other sightseeing in South Mumbai.
Train: If travelling from the suburbs, the Mumbai locals are the cheapest and the fastest way to get to the Gateway of India. Local trains run to Churchgate on the Western Line and to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on the Central and Harbour Lines. The gateway can easily be reached by taxi or bus from either of these stations.
Car: If you are near Bandra, you may choose to take the Bandra Worli Sea Link to get to South Mumbai. Another good road option to reach South Mumbai from the suburbs is the Eastern Freeway which starts near Chembur.
Bus: It is not recommended to travel to the gateway by bus from the suburbs. Once in South Mumbai, BEST bus numbers 111 and 112 will take you right up to the Gateway of India. However, you can take any bus heading to Colaba Depot, R.C. Church or Navy Nagar, get off at Regal and walk up to the gateway.
A number of lush and famous hotels are located in the close vicinity of the Gateway of India, and you can treat yourself to an amazing hotel stay at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Hotel Diplomat, Regent Hotel, Abode Bombay, Hotel Suba Palace and Treebo Garden.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
The Elephant Caves are located very close to the Gateway of India, and tourists can travel on motor boats to reach the Elephant Islands. Statues of the Maratha leader Shivaji and Swami Vivekananda are installed at the entrance of the Elephant Caves. The Taj Mahal Hotel is India’s most prestigious and luxurious hotel and is situated close to the Gateway of India.