The Gateway Of India is a famous monument built in Mumbai , during the British Era. This monument has become an identity of Mumbai . The land where the gateway stands was once used as a crude jetty . Located on the Colaba Waterfront , this massive gateway overlooks the Arabian Sea . The structure is a basalt arch which is 26 metres (85 feet ) high . It lies at the end of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg in Mumbai Harbour .
One can see many boats and ships ranging from small fishing boats to large cargo ships . There are ferry services available at Gateway of India to ferry passengers to various locations such as the Elephanta Caves , Alibaug , etc. In earlier times , while entering Mumbai , one could see this structure predominant over the bustling Mumbai Skyline . It is not just a monument , but has been a hub for various activities like photography , tourism , small businesses , etc.
The monument was erected to commemorate the landing on the Apollo Bunder of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary when they visited India in 1911. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, the foundation stone for the Gateway of India was laid on 31 March 1911. The final design of George Wittet was sanctioned in 1914 and the construction of the monument was completed in 1924. The gateway was latterly the ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the new Governors of Bombay. It served to allow entry and access to India.
The monument has been a target of three terror attacks from the beginning of the 21st century; twice in 2003 and it was also the disembarkation point in 2008 when four gunmen attacked the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.
The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Delhi Durbar, in December 1911. However, they only got to see only a cardboard model of the structure since the construction did not begin till 1915. The foundation stone was laid on 31 March 1911, by the Governor of Bombay Sir George Sydenham Clarke, with the final design of George Wittet sanctioned on 31 March 1913. The gateway was built from yellow basalt and concrete . Between 1915 and 1919, work proceeded on reclamations at Apollo Bunder (Port) for the land on which the gateway and the new sea wall would be built. The foundations were completed in 1920, and construction was finished in 1924. The gateway was opened on 4 December 1924, by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading.
The last British troops to leave India following India's independence, the first Battalion of theSomerset Light Infantry, passed through the gateway on their way out in a ceremony on 28 February 1948, signalling the end of its rule.
It is the place where the Viceroys and Governors used to land upon their arrival in India. The Gateway of India , though built as a welcome to King George V for his visit of 1911, then an event of grand significance for British India and the British empire, today serves as a "monumental memento" of colonialisation and subjugation by the British over the people of India. Built right next to the imposing and prestigious Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel , for Britishers arriving for the first time to India, the gateway was a symbol of the power and majesty of the British empire.
Opposite the gateway stands the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the king who used guerilla warfare to establish the Maratha empire in the Sahyadri mountain range in the 17th century, as a symbol of Maratha pride and courage. The statue was unveiled on 26 January 1961 on the occasion India's Republic Day. The other statue in the area is that of Swami Vivekananda.
The Gateway of India itself is a major tourist destination and a popular gathering spot for locals, giant-balloon sellers and photographers.