Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gateway of India

Monuments and Memorials in India
Ajanta & Ellora Caves | Gateway of India | Jaisalmer Fort | Qutub Minar | Sanchi Stupa

Gateway of India: Introduction

gateway-of-indiaGateway of India is located in the waterfront area of Apollo Bunder in South Mumbai in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It started as a sort of jetty used by the local fishermen that was redesigned by the British rulers to suit their own purpose.

Gateway of India Architecture

Gateway of India is a blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. It is a basalt arch about 26 meters or 85 feet in height. It is constructed of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. It also has perforated screens that were obtained from Gwalior. It has a central dome that is 15 meters or 49 feet in diameter. The gateway was the first structure that hit the eyes of the newcomers in the olden days who arrived to the city of Mumbai via waterways.

Gateway of India History

The structure was open to the mass on 4 December 1924, by the British Viceroy named the Earl of Reading to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. When the British Raj in India ended in 1947, this colonial structure also became an epitaph as the last of the British ships that had left India had left from the Gateway of India.

Attractions around Gateway of India

  • Elephanta Caves are within easy reach through ferry boats from the Gateway of India.  There are luxury boats cruising the harbor with the tourists for sightseeing.

  • The Royal Taj Mahal Palace and Tower: It is a five star hotel located in the Colaba region just beside the Gateway. It belongs to the Taj group of hotels, resorts and palaces and has 565 rooms. It was built 21 years before the Gateway of India was built and has catered to Maharajas, dignitaries and prominent personalities from all over the world for over a century now.

  • There is also a statue of Chatrapati Shivaji in front of the Gateway of India. This statue depicts the great Maratha leader who had been an ideal for the Indians for centuries.

  • Elephanta Island: This island is located about 10 kilometers from the Gateway of Inida and houses a group of rock cut caves built sometime between 6th and 8th century. Among the beautiful sculptures that adorn the caves, the Mahesmurthy or Trimurthi, representing the three aspects of Shiva as the creator of the universe, the preserver on his creation and the destroyer, deserves mention.

  • As a further attraction, there are hassle-free ferry services from Gateway of India to Mandwa, with a serene beach and Alibaug, a nice coastal town 30 kms from Mumbai with lots of beaches, fort and a naval base. The ferry timings are frequent and regular.

Best time to visit Gateway of India

People from all over the world visit Mumbai throughout the year and Gateway of India is a primary attraction for tourists.

Connectivity by air, road, and rail

By Air: Mumbai is extremely well connected with all major cities of the world.

By Railway: Mumbai is very well connected through railways to all the major cities of India and it has got the most advanced local train connectivity of the world crisscrossing the city.

By Road: Very good roads connect Mumbai to all the major cities of India.

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