The Gateway of India is an arch monument built during the 20th century in Mumbai, India.[2] The monument was erected to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911.

Gateway of India
Gateway of India (16124305123).jpg
View from the Mumbai-Elephanta ferry route
Gateway of India is located in Mumbai
Gateway of India
Location within Mumbai
Gateway of India is located in Maharashtra
Gateway of India
Gateway of India (Maharashtra)
Gateway of India is located in India
Gateway of India
Gateway of India (India)
General information
TypeTriumphal arch
Architectural styleIndo-Saracenic
LocationMumbai, Maharashtra
Coordinates18°55′19″N 72°50′05″E / 18.9219°N 72.8346°E / 18.9219; 72.8346
Elevation10 m (33 ft)
Construction started31 March 1911
Inaugurated4 December 1924
Cost 2.1 million (1911)
OwnerArchaeological Survey of India
Height26 m (85 ft)
Diameter15 metres (49 feet)
Design and construction
ArchitectGeorge Wittet
Architecture firmGammon India[1]
Renovating team
ArchitectGeorge Wittet

Built in Indo-Saracenic style, the foundation stone for the Gateway of India was laid on 31 March 1911. The structure is an arch made of basalt, 26 metres (85 feet) high. The final design of George Wittet was sanctioned in 1914 and the construction of the monument was completed in 1924[citation needed]. The Gateway was later used as a symbolic ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the new Governors of Bombay.[3] It served to allow entry and access to India.[4]

The Gateway of India is located on the waterfront at Apollo Bunder area at the end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg in South Mumbai and overlooks the Arabian Sea.[5][6][7] The monument has also been referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai,[8] and is the city's top tourist attraction.[9]



Gateway of India, Bombay, 1924
The inscription atop on the Gateway of India reads, "Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the Second of December MCMXI"

The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of George V, Emperor of India and Mary of Teck, Empress consort, to Bombay, prior to the Delhi Durbar in December 1911. However, they only got to see a cardboard model of the monument, since the construction did not begin until 1915.[citation needed] The foundation stone was laid on March 31, 1913 by the governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke with the final design of George Wittet sanctioned on March 31, 1914.

The land on which the Gateway was built on was previously a crude jetty, used by the fishing community which was later renovated and used as a landing place for British governors and other prominent people. In earlier times, it would have been the first structure that visitors arriving by boat in Mumbai would have seen.[10][11]

Between 1915 and 1919, work proceeded at Apollo Bundar (Port) to reclaim 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.[12] The gateway was opened on December 4, 1924 by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading.[10]

The last British troops to leave India following the country's independence, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed through the Gateway on their way out in a ceremony on February 28, 1948, signalling the end of British rule.[10][13]

Architectural LayoutEdit

The structural design of the Gateway of India is constituted of a large arch, with a height of 26m. The monument is built in yellow basalt and indissoluble concrete. The structural plan of Gateway of India is designed in the Indo-Saracenic style. One can also find traces of Muslim architectural styles incorporated in the structure of the grandiose edifice. The central dome of the monument is about 48 feet in diameter, with a total height of 83 feet. Designed with intricate latticework, the 4 turrets are the prominent features of the entire structure of the Gateway of India. There are steps constructed behind the arch of the Gateway that leads to the Arabian Sea.

Design and architectureEdit

The halls inside the Gateway of India

The Scottish architect George Wittet combined the elements of the Roman triumphal arch and the 16th-century architecture of Gujarat.[14] The monument's design is a combination of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. The arch is of Muslim style while the decorations are of Hindu style.[15] The Gateway of India is built from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.[16] The stone was locally obtained, and the perforated screens were brought from Gwalior.[17] The gateway faces out to Mumbai Harbour from the tip of Apollo Bunder.[18]

Internal View of the Dome

The central dome is 48 feet (15 metres) in diameter and 83 feet (25 metres) above the ground at its highest point.[19] The whole harbour front was realigned in order to come in line with a planned esplanade which would sweep down to the centre of the town. On each side of the arch, there are large halls with the capacity to hold 600 people.[16] The cost of the construction was 2 million (US$29,000), borne mainly by the Imperial Government of India. Due to a paucity of funds, the approach road was never built and so the gateway stands at an angle to the road leading up to it.[10][19]

Location and significanceEdit

Aerial view of The Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is considered as a "symbolic monument" that represents the city of Mumbai, India.

The Taj Mahal Hotel located opposite the Gateway of India

Located opposite the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel.[20] For the British arriving to India, the gateway was a symbol of the "power and majesty" of the British Empire.[5] 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 British colonial rule over India.[4]

The Monument of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the vicinity of The Gateway

Opposite the gateway, stands the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Maratha king who used guerilla warfare to establish the Maratha empire in the Sahyadri mountain range in the 17th century,[21] as a symbol of Maratha "pride and courage".[22] The statue was unveiled on 26 January 1961 on the occasion of India's Republic Day.[23][24]

Monument to Swami Vivekanda in the vicinity of The Gateway

The other statue in vicinity of the monument is that of Swami Vivekananda, made by an Indian sculptor, Sitaram S. Arte.[25]

There are five jetties located around the gateway monument.[26] The first jetty is exclusive to the Atomic Research Centre while the second and third are used for commercial ferry operations, the fourth one is closed and the fifth is exclusive to the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. The second and third jetties are the starting point for tours of Elephanta Caves, which is a 50-minute boat ride away by ferry.[20][27] Other routes from the Gateway include ferry rides to Rewas, (Alibaug) and Mandwa, (Alibaug). These ferries are said to carry passengers above their certified capacity due to their popularity.[28]


The Gateway of India is a major tourist destination in Mumbai and a popular gathering spot for locals, street vendors and photographers.[18]

In 2012, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation moved the "Elephanta Festival of music and dance" from its original location at Elephanta Caves (where it had been celebrated for 23 years) to the Gateway due to the increased capacity offered by the venue. The Gateway can host 2,000 to 2,500 people, whereas Elephanta Caves could host only 700 to 800 people.[29][30]

Events and incidentsEdit

The monument witnessed a terrorist attack on August 25, 2003, when a bomb blast left trails of blood in front of the Gateway. The taxi containing the bomb was parked outside the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the city's oldest luxury hotels, where windows were shattered and cars damaged. The force of the explosion is reported to have thrown several people into the sea.[9]

A mentally disturbed man stabbed two young girls from Manipur at the Gateway of India on August 13, 2005.[31]

A woman was groped on New Year Eve 2007 by a rowdy mob at the Gateway of India.[32]

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, there had been a proposal to close all the jetties and replace them with two newer ones to be built near the Bombay Presidency Radio Club.[33]

Following the 26/11 terror attack on the Taj Mahal Hotel, public access to the area around the Gateway was restricted.[34]


See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ National Portal Content Management Team. "National Portal of India, Monuments". National Informatics Centre (NIC). Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ Chapman, Kenneth. Peace, War and Friendships. Roxana Chapman. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-9551881-0-7. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b Simon, Sherry; St-Pierre, Paul (27 November 2000). Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era. University of Ottawa Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-7766-0524-1. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b William J. Duiker; Jackson J. Spielvogel (3 January 2006). World History: From 1500. Cengage Learning. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-495-05054-4. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  6. ^ DNA (24 April 2012). "Walk amid a wealth of heritage in Mumbai". DNA India. Mumbai. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. ^ Holloway, James (29 November 1964). "Gateway of India; Colorful, Crowded Bombay Provides An Introduction to Subcontinent". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2012.(subscription required)
  8. ^ Duncan Forbes (1968). The heart of India. Hale. p. 76. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b "2003: Bombay rocked by twin car bombs". BBC. 25 August 2003. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d Dwivedi, Sharada; Rahul Mehotra (1995). Bombay – The Cities Within. Mumbai: India Book House. ISBN 81-85028-80-X.
  11. ^ Arnett, Robert (15 July 2006). India Unveiled. Atman Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-9652900-4-3. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  12. ^ Dwivedi, Sharada; Mehrotra, Rahul (1995). Bombay: the cities within. India Book House. ISBN 978-81-85028-80-4. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  13. ^ Bradnock, Robert; Bradnock, Roma; Ballard, Sebastian (1993). South Asian handbook. Trade & Travel. ISBN 978-0-8442-9980-8. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  14. ^ Shobhna Gupta (2003). Monuments of India. Har-Anand Publications. p. 111. ISBN 978-81-241-0926-7. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  15. ^ Sigh, Kirpal; Mathew, Annie. Middle School Social Sciences. Frank Brothers. p. 8. ISBN 978-81-8409-103-8. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  16. ^ a b Mis, Melody S. (1 August 2005). How to Draw India's Sights and Symbols. Rosen Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4042-2732-3. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  17. ^ Bajwa, Jagir Singh; Kaur, Ravinder (1 January 2007). Tourism Management. APH Publishing. p. 240. ISBN 978-81-313-0047-3. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  18. ^ a b Singh, Sarina (1 September 2009). Lonely Planet India. Lonely Planet. pp. 783–784. ISBN 978-1-74179-151-8. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  19. ^ a b Kapoor, Subodh (1 July 2002). The Indian Encyclopaedia. Cosmo Publications. p. 2554. ISBN 978-81-7755-257-7. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  20. ^ a b Pippa De Bruyn; Keith Bain; David Allardice; Shonar Joshi (12 February 2010). Frommer's India. John Wiley & Sons. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-470-60264-5. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  21. ^ "300-feet Shivaji statue in Mumbai's Arabian Sea!". 3 June 2008. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  22. ^ B.K. Chaturvedi. Tourist Centers of India. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. p. 146. ISBN 978-81-7182-137-2. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  23. ^ Prasad, Rajendra (1984). Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Correspondence and Select Documents. Allied Publishers. p. 205. ISBN 978-81-7023-002-1. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
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  28. ^ "Disaster floats at gateway". Mid Day. 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
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  31. ^ "Maniac stabs girl to death at Gateway". The Times of India. 14 August 2005. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2005.
  32. ^ "Gateway groping shocks Mumbai". The Times of India. 3 January 2007. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
  33. ^ "5 jetties may be shut". Daily News and Analysis. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  34. ^ Clara Lewis, Times News Network (18 March 2012). "Gateway not quite a getaway". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 April 2012.

External linksEdit