Gateway of India, or as it is also called, the Taj Mahal of Mumbai, is a historical monument constructed during the British reign over India and is now the most famous cultural and archaeological landmark of the city of Mumbai. It is located in the south of Mumbai and overlooks the vast Arabian Sea. During the time, Gateway of India was the first structure that visitors coming to Mumbai via the sea would notice. The monument was erected to honor the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary, in the year 1911. In fact, it was in 1911 that the foundation stone of this remarkable edifice was led, however, it was not until 1924 that the construction was completed.
The architecture of the Gateway of India is a unique combination of Hindu and Muslim style. The arch and the shape of the monument resembles the Muslim architecture, however, the embellishments reflect the Hindu style of architecture. Opposite the gateway stands tall a figurine of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a prominent Maratha king who established his empire in the state. The edifice was unveiled on 26th January, 1961. 26th January is celebrated as India’s Independence Day since 1947. Another status, that of Swami Vivekananda, also stands around the same area.
There are 5 jetties around the gateway of which the second and third jetties offer boat rides to another popular tourist attraction – the Elephanta caves. Though following the 2008 terrorist attack when three gunmen used this jetty to enter the city and attack the neighboring Taj Mahal Hotel killing and injuring many, there have been proposals floating to close all the jetties.
Although the Gateway is a major tourist destination and a picnic spot for the locals and international tourists alike, another reason to lure visitors to the magnificent structure is the Elephanta Festival of Music and dance which has change its venue from the Elephanta caves to the Gateway in 2012 after it was noticed that the Gateway has capacity to hold more visitors than the caves.