Gateway of India Mumbai
It is an Indo-Saracenic style built triumphal arch that was erected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary in Mumbai in 1911. The monument shines as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai and is in the top list of tourist attraction.
When was it built?
In 1911, King George V and Queen Mary visited India and to mark this day in memories they decided to construct a monument laying its foundation stone on 31st March, 1913 by Sir George Sydenham Clarke who was the then governor of Bombay. The monument got ready in 1924 and was inaugurated by the Viceroy Rufus Isaacs, Earl of Reading on 4th December, 1924.
What about its architectural style?
The design of the monument shows the mixture of both Hindu and Muslim styles that were put forth by the Scottish architect George Wittet. It is made of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete having the central dome with 48 feet in diameter and 83 feet in height. It stands as a guard with its regal arches facing the Arabian Sea at Apollo Bunder in bustling Colaba area of Mumbai.
Its construction work was done by Gammon India Limited, the only company in India at that time to hold an ISO 9001: 1994 certification in all fields of civil engineering. Its triumphal arch has some Muslim elements incorporated whereas the rectangular structure consists of three sections. The central arches that are 85 feet high, the central block houses and one each side of the arch having large halls that are covered with intricately carved stone screens holding 600 people each. There are also 4 turrets that join the central dome having the decoration with intricate latticework.
What makes it so important?
It is not just considered as the entry point of British viceroys and governors but is also the site to symbolise the exit of British rule from India which was signalled by the passing of the first Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry on 28th February, 1948.
Other than this, the monument was the target of twin bombing along the crowded Zaveri Bazar on 25th August, 2003 plus has witness the entry of 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba on 26th November, 2008 that were responsible to conduct terrorist attacks in around South Mumbai, killing 150 Indian and foreign nationals.