If you are visiting Mumbai, you ought to visit Elepanta Caves. The gateway to Elephanta caves is indeed the gateway to the whole nation, the Gateway of India. Gateway of India is a national heritage monument of 20th century. This monument was built along the shore for commemorating King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to India in 1911. This is a triumphal arch built in Indo-Saracenic architecture at the cost of 2.1 million dollars in 1913.
The structure is made with yellow basalt and undissolved concrete. The arch is 26 m tall and built with a few signs of Muslim architecture. The central dome is about 48 m in diameter. You can find latticework in the interior. The structure is very similar to triumphal arch of Roman civilization.
The stones for this monument was brought from Gwalior. The monument can hold 600 people on each end of the arch. Right opposite to the monument, you can find the statue of Maharaja Chhatrapati Shivaji.
To welcome the king and the queen in 1911, the Indian government decided to build the arch. However, the government was able to provide a cardboard model of the arch when the royals arrived. Later, the foundation stone was laid in 1913.
The construction of the monument started in 1915 only. The land, on which the arch stands today, was once a fishing region for the locals. From 1915 to 1919, the work continued on the Apollo Bundar. The gateway was however opened only in 1925 by Earl of Reading. Since then, the officials walked into the land from the harbor of Mumbai via the arch.
After independence, the last British Troop left the country through the arch on 1948, expressing the official end of British rule in India.
Tourists are free to enter and click pictures in the monument.
Best time to visit
The monument is open throughout the day, every day. During national celebrations, you can find many tourists in this monument. Although season has no effect on the beauty of the place, you can find more tourists in the tourism season, which spans between November and March.
The best time to visit the arch is during Elephanta Festival, which happens in February for two days. The exact date of the festival varies with each year. The festival was initially conducted in the Elephanta caves. Later, it was shifted to the Gateway of India due to heavy crowd.
How to reach?
You can reach Mumbai via flight or by travelling with Deccan Odyssey Luxury Train.
Once you are inside Mumbai, you can find public transportation, cabs, autos and other transportation to reach Gateway of India. The nearest railway station is Church gate. From Church gate, you can find taxis or shared taxis to reach Gateway of India.
It is a very famous monument in Mumbai and you can always find cabs willing to take you to Gateway of India. From the shore, find jetty to reach the Elephanta Island.
Tourist attractions closer
- Elephant Caves
- Swami Vivekananda statue
- Taj Mahal hotel
- Maharaj Sivaji statue