Gateway of India - History and Facts | History Hit

Gateway of India

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

The Gateway of India is a twentieth century triumphal arch in Mumbai built in honour of a royal visit.

Image Credit: Smarta / Shutterstock

About Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is a world-renowned sand-coloured monument in Mumbai in honour of the 1911 visit of King George V and Queen Mary.

History of the Gateway of India

King George’s visit to India for the 1911 Delhi Durbar  was the first visit of any British monarch to India. The foundation stone was laid by the governor of Bombay in 1913, with the rest of the monument being built between 1915 and 1924. The Gateway of India is composed of a central arch flanked by chambers and crowned by with an 85-foot high dome surrounded by four turrets.

Ironically perhaps, just 24 years after the monument’s completion, the last British troops to leave India following independence passed through the gateway with a 21-gun salute to signal the end of the Raj. Today the monument commemorates the legacy of British colonial rule, and has become synonymous with the city of Mumbai – it’s one of the first things those arriving by sea see.

The Gateway of India today

Undoubtedly one of the best people watching spots in Mumbai, the full spectrum of the city can be found around the gate throughout the day: many have likened it to a bazaar. If you visit in February or March, you may well cross paths with the Elephanta Festival, and you can get boats to Elephanta Island from the gateway.

The gateway has also become a site of significance to the Jewish community, who use it to light the menorah. There is relatively heavy security around so it’s worth travelling light. Watch out for pickpockets and touts.

Getting to the Gateway of India

The monument is about 20km south of the city centre: you’ll need to hop on a tuktuk or take a taxi to get there.

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