Saturday, March 11, 2006

Gateway of India

Gateway of India
Apollo Bunder

Ironic that the first visual that comes to mind when one says "Bombay" is the "Gateway of India", since it was built to commemorate the visit of King George V & Queen Mary in 1911.

A little known fact is that the Monarch walked through a plaster of paris replica. The Authentic Gateway was ready in 1924. At 26 metres high, this yellow basalt stone archway is the first landmark that a visitor sees when arriving by ship. This crypto-Moresque archway has welcomed numerous viceroys, governors and top civil servants as they disembarked by launch from their P & 0 steamers. But it was redundant just 24 years later when the last British Regiment ceremoniously departed India through its archway.

This archway was designed by George Wittet (who later designed the Prince of Wales Museum) in the Muslim styles of 16th century Gujarat.

Today there is a green park opposite the Gateway which boasts an equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Also a statue of Swami Vivekananda has been installed to the right.

Behind the Park is the magnificient "Taj Mahal Palace & Tower"

Boats from here depart for Elephanta Island, mainland village of Mandwa, Alibagh & a few other places. The Heritage Bus Ride also departs from here at 7pm & 8:15pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

You can only circambulate the monument. Actual entry is not permitted.

Entry to the monument and the park with Shivaji's statue are free. Parking is charged at the normal BMC rates at South Bombay. Parking is right at the monument.

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