One of Mumbai's most recognizable attractions, the triple-arched Gateway of India was built during the early 20th century in honor of the 1911 visit of King George V. Built of basalt and concrete, this monument was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, which blends traditional Indian, Victorian, and Mughal architectural elements.
Standing 25 meters (83 feet) high, the Gateway of India is among the city's most popular attractions, and many sightseeing tours start here. It has strong associations with British power, and became part of a ceremony marking the end of colonial rule in 1948, when soldiers from the Somerset Light Infantry crossed through the Gateway. Today visitors and locals alike flock here to stroll and take in the scenery, particularly around sunset.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The area around the Gateway of India is for pedestrians only, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk.
- Carry an umbrella to protect yourself from sun or rain.
- This stately arch is a must-visit for architecture and history buffs.
How to Get There
The Gateway of India is located in South Mumbai, just under 10 minutes’ drive south of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the city's southernmost railway station. It's easily accessible by road or on foot if you're already hanging out in the Colaba area, and ferries to and from Elephanta Island stop there. The Mumbai Airport is about an hour away by car.
When to Get There
The Gateway of India is a year-round destination, though Mumbai is best avoided during July and August, when heavy monsoon downpours can make the city challenging to navigate. Though it’s a good spot to people-watch during the day, the Gateway of India is most interesting around dusk, when families come out to take an evening stroll, and to buy kulfi (an Indian type of ice cream) and other snacks from street vendors.
Right in front of the Gateway of India stands Wellington Pier (formerly known as Apollo Bunder). It was once one of the most important points of entry into Mumbai, particularly during the Victorian era, though these days it is rarely used except for boats heading out to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known for its rock-hewn cave temples.