Mumbai, the commercial hub of India, is located on the western coast in the state of Maharashtra. It is one of the largest and most populated cities in the nation. The Nhava Sheva Port, the largest container port in India handles almost 70% of the maritime trade. The city perhaps is best known for its entertainment industry. The search for stardom and wealth brings people here from all over the country in huge numbers. The city houses many government agencies like the Reserve Bank and the National Stock Exchange. Many big industries also have their headquarters here. The region is quite famous for its beaches like the Marina Beach and Juhu Beach. The Marine Drive, which runs along the Arabian Sea coast, is probably the most iconic road in the country, being featured in a multitude of films. Many historical monuments also adorn the city like jewels, many of which have architecture reflective of the European conquest. The CST, Churchgate Station and Mumbai Police headquarters are all built in the Gothic Revival style, which was prevalent in the Victorian era from 1837 to 1901. Besides these attractions, another such structure that is worth visiting during Mumbai tours is Gateway of India.
Gateway of India
This stone and marble structure is the biggest tourist attraction of the state. The monument, designed by George Wittet and made with a combination of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles, was commissioned in 1911 in the honour of the visit of King George V of England and his consort, Mary. Built on land reclaimed from the sea, the gateway was opened to public on December 4th, 1924 by the then viceroy. The whole construction expense was borne by the then colonial government. In the past, it actually served as an entrance to the country as the viceroys and governors used to land here. After strolling through ebony archways of this 85-metre high tourist attraction, travelers reach a stone and brick platform, overlooking the mammoth Arabian Sea. It is also popular as it is just opposite to the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in the world. The place has five jetties from where ferries are available for the nearby Elephanta Caves. Like Marine Drive, this iconic Indian attraction too has been featured in many songs and motion pictures. Travellers should check that their holiday package in India is inclusive of this stark reminder of the colonial era.
The November 26th, 2008 terrorist attacks have also led to a surge in its popularity as it was the point where the terrorists docked and entered India. This incident serves as a depressing reminder of all the bloodshed initiated by conquerors and traders who came from overseas and went about massacring Indians and plundering their wealth.
Gateway of India is situated in Colaba and is 2.5 km away from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or the erstwhile Victoria Terminus and 2.4 km away from the Churchgate railway station. Taxi services are available at both stations and at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The best time to visit Mumbai is in the post-monsoon season from November to March as the city experiences pleasant weather and low probability of rainfall during this time.