Gateway of India, Mumbai where Scottish architect George Wittet left his imprint!

The Gateway of India, a well-known monument in  Mumbai city of Maharashtra was designed by the famous  Scottish architect George Wittet; foundation was laid on 31 March 1911 by the then-Governor of Mumbai, Sir George Sydenham Clarke.  The Gateway of India is an imposing archway and its majesty and splendor  come in full focus  when viewing from the ferry  in  the Arabian Sea. Once a popular place of regal importance,  mostly used as an arriving point for British dignitaries  from England or elsewhere - Viceroys, governors and many other prominent people. Only structure in earlier times in Bombay to accord warm welcome to the higher officials in the shadow of  British Imperialistic symbol either to take up a covetous job here or on a visit to India. It was primarily built to welcome king  George V (previously, he visited India as the prince of Wales) and his queen Mary in 1911.

gate way of India Mumbai architect G.

Above image: Gracing the waterfront at Apollo Bunder area (right across the famous Taj hotel)  at the end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg in South Mumbai and overlooking the Arabian Sea is a classic example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. On 4th December 1924, the commemoration monument was inaugurated by Rufus Isaacs, who was the then Viceroy of India.  It was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. The royal couple, on their way to Delhi,  landed at Apollo Bunder in 1911. Since then during the Raj  it had been a ceremonial place of entry and exit for the highest ranking  British dignitaries ....................

King George V and Queen Mary Coronation

.George V and queen Mary at Apollo bunder,

Above image 1911-King George V and Queen Mary landing at Apollo Bunder, Bombay,  On a visit to India,  they were  to attend the greatest show on earth; the imperialistic extravaganza was called the Delhi Durbar.  The royal couple got off from the ship in Apollo Bunder  touching Indian soil for the first time ..................................

Inscription on Gateway of India,

Above image: Gateway of India, Mumbai, Inscription on the Gateway reading: "Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the Second of December MCMXI"

The gate Way of India, Mumbai.

Gateway of India jalli work. 

Indo-Saracenic styled structure made of locally available yellow Basaltic rock stones (of Volcanic origin from the Deccan region) is dominated by a gigantic arch -26 meters (85 feet) high. The final approval of the design for the contraction came through only in 1914. The  monument completed in 1924  was not just a portal, but "served as a reception hall and consisted of three domed spaces: a central hall with massive arches that formed the gateway.  The amazing central dome is 48 feet in diameter and 83 feet high and is flanked on either side by  large halls that can hold roughly  600 people. George Wittet combined the elements of the Roman triumphal arch (Arc de  Triomphe, Paris) and the 16th century architecture of Gujarat.  A fine example of Indo-Saracenic style of design, what is unique about the Gateway of India is its massive tall  Indian-styled arches with fine decorations and intricate lattice work.  The huge archway is joined aesthetically  with four turrets and intricate latticework carved on stones- features often found in Mogul and Rajput buildings.

Gateway of India, Bombay 1911.

Above image: Gateway of India 1911- Jerry-rigged   temporary domed plaster structure  designed by Wittet. It is behind the canopied pavilion here. The royal couple are seen  now seated on thrones on a canopied dais. after passing  through the plaster arch. The  Source: Fortesque, facing p. 108/ (

Across  the gateway, the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a great warrior  was unveiled on 26 January 1961 on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. In the past several decades tourists visiting Elephanta caves take the ferry - 50 minute ride from the launching piers here. Hidden behind this grand edifice built to honor British monarch and his queen is the genius of architect George Wittet.