India : Gateway of India, Mumbai

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01/17/15, 9:33 AM UTC+5:30

Namaste Mumbai!

I was staying in North Mumbai near the airport at The Holiday Inn and it took a solid hour to head over here to South Mumbai. I left the hotel at 837am in a cab.

I was heading to The Gateway of India to begin my Mumbai Local tour.

Can you make out the buildings in the background? This is smog and we have people in Singapore complaining about the occasional haze. Mumbai deals with this day everyday.

Let me enhance it for you. Mumbai, beautiful city.

To head to South Mumbai, we drove thru the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

It is a beautiful bridge.

I opened the windows in the taxi since it was a cool weather and enjoyed the wind.

The toll for a return trip is Rupees 82.50. Keep the return ticket to pass to the toll attendant on your return.

mumbai-seven-islands-map

The Portuguese were here first before ceding to the British as a dowry offering from the Portuguese royalties to the British when Charles II wed Catherine of Braganza. The British East India Company soon took over. I was surprised that Bombay, as it was called at that time, was actually a group of 7 islands. Hornby Vellard started the project of land reclamation and the rest is history.

One of the most significant monuments in India’s history, The Gateway of India used to be the landing point entry of British dignitaries. The structure was erected to commemorate the landing of King Goerge V and Queen Mary when they visited India in 1911. The foundation stones was laid in 1911 but it was only completed in 1924.

My taxi driver dropped me off a street away stating that it was better for me to walk than to be stuck in the circle at the entrance of The Gateway of India.

There is a huge square and surprisingly, it is not very packed. There are people and tourist walking around but that is pretty much it.

I walked around snapping photos whilst I waited for Nirmala, my local guide for The Mumbai Local tour.

The design carried Hindu and Muslim elements.

A truly beautiful monument facing the Arabian sea.

Today, it is used as a remembrance of the colonization of India by the British Emptire, a reminder of India’s past.

Everyone tries hard to get that perfect shot.

Across from the Gateway is The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, one of the most expensive hotels in Mumbai.

First commissioned by Tata in 1903 and opened to guest on 16 December 1903.

Jamsedji Tata decided to build this hotel because he was refused entry to one of the city’s grand hotels of the time due to Watson’s Hotel restricting it to whites only.

Boat in the Arabian Sea.

This is truly a hotel worthy of Bombay.

The tower wing was added in 1973. I wished I had the chance to go in but time was short. Perhaps next time, I shall visit and stay here.

The Gateway of India signified the power and might of British Empire and it was where viceroys and governors would land when they arrived to India.

You may say that it is the entry point into India.

Opposite The Gateway stands the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the king who established the Maratha Empire and waged war against the Moghuls.

Another statue, of Swammi Vivekananda, an Indian philosopher and Yoga practitioner, stand.

Finally, this was where the British troops exited India when India gained her independence. The First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry passed thru the gateway on their way out in a ceremony on 28 February 1948, signifying the end of British Rule.

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