Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. What marvels of British architecture!
It took a great deal of calmness for me to stem down the excitement of exploring these.
Gateway of India
Easily identified and recognizable British marvel, the “Gateway of India”, is a crown in Mumbai’s attractions. Like the other attractions, this tourist hotspot is located in southern part of Mumbai. This sea-facing marvel is said to have been built to mark the commemoration of King George V and Queen Mary on 2nd December 1911, which can be found inscribed on the mantle of the monument.
After its completion in 1924, this part of the city initially became a port and then became a major tourist attraction when British left India. This part of town has eventually become the starting point of any tours, photo walks, etc. and thus draws a large number of locales, who earn their daily bread by doing business here.
The gateway acts as a quick-fix to Mumbai’s Corinthian style architecture which surrounds the area since the British Raj. One has to take a walk in the surrounding area and can see the similar style architecture. Opposite to the gateway lies the statue of Shivaji Maharaj after whom many institutions in Mumbai have been named.
Right next to Gateway, lies the great Taj Mahal hotel. It has two buildings – the main Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Taj Trident (which was built later). This hotel was built by Sir Jamshetji Tata. There is a very interesting story behind this. Legend has it that once Tata (who was the richest Indian in Mumbai at that time) was denied entry in the hotel built by British architect Watson. Since they strictly followed an ‘only whites’ policy in that hotel, (which was the poshest hotel before Taj was built), Tata avenged the policy and made this marvel.
Who would have known at that time that it would be witness to the great ups and downs ranging from one of the most beautiful architectural marvel to Mumbai terror attacks.