Bharat Virasat-Gateway of India

Gateway of India

Historical Monuments. Plazas, Town Squares, and Other Community Spaces


The Gateway of India is a hybrid structure incorporating Indic designs with British forms and was built to commemorate King George V's visit to India in 1911. It is situated on the seafront in the Colaba area of Mumbai. There are five jetties located at the Gateway, of which two are used for commercial ferry operations. It is a major attraction for both domestic and international tourists. Its plaza has hosted a number of cultural events, and the Gateway has featured in several movies. It still serves part of its original purpose by means of being a launch for ferries, boats and yachts that ply between Mumbai and the famed Elephanta Island as well as Alibaug.

Constructed in:

20th century CE

Local Language(s):

English, Hindi, Marathi


The Gateway of India is built in buff coloured trachyte commonly called yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.

It features one central pavilion and two subsidiary pavilions, each with a Pointed arch entrance.

The Gateway has four minarets attached to the four corners of the central arch.

The arches used in the Gateway of India are called French arc brise and comprise of two segments of a round arch, which are butted against each other without using a keystone. These pointed arches not only lend a Gothic look to the structure, but also give it strength and stability, enabling the perfection of ribbed vaults that act as the main support of the roof, instead of all the weight resting on the walls.

The vaulted roof of the main and subsidiary pavilions of tht Gateway is in the form of a ribbed vault, with a series of intersecting arches that provide counter-resistance to the lateral thrust of the domes above.

The Gateway features a number of Corbels or brackets supporting the overhanging eaves.

The Gateway has overhanging eaves on all sides, projecting outward from the roof, protecting the walls from direct flow of water in the heavy Bombay monsoon.

The Gateway features a number of Corbels or brackets supporting the overhanging eaves.

The Gateway has three squat domes, which are invisible from the ground. The central dome soars 26m in height and is the largest with a diameter of 15m.

The arches of the two subsidiary pavilions on the left and right feature lattice work (commonly known as "jali") above the entrance, which is both decorative and serves the purpose of letting in light and air. The jalis have hexagonal, octagonal, honeycomb and other vegetal patterns.

One of the problems affecting the Gateway, is the problem of black crusts, given the high levels of humidity and pollution. Due to its location on the seafront, the trachyte rock of the Gateway is a victim of saline deposits which can be observed in the form of whitish patches on its surface. The entire monument shows signs of deterioration due to salt accumulation/encrustation, especially on the sea facing side.