Gateway of India

Lonely Planet review

This bold basalt arch of colonial triumph faces out to Mumbai Harbour from the tip of Apollo Bunder. Incorporating Islamic styles of 16th-century Gujarat, it was built to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V, but not completed until 1924. Ironically, the British builders of the gateway used it just 24 years later to parade the last British regiment as India marched towards Independence.

These days, the gateway is a favourite gathering spot for locals and a top spot for people-watching. Giant-balloon sellers, photographers, vendors making bhelpuri and touts rub shoulders with locals and tourists, creating all the hubbub of a bazaar. In March, they’re joined by classical dancers and musicians who perform during the Elephanta Festival (www.maharashtratourism.gov.in).

Boats depart from the gateway’s wharfs for Elephanta Island.