Gateway of India
Good for: skippin it, Travel Guide, Families
Not good for: Tourist attraction, Romance
Lonely Planet review for Gateway of India
The bold basalt Gateway of India arch faces out to Mumbai Harbour at the tip of Apollo Bunder. Derived from the Islamic styles of 16th-century Gujarat, it was built to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V. It was completed in 1924: ironically, the gateway's British architects used it just 24 years later to parade off their 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, beggars and touts rub shoulders with Indian and foreign tourists, creating all the hubbub of a bazaar. Boats depart from the gateway's wharfs for Elephanta Island and Mandwa.
You can ride in a Victoria - one of the horse-drawn gilded carriages that ply their trade along Apollo Bunder. Get them to go around the Oval Maidan at night so you can admire the illuminated buildings - it should cost around Rs300 if you bargain. Hard.