The Gateway of India, to a normal eye, would look like a normal big arch. In whose shades many people treat it as a picnic spot. There are families spreading a ‘chatai’ and sitting on it, having conversations and lunch. There were salesmen who would sell tickets to the nearby Elephanta Caves (another marvelous spot worth visiting). Some fake temple sadhu giving prasad and aashirwad to superstitious village crowd visiting Mumbai. They were also unsuccessfully trying to offer the same to the foreigners visiting these areas. Many of the touts were selling Mumbai Darshan tickets. A photographers were asking the group of people to give a pose in front of Gateway. Another photographer was taking a typical pose of holding the pinnacle Taj Mahal hotel. So these are the things that happen around one of the most famous monument of Mumbai.
The Gateway was designed by George Wittett. He combined the Roman Triumphal Arch with Indo Sarcenic Architecture of 16th Century Gujarat.
We could spot the this architecture around both the sides of Gateway
In the center of the Main Arch, there lies a Shrine or Jarokha which I am not sure about, we still dont know who put it there there. There are some inscriptions and a Shivaji Emblem in Middle of it, here are its photos
Oops!! forgot to mention the reason why the Gateway of India was made. Although the King and the Queen didnt see the original ones
After you have spotted all the details of the Gateway and you plan to exit the place through the Exit area, you would spot a statue of a royal person sitting on a muscular horse, sporting a mustache like you have never seen before with a sword on one hand and controlling the horse with another, wearing a war shield behind him, as if ready to ride to any war with victory in his mind and justice in his hands. That is the Statue of Shivaji Maharaj, a Maratha warrior king from the 17th century. This warrior king has a huge religious followers throughout Maharashtra. The statue looked marvelous with the backdrop of Taj Hotel
Just at the front base of the statue there are wordings engraved in a panel
“Nishchayacha Mahameru, Bahutajanansi aadharu, Akhandasthiticha Nirdharu, Shrimant Yogi…”
These are the wordings of Shree Samarth Ramdas, who lived in the times of Shivaji Maharaj and wrote this poetry describing the very personality of him. The original poetry goes like this
“Nishchayacha Mahameru, Bahutajanansi aadharu, Akhandasthiticha Nirdharu, Shrimant Yogi …… Ya bhumandalache thai, Dharma rakshi eisa nahi Maharashtra dharma rahila kahi tumha karani.”
The pinnacle of determination, protector of people, resolute in intent, wealthy yet detached from his opulence……There is no other on this earth, who has protected any people; It is because of you that the culture of Maharashtra survived.
On the right side of the base of Shivaji Maharaj’s statue, there is a panel as shown in the picture below, which tells us that ‘ On the day of 26th January 1969, this statue by unveiled in the presence of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Shri Yashwantrao Chavan under the supervision of Shree Balasaheb Desai’ (please let me know if the translation is wrong )
Just besides this panel there is a sword and shield on display
Just behind the statue, a garden was also inaugurated with a marble fountain in it (it was off when we had visited this place) which is decorated with sculptures of cow, lion as well as elephants.