Commemorating the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, India’s own honey-coloured Arc de Triomphe, the Gateway of India, is Colaba’s principal monument and the landmark most iconic of Mumbai in the Indian imagination. Featured in countless Bollywood movies, it was built in 1924 by George Wittet, whose brief was to combine the grandeur of a Roman triumphal arch with decorative motifs from Hindu and Muslim architecture. The resulting structure, every bit a symbol of “power and majesty”, was originally intended to be a ceremonial disembarkation point for passengers alighting from the P&O steamers, but is, ironically, more closely associated with the moment in August 1947 when, amid much pomp and ceremony, the last remaining British soldiers on Indian soil slowly marched to their waiting troop ship as the Union Jack was lowered – to euphoric cheers from a vast crowd. The hour around sunset when thousands of visitors mill about the archway and plaza, munching bhel puri and having their photos taken, is the best time to visit.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

25 years and 10 editions: The Rough Guide to India over the years

It's 25 years since an adventurous quartet of Rough Guides authors set off for the Subcontinent to begin work on researching the inaugural instalment of The Rou…

30 Nov 2016 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
The most romantic places in India

The most romantic places in India

India has to be one of the world's most romantic destinations. Its beguiling mix of ancient forts, pretty palaces, shimmering lakes and gorgeous beaches is boun…

25 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey camera_alt Gallery
13 tips for backpacking India

13 tips for backpacking India

Whether you’re hurtling along in a rickshaw, eating fantastic curries, kicking back on the backwaters or hiking in the mountains, backpacking India will alwa…

23 Nov 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month