Mumbai has lived upto the reputation for which it was established. It is a city built by the residents of the city. Mumbai is more than a cosmopolitan made of concrete buildings. In the 18th century Mumbai grew rapidly and it also became one of the leading centers for the activists in the freedom struggle. Britishers played their role by shifting the presidency from Surat to Bombay, the former name of Mumbai. Also, the first railway line on which train moved was laid between Bombay and Thane.
Places to See in Mumbai
Gateway of India
What could be more appropriate a beginning than the 'entrance' to the port of Mumbai? The ceremonial arch was built in 1927 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. Constructed in honey-colored basalt, the gateway was designed by George Wittet, inspired by 16th century Gujarat Style. The changing light of the rising and setting sun gives varied hues of gold, russet and pink to the imposing arch. Historically, the Gateway holds greater significance as the last of the British troops left Independent India by sea, marched through its portals.
Founded by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Ready money, after whom is named the earlier of the two structures, was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott. Flanked by the High Court and the Old Secretariat, the buildings were completed in 1874. Resplendent in a florid and highly decorative French Gothic style, the main building with its turrets and gabled roof has a large circular window, with its outer border originally made up of twelve stained glass skylights, depicting the signs of the zodiac.
Mumbai High Court
This blue-basalt building in early English Gothic style was designed by Col. J. A. Fuller. It has central tower standing almost 180 ft. Two octagonal towers with their spiralets holding at their pinnacles two carved figures of Justice and Mercy are situated to the west of the central tower.
Sir J. J. School Of Art
Built during the same period as the University, its importance is heightened by the fact that Rudyard Kipling was born and spent his early childhood here. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was the Principal of the art school and under his tutelage, many local artisans received training.
One of the finest examples of high Victorian Gothic architecture, it is the headquarters of the Central Railways and is one of the finest railway stations in the world.
Prince of Wales Museum
King George V, who as Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone of this museum in 1905. Situated near the gateway of India, it was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style to commemorate the King's first visit to India. During the First World War, it was used as a hospital. It was opened as a museum in 1923 and has three main sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. One of the best museums in the country, it is a treasure house of art, sculpture, China, rare coins and old firearms. It also has a priceless collection of miniature paintings.
The glistering white marble dome crowning this building can be sighted from a distance as it lies nestled amidst a well-laid out garden.
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