The Gateway of India: construction or renovation?

The Gateway of India is an arch-monument built in the early 20th century in the city of Mumbai, India. The Gateway's arch has a height of 26 metres (85 feet) with its central dome being 15 metres (49 feet) in diameter.
  • The monument is built of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.
  • The stones were sourced locally while the perforated screens were brought in from Gwalior.
  • The monument faces towards the Mumbai Harbour.
  • There are four turrets on the structure of the gateway, and there are steps constructed behind the arch of the Gateway which lead to the Arabian Sea.
  • The monument features intricate stone latticework.
  • The Scottish architect, George Wittet combined elements of the Roman triumphal arch and 16th-century architecture of Gujarat. The architecture also combines indigenous architectural elements with elements of Islamic architecture, known as the Indo-Saracenic.
  • The harbour front was realigned in order to make an esplanade, which would sweep down to the centre of the town.
  • On each side of the arch, there are large halls with the capacity to hold 600 people.
  • The cost of the construction was ₹21 lakh (US$28,000), borne by the then government.
  • Due to a paucity of funds, the approach road was never built. Hence, the Gateway stands at an angle to the road leading up to it.
  • Gateway of India - Wikipedia

The Gateway in 1924


It was erected to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V, the first British monarch to visit India.
  • George V visited India in December 1911.
  • George V only got to see a cardboard model of the monument, as construction did not begin until 1915.
  • The foundation stone was laid in March 1913.
  • The final design of the monument was sanctioned only in 1914.
  • Construction was completed in 1924.
Construction photo #1: Rare Old Photo Of Gateway Of India Under Construction, Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India (1919).


Construction photo #2: Gateway of India under construction, India, early 1900s.


Construction photo #3: Gateway of India, Mumbai under construction.



KD: So, what do you think? Did they build it from scratch, or simply renovated an older damaged structure?
  • I could not find any additional construction photographs. If you locate any, please share.
Judging by worn down it looks in the "construction" photos, very probable that it was restored.

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