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PLACES TO VISIT IN MUMBAI  

  Gateway of India

GATEWAY OF INDIA:
Built to commemorate the royal visit of King George V in 1911, Gateway of India arch is made from honey-coloured basalt rock. As a monument, it is both touching and slightly out-of-place. The architecture is that of the 16th century Gujarati style, but it neither succeeds as a convincinglyIndian monument nor as a British relic. Ironically, the Gateway of India later served as the exit for theBritish Raj. It was at this point that the British regiment signalled before they left India on the 28th of February 1948.

ELEPHANTA CAVES:
Ten kms. north east of the Gateway are the four rock-cut temples on the island of Elephanta. It is said that the cutting of these temples commenced in 450 AD and lasted till 750 AD. It was originally called Gharapuri, but the Portuguese later changed the tongue-twisting name to Elephanta due to the presence of a large stone elephant at the entrance. In 1814, the elephant statue collapsed and was reconstructed in 1912 at the Victoria Gardens on the mainland. The caves are accessible by boat. The main cave has a number of large sculptured panels and a Shivalingam. Some of the panels include those of the Trimurti (the Hindu trilogy), the Ardhnarishwar (the half male-half female representation of Shiva), Lord Shiva doing the tandav, Parvati and her son Ganesha.

PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM: :
Built to commemorate the first visit of the Prince of Wales (later King George V) to India in 1905, this museum is located near Wellington Circle. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, it has sections for art, paintings, history and archaeology and a fine collection of miniature paintings, armoury, jade and porcelain.

MANI BHAVAN:
Mani Bhavan is a building where Mahatma Gandhi resided while on his trips to Bombay. Today it exhibits a permanent collection of pictures from his lifetime. It also houses the world's largest library on the Mahatma, with around 20,000 volumes of literature on the father of the nation.

UNIVERSITY AND HIGH COURT :
Sir George Gilbert Scott designed the Bombay University in the French style. The university overlooks the Cross Maidan, one of the three open spaces or maidans which keep the center of Mumbai green - or atleast tawny. The high court is another impressive Victorian building with octagonal towers and Gothic turrets.

HORNIMAN CIRCLE :
A number of interesting old buildings encircle the Horniman Circle. The Mint, built in 1824 on reclaimed land, has an old-world charm about it. The Town Hall houses a library of the Royal Asiatic Society. Columns for this neo-classical building were shipped from England. The Custom House is another old building here.

JEHANGIR ART GALLERY :
This prestigious art gallery is situated within the walls of the Prince of Wales museum has a long history of being the center of the art movement in Mumbai. Its cosy Samovar café, though little more than a narrow passageway, has long been the meeting place of creative artists.




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MARINE DRIVE:
Once again, Marine Drive has been renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg, but don't be fooled. Taxi drivers and ordinary citizens still respond better to the old name. Marine Drive is a long boulevard skirting the ocean, beginning from Nariman point and ending at Malabar Hill. When viewed at night, the streetlights along the beautiful curve of the Marine Drive resemble a 'Queen'sNecklace'.



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