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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Mumbai / Bombay: The VT and Taj Mahal Hotel: Photo 17

world pictures Peninsular India: Mumbai / Bombay: The VT and Taj Mahal Hotel

The lofty but pedestrian inscription. Lord Sydenham, who was governor of Bombay at the time of the royal visit, recorded the origin of the structure in his memoirs, (My Working Life, 1927, pp. 263-4). "His majesty asked me if it would be possible to replace in marble the temporary buildings which had been erected to mark the Gate of India, so as to form a permanent memorial. I undertook that this should be done, and the Viceroy promised the assistance of the Government of India. An excellent design was prepared by our architect, Mr. Wittet, and Mr.(now Sir E.) Lutyens made some valuable suggestions which were incorporated. Thanks to a generous gift from Sir Jacob Sassoon, I had eight lakhs (over 50,000 pounds) at disposal to carry out the wishes of His Majesty. Behind the gateway, on the area occupied by the amphitheater built for the spectators at the reception, there was to be a beautiful public garden, backed by a curving loggia in white marble to be added later." Sydenham goes on to explain that "the orientation of the gateway was afterwards altered to bring it at right angles to the road leading into the city; which threw it out of harmony with the garden scene, and by requiring a new sea wall added greatly to the expense."

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