Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
D.N Road, Mumbai
Victorian Gothic architecture, railway station and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Nearby Tourist Attractions
Gateway of India, Mumbai University, Flora Fountain
- How to Reach
Auto rickshaws, MTDC Buses and local taxis
- Architectural style
- Construction started
INR1614000 (US$26,000) (at that time) Now, INR2013.4 million (US$32 million)
Victoria Terminus which is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal features in UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. This is a railway station located in Bombay (Mumbai) with historic importance and is presently the Headquarters of Central Railways.
This huge building was designed by a British architect FW Stevens. The architecture has influence of both typical Mughal building and Gothic architecture. This railways station building was built in year 1887 in Bori Bunder region of Bombay to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Presently Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus stands on olden Bori Bunder Station. CST is one of the busiest railway stations in India. This terminal handles both major trains and suburban local trains. Name of this station was rechristened to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST after March 1996.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is not only a popular railway station of Mumbai, but also famous in entire country. The architecture of station is an inspiration of Mughal and Victorian-Gothic style. This railway station is ideally located at center of Mumbai city. It also features in world heritage site of UNESCO after it was accepted in year 2004. This station is live example of excellent architecture of British Raj pre-independence era. It is currently one of the most popular landmarks in Mumbai city. CST is presently one of the busiest terminuses providing rail connectivity to almost all parts of our country. This building can also be considered as end result of glorious industrial revolution. This building is an example of business background of British and symbolizes their supremacy. The basic architecture of station is Gothic-Victorian style with glimpses of Mughal architecture. Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus has witnessed vast expansion and development of Mumbai city. Mumbai has earned status of business capital of country, Hindi film Industry flourished and CST remained a silent witness to all these developments.
The Victoria terminus which has earned its present name of Chhatrapati Shivaji station was constructed in year 1888 and designed by renowned British architect F.W. Stevens. The structure emerged as a main identity of (Bombay) Mumbai. The city also earned title of 'Gothic City' which was aptly suited due to presence of some magnificent buildings. The location chosen for construction of CST which was earlier a small dusty station called Bori Bander was ideal considering various business activities taking place nearby. This place also happens to be station where first railway operation of India took place in early 1850’s from Thane covering a distance of thirty four km.
British administration planned to re construct this station and the job was assigned to British architect F.W. Stevens. The renovated station with a new look was named Victoria Terminus after Royal queen Her Majesty Queen Victoria. It took ten years to complete this construction work and the station was opened to common public in year 1887 to commemorate Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebration. During that period this building was considered as most expensive structure with an estimated cost of 2.6 million Pound Sterling. The station was specially constructed to handle extensive rail traffic owing to business activities taking place nearby. Chhatrapati Shivaji station was given further revamping and it was made headquarters of Central Railway. The Victoria Terminus was rechristened as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in year 1996 by then Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Kalmadi.
The building which stands as classic example of architecture of Victorian Gothic era was designed by F W Stevens. It can be considered as amalgamation of Mughal type of architecture and Victorian Italianate Gothic style. Some of the architecture designs like pointed arches, turrets, skyline, and unconventional ground plan are part of Indian architecture. Whereas when viewed from the exterior part, tiles, brass railings, ornamental iron, wood carving, grills used for ticket counters offices and balustrades were work of Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy Art School. The magnificent building which was constructed in early 19th century stands as classic example of technical expertise and vision possessed by people to handle even present day traffic of Chhatrapati Shivaji station.
Victoria Terminus which now stands as grandeur of construction involved brains of numerous civil engineering and railway engineering experts. The building is considered as most coveted results of technological advancements post industrial revolution and Gothic style of architecture. The office is located at center in a dome shaped structure of approximately three hundred feet long platform which is linked to a train shed of twelve hundred feet. The main dome of VT in dovetailed ribs structure was built without centering and this was considered as greatest architectural accomplishment of that period. The interior designs include numerous large rooms with ceilings placed at a considerable height. These rooms have undergone tremendous transformation from time to time based on the user requirements.
The building has been designed by allotting equal significance to all directions. The main dome is octagonal shaped ribbed structure consisting colossal of female which symbolizes progress. The female has a spooked wheel; in her left hand and a torch pointing up in right hand. The side wings act as a circle to courtyard and it forms gateway to street. The wings are supported by monumental towers in all four corners for balancing central dome. The porticoes are designed in such a way that it provides an excellent proportionate arches and windows. The adornment of buildings is carried out using panels, bas-reliefs and statuary. This provides an excellent and controlled look for architecture. Building’s entrance gates consist of images of lion and tiger which represent British and India respectively. Entire structure is constructed using limestone and Indian sandstone. However, important decorative points have been adorned with fine quality Italian marble. Booking office at North wing is called as Star Chamber, and it is decorated with fine quality Indian blue stone and Italian marble. Arches made of stone are enclosed in grotesques and foliage.
The booking hall ceiling was originally painted using gold, red and blue color with gold stars. Its walls were covered with glazed tiles. The exterior portion consisted of statues which were symbolic of Engineering, Commerce, Science and Agriculture. Also there was a statue in central dome which represented Progress. A statue of Queen Victoria which was present under central dome has now been removed.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus consists of eighteen platforms. Out of these eleven handles long distance trains and remaining seven are for suburban local trains.
There are also some rumors about a fact that the original design of this station was intended for Flinders Street Station. But there is no substantial evidence to support this view, other than similarities in building’s architecture.
The government has also made elaborate plans for up gradation of Mumbai CST with Nagpur and Pune Junction by following a private-public partnership
How to Reach
The most convenient way to reach CST is by train. There are chances that the train you have boarded may pass through CST. However, if you have come from suburban or central railway station, then you can take a local train to reach CST.
Mumbai has excellent road connectivity with all major Indian cities. This city has numerous small and big national highways passing through it. Its connectivity with Pune also has undergone drastic transformation after construction of Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which is considered as first expressway of India.
As part of enhancement of infrastructure Pawan Kumar Bansal, country’s railway minister inaugurated seventy eight bed air conditioned dormitories at CST in the month of Apr 2013. Out of seventy eight beds fifty eight beds are for males and twenty beds are for women. A passenger in possession of genuine ticket can make booking of bed by paying one hundred and fifty rupees for twelve hours and two hundred and fifty rupees for twenty four hours.
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