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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

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Victoria Terminus (VT) / Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) History:

GM_Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT)

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT Station), also known as – CST Mumbai, CST Mumbai station, CST station, Victoria Terminus Mumbai, Mumbai CST, Mumbai Railway station in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The building was designed by the British architect F.W. Stevens, and it became the symbol of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ and the major international mercantile port of India.

The Victoria Terminus (VT)/Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), was built to the design of the consulting British architect, Frederick William Stevens. Work began in 1878 and was completed ten years later. It is in High Victorian Gothic style based on late medieval Italian models. This style was acceptable to both European and Indian taste, since it is compatible in its use of colour and ornamentation with the Mughal and Hindu architecture of the sub-continent. The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan resemble traditional Indian palace architecture.

The VT was constructed using high level of engineering both in terms of railway engineering and civil engineering. In India it is one of the first and the best products of use of industrial revolution technology merged with revival of the Gothic Revival style. The centrally domed office structure has a 330 feet deep platform connected to a 1,200 feet long train shed, and its outline provides the skeleton plan for building. VT’s dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was a novel achievement of the era. The use of dome was more for aesthetics and drama rather than for use.

The site on which this property is situated, Bori Bunder, is of great historical importance and is associated with the origins of Bombay (now Mumbai) as a city. The city derives its name from the goddess Mumba Devi, and the earliest temple dedicated to her is believed to have stood at the site of the Victoria Terminus. The original shrine was demolished in 1317 by Mubarak Shah and reconstructed.

This was demolished by the Portuguese in 1760. The Bombay Island had formed a coastal outpost of the Hindu in Western India, but was not used for commerce. It was first passed to the Portuguese and then, in 1661, to the British. In 1667, the island was transferred to the East India Company, who was principally responsible for its commercial development. Merchants started settling here from elsewhere, and ship building industry and cotton trade prospered. The town flourished especially after the building of railway connections with the inland and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

With the development of trade, the governor of Bombay planned a series of works aiming at the construction of a more representative city. This involved land reclamation and the construction of a magnificent ensemble of High Victorian public buildings along the sea front. The Victoria Terminus, the most impressive of these buildings, was named after Queen Victoria, Empress of India, on whose Silver Jubilee it was formally opened in 1887. Originally intended only to house the main station and the administrative offices of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, a number of ancillary buildings have been added subsequently, all designed so as to harmonise with the main structure. A new station to handle main line traffic was erected in 1929. The original building is still in use to handle suburban traffic and is used by over three million commuters daily. It is also the administrative headquarters of the Central Railway.

From the 1860s, and especially after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Bombay flourished as the main trading port with Europe on the west coast of India. It was conceived as a free trading and commercial city, a European city, not as a city under the British rule, but as a meeting place of two civilisations at an equal level. Gothic revival style came to be accepted by Europeans as well as by Indians. It is commonly recognised that the work of Sir G.G. Scott and particularly his St. Pancras station are the closest reference to the design of the Victoria Terminus in Bombay by F.W. Stevens. However, the Victoria Terminus has its own distinctive character, marked by its massive masonry dome, its exuberant Italian Gothic revival detailing in polychrome stone, decorated tile, marble and stained glass. When the Victoria Terminus was built (completed 1887), it was considered the grandest Gothic Revival building in the British Commonwealth, and it came to mark the specific character of Bombay as the ‘Gothic City’ in India.

Victoria Terminus (VT) / Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Description:

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)/ formerly Victoria Terminus (VT Station) / CST Mumbai / CST Mumbai station / CST station / Victoria Terminus Mumbai / Mumbai CST / Mumbai Railway station is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India. The building is considered the most splendid expression of its period and type of construction. It was the first terminus station in India, and it was built using innovative industrial technology of high quality. It is part of the Gothic Revival fashion that distinguished the late-19th century construction of ‘Gothic Bombay’.

The development of Bombay in this period was part of the mercantile development of the 19th century, which characterized Liverpool as a major mercantile harbour in the British Commonwealth, as well as Valparaiso in Chile. In this context, Bombay is distinguished for its architectural and mercantile character, of which the Terminus Station became a symbol.

The building represented the successful collaboration of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and Indian influences and craftsmanship. This successful meeting of two distinct cultures – British Gothic and Indian traditions lend Victoria Terminus its uniqueness. The site on which it is built dates back to the 14th century when a shrine dedicated to Mumba Devi, the goddess after which Bombay was renamed to Mumbai, stood on this ground.

The Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) /Victoria Terminus (VT) or simply better known as abbreviation’s CST or VT, CST Mumbai, CST Mumbai station, CST station, Victoria Terminus Mumbai, Mumbai CST, Mumbai Railway station is a historic railway station in Mumbai and one of the busiest in India. The VT serves long-haul trains terminating in Mumbai as well as two of the Mumbai Suburban Railway lines – the Central and Harbour (locally known as locals after the local trains) instrumental in keeping the city running.

It is definitely worth entering the station even if you do not have the pleasure of taking the train. With entrance along the eastern side of the building, passengers do not actually get a chance to walk through the main building although one gets a pretty good view and a sense of the scale from outside.

In July 2004, the station was nominated as a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee of the UNESCO and joined other esteemed Indian monuments like the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho Temple, Ajanta caves, Ellora caves,etc. on the list. VT/CST is an example of 19th century railway architectural marvel for its advanced structure and techniques worked upon by the British architects in collaboration with Indian craftsmen. The building, exhibiting a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Indian forges a unique style. At the entrance standing as guards are the statues of the British lion and the Indian tiger. The remarkable buttresses, turrets, arches and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional Indian palace architecture adorned with carvings of bizarre fabled beasts, peacocks, monkeys, lions and snakes amidst trees.

Get here just before lunch to watch the famous dabba-wallas stream out into the city transferring some 200,000 cooked lunches, prepared by housewives for their office-bound husbands and kept warm in identical dabbas (metal tiffin boxes), through a unique sorting and multiple-relay distribution system. Guided tours of the station are provided by few tour agencies in Mumbai.

If your destination is Mumbai, make sure to allow some time to walk around and check out Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) /Victoria Terminus (VT) or simply CST or VT, CST Mumbai, CST Mumbai station, CST station, Victoria Terminus Mumbai, Mumbai CST, Mumbai Railway station – undoubtedly, one of the jewels in the global architectural crown.

How to Reach Victoria Terminus (VT)/Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Mumbai:

By Air: GM_Air_S

Mumbai is the nearest airport.


By Rail: GM_Railway_S

Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)/Victoria Terminus (VT) is the nearest railway station.


By Road: GM_Bus_S

From Dadar: A taxi may be hired to reach Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)/Victoria Terminus (VT).

From Mumbai Central: A taxi may be hired to reach Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) / Victoria Terminus (VT).

Other Interesting Places you may wish to visit

Ajanta Caves – ArticlesEllora Caves – Articles:Forts of Maharashtra:Arts of Maharashtra:
Ajanta Caves IntroductionEllora-IntroductionDaulatabad FortPaithani Saree
Ajanta Caves 1Ellora-Cave 1Lingana FortWarli Paintings
Ajanta Caves 2Ellora-Cave 2Lohgad Fort
Ajanta Caves 3Ellora-Cave 3Murud Janjira Fort
Ajanta Caves 4Ellora-Cave 4Panhala Fort
Ajanta Caves 5Ellora-Cave 5Raigad Fort
Ajanta Caves 6Ellora-Cave 6Sindhudurg Fort
Ajanta Caves 7Ellora-Cave 7Vijaydurg Fort
Ajanta Caves 8Ellora-Cave 10
Ajanta Caves 9Ellora-Cave 11
Ajanta Caves 10Ellora-Cave 12
Ajanta Caves 11Ellora-Cave 13
Ajanta Caves 16Ellora-Cave 14
Ajanta Caves 17Ellora-Cave 15
Ajanta Caves 18Ellora-Cave 16
Ajanta Caves 19Ellora-Cave 21
Ajanta Caves 20Ellora-Cave 29
Ajanta Caves 21Ellora-Cave 30
Ajanta Caves 24Ellora-Cave 32
Ajanta Caves 26Ellora-Cave 34

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