Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is popular railway station in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is exemplary structure of Victorian-Gothic style architecture in India. In 2004 it got the status of 'UNESCO World Heritage Site'. The iconic train terminus is well-connected by rail to all parts of the country. The icon of Mumbai, this railway terminus is a very vital part of the city’s life and growth. The grand edifice is of Victorian-Gothic in architecture, but parts of it are fragments of Mughal styled architecture. Any Mumbai tour is incomplete until you have visited Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
History of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was formerly known as Victoria Terminus. It was built in 1888 during British colonial rule. Designed by the British architect F.W. Stevens, the structure became a symbol of Bombay (Mumbai). The city got the sobriquet of 'Gothic City' due to this magnificent building's architectural style. The Terminus is the hub for major business activities. It is one magnificent amalgam of British and Indian designs.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was the headquarters of Great Indian Peninsula Railway and was the station of the first train ride in India which traveled from Mumbai to Thane. Later this station was redesigned and rebuilt. It got its name from the then ruling British royal, Queen Victoria. The construction of the station took 10 years to complete and was opened to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. At the time, the building was the most expensive structure in Mumbai costing 260,000 Sterling Pounds. In 1996, the Minister of Railways, Suresh Kalmadi, changed the name to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST).
The marvelous structure of The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus deserves to be explored at leisure. Though people come here to catch their trains its architecture demands attention. It is here where people first step into the ‘City of Dreams’.
The entrance of the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus is flanked by figures of a lion and a tiger. These ferocious beasts represent the two countries; Great Britain and India. The main structure is made of sandstone and limestone, and the interiors of the station are lined with high-quality Italian marble. The building reflects the Victorian Gothic styles and designs of the late 19th century. The style and the ornamentation of the edifice are the perfect mix of both Indian and European culture. Till date, the building retains most of the architectural designs. Walk around checking out C-shaped ground plan, symmetrical on both east and west axis. It is crowned by a high dome, which is the focal point of the structure. Other well-proportioned rows of arched structures and numerous rows and windows create the look of Indian palace architectures.
How to Reach
By Air: Mumbai is service by Chattrapati Shivaji Airport which houses both domestic and international airfield. The train terminus is 21 kilometers from the airport. Any local transport can take you to the iconic structure.
By Rail: Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus being a train terminal is easiest to reach by rail. Many trains disembark at this station. However, if you are coming from other central or suburban railway stations, then you can reach through local transport.
By Road: Mumbai is well-connected by road that leads to all major cities in India. This rich city is served by major national highways. The iconic structure can be reached easily by road.