Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, History of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Architecture of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Nearby Tourist Attractions, How to Reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station.
About Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is popular railway station and is a spitting image of Victorian-Gothic style of architecture in India. Located in the heart of Mumbai, the CST is also a ‘World Heritage Site’ declared by UNESCO in 2004. Built in 1888, the station is the grand reminder of the British Raj pre-independence and is still one of the most historical landmarks within the Central Business District (CBD) of Mumbai. A bustling terminus, the CST is well-connected by rail to all parts of the country. It stands as the final result of great industrial revolution technology, merged with Victorian/Gothic revival styles based on late-Italian model architecture. The structure represents the heart of the mercantile facet of the city and also symbolizes the British Commonwealth. Apart from being Victorian-Gothic in architecture, parts of this grand edifice also contain remnants of Mughal styled architecture.
An outstanding example of the late 19th century designs, the CST is associated with the city of Mumbai since time immemorial. The city flourished, businesses boomed and a thriving film industry grew, with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus being the core witness to it all. Scroll down to know more about this treasured structure. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the most treasured landmarks in the city. If you decide to visit Mumbai, then make sure that the CST is on your must-see list. Well-connected to all major destinations of India, the CST is not only a historical, but is also one of the biggest commercial symbols of Mumbai.
Mumbai’s supersized station is vital to a city constantly in a state of gridlock, where rail beats roads in being the fastest, easiest and cheapest way of getting around. However, in India’s busiest city, this means Mumbai has the most densely packed trains in the world. The ‘super dense crush load’ of the commuter network’s peak times is no exaggeration – up to 5000 passengers cram themselves into – or sometimes even on top of – trains built to hold only 1200. To compare – a rush hour service between Leeds and Manchester, running at full capacity, would take under 1000 people. Whereas, inside each of the Mumbai train’s 12 carriages, as many as fourteen people can be crammed into a single square metre, the same size as a phone box.
Rail fares are subsidised by the Indian government, and many commuters buy a monthly pass. As well as having separate carriages – and sometimes even separate trains – for men and women, the trains also have a first and a second class. In first class, a pass will set you back 745 rupees (around £7.45), however in second class, it’s only 215 rupees. The price difference doesn’t indicate that much more comfort though – the only difference is that the first class seats are padded, but the second class aren’t – not much comfort when there’s standing room only.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
Gateway of India
Sanjay Gandhi National Pak
Many scenes of the Oscar-winning feature, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, were shot at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and many more Bollywood films have been sequenced here.
On July 2, 2004, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO added this monument to the World Heritage Site list.
CST houses the head office for the Central Railways in India. ‘
CST was also witness to India’s first flash mob, where 200 people broke into an impromptu dance on a popular Bollywood song in 2011.
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 main architecture of the building reflects the Victorian Gothic styles and designs of the late 19th century. The style and the ornamentation of the edifice were acceptable to both Indian and European culture. Complete with turrets, pointed arches and an eccentric ground plan, the CST was a novel achievement during that period. To date, the building retains most of the architectural designs with probably, an addition of two or more headquarters. The CST was built in accordance to a C-shaped plan, symmetrical on both, the east and the west axis. Crowned by a high dome, which is the focal point of the structure, the CST building is adjoined with well-proportioned rows of arched structures, rows and windows, closely resembling Indian palace architectures.
The entrance of the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus is flanked by figures of a lion and a tiger representing 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. Apart from the 18 railway lines, the CST also houses the main headquarters, the Star Chamber, grotesques and the North Wing.
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.