Location: The historic railway station namely Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is served as the headquarters of the Central Railways in Mumbai, India from where terminate the long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway. This hurly-burly of trains’ termination declares it the busiest railway station located in Bori Bunder area of Mumbay in India. It has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Designed by: Federick William Stevens

Modeled on: Victorian Italian Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Mughal buildings  

Inauguration eve: Golden Jublee of Queen Victoria

Date of its establishment:  1887

Year of its renaming: 1996

Abbreviation for Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: CST or VT or CSTM

History: The location, known as ‘Bori Bunder’, is stretched along the Eastern Shore line of Mumbai, India which used to be the warehouse of goods to be either imported or exported. The word ‘Bori’ stands for sack and ‘Bunder’ connotes port that compound to form ‘Bori-Bunder’. It literally means a store of sacks. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway in 1850s constructed its railway terminus in Bori-Bunder region of Mumbai that elucidated the name of the place.

The historic moment came when the first passenger train in India began its journey from this station to Thane covering 35 km in 57 minutes on 16th April 1853.

Construction: Queen Victoria was the reigning princess at that time that had to be renamed later as ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus’ (SCTM) due to fame of 17th century king ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji’.

The design of this terminus was prepared by architect Frederick William Stevens (1848-1900). Draughtsman ‘Axel Haig’ sketched the design of this terminus with water-colours. St. Pancras railway station of London has the resemblance of its final structure.

Opening and growth: It took ten years to complete the construction work of ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus’ but it used to be called ‘Victorious Terminus’ for honouring the queen and empress Victoria.  It’s year of inauguration was 1888 that was a year subsequent to its beginning in 1887. Masses used to call it Bombay VT then.

Originally, just a main station and the administrative office of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway were built but later, several more adjuvant buildings were established but in a complete harmony of the main structure. In 1929, a new main station constructed in order to keep control over main line traffic from where three million commuters easily commute daily.

Structure:

  • Architectural style: Victorian Italianate Gothic revival style and traditional Indian architecture
  • Indian architecture:  The skyline, turrets, pointed arches and eccentric ground plan recall the traditional architecture carved in historical monuments.
  • Masterpiece sculpted by the students of ‘Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art’: Wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for ticket counters and  offices, banisters for the grand staircases and other embellishing works in the terminus building epitomize the efficient effort of the students belonging to the foretold school of art exposing the artifacts of 19th century.
  • Platform: 330 feet long platform is linked to 1,200 feet long train shed.
  • Dome: Its dome is structured as dove-tailed ribs without centering that categorizes it as a novel achievement of the era.
  • Interior of the building: The interior premise of the monument has a series of large rooms with high ceilings built in C-shape symmetrical on an east-west axis.
  • Central dome: The central point of the building is crowned by a high central dome that is regarded as the focal point. It is octagonal shaped figure carved with a colossal female figure clutching a torch in right hand pointing to upwards and spoke wheel symbolizing progress. 
  • Side wings: Enclosing to the courtyard, its side wings opens to the street. Anchored by turrets at four corners, the wings balance and frame the central dome.
  • Facades: The rows of windows and arches manifest a proportionate view of Façade.
  • Columns: A lion and tiger’s sculpture is erected at the entrance gates represent Great Britain.     
  • Materials used: Sandstone, limestone, polished Indian blue stone and Italian marble
  • Ornamented ground floor of north wing: this portion is called the Star Chamber that is utilized as the booking office.
  • Arches: The arches of this monument are antic carved leaves.
  • Statues outside: The idols or sculpture representing commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science illustrating progress are outstanding.
  • Number of platforms: Out of 18 total platforms, 7 for local trains and 11 for long distance trains