Victoria Terminus Mumbai

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Vital Information for Visitors
Address:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dhobi Talao, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Open & Close:

Open on all days (24 X 7 )

Entry Fees:

Nil

Duration:

1 hr

Significance:

Specimen of Neo Gothic architecture built by the British.

Victoria Terminus of Mumbai, now rechristened as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is no simple railway station. It is a city center in sight around which the subway life flows back and forth. Constructed of yellow sandstone and granite, it is one of the best examples of architecture of British Empire in British India, combining elements that are distinctly Gothic and Victorian and embellished with blue-gray basalt which was carved in the right detail. Architecturally one of the finest railway stations in the world is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It took almost ten years to complete the construction of the station and cost approximately two lakh sixty thousand Sterling Pound. Victoria Terminus was known as ‘Bori Bandar’ till 1850 AD. The native Kolis had their goddess Mumba Aai’s temple (now called Mumba Devi Temple) here. Later on, it was shifted to its present place. This Italian Gothic styled building, Victoria Terminus (popularly called Mumbai CST) happens to be one of the prime tourist attractions in Mumbai. Its grandiose size, artistic finesse and architectural design contribute significantly to the heritage of Mumbai. At present, Mumbai CST has eighteen platforms.

In the 1840s, a new movement associated with the Gothic Revival in Britain, as part of the rediscovery of the irregular picturesque style of the Middle Ages, had its reverberations in the presidency towns, the most spectacular example being the Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai. It was a whimsical high Victorian extravaganza, a riot of polychrome stone, decorated tile, marble and glass, conceived by the East India Company architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens in imitation of Gilbert Scott’s St. Pancras station in London. The bulk of structure employs sandstone and limestone whereas the interiors of the station are lined with premium quality Italian marble. The construction of the building commenced in 1878 AD and was completed in 1888 AD. The 160 feet high dome at the center and on top of it figure of a woman with torch symbolizing progress, figures of peacocks, snakes, monkeys and rats, marble columns supporting the entrance guarded by a massive lion and tiger in stone, are its main features. Millions of Mumbaikars use this station daily, which is the starting point of suburban railway network and also to long distance trains of Central Railway. Victoria Terminus not only finds mention in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites but one of those few world heritage monuments which are in actual use of the public.

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