Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Victoria Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus lit in Indian tri-colour on the eve of republic day in 2016
Former namesVictoria Terminus
Bori Bunder Railway Station
General information
Architectural styleIndo-Saracenic
AddressFort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400001
Town or cityMumbai, Maharashtra
Coordinates18°56′23″N 72°50′07″E / 18.9398°N 72.8354°E / 18.9398; 72.8354
CompletedMay 1888; 131 years ago (1888-05)[1]
Cost1,614,000 (US$23,000)(at the time)
now 2,013 million (US$29 million)
ClientGreat Indian Peninsula Railway
Design and construction
ArchitectFrederick William Stevens, Axel Haig
EngineerWilson Bell
CriteriaCultural: ii, iv
Inscription2004 (28th Session)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Victoria Terminus
Indian Railways Terminus
Victoria Terminus - CST.JPG
LocationChhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Coordinates18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Owned byIndian Railways
Operated byCentral Railway zone
Line(s)Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line
Mumbai-Chennai line
ConnectionsIndian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Bus interchange
Structure typeAt-grade
Platform levels01
Other information
Station codeCSTM
BBVT (former)
Zone(s) Central Railway zone
Division(s) Mumbai CR
OpenedMay 1853; 166 years ago (1853-05)[1]
RebuiltMay 1888; 131 years ago (1888-05)[1]
Electrified25 kV AC 50 Hz
Previous namesVictoria Terminus Railway Station
Bori Bunder railway station
Mumbai CST is located in India
Mumbai CST
Mumbai CST
Location within India
Mumbai CST is located in Mumbai
Mumbai CST
Mumbai CST
Mumbai CST (Mumbai)
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Victoria Terminus
Mumbai Suburban Railway station
Mumbai CST interior.jpg
LocationChhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Coordinates18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Owned byIndian Railways
Line(s)Central Line, Harbour Line
ConnectionsBus interchange Mumbai Metro
Structure typeAt-grade
Platform levels01
Other information
Station codeST
VT (former)
Zone(s) Central Railway zone
Division(s) Mumbai CR
Fare zoneCentral Railway zone
Opened1853; 166 years ago (1853)[1]
Rebuilt1887; 132 years ago (1887)[1]
Electrified25 kV 50 Hz AC
Previous namesVictoria Terminus railway station
Bori Bunder railway station
Preceding station  
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg
  Following station
TerminusCentral Line
Main Line
toward Kalyan
TerminusHarbour Line
toward Goregaon or Panvel

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (officially Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) (station code: CSTM (mainline)[3]/ST (suburban)), also known by its former name Victoria Terminus (station code: BBVT/VT[4]), is a historic terminal train station and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

The terminus was designed by British architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens in the style of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture. Its construction began in 1878, in a location south of the old Bori Bunder railway station,[5] and was completed in 1887, the year marking 50 years of Queen Victoria's rule, the building being named, Victoria Terminus.

The station's name was changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (station code CST) in March 1996 to honour Shivaji, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire, whose name is often preceded by Chhatrapati, a royal title. In 2017, the station was again renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (code CSTM), where Maharaj is also a royal title. However, both the former initials "VT" and the current, "CST", are commonly used.[6]

The terminus is the headquarters of India's Central Railway. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India,[7] serving as a terminal for both long-distance- and suburban trains.


Victoria Terminus[edit]

The railway station was built to replace the Bori Bunder railway station, in the Bori Bunder area of Bombay, a prominent port and warehouse area known for its imports and exports. Since Bombay became a major port city at the time, a bigger station was built to meet its demands, and was named Victoria Terminus, after the then reigning Empress of India, Queen Victoria. The station was designed by the consulting British architect Frederick William Stevens. Work began in 1878. He received 1,614,000 (US$23,000) as the payment for his services.[1] Stevens earned the commission to construct the station after a masterpiece watercolour sketch by draughtsman Axel Haig.[1] The final design bears some resemblance to St Pancras railway station in London.[1][8] GG Scott's plans for Berlin's parliament building had been published four years before, and also has marked similarities to the station's design.[9]

The station took ten years to complete,[8] the longest for any building of that era in Bombay. This famous architectural landmark in a Gothic-revival style was built as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway.

Missing statue[edit]

During its construction, a marble statue of Queen Victoria was installed in the main façade of the building, in a canopy under the clock. In the 1950s, authorities had begun to remove statues of the British figures from government buildings and public spaces based on a directive from the Government of India.[10] Most of the statues, including that of Queen Victoria, were sent to Victoria Gardens (later renamed Rani Baug) where they were left lying on the grass in the open until at least the 1980s. A Right to Information report was filed, but had no records of the missing statue being exported out of India. Historians now believe that the statue was smuggled out, sold by politicians, or destroyed[11]. The symbol of Progress, another statue, featured on the top of the dome, is often mistaken for that of Queen Victoria.


The station has been renamed several times. It was built to replace Bori Bunder, the terminus of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway from 1853 to 1888, and was named Victoria Terminus to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. In 1996, the station was renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus[12][13] in honour of Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. In December 2016, the Modi Ministry passed a resolution to change the name to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in the Maharashtra Assembly and in May 2017, the home ministry officially sent a letter to the state government denoting the name change, following which the station was yet again renamed as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. However, both the former name "VT" and the current name "CST" are popularly used.[14][15]

2008 Mumbai attacks[edit]

On 26 November 2008, two terrorists entered the passenger hall of the CST, opened fire and threw grenades at people. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was later caught alive by the police and identified by eyewitnesses. The others did not survive. The attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire,[16][17] The attackers killed 58 people and injured 104 others,[17] their assault ending at about 22:45 after they exited the station via the North FOB towards the west to Cama hospital back entrance. The CCTV evidence was used to identify and indict Kasab.[16] In 2010, Kasab was sentenced to death for his role in the attack, and in 2012 he was hanged.[18]


The station building is designed in the High Victorian Gothic style of architecture. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and classical Indian architecture. The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to classical Indian palace architecture. Externally, the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments were the work of students at the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art. The station stands as an example of 19th-century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions. The CST was constructed using a high level of engineering both in terms of railway and civil engineering. It is one of the first and finest products of the use of industrial technology, merged with the Gothic Revival style in India. The centrally domed office structure has a 330-foot long platform connected to a 1,200-foot long train shed, and its outline provides the skeleton plan for the building. CST's dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era.[19]

The interior of the building was conceived as a series of large rooms with high ceilings. It is a utilitarian building and has had various changes required by the users, not always sympathetic. It has a C-shaped plan which is symmetrical on an east-west axis. All the sides of the building are given equal value in the design. It is crowned by a high central dome, which acts as the focal point. The dome is an octagonal ribbed structure with a colossal female figure symbolizing Progress, holding a torch pointing upwards in her right hand and a spoked wheel in her left hand. The side wings enclose the courtyard, which opens on to the street. The wings are anchored by monumental turrets at each of their four corners, which balance and frame the central dome. The façades present the appearance of well-proportioned rows of windows and arches. The ornamentation in the form of statuary, bas-reliefs, and friezes is exuberant yet well controlled. The columns of the entrance gates are crowned by figures of a lion (representing Great Britain) and a tiger (representing India). The main structure is built from a blend of India sandstone and limestone, while high-quality Italian marble was used for the key decorative elements. The main interiors are also decorated: the ground floor of the North Wing, known as the Star Chamber, which is still used as the booking office, is embellished with Italian marble and polished Indian blue stone. The stone arches are covered with carved foliage and grotesques.[20] Internally, the ceiling of the booking hall was originally painted blue, gold and strong red on a ground of rich blue with gold stars. Its walls were lined with glazed tiles made by Maw & Co of Britain.[11] Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station.[11]


CST has a total of 18 platforms—seven platforms are for suburban EMU trains and eleven platforms (Platform 8 to Platform 18) are for long-distance trains. Rajdhani, Duronto, Garib Rath and Tejas Express leave from Platform No. 18.[21] Air-conditioned dormitories were inaugurated at CST on 16 April 2013. The facility has 58 beds for men and 20 for women.[22]

In popular culture[edit]

The station has been the location of filming the "Jai Ho" song in Slumdog Millionaire;[23] and the 2011 Indian film Ra.One.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Chhatrapati Shivaji Station". World Heritage Site. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  2. ^ File:India Mumbai Victor Grigas 2011-15.jpg
  3. ^ "Station Code Index" (PDF). Portal of Indian Railways. 2015. p. 46. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Central Railway Codes". Railway Station Codes. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  5. ^ Aruṇa Ṭikekara, Aroon Tikekar (2006). The cloister's pale: a biography of the University of Mumbai. Popular Prakashan. p. 357. ISBN 81-7991-293-0.Page 64
  6. ^ "From VT to CST: Interesting facts about Mumbai's busiest railway station". Mid-day. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  7. ^ "India's impressive railway stations". 13 October 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Advisory Body Evaluation: Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus" (PDF).
  9. ^ Bombay Gothic by Christopher W London 2002 India Book House PVT Ltd ISBN 81-7508-329-8
  10. ^ "CST's Victoria missing without a trace". The Indian Express. 21 December 2015.
  11. ^ a b c W, Christopher (2002). Bombay Gothic. London: India Book House PVT Ltd. ISBN 81-7508-329-8.
  12. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – Work Profile". Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – In Conversation". Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Mumbai travellers, CST is now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus". Hindustan Times. 8 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Mumbai Railway station renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  16. ^ a b "3 witnesses identify Kasab, court takes on record CCTV footage". The Economic Times. India. 17 June 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Photographer recalls Mumbai attacks". The News International. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  18. ^ "Ajmal Kasab hanged at Yerwada Jail in Pune at 7:30 am". The Times of India. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  19. ^ "6 dead, 31 injured as 'Kasab bridge' in Mumbai collapses". OnManorama. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Microsoft Word – IND 945 AN.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  21. ^ "Mumbai CSTM Station – 24 Train Departures CR/Central Zone – Railway Enquiry". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Dormitories for women at CST, LTT get good response". The Indian Express. 19 April 2013.
  23. ^ Outlook Publishing (6 October 2008). Outlook. Outlook Publishing. pp. 69–. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  24. ^ "3,500 VFX shots in RA.One". Mahiram. n.d. Retrieved 7 November 2011.

External links[edit]