Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
छत्रपती शिवाजी टर्मिनस
Victoria Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus).jpg
Chatrapati Shiva
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is located in Mumbai
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Location within Mumbai
General information
Architectural style Indo-Saracenic
Town or city Mumbai, Maharashtra
Country India
Coordinates 18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Construction started May 1878[1][2]
Completed May 1888[1]
Cost INR1614000 (US$26,000)(at that time) Now, INR2013.4 million (US$33 million)
Client Bombay Presidency
Design and construction
Architect Frederick William Stevens, Axel Haig
Engineer Wilson Bell
Official name: Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus
India Mumbai Victor Grigas 2011-15.jpg
Type: Cultural
Criteria: ii, iv
Designated: 2004 (28th session)
Reference No. 945
State party: India
Region: Asia-Pacific
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
CST, Mumbai CST
Victoria Terminus
Indian Railway Station
Junction station
Station statistics
Address Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Mumbai, Mumbai City District, Maharashtra
Coordinates 18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355Coordinates: 18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Elevation 2 m
Line(s) 23
Connections Bus stand, taxi stand, Mumbai Suburban Railway
Structure type At-grade
Platforms 18
Other information
Opened May 1888[1]
Station code CSTM, MBVT
Zone(s) Central Railways (headquarters)
Division(s) Mumbai
Station status Functioning

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) (Marathi:छत्रपती शिवाजी टर्मिनस), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an historic railway station in Mumbai, India which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. Designed by Frederick William Stevens with influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and traditional Mughal buildings, the station was built in 1887 in the Bori Bunder area of Bombay to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The new railway station was built on the location of the Bori Bunder Station[3] and is the busiest railway station in India,[4] serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The station's name was changed to its present one in March 1996 and it is now known simply as CST (or CSTM).


Bori Bunder (alternatively "Bori Bandar") was one of the areas along the Eastern shore line of Mumbai, India which was used as a storehouse for goods imported and exported from Mumbai. In the area's name, 'Bori' means sack and 'Bandar' means port or haven (in Persian); So Bori Bunder literally means a place where sacks are stored. In the 1850s, the Great Indian Peninsular Railway built its railway terminus in this area and the station took its name as Bori Bunder. On 16 April 1853 the Great Indian Peninsula Railway operated the historic first passenger train in India from Bori Bunder to Thane covering a distance of 34 km (21 mi), formally heralding the birth of the Indian Railways. The train between Bori Bunder and Thane was 57 minutes it was a distance of 35 km (22 mi) apart.


The station was eventually rebuilt as the Victoria Terminus, named after the then reigning Queen, and has been subsequently renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM) after Maharashtra's and India's Great famed 17th-century king. The shortened name is now CST.

The station was designed by the consulting British architect Frederick William Stevens (1848-1900). Work began in 1878. He received INR1614000 (US$26,000) 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 the St Pancras railway station in London.[1][5] 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.[6] Crawford market is also located near CSTM.

Opening and growth as Victoria Terminus[edit]

Victoria Terminus, circa 1905
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

It took ten years to completeCite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). [7] in honour of Great King Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire.

In 2008, the station was featured prominently in the Academy Award winning film, Slumdog Millionaire. In 1956, the station was also featured in the film C.I.D. during the song 'Yei Hai Bombay Meri Jaan'.


Façade of CST.

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 traditional Indian architecture. The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to traditional 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 high level of engineering both in terms of railway engineering and civil engineering. It is one of the first and is considered as one of the finest products of the use of industrial revolution technology merged with revival of the Gothic Revival style In India . The centrally domed office structure has a 330 feet long platform connected to a 1,200 feet long train shed, and its outline provides the skeleton plan for building. CST's dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era. 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.[8]

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.[9] Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station.[9] A statue of Queen Victoria beneath the central dome has been removed.[9]

CST has 18 platforms - 7 are for locals trains and 11 are for long distance.[10]

Rumours persist that the design for Chhatrapat Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai was originally designated for Flinders Street Station. However, no convincing evidence, other than architectural similarities to other buildings in their respective cities, has been produced to support the rumour.

Plans are underway to upgrade Mumbai CST (along with Pune Jn. and Nagpur) by means of a public-private partnership.

Suburban network[edit]

Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Mumbai Suburban Railway station
Station statistics
Address Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Rd, Dhobi Talao
Coordinates 18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Line(s) Central Line, Harbour Line
Structure type Standard on-ground station
Platforms 7
Other information
Station code ST
Owned by Ministry of Railways, Indian Railways
Fare zone Central Railways
Preceding station   Mumbai Suburban Railway   Following station
Terminus Central Line
Main Line
Terminus Harbour Line Terminus

The network of suburban trains (locally known as locals, short for local trains) radiating out from this station is instrumental in keeping Mumbai running. The station serves long-distance trains as well as two of the suburban lines-the Central Line and the Harbour line. It is the westernmost terminus of Central Railway.

CST has 18 platforms - seven are for locals trains and 12 are for long distance.


Air-conditioned dormitories were inaugurated at CST on 16 April 2013 by Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. The facility has 58 beds for men and 20 for women.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

In films

The station has been the location of filming the "Jai Ho" song in Slumdog Millionaire;[12] and Ra.One[13] etc.

2008 Mumbai attacks
Main article: 2008 Mumbai attacks

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 attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire,[14][15] The attackers killed 58 people and injured 104 others,[15] including a police officer, Tukaram Omble; their assault ending at about 22:45.[14] The CCTV captured the attack, and the evidence was used to identify and indict Kasab.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Chhatrapati Shivaji Station". World Heritage Site. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  2. ^ "File:India Mumbai Victor Grigas 2011-15.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ "India's impressive railway stations - Business". 13 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference UNESCOABE was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Bombay Gothic by Christopher W London 2002 India Book House PVT Ltd ISBN 81-7508-329-8
  7. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi - In Conversation". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Microsoft Word - IND 945 AN.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  9. ^ a b c W, Christopher (2002). Bombay Gothic. London: India Book House PVT Ltd. ISBN 81-7508-329-8. 
  10. ^ "New FOB at CST’s north end to ease crowd". Mumbai Mirror. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  11. ^ "Dormitories for women at CST, LTT get good response". Indian Express. April 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ Outlook Publishing (6 October 2008). Outlook. Outlook Publishing. pp. 69–. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "3,500 VFX shots in RA.One". Mahiram. n.d. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  14. ^ a b "3 witnesses identify Kasab, court takes on record CCTV footage". The Economic Times (India). 17 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Photographer recalls Mumbai attacks". The News International. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 

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