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Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus)

The Victoria terminus was renamed as Chatrapati Shivaji terminus after the great Maratha leader Chatrapati Shivaji who fought against the Moguls. This station has been listed in the World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Isn't it surprising that the location that sees hundreds of thousands pass through each day has a rich and historic past!

A Gothic masterpiece and one of India's largest and oldest railway stations, Chatrapati Shivaji terminus was earlier known as the Victoria terminus or more popularly as VT. The stained glass windows, domed archways, gigantic spires and ramparts and pillars with pictures of animals engraved on them hold special interest for every visitor. Idea from Indian design and Victorian Gothic architecture have been blended pretty well and represented here to showcase the revival of the Victorian gothic architecture in India. British architect F.W.Stevens designed this building after he was inspired by the St Pancras station in London.

Construction for this site began in the year 1878 and lasted for ten whole years. The front elevation of this building is about 1500 feet. The extraordinary and noteworthy stone domes, sharp archways, towers, and peculiar floor sketch and plan are similar to conventional Indian palace design. Chatrapati Shivaji terminus keenly depicts the combined efforts and work of British architects and Indian workmanship thus giving Mumbai city a facelift.

Attractions at Chatrapati Shivaji terminus

There are score of people who pass this station everyday to earn their daily living and who hardly have time to notice the beauty and value of the architecture in this station. On the other hand there are tourists from all over the world who make it a point to visit this epitome of architecture while they are at Mumbai. The main attractions in this place are the British lion and the Indian tiger that stand as guard in the entrance. The outer surface is bedecked with figurines and statuettes, work for which was carried out at the Bombay art school by Indian students of John Lockwood Kipling. Amongst them are bizarre fabled beasts, monkeys, pendants of key personalities and plants.

Stained glasses decorated with locomotives and elephant images not only keep out the sunlight but are also a treat to the eyes. The 160 feet dome at the center of the building is the most captivating site of this station. Atop the dome a figure of a woman holding a torch denotes progress. There are four gateways to the main entrance and there is a fine-looking ornamental garden on one side of the rectangular area, the rest being administrative offices.

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Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus Victoria Terminus
Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus)