Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station
We have come across many beautiful historic monuments in India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station deserves a special mention. After a wait of ten years finally the construction of the station was over, which was considered to be built in the longest time span.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station also known as Victoria Terminus Station and is an astonished example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture which was blended with various historic architecture and themes influenced by Indian culture.This railway station has witnessed many good and bad events and every phase of Mumbai.
It is one of the historic railway stations and is kept under the supervision of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Frederick William Stevens is the one who built CSMT which is the station code of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. Its structure is based on the concept of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and is also said to have certain similarities with Indian Goth (classical era) architecture. CSMT is among the busiest station in India. In addition it serves as a terminal for long-distance trains as well as the commuter trains.
In the year 1878 the construction of the station proceeded and on the special occasion of commemoration day or golden jubilee Day of Queen Empress Victoria in the year 1887 Victoria Terminus station was named after her.
The name of this station seemed to be temporary because on March 1996 the stations name was changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the honor of the great Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji who was the brave founder of Maratha Empire. After few years in the year 2017 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was again renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
This station was built in two halves:-
First building- There existed a warehouse on the same land to store goods which were imported and exported from Mumbai named as Bori Bandar, before the construction of this railway station.Giving emphasis to the warehouse Bori meant sack and Bandar meant port or haven so, accordingly that place was named as Bori Bandar.
The Great Indian Peninsula Railway had been built in the year 1853, its railway terminus were made on the land where the warehouse stood someday. The station was name as kept in the name of the warehouse, the Bori Bunder railway station. The Great Indian Peninsula railway station experienced the excitement of running its first train after inauguration on to 16 April 1853 from Bori Bunder to Thane. This train was the first passenger train in India.
Second Building- St. Pancras railway station (a railway station in London) said to have a definite resemblance with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus after it was rebuilt. This famous architectural landmark was considered to be the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. Since then, the station came to be known as Bombay VT.
It is a monument or terminus ethically built in Gothic style. The buildings shape looks like the alphabet C. There is a lady with a torch in one of her hand and a wheel in the other which stands right in the center of the dome. It is heard that the statue of the lady symbolizes ‘progress’.
The whole designee and the concept of the dome was probably the first octagonalmasonry specially adopted from Italian dome styles.This station is nothing less than an example of 19th century railway architecture.
Two major stones were been used to build the main bent of the structure of the dome, the stones were sandstone and limestone. To bring the special effect high quality Italian marbles were also used to nourish the beauty of this railway station. And lastly a mention for Queen Victoria’s statue that stood on the main gate but was destroyed and was not restored again.
Facts to know:-
130 years was a long journey for this railway station and witness all positive, negative phrases. Taj Mahal, the symbol of love is the number one photographed monument in India followed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in the second place.
There is no specific record of the amount which was invested to build this magnificent railway station but there is an approximate calculation according to which it was built at the sum of Rs. 16, 13,863.
The railway station started up with 6 platforms at the very beginning and slowly moved towards the progress of building few more platforms. All around in Asia there is only one largest terminal which is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
This monument is not left behind from being pictured in few of the blockbuster Bollywood films like “Jai Ho” song in Slumdog Millionaire and Ra.One and lastly BBC had featured this remarkable station in 2015.
Number of stations:-
There are two railway routes and lines to serve the passengers according to their preferences among the long-distance trains and the other suburban lines, which are the Central Line and the Harbour line. After the progress the station has got 18 platforms in total. Seven platforms are for suburban trains and eleven platforms (Platform 8 to Platform 18) are for inter-city trains.
Witness of the attack of 2008:-
This station has witness one of the most tragic Terror attack. On 26 November 2008, two terrorists attacked people randomly inside the railway station and threw grenades at people. The terrorists had AK-47 rifles with them. After the continuous attacks were over and police took a lead in the situation Ajmal Kasab was caught.
He was one of those terrorists, the only one alive as his other companions died on spot. Ajmal was also identified by eye witnesses. Mumbai police successfully gathered the CCTV footage which was later produced in the court and Kasab was sentenced to death in the year 2010 and the order of the court was executed in the year 2012. The attack left people in shock and security was augmented to high level for the safety of the passengers.
Best trains to travel by:-
Duronto, GaribRath and Tejas Express are few of the best trains to travel to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. The facilities of Air-conditioned dormitories are also available since 16 April 2013.
So, don’t miss the opportunity to witness this amazing historic railway station which is considered to be World Heritage Sitefor its architectural splendor enlisted by UNESCO since 2004. Come over and gather an historic experience for yourself.
By IsitaThapa, 7 February, 2019.
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