Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Façade of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Former names
  • Victoria Terminus
  • Bori Station
Alternative namesChhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (official)
General information
Architectural styleIndo-Saracenic Victorian Gothic Revival
AddressFort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400001
Town or cityMumbai, Maharashtra
Country India
Coordinates18°56′23″N 72°50′07″E / 18.9398°N 72.8354°E / 18.9398; 72.8354
Construction started1878
CompletedMay 1888; 136 years ago (1888-05)[1]
Cost1,614,000 (US$20,000) (at the time)
now 2,013 million (US$25 million)
ClientCentral Railway
Design and construction
Architect(s)Frederick William Stevens, Axel Haig
EngineerWilson Bell
CriteriaCultural: ii, iv
Inscription2004 (28th Session)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Indian Railways and Mumbai Suburban Railway station
General information
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)Mumbai–Nagpur–Howrah line
Mumbai–Chennai line
Mumbai–Madgaon line
Howrah-Prayagraj-Mumbai line
Mumbai-Ahmednagar railway line via Kalyan was also in planning stage with survey of this project carried out on 1970, 2000, 2014 etc.[3]
Tracks40 (Multiple)
Connections Bus interchange
Structure typeAt-grade
Platform levels01
Other information
Station codeCSMT (current)
BB VT CST CSTM (former)
Zone(s) Central Railway zone
Division(s) Mumbai CR
OpenedMay 1853; 171 years ago (1853-05)[1]
RebuiltMay 1888; 136 years ago (1888-05)[1]
Electrified25 kV AC 50 Hz
Previous namesBori Bunder
Victoria Terminus
Mumbai CSMT is located in India
Mumbai CSMT
Mumbai CSMT
Location within India
Mumbai CSMT is located in Mumbai
Mumbai CSMT
Mumbai CSMT
Mumbai CSMT (Mumbai)
Mumbai CSMT is located in Maharashtra
Mumbai CSMT
Mumbai CSMT
Mumbai CSMT (Maharashtra)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (officially Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus since 2017, formerly Victoria Terminus (VT), Bombay station code: CSMT (mainline)[4]/ST (suburban)), is a historic railway terminus and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[5]

The terminus was designed by a British architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens from an initial design by Axel Haig, in an exuberant Italian Gothic style. Its construction began in 1878, in a location south of the old Bori Bunder railway station,[6] and was completed in 1887, the year marking 50 years of Queen Victoria's rule.

Inside Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, 2022

In March 1996, the station's name was officially changed from Victoria Terminus to "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus" (with station code CST) after Shivaji, the 17th-century warrior king and the first Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire who founded the state in the western Marathi-speaking regions of the Deccan Plateau.[7][8][9]

In 2017, the station was again renamed "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus" (with code CSMT), where the title Maharaj has literal meaning, "Great king; emperor."[10] Both former initials "VT" and the current, "CST", are also commonly used.[11]

The terminus is the headquarters of India's Central Railway. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India,[12] serving as a terminal for both long-distance and suburban trains with a total number of 18 platforms.


Victoria Terminus

This famous landmark which has become a symbol of the city, was built as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway.

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 Frederick William Stevens, a British engineer architect, attached to the Bombay office of the Indian colonial Public Works Department. Work began in 1878. He received 1,614,000 (US$20,000) 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 design has been compared to George Gilbert Scott's 1873 St Pancras railway station in London, also in an exuberant Italian Gothic style, but it is far closer to[1][13] Scott's second prize winning entry for Berlin's parliament building, exhibited in London in 1875, which featured numerous towers and turrets, and a large central ribbed dome.[14] The style of the station is also similar to other public buildings of the 1870s in Mumbai, such as the Elphinstone College but especially the buildings of Mumbai University, also designed by G Scott.

The station took ten years to complete,[13] the longest for any building of that era in Mumbai.

Missing statue

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.[15] 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.[16] 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[17][18] in honour of Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire.

In December 2016, the Fadnavis 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 names "VT" as well as "CST" along with the current name "CSMT" are popularly used.[19][20]

2008 Mumbai attacks

Main article: 2008 Mumbai attacks

On 26 November 2008, two Pakistani 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,[21][22] The attackers killed 58 people and injured 104 others,[22] 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.[21] In 2010, Kasab was sentenced to death for his role in the attack, and in 2012 he was hanged.[23]


A 1903 photo of the Victoria Terminus, Bombay which was completed in 1888.

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 CSMT 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. CSMT's dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era.[24]

An evening view of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Teminus.

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.[25] 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.[16] Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station.[16]


CSMT 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.[26] Air-conditioned dormitories were inaugurated at CST on 16 April 2013. The facility has 58 beds for men and 20 for women.[27]

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Chhatrapati Shivaji Station". World Heritage Site. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2008.
  2. ^ File:India Mumbai Victor Grigas 2011-15.jpg
  3. ^ "कल्याण-नगर रेल्वे हा विकासाचा मार्ग" [Kalyan-Nagar Railway is the path of development]. Maharashtra Times. 4 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Station Code Index" (PDF). Portal of Indian Railways. 2019. p. 46. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  5. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (25 July 2019). India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-0-14-196655-7. Quote: "Quote: "Amidst this fragmented political environment a new polity emerged in the Marathi-speaking western plateau. Its founder, the charismatic and politically gifted Maratha chieftain Shivaji Bhonsle (1630-80), repeatedly used courage and savvy to outmanoeuvre his adversaries."
  8. ^ Kedourie, Elie (2013). Nationalism in Asia and Africa. Routledge. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-1-136-27613-2. Quote: "Tilak also inaugurated another cult by resuscitating the memory of Shivaji, the chieftain who had originally established Mahratta fortunes in contest with the Mughals."
  9. ^ Subramaniam, Arjun (2016). India's Wars: A Military History, 1947-1971. HarperCollins Publishers India. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-93-5177-750-2. Quote: "Quote: First was the purely home-bred guerrilla force under Shivaji. The courageous and wily Maratha chieftain along with his successors and, subsequently, the Peshwas, defied the Mughals and other Muslim invaders for almost a century from the latter half of the seventeenth century and expanded the Maratha Empire till it covered much of the Indian heartland.
  10. ^ McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993). "महाराज maharaj (n)". The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 800. ISBN 978-0-19-563846-2.
  11. ^ "From VT to CST: Interesting facts about Mumbai's busiest railway station". Mid-day. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  12. ^ "India's impressive railway stations". 13 October 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  13. ^ a b Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  14. ^ Bombay Gothic by Christopher W London 2002 India Book House PVT Ltd ISBN 81-7508-329-8
  15. ^ "CST's Victoria missing without a trace". The Indian Express. 21 December 2015.
  16. ^ a b c W, Christopher (2002). Bombay Gothic. London: India Book House PVT Ltd. ISBN 81-7508-329-8.
  17. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – Work Profile". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – In Conversation". Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  19. ^ Korde, Kallah (3 July 2017). "Mumbai travellers, CST is now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  20. ^ "Mumbai Railway station renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus". The Times of India. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ a b "Photographer recalls Mumbai attacks". The News International. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  23. ^ "Ajmal Kasab hanged at Yerwada Jail in Pune at 7:30 am". The Times of India. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  24. ^ "6 dead, 31 injured as 'Kasab bridge' in Mumbai collapses". OnManorama. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Microsoft Word – IND 945 AN.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  26. ^ "Mumbai CSTM Station – 24 Train Departures CR/Central Zone – Railway Enquiry". Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Dormitories for women at CST, LTT get good response". The Indian Express. 19 April 2013.
  28. ^ Outlook Publishing (6 October 2008). Outlook. Outlook Publishing. pp. 69. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  29. ^ "3,500 VFX shots in RA.One". Mahiram. n.d. Retrieved 7 November 2011.