Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) formerly known as Victoria Terminus is a historic railway station and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. The station has been designed by Frederick William Stevens according to the concept of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and meant to be a similar revival of Indian Goth (classical era) architecture. The station was built in 1887 in the Bori Bunder area of Mumbai to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The new railway station was built to the south of the old Bori Bunder railway station.[3] It is one of the busiest railway stations in India,[4] serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains. The station's name was changed from Victoria Terminus (with code BB) to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (with code CST) in March 1996 in honour of Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. In 2017, the station was again renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (code became CSMT).


First building

Bori Bunder (alternatively "Bori Bandar") was a tract of land along the Eastern shore line of Mumbai, India. Before the construction of the terminus, a warehouse used to exist which was used to store goods imported to Mumbai and exported from Mumbai. The name of the tract of land is derived from two words - Bori and Bandar. Bori means sack and Bandar means port or haven (in Marathi); So, the literal meaning of Bori Bunder is a port where sacks are stored. In 1853, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway built its railway terminus in the tract of land where the warehouse stood. Based on the location, the station was named as Bori Bunder railway station. On 16 April 1853 the Great Indian Peninsula Railway operated the first passenger train in India from Bori Bunder to Thane covering a distance of 34 km (21 mi). The time taken by the train to complete its journey from Bori Bunder railway station to Thane was fifty-seven minutes.

Second building

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

The station was then rebuilt as the Victoria Terminus, named after the then reigning Queen Victoria. The station was designed by the consulting British architect Frederick William Stevens (1848–1900). Work began in 1878. He received 1,614,000 (US$25,000) 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][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] The station took ten years to complete,[5] 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. Since then, the station came to be known as Bombay VT.(Railway code-BBVT) Originally intended only to house the main station and the administrative offices of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, a number of ancillary buildings have been added subsequently, all designed so as to harmonise with the main structure. The original number of platforms were nine (from platform number 1 to platform number 9). As the Harbour line was being extended from its previous terminus at Dockyard road to VT, congestion at the railway station was imminent. To prevent congestion, a new mainline concourse with four new platforms (from platform number 10 to platform number 13) was constructed in 1929 to the east of the existing suburban concourse to handle main line traffic. The original building is still in use to handle suburban traffic and is used by over three million commuters daily. It is also the administrative headquarters of the Central Railway. The station was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in 1996. The station was named after the great 17th-century Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji. The station was again renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in 2015.


The station has been renamed four times. It was originally known as Bori Bunder from 1853-1888. It was rebuilt as Victoria Terminus to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. In 1996, the name of the station was again changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus[7][8] in honour of Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. In December 2016, the resolution to change the name to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus was passed in the Maharashtra Assembly and in May 2017, 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.[9][10]

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 others did not survive. The attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire,[11][12] The attackers killed 58 people and injured 104 others,[12] their assault ending at about 22:45 after they exited the station via the North FOB towards the west to Cama hospital back entrance.[11] This despite the fact that Central Railway RPF Headquarters being located near Platform 13 overlooking the central passenger hall. The CCTV evidence was used to identify and indict Kasab, who was a terrorist. In 2010, Kasab was sentenced to death for his role in the attack, and in 2012 he was hanged.


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. 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.[13] 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.[14] Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station.[14] A statue of Queen Victoria beneath the central dome has been removed.[14]


CSMT has a total of 18 platforms – seven platforms are for suburban trains and eleven platforms (Platform 8 to Platform 18) are for inter city trains. Duranto, Garib Rath and Tejas Express leaves from Platform 18.[15] Air-conditioned dormitories were inaugurated at CSMT on 16 April 2013. The facility has 58 beds for men and 20 for women.[16]

Suburban network

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station
Mumbai Suburban Railway station
Coordinates 18°56′23″N 72°50′08″E / 18.9398°N 72.8355°E / 18.9398; 72.8355
Owned by Indian Railways
Line(s) Central Line, Harbour Line
Platforms 18
Tracks Multiple
Connections Bus interchange
Structure type At-grade
Platform levels 01
Parking Yes
Other information
Station code CSTM
Zone(s) Central Railway zone
Division(s) Mumbai CR
Fare zone Central Railway zone
Opened 1853; 165 years ago (1853)[1]
Rebuilt 1887; 131 years ago (1887)[1]
Electrified 25 kV AC 50 Hz
Previous names Victoria Terminus railway station
Bori Bunder railway station
Preceding station  
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg
  Following station
Terminus Central Line
Main Line
toward Kalyan
Terminus Harbour Line
toward Andheri or Panvel

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

In popular culture

The station has been the location of filming the "Jai Ho" song in Slumdog Millionaire;[17] and Ra.One.[18]

The station was heavily featured on the BBC Two show World's Busiest Railway 2015.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Chhatrapati Shivaji Station". World Heritage Site. www.worldheritagesite.org. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  2. ^ File:India Mumbai Victor Grigas 2011-15.jpg
  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". Rediff.com. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Advisory Body Evaluation: Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Bombay Gothic by Christopher W London 2002 India Book House PVT Ltd ISBN 81-7508-329-8
  7. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – Work Profile". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Suresh Kalmadi – In Conversation". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mumbai travellers, CST is now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus". Hindustan Times. 8 May 2017. Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Mumbai Railway station renamed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus - Times of India". indiatimes.com. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ a b "Photographer recalls Mumbai attacks". The News International. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Word - IND 945 AN.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  14. ^ a b c W, Christopher (2002). Bombay Gothic. London: India Book House PVT Ltd. ISBN 81-7508-329-8. 
  15. ^ "Mumbai CSTM Station - 24 Train Departures CR/Central Zone - Railway Enquiry". indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 1 February 2018. 
  16. ^ "Dormitories for women at CST, LTT get good response". Indian Express. 19 April 2013. 
  17. ^ Outlook Publishing (6 October 2008). Outlook. Outlook Publishing. pp. 69–. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "3,500 VFX shots in RA.One". Mahiram. n.d. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 

External links