How often does a mundane local train journey take you to a world heritage site. Well if you are a Mumbaikar it is perfectly possible … for the millions who travel southwards on the central line it is a daily routine. The train terminus formerly known as Victoria Terminus or Boribandar is today known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. What is so special about this building? About 129 years ago it was one of the first grand European structures built in Asia.
The principal designer of the terminus Frederick William Stevens travelled to Europe to study existing train termini and some historians believe that GG Scott’s St. Pancras station in London was his key design inspiration. When completed in 1888 after ten years it was a grand monument built with £260,000, perhaps amongst the most expensive buildings in India. Stevens was the project supervisor aided by Siteram Khanderao and Mahderao Janardhan were the PWD asst engineer and PWD supervisor respectively.
When you get off from the train you notice interesting stained glass paintings along the last platforms and then you start walking towards the booking hall under a huge dome. The wide shot of this monument is synonymous with Mumbai city and has been used in several films as a visual icon for the maximum city
groin vaulted structures, ornate carvings on the facade, the grand dome structure with imposing top point at 330 feet and several sculptures are the specialities of this monuments. Even the wrought iron decoration on the platform columns are delicate and well crafted.
I could not see the whole building in detail … One must visit the World heritage monument museum which is open between 3pm and 5pm and there is lot to explore inside too. Stevens built many more building including the Municipal building which just across the road… When it comes to Gothic and Neo Gothic architecture … There is a lot to study and photograph in Mumbai city… well this grand monument demands another visit for sure.