Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was Bombay’s principal station and Great Indian Peninsula Railway’s (GIPR) HQ. Originally named Victoria Terminus, the station was built to commemorate (and opened on) the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. Designed by an English architectural engineer, Frederick William Stevens, who worked for the British colonial government in India.
Stevens’s work on the Victoria Terminus was praised in an editorial in 1888, The Builder, as an example of ‘European forms with special local treatment’. Further, Stevens was commended for ‘incorporating native vegetative detail and encouraging the ability and tastes of native craftsmen’. The Builder did, however, critique the building as ‘devoid of artistic refinement and reserve’. The editorial went on to mock the many people in Bombay who were ecstatic about the building, marking Anglo-Indians as inferior due to their taste being ‘in a very provincial stage’.
Others argue that this late-19th-century railway terminus happens… to be one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the country, representing an east-meets-west style that developed here. This is also where the first passenger train service in India started. The terminus was also perhaps the first truly public building in what was then Bombay.
For a quick view of a typical Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus platform:
For a calmer view of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus:
Cover picture credit: Guardian
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