Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Top choice historic building in Mumbai

Image by (c)Vistas from Soni Rakesh Getty Images

Imposing, exuberant and overflowing with people, this monumental train station is the city’s most extravagant Gothic building and an aphorism for colonial-era India. It’s a meringue of Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styles whipped into an imposing Daliesque structure of buttresses, domes, turrets, spires and stained glass.

Some of the architectural detail is incredible, with dog-faced gargoyles adorning the magnificent central tower and peacock-filled windows above the central courtyard. Designed by Frederick Stevens, it was completed in 1887, 34 years after the first train in India left this site.

Officially renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in 1998, it’s still better known locally as VT. Sadly, its interior is far less impressive, with ugly modern additions and a neglected air – stray dogs roam around the ticket offices – despite the structure’s Unesco World Heritage Site status.