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Victoria Terminus Railway Station.
Designed by Frederick William Stevens with influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and Indian (Mughal and Hindu) traditional buildings, the station was built in 1887 in the Bori Bunder area of Bombay to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
The new railway station was built on the location of the Bori Bunder Station and is the busiest railway station in India, serving as both a terminal for long distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The station's name was changed to its present one in March 1996 and is known as CSTM ie Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus Mumbai.
The station was eventually rebuilt as the Victoria Terminus, named after the then reigning Queen, and has been subsequently renamed Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM) after Maharashtra's and India's famed 17th century king. Though the shortened name is now CST, it still continues to be referred to as VT by the masses emerging in Mumbai.The mass of people emerging from the Railway Station towards out in a rush will look like an array of warriors.
The station was designed by the consulting British architect Frederick William Stevens(1848-1900). Work began in 1878. He received Rs.1,614,000 as payment for his services.
Mumbai - the city of seven islands.
Mumbai, previously called Bombay was originally a cluster of seven Koli islands inhabited by fishermen. These islands were a part of Gujarat. When the Muslim ruler Sultan Muhamed Begada captured the islands,Bombay was till then inhabited by the Hindus. Vasco da Gama a Portuguese was the first man to discover the sea route to Bombay.
After repeated attacks, the Sultan of Gujarat handed over the islands to the Portuguese in 1534.The Portuguese could not find any use for them and in1661 the island of Bombay was given to Charles 11 of England as part of the dowry when he got married to Catherine of Braganza., sister of the Portuguese king.
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History of Mumbai
Ancient yet modern, fabulously rich yet achingly poor.
The city of Bombay originally consisted of seven islands, namely Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion. This group of islands, which have since been joined together by a series of reclamations, formed part of the kingdom of Ashoka, the famous Emperor of India.
After his death, these islands passed into the hands of various Hindu rulers until 1343. In that year, the Mohammedans of Gujerat took possession and the Kings of that province of India ruled for the next two centuries. The only vestige (mark) of their dominion over these islands that remains today is the mosque at Mahim.
In 1534 the Portuguese, who already possessed many important trading centers on the western coast, such as Panjim, Daman, and Diu, took Bombay by force of arms from the Mohammedans. This led to the establishment of numerous churches which were constructed in areas where the majority of people were Roman Catholics. There used to be two areas in Bombay called "Portuguese Church". However, only one church with Portuguese-style facade still remains; it is the St. Andrew's church at Bandra. The Portuguese also fortified their possession by building forts at Sion, Mahim, Bandra, and Bassien which, although in disrepair, can still be seen. They named their new possession as "Bom Baia" which in Portuguese means "Good Bay".
A hundred and twenty-eight years later the islands were given to the English King Charles II in dowry on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza in 1662. In the year 1668 the islands were acquired by the English East India Company on lease from the crown for an annual sum of 10 pounds in gold; so little did the British value these islands at that time. The Company, which was operating from Surat, was in search for another deeper water port so that larger vessels could dock, and found the islands of Bombay suitable for development. The shifting of the East India Company's headquarters to Bombay in 1687 led to the eclipse of Surat as a principal trading center. The British corrupted the Portuguese name "Bom Baia" to "Bombay". The Kolis used to call the islands "Mumba" after Mumbadevi, the Hindu deity to whom a temple is dedicated at Babulnath near Chowpatty's sandy beaches.
The first Parsi to arrive in Bombay was Dorabji Nanabhoy Patel in 1640. The Parsis, originally from Iran, migrated to India about 900 years ago. This they did to save their religion, Zoroastrianism, from invading Arabs who proselytized Islam. However, in 1689-90, when a severe plague had struck down most of the Europeans, the Siddi Chief of Janjira made several attempts to re-possess the islands by force, but the son of the former, a trader named Rustomji Dorabji Patel (1667-1763), successfully warded off the attacks on behalf of the British with the help of the 'Kolis', the original fisher-folk inhabitants of these islands. The remnants of the Koli settlements can still be seen at Backbay reclamation, Mahim, Bandra, Khar, Bassien and Madh island.
Sir George Oxenden became the first British Governor of the islands, and was succeeded later by Mr. Gerald Aungier who made Bombay more populous by attracting Gujerati traders, Parsi ship-builders, and Muslim and Hindu manufacturers from the mainland. He fortified defenses by constructing the Bombay Castle (the Fort, since then vanished except for a small portion of the wall) and provided stability by constituting courts of law.
Between 1822 and 1838, cattle from the congested fort area used to graze freely at the Camp Maidan (now called Azad Maidan), an open ground opposite the Victoria Terminus. In 1838, the British rulers introduced a 'grazing fee' which several cattle-owners could not afford. Therefore, Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy spent Rs. 20,000 from his own purse for purchasing some grasslands near the seafront at Thakurdwar and saw that the starving cattle grazed without a fee in that area. In time the area became to be known as "Charni" meaning grazing. When a railway station on the BB&CI railway was constructed there it was called Charni Road.
The Zoroastrian Towers of Silence on Malabar hill were built by Seth Modi Hirji Vachha in 1672. The Zoroastrians believe in venerating the earth, fire, and water and hence they prefer to expose their dead to the elements and flesh-eating birds within the confines of the Towers of Silence. The first fire-temple was also built in the same year by Seth Vachha opposite his residence at Modikhana within the British fort. Both of the these structures can still be seen today although they have been expanded and strengthened.The inroads of the sea at Worli, Mahim, and Mahalaxmi turned the ground between the islands into swamps making Bombay an extremely unhealthy place at that time. Many commuters going to the Fort by boat between islands lost their lives when there was a storm during the monsoons (July to September). During the next 40 years much was done to improve matters. Reclamation work to stop the breeches at Mahalaxmi and Worli were undertaken. The Hornby Vellard was completed in 1784, during the Governorship of Mr. Hornby. In 1803 Bombay was connected with Salsette by a causeway at Sion. The island of Colaba was joined to Bombay in 1838 by a causeway now called Colaba Causeway and the Causeway connecting Mahim and Bandra was completed in 1845 at the total cost of Rs.1,57,000 donated entirely by Lady Avabai Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, wife of the first baronet Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy with a stipulation that no toll would be charged to citizens for its use by the government. Initially the cost was estimated at Rs.100,000 but as the work commenced in 1842 the cost escalated. When the initial sum was exhausted and work about to stop Lady Jeejeebhoy once again dipped in to her personal purse with a
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