A photograph of Victoria Terminus Railway Station in Mumbai (Bombay), India.
Built over ten years from 1878 to 1888 by architect Frederick William Stevens for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the Victoria Terminus is the finest example of Victorian Gothic architecture in India. At the time, Bombay (present-day Mumbai) was transitioning from a British colonial military post to India’s main international mercantile port. The building was named for Queen Victoria to commemorate her golden (fifty-year) jubilee and originally contained a statue of her beneath the main central dome. Victoria Terminus blended British high-Victorian style with ornate Indian palace architecture. It was Mumbai’s first truly public building, admitting all castes, religions, and classes. The entrance gate’s columns are crowned by figures of a lion (representing Great Britain) and a tiger (representing India). Other exterior statues represent Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering, Science, and Progress. The building embodies the progressive hopes of the British Empire and the expansion of Victorian values and style around the globe. It is now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.