Chhatrapti Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, India. This historic railway station is one of the busiest in India. Built in 1887 this gothic structure is the most photographed monument in India after the Taj Mahal. Originally it was called Victoria Terminus and was intended to house the main station and the administrative offices of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway the predecessor of Indian Railway. In March 1996 its name was changed to Chhatrapti Shivaji Terminus and known simply as CST. The CST has 18 platforms out of which 7 are reserved for local suburban trains and 11 are for long distance out-station trains.
Very few people are aware of the the existence of a Railway Heritage Gallery in the CST building which has a nice collection of old engines and other artefacts used by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. This gallery is functional since December 2012 and is open to the public along with a guided tour of the heritage CST building. The areas covered in the tour are:
a) Heritage Gallery at Ground Floor
b) Dining Hall at Ground Floor
c) Central Dome View from Ground Floor
d) Star Chamber view from Ground Floor
e) Heritage Lounge at Second Floor
f) Four-Court at Ground Floor
The tour also includes tea and biscuits in the Heritage Lounge at second floor.
Heritage Tour Timings: 3PM to 5PM on Week days only.
Price: Rs. 200/- per Person & Rs. 100/- per Student
Just below the clock was a statue of Queen Victoria which was damaged by a lightning many decades ago and was never replaced.
Observing them is bliss…
Never miss to try a Fish n’ Chips while in London. This traditional dish consists of fried battered fish and hot chips. It is a common take-away food. In London fish and chips shops traditionally use a simple water and flour batter, adding a little baking soda and vinegar to create lightness as they create bubble in the batter. Other recipes may use beer or milk batter, where these liquids are often substitutes for water. This one is a must try while in London.
River Thames intersects the city of London into two. One can enjoy a walk along its banks and can have the nice view of the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. The white tower which gives the entire castle its name was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite.
Tower Bridge, the iconic symbol of London is a combined bascule and suspension bridge built in 1886-1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London. The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the city of Westminister, it has been a focal point for the British People at times of national rejoicing and mourning. The palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb during World War II and in 1962 the Queen’s Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection.
The Victoria Memorial was created by sculptor Sir Thomas Brock in 1911 and erected front of the main gates of the Buckingham Palace.
St Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. The present church, dating from the late 17th century was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. This Anglican cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognizable sights in London.
The London Eye the giant Ferris wheel, is located on the south bank of the River Thames. Also known as the Millennium Wheel this 135 meter tall wheel has diameter of 120 meter. The wheel’s 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each capsule can hold up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided.
Big Ben the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminister is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower. The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is often referred as the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom.
Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Patan is the oldest of all the three cities of Kathmandu valley. It is best known for its artistic heritage. The city is situated on a plateau across Bagamti River. The city is surrounded by 4 stupas at 4 corners of Patan, one at each corner of its cardinal points and is believed to be built by the Emperor Ashoka. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. There are three main courtyards or chowks in Patan Darbar Square – central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. The Sundari Chowk holds in its center a masterpiece of stone architecture, the royal bath called Tushahity.
The square was heavily damaged in the earthquake of 25 April, 2015.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the plaza in front of the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom, 1400 m above sea level. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the current town of Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaon which is 13 km east of Kathmandu. The complex consists of four distinct squares – Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square. The whole area is informally known as bhaktapur Durbar Square.
The Durbar square is surrounded by spectacular architecture that vividly showcases the skills of the Newari artists and craftsmen, over several centuries. The royal palace was originally situated at Dattatraya square and was only later moved to the Durbar Square location.
The Mini Pashupatinath Temple in Bhaktapur Durbar square is a replica of the original one in Kathmandu. Also known as the Yaksheswara Mahadev Temple, it was built by King Yaksha Malla in either 1475 or 1482. The legend is that Lord Shiva asked the king to build the Pashupatinath Temple and so he did. The temple contains several graphic erotic carvings in the pillars and roof struts.
The Durbar Square houses the 55 window palace which was constructed by King Jitamitra Malla and was home to the royalty until 1769. It is now a national gallery. The main attraction is the golden door, the most beautiful and richly molded specimen of its kind in the entire world. Close by is the golden gate which leads into Mulchok Court which is home to the Taleju Temple. This temple like other in the main towns of Kathmandu valley is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani and includes shrines to both the Taleju Bhawani and Kumari.
Nyatapola Temple is a five storey pagoda, built by King Phupatindra Malla in 1702 and dedicated to the Goddess Siddhi Lakshmi. To make the brick and wood temple strong and powerful, King Bhupatindra Malla ordered guardians be placed in pairs on each level of the base leading up to the Nyatapola Temple. On the first level is a pair of likenesses of Bhaktapur’s strongest men, Jaya Malla and Phatta Malla. On the next tier are two elephants, followed by two lions, two griffins, and finally ‘Baghini’ and ‘Singhini’, the tiger and lion Goddesses. The entities in each level are supposed to be 10 times as strong as the one on the next lower level. The temple is the tallest temple in the Kathmandu Valley and stands 100 feet high. It was so well designed that it withstood a powerful 8.3 earthquake in 1934.
The Dattatraya Temple is as old as the 55 windows palace. Consecrated by King Jayayakshya Malla in 1427, this temple, according to popular belief, was built out of the trunk of a single tree. It was subsequently repaired and renovated by King Vishva Malla in the mid 16th century. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva and shows symbols of both gods.
The Siddhi Lakshmi Temple is a Sikhara style temple next to 55 Window Palace. The steps up to the temple are flanked by male and female attendants.
Next to the Vatsala Devi Temple, in front of the 55 Windows Palace is the Chayslin Dega. This octagonal temple was originally a viewing point for noble writers, observing festivals and rituals. It was built during the 17th century by King Jitamitra Malla and was used as a rest house by the pilgrims.
The Vatsala Devi Temple is a small temple in right in front of the Golden Gate. This Sikhara style temple completely constructed in sandstone and is built on three stage plinth. It is dedicated to Batsala Devi, a form of Goddess Durga. The stone temple shows many intricate carvings. It is most famous for its bells.
The Bhairabnath Temple is dedicated to the dreadful aspect of Lord Shiva. It stands a short distance away from the Nyatapola Temple. This three storied temple was originally constructed by King Jagaj Jyoti Malla and remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla.
More views from the Bhaktapur Durbar Square…
A major earthquake on 25 April 2015 had badly damaged many buildings in the Bhaktapur Durbar square. The mini Pashupatinath temple lost its roof, while the Vatsala Devi Temple was demolished by the earthquake.
Sarangkot is a village just above Pokhara, famous for its spectacular views of one of the largest mountain ranges in the world, the Annapurna range including the Annapurna I which is the 10th highest mountain in the world. At dawn, the sun transforms the peaks from pink to celestial gold. Never miss a visit to Sarangkot while in Pokhara, which also offers a nice glimpse into the peaceful, slow village life and more.
The distance to Sarangkot from Pokhara is around 12 km. You can hire a taxi in the early morning to make a visit to the view point at the time of sunrise. The main village is just below the ridge, but a set of steps leads uphill to a dramatic viewpoint, the site of an ancient kot or fort.
On our way back we paid a visit to the Radhakrishna Temple, Bindhyabasini, Pokhara. Atop a hill this temple complex with amazing views around is worth a visit.
We saw this small shrine…