Now, you can take a tour of CSMT's secret history!

Dec 08, 2017, 08:50 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

In two months, commuters will be able to take a virtual tour of the secret history of the CSMT; in the meantime, travellers can explore other iconic places like the Taj Mahal

Built nearly 130 years ago, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) is home to many secrets. For example, did you know that there's a secret garden kitchen behind the station designed by CSMT's creator FW Stevens? Not many people know this, since the area has long been off limits to the public. But soon, you will be able to take a tour of this garden and the rest of the secret history housed within CSMT.

For the next couple of months, large screens installed at CSMT will be screening virtual tours of other attractions like the Taj Mahal
For the next couple of months, large screens installed at CSMT will be screening virtual tours of other attractions like the Taj Mahal

Yesterday, Central Railway announced that in partnership with Google India, they will soon offer a virtual tour of the UNESCO heritage site. The 360-degree panoramic video will particularly focus on areas that are sealed off from the public, so curious history lovers will finally be able to closely explore the places, objects and stories within CSMT. All they have to do is use the Google Wi-Fi at the station to download and access the Google Arts & Culture App for free access to the tour.

Take a break from rush hour
DK Sharma, CR's general manager, said, "Now, courtesy Google Arts & Culture's technology, we will be able to bring people closer than ever to Indian Railways' historic masterpieces, opening up our heritage to millions of daily and long-distance travellers." The authorities are currently in the process of shooting the video tour, which should be up in two months. In the meantime, they have installed six large screens across the terminus in a bid to build excitement around the project. As a promise of what is to come, the screens are currently displaying virtual tours of other iconic structures, such as the Taj Mahal and Elephanta Caves.

"We hope everyone travelling through the station will find something new and interesting from India's rich, diverse, and fascinating cultural heritage. In addition to provoking a sense of visual delight and bringing forth those 'Oh, I didn't know that' moments, the showcase will also bring the feeling of lightness and calm to those who get caught up in the rush hour. We are proud to partner with Indian Railways and bring the power of technology to India's most active and historic station," said Ben Gomes, vice-president at Google.

What you can see now
The screens will display attractions from three cities – Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. There are 360-degree tours of Elephanta Caves, CSMVS Museum, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Victoria Memorial Hall, National Museum, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, and the highlight – a never-seen-before vista from atop the Taj Mahal's minar. "From the videos, one can learn about the National Museum's world-renowned miniature paintings and bronze sculpture collections, see Rabindranath Tagore's paintings at Kolkata's Victoria Memorial Hall, and browse thousands of rare digital exhibits from museums across India and abroad. Mumbai's Bhau Daji Lad Museum is also on the platform," another official said. The installations will be onsite for the next two months.

6
No. of screens installed at CSMT for the project

2
No. of months in which the virtual tour should be up

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CSMT's attractions
> The video is likely to provide a closer look at CSMT's dome and its stained glass and intricate carvings
> FW Stevens' old garden kitchen in the back
> The geometric architecture of the star chamber
> Closer look at the Statue of Progress atop the station's facade

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