Shivaji Maharaj memorial: Lalbaugcha Raja to lend its float for 'jalpoojan'

Updated: Jan 02, 2017, 14:22 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar

Maharashtra government has sought the help of Mumbai's most popular Ganpati mandal to set sail for the inauguration of its ambitious project to build a memorial for Shivaji Maharaj

The state government has sought the help of the city’s most popular Ganpati mandal to set sail for the inauguration of its ambitious project to build a memorial for Shivaji Maharaj. It has requested the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal to lend their float for the ‘jalpoojan’ on December 24, to facilitate the transport of a replica of the Shivaji statue to the spot where it will be built. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating the project.

According to a senior functionary of the mandal, senior BJP leader and minister Chandrakant Patil visited them two days ago and urged them to lend their float for the ceremony. “We immediately agreed to the request. It is a moment of pride that the mandal’s float would be part of the iconic Shivaji memorial inauguration to be done by PM Modi,” an office bearer told mid-day.

Nitin Desai to make replica
Meanwhile, sources in the Mantralaya claimed that the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is planning a grand ‘jalpoojan’ where famed art director Nitin Desai would be creating a replica of Shivaji’s statue on the throne ‘Meghdambari,’ and placing it on the float.

Multiple calls to Desai for comment on the event went unanswered.

History of the memorial
“We only know about some of the creative stuff being made on the float. Whether the PM will get on the float or not is yet to be decided,” said a senior Mantralaya official. The BJP government is aiming to complete the project by 2019, before the state Assembly elections.

The project was initially conceptualised in 1980’s, but never took off. However, in 2004 the then Congress-NCP government made an announcement of setting up a committee of experts to execute the project. In 2009, the Congress-led Democratic Front government announced its plans to install a mammoth statue of Shivaji Maharaj in middle of the sea.

Besides the 192-metre statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the memorial will be spread over 42 acres of land, which will be built in the middle of the sea.

The memorial will have light and sound shows on the life of the Maratha warrior king in a state-of-the-art auditorium. Along with literature on Shivaji, the venue will house a multi-cuisine food court.

192 m
Height of the statue

42 acres
Expanse of the memorial, which will be built on the Arabian Sea

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