Mumbai's first Shivaji museum to open near airport

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 6:47am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The city will get its first museum dedicated to Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji after whom the city airport has been named. Expected to be unveiled shortly, no deadline has been said for the opening of this museum.

Officials involved with the construction of the project said that the museum, built over 5,000sqm, will have items that will chronicle the times and life of Shivaji. A 9metre high statue atop the main hall of the museum is expected to give tourists and visitors to the city a glimpse of the warrior’s glorious historical past. It will be the first such museum in the city dedicated entirely to the relics of Shivaji.

The statue, being sourced from Aurangabad, will be different from the ones which depict Shivaji astride a horse. Water from a fall will cascade beneath the feet of the statue. The museum, which will stand about eight metres high, will be partly underground.

Built by airport operator, Mumbai International Airport Limited, the museum will be located towards the start of the elevated road abutting the Western Express Highway near Vile Parle.

The building of Shivaji’s statue and museum has political connotations, as parties, including Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena which claim to be upholding the warrior’s legacy, have been demanding a grand statue of Shivaji and a museum at the airport.

In 2006, during the initial phase of development of the airport, the political parties had raised a hue and cry over the shifting of a statue from its earlier position near Sahar.

Waman Bhosle, a spokesperson for the Sena-affiliated trade union body, Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti Mahasangh, said, “We have been demanding the statue and museum of Shivaji Maharaj at the airport since long. We hope the airport operator makes it a grand one.”

The area around the museum is being landscaped with garden and fountains, said officials who are involved in its construction. There will also be some recreational area around for visitors.

A few workers at the construction site said that the work has being going on since last April with over 350 people working round the clock.

State’s history on display
The museum, built over 5,000sqm, will have items that will chronicle the times and life of Shivaji.

A 9m-high statue atop the main hall of the museum is expected to give a glimpse of the warrior’s historical past.


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