National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal to showcase India’s rich maritime history: PM Modi
Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the upcoming National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district will act as a centre for learning India’s diverse maritime history
Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the upcoming National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district will act as a centre for learning India’s diverse maritime history.
The “long period of slavery” and indifference made us forget or overlook India’s rich maritime history, the Prime Minister said in his address after reviewing the construction of the complex at Lothal, about 80 km from Ahmedabad. He added that the heritage developed in the country in the last eight years “gives us a glimpse of the vastness of India’s legacy”.
“There are many such tales of our history, which have been forgotten and ways have not been found to preserve them to pass them on to the next generation,” he said. “How much can we learn from those events of history? India’s maritime heritage is also a topic that has been not been talked about much.”
In his address, Modi also highlighted the vast spread of India’s trade and business in ancient times and its relations with every civilisation of the world. “Thousand years of slavery not only broke that tradition but we also grew indifferent towards our heritage and capabilities,” he said. “We forgot that we have great heritage like Lothal and Dholavira that were famous for maritime trade.”
Recalling the time when Kutch in Gujarat flourished as a manufacturing hub for big ships, Modi stressed the commitment of the government to revamp sites of historical significance. “Large ships made in India were sold all over the world. This indifference towards heritage has done a lot of damage to the country,” he said. “This situation needs to be changed.”
“The heritage developed in the country in the last eight years gives us a glimpse of the vastness of India’s legacy,” Modi said, citing the Statue of Unity at Ekta Nagar in Gujarat’s Rajpipla district.
A lot can be learnt today from the urban planning of the remains of the city, ports and markets recovered in the excavation from Lothal, he said. “Lothal was not only a major trading centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation, but it was also a symbol of India’s maritime power and prosperity,” he said.
According to officials, the construction of the National Maritime Heritage Complex — which is being developed by the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways at an expected cost of ₹3,500 crore — started in March this year. The project will have several innovative and unique features such as Lothal mini recreation to recreate Harappan architecture and lifestyle; four theme parks — memorial theme park, maritime and Navy theme park, climate theme park and adventure and amusement theme park. It will also house world’s tallest lighthouse museum, 14 galleries highlighting India’s maritime heritage starting from the Harappan times till today, coastal states pavilion displaying diverse maritime heritage of states and Union territories, among others.
The Prime Minister said that the archaeological excavations have unearthed several sites of historical relevance.
“We decided to return these centres of India’s pride — Dholavira and Lothal — to the form they were once famous for. Today we are seeing rapid work on that mission,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that efforts to bring back the glory of Lothal are not limited to the complex but Gujarat’s coastal area is seeing many modern infrastructure projects that are coming up. He also mentioned the upcoming semiconductor plant.
“Our government is working with full force to make this area developed again as it was developed thousands of years ago. Lothal, which fills us with pride because of its history, will now shape the future of the generations to come,” Modi said.
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