The Indian Ministry of Shipping, through its flagship programme Sagarmala, is closely working with Government of Gujarat state and other stakeholders to showcase India’s rich maritime heritage through development of a World Class Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal in the state of Gujarat.
Preliminary work on design elements of the proposed heritage complex has been completed and consultations from experts are now under process.
In order to further plan and take the project forward, a one day consultation workshop was held at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya in Mumbai.
The discussion was centred on the plan options, themes, design vision, best strategies for the collection of artefacts and design approaches, etc.
The workshop was attended by officials from the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Maritime Boards, Archaeological Survey of India, Museum Heads, Maritime History Researchers, Universities, Research Institutes, Maritime Societies, private collectors and others who hold artefacts, objects and documents related to the maritime past of India.
Speaking on the occasion Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director General, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya, Mumbai said that the development of the National Maritime Heritage Complex realizes our key need to preserve and showcase our rich maritime heritage. The Complex will help the younger generations to learn from our rich past.
In his address, D.K Rai, Director (Sagarmala) said that concrete efforts are being made to realize the vision of National Maritime Heritage Complex and emphasized that experience shared by maritime history experts will help in shaping the implementation plan.
The idea was mooted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who asked the shipping ministry to build a maritime heritage complex in Gujarat. The complex is likely to be built in public-private partnership and will also have a huge museum displaying India’s heritage of inland waterways and trade through water route.
Lothal is 85 kilometers away from Ahmedabad. Lothal was a major maritime activities centre of the Harappans civilization. It displays engineering standards used in creating an artificial dock that shows high standards of scientific and engineering skills, far more advanced than anywhere else in the world in 3rd millennium BCE.