PM Modi Inaugurates Shiv Smarak. Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The World’s Next Biggest StatuePrime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public gathering in Mumbai before the inauguration of the Shivaji memorial, or Shiv Smarak. (Narendra Modi Facebook page)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (24 December) travelled in an Indian Coast Guard hovercraft to perform a symbolic 'jalpujan' for the proposed Rs 3,600 crore memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Besides Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries, the descendants of the great Maratha warrior, Udayan Raje Bhosale and Sambhaji Raje Bhosale, were also present as the large ICG hovercraft vroomed off from Girgaum Chowpatty in the afternoon.

At the designated spot in the Arabian Sea finalised for the project, where a makeshift floating mini-replica of the proposed memorial was created for today's event, Modi poured water from a bronze vessel and threw some earth at the site to perform the 'jalpujan'.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing the jalpujan (Narendra Modi Facebook page)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing the jalpujan (Narendra Modi Facebook page)

Later, on return to Girgaum Chowpatty, he was welcomed by a traditional Maharashtrian band as he performed another brief 'bhoomi pooja' for the memorial amidst sounding of bugles and 'tutaris'.

In the morning today, he had tweeted this about Shivaji Maharaj:

The building of the Shivaji memorial, or Shiv Smarak, is a significant development.

Here’s what we know about the Shivaji memorial:

- The Shiv Smarak will be a memorial, in the form of a giant mid-sea statue, for the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji.

- It is set to come up on a rocky islet one km off the shores of South Mumbai on the Arabian Sea overlooking Marine Drive, with the Malabar Hill on one end and Nariman Point at the other.

- Slated to be 309ft tall, the statue along with a pedestal and foundation would be taller than New York's Statue of Liberty.

- The memorial complex on the islet will house a library on the warrior king, an amphitheatre, an aquarium, an IMAX cinema hall to screen films on the Chhatrapati, guest rooms and a helipad.

- There will also be replicas of the entrance arch of the historic Raigad Fort, of the Tulja Bhavani temple, forecourts designed after his palaces and wadas of the Maratha era.

- It will be accessible by boats to arrive and depart from jetties, which will come up at Radio Club in Colaba, Nariman Point and at Sagar Sangam in Navi Mumbai.

With inputs from IANS

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