News Brief

Gujarat: Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum In Kutch Nominated For Prestigious UNESCO Award

Bhuvan Krishna

Jun 27, 2024, 04:57 PM | Updated 04:57 PM IST

UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Emphasising the significance of memorials in honoring past tragedies and inspiring future generations with stories of resilience and recovery, the Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum in Gujarat has been shortlisted for the prestigious UNESCO Prix Versailles Award 2024.

This accolade celebrates architectural excellence, cultural significance, and innovative public space design.

While the final award winners will be announced in November this year, the nomination of the Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum has already gained international recognition.

The museum commemorates the devastating 2001 earthquake that struck Bhuj, with a magnitude of 7.7, resulting in around 13,000 deaths and 67,000 injuries.

Among the seven outstanding museums vying for the esteemed Prix Versailles Award, the Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum stands out for its thoughtful use of space and materials.

Covering 470 acres, the museum's layout guides visitors on a journey of reflection and learning, detailing the earthquake, relief efforts, and the rebuilding process.

'Smritivan,' meaning Forest of Memories, is situated on Bhujiyo Dungar hill in Bhuj. It serves as a place of pilgrimage, tribute, and praise for the resilience and sacrifice of the Kutch people who lost their lives in the 2001 earthquake.

The memorial includes 50 check-dam reservoirs with nameplates of nearly 13,000 victims and a Sun-Point that offers views of the city, sunrises, and sunsets from the hilltop.

The Smritivan Museum complex also features a restored 300-year-old fort, a solar power plant, extensive tree plantations, and a dedicated museum expanded to 11,500 square meters. The educational and interactive exhibits across the seven blocks include a special theatre showcasing the 2001 earthquake experience, providing insights into natural disasters.

Also read - Withdraw FIR Or My Legal Team Is Ready: Woman Responds To SGPC After Sikh Body Filed Complaint Against Practicing Yoga At Golden Temple

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.