Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the upcoming National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal will act as a centre for learning and understanding of India’s diverse maritime history and that heritage developed in the country in the last eight years gives us a glimpse 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. 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,” PM Modi said in his address after reviewing the NMHC project site at Lothal, 80km from Ahmedabad, via video conferencing.

Highlighting the rich and diverse maritime heritage of India, PM Modi spoke about the Chola Empire, Chera Dynasty, and Pandya Dynasty from South India who he said, understood the power of maritime resources. He also recalled the time when Kutch flourished as a manufacturing hub for building big ships and 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. This situation needs to be changed.”

Lothal was one of the prominent cities of the Harappan civilization and is known for the discovery of the oldest man-made dockyard.

PM Modi said a lot can be learnt from the urban planning of the remains of the city, ports and markets found in the excavation from Lothal. “Lothal was not only a major trading centre of the Indus Valley Civilization, but it was also a symbol of India’s maritime power and prosperity”, he said.

Work on the National Maritime Heritage Complex, being developed by the ports and shipping ministry at a cost of 3500 crore, started in March 2022.

Officials said the project will have several innovative and unique features such as Lothal mini recreation centre 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 what is being described as the world’s tallest lighthouse museum, fourteen galleries highlighting India’s maritime heritage starting from the Harappan times, coastal states’ pavilion displaying diverse maritime heritage of the states.

“The heritage developed in the country in the last eight years gives us a glimpse of the vastness of India’s legacy”, PM Modi said.

He added 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.

“Lothal was not only a major trading centre of the Indus Valley Civilization, but it was also a symbol of India’s maritime power and prosperity,” he said.

By Shadab

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