Shivsrushti - An Alternate Historical Universe

Shivsrushti is not just any other theme park meant only for enjoyment, it is a total sensory and audio-visual experience that will transport the visitor to the 17th century.

NewsBharati    17-Feb-2023 12:19:25 PM   
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Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah is all set to inaugurate the first phase of Shivsrushti, the largest historical theme park in Asia on February 19, which is celebrated as Shiv Jayanti by the Maharashtra government each year.

Shivsrushti was conceptualised by the late Padmavibhushan Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare, who dedicated his entire life to popularising the achievements of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Babasaheb wanted the youth of India to experience that glorious period in India’s history firsthand, when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established a Hindu empire in India while taking on multiple Islamic sultanates.

shivsrushti pune - Babasaheb Purandare

Shivsrushti is being completed by Maharaja Shivchhatrapati Pratishthan, a trust founded by late Shri Babasaheb Purandare. Shivsrushti is not just any other theme park meant only for enjoyment, it is a total sensory and audio-visual experience that will transport the visitor to the 17th century. Shivsrushti is meant to be a meticulously designed collage of 17th-century culture of the Marathas in all its myriad aspects.

When completed, Shivsrushti will be a sprawling heritage theme spreading over a vast area of over 8 acres. It will have state-of-the-art facilities like a museum, an amphitheater, an art gallery, and will have all modern facilities like multi-level parking, a food mall that serves local delicacies, a shopping complex and several galleries that employ the latest technology to transport the visitors to another era. In its final phase, Shivsrushti will also have a glimpse of the naval fleet of the Marathas. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a visionary king who realised the importance of having a strong naval force. The naval gallery will give the visitors an immersive experience of 17th century naval warfare with a real live reenactment of the victory of the Marathas over the naval fleet of the British in the battle of Khanderi in a 18 minute show using multi-media.

The first phase of Shivsrushti to be inaugurated by the home minister on 19th February will include the Sarkarwada – a magnificent main structure built in the architectural style of the Deccan region in the 17th century. The Sarkarwada comprises of several exhibition galleries including Durg Vaibhav, a gallery that celebrated the hill forts of Maharashtra. This gallery houses 3-D models of different forts like Devgiri, Purandar, Vishalgad, Panhalgad, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Sindhudurg and Sinhagad. The models along with audio-visual presentations will give the visitor the experience of being on the fort.

Sarkarwada also features a section titled escape from Agra, where visitors will be able to witness the reenactment of the thrilling historical tale of how Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji Raje escaped from the clutches of Mughal king Aurangzeb against all odds. The story is narrated with the use of 3D technology. The ride will take the visitor through the entire journey of Shivaji Maharaj from Raigad fort to Agra and back.

Visitors to Shivsrushti will have the unique experience of being able to listen to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj himself, using the latest virtual reality technology. The story of Shivaji Maharaj’s historic coronation will also be revealed in a special gallery dedicated to the topic with accurate historical observations.

First phase of Shivsrushti includes two other exhibition galleries, Ranangan, where an array of weapons used during the times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, have been displayed and a painting gallery that houses portraits of Shivaji Maharaj’s soldiers as well as those of his adversaries. Visitors can also enjoy a thrilling ride over the historic hill forts of Maharashtra in specially designed moving chairs.

Sarkarwada also houses an administrative centre, an extensive research library, a multi-purpose hall and many other unique things relating to Maratha history. The overall expenditure of the theme park, which is being created in four phases, is estimated to be ₹438 crore. The money is being raised both through public support as well as through government grants.

Shivsrushti is a mammoth heritage project that will keep alive the glorious history of the Maratha empire.

Shefali Vaidya

Shefali Vaidya is a freelance writer, author, newspaper columnist, and social media influencer