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Moti Shahi Mahal

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Moti Shahi Mahal

Sardar Patel National Memorial
Moti Shahi Mahal complex
Moti Shahi Mahal complex
Established March 7, 1980 (1980-03-07)
Location Shahibag, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Coordinates

23°03′40″N 72°35′28″E / 23.061°N 72.591°E / 23.061; 72.591Coordinates: 23°03′40″N 72°35′28″E / 23.061°N 72.591°E / 23.061; 72.591

Type Hall of Memory, Heritage centre
Owner Sardar Vallabhai Patel Memorial Society

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial is a museum and exhibition centre dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Moti Shahi Mahal, located in Shahibaug, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Moti Shahi Mahal was constructed by Mughal emperor Shahjahan between 1618 and 1622. It is surrounded by a garden.

History

Moti Shahi Mahal was constructed by Mughal emperor Shahjahan between 1618 and 1622 when he was the governor, of Gujarat, then a part of the Mughal Empire. The palace later controlled by British Raj when Ahmedabad was established as a cantonment in the mid-nineteenth century, and used for government purposes. Following Indian independence, this palace was the Raj Bhavan - an official residence of the Governor of Gujarat, from 1960 to 1978. It was endowed by the Government of Gujarat in 1975, upon the centennial birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, to establish a memorial to honour him. The memorial was founded on March 7, 1980.[1][2]

Architecture

Moti Shahi Mahal is an example of Mughal architecture. According to historian James Douglas, it inspired Shahjahan to built Taj Mahal later. Four pillars mark the four wings, one floor and central hall of the palace.[1]

Memorials

Sardar Patel

Vallabhbhai Patel memorial is located on the ground floor, covering the central hall and four adjacent rooms. The central hall is filled with portraits of Patel, his family, friends and colleagues in the Indian freedom struggle. They are in chronological order and with biographical descriptions of periods of his life, and quotes by his colleagues and admirers. Two of the four adjacent rooms house relics of Patel's life, his personal possessions as well as displayed accounts and political cartoons from newspapers of the time. One room is devoted to a particular phase of Patel's work - his comradeship with Mohandas Gandhi in the 1930s, his youth, education and legal career, and his work as India's home minister in integrating princely states into India. In a room to the right of the main entrance into the palace, is where Patel's personal effects are on display. These include his khadi kurta, jacket and dhoti, his shoes, slippers and European-style clothes from his younger days. Also on display is a flag of India as created by the Indian National Congress in 1930-31.

Mahatma Gandhi

In a room connected through the Sardar Sarovar hall, the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi are on display. These include portraits, pictures, quotes, busts, statues and books. Gandhi's close partnership and personal friendship with Patel is an important and recurrent theme throughout the memorial.

Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali poet, writer and philosopher stayed in the palace in 1878, when he was seventeen years old. He wrote his only ghost story, The Hungry Stones and his first song here.[1]

On the first floor in the right wing of the palace, is the room where Rabindranath Tagore lived during his time at the palace, and it is dedicated to his memory. It is accessed by a staircase and a pathway into the right column. There are numerous portraits, pictures and information on display, and the main room consists of a large statue of Tagore, including paintings to preserve his memory and contributions.

Exhibits

Sardar Sarovar Project

A major room and sub-hall on the ground floor is devoted to Sardar Sarovar Project - a major dam and hydroelectric power plants project on Narmada River valley, covering the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The room contains pictures, graphics, books, statistics and other information on the project - from its inception, technical details, construction and present functioning.

Renovation

Government of India funded 17 crore rupees for renovation of structure. Due to PIL regarding damage to heritage structure, Gujarat High Court ordered a stay on the renovation work.[1][2]

External links

References

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