The height of the Shivaji memorial will be increased from the proposed 192m to 210m, to compete with a Buddha statue in China for the world’s tallest statue tag.
The state government will send a revised proposal to the Centre for environmental clearances for the extra height after its claims of building the tallest memorial in the world were dashed by the Spring Temple Buddha in Lushan County, China.
The statue in China, built on a hill, was completed in 2008. Its original height was 153m, but later the hill on which the statue stood was reshaped to form three pedestals, taking the total height to 208m.
This is one of the few projects in the state with major political implications.
The state government budgeted Rs 3,600 crore for the entire project of which Rs 2,500 crore has been estimated for the first phase, for which tenders have been invited. The memorial will have a temple, museum, hospital, entrance modeled on the Raigad fort and a theatre showcasing highlights of Shivaji’s life.
Another major feature is a lift which will take visitors right up to 180m or 60 floors inside the memorial, giving them a view from that height.
Officials said of the Rs 2,500 crore to be spent in the first phase of the memorial, Rs 1,200 crore is for the statue itself as a bronze alloy will be used considering weather conditions in Mumbai.
While plans for the second phase of the project have not been finalised, there is a proposal for features like a helipad and IMAX theatre.