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National Maritime Heritage Complex

  • IASbaba
  • October 21, 2022
  • 0
History and Art and Culture
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In news: Prime Minister reviewed the construction of the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site at Gujarat’s Lothal.

  • The project began in 2022.
  • It will have several innovative features such as Lothal mini-recreation, which will recreate Harappan architecture and lifestyle through immersive technology; four theme parks – Memorial theme park, Maritime and Navy theme park, Climate theme park, and Adventure and Amusement theme park.
  • It will also house the world’s tallest lighthouse museum
  • It will act as a centre for learning and understanding India’s maritime history and emerge as a world-class international tourist destination.

About Lothal:

  • Lothal was one of the southernmost sites of the Indus Valley civilization, located in the Bhāl region of what is now the state of Gujarat.
  • The meaning of Lothal (a combination of Loth and (s) thal) in Gujarati is “the mound of the dead
  • It is believed to have been built in 2,200 BC.
  • Lothal was not only a major trading centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation, but it was also a symbol of India’s maritime power and prosperity. Its trade of beads, gems and ornaments reaching West Asia and Africa.
  • Archaeologist SR Rao led the team which discovered Lothal.
  • Lothal had the world’s earliest known dockyard, connecting the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river.
  • A metropolis with an upper and a lower town had in on its northern side a basin with vertical wall, inlet and outlet channels which has been identified as a tidal dockyard.
  • The National Institute of Oceanography in Goa discovered marine microfossils and salt, gypsum crystals at the site, indicating that sea water once filled the structure.
  • The remains of stone anchors, marine shells, sealings which trace its source in the Persian Gulf, together with the structure identified as a warehouse further aid the comprehension of the functioning of the port.
  • ASI unearthed a mound, a township, a marketplace, and the dock.           

Significance:

  • Lothal was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its application is pending on the tentative list of UNESCO.
  • Lothal is the only port-town of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The river channel, now dried, would have brought in considerable volume of water during high tide, which would have filled the basin and facilitated sailing of boats upstream.
  • Its heritage value is comparable to other ancient port-towns around the world – including Xel Ha (Peru), Ostia (Port of Rome) and Carthage (Port of Tunis) in Italy, Hepu in China, Canopus in Egypt, Gabel (Byblos of the Phoenicians), Jaffa in Israel, Ur in Mesopotamia, Hoi An in Vietnam, Balakot (Pakistan), Khirasa (in Gujarat’s Kutch) and Kuntasi (in Rajkot).

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following is not a Harappan site? (2019)

  1. Chanhudaro
  2. Kot Diji
  3. Sohgaura
  4. Desalpur

 

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