Popularly referred as the Iron man of India-1st Home Minister of free India and having the title of ‘Sardar’ literally as Leader, Vallabhai Patel was also one of the leading freedom fighters. Hailing from the state of Gujarat, a memorial in his memory was designed in the heart of Ahmedabad city-Shahibaug name as Sardar Patel Memorial also known as Moti Shah Mahal as the region was built by Mughal Prince Shahjahan.
During the British Raj this place was part of Ahmedabad cantonment. After the formation of Gujarat it was made the Raj Bhavan i.e. Governor’s House for period of ’60-’78 and later government of Gujarat decided to make it as the Patel’s memorial upon his 100th Birth anniversary and was opened in March 1980.
Memorial-cum-Museum houses much of the life phases of the deceased leader. The central hall contains portraits of Patel, his family, friends and colleagues in the freedom struggle. Set chronologically along with descriptions and quotes one can really imagine the struggle days by viewing these. Two of the four rooms contain every personal things including his khadi kurta, jacket and dhoti, his shoes, slippers and European-style clothes from his younger days and works and political cartoons of Patel. One room is devoted to a particular phase of Patel’s life – his comradeship with Gandhij in the ‘30s, and his work as India’s first home minister in unifying India. One of the main attractions is the display of the original flag INC made for independence in 1931.
The sub-hall and major room on the ground floor is dedicated to Sardar Sarovar Project a hydro project on Narmada river dedicated to Sardar Patel’s dream. It shows all the technical aspects and construction along present scenario of the project which once ready will provide water and electricity to Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
R. Tagore-Asia’s first Nobel laureate stayed here when he was 17. The first floor right section is dedicated to him showing some of his works-literary and art along with some of his portraits.
Outskirts of memorial building is an open air theatre which shows documentary on special days adjacent to a huge garden full with flowers and one can always see beautiful peacocks and naughty monkeys in activity there.
Recently the complex underwent some renovation in terms of preservation.
Article Contribution : Vishal Kamlani
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