The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation plans to install rock sculptures of prominent Indian historical figures in mountain ranges across the state.
The plan is inspired by Mount Rushmore in the United States, where massive rock sculptures of four presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln — adorn a South Dakota mountain range. The site also includes a museum with interactive exhibits.
The corporation wants to replicate the project in Maharashtra and has already floated a tender for a consultant to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a detailed master plan. The consultant will also identify locations for the proposed sculptures to come up.
The project, corporation officials told The Indian Express, aspired to develop a memorial for leaders and warriors of Indian history, with a special emphasis on heroes from Maharashtra.
The consultant will also evolve an optimal structure for the final projects and assess the financial feasibility of models, such as public-private partnership mode, donor investments, and purely private investment.
According to the initial concept, the corporation will identify suitable locations, keeping in view the state’s culture, history, and heritage. Once the location is finalised and work on the sculptures begin, the road development agency will simultaneously develop locations around the site for tourists. It will provide facilities for adventure tourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and leisure activities and set up avenues to promote the local art and culture.
A Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation official told The Indian Express that apart from the rock sculptures, the agency aimed to develop tourism in mountainous regions, attract and capitalise tourism potential, enhance the local economy, and create possibilities for local economic development.
The official added that while the agency considered all the mountain ranges, the feasibility study would only cover the Sahyadri range in western Maharashtra. The presence of basic infrastructure and services in the Sahyadri region will provide the perfect platform for investments to develop tourism, the official added.