Solapur, Jun 17 (UNI) The Shivsrushti project, under which the Akluj fort in the district has been redeveloped to house 173 sculptures of prominent personalities during the era of Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj and 21 replica panels, highlighting important events in his life, was inaugurated here by Maharashtra tourism minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil.
The fort that could not find a place in the historical records of the state has been restored through the unique 'Shivsrushti' project, initiated by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in Akluj village of the district.
The inauguration last night coincided with the 335th anniversary of Shivaji's 'Rajyabhishek'(coronation ceremony).
The minister said the project is expected to be the largest tourist attraction in the state.
''I feel proud and satisfied that the project is ready to be on the list of top tourist attractions. It is a masterpiece. I am proud that we are the first to bring the concept. This will make it easier for the teachers to explain Shivaji's life to students.'' ''The fort can now be included in an educational trip,'' Mr Patil said.
''Apart from Shivsrushti, visitors can also visit the famous Pandarpur Vitthal temple and many other temples around. We are also developing several other sites to add on to the tourism trip to Akluj,'' he said.
The local populaton participated in large numbers in the inaugural function. Several groups held festive rallies on streets of the village, that has a population of around 35,000.
Each group enacted important stages of Shivaji's life.
The shopkeepers also dressed themselves as soldiers of Shivaji's era.
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