Pune: A cluster of sculptures depicting formative years of Chhatrapati Shivaji, leading to his resolve to wage a fight for freedom against the 16th century Moghul rulers, has now taken shape in fibreglass at the foothills of Shivneri fort, about 100 km from here.
Conceptualised by renowned sculptor duo Dinkar Thopte and his son Deepak, the "Bal Shivaji Shilpa-Srushti" project undertaken and funded by the Maharashtra Public Works Department (PWD), has got the nod from eminent historian Babasaheb Purandare who has chronicled the exploits of the Maratha warrior king.
"The sculptures are designed in fiber glass to ensure durability. The cluster of a dozen sculptures depict ten significant events in the formative years of Shivaji who was born at Shivneri fort and brought up by his mother Jijau who ignited in him the spirit of freedom to fight against the slavery of Moghuls," Thopte told PTI.
He said work on the project, which is expected to become a tourist attraction in the state, started three years ago when sketches depicting the landmark events in King Shivjai's life at fort Shivneri were first shown to the octogenarian historian for authenticity.
After consultations with Purandare the theme was finalised centring on the inspirational role played by Jijau who groomed Shivaji, firing his nascent fighting spirit which saw his taking on the powerful alien rulers who had unleashed a reign of terror in the 16th century.
"The sculptures tell the story of Shijavi's childhood and adolescent years with depiction of events starting with the naming ceremony at Shivneri fort followed by discourse by Jijau, the martial games he played with his friend who were later to become his trusted lieutenants, weapon training," Thopte added. (MORE)