It was the vision of a person none other than Gujarat’s Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi that conceived the dream of a unique memorial for Mahatma Gandhi – the Father of the Nation, which can depict the ideology of the man for global peace & welfare of mankind in equally unique way. With due determination & dedication, the foundation stone for the Mahatma Mandir was laid by the CM on the 50th Foundation Day of the state as an auspicious commencement of the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee Year.
To involve the Gujarati Diaspora living within the country or abroad in this noble initiative, Shri Modi appealed the Gujarati community to bring in holy water of holy rivers & the holy earth of their respective regions. The response evoked by the appeal was beyond expectation and the foundation stone-laying ceremony was conducted by consuming the holy water & earth from 31 rivers 51 regions respectively. Thus the exercise for giving global dimensions to the monument began with the very first step in completely right direction.
Situated in the Central Vista at Gandhinagar, facing the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the New Sachivalaya Complex, the Mahatma Mandir’s first phase of construction has been completed in just 225 days.
How the Herculean task was accomplished at a jet pace
After the foundation stone-laying ceremony on May 1, 2010, the work for the foundation was completed in just 21 days i.e. on May 21. The next stint of 50 days ensured completion of structure up to ground level. The phase for the superstructure began on July 9, 2010 and with continuous construction activity round the clock, the first slab was cast within 30 days (August 8, 2010), while the second one was in place in next 25 days (September 3, 2010). By the end of November, 2010, the top ceiling of the structure was standing tall reflecting the great stature of Mahatma.
The nature of the structure can be gauged from the fact that 32,000 cubic meter of concrete, 3,500 ton of steel for RCC, 2,000 ton steel for the steel structure & 60 lakh days of manpower were used for the materialization.
The convention center
The convention center built up at the Mahatma Mandir under the first phase of construction has a host of architectural features. The huge hall having height of 11.2 meter can accommodate 5,000 people comfortably. The hall can be divided into three parts and each part has its exclusive arrangement for air-conditioning. The state-of-art sound system can address the audience in all of the three parts most effectively. The entire hall is designed in the most exotic way. The gates of the hall are also so wide that even a truck can be brought in for the convenience of the even organizers.
The state-of-art technology
‘Custom Design Form Work’ for erection of columns including circular beams & ’2 T Vibro Roller’ for the most speedy casting of large footing, ‘Top Down Construction Technology’ for construction of columns & computer-aided machines & technology for cutting & bending of steel used in RCC -these technological jargons are new not only for a layman but also for the professionals in the industry who are not having global exposure. But it is this technological excellence, which has made possible the speedy execution of the project.
Reflecting Gujarat’s concern for environment conservation, the trees at the site have been replanted using advance technology. The 3-km long trench has been built up by using pre-cast cover slab. The 60-m long & 5-m wide steel beam were put in place by heavy crane using tandem lifting technology. For placement of composite desk slab at a height of 18 meter bedding made of iron sheet & concrete is used, which eliminate the need of in-between support. The outer walls of the 60-m wide & 96-m long convention hall are made of 300 pre-cast walls each having weight of 9,000 kg. This work of covering the hall with outer walls was completed just in two months.
The length of cables used in the hall for the purpose of electricity & telephones is as long as 12 km. The total area of glass-panes used in the hall is 30,000 square feet, which were fitted in just 20 days. Not only that, 1,80,000 square feet area within the hall is made waterproof by using advance technology.
May it be inspiring the next generation through Gandhian ideology or guiding the world on the path to peace, facilitating a large gathering like VGGIS 2011 or use of advance technology, the Mahatma Mandir is truly all set to excel in all of these tasks.