03 March, 2021

Rocks Are Forever

A maverick businessman is setting up a fossil museum in Shirdi, a stone's throw away from Sai Baba's shrine. That is, if the local powers-that-be let him.

Rocks Are Forever
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Will fossils be Shirdi’s next big draw? That’s what mineral aficionado K.C. Pandey is planning. He has announced a Rs 100-crore project to build the world’s largest mineral and fossil museum near Sai Baba’s abode, India’s second most visited pilgrim destination thronged by over 15 million devotees every year. To those who know the 45-year-old’s passion for zeolites (crystalline minerals), fossils and gemstones, the idea doesn’t seem too ambitious. Nearly three decades of spirited mineral collection have already earned Nasik-based Pandey a jaw-dropping 10 million pieces, enough to beat the mineral collection at any of the world’s natural history museums. He also set up India’s largest and only privately-owned mineral museum. The four-year-old, Rs 25 crore, 13,000 sq ft museum at Nasik’s little-known suburb Sinnar showcases over 1,700 breathtaking apophyllites, stilbites, powellites, cavansites, calcites, stellerites, heulendites, quartzes, fluorites, rubies and aquamarine crystals.

But Pandey’s latest effort to juxtapose fossils with faith has left...

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