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PoliticsIndiaMysuru connection of Adi Shankaracharya statue in Kedarnath

Mysuru connection of Adi Shankaracharya statue in Kedarnath

A 5th-gen Mysuru sculptor in the lineage of Chowdappa Achar, Basavanna Achar, Basavanna Shilpi, Yogiraj Shilpi sculpted Adi Shankaracharya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 12 feet statue of Adi in a sitting position at the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand earlier today. The statue, including the pedestal, weighs 35 tonnes. It was sculpted by a team of sculptors led by Arun Yogiraj (37) from Mysuru. The union government had invited several sculptors for the project. The approved the model of Arun Yogiraj.

The work on the statue began in September last year, with Arun Yogiraj leading a team of seven sculptors. They worked for more than half a day to ensure that the order was ready as per the schedule.

Arun Yogiraj, the chief architect of the statue, was felicitated by Minister Somasekhar in charge of District Mysuru today. It was a momentous occasion for the whole team who accomplished the task.

Usually, idols of gods and goddesses meant to be worshipped in temples are carved on stones called Krishna shile locally. They are jet black rocks. For the statue of Adi Shankaracharya, a total of 120 tonnes of chlorite schist stone, well-known for its sustenance amidst rain, sunshine and adverse climatic conditions, was procured.

According to his page on the net, Arun’s relation with stones is by birth. He belongs to the fifth generation of sculptors in his family. Chowdappa Achar, Basavanna Achar, Basavanna Shilpi, Yogiraj Shilpi were popular artists.

B Basavanna Shilpi, his grandfather, was a recognised artist of the palace. The family, which was close to Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, carved temples of Gayathri and Bhuvaneshwari in the palace premises. He sculpted the Cauvery idol at Krishna Raja Sagara dam. His father Yogiraj Shilpi was known for sculptures too. Naturally, Arun has a bond with the art.

Arun was attracted by the strokes on stones by his grandfather and father. When all the other children went to play, Arun wanted to be with stones during his free time. At an age when he should have been playing with a ball; the stone was in his hand instead. He helped his father and grandfather who used to prepare sculptures in front of the house.

The small hands in the tender age were hurt during the learning process. But, this didn’t dampen the spirit. Soon after returning from school, he used to take stones in the hand. During his days, his works raised the eyebrows of his father and grandfather.

“My father and grandfather wanted to keep alive every stone. Their every stroke on stone impressed me a lot. They carved me into a beautiful sculpture. So, the house itself became my first school”, submits Arun.

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