It took nine months of immense hard work and precision from Mysore-based artist Arun Yogiraj to sculpt the majestic 3D statue of Adi Shankaracharya, which was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the premises of Kedarnath Temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand on Friday.
“It was my privilege to sculpt the statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath. The process started in August 2020 and I was selected to make a sculpture by JSW. Before that, I made a model of two fee," Yogiraj told ANI.
The 12-feet statue of Adi Shankaracharya was made from Chlorite Schist Stone, which is known to withstand rain, sunshine, and harsh climate. The Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya has been reconstructed after its destruction in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
The artist behind the sculpture, Arun Yogiraj, said that a team of seven sculptors worked continuously for nine months around 14-15 hours to design the statue.
"The process started in September 2020 and a team of seven worked continuously for nine months, we purchased 80 tons of raw material for sculpting the statue which weighs 28 tons. It was a continuous process and we worked around 14-15 hours a day to execute this beautiful sculpture," he added.
The sculptors, Yogiraj said, concentrated on a 360 degrees view of the statue, focusing on its structure, posture, gesture, realistic part, traditional aspects, and the divinity in the face among other things.
Thanking PM Modi, the artist said it was one of the 'happiest moments of his whole carrier' that his work was being inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
The sculptor, Yogiraj, completed his MBA from Mysuru University and had associated with a private company for some time before turning his interests to sculpting in 2018.
Born in Kerala, Adi Shankaracharya was an 18th-century Indian mystic and philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and made a significant contribution in unifying Hinduism by setting up four "mathas" across India.
Uttarakhand holds much significance with respect to Adi Shankaracharya's life as he established one of the four mathas - Jyotir Math in Chamoli district and also established the idol at Badrinath. He also took samadhi at Kedarnath.