Moment of joy: Meet the man behind Shankaracharya statue in Kedarnath

Sculptor Arun Yogiraj from Mysuru has built the 12 feet tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya, which was inaugurated by Modi at Kedarnath on Friday

Yogiraj said that he is constructing a 25-ft tall Anjaneya statue at Chunchanakatte in Mysuru district, and a Shiva statue in another location

Months of hard work finally paid off for sculptor Arun Yogiraj from Mysuru, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his statue of Adiguru Shankaracharya at Kedarnath, in Uttarakhand, on Friday.

“It’s a moment of joy for us. After nine months of toil for at least 14 hours a day, we completed the statue of Shankaracharya, which Prime Minister Modi inaugurated at Kedarnath,” Yogiraj told PTI.

After completing his MBA, the 37-year-old sculptor got a lucrative job, but resigned soon after to take up his traditional work.

Yogiraj said that when the government decided to install the Shankaracharya statue, it had invited models from sculptors from across the country.

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“My model was finally selected and since then, the PM’s office was personally monitoring the progress,” the sculptor said.

Yogiraj also said that he selected the black granite rock from HD Kote in Mysuru and worked on it with a team of seven people.

Yogiraj said that the 12-foot statue weighs about 28 tonnes. After it was completed in July, it was taken to Uttarakhand.

Yogiraj said that the statue was then airlifted by Chinook helicopter to the designated place.

Yogiraj was supposed to be in Kedarnath but due to a tragedy in the family, he had to return home a week ago.

Also read: PM Modi in Kedarnath, launches projects worth ₹400 crore

The sculptor said that he is constructing a 25-foot Anjaneya statue at Chunchanakatte in Mysuru district, and a Shiva statue in another location.

“I have also taken up the construction of a temple in Malaysia, as well as at Kanakapura in Ramanagara district,” Yogiraj added.

The statue has been installed on a rebuilt samadhi of Shankaracharya, the eighth century sanyasi, in Kedarnath.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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