arun: Karnataka: Sculptor from Mysuru chiselled 14-ft Shankaracharya’s statue | Mysuru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The 14-foot, 22-tonne statue of Adi Shankaracharya that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand on November 5 has been chiselled by Arun Yogiraj, a fifth-generation artist from Mysuru.
The stone for the sculpture, called the Krishna Shile in Kannada, comes from HD Kote and is similar to the one used in making the Hoysala temple deities.
Adi Shankaracharya is said to have attained moksha at Kedarnath. The samadhi of Shankaracharya has been rebuilt at Kedarnath and was monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Artists from across India were given a design to work on. Eight of them were selected and in September 2020, the model made by Arun was selected by the PMO to be replicated on a bigger scale for the Samadhi Sthal.
Arun took nine months to complete the statue that depicts Adi Shankaracharya in the popular sitting position. The original design provided to the artists was different. Arun took the freedom to make changes to it. In the end, it was his artistic changes that won over the PMO.
The 37-year-old Arun comes from a family of sculptors. His father, Yogiraj Shilpi, passed away a month ago. Arun, however, had to spend a month in Kedarnath overseeing the statue’s installation.
Arun’s grandfather B Basavanna Shilpi was himself patronised by the Mysore court.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the Prime Minister had taken a personal interest in it and selected my work. The holy place it is being installed at, the belief of millions of people who revere Adi Shankaracharya all weighed heavily on me,” Arun said.
Arun has done challenging work earlier too.
A few years ago, he made the life-size statue of the last ruler of Mysore Kingdom, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, which is now on the Hardinge Circle in Mysuru. It is one of few marble statues made by Indian artistes.
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Sagar Biswas

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