Kedarnath shrine to get Adi Shankaracharya’s 12-feet tall statue
A 12 feet tall and 35-tonne statue of Adi Shankaracharya will be set up at Kedarnath Char Dham shrine within a month or so. It will reach Gauchar area in Chamoli district on June 25.
Expressing his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat said, “This is a moment of great honour for all of us as we welcome the life-size statue of Guru Adi Shankaracharya in our state. The sculptors of Mysore have done a formidable job and have completed this beautiful statue in record time.”
Kerala-born Adi Shankaracharya was an 8th-century Indian mystic and philosopher who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and made significant contribution in unifying Hinduism by setting up four mathas (monastic institutions) across India.
The Uttarakhand Himalayas hold a lot of significance in the context of Adi Shankaracharya as he is believed to have taken samadhi at Kedarnath. It was in Uttarakhand that he established one of the four mathas at Joshimath and also established the idol at Badrinath.
State tourism minister Satpal Maharaaz said Shankaracharya’s philosophy inspires people to live a life with spirituality under the fold of Sanatan Dharma. “The Mathas or monastic seats established by him are the epitome of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. The installation of the statue in Kedarnath is a moment of great pride for all of us and will further motivate us to adopt his teachings for a meaningful and better life.”
The 12 feet tall 35-tonne statue has been sculpted by Mysore-based sculptor Arjun Yogiraj. He is a fifth-generation sculptor and has inherited the art from his father. He was selected to make the statue by the PMO last year and began the work in September 2020. The statue is made of Chlorite Schist Stone which is known to withstand rain, sunshine and harsh climate, said officials.
In January this year, the Uttarakhand high court had directed the state government to complete the restoration of the samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya near Kedarnath Temple within a year. The samadhi was damaged in the June 2013 Kedarnath tragedy.