Vidhana Soudha will play host to another statue soon

Chiselled in TN, Valmiki statue to be housed in rock garden

Vidhana Soudha will play host to another statue soon
Installation of statues around the imposing Vidhana Soudha is nothing new. The latest, to join the existing eight statues, will be that of sage Valmiki.

A pedestal between the Vidhana Soudha and the Legislators’ Home is all ready for the 10-foot statue. As the statue is on a rock, its total height from the road level would be 22 feet. This imposing statue is being chiselled at Mamallapuram near Chennai. The black stone statue weighs around 25 tonnes and will be transported to Bengaluru in a month’s time.

The existing rock garden, where the statue will be placed, has been named as Valmiki Tapovana. The estimated cost of the statue project is around Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 crore.

The Siddaramaiah government has released Rs 1 crore for developing the garden by the public works department. Donations are being raised by Akhila Karnataka Valmiki Nayaka Mahasabha with the active support of Congress MLC V S Ugrappa. Ugrappa said Karnataka declared Valmiki Jayanti as a government holiday in 2010. Every year, the celebrations and the procession begin after the Basaveshwara statue near Vidhana Soudha is garlanded. “Instead, I thought it would be ideal to have a statue of Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana. The chief minister responded positively. The project took off in 2014. We are not spending government money on the statue,” he added.

He said the Tapovana would be like a garden with no gods’ statues. There may be statues of deer in the garden, he added.

Mahasabha president Narasimhaiah said the cost of the statue is around Rs 40 lakh. The rock garden is spread across three acres. The entire area is being developed as Tapovana with government funds. Chief sculptor Jagannath and his team have carved the statue. The work has been going for the past eight months. 

Legislative Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad said the foundation was laid by him and the chief minister three months ago. “I had no objection to the installation of one more statue on the Vidhana Soudha and LH premises,” he added. However, Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy said he was unaware of the project.
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