1. WORLD’S LARGEST MONOLITHIC STATUE OF BUDDHA.
The Hussain sagar Buddha statue is the world’s tallest monolithic stone statue of Gautama Buddha located in Hyderabad of Telangana, South India. This statue is located at Lumbini Park in the Hussain Sagar Island and can be reached by boat.
2. ITS AN INFRASTRUCTURAL MARVEL.
It stands over a concrete platform measuring 15 feet tall was constructed in the middle of Hussain Sagar to aid in erecting the statue. This platform is referred to as the “Rock of Gibraltar” and was constructed in the middle of Hussain Sagar with a lot of effort to aid in erecting the statue. The roads of the city were also widened for this purpose.
3. NTR’S BRAIN CHILD.
This Statue was constructed by Sri Late N. T. Rama Rao between 1983 and 1989 who was serving as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh at that time. The idea of this statue came from his visit to New York. He was astonished by the beauty of the Statue of Liberty and revered the efforts of American restoring it.
Returning from the trip he in his own words said that “He was inspired to build SYMBOL LIKE THAT which would at a single glance represent the prosperity of our culture and the distinction of our heritage which be his humble contribution to society”. Gautama Buddha was chosen as the symbol for the reason “He was a humanitarian who told the whole truth to the people and as will always be the pride of Indian culture for he preached peace.”
4. A HUGE GRANITE HILL WAS CHOOSE FOR THE STATUE.
Right from the start the statue was determined to be made out of stone and After a long search the work began after the discovery of a solid white granite rock near Nalgonda on a mountainside 40 miles outside Hyderabad.
5.THE DESIGN PROCESS TOOK AN YEAR.
In October 1985 NTR inaugurated work on structure. It was designed for over an year
6. THE FAMOUS SHILPI GANAPATHI STHAPATI BROUGHT THE BUDDHA OUT OF THE ROCK.
Hundreds of workers helped the temple architect and builder Mr. S.M.Ganapathi Sthapati create the statue. After five years and the expenditure of US$3 million the statue stood at 58 feet (18 m) and weighed 350 tons, making it the world’s tallest monolithic statue of the Buddha.
7. THE MOVING OF THE STATUE ONTO PLATFORM WAS A FAILURE.
Then government of Andhra Pradesh led by N. T. Rama Rao was expelled in 1989 and the stone statue was ready to be erected on the concrete platform by the next year i.e march of 1990. The statue was supposed to be transported to the shore of Hussain Sagar by a trailer vehicle and this responsibility was taken by a local company named ABC Limited. A tragedy struck when the statue tipped and fell into the lake due to human error killing 10 engineers working on the project.
8. THE STATUE REMAINED UNDERWATER FOR 2 LONG YEARS BEFORE IT WAS SUCCESSFULLY INSTALLED ON THE PLATFORM.
A two-year salvation mission was performed to pull the statue out of the lake. Finally on 1st of December 1992, the statue was installed on the platform successfully.
9. THE STATUE IS NOT AT THE CENTER OF THE HUSSAIN SAGAR LAKE AS PLANNED.
The statue was planned to stand at the center of the Lake, but the Engineering Hurdles made it difficult and it stand closer to the NTR Memorial Gardens.
10. THE STATUE WAS MADE A HOLY STATUE BY HIS HOLINESS DALAI LAMA.
In 2006, the Dalai Lama visited the statue and consecrated it after performing a ritual thus giving it the status of a holy pilgrimage.
NOW IT STANDS AS AN EPITOME OF TELUGU CULTURAL HERITAGE.
Photographs: Navin Bahirwani Exclusive works for SouthReport.com