Swami Vivekananda monolith to be erected in Karkala
Karkala: It has been a century since he first walked on our land, but Swami Vivekananda still inspires many. In light of his 150th birthday, the Shri Ramakrishna Ashram, Bailur Math has the vision of building a monolithic statue of Swami Vivekananda. The towering structure will be 100 feet tall and will be built in the ashram premises.
Slated to be one of the tallest monoliths once completed, it is expected to be ready by early 2015. The main body of the statue will be 86 feet tall, and the rest will serve as a foundation for the image of Vivekananda. The Swami Vivekananda Global Monument will be 28 feet wide and around 16 feet in thickness and will weigh around 2500 tons.
The objective to build this statue stems from the teachings of Vivekananda. The head of the Karkala Ashram, Swami Vinayaknandi Maharaj said that the definition of the word ‘enjoyment’ has changed over the past 30 years. He said, “Before, it used to be about spending time with the people around you. But now, it is about oneself. Enjoyment is different from recreation. It is important that people know about this. Building something eternal, like a statue, will help spread this message.”
The cost of the road expansion – on which the statue lies – will be borne by the ashram. The total estimate of the entire project is around Rs.49.54 crore. With finances majorly depending on donations, funding for the project is proving to be a hindrance.
The initial phase, acquiring the base stone for the statue has already begun. Brahmachari Balachandra of the Ashram explained, “The stone from which the statue will be made is being quarried in Jarkala around 23 km away from here. It will take another five months for the entire piece to be unearthed. Once excavated, there will be about 150 skilled sculptors who will carve it.” He added, “The statue will be sculpted in Jarkala, and will be shifted to the site once it has been finished.’’
Sub-edited by Natasha Mendon