Monday, 28 October 2013

Moving a mountain

It is as massive as it comes. It is 32 feet long and more than 180 tonnes in weight. This is nothing but a huge Koira granite rock which has been transported all the way from a granite quarry in Doddaballapur which comes in Chikaballapur district to a village near Udupi.
The sheer weight and bulk of the rock is so much that it needed a 120 wheeled truck with pneumatic brakes and flat bed surface to transport it over road for over 460 kilometres.
The huge truck was the cynosure of all eyes and of course whosoever was using the road at that time as the massive rig wended is way slowly and surely along the National Highway to Udupi.
The rock is a single one and the massive three trailer train carrying it passed through the towns of Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Hubli, Yellapura, Ankola, Kumta, Honnavara, Bhatkal and Kundapur before finally reaching a small village eleven kilometers from the famous Madhwa temple town of Udupi.
The massive stone laid on three carriages or trailers, each with 40 wheels, left Doddaballapur on July 29 and reached Udupi on August 20, which was almost a month long journey.
The rock reached Kunjargiri Hill, near Udupi where it will finally rest. It was near Kunjargiri that Madhwacharya, the famous pioneer and propagator of the Dwaitha system was born (Pajaka Kshetra) sometime in 1197.
The Palimar Matha, which is one of the eight or Astha Mathas that Madhwacharya founded to look after the Sri Krishna Matha in Udupi had decided to install a 32 feet statue of Madhwacharya at the top of the Kunjargiri Hill.
The monolithic statue of Madhwacharya is being sculpted from a single rock at a cost of Rs. 1.50 crores.
Kunjargiri is the place where Madhwacharya was brought up and also where he spent his childhood and early years. The present pontiff of Palimaru Matha, Vidyadheesha Theertha, was instrumental in conceiving this  project.  
Before the rock reached its destination, it was given a ceremonial welcome at Karavali junction on National Highway 66 by Raghupathi Bhat, the manager of  Palimar Matha and hundreds of devotees.
Pooje was also done to the rock at the famous Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple in Kumbhasi. The monolith rock was then escorted to the hill in a procession comprising of hundreds of vehicles. It was first taken to Subhas Nagar and from there transported amid the playing of trumpets to the top of Kunjaragiri.
The statue would be installed atop a eight-feet-high and 80-tonne peetha that is being readied at Kunjargiri hill. The statute is being sculpted by national award winning sculptor Ashok Gudigar.
The statue would be sculpted as per the rules laid down in Tantrasara Sangraha, a work by Madhwacharya himself.
The Sangraha is an excellent book on worship. It has an exclusive chapter devoted to sculpture and installation of idols. It is a small work though comprising of 420 slokas.
(There is another book by the same name and it is by Abhinava Gupta, a Shaivite scholar  in the tenth century. It deals with topics such as: Tantric spiritual practice, the nature of the ultimate reality, consciousness, the creative energy underlying all manifestation).
Sri Madhwacharya was born in Pajaka Kshetra about 14 km from Udupi. He spent his childhood at Kunjargiri. It is at this place that  a 80-tonne peetha is being created for placing the statue and it is in final stages.
Initially, the stone was 300 tonnes its size but it had to be reduced to 180 tonnes to permit its transport. Ashok Gudigar from Sagar will be assisted by 20 sculptors to sculpt the statue.
By the way, the rock is called Koira as it comes from Koira village near Doddaballapur. The rock here is slightly grayish in colour. As far as Gudigar is concerned, he is an expert at sculpting statues.  Gudigar and his team plan to complete the work within ten months

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