Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on November 5 unveil a statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya at Kedarnath. The statue which is reportedly 12 feet tall and 35 tonnes in weight has been made by Mysore based sculptors from Chlorite Schist Stone, which can withstand harsh climatic conditions. Officials added that the statue has been polished with coconut water to shine it, prior to its unveiling.
The unveiling will be live streamed at the other 11 Jyotir Lingas, four 'mathas' and major Shiva Temples, according to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
In the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, the 'samadhi' of Adi Guru Shankaracharya next to the Kedarnath temple was washed away. As a part of reconstruction projects, the statue is planned to be installed just behind the Kedarnath temple.
Mysore's Yogiraj Shilpi was contacted by the Prime Minister Modi's Office after a nationwide search. Yogiraj started making the statue in September 2020. Around 120 tonnes of stone was procured for the carving. The finished sculpture depicts Adi Shankaracharya in a sitting position, officials said.
Thanking PM Modi, state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said reconstruction works were possible due to his vision. He said, "We welcome his presence here soon. He will also be inaugurating the second phase of reconstruction works at Shri Kedarnath". Tourism officials said that reconstruction works were to be done in phases and both Centre and State have been committed towards it, adding that ₹500 crores was sanctioned for it.
Uttarakhand's tourism secrtry, Dilip Jawalkar said, "I would like to thank PM Narendra Modi and Jindal Steel Works for their generous efforts towards rebuilding the monument. We are firm that this establishment will not only manifest the belief of devotees in the teachings of this great sage but will also help in getting further tourist footfall in the state".
Adi Shankaracharya was an 8th century Indian philosopher who introduced the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta and in the process of unifying Hinduism, constructed four mathas across India. He had set up one of the four mathas, at Jyotir Math in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. He is also said to have taken his samadhi at Kedarnath.