Deccan Chronicle

Shivraj to unveil 108 ft statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Omkareshwar

Deccan Chronicle.| Rabindra Nath Choudhury

Published on: September 17, 2023 | Updated on: September 17, 2023
Adi Shankaracharya

Adi Shankaracharya

Bhopal: A gigantic 108 ft-tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya, the eighth century philosopher, is set to be unveiled in the holy town of Omkareshwar, around 80 km from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, on September 18 by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The multi-metal sculpture is being built on the picturesque Mandhata mountain near the ancient shrine of Omkareshwar, housing one of the Lord Shiva’s 12 Jyotirlingas, as a tribute to the revered seer and is christened as ‘Ekatmata Ki Pratima’ or ‘Statue of Oneness’.

 "This is a dream come true for me", Mr Chouhan said.

Adi Shankaracharya visited Omkareshwar at the age of 12 after embarking on the path of renunciation to get enlightenment on Advaita Vedanta philosophy under the tutelage of his guru, Govind Bhagwadpad.

He spent four years in Omkareshwar to study the philosophy and then started his journey across length and breadth of the country to spread the Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hindu philosophy teaching ‘non-dualism’.

The state government has plans to develop Omkareshwar as a cultural and spiritual heritage by establishing ‘Advait Lok’, a museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the philosophical traditions of Advaita Vedanta.

The state government is also currently developing an ‘Advaita forest’ in 36 hectares on Omkareshwar to ensure sustainability and preservation of natural beauty of the area.

The establishment of the towering statue has unfolded a gigantic effort behind it.

According to the chief minister’s office (CMO) sources, the idea to build the huge statue of Adi Shankaracharya struck Mr Chouhan when he was visiting Omkareshwar in January, 2017.

He had then discussed the matter with renowned philosophers, spiritual leaders and intellectuals of the country to give shape to his idea.

It was decided at the meeting that since Adi Shankaracharya had visited Omkareshwar at the age of 12 years, the statue of him should also be of that age.

However, his photograph or painting of this age could not be found anywhere in the country.

Finally, a painter was selected to portray a picture of Adi Shankaracharya when he was 12 years of age by going through various ancient literatures.

Based on the painting, the statue was conceived and made, the CMO sources said.

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