Bhubaneswar: Well known sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik Friday created a sculpture of Nelson Mandela on the Puri beach in Odisha to pay tribute to the anti-apartheid icon who died Thursday at the age of 95.
A large number of tourists and residents gathered on the beach to lay flowers near the five foot high sculpture Pattnaik created in about five hours with around three tonnes of sand.
"I am a big admirer of Nelson Mandela. We lost a world leader. I created this sculpture to pay tribute to him," Pattnaik said.
Sudarsan is an internationally acclaimed sand artist who has represented India in more than 50 international sand sculpture championships and festivals around the world.
A resident of Puri, about 56 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, he has won many prizes for the country.