Mumbai: The Hussain Sagar lake of Hyderabad boasts of being home to one of the most brilliant yet modern architectural marvels in the world – a giant Buddha statue – which is now a busy tourist attraction.
But the installation of the iconic structure proved to be a tough task. It was indeed a challenge for the engineers working on the project to succeed in their mission and it took about two years for them to finally realise their dream of mounting it on a platform built in the lake.
Here’s taking a look at some of the interesting yet shocking facts believed to have been associated with the installation of the statue:
- The Buddha Statue is former Andhra Pradesh CM, NT Rama Rao’s brainchild. He was mighty impressed by the Statute of Liberty in the USA so he decided to give Hyderabad, the then capital of the state of Andhra, a sculpture that could turn into an iconic landmark.
- It is perhaps the world's tallest monolithic statue of Gautama Buddha - meaning it has been sculpted out of a one single piece of rock. It is 16 meters tall and weighs about 350 tonne.
- Architect and sculptor SM Ganapathy Sthapathi instrumental in saving a number of archaeological structures and a Padmashri awardee, was roped in to carve Buddha Statue from the solid granite rock.
- It took about 5 years and 3 million US dollars to complete the sculpture.
- But the challenges began when the statue was being taken to the spot in the lake where it had to be installed in 1990. A tragedy struck - the statue slipped into the lake and about 10 engineers got killed.
- The statue is believed to have remained underwater for two years.
- Two years later, attempts were made to install the statue as per the initial plan. And it was a successful attempt indeed. The statue stands tall on a 15-feet concrete platform that supports the majestic sculpture.
- In 2006, the Dalai Lama was invited to perform rituals that would help the statue gain the divine status.