City sculptor Arun Yogiraj of famous Adi Shankaracharya statue will take office in a month and a half
Mysore/Mysore: The monolith Statue of Nandi at the top of the Chamundi hill, which has developed cracks due to the vagaries of the weather and improper cleaning processes using high-powered water jets, will return to its original black color and work will begin in a month and half.
At present, the statue is white in color after being washed with high-powered water jets in 2017. The cracks on the structure will be filled using a natural process and the task has been awarded by the Department of Archeology and Museums to the city sculptor. Arun Yogiraj who had sculpted the 12ft 3D statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya in a seated position at Kedarnath temple in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. Apart from that, he carved many other artistic statues with great visual appeal.
The statue of Nandi, the celestial bull, rests halfway along the road leading to the Sri Chamundeshwari temple and the monolithic statue is a major tourist attraction.
The statue, believed to be at least 350 years old, was carved during the period of Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar who ruled from 1659 to 1673 and is the only one of its kind in the state. The statue is 3,489 feet above mean sea level.
Arun has already visited the Nandi statue twice and made some suggestions to the Department. If the statue had been carved from black shale (Krishna Shile), it would not have developed any cracks. But this Nandi was carved with wild stones and cracks appeared after 300 to 400 years, he told Star of Mysore.
“I had inspected the statue earlier when Abhiram G. Sankar was the Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru as he had given me the job and now BR Poornima, Commissioner of the Department of Archeology and Museums has contacted me and m “invited to make suggestions on the restoration of the cracks and for the overall conservation of the monolith. A scientific method will be used without any chemicals to fill the cracks,” he said.
The statue is an igneous rock (form when magma [molten rock] cools and crystallizes) and is also called ‘Chamundi Gray Granite’.
“These rocks are widely available and usually pink and white with a mix of black. This type of rock is generally not used for carving as it will not support small carvings. These rocks contain mica and are porous. The rock reacts when an Abhisheka (anointing) is performed and can cause a small amount of food poisoning if consumed,” he explained.
“During my inspection of the Nandi statue, I saw that slight cracks have developed and need to be addressed. High pressure water jets should not be used for cleaning as the process will damage the statue. We usually give oil treatment to the stone carvings to fill in the pores.Abhishekas using oil, ghee and other objects are also applied to the statue of Gommateshwara at Shravanabelagola,” he said. declared.
Holes have been observed in some points of the statue and they are the result of climatic hazards. “Coconut oil will be applied all over the statue and the dried copra will be burned to form carbon powder to be applied to the statue. This will turn the statue black and it will return to its original black color. This is of a proven method and even in the early days statues are usually protected using this method,” he added.
Archeology Commissioner Poornima said the cracks on the Nandi statue and other related issues have been discussed with the Sri Chamundeshwari temple management. “They volunteered to bear the expenses and sculptor Arun Yogiraj was asked to prepare an estimate. Its proposal will be sent for approval and conservation work will start after getting approval in a month and a half,” she said.