Prime Minister Narendra Modi would unveil a 216-foot statue of Ramanujacharya, an 11th century saint and social reformer, in Hyderabad on February 5. The statue described as ‘Statue of Equality’ is located in a 45-acre complex at Shamshabad on the outskirts of the city.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the Statue of Equality to the world on February 5, 2022. It is a 216 feet tall statue of Sri Ramanujacharya, a 11th century Bhakti saint, and a revolutionary social reformer,” a press release from the organisers said on Thursday. The event, along with a 1,035 ‘yaaga’ fire oblation, said to be the largest in modern history, and other spiritual activities like mass mantra-chanting are to be conducted as part of Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham’. It is to celebrate the 1,000th birth anniversary of the saint, it said.
The events would kick off from February 2. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would be co-hosting the event with renowned spiritual guru Chinna Jeeyar Swami, the release said. Several other chief ministers, politicians, celebrities and actors would also attend the function. The Rs 1,000-crore project was funded entirely by donations from devotees globally. The inner sanctorum deity of Ramanujacharya is made of 120 kg gold to commemorate the 120 years the saint walked this earth.
President Ram Nath Kovind would unveil the inner chamber of the statue of Ramanuja on February 13, the release said. The outdoor 216-foot statue would be one of the tallest statues in a sitting posture, it said. The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a mix of five metals – gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc. The complex has identical recreations of 108 Divya Desams, the 108 ornately carved Vishnu temples mentioned in the works of the Alwars, mystic Tamil saints. Born in 1017 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya liberated millions from social, cultural, gender, educational and economic discrimination with the foundational conviction that every human is equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste or creed. He opened the doors of temples to all people, including those subjected to extreme discrimination. He remains a timeless icon of equality for social reformists around the world, it said.
“We heartily welcome everyone including chief guests, dignitaries, devotees, and people from all walks of life for the grand opening of Statue of Equality,” said Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. Ramanujacharya has remained a true icon of equality for 1,000 years and this project will ensure his teachings are practised for at least another 1,000 years, he said.
“Our mission is to make the Statue of Equality a culturally paramount destination for people across the globe and inspire everyone to make the world a more equal place to live. Today, as the world is fraught with divisiveness and populism, the need of the hour is Ramanujacharya’s ideology,” he said. The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2014, the release said. The 54-foot high base building named Bhadra Vedi’ has dedicated floors for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery and a robust multi-language audio tour detailing many works of Ramanujacharya.