Meet Arun Yogiraj, Who Carved Ayodhya Ram Mandir’s Ram Lalla Idol: Left 9 to 5 Job To Be A Sculptor
Renowned sculptor Arun Yogiraj, from a five-generation lineage in Mysuru, takes center stage in Ayodhya during the ‘pran pratishtha’ of the Ram Lalla idol. Despite an MBA and corporate stint, Arun embraced sculpting in 2008. Notable works include the 30-foot Subhash Chandra Bose statue and the 12-foot Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath. His diverse portfolio features statues of Hanuman, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and more, earning recognition from PM Modi. Arun humbly acknowledges familial and divine support, expressing surreal gratitude at the Ayodhya Ram temple.
In the heart of Ayodhya, as the eagerly awaited ‘pran pratishtha’ of the Ram Lalla idol takes place, the sculptor Arun Yogiraj humbly declares himself as the “most fortunate soul on this planet.” This distinguished artisan, now under the spotlight, emerges from a lineage of sculptors, crafting various culturally significant sculptures.
Inauguration of the New Ram Lalla Idol at Ayodhya Temple Tracing his origins, Arun’s roots extend to Agrahara and Mysuru in Karnataka. A 41-year-old scion, he belongs to a family boasting five generations of sculptors. His illustrious grandfather, Basavanna Shilpi, earned royal patronage from the King of Mysore.
Contrary to family tradition, Arun did not immediately embrace sculpting as a full-time vocation. After attaining a master’s degree in business administration, he delved into the corporate world. However, in 2008, he decided to relinquish his corporate career and fully embrace his passion for sculpting. Arun is happily married to Vijetha and has two siblings.
In the realm of sculpting, Arun gained acclaim for his monumental 30-foot statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, prominently placed behind the Amar Jawan Jyoti near India Gate. PM Narendra Modi spearheaded the installation to honor Bose’s contributions. Arun’s talents have been acknowledged by the BJP government, receiving praise from PM Modi himself. During the installation of the Bose sculpture, Arun presented the Prime Minister with a two-foot-tall miniature statue of Bose.
The same skilled hands also molded the 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath, which was unveiled in 2021. This 35-tonne statue was erected at the seer’s samadhi stal, revitalized after the devastating floods in 2013.
Arun’s portfolio includes a 21-foot monolithic stone sculpture of Hanuman in KR Nagar, Mysore. Additionally, he crafted a 15-foot monolithic white marble statue of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a 10-foot monolithic white marble sculpture of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and a 15-foot monolithic white marble statue of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar with a pedestal in Mysuru. Notably, an 11-foot monolithic modern art stone sculpture, conceptualized as “Creation of Creation,” graces the University of Mysore.
Dive deeper: “I am the luckiest person on Earth”: Arun Yogiraj, the artist Behind Ram Lalla’s Idol Arun has also sculpted the bronze statue of Sri U.R. Rao, installed at ISRO, Bangalore; a five-foot idol of Garuda in Mysore; and a seven-foot tall idol of Yoganarasimha Swamy in KR Nagar. His artistic prowess extends to numerous statues of Sir M. Vishveshwaraiah and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
His sculptures find a home in various temples, portraying Panchamukhi Ganapathi, MahaVishnu, Buddha, Nandi, Swami Shivbala Yogi, Swami Shivakumara, and Banashankari.
Reflecting on his arrival at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the sculptor expressed, “I feel I am the luckiest person on Earth and also count on the blessings of my ancestors, family members, and Ram Lalla. Sometimes I feel like I am in a dream world.
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