Arun Yogiraj talks about how he sculptured the divine form of Ram Lalla!

10:54 AM Jan 16, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Ayodhya: In a momentous decision for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust has approved the Ram Lalla idol to be installed in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple complex. The Balarama (Ram Lalla) idol sculpted by the hands of Mysuru-based artist Arun Yogiraj has made the final cut – as a testament to both his artistic prowess and religious devotion.


In this interview, Arun Yogiraj shares insights into his sculpting journey, the meticulous selection of stone for the Rama idol, the design intricacies, dimensions, and the time invested in the carving process.

Q: Why did you choose sculpting as your career after completing MBA?

A: My father’s dedication to sculpting, coupled with my early exposure to the art, drew me back despite pursuing an MBA. I realized that sculpting was the most important thing in my life, and with my father’s encouragement, I resumed carving.

Q: How was your journey from Mysuru to Ayodhya?


A: Starting with statues in Mysuru, including Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar and Paramahansa, I ventured into creating unique designs. The opportunity to carve the Ramlalla idol in Ayodhya is a culmination of my passion that began in Mysuru.

Q: How do you feel about sculpting the Ramlalla idol for Ram Mandir?

A: It feels like the reward for my past efforts and merits. Out of three sculptors, two were selected from Karnataka, and I am proud to be one of them. With a family legacy spanning five generations, this opportunity feels like a tremendous honor.

Q: How did you get selected as one of these three people?

A: After carving the Shankaracharya idol at Kedarnath and a 30-foot granite statue of Subhash Chandra Bose at India Gate, I was recommended by the President of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts: IGNCA. A thorough selection process followed, including a demonstration meeting and interview by a committee.

Q: How did you choose stone for sculpture? How long did it take you to carve this?

A: Stone selection involved a meticulous process. Stones from various parts of India, including Karkala, and Nepal were brought. Scientists from the National Institute of Rock Mechanics (NIRM), under the Department of Mines, Government of India, examined each stone. After meticulous testing and quality checks, Krishna Shile from HD Kote, Karnataka was chosen.

Q: Do you think Ramlalla idol-making was a challenge?

A: The biggest challenge was sculpting a form none of us had seen before, especially Rama’s child form. There was no physical reference available. With 1200 photos as references, capturing the innocence and majesty of Rama in stone was a significant responsibility.

Q: How tall is the idol, and what is the concept behind Balarama’s form?

A: The idol is 51 inches from foot to forehead. This was done so that the sun’s rays would fall on the forehead of the statue on the day of Ramanavami. We had received instructions for a statue that depicted 5-year-old Balarama. I observed children in nursery schools to capture the essence of a 5-6-year-old child. However, blending innocence with the majesty of Lord Rama was a challenge.

Q: What happens to the other two idols?

A: The trust has said that the selected idol will be installed in the sanctum sanctorum, while the remaining two will be installed in the other areas of the temple complex.

Q: How long did it take to create the idol?

A: The idol carving process spanned six to seven months, with each sculptor working independently. The intention was to ensure uniqueness and excellence, reflecting the diverse styles of the country. Though we were very close to each other there was no communication about occurred between the sculptors about the idol we were carving. Not even a photograph.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.