108-ft tall Mahadeshwara Statue at MM Hills
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108-ft tall Mahadeshwara Statue at MM Hills

March 17, 2023

CM Basavaraj Bommai to unveil first phase of Rs. 20 crore project tomorrow

Chamarajanagar: The 108-feet tall statue of Lord Mahadeshwara at Deepadagiri Oddu in Male Mahadeshwara Hills (MM Hills), Hanur taluk in the district, is all set for inauguration on Mar. 18 at 10.05 am.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is also the Chairman of Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Kshetra Temple Development Authority, will inaugurate the statue, the works of which have been completed and also unveil the Silver Chariot. A public function will be held near the statue, where seating arrangements have been made for 500 people, said S. Kathyayini Devi, Secretary of the Authority.

District in-charge Minister V. Somanna will inspect the preparations later today.

Other attractions

The estimated project cost is Rs. 20 crore, with only the works related to the statue completed on one acre of land, and the other works related to Museum that will spread the message on life and times of Mahadeshwara, Open Air Theatre near the statue and development of herbal garden yet to be taken up.

Meanwhile, the works on laying the road from Mahadeshwara temple to the statue and stairs are progressing rapidly.

It was the dream of the then District Minister H.S. Mahadevaprasad (late) to build a gigantic statue of Mahadeshwara at MM Hills and the then Chief Minister Siddharamaiah had announced the project in Sept. 2016. However, delay in land acquisition and Covid-19 pandemic had impeded the commencement of works. The project took off in Feb. 2019 and the works on building a huge rock forming the pedestal was completed in the first stage in Mar. 2021. Now, the statue is also ready and the locals, including tourists and devotees are beholding the magnificent sight of Mahadeshwara, known as ‘Pavada Purusha’ (Man of Magical Power) by thronging the spot.

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Unique features

Those coming to MM Hills from Hanur can see the statue of Lord Mahadeshwara after reaching Ane Dimba itself while those coming from Tamil Nadu side can see the statue from Garike Kandi. The statue, built in two levels — Mahadeshwara, astride the tiger, holding trishula (trident) in right hand — stands on a huge rock. The rock has two cave-like floors with 17 divisions, where the Museum will be built, along with the paintings on the historical significance of the Hills, audio visual presentation,  literature related to Mahadeshwara  and rest area for devotees. Meditation and Nature Cure Centre, children’s play area, parking arrangements and other basic infrastructural facilities will be created, to make the statue site a tourist spot.

Gadag sculptors

Sculptors Malathesh Patil and Sridhar of PSAP Architects, Gadag, have carved the statue of ‘Mahadeshwara riding the tiger’.  They have to their credit the deft carvings of gigantic statues of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwar in Uttara Kannada and Basavanna at Basavakalyan, Bidar.

Retaining wall collapses, miscreant act suspected

A portion of retaining wall built around the statue of Mahadeshwara collapsed in the wee hours of Mar.14.

The incident reported ahead of the inaugural ceremony scheduled on Mar.18 is suspected to be the handiwork of miscreants. The wall had been built using boulders, after levelling 30-feet wide land in front of the statue. However, the boulders have fallen in parts, threatening the safety of the place.

S. Kathyayini Devi, Secretary of Male Mahadeshwara Hills Development Authority said, “Our workers were on job till 9 pm of (Mar. 13), but the incident occurred in the middle of the night. Some miscreants have deliberately damaged the wall. Hence, security personnel have been deployed and CCTV cameras will be installed near the statue soon.”

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